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40 Festive Cakes to Serve This Christmas

Forget the cookies. Santa wants cake! Make your dessert table merry and bright with one of these festive recipes.

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Cranberry-Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze

I used cranberries for decorations in a wedding, then challenged myself to find a way to use up the surplus. This pretty, super moist cake with cranberries in the batter and sometimes, sugared ones on top, was the result! —S. Jade Klope, Paducah, Kentucky
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Red Velvet Cake Roll

Get ready for oohs and aahs when you set this on the table. A creamy white chocolate filling rolls up beautifully inside a layer of fluffy red velvet cake. To make it extra festive, dust stripes of confectioners' sugar for a candy cane look. —Tonya Forsyth, Waurika, Oklahoma
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Little Holiday Cakes

My college friend shared this cupcake recipe that has pie crust on the bottom, raspberry jam in the middle and cake on top—scrumptious for a buffet or potluck. —Dana Beckstrom, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Holiday White Fruitcake

Years ago, when I attended Koloa Missionary Church in Hawaii, a friend gave me this recipe. Now I whip up at least 60 loaves for the holidays. —Eileen Sokolowski Flatt, Chandler, Arizona
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Carrot-Cranberry Spice Cake

I love carrot cake and those made with cranberries. Using leftover cranberry sauce, I add carrots to make one marvelous cake that’s tangy and sweet. —Elizabeth King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Molten Peppermint-Chocolate Cakes

I doctored up a recipe I found in the newspaper years ago. When you see the gooey chocolate dripping out, you know you're in for an awesome dessert. —Genise Krause, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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Brown Sugar Pound Cake

This tender pound cake is the first one I mastered. You'll want to eat the browned butter icing by the spoonful. It tastes like pralines. —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida
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Easy Pistachio Tube Cake

Mixes make this light cake easy, and a fluted tube pan gets it holiday party-ready. Go for the pistachios on top—the extra crunch is worth it. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, Virginia
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Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

The aroma of baking gingerbread stirs up such warm memories. This cake looks festive and is even on the lighter side. —Nancy Beckman, Helena, Montana
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Walnut Pumpkin Cake Roll

This is one of my family's favorite dessert recipes, especially for holiday gatherings. —Mary Gecha, Center Rutland, Vermont
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Rich Rum Cake

We like a touch of rum for the holidays, and this orangy rum cake is decadent alone or with big swoops of whipped cream. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Mini Chocolate Wafer Cakes

I first made these cakes for a friend when I lived in the dorms at college and had no access to appliances. Little did I know I would be making them 20 years later for my children! —Lara Pennell, Mauldin, South Carolina
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Favorite Coconut Cake

When I need an impressive dessert for a special occasion, this is the recipe I turn to. My guests are glad I do! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Toffee Angel Food Cake

Chopped toffee bits and whipped cream make the sweet flavor and light, moist texture of angel food even more indulgent. For best results, refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before serving. —Collette Gaugler, Fogelsville, Pennsylvania
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Classic Tres Leches Cake

Tres leches means "three milks." This cake gets its name because it uses three kinds of milk—evaporated, condensed and cream. This cake's light and airy texture has made it a classic in Mexican kitchens for generations. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Gingerbread Pudding Cake

Super-moist cake gets all spiced up in this scrumptious slow-cooked dessert. If you want it a little sweeter, drizzle it with maple syrup. —Barbara Cook, Yuma, Arizona
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Flourless Chocolate Torte

Here's the perfect dessert for chocoholics—like me! I bake this melt-in-your-mouth torte all the time for special occasions. For an elegant finish, dust it with confectioners' sugar. —Kayla Albrecht, Freeport, Illinois
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Raspberry-Almond Jelly Roll

With a whipped cream, almond and raspberry filling, the lovely swirled slices taste as good as they look. —Gloria Warczak, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
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Nana's Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Frosting

Even though Nana is no longer with us, her treats bring me so much joy every time I bake them. For a more indulgent version, double the frosting and pile it on high! —Chekota Hunter, Cassville, Missouri
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Toffee Coffee Cake

Candy bar fan Edie Despain of Logan, Utah suggests topping this delightfully moist snack with a dollop of your favorite ice cream.
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Grandma Pietz's Cranberry Cake Pudding

For generations, our family has handed down this cake recipe starring cranberries. Simple and unusual, it remains a treasured family heirloom. —Lisa Potter, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding Torte

This recipe is a busy mom's twist on one of my favorite desserts—tiramisu. The dish is simple to assemble and perfect to make the day before you want to serve it. The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for it to chill so you can eat it! —Cheryl Snavely, Hagerstown, Maryland
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Sugarplum Cake

Family and friends are surprised to hear this simple cake gets it moist flavor from a jar of baby food. It's a nice, light dessert. —Denita DeValcourt, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
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Mint Angel Cake

One sight of this lovely cake will have guests saving room for dessert! For an easy garnish, sprinkle with crushed mint candies.—Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Cranberry-Filled Orange Pound Cake

I made this for a holiday dinner with my family. Everyone loved the cran-orange flavor and the sweet glaze drizzled on top. For a fun variation, add 2/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut when including the orange juice to the batter, and sprinkle the finished cake with toasted coconut. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Deep & Dark Ganache Cake

My ode to all things chocolate, this is a phenomenally rich and satisfying chocolate ganache cake recipe. — Tarra Knight, Benbrook, Texas
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Cranberry Coconut Cake with Marshmallow Cream Frosting

Filled with a homemade cranberry curd and smothered with one of the fluffiest frostings you've ever had, this tall cake will make a memorable impression at any gathering. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Chocolate Gingerbread Yule Log

If you’ve tasted a yule log sponge cake, you’ll love this version with fresh ginger and spices. The holiday stunner can be made ahead. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Pumpkin-Pecan Spice Cake

I'm a wife and mother of eight children. I like baking more than cooking, so I enjoy dressing up a spice cake mix with nuts, canned pumpkin and a homemade cream cheese frosting to create this fabulous dessert. —Joyce Platfoot, Wapakoneta, Ohio
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White Chocolate Christmas Torte

Talk about a scene-stealer! This raspberry-filled cake, an exceptional dessert for any meal, is an especially lovely ending for a holiday feast. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Mocha Yule Log

This eye-catching dessert is guaranteed to delight holiday dinner guests. Chocolate lovers will lick their lips over the yummy cocoa cake, mocha filling and frosting. For a festive touch, I garnish the log with marzipan holly leaves and berries. —Jenny Hughson, Mitchell, Nebraska
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Cranberry Layer Cake

I adapted a Bundt cake recipe to create this layer cake. Cranberries, walnuts and homemade frosting make it taste so delicious that you'd never guess it starts with a convenient cake mix. —Sandy Burkett, Galena, Ohio
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Chocolate-Cherry Brownie Cake

My grandmother taught me the tricks to making this cake, and I've added my own special touches. The melted chocolate keeps the icing from being too dry and gives it a texture similar to chocolate ice cream. I have more requests for the icing than I do anything else! —Susan Hayes, Massapequa, New York
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Chocolate Ginger Cake

Indulge in a dark, decadent cake that showcases the flavors of the holiday season. I stir fresh ginger into the batter and sprinkle chopped crystallized ginger over the velvety ganache. —Amber Evans, Beaverton, Oregon
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Chocolate Bavarian Torte

Whenever I take this eye-catching torte to a potluck, I get so many requests for the recipe. —Edith Holmstrom, Madison, Wisconsin
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Gingerbread Torte

This old-fashioned gingerbread cake is excellent. Lemon zest is a nice addition to the sweet cream cheese frosting. —Ginger Hendricksen of Plover, WI
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Double-Chocolate Toffee Icebox Cake

My mother-in-law taught me that anything tastes good if you use enough chocolate or cream. This no-bake dessert proves she was right. Sometimes I use chocolate graham crackers and stack up the layers in a 9-inch square pan. —Bee Engelhart, Bloomfield Township, Michigan
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Fudgy Peppermint Stick Torte

I created this recipe based on a chocolate cake a friend made for me several years ago. It's a favorite around Christmas, not only because of the great flavors, but also because it makes a spectacular presentation. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma
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Peppermint Cake Rolls

With angel food cake, fudge sauce and peppermints, this cake roll is easy and pretty. —Suellen Calhoun, Des Moines, Iowa
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Pumpkin Fruitcake

I make this fruity cake many times between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The dense cake has wonderful pumpkin flavor and is flecked with pecans, dates, raisins and cherries. —Janet Hradsky, Three Rivers, Michigan

Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.

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