10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays


Dec 16

So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you’ll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I’ve narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table!

CAKE BAKING FOR THE HOLIDAYS

The Christmas holiday is one of my favorite times of year to bake cakes! My kids are out of school, I get to be around family and friends, and there is so much inspiration! Each year, as I develop new recipes and design new cakes, I am so inspired by the holiday themes, smells and flavors.

This year, I may have gone a bit overboard… or maybe it’s just the right amount, depending on how you look at it 😉 I developed four new winter and Christmas cake flavors and four new winter/Christmas cake designs. I also have several holiday cakes from last year!

With so many to choose from, I’ve tried to narrow it down to help you pick the perfect cake for your holiday gathering. No matter which cake you choose, I know that everyone will LOVE the end product and baking cakes will become a lasting tradition.

CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

Dark chocolate cake layers with a hint of orange zest, covered with a chocolate orange buttercream.

This recipe is based on one I did years ago and it was time to update. It’s a flavor combination that will always make me think of Christmastime- the chocolate orange inside of my stocking. Anyone else have those memories? Whether or not you’ve tried the original chocolate orange I think you’ll love this cake!

Fun Fact: do you know where the tradition of Christmas oranges come from? The story goes that St. Nicholas learned of a poor man who wasn’t able to find suitors for his three daughters because he didn’t have money for a dowry. St. Nicholas traveled to the house, and tossed three sacks of gold down the chimney for each of the dowries. The gold happened to land in each of the girls’ stockings which were hanging by the fire to dry. The oranges we receive today are a symbol of the gold that was left in the stockings. Needing a dowry aside, the act is such a sweet reminder of giving and generosity.

WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT PRETZEL CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

White chocolate peppermint cake layers, white chocolate peppermint pretzel filling, and white chocolate peppermint buttercream.

Building on my original “White Chocolate Peppermint” cake, this cake adds a pretzel filling! Think of the Costco white chocolate pretzels they have this time of year. Totally addicting and I think you’ll love the added crunch and salty-ness in this version of the cake.

Tip: I always make a large batch of the filling so there’s plenty to snack on.

CHAI WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

Tender chai flavored cake layers with a silky smooth white chocolate buttercream and fresh raspberries.

The frosting I chose to pair with this chai cake is a yummy white chocolate buttercream. It sounds like both a delicious cake and a delicious Starbucks beverage!

No red cup needed for this cake though, since it has a fun red pop of color and flavor with the fresh raspberries included. I especially love how the color of these flavors is naturally a Christmastime palette.

SANTA’S MILK & COOKIES CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes
10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

Vanilla cake layers with vanilla buttercream, sugar cookies and boiled milk frosting.

As I was thinking about Christmas cakes this year, I couldn’t help but wonder how I could turn this beloved Christmas cookie into a cake.

My first thought, actually, was, “I have to include my favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe!”. These cookies are hands down my favorite sugar cookies. They’re soft and tender, and hold their shape nicely. With this cake you can definitely have your cake and cookie too. 😉

CITRUS CRANBERRY CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes
10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

Made up of citrus cake layers, cranberry compote and citrus buttercream.

For this gorgeous Christmas cake, I added some orange zest to the cake layers, as well as a cranberry compote. I also added an orange simple syrup that you’ll coat the top of your cake layers with to amp up the orange flavor. The frosting has a bit of pure orange extract in it as well, but nothing overwhelming, in my opinion. 

EGGNOG CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

Browned butter, eggnog cake with eggnog buttercream and cinnamon chip ganache.

Nothing says Christmas like eggnog right? This Christmas cake is a combination of the best of two great Eggnog cake recipes, leaving the flavor out of this world. It’s beautiful appearance and the cinnamon chip ganache between the layers is going to make it a new tradition in your home!

WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

Vanilla bean white chocolate pound cake with cranberry compote and white chocolate frosting.

I think cranberries are the essence of Christmastime, and a wonderful addition to almost any cake, especially Christmas cake! For this cake, I paired a tart cranberry compote with a sweet, white chocolate vanilla bean pound cake. Pound cake will be a more dense cake than the usual cakes I make. In fact, this cake actually reminds me of the Starbucks White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie Bar.

Fun Fact: do you know how “pound cake” got its name? Because the traditional way to make it is a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.

LEMON GINGERBREAD CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes
10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

Gingerbread cake layers with lemon curd filling and whipped lemon mascarpone frosting.

Did you know lemon and gingerbread are a traditional Christmastime flavor combination? After learning that I set out on a mission to recreate that dessert in a stacked cake form.

Settling on homemade lemon curd and a semi-naked mascarpone frosting, brings this cake together beautifully and deliciously.

HONEY FIG GOAT CHEESE CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

Tender honey cake layers with a goat cheese filling, fig jam and mascarpone frosting. 

This cake is a delicious interpretation on the charcuterie boards that are so perfect for holiday entertaining. I used figs from my mom’s trees that make up the yummy jam filling.

To complement the filling, but not take away from it, I used a light mascarpone frosting. I used the same recipe from my Lemon Gingerbread Cake found above, and I’m so happy with the combination. The hint of lemon is the perfect addition to the flavors in this cake.

WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

White chocolate peppermint cake layers with white chocolate peppermint frosting and drip, filled and decorated with crushed peppermint candies.

One of my favorite things about this cake is love how each bite gives you a good taste of peppermint, but it never feels overpowering, and you still taste the white chocolate.

The cake itself is a little denser than my Light and Fluffy Vanilla Cake, but not quite as dense as my recent Citrus Cranberry Cake, which definitely has a more pound cake-like texture.

CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CAKE

10 Cakes Perfect for the Holidays: So many cakes! So little time! Have you decided which flavor (or flavors) you'll be making for your holiday party? To help you decide, I've narrowed it down to 10 cakes perfect for the holidays that will wow the crowds and bring joy to your table! #cakebycourtney #christmascakes #christmas #easychristmascakes

Rich, dark chocolate peppermint cake layers with peppermint buttercream.

I’ve used my go-to chocolate cake recipe with a little peppermint extract. It’s one of the easiest recipes to whip up and always a crowd pleaser. You can’t go wrong with this recipe.

Tip: Over-mixing your batter is one of the main reasons your cake sinks in the center

BLACK & WHITE CAKE

Dark chocolate cake layers with a light and fluffy vanilla buttercream.

This is the perfect cake for anyone to make, after the holiday rush is over and you are ready to rest a bit? New to cake baking but ready to test out those Christmas baking gifts you received? Want to add a little cake, I mean “wow”, factor to your New Year’s Eve party? This cake is just right!

Need More Christmas Cake Inspiration?

Checkout all of my Christmas cake happenings over on Instagram for more decorating videos and tips!

Christmas Cake Quick Reference List

Chocolate Orange Cake – Dark chocolate cake layers with a hint of orange zest, covered with a chocolate orange buttercream.

White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Cake – white chocolate peppermint cake layers, white chocolate peppermint pretzel filling, and white chocolate peppermint buttercream.

Chai White Chocolate Raspberry Cake – tender chai flavored cake layers with a silky smooth white chocolate buttercream and fresh raspberries.

Santa’s Milk and Cookies Cake – vanilla cake layers with vanilla buttercream, sugar cookies and boiled milk frosting.

Citrus Cranberry Cake is made up of citrus cake layers, cranberry compote and citrus buttercream,

Eggnog Cake – Browned butter, eggnog cake with eggnog buttercream and cinnamon chip ganache.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cake – Vanilla bean white chocolate pound cake with cranberry compote and white chocolate frosting.

Lemon Gingerbread Cake –Gingerbread cake layers with lemon curd filling and whipped lemon mascarpone frosting.

Sweet and Savory Honey Fig Goat Cheese Cake – tender honey cake layers with a goat cheese filling, fig jam and mascarpone frosting. 

White Chocolate Peppermint Cake – White chocolate peppermint cake layers with white chocolate peppermint frosting and drip, filled and decorated with crushed peppermint candies.

Chocolate Peppermint Cake – rich, dark chocolate peppermint cake layers with peppermint buttercream.

Black and White Cake – dark chocolate cake layers with a light and fluffy vanilla buttercream.

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