Dessert is a highlight of holiday celebrations for many people – including us! If you want to serve an impressive dessert after a holiday dinner or bring one to a friend or family member’s celebration, we’ve got a few of our favorite show-stopping yet refreshingly simple dessert recipes below.
1. Buche de Noel Cake
This decadent yule log cake recipe dates back to the 19th century France and will be the star of your holiday dessert table. This traditional holiday dessert is sure to dazzle guests with its divine taste. The combination of quality, flavorful ingredients creates a unique, heavenly dessert that will easily become an annual tradition.
- 1 1/2 tsp. Madagascar Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup Cocoa – Dutched
- 1 tsp. True Ceylon Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Bourbon Black Walnut Sugar
- 1 cup Bourbon Chestnut Herbal Tea, or another “nutty” herbal tea of choice
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour + 1 Tbsp.
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp Bourbon (optional)
- 1/2 cup Chopped walnuts
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- PREHEAT oven to 350°degrees.
- SEPARATE egg whites from the yolks (keep yolks aside). Whisk the whites in a standing mixer bowl until stiff peaks form. Remove egg whites and place in a separate bowl. Add yolks into the mixer and beat until light and frothy.
- ADD vegetable oil, sugar, and 1 tsp. Madagascar Vanilla Extract.
- MIX in dry ingredients, flour, Cocoa – Dutched, baking powder, salt, and ½ tsp. True Ceylon Cinnamon. Detach the bowl from the mixer. Add egg whites. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the whites. Don’t over mix.
- SPRAY a 12×18 baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread batter onto the pan, making sure the batter reaches all the corners. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
- REMOVE from oven. Spread out a large piece of parchment paper and sprinkle 1 Tbsp. flour on it. Immediately turn cake out onto parchment paper. Peel off the old paper and roll cake up lengthwise. Place in the refrigerator to fully cool.
For the buttercream:
- STEEP Bourbon Chestnut Herbal Tea per package instructions. Set aside to cool.
- BEAT butter and powdered sugar in a bowl. Add remaining Madagascar Vanilla Extract, True Ceylon Cinnamon, Bourbon Black Walnut Sugar and bourbon, and mix. Add steeped tea one tablespoon at a time and beat until frosting is at a thick consistency. Stir in chopped walnuts.
- UNROLL the cake and spread frosting over the whole surface. Re-roll the cake and place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to slightly firm up the frosting.
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- IN a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave for 45-50 seconds until cream is hot (chocolate will not look melted). Remove and stir until smooth.
- REMOVE cake from refrigerator. Cut off about 1 inch from each end and discard.
- PLACE the log on a serving platter. Cut a piece, about 3-4 inches off one end. Using a small amount of the ganache as your glue, affix the piece of cake to the backside of the cake to create a branch (refer to our images for inspiration).
- CUT a second piece slightly diagonally, but around the same size as the first piece. Affix this piece of cake to the front side of the cake.
- USE an offset spatula to completely cover the log with ganache; do not cover the ends and keep the cake swirl exposed.
- MAKE lines in the chocolate with the spatula to resemble tree bark.
- PLACE into the refrigerator until ready to serve. Decorate with sugared cranberries and rosemary if desired
2. Upside Down Spiced Apple Cake
This Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake is a delightfully moist and flavorful cake. Made with the favorite spices of the season, including cinnamon, allspice and ginger, and topped with baked apples and a mouthwatering apple cinnamon caramel, it’s a perfectly charming holiday dessert.
- 3 tsp. Baker’s Spice Blend, divided
- ½ cup Apple Cinnamon Crisp Sugar
- ¾ cup (1 ½ stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- ¼ cup apple juice
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 medium apple (Granny Smith preferred), cut into thin wedges
- 15.25 oz. yellow cake mix (and ingredients per box directions)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- In a microwave-safe (preferably glass) bowl, combine 1 tsp. Baker’s Spice Blend, Apple Cinnamon Crisp Sugar, 1 stick butter, brown sugar, apple juice, and corn syrup. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in-between until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour about half into a well-greased Bundt cake pan and set remaining caramel aside.
- Place apple wedges on top of caramel in a circular pattern (overlapped slightly) on the bottom of the pan.
- Preheat oven to temperature specified on cake mix box.
- Prepare cake mix per box directions. Mix in remaining 2 tsp. Baker’s Spice Blend and chopped walnuts if desired.
- Pour prepared cake batter over top of apples in the Bundt pan. Bake per box directions or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Reheat the remaining syrup and pour over the cake before serving.
3. Beet Root Red Velvet Cupcakes
These gorgeous Beet Root Red Velvet Cupcakes deliver a lovely deep red color without using artificial dyes. They make a beautiful first impression and continue to impress with every delicious bite.
- ¼ cup Beet Root Powder
- ¼ cup Cocoa – Natural
- 2 ½ tsp. Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract, divided
- 2 ¾ cups cake flour
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tsp. white vinegar
- 3 large eggs
- 8 oz. block of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Whisk together cake flour, white sugar, Beet Root Powder, Cocoa – Natural, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Combine buttermilk, melted butter, canola oil, vinegar, 1½ tsp. Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract and eggs in a bowl. Blend with electric mixer on medium-high until well incorporated.
- Add dry mixture to wet mixture in two additions, mixing at medium speed until lumps are removed.
- Spoon batter into prepared cupcake pan, transfer to oven and bake until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let cool completely.
- Place cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl and beat using an electric mixer on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add remaining Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract and mix until incorporated. Slowly add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix on low until well blended, 1-2 minutes.
- Once cupcakes have cooled, remove from pan, and spread or pipe frosting on top.
- Optional: lightly dust cupcakes with Beet Root Powder for an extra touch.
There’s truly no better way to finish off a spectacular holiday dinner than with a good dessert recipe that will please even the pickiest of eaters. Whether you make and serve one or all of these sweets, you’ll make an extraordinary impression.