3 Show Stopping Christmas Cakes

multiple photos of cake

3 Show Stopping Christmas Cakes ~ want to win Christmas this year? Make one of these fun holiday layer cakes that are specially formulated for maximum impact with minimum fuss. 

multiple photos of cake



Gingerbread Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Rich, spiced gingerbread cake layers pair perfectly with tangy cream cheese frosting in this dramatic Christmas cake, decorated with a forest of gingerbread trees. It might look complicated, but basically it’s just a batch of cookies slapped onto a simple (but extra yummy) layer cake. And the baking can easily be spread out over two days.

A piece of cake on a plate, with gingerbread

For the cookies, use your favorite gingerbread recipe

I used this recipe, but feel free to use whatever you like. I think my gingerbread stars would give this cake a different look, or you could do more colorful sugar cookie trees.  How pretty would snowflake cookies look around this cake? Even grocery store or bakery cookies will work, there’s no shame in that!

gingerbread cookies



Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream

This Christmas cake is all about the drama of the vivid pink cranberry frosting contrasted with the deep dark chocolate layers. That first slice is an instant ‘wow’. As with many cakes, you can easily make the layers a day before and frost this beauty the day you want to serve it.

slices of chocolate layer cake with cranberry buttercream on small plates

Fresh cranberries make an incredible buttercream

Cranberries have a zingy flavor with a tartness to balance out all the sugar. I used fresh cranberries to make a simple smooth cranberry puree that gets folded right into the classic buttercream frosting. You can vary the amount of cranberry puree you add to adjust the depth of the color and taste to your liking. And yes, frozen berries will work just as well.

Big swoops and swirls of frosting on the top of this layer cake mean that it looks amazing without any extra decorating ~ it’s all about that color!

cake frosting with cranberry buttercream



Bûche de Nöel Layer Cake

If you’re really looking for the “oohs” and “aahs” from the table this year, I’d say this cake is your best bet. The toasted hazelnut layer cake itself is simple to make and amazingly delicious, and the meringue mushrooms are such a fun touch that I think you’ll really enjoy making. If you come from a family of bakers, why not have everybody bake their own, and compare the delicious results on Zoom this Christmas?

buche de noel layer cake with meringue mushrooms

The meringue mushrooms are easy ~ promise!

  • You’ll need a piping bag with a plain tip.
  • Remember, mushrooms in nature aren’t perfect, so yours don’t need to be, either.
  • The ‘caps’ are affixed to the ‘stems’ with a little melted chocolate, and they double as crunchy, cute little cookies!

mushroom meringue cookies in a produce basket

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    December 22, 2020 at 11:08 am

    These all look fabulous Sue! Where were they on my birthday? Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      December 22, 2020 at 11:10 am

      Happy holidays to you too Abbe <3 And happy birthday!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2020 at 6:03 am

    Cannot thank you enough for the last nine months. Your posts bring such beautiful photos of foods delish! My very best of wishes to you and your family for a very blessed 2021.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2020 at 7:52 am

      Thank you for the sweet words Sharon, happy holidays <3

  • Reply
    December 20, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Made the cranberry chocolate cake recently just because…added a chocolate cranberry ganache as the filling- not too shabby! Halved the recipe to make a 6 inch cake, should have made the whole thing – it went fast!

    • Reply
      December 20, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      Not too shabby indeed!!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2020 at 7:37 am

    All three are wonderful, Sue. Pinned


  • Reply
    elizabeth straub
    December 20, 2020 at 7:10 am

    thank you for a wonderful website….love all the recipes! stay safe

    • Reply
      December 20, 2020 at 9:00 am

      🙂 happy holidays Elizabeth

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