The holidays are wonderful for spending time with family and friends. Whether it be Thanksgiving in America, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or just a general New Year’s Party, there is always a reason to bake. Skip the boring staples, here are some great cakes to make this holiday season that are sure to please and entertain.
1. Lemon Cake
A lemon cake is one of those timeless desserts that stands the test of time. It is more impressive than a standard yellow box cake, yet it is not all that much more difficult. At it’s base, it is just a standard cake, although with a few more ingredients.
This cake is great for the holidays because lemons bring a summery freshness to desserts, yet are available year round. Try serving this cake at a New Year’s Eve party…that’s what I did!
Financiers are great individual cakes with a fantastic almond flavor. They are a French pastry, but don’t let that make you think they’re difficult, they are actually surprisingly easy to make. These cakes are wonderful with afternoon tea, and when you have family staying for days on end, these individual treats make for a holiday they won’t soon forget.
My family always served a cheesecake for Thanksgiving since none of us were really fans of pumpkin pie. And while it’s hard to vary from the classic New York Cheesecake, this Basque burnt cheesecake sure makes an acceptable substitution.
With a creamy, rich inside, and caramelized ‘burnt’ top, this famous La Vina cake hails from Northern Spain. In recent years it has shot up the ranks to be one of the most popular cheesecake varieties worldwide! Of course, Spanish cuisine is one of my favorites and there’s plenty of other great Spanish recipes to try if you want an entire themed party!
You can never go wrong with a classic chocolate cake during the holidays. After vanilla, chocolate is the most popular cake flavor, and this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. Three rich layers of decadent cake interspersed with rich frosting make this a dessert people will want seconds of.
Nothing says fancy quite like a souffle. This blood orange souffle with Cointreau creme anglaise is actually baked inside a hollowed out blood orange. Another fantastic single serving cake for your holiday guests.
While many people get intimidated by souffles, they are actually great holiday cakes because you can bake them all at once and seriously impress your guests. This is definitely a dessert they’re going to upload to their Instagram.
6. Praline Cake
French pralines are something I always have in my pantry. They are great on their own, but also extremely versatile in desserts. In this cake, I used them to make a simple praline cake using a new bundt pan I wanted to try out.
The rich nuttiness of this cake make it perfect for the Autumn season – so go ahead and make this for your next Thanksgiving party!
One of the most popular Ukrainian recipes is my delicious Ukrainian cheesecake. It actually has more in common with the previously mentioned Spanish version than the NY style because both are made from fresh/farmer’s cheese.
Of course, this delicious and traditional dessert is dotted with tangy sour cherries for a pop of color and flavor. If making during the holidays you can use the cherries, or often used dry fruits like raisins or apricots as well.
No, a chocolate lava cake is not an undercooked souffle. In fact it’s quite a beautifully made dessert with regular chocolate cake enclosing a frozen ball of rich ganache before baking. These cakes are great for the holidays because, like earlier posted cakes, they are individual servings. That makes them great for holiday parties because you can scale the recipe up to as many people as you want.
This middle eastern inspired cake uses almond meal and a homemade rose syrup. Topped with rose icing and chopped pistachios, this Persian style cake is great for events like Christmas when you really want to bring some international flair to your holiday parties.