Impress your holiday guests with a show-stopping cake that tastes as great as it looks on the dessert table. Our favorite festive cake recipes are the perfect way to finish your meal and also transform your dinner table into a jaw-dropping display. From fun fillings and decorative designs to luscious layered cakes and delicate trifles, these gorgeous white cakes are loaded with delicious flavor and spirited holiday fun. Pick your favorite recipe from our collection and get started on a new holiday tradition this year.
Spice Cake with Cranberry FillingThis stunning and festive cake makes a great centerpiece at the holiday dessert table. A great tip is to pipe a ring of frosting around each cake layer, just inside the top edge, to keep the cranberry filling from peeking out.
Smith Island CakeCreate a show-stopping holiday cake by icing each beautiful layer with decadent Chocolate Ganache icing.
Easy Chocolate Christmas CakeNo one will ever have to know this show-stopping Christmas cake started with a box of chocolate cake mix!
Mrs. Billett's White CakeWhether or not you're dreaming of a white Christmas, you'll want to dive into a slice of this snowy white cake. Complete with fondant snowflakes, it's truly reminiscent of a winter wonderland.
White Cake with Peppermint Frosting
Garnish with a fondant bow or Peppermint Meringue Cookies.
White Cake with Cranberry Filling and Orange Buttercream
This melt-in-your-mouth cake will be the star of your holiday meal. Your guests will be begging for the recipe!
Milk Punch Tres Leches Cake
Bake this a day before serving so it soaks up the creamy syrup. Make mini cakes with a round cutter. Top with whipped cream and a grating of nutmeg.
Caramel Cream Cake
This three-layer butter cake has a pecan-pie filling in between the cake layers, a rich cream cheese frosting, and a topping of sweet coconut and chopped pecans. It's a great dessert for holiday entertaining.
New Classic Red Velvet Cake
This moist red velvet cake is filled with layer upon layer of cream cheese frosting and topped with sweet meringue icing.
White Cake with Bourbon Buttercream and Seven-Minute Frosting
Top this cake with Sugar-Coated Orange Slices and Sparkling Cherries.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Trifle
Top this rich trifle with a sprinkle of chocolate curls.
Gingerbread Cake with Buttermilk Frosting
Warm spices and molasses blend beautifully with tangy buttermilk frosting.
Layered Peppermint CheesecakeEnveloped in a white chocolate mousse frosting, we love this layered cheesecake for its childlike whimsy and peppermint candy crunch.
Red Velvet Marble Bundt CakeThe trick to creating looping swirls is to gently layer the batter around the Bundt pan with a small cookie scoop. No need to swirl with a knife; it will marble as it bakes. A Snowy White Vanilla Glaze is just the icing on the cake.
Peppermint-Hot Chocolate CakeWe took every beloved flavor from the holidays and put them in a single cake. The results are heavenly. Be our guest!
Coconut Cake with Raspberry FillingA little coconut flour (look for it with specialty flours) adds extra nutty essence. But don't get overzealous and use more than we specify; because this flour lacks the gluten of wheat-based cake flour, it would wreck the structure.
Marbled Pumpkin Praline CakeHomestyle cakes, with casual icing swirls, are welcoming and inviting. Plus, they hide any last-minute finger swipes you might make as you pass by the dessert table.
Chocolate-Peppermint CheesecakeDon't worry if your cheesecake cracks; the light and fluffy layer of whipped cream will cover it.
Red Velvet Cake with Coconut-Cream Cheese FrostingThis cake bakes best in four pans. If you need additional pans, use 8-inch aluminum foil disposable pans. Just be sure to place them on a baking sheet for stability.
Tiramisù Layer CakeThis tiramisù cake offers the best of both worlds: the beauty of a layer cake with the amazing flavor of tiramisù.
Chocolate-Gingerbread-Toffee CakeWinner of the Southern Living 2011 White Cake Contest, this cake combines the wonderful flavors that come tumbling from a stocking: milk chocolate Santas, gingerbread men, and buttery toffee candy.
Ambrosia Coconut CakeMade with orange segments and crushed pineapple, discover luscious Ambrosia Filling between each layer of sweet coconut cake. This spin on a classic Southern dessert is perfect for any holiday gathering.
Buttermilk Bundt CakesTry one of the three garnishing options for these adorable cakes: dust with powdered sugar, pipe sweet bourbon glaze over the top, or dunk the cakes in an orange glaze for a heavier coating.
Eggnog CheesecakeAlthough there’s no actual eggnog in this velvety cake, the same flavor is achieved with the traditional eggnog ingredients: eggs, sugar, whipping cream, brandy and nutmeg.
Crushed-Peppermint CheesecakeGo for double peppermint flavor by stirring peppermint extract into the cheesecake batter and topping the cake with crushed peppermint candies.
Chocolate Velvet “Pound” CakeThis smooth and creamy chocolate velvet batter is not a traditional pound cake batter, but is the batter used for many popular Southern Living chocolate layer cakes. However, it works fine to use this batter for a cake baked in a tube pan. Top with powdered sugar or a chocolate ganache for an extra special holiday touch.
Coconut Layer CakeCosting just $0.91 per serving, this festive white layer cake is a coconut lover's dream, featuring a triple dose of coconut flavor from sweetened flaked coconut, coconut water, and coconut extract.
Pineapple Upside-Down Gingerbread CakeRound out your holiday meal with a slice of this gingerbread cake topped with a sweet and gooey brown sugar-pineapple topping. Make sure to use a cast iron or heavy oven-proof skillet when preparing this dessert.
Cheesecake Christmas TreesStart with a frozen cheesecake and a bottle of chocolate fudge shell coating to make these cute 5-ingredient cakes.
Red Velvet Peppermint CakeTransform a classic red velvet cake into a festive holiday dessert by adding peppermint extract to the rich cream cheese frosting and garnishing the cake with peppermint candies.
Chocolate Chunk Candy Cane CheesecakeWe can’t think of a better use for candy canes than lining them up all around the sides of a chocolate-and-peppermint flavored cheesecake. This easy garnishing idea results in one very impressive cake.
Chocolate-Citrus Cake With Candied OrangesA rich whipped chocolate ganache filling is the happy surprise when you slice into this decadent chocolate layer cake. Frost with 7-Minute Frosting and decorate with festive candied orange slices, citrus leaves and cranberries.
Cranberry Obsession Snow CakeThis stunning white cake features a brilliantly-colored cranberry filling and a rich buttercream frosting. The crowning glory, and the feature that will generate “oohs” and “ahhs,” is the topping of white chocolate curls.
Spice Cake with Citrus FillingFill your kitchen with the aromas of cinnamon, allspice and cloves as the spice cake bakes, then top the cake layers with a tangy filling made with lemon curd, coconut and orange juice.
Red Velvet-White Chocolate CheesecakeThis gorgeous, festive cake marries two favorite holiday cake flavors: red velvet and cheesecake. The cake features layers of white chocolate cheesecake alternated with red velvet cake layers, topped with white chocolate frosting and candy "leaves".
Ginger Cake with Maple FrostingA creamy frosting made with maple syrup is the perfect partner for this richly spiced holiday cake. Decorate the top and sides of the cake with homemade or store-bought gingerbread cookies and candy canes for a cake that can double as the centerpiece.
Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin BundtFavorite holiday flavors combine in this divine Bundt cake. A ribbon of chopped pecans, apples, and cranberries is sandwiched between layers of pumpkin cake batter, and then the whole thing is topped with Maple Glaze and Sugared Pecans and Pepitas.
Peppermint Ice-Cream CakeWith peppermint ice cream sandwiched between chiffon cake layers, this towering cake is a peppermint-lover's dream.
White Christmas CupcakesMake these crowd-pleasing cupcakes to create your own little wonderland of snow. The peppermint-Cream Cheese Frosting gives a luscious, chilly bite and sparkling scent to this bright, frosty cupcake.
Candy Cane CakeFor a simple yet stunning holiday dessert, top angel food cake with whipped cream and crushed peppermint candies. For a shortcut, start with a store-bought angel food cake instead of making one from scratch.
Chocolate-Vanilla Holiday TorteAdd a touch of elegance to your holiday table with this chocolate cake coated with a white chocolate ganache and topped with a festive white chocolate ribbon and bow.
Spiced Eggnog CakeEggnog not’s just for sipping: Use it to add extra richness and flavor to a holiday bundt cake.
Peppermint Ice Cream CakeAdd holiday flair to chocolate cake layers with a filling of peppermint ice cream and a frosting of frozen whipped topping. Top the cake with crushed peppermint candies to make it colorful and give it double mint flavor.
Fresh Orange Italian Cream CakeThis Italian cream cake recipe is enhanced with a pecan and cream cheese frosting and sweet, tangy orange curd between the cake layers. Garnish with glazed pecans and a boxwood garland to make it special for the holidays.
Christmas FruitcakeThis nutty, rum-soaked cake will defy all the jokes made about fruitcake during the holiday season. It’s tender, filled with sweet raisins, currants, apricots and figs, and gets a little crunch from chopped pistachios.
Holiday Gift CakesMake your friends really happy by baking them a small loaf of cream cheese coffee cake drizzled with a sugary glaze and topped with maraschino cherries and pecans.
Hazel's Fresh Coconut CakeSoutherner Hazel Burwell has been making this stately fresh coconut cake for her family for over 40 years. She brushes the layers with a coconut syrup to keep the cake moist, and adds marshmallows to the frosting to keep it soft.
Ambrosia CheesecakeTurn the traditional holiday fruit side dish into a cheesecake featuring orange curd and sweetened coconut.
Cream Cheese-Coconut-Pecan Pound CakeAs if a cream cheese pound cake were not rich enough, this one goes over the top with the addition of shredded coconut and chopped pecans. And don’t forget the sugar glaze that’s drizzled over the top. For a special holiday occasion, garnish the cake plate with sugared rosemary sprigs and sugared cranberries.
Cranberry Upside-Down CakeShiny glazed cranberries give a tangy new holiday twist to this classic homestyle dessert.
Chocolate-Bourbon-Pecan CakeFill and frost a velvety, three-layer chocolate cake with a rich buttercream frosting accented with bourbon, and top the cake with toasted pecans and chopped chocolate. The combination of chocolate, pecans and bourbon is the trifecta of flavor.
Chocolate-Mint CakeIt’s hard to beat the flavor pairing of chocolate and mint that’s showcased in this cake, featuring velvet chocolate cake layers, a peppermint buttercream filling, and a luscious chocolate ganache.
White Chocolate-Almond CakeOffer your holiday guests a present in the form of cake. This recipe features classic chocolate cake layers, a vanilla buttercream frosting, and white chocolate-almond candy that’s chopped and sprinkled over the top of the cake.
Chocolate Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese-Butter Pecan FrostingTop the rich chocolate cake layers with a luscious cream cheese frosting accented with toasted pecans. Make the cake special for the holidays with festive garnishes such as sugared ivy leaves, toffee candy and shelled pecans.
Bûche de NoëlBûche de Noël is a traditional French Christmas cake shaped and decorated to look like a tree log. It's filled and frosted with silky chocolate buttercream. Crunchy meringue mushrooms are the perfect contrast. Chopped pistachios scattered around resemble moss growing on the (chocolate) log.
Poinsettia CheesecakeDecorate a store-bought cheesecake with red petals made of candy melts for a quick and impressive holiday dessert.
Holiday Lane CakeAdorn your table with a show-stopping cake that starts with a cake mix and store-bought icing, then adds rich homemade flavor in the fruit-and-nut filling and the festive garnishes.
Cranberry-Orange Coffee CakeDress up coffee cake for the holidays by adding cranberry sauce, pecans and a sugary citrus glaze.
Cheesecake-Stuffed Dark Chocolate CakeStart with a package of devil's food cake mix for this decadent cake that's filled with chopped frozen cheesecake bites and chocolate candy bars. The over-the-top cream cheese frosting is drenched with dulce de leche caramel sauce and topped with chocolate cookies.
Mile-High White Chocolate Hummingbird CakeHummingbird Cake remains the most-requested Southern Living recipe of all time. The origin of the name is unknown, but its signature ingredients—mashed banana, pineapple, coconut and pecans—assure its continued popularity. Eight layers and a spoon-licking white chocolate-cream cheese frosting make this updated version more spectacular than the original. But it's easy as can be because of convenience products such as cake mix, instant pudding mix, and canned pineapple.
Brown Sugar Cake with Peanut Buttercream and Brittle ToppingThis gorgeous cake is pretty enough to be a holiday centerpiece, and it's as delicious as it is eye-catching.
Gingerbread Baked AlaskaThe mixing bowl from a heavy-duty stand mixer makes a perfect mold for assembling the cake and ice cream. Be sure your plastic wrap extends well beyond your bowl to completely cover your cake and ice cream mixture.
Coconut-Lemon CakeThis is a classic Christmas white cake in every way, with three golden yellow layers and fluffy white frosting. The homemade lemon filling is a quick and easy stovetop stir-together that can also be used to fill tart shells.
Gift Box CakeThis is a fun cake for the whole family—perfect not only for the holidays, but for year-round celebrations. It's an impressively moist three-layered white cake with a fine crumb texture.
Christmas Tree Cake WedgesInstead of making a Christmas tree cake in a tree-shaped pan, just create Christmas trees from individual cake wedges.
Sugar-and-Spice CakeMake a classic white cake for Christmas or Easter this year. This cake starts with boxed mix, then adds a few key ingredients to make the end result light, fluffy, and totally delicious.
Peppermint-Mousse CakeStart with a frozen pound cake loaf for this easy cake filled with a sweetened mascarpone cheese filling and topped with melted chocolate and chopped peppermint candies.
Chocolate Truffle Angel CakeYou can freeze the cake layers and cookies weeks ahead, then assemble the cake (except adding the angel cookies) a day or two before your party. Add the cookies and ribbon up to 6 hours before serving.