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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

7 Extravagant Holiday Desserts to Try This Season

Holidays are the time of year to take extra time to do things we might not get a chance to do during the busy year. This could be spending extra time with family, with friends, or spending a little extra time in the kitchen making things you wouldn’t the rest of the year. Despite my love of baking, during the non-holiday season I tend to just make things that only have one step to them or can be put together pretty quickly. But I make a conscious effort to throw that away and step out of the box for Christmas and I can imagine that some of you are the same way.

For one reason only — if not for the holidays, then when? You essentially have the entire month of December to bake if you’d like and while that door is closing now, there’s no reason why you can’t hop in just before the month ends and the door shuts. Here are 7 of my favorite extraordinary desserts to make for this season.

Cranberry Meringue Cake {via happy happy nester}
This is Christmas in a cake. If the top requirement you have for your Christmas desserts is that they look festive: this is the cake to make. For this you’ll be making a meringue with graham crackers and gingersnaps folded into the batter, a delicious cream cheese frosting to fill the middle, and then the showstopper beyond showstopper topping of sugared cranberries. They truly light the cake up. Even though fresh cranberries are tart, don’t be concerned about these — as long as you soak them for hours in the agave syrup (as the recipe says) they’ll be sweet and totally pop-able.

Image Credit: meg quinn

Buche de Noel {via ree drummond}
A classic and traditional holiday dish that doesn’t make it to the home table very often, probably because of the amount of work involved in creating it and the fact that there are a few different places where things can go awry. But not only are the holidays the time to put in the time in baking, but they are also the time to accept that things might not turn out as planned and that is okay! This is also something that could be fun if you have kids around, just make the tree yourself and let them decorate it, they’ll have a blast.

Ganache Tart with Candied Fruit {via giada de laurentiis}
Despite being a few steps, this tart is actually shockingly simple to put together and the result is absolutely stunning. You are just making a crust: Giada actually makes a pistachio crust which I say go for if you can, but I made a full graham cracker one because I’m allergic to tree nuts and that works perfectly too if you have that same allergy — then you’re filling said crust with chocolate ganache. To finish, chop up some candied fruit (I suggest ginger and dried apricots) and sprinkle it on top. It looks incredibly gourmet and is extremely rich and delicious, which means small slices will do!

Doberge Cake {via allrecipes}
At risk of overselling this cake, I first made it last Christmas Eve and have thought about it no less than once a week since. But it definitely fits the bill for an “amount of time spent only practical for a holiday” treat because this is a very involved cake. You are not only making a cake, but a custard, a buttercream frosting, and a ganache to go on top. Plus you are praying that you can slice the layers evenly, your custard is thick enough to hold, your buttercream frosting isn’t too sweet, and your ganache sets. Like I said: A lot of work. But it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever had and looks so gorgeous, I can’t recommend it enough.

Coffee Ice Cream Cake {via the little epicurean}
Ice cream cakes are not just for kids! Although they would most certainly love this cake in addition to the adults. What I love about this cake is that it’s a brownie layer, a coffee ice cream layer, a vanilla ice cream layer, and a hot fudge layer. So…it’s pretty foolproof. And if you can make all those layers from scratch, it’ll be all the better. You really can’t go wrong with any dessert that has chocolate, coffee, and vanilla in it. This is also a pretty picture-ready cake so it’s sure to be a showstopper on the dessert table.

Image Credit: caitlin childs

Sticky Toffee Pudding {via smitten kitchen}
MAKE THIS NOW! Sorry for yelling, but I just have to ensure that you know you must MAKE THIS CAKE NOW! It is so unassuming but I swear when I tasted this I wondered why I didn’t just make this cake all the time instead of making literally any other cake available. Sticky toffee pudding (aka date cake with a butterscotch syrup) is where it’s at! This cake is so incredibly moist and sweet without being cloyingly so (thank the dates) and the butterscotch sauce will have you wanting to bathe in it and/or drink it up through a straw and/or slurp it up with a spoon. Thankfully the syrup is serve yourself so you can pour as much of that goodness on as you may.

Tiramisu {via the pioneer woman}
This classic Italian dessert isn’t technically linked with Christmas but that hasn’t stopped my brain from making the connection my entire life anyway. I always crave Tiramisu around this time of year, and maybe it is because it’s a little too involved for me to make on just a random Sunday, but a perfectly worthy dessert for a holiday. I’ve tried making tiramisu cupcakes instead but they just don’t cut it. The real thing and all its delicious layers are necessary and this recipe breaks it all down so that it’s easy to follow and your Tiramisu will turn out every time.

What do you like to make around the holidays for dessert?

Featured image is from caitlin childs on flickr.

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  1. Holiday Reading Roundup | The Hudsucker - December 23, 2016

    […] 7 Extravagant Holiday Desserts to Try This Season: Holidays are the time of year to take extra time to do things we might not get a chance to do during the busy year. This could be spending extra time with family, with friends, or spending a little extra time in the kitchen making things you wouldn’t the rest of the year. {Continue reading…} […]

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