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15 Top-Rated Holiday Dessert Recipes

Visions of sugar plums may dance in the heads of children on the night before Christmas, but a near-endless selection of delightful desserts are guaranteed to please this December 25th. Read on for a roundup of 15 sweet treats...

Visions of sugar plums may dance in the heads of children on the night before Christmas, but a near-endless selection of delightful desserts are guaranteed to please this December 25th. Read on for a roundup of 15 sweet treats perfect for wrapping up your holiday meal.

Holiday dessert recipes
Silky smooth and seasonally spot-on.

1. Red Velvet Holiday Trifle

It may start with boxed cake mix and take just three steps to completion, but the end result is an anything-but-ordinary centerpiece for any holiday dessert spread. The decadent ganache filling is irresistible...and incredibly easy to make.

2. Crème Brûlée

Nothing says "special" quite like this smooth, sweet, vanilla bean-caramelized sugar concoction. While this French classic has a reputation for being difficult to make, this Alton Brown recipe is fabulously foolproof. Top with red currants for an extra-festive feel. A culinary torch puts a professional finish at your fingertips.

3. Santa Hat Brownie Bites

Both the young and young at heart will be charmed by these blissful bites which pay homage to everyone's favorite jolly fat guy.

4. Peppermint Bark

No one needs to know that this festive favorite is also ridiculously simple to make and keeps in the fridge for up to three weeks. Not only does this make it the perfect make-ahead dessert, but why not whip up an extra batch while you're at it for homemade holiday gifts?

Holiday dessert recipes
Sweet and sassy Santa hat brownies.

5. Mini Brown-Sugar Cheesecakes

Lemon, ginger and brown sugar add unexpectedly tasty tang to these tiny treats.

6. Caramelized Pear Gingerbread with Molasses Ice Cream

Why settle for ordinary gingerbread when you kick it up a notch with this beautiful and delicious recipe from Emeril Lagasse? Molasses ice cream is the perfect finishing touch.

7. Chocolate Pecan Slab Pie

Expecting an army? No one needs to know that this six-ingredient stunner not only uses store-bought pie crusts but whips up in mere minutes.

8. Christmas Macarons

Macarons impress any time of year, but these light fluffy cookies will be a particularly elegant addition to your holiday table.

9. Croquembouche

Always marveled over this magnificent dessert at weddings and other grand events? This Gale Gand recipe is sure to receive rave reviews -- for both taste and presentation. If you're feeling ambitious, feel free to experiment with other flavors, such as coffee or chocolate.

Holiday dessert recipes
Make this guaranteed crowd-pleaser your holiday go-to.

10. Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

A favorite at Atlanta's Proof Bakeshop, this recipe from Abigail Quinn is rich, buttery and layered with luscious flavors.

11. Tipsy Spiced Fruit Tart with Buttermilk Whipped Cream

Loaded with bourbon soaked apricots, raisins, and pears and packed with the bold flavors of bourbon, cinnamon and ginger, this makes for one boozy and delectable adults-only offering.

12. Pumpkin-Espresso Tiramisù

Don't put away the pumpkin just because Thanksgiving came and went. Freshly brewed espresso makes this Southern Living recipe is as bracing as it is beautiful.

13. Eggnog Truffles

Breathe new life into a beloved holiday beverage by transforming it into bite-sized truffles instead.

14. Tiramisu Yule Log

100 percent of the people who made this 2012 recipe from Gourmet -- featuring a chocolate ganache which the magazine declares to be "just about the best we've ever had" -- plan to make it again. Also, did someone say meringue mushrooms?

15. Fluffy Lemon Snow

The holiday meal can be heavy, so why not offer your guests a refreshing alternative to equally heavy desserts? This gorgeous granita is the perfect solution.

Say goodbye to rock-hard fruitcake and hello to these amazing desserts -- with a little help from Cilantro the Cooks Shop. Browse bakeware, ovenware, kitchenware and much more today.