6 showstopping holiday party desserts

Enjoy these sweet treats, perfect for every type of celebration

Just-right desserts snow cake

Leigh Beisch

Cranberry Obsession Snow Cake 

The party: The big Christmas feast

The appeal: With its jewel-like filling, this cake is a snowy white showstopper

Baker's tip: To make a pure white cake, use your fingers to rub off the browned surface of each layer before assembling.

Recipe:  Cranberry Obsession Snow Cake

Desserts ice cream bon bons

Leigh Beisch

Peppermint Ice Cream Bon Bons

The party: Cocktails with lots of finger food

The appeal: Dessert version of cocktail snacks; cute and tasty

Baker's tip: When you dip the ice cream balls in chocolate, make sure you coat some of the skewer too ― this keeps the ice cream from sliding off as it melts.

Recipe:  Peppermint Ice Cream Bon Bons

Desserts banana pecan dacquoise

Leigh Beisch

Banana Pecan Dacquoise

The party: Dinner with good friends

The appeal: Silky caramel, ripe bananas, creamy vanilla custard, all oozing from a stack of crunchy meringue layers: You want only certain people to see you get this messy

Baker's tip: Dacquoise ― a cake made of crisp meringue layers ― works best if you pair it with soft, fluffy, or creamy fillings. This dessert is all about contrasts in texture.

Recipe:  Banana Pecan Dacquoise

Orange trifle with Grand Marnier cream

Leigh Beisch

Orange Trifle with Grand Marnier Cream

The party: New Year’s Eve bash

The appeal: A super-refreshing way to usher in the new year, and great with Champagne

Baker's tip: Segmenting citrus fruit (removing the membranes so just fruit is left) makes it seem juicier and more tender.

Recipe:  Orange Trifle with Grand Marnier Cream

Cardamom brown-sugar palmiers

Leigh Beisch

Cardamom Brown-Sugar Palmiers

The party: The office get-together

The appeal: They look impressively hard to make (actually, the opposite is true); easy to pack

Baker's tip: As with any super-buttery dough, chilling it makes it much easier to slice

Recipe: Cardamom Brown-Sugar Palmiers

Eggnog cheesecake

Leigh Beisch

Eggnog Cheesecake

The party: Lunch or afternoon tea

The appeal: It’s so rich that even a small slice is satisfying

Baker's tip: Run a spatula around the inside of the pan just after baking to help the cheesecake firm up without cracking

Recipe: Eggnog Cheesecake

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