Different Types of Christmas Cakes

Updated July 20, 2017

Christmas wouldn't be as festive without a special dessert. Many families have their own secret recipe, and each country seems to have its own version of a traditional Christmas cake. Warm spices such as cinnamon and ginger are commonly found in Christmas cakes, as are fruit and nuts. Popular holiday cakes include fruitcake, Bûche de Noel, gingerbread, and cakes decorated in the Christmas theme of your choice.


There are many different types of traditional holiday fruitcakes including the typical English Fruitcake, the Twelfth Night Cake, the German Stollen cake, and the Italian brioche-like Panettone. Fruitcakes can be made with dried or candied fruit, nuts, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and honey. These cakes can be dense like the British fruitcake, or light and airy like Panettone.

Bûche de Noel

The "Christmas Log" is a traditional French Christmas sponge cake that is rolled up to resemble a Yule log. It can be filled and covered with jam, buttercream frosting, marzipan, meringue, whipped cream or custard. Bûche de Noel can be any flavour from vanilla, chocolate, fruit, coconut, alcohol, coffee or different nuts such pistachio, almond or hazelnuts.


Gingerbread is an especially popular cake for Christmas, and is often topped with a glaze made of icing sugar, vanilla and milk. This spicy cake contains cinnamon, allspice and ginger and is made in many shapes during the holidays, such as a loaf, a bundt cake or a cake that looks like a Christmas tree, snowman or candy cane.

Non-Traditional Christmas Cakes

Many families enjoy non-traditional cakes around the holidays such as cheesecake and cakes made with pumpkin or cranberries. Decorated cakes are also a hit, allowing for creative wintertime themes. Buttercream frosting is a perfect white base, and many times coconut is added for a snowlike effect. Christmas coffee cakes flavoured with candy canes are favourite treat on Christmas morning. Take your favourite cake recipe and put a holiday spin on it by garnishing it with holly or by simply serving it on a Christmas platter.

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About the Author

Based in Paris, France, Marianne Descott has been writing since 2002. Covering subjects such as parenting and travel, she has been published in "Lonely Planet" and "Get Born" magazine. She also regularly blogs on living abroad and international issues. Descott has a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences.