18 Classic Christmas Desserts, Ranked from “No Thanks, I’m Stuffed” to “Seconds, Please”

Once the presents have been opened and the ham is long gone, it’s time for the most important part: dessert. But not all holiday treats are created equal. We took the liberty of ranking 18 classic Christmas desserts from practically inedible to timelessly delicious to help you decide what to put on this year’s menu. You can thank us later (or debate us now).

RELATED 27 Classic Christmas Foods, Ranked from Ho-Ho-Horrible to Fa-La-La-Fabulous

classic christmas desserts fruitcake
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18. Fruitcake

Let’s call a spade a spade. Between the dense texture, the fossilized fruit and the faint taste of booze that would’ve been better off left in the bottle, we all knew this one was coming.

classic christmas desserts ribbon candy
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17. Ribbon Candy

Nostalgic is one way to put it. Ancient history is more accurate.

classic christmas desserts panettone
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16. Panettone

No, it’s *not* the same as fruitcake. But we prefer our brioche without raisins and fruit peels, thank you very much.

classic christmas desserts figgy pudding
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15. Figgy Pudding

We’re not interested in dome-shaped desserts that don’t ooze molten chocolate. Maybe it’d make a good paperweight?

classic christmas desserts candy canes
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14. Candy Canes

Admit it, you put them in the kids’ stockings every year…only to find them crushed into the carpet by New Year’s Eve.

classic christmas desserts pumpkin pie
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13. Pumpkin Pie

We’re beyond pumpkin-ed out by December, PSL be damned.

classic christmas desserts yule log
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12. Bûche De Noël (aka Yule Log)

“Chocolate sponge cake tastes so much better when it looks like tree bark,” said no one ever.

classic christmas desserts rum balls
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11. Rum Balls

Ah yes, a gift we’ve all given (and never eaten).

classic christmas desserts gingerbread men
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10. Gingerbread Cookies

Hot take: Gingerbread houses > their paper doll-shaped predecessors. But that credit really belongs to the icing and decorations, not so much the crackly, dry texture of the cookie itself.

classic christmas desserts chocolate truffles
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9. Chocolate Truffles

Delicious, but seriously lacking in the holly-jolly department.

classic christmas desserts rice pudding
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8. Rice Pudding

Extra cinnamon or bust.

classic christmas desserts eggnog
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7. Egg Nog

Don’t hate. Spiked with a little bourbon, it might inch its way up a couple spots on this list.

classic christmas desserts sticky buns
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6. Sticky Buns

Sink your teeth into one while opening gifts on Christmas morning and boom: You’re a kid all over again.

classic christmas desserts sugar cookies
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5. Sugar Cookies

They’re like Caesar salad: tasty…but pretty anticlimactic after the millionth time.

classic christmas desserts sugared nuts
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4. Candied Nuts

If you eat less than an entire bowl in one sitting, you’re not doing it right.

classic christmas desserts fudge
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3. Fudge

Rocky road, caramel, vanilla—we don’t discriminate.

classic christmas desserts peppermint bark
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2. Peppermint Bark

Remember what we said about chocolate truffles not being festive enough? This beauty’s the best of both worlds.

classic christmas desserts pecan pie
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1. Pecan Pie

So what if we had it at Thanksgiving? We’ll have it on Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, too. The gooiness, the caramel, the buttery crust. It’s everything you want during this chilly time of year.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...