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).

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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.

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17. Ribbon Candy

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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13. Pumpkin Pie

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

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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.

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11. Rum Balls

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

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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.

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9. Chocolate Truffles

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

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8. Rice Pudding

Extra cinnamon or bust.

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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.

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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.

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5. Sugar Cookies

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

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4. Candied Nuts

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

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3. Fudge

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

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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.

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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.

RELATED 45 Christmas Dessert Recipes That Can Get Anyone in the Holiday Spirit

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...
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