Festive Desserts

Bring a happy ending to any meal with these festive dessert recipes from SAVEUR magazine, including baked Alaska, red velvet cake, pear desserts, and more.

Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cake with Coffee Buttercream and Ganache)

This version of the traditional French Christmas cake is filled with coffee buttercream and covered in chocolate ganache. See the recipe for Buche de Noel »


“The fine arts are five in number,” wrote the chef Marie-Antoine Careme, “painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and architecture—whereof the principle branch is confectionery.” He knew what he was talking about. After all, he created croquembouche, a spire of caramelized cream puffs.

French-Canadian Trifle

The typical bagatelle in La Beauce is a child’s delight of Jell-O, white cake, and strawberry jam. We prefer this grown-up version, with fresh fruit, custard (instead of Jell-O), and a drizzle of marsala. Get the recipe for French-Canadian Trifle »

Step Up Your Chocolate Cake Game With This Baked Alaska Recipe

Layers of ice cream are enrobed in fluffy meringue in a classic baked Alaska.

Nutmeg Custard Tarts

Creamy and spicy, these classic English custard tarts boast all the hallmarks of our favorite eggnogs.
Basque Cherry Pie (Cherry Gâteau Basque)

Flourless Chocolate Soufflé

Flourless Chocolate Soufflé

Sauternes Custard with Armagnac-Soaked Prunes

Sauternes Custard with Armagnac-Soaked Prunes

Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters

This elegant cake is soaked in a fragrant lemon syrup, perfumed by flower waters. The garnish is candied rose petals sprinkled with toasted coconut. Get the recipe for Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters »

German Chocolate Cake

German chocolate cake takes its name from German’s Sweet Chocolate, a product that’s not German at all: the versatile baking chocolate was created by an American baker named Samuel German in 1852.

Dried Apricot and Fig Clafoutis with Rum

Clafoutis is a French dessert that’s trickier to pronounce than to make. A simple mixture of flour, eggs, dairy, and a little sugar, it’s like a pancake, but more custardy, and it’s baked instead of griddled. It looks and tastes impressive the way classic French desserts often do, but it’s simple enough to whip up any weeknight. Rum-soaked dried apricots, figs, and raisins add their caramelized and honeyed flavors to this creamy version, perfect for cold weather when there’s no fresh fruit around. Get the recipe for Dried Apricot and Fig Clafoutis with Rum »

Red Velvet Cake

According to legend red velvet cake was invented in the 1950s at Oscar’s in New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. However, Raven Dennis of Cake Man Raven Confectionary (whose recipe we adapted) claims red velvet cake originated during the Civil War, and that southern ladies made it “to keep their husbands home.” Get the recipes for Red Velvet Cake

Honey-and-Butter-Baked Pears with Cold Cream

These sticky, caramelized pears get served warm with a glug of fresh chilled cream for a richly-flavored variation on poached pears. Get the recipe for Honey-and-Butter-Baked Pears with Cold Cream »

Hummingbird Cake

This hummingbird cake honors the legacy of the Southern cook Edna Lewis. Get the recipe for Hummingbird Cake »

Brûléed Italian Plums with Armagnac Custard

Brûléed Italian Plums with Armagnac Custard