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20 Amazing dessert ideas to make your Christmas Instagram-worthy

Hands up – who’s Christmas table looks a little bit like this? Because Christmas is the time of year when everyone gets together, it’s also the time when everyone’s taste buds and style preferences go head-to-head.

Bonus dessert: When your family just can’t choose

Don’t worry. This year, we have you covered.

We trawled through the abyss of instagram to bring you these gorgeous ideas for you to start planning. We’ve covered flavours, different types of treats, and decorations and toppings.

Best of all, these ideas are all totally mix-and-matchable too, so don’t settle on just one favourite!

Flavours – both traditional and modern

  1. Eggnog panna cotta tart

    Give an old tradition a new twist! Eggnog is so 1693 –  but this eggnog panna cotta tart incorporates the best of Christmases past with the more modern panna cotta.

2. Black forest meringue stack

Black forest cakes are rich and dark, with layers of cream, cherry filling, chocolate and ganache. Why not remix those classic flavours into a new form?

This meringue stack looks as good as any traditional Black Forest Gateau and yet the meringue makes it lighter – so you can have more before you’re stuffed!3. Caramel, honeycomb and banana

This beauty is for  those among you who aren’t chocolate fans!

Let’s be honest, there’s always one at the dinner table and who can blame them when the growing popularity of caramel results in creations like this one.

Caramel, honeycomb and banana are delicious flavours that not only work well together, but can match up with other, more savoury parts of your Christmas feast – so that way it looks like you planned it! Honeyed ham, anyone?

4. Peppermint cupcakes / White chocolate peppermint cupcakes

Is it Christmas without peppermint? Well, yes! But when it goes so perfectly with white or dark chocolate, and when it can be a great flavour to pop into your vegan or gluten-free (or vegan AND gluten-free) treats, it definitely rates as an Instagram favourite Christmas flavour.5. Candy cane red velvet

There are only so many candy canes one family can eat. This year, how about you leave the candy canes on the tree (or in the box), and bring that flavour to the table in a whole new way: in a cake!

Red velvet cake with white icing is the perfect way to invoke the spirit of candy canes without actually spending all season ruining your teeth!

6. Apple cider cakes with apple cider caramel drizzle

Ah, apple cider. And apple pie, and apple crumble, and spiced apple strudel, and apple tart… There’s no end of ways to bring apple to the Christmas dinner table.

It goes so well with other flavours (like cinnamon, lemon, frangipani, cranberry, rhubarb, sour cream, ice cream, allspice) that it can easily stand up as a staple or a feature flavour in your feast planning.

Festive Holiday Treats

7. Chocolate hazelnut truffles

The best thing about truffles is that they’re so easy to prepare, you can modify them with just about any kind of filling or coating – or just have straight-up mouth-watering chocolate bites.

If you have leftover chocolate from your Christmas baking, turn them into truffles! Don’t let that goodness go to waste.

8. Vegan peppermint drinking chocolate

No matter how warm Christmas day might get, nothing gives you the warm fuzzies more than curling up on the couch with your favourite Christmas movie and a delicious hot chocolate.

This vegan peppermint drinking chocolate will be an instant Instagram hit.

9. Tiny bite-sized cakes / Xmas mini cake

Bite-sized cakes are the best! If you have the patience to invest in multiple flavours and toppings, then you get a variety of experiences for a fraction of the calories.

Don’t like one? That’s okay, the next one is totally different, and it was only a mouthful.

Also: if you have someone with dietary requirements at your table, these mini-cakes can be a great way to show that you thought of them by making something beautiful and tasty specifically for them.

10. Chocolate Candy Cane Macarons with shimmer

It takes a lot of work to make a macaron look as perfect as this!

The possibilities for fillings and decorations are endless (and exciting!), but crafting those delicate meringue shells is a top-tier baking feat.

When these appear on your Christmas table, you can be certain the cameras will come out. Keep some back for yourself – you’ll deserve them.11. Snowman cake pops

From the creator of the cake-pop bakerella herself, also known as Angie Dudley, these adorable Christmas cake pops come in all forms.

Celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the creation of cake-pops by featuring some snowmen, Christmas stockings, Santa heads, puddings, tree ornaments, lights, bells, trees, snowglobes, gingerbread houses, or many other Christmassy icons as edible delights.

12. Alphabet cookies

The term ‘cookie cutter’ has a bad reputation – have you ever driven past a row of similar-looking houses and thought of it as cookie cutter?

But cookie cutters are incredibly useful in baking when you want to achieve a neat, clean cut like this. And there’s thousands of different kinds.

Don’t write them off – explore the huge variety of cookie cutters (both in stores and online), then let your creativity flow in the planning and decoration stages! Because everyone loves a Christmas cookie!13. Cookie trees

Here’s one cool use of similar-shaped cookies (no doubt using cookie cutters)! Sources around the internet peg these kinds of cookie Christmas trees as a Polish or ‘Scandinavian’ tradition.

Sugar cookies are a snap to make and fun to decorate, so this kind of tree could make a beautiful centrepiece. Who’s going to get the bottom piece – and how long will it take your family to get there?

14. Pies

Sweet or savoury, and whatever size you have the shells for, pies make a delicious addition to both the dinner and dessert menu.

Cutting out the pie lids in Christmas designs keeps the spirit of the season top of mind, and also gives a window into what flavour filling you’re about to bite into.

From cherry and apple to mince and spinach & ricotta, there’s a kind of pie filling for every person at the table.

Decorations and toppings

15. Gold dust topping

If there’s one time of year where gold dust, gold gilt, gold tinsel, gold ribbons or gold beads are absolutely acceptable – even encouraged – it’s Christmas.

So long as you keep it simple, little spritzes of gold like the subtle shimmer on this cake can be great accents to your Christmas colour theme.

16. Flowers + berries topping

For the more natural look this Christmas, consider edible flowers as toppings when you bake.

They were done to death a few years ago, but the bright, summery feel of flowers make a Christmas truly Australian.

Snow is beautiful, but it looks a bit strange as a table dressing when it’s 40 degrees outside!17. Ornament cakes

Christmas ornaments are not just for the tree! Whether you make them out of cupcakes, sugar shells, cookies, cake-pops, truffles or something else, the iconic styles of the Christmas tree ornament can find a new life on your dessert table.

18. Santa hat cupcakes

Speaking of cupcakes – the sheer variety of cute cupcake styles on Instagram is mind-boggling!

This kind of icing is super effective for giving the beanie that genuine fabric look, like the puffs of ‘wool’ around the rim and as the pom-pom.

A lot of Instagram bakers make videos showing exactly how to achieve their decorations – remember, you’ve usually got about 24 tries to get it right in a batch of cupcakes!

Definitely follow #christmascupcakes for more inspiration.19. Pretzels + cupcakes / Reindeer cupcakes

Whether you go original or chocolate or caramel-coated, or big soft pretzels on their own with cinnamon and sugar dusting, savoury-AND-sweet desserts are definitely on trend right now.

They’re also easy to pull off and crunch down on first if you don’t want to mix the flavours. Still – give it a try! Cupcakes are free calories, right?

20. Chocolate poinsettia topping

Never underestimate the power of a single, simple, but stunning topping on a cake or other dessert. This sculpted poinsettia looks way too good to eat and it instantly draws the eye and makes for an Insta-worthy photo moment.So who’s ready to start baking?

Document all your favourites Christmas desserts in one place ready to use again next year. Why not create your own Christmas Desserts Recipe photo book?

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