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The Best Old Fashioned Christmas Desserts

Explore a delightful array of old fashioned Christmas desserts that bring the warmth and charm of the past to your holiday table. From timeless classic desserts to forgotten gems, these vintage dessert recipes will transport you to Christmases of old.

There’s something undeniably enchanting about the holiday season, a time when cherished traditions, family gatherings, and the sweet aroma of old fashioned christmas desserts filling the air. 

It really is comforting to look back to the simpler, more nostalgic flavors of vintage christmas dessert recipes. These timeless treats have been warming our hearts and satisfying our sweet cravings for generations. 

Let’s explore some classic, old fashioned christmas dessert recipes that continue to fill our homes with the spirit of the season.

Old fashioned Christmas desserts have a unique ability to transport us back in time to grandma’s kitchen, where cherished traditions and an old-school touch were the norm. 

These vintage holiday recipes, often plucked from the pages of well-worn, decades-old cookbooks, evoke a comforting sense of nostalgia. The familiar scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, combined with the warm embrace of holiday baking, instantly remind us of the love and care that went into those timeless recipes. 

From simple yet heartwarming recipes to the intricate creations that define festive celebrations, these classic Christmas dessert recipes are sure to evoke nostalgia and create new memories. 

gluten free christmas desserts

Old Fashioned Desserts for Christmas

Traditional Fruitcake

Let’s start with a dessert that has stood the test of time, the traditional fruit cake. While it may have gained a reputation as a gag gift, a well-made traditional fruitcake is a true delight that captures the spirit of Christmas like no other dessert. A dense, rich cake filled with candied fruits, nuts, and a hint of brandy or rum, it’s a true labor of love. 

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookies are a Christmas classic that’s both nostalgic and delicious. The spicy, warm aroma of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves wafting from the oven is enough to transport anyone back to their childhood. Whether you’re shaping them into gingerbread men, creating a cozy gingerbread house, or simply cutting out festive shapes, these cookies are a delight to make and share with loved ones. Decorate them with colorful icing and share the joy of this age-old tradition.

You can incorporate a vintage gingerbread recipe into something new and exciting for Christmas by giving it a modern twist or using it as a base for innovative creations such as a Gingerbread Bundt Cake or Gingerbread Cheesecake

gluten free christmas desserts

Yule Log Cake

The Yule log cake, or “Bûche de Noël” is a rolled sponge cake filled with creamy frosting, decorated to resemble a log, often adorned with marzipan mushrooms and powdered sugar to mimic snow. This beautiful dessert symbolizes the burning of a Yule logs on Christmas Eve and is both visually appealing and delicious.

christmas cake ideas

Peppermint Bark

While peppermint bark may not have the long history of some other old-fashioned Christmas desserts, it has quickly become a beloved holiday staple. Layers of dark and white chocolate are sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies, creating a sweet, minty, and satisfying treat. It’s easy to make at home and even more enjoyable to share with friends and family.

no bake christmas desserts


A creamy, spiced, and alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) drink made with eggs, milk or cream, sugar, and a blend of seasonal spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Eggnog is often enjoyed as both a beverage and a dessert during the holiday season.

christmas cocktails

Candied Nuts

Whole nuts, such as almonds or pecans, coated in a sweet, crunchy layer of caramelized sugar. Candied nuts are a delightful and addictive Christmas treat, offering a satisfying contrast of textures and flavors.

candied pecans

Mince Pies

Mince pies are a vintage Christmas dessert with a rich history dating back centuries. These small, sweet pies are filled with a mixture of dried fruits, spices, and sometimes a hint of brandy, encapsulating the warm and nostalgic flavors of Christmas. 

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee pudding is a vintage Christmas dessert that exudes warmth and indulgence. This rich and moist date cake is typically smothered in a luscious toffee sauce, creating a sweet and decadent treat that has been enjoyed for generations. This Old-Fashioned Pudding is full of comforting flavors and delightful stickiness that make it a beloved classic that adds a touch of nostalgia to holiday celebrations.

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie is a vintage Christmas dessert with deep roots in Southern American traditions. This classic pie features a silky, spiced sweet potato filling that’s reminiscent of the holiday season. Its rich, earthy flavors and flaky crust make it a timeless favorite, often found gracing holiday tables as a nostalgic and heartwarming treat.

Brittle Recipe

Brittle, particularly peanut brittle, is a vintage dish known for its delightful combination of sweet and nutty flavors. This crunchy confection is made by boiling sugar and adding roasted peanuts before it hardens. Its simplicity, nostalgic appeal, and satisfying snap make it a classic holiday treat, often enjoyed as a homemade gift or as part of a festive dessert spread.

Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding, also known as plum pudding, is a British classic recipe that is enjoyed during the Christmas season. It is made from a mixture of dried fruits, suet, breadcrumbs, sugar, spices, and often alcohol, and is slowly steamed or boiled to develop rich, complex flavors. The pudding is a dense, moist confection that is typically aged, flambéed with brandy, and served with brandy sauce or custard. It is a cherished symbol of British holiday traditions and often contains hidden objects for good luck.

Christmas cookies have a rich history dating back centuries from Christmas sugar cookies to
snowball cookies to no bake cookies. These holiday desserts often made with classic recipes passed down through generations, encapsulate the essence of holiday nostalgia.

With their various shapes and decorations, including festive icing and sprinkles, they have been a beloved part of Christmas celebrations for centuries, embodying the warmth and charm of traditional holiday baking. These vintage delights continue to be a favorite among families, evoking fond memories of Christmases past while creating new ones for generations to come.

air fryer chocolate chip cookies

Jello Salad 

Jello salad is one of the most popular vintage Christmas desserts. It typically consists of brightly colored Jello, combined with an assortment of ingredients like fruit pieces, marshmallows,
whipped cream, and sometimes even cool whip or nuts. Often molded into decorative shapes, Jello salads were a popular addition to holiday tables in the post-war era, known for their vibrant colors and sweet, fruity flavors. 

brunch recipes

Relevant Recipes 


What were the Christmas treats in the 1800s?

In the 1800s, the types of desserts served on Christmas were different from today’s offerings and reflected the available ingredients and culinary traditions of the time. Popular treats included sugarplums, fruitcakes, gingerbread cookies and cakes, figgy pudding, roasted chestnuts, spiced nuts, taffy pulls, candied fruits, and warm spiced beverages like mulled wine and wassail. These sweets and drinks were enjoyed during the holiday season, often prepared with dried fruits, nuts, and spices, providing a glimpse into the Christmas celebrations of the 19th century.

What is the most eaten dessert on Christmas?

One of the most commonly eaten desserts on Christmas varies by region and cultural traditions, but fruitcake and Christmas cookies are often among the most consumed desserts during the holiday season. Fruitcake, with its rich and dense fruit-filled layers, is a traditional choice in many countries. Additionally, Christmas cookies, which encompass a wide variety of flavors and shapes, are a beloved and universal treat that people enjoy during the festive season. These cookies can include gingerbread, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and more, often decorated with festive icing and sprinkles.

What is a popular Christmas dessert?

One of the most popular Christmas desserts worldwide is Christmas cookies. These come in various shapes, flavors, and decorations, often baked and decorated by families as part of their holiday traditions. Gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies, and shortbread cookies are some of the classic favorites, and they can be enjoyed throughout the holiday season and given as edible gifts.

What is a good dessert to serve at Christmas dinner?

A quintessential dessert to serve at Christmas dinner in the United States is pumpkin pie. Its spiced pumpkin filling and flaky pie crust embody the flavors of the holiday season, making it a beloved tradition for many American families. Served warm with a dollop of whipped cream, it’s a comforting and iconic choice for a festive finale.

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