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17 Swoon-Worthy Christmas Desserts

From ricotta cheesecake to chocolate cream pie, there’s something for every sweet tooth on this list.

From ricotta cheesecake to chocolate cream pie, there’s something for every sweet tooth on this list.

1. Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Raspberries

Inspired by the “Obsessive Ricotta Cheesecake” in Gina DePalma’s Dolce Italiano, Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen, this cheesecake is a hybrid between an American-style cheesecake and an Italian-style cheesecake. The raspberry topping is the perfect foil for the cake, which isn’t overly sweet. GET THE RECIPE

2. Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Torte

This crowd-pleasing pumpkin dessert looks like it comes from a fancy bakery but only takes 30 minutes to put together. GET THE RECIPE

3. New York-Style Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are notoriously tricky to make, but with the right recipe and a few pointers, a tall and creamy NY-style Cheesecake is totally doable, even for beginners. GET THE RECIPE

4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Just mention a chocolate and peanut butter dessert and people get giddy. This pie — with a chocolate crust, creamy peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache topping — lives up to the hype. GET THE RECIPE

5. Cheesecake Bars

Don’t have time to bake a cheesecake? No problem. These dense and creamy cheesecake bars with a brown sugar-graham cracker crust are not only a cinch to make, they rival the very best NY cheesecake out there. GET THE RECIPE

6. Flourless Chocolate Cake with Meringue Topping

A rich, fudgy slab of flourless chocolate cake topped with a light, marshmallowy meringue — this cake is as impressive as it is delicious. GET THE RECIPE

7. Luscious Lemon Squares

With a crisp and buttery shortbread crust, luscious lemon filling, and dusting of powdered sugar, these lemon squares are as pretty as they are delicious. They also freeze beautifully, so you can make them ahead of time and defrost as needed. GET THE RECIPE

8. Coconut Dream Pie

With a coconut-scented cookie crust and creamy coconut custard, all covered in a pillow of whipped cream and heaps of toasted coconut, this pie is truly dream-worthy. GET THE RECIPE

9. Double Chocolate Pavlova with Mascarpone Cream and Raspberries

A pavlova is a cake-shaped meringue with a soft and marshmallowy center and crisp outer shell, usually topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. In this gorgeous chocolate version, cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate are folded into the meringue and mascarpone cheese is added to the whipped topping. (Bonus: it’s gluten-free!) GET THE RECIPE

10. Bourbon-Brown Butter Pecan Pie

Made with dark brown sugar, golden syrup, brown butter, and a shot of bourbon, the pie is richer with a more complex praline flavor — and also less cloyingly sweet — than your typical pecan pie. GET THE RECIPE

11. Tres Leches Cake with Dulce de Leche Glaze

This light and fluffy cake, popular in Latin America, is soaked with a mixture of three milks: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. In this version, rum is added to the soaking liquid and a simple rum-spiked dulce de leche glaze covers the cake. GET THE RECIPE

12. Irish Cream Tiramisu

This fun twist on tiramisu from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson, is a dinner party regular at my house. With layers of boozy, espresso-soaked lady fingers and light mascarpone cream, it’s surprisingly easy to make. GET THE RECIPE

13. Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream

Spiked with bourbon and studded with chunks of dark chocolate, this bread pudding is the ultimate comfort food. Top it with vanilla ice cream and it’s like a grown-up brownie sundae. GET THE RECIPE

14. Latin Flan

In Latin America, flan is made with sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk, giving it an ultra-creamy, luxurious texture — like a cross between pudding and cheesecake. Since it’s prepared in a loaf pan rather than individual ramekins, and can be made up to four days ahead, it’s the perfect dinner party dessert. GET THE RECIPE

15. Molten Chocolate Cakes

Also known as chocolate lava cakes, these individual-sized treats have oozing molten centers. Since they can be prepared mostly ahead of time, they are wonderful for entertaining. GET THE RECIPE

16. Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust and Caramel Sauce

After testing six different versions of pumpkin cheesecake, I came up with this surefire recipe. It’s a family favorite, and a welcome change from that tired ol’ pumpkin pie. GET THE RECIPE

17. Chocolate Cream Pie

With a dark chocolate cookie crust, silky chocolate pudding center and generous whipped cream topping, this pie is truly a chocolate lover’s dream. GET THE RECIPE

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