My Favorite Christmas Desserts

Gingerbread Ring with Maple Cream

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 c. light molasses
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 c. butter,softened
  • 1/2 c.packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
    Maple Cream:
  • 1 Tblsp.sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tblsp. MAPLE SYRUP or maple-flavored syrup.

*Confectioners sugar


(1) Heat oven to 325.F. Grease and flour 12 c. mold or 10 inch tube pan. In large bowl,measure first 11 ingredients. With mixer at low, beat til just mixed, scraping bowl. Increase to medium and beat 1 minute.
(2) Spoon batter into pan. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool gingerbread 10 minutes; remove from pan.Sprinkle with sugar; let cool completely
(3) To serve: beat whipping cream and maple syrup til soft peaks form. Place gingerbread on cake plate, spoon maple cream into center. About 16 servings @ 350 calories per serving.

Rice Pudding Ring

  • 3/4 cups long-grain rice
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • A 16 to 16 1/2 ounce can of chestnuts in syrup(drained)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Marichino cherries or raspberries in syrup for garnish

early or day ahead:
(1) Heat rice ,salt,and 3 cups milk to boiling in 4 quart pan on high. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 minutes til absorbed.
(2) Beat sugar,eggs, and 3 cups milk with whisk in 3 quart pan. Sprinkle gelatin over egg mix; let stand 1 minute. Cook over med-low heat til gelatin dissolved and mixture coats spoon (20 minutes approx.)Stir frequently and don't boil. Remove from heat
(3) Chop chestnuts -stir nuts,vanilla, and egg mixture into rice mixture till blended. Cover, refrigerate til mixture mounds slightly (approx. 1 hour) Stir occasionally.
(4) Beat cream at mediuum speed til whipped. Fold into rice mix. Spoon into 2 1/2 Quart mold. Cover and refrigerate til set. (At least 4 hours) (5) Unmold and garnish with red cherries or sauce.

Cardamom Rolls

  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup very warm water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or Margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp.ground cardamom
  • 8 1/2-9 cup sifted flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup chopped or sliced almonds
  • T. of sugar

(1) Heat oven to 375 F. Grease two 13x9x2 inch baking pans.
(2) Sprinkle yeast over warm water;stir in 1 tsp. of the sugar Stir to dissolve yeast and let stand til bubbly(10 minutes).
(3) Combine milk,remaining sugar and butter in medium size saucepan; heat til butter melts. Pour in large bowl; cool to lukewarm. Stir in yeast mix. Beat in eggs and cardamom
(4) Beat in 6 cups flour until completely blended. Gradually stir in enough flour to make soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface; knead til smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes) adding only enough flour to keep from sticking.
(5) Place dough in large greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover. Let rise away from drafts 1 hour or til double.
(6) Punch dough down; cover; let rise 45 minutes or til almost double. Punch down again. Turn out on lightly floured surface; knead a few times; invert bowl over dough; let rest 10 minutes
(7) Divide dough in quarters, keeping dough covered with bowl until ready to shape.
(8) Roll 1/4 dough on lightly floured surface to a 11x6 inch rectangle. Cut into fourteen 6x3/4 inch strips. Roll each strip with palms of hands to a six inch rope. Place fingertip on one end of rope and loosely bring other end around to spiral; pinch to seal. Repeat with remaining dough. Place spirals in prepared pans, dividing evenly. Cover with damp towel. Let rise in warm place,away from drafts, 30 minutes or til double.
(9) Beat egg white in small bowl; brush over rolls. Sprinkle with mixture of the sugar and chopped almonds.
(10) Bake at 375 F. for 15 minutes til light golden brown.

Szegedi Cake

For a printable version of this recipe I have created a page dedicated to this delicious bundt-style cake

Szegedi cake is a Hungarian sour cream bundt with chopped apple filling. Hungarian Szegedi Cake printable recipe on Ilona's Reflecting Pool

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One of my very favorite spices is cardamom. I discovered it in cooking for Christmas! Try the cardamom rolls-it isn't Christmas at my house without them. And put a pinch in your coffee (or on top of whipped cream in your latte').This is an expensive spice; I store mine in the refrigerator and it keeps for two years or more. Try to find the 'decorticated' kind.
A new tip: shop in an Indian grocery for your cardamon, much less expensive.

Szegedi Cake is an excellent cake -it is rich and not too sweet. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar through a doily for a pretty presentation.

  If you need some inspiration for gifts: