12 desserts to devour this holiday season

These seasonally inspired treats are about as festive as figgy pudding.
Holiday-themed macarons by Fleur de Lis Macarons.
Photo Courtesy of Elsy Butler.
Elsy Butler of Fleur de Lis Macarons created holiday-themed macarons, including peppermint, red velvet, gingerbread and more.

We know your oven is probably getting a workout already this holiday season, so here’s your sign to opt for a locally created dessert for a few of those potlucks and parties. These holiday specials made right here would be an easy and impressive addition to the sweets table or a delicious end to your sit-down meal.

1. Chocolate Babka, Bûche de Noël Sponge Cake, Spiced Gingerbread Cake and more | Bloom Bake Shop


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Hanukkah has passed, but Bloom Bake Shop is still serving up chocolate babka on Fridays every week and some additional days during December. Plus, this just in: Bloom went live with its holiday menu today with a wide variety of sweet treats. The staff recommends the bûche de noël, a Christmas-only special chocolate sponge cake filled with cinnamon spiced whipped cream, topped with chocolate and garnished with mushroom-shaped meringue, rosemary and cranberries. There are plenty of other dessert options to choose from at the bakery, including vegan and gluten-free desserts. 1851 Monroe St.

2. Bûche de Noël | La Kitchenette

Another outstanding bûche de noël offering in town is from La Kitchenette, the charming little French bistro on Williamson Street. Choose from pear chocolate, hazelnut praline or dark chocolate for your flavor. Pre-order your yule log by Dec. 18. 805 Williamson St.

3. Macarons from the Holiday Menu | Fleur de Lis Macarons

Fleur de Lis Macarons released its holiday menu with six different special flavors, including peppermint mocha, pistachio raspberry, cappuccino, cookies n’ cream, red velvet and gingerbread. Order a half dozen for $15 or a dozen for $25, or place a custom order. Owner Elsy Butler is also making cookie dough macarons, polar bear head-shaped macarons and gingerbread macarons. Online only, place your order on fleurdelismacarons.com

4. Peppermint Bark, Chocolate Lollipops and more | Madison Chocolate Co.

Madison Chocolate Co. has an entire winter holiday shop as well as chocolate and confections featuring traditional items such as hot chocolate, peppermint bark, gingerbread cookies and chocolate lollipops. 729 Glenway St.

5. Morello Cherry Chocolates, Reindeer Hazelnut Milk Chocolates and more | CocoVaa Chocolatier


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CocoVaa changes its flavors seasonally, and this holiday season features a Hanukkah collection with Morello cherry chocolates, reindeer hazelnut milk chocolates and a number of chocolates in an ugly sweater-themed collection. 1815 E. Washington Ave., Suite 100

6. Truffle Pannetone | Chef Lorraine Chiapim


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Madison-based Chef Lorraine Chiapim posts mesmerizing Instagram reels and videos that show her baking skills and mouth-watering desserts. Try one of her holiday specials, like the truffle pannetone, drizzled with even more chocolate. (Because a little more chocolate never hurts.) Online only, DM on Instagram or message on WhatsApp to order

7. Festive Shakes | DLUX


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OK, these might be hard to bring to a holiday party, so you might have to just pause from some downtown shopping to indulge in a seasonal shake from DLUX, located right off Capitol Square. DLUX is getting festive this year with its toasted marshmallow shake, which mixes marshmallow milk and vanilla Sassy Cow Creamery ice cream. There’s also a new eggnog shake on the menu. 117 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

8. Marshmallow Creme-Stuffed Hot Cocoa Cookies | Hound it Down Bakery

For all the chocoholics out there, this may be just the dessert for you. This chocolate cookie “tastes like the classic sweet and soothing warm beverage of winter.” Other options include the almond spritz shortbread cookies and the Swiss roll/yule log, a buttercream layered chocolate cake. The Christmas cake pops are also a hit. Online only, DM on Instagram to order

9. Handmade Chocolate Truffles | Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier


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“Real chocolate — grown on trees by farmers [and] transformed into truffles on wintry Wisconsin days — is my passion,” says chocolatier Gail Ambrosius. She’s offering a special “Merry Everything! Holiday” box with 12 delicious handmade truffles this year. 2083 Atwood Ave.

10. Eggnog, Sugar ft. Mother’s Reindeer Games, and Gingerbread Cake Cookies | Crumbl Cookies


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Crumbl Cookies is selling a number of holiday-themed cookies. If you like cream cheese frosting, watch for the gingerbread cookies, garnished with gingerbread sprinkles. The cookie menu changes weekly. 4010 University Ave.; 2808 Prairie Lakes Dr., Sun Prairie

11. Flavored Truffles | Infusion Chocolates

Infusion Chocolates’ flavored truffles range from s’mores to smoked salted caramel to gingersnap. According to Infusion, the gingersnap truffles taste “just like Grandma’s cookies” with a “spicy ginger ganache with a demerara sugar snap in 42% milk chocolate.” 2503 Monroe St.

12. Holiday Power Pack and Firekracker Chili-Spiked Candied Pecans | Nutkrack


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Nutkrack offers holiday treats and perfectly sized stocking stuffers with items such as the “Holiday Power Pack” and Firekracker chili-spiked candied pecans. 2086 Atwood Ave.

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