For some, Christmas is all about spending time with loved ones, singing carols, and spreading festive cheer. But let’s be real – for most of us, it’s all about the food, and we have a sweet tooth that’s craving chocolate and festive flavours all December long.
From London bakeries with last-minute Christmas delivery and epic festive offerings in-store, to decadent desserts at some of London’s best restaurants, here’s where to get your sugar fix in the capital this festive season.
Looking for even more Christmas-themed sweet treats? Check out our guide to the most festive afternoon teas in London.
Patisserie Valerie is pretty much a one stop shop for all your festive sweet treat needs this Christmas. There’s the award-winning Champagne Yule Log topped with bright pink glaze and freeze-dried raspberries; the show-stopping Madame Valeria Gateau with soft chocolate sponge, layers of salted caramel cream, topped with chocolate Christmas trees and golden swirls; and stocking-filler macarons.
Our favourite? The traditional Chocolate Yule Log, made with fluffy sponge, chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, snowflake sugar pearls, topped with a dusting of icing sugar and the cutest Christmas festive figurine keepsakes. All sweet treats are handmade and available for nationwide delivery right up until Christmas Eve (the Chocolate Yule Log can also be picked up in-store), so as well as an excellent dessert option for a Christmas gathering with friends and family, they’re a great last minute Christmas gift too.
Once December rolls around, we simply cannot pass a GAIL’s bakery without picking up one of their famous Christmas Buns.
Made with frangipane, chocolate crumbs, cinnamon, candied orange zest and vanilla, then iced with orange crème fraîche, pick one up as a treat whilst Christmas shopping, or buy in boxes of three or six to share with friends and family (or keep them all to yourself – we’d do the same).
The rest of the Christmas range includes a host of festive munching options, including chocolate shortbread penguin biscuits, mince pies, chocolate sourdough, and a selection of hampers for the big day and the morning after.
Where: Multiple Locations
‘Tis the season for food, fizz and festivities and what better way to celebrate than with some mouth-wateringly magical festive pancakes?
For a limited time only, Bill’s have given their pancakes a seasonal makeover to create a festive pancake special of buttermilk pancakes topped with banana, gingerbread, whipped cream, meringue pieces and hazelnuts, drizzled with Gingerbread syrup and festive sprinkles. Available in a 3 stack or a 5 stack, order them alongside a ‘Let It Snow’ cocktail (Monkey 47 Gin topped with candy floss) for a fabulously festive sweet treat.
Where: Multiple Locations
Fancy a free festive doughnut? This week, Doughnut Time is giving away its limited-edition range in an effort to combat ‘shrinkflation’ i.e. the ever-shrinking number of chocolates inside Christmas tubs.
Simply bring a tub of Quality Street to select Doughnut Time stores and they’ll top up your tub with one of six Quality Street-inspired doughnuts: ‘The Purple One,’ ‘The Orange One,’ ‘The Green Triangle,’ ‘Caramel Swirl,’ ‘Coconut Eclair,’ and ‘Strawberry Delight’ – also available to buy in a six-pack.
The location of the store offering the freebies is rotating daily, so if you want one, you’ll need to head to Covent Garden on Wednesday 14th, Islington on Thursday 15th, Windsor on Friday 16th, Shaftesbury Avenue on Saturday 17th, and Notting Hill on Sunday 18th.
If there’s anyone we can count on to provide the ultimate instagrammable festive sweet treat, it’s Peggy Porschen.
From seasonal cupcakes and intricately designed festive cakes to jolly gingerbreads and Christmas cookies – it’s the perfect London bakery to pop into whilst on a festive wander – all washed down with pistachio hot chocolate.
Where: Belgravia / Chelsea
Pan Pacific’s resident patisserie has transformed into The Nutcracker’s Kingdom Of Sweets scene this festive season, decked out with a host of impressive hand-crafted Christmas treats, including an intricate gingerbread house designed by Executive Pastry Chef, Cherish Finden.
The shelves have also been transformed into a life-sized advent calendar for December – so pop in, spend £20 or more, open a door and be in with a chance of winning one of their daily prizes, which include Lanson Champagne, 10% off Pan Pacific spa treatments, and a round of cocktails in Ginger Lily. Now that’s what we call a Christmas treat.
Fancy a treat after shopping your festive socks off on Oxford Street? Head to the calm respite of The Churchill on Portman Square, and indulge in a festive dessert at The Montagu Kitchen & Lounge.
Tuck into the restaurant’s Chocolate and Hazelnut Bar (perfectly accompanied by an Arabica coffee sauce with vanilla) and ooze festive indulgence as you sip on a Christmas cocktail, too.
Where: 30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH
The Swan At The Globe has some stunning Christmas desserts on offer this year, including the Dark Chocolate and Morello Cherry Sphere.
Smash the stunning gold Christmas bauble to reveal gooey chocolate and morello cherries inside as you sip mulled wine and take in twinkling views of The Thames and St Pauls.
Where: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT
Sometimes, you just can’t beat a classic, and Smith’s Bar & Grill is serving up the perfect Christmas Pudding this year – perfect for indulging in after a bout of Christmas shopping around Paddington.
Topped with brandy sauce, you’ll get the perfect mix of sweet and savoury with a dash of deliciousness on top.
Where: 25 Sheldon Square, London W2 6EP
St Martin’s Lane Hotel
St Martin’s Lane Hotel is bursting with Christmas spirit this season and their festive dessert offering is sure to get you in a merry mood. Expect everything from Christmas pudding with brandy anglaise and pain d’epice to triple chocolate with lingonberry and sorbet.
Why have one dessert when you can have a whole tiered-afternoon tea of them? Book in for their festive tea to experience Christmas in all of its sweet treat glory. The sparkling snowman and reindeer Bakewell tart are almost too adorable to eat.
45 St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4HX
This Festive season Bun House is celebrating with its most elaborate trio of warming Christmas buns yet, marrying the best of both Chinese and British traditions. Pre-order a trio of Santa buns filled with golden gingerbread salted caramel, or some pillowy Christmas presents hiding a molten lava black sesame centre.
In-store, there’s a vibrant strawberry lollipop bun with a limited edition matcha dip at £8 a pop.
Where: 26-27 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BA
There’s nothing more magical (or cuter) than a festive macaron at Christmas time, and Oh La La has pulled out all the stops this Christmas with these adorable Christmas macarons.
Available in a box of 6 or 15, the hand-decorated macarons come beautifully wrapped and ready to go under the tree for a loved one (or as a perfectly presented gift to yourself).
Flavours also sound fabulously festive. There’s the Christmas Wreath with a festive filling of rich chocolate and warming orange; Gingerbread Folk with a spicy, warming ginger-infused buttercream filling; and the Snowpeople, stuffed full with vanilla buttercream.