Christmas dinner is enough of a feat, so don’t kill yourself making an elaborate Christmas dessert too. Here’s a list of 14 easy and delicious holiday treats that will leave your guests wondering how you manage to do it all!
And for those that have been given the responsibility of bringing dessert, don’t stress about a million-step recipe. These Christmas holiday baking recipes are simple and scrumptious. We have all you need to help you bring the best (and easiest) desserts to all your holiday parties.
1. Snowman Cookies
These snowman sugar cookies come together in a snap and are fun for the whole family to decorate and eat, of course! These are great for an afternoon activity at home but also adorable for a holiday party dessert.
The options for decorating these cookies are endless, so get creative with your snowmen and have fun. Sugar cookies are a crowd-pleaser, and even the pickiest eaters will love these.
2. Holiday Pecan Praline Caramel Trifle
Trifles are convenient because they look like they took a lot of effort and have a beautiful presentation, but are secretly super easy. This classic English dessert is low-effort and needs to be chilled for a few hours before it’s ready.
The pecan praline flavor with the caramel layers makes for a gooey treat with sweet and salty flavors that meld into the perfect winter dessert.
3. Apple-Cranberry Crumble
Crumbles are so simple to make, and you don’t need a ton of ingredients. A crumble can often be put together with things you already have in your pantry.
This apple-cranberry crumble has a juicy fruit flavor paired with the toasty sweetness of the crumble topping. The recipe is flexible, so if you want to substitute a different berry or add some nuts go for it and spice up this dessert.
4. Vanilla Macarons
French macarons can intimidate novice bakers, but take our word for it, they are easier than most people think. This recipe will make you a pro at making them, and they’ll be a hit at your next holiday party.
Holiday flavors are bold and distinct, but if you’ve been doing the holiday party circuit, you may be getting tired of the heaviness of winter desserts. These vanilla macarons are a lovely option for something airy and light that still has the holiday spirit.
5. Peppermint Bark
Perhaps the pinnacle of classic Christmas desserts, peppermint bark is a must-have at any holiday party. Peppermint bark only consists of four ingredients and can be made in less than an hour from start to finish.
If you have several holiday parties you plan to attend, peppermint bark is perfect for making in large batches and dividing up. They also make easy and thoughtful presents and can be stored in the freezer or fridge for a long time.
6. Cranberry Walnut Bread
Sweetbread can be a nice change of pace to break through the overwhelming sweetness of the dessert table. This cranberry walnut bread is moist, delicious, and easy to make in a pinch.
You can change up the type of nut or even add more if you want some added crunch. The fresh cranberries and zest orange make for a light and savory holiday bread.
7. Christmas Fudge
Fudge is a versatile dessert that comes in many different flavors. This recipe uses chocolate, marshmallows, and walnuts, but you can swap these out for other ingredients like candy canes, pecans, almonds, white chocolate, sprinkles, and so much more.
For a simple and fool-proof Christmas fudge, this recipe is ideal and low-stress. Make multiple batches to give to friends and family as presents!
8. Raspberry Swiss Roll
Swiss rolls are popular around the holidays because of their colorful appearance and swirled design. Rather than bring the same heavy, chocolate treats everyone else will, opt for this light, flavorful cake.
Not everyone wants the classic Christmas flavors, so offer something unique that will still hit the spot after a big Christmas dinner.
9. Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Sure to delight kids and adults alike, these chocolate peppermint crunch cookies combine the classic winter flavors of chocolate and peppermint for a perfect holiday cookie.
The peppermint extract and crushed candy canes deliver on the refreshing holiday mint flavor cushioned by a chewy, rich chocolate cookie. When in doubt, chocolate and peppermint around the holidays guarantee to prompt some yummy noises.
10. Gingerbread Cupcakes
Gingerbread cupcakes are an innovative twist on the traditional holiday flavor. Gingerbread cookies are a classic, but not everyone loves the hardness of the cookies, and ginger snaps can be rather dull.
On the other hand, these gingerbread cupcakes are brimming with the molasses, cinnamon flavor we all love. Topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting for that added sweetness results in the perfect Christmas dessert.
11. Christmas Tree Cake
This easy Christmas tree cake comes together just as quickly as any basic cake! With some green frosting and a few gumdrops for decoration, you can transform an ordinary cake into a festive work of art.
Once you get the tree-shaped cake pan, everything is pretty simple, and the best part is figuring out how you want to decorate your edible tree.
12. Cranberry-Glazed Cinnamon Cheesecake
Cheesecake is a favorite dessert year-round, but in the holiday season, the flavors are especially wonderful.
The combination of cream cheese and cinnamon forms a delightful flavor reminiscent of the holiday season. The addition of glazed cranberries only kicks the festive flavor up a notch for a tasty and memorable slice of cheesecake.
13. Hot Cocoa Cookies
Chocolate cookies are so boring, instead, make hot cocoa cookies for your next holiday party and surprise everyone.
Hot cocoa cookies are easy to make and always a hit, so don’t worry about leftovers. Adding a fluffy marshmallow to the top makes them even more enticing. And if you want, you can crush candy canes to sprinkle over the top for peppermint hot cocoa cookies.
14. Reindeer Chow
A favorite among kids, Reindeer Chow (or Reindeer Food) is a medal of M&M’s, pretzels, Chex Mix, Cheerios, peanuts, and whatever else you want! You can modify this recipe in a million ways depending on what nuts and kind of chocolate you like.
Usually, this medley of crunchy treats is coated in white chocolate, but it can also be coated in milk chocolate or even butterscotch.