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Gorgeous tall red velvet Christmas Tree cupcakes
HolidayFood

20 Holiday Desserts You Need To Try

My 2 favorite things about the holiday season are:

1.) the love that we share

2.) THE FOOD THAT WE EAT!!!

I love throwing caution to the wind and trying and eating ALL of the holiday desserts that I can (with zero regrets, might I add!)

This year I’ve decided that I’m going to try some new holiday dessert recipes, and I thought I’d share them with you, too!

This list has plenty of options to tickle your (and your family’s) taste buds in the weeks to come.

Give them a try for your office holiday potluck, the many end-of-year parties that you’re going to attend, or just to enjoy them at home with the ones you love.

You can even bake these and give them as gifts if you want. The possibilities are endless.

Bon appetit! 

Table of Contents (show)

Dewey's Winter Spiced Cheesecake Trifle

Dewey's Winter Spiced Cheesecake Trifle Recipe
Source: Deweys.com
Why You’ll Love It

The combination of triple ginger cookie crust and thick spiced cheesecake are sure to make your taste buds sing! This recipe is super easy to make, with a total time of only 25 minutes. Top it off with some homemade whipped cream and you’ll be in spicy ginger heaven.

Ingredients
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Maple Syrup
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Spices: Clove, Ginger, Cardamom
Total Time

25 min

Get The Recipe: Winter Spiced Cheesecake Trifle

My Favorite Gingerbread Men

My Favorite Gingerbread Men Cookies - Kalejunkie recipe. Photo of gingerbread men and candy canes in a pail in front of a tree
Source: Kalejunkie
Why You’ll Love It

Not only are these little guys super adorable, they’re also totally delicious! Pair them with some ice cream or hot cocoa and you have a satisfying and heartwarming treat!

This is a great holiday recipe to make with kids, too. Simple, safe, and fast!

Want to turn it into a game? Challenge the kids and see who can give their cookie the funniest face!

Ingredients
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Egg
  • Gluten-free Flour
  • Spices: Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Ground Cloves, Ground Nutmeg
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Powdered Sugar
Total Time

3 hrs (including the time it takes to chill the dough)

 

Get The Recipe: My Favorite Gingerbread Men by Kalejunkie

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Gorgeous tall red velvet Christmas Tree cupcakes
Source: Preppy Kitchen
Why You’ll Love It

This is my favorite looking dessert on this list, and I have very little faith in my ability to recreate the artistry displayed in this photo. But I will try!

Chocolatey and delicious, these cupcakes make an exquisite centerpiece display for the dessert table.

Curious about the secret to the tree? It has an ice cream cone base. How clever!

Ingredients
  • Sugar Cones
  • Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Milk or Cream
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-purpose Flour
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Buttermilk
  • Sour Cream
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Coffee
Total Time

32 min

Get The Recipe: Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

A slice of Salted Caramel-Apple-Pie on a table beside a latern with the full pie and a Christmas tree in the background
Source: InspiredByCharm.com
Why I Recommend It

I LOVE salted caramel. I LOVE apple pie. And I LOVE this dessert! 

This is one of the recipes that seems to be relatively easy to make and comes out looking stunning. I feel confident in our ability to make this without messing it up. So if you’re looking for something simple yet delicious to make, give this one a go!

Ingredients
  • IBC’s Go-To Pie Crust
  • Honeycrisp Apples
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Quick Oats
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Salted Caramel
  • Spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg
Total Time

1 hour 35 min

Get The Recipe: Salted Caramel Honeycrisp Apple Pie

Raindeer Food (Christmas Puppy Chow)

A mix of chocolates, Chex Mix, and candy to create a 7 ingredient Christmas Puppy Chow
Source: JoyFoodSunshine.com
Why You’ll Love It

This recipe requires almost no effort. Quick and easy to make, just dump all of the ingredients into a large bowl, place it on the snack table, and watch it disappear in minutes! It’s guaranteed to be a hit with party guests of all ages. And if you want to swap out one or all of the ingredients, you’re totally free to do so.

Ingredients

Whatever you want, really

Total Time

2 hours 15 min

Get The Recipe: Reindeer Food (Christmas Puppy Chow)

Coffee Cheesecake

Coffee Cheesecake Recipe with an Oreo crust and a layer of chocolate ganache
Source: The First Year Blog
Why You’ll Love It

Oreo crust and chocolate ganache? SIGN ME UP!!!

This recipe is a bit more involved than the ones we’ve talked about up to this point, but it’s nothing that we can’t handle, right Friend? 😜💪 All of the steps are relatively easy, with the exception of one. I can honestly say that I’ve never had to give a dessert a water bath before, and I hope I don’t mess it up when I do!

Nevertheless, I was surprised to see how little effort is required to make a dessert this lovely. (Notice I didn’t say no effort. I just mean that it requires significantly less effort than I thought it would when I first saw this photo.)

Ingredients
  • Oreo Crumbs
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Espresso
  • Eggs
  • Heavy Cream
  • Chocolate Chips
  • An oven safe turkey bag
Total Cook & Prep Time

1 hour 45 min

Get The Recipe: Coffee Cheesecake

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookie Recipe
Source: The Recipe Rebel
Why You’ll Love It

These soft, buttery, frosting-and-pecan-topped cookies look and sound like they taste absolutely amazing. Super easy to make with ingredients that many of us already have in our house, this is definitely a recipe worth trying!

Ingredients
  • Butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Pecans
  • Milk
  • Powdered Sugar
Total Time

30 min

Get The Recipe: Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies

No Bake Biscoff Truffles

No-Bake Biscoff Truffles Recipe
Source: Crayons and Cravings
Why I Recommend It

The idea of making truffles has always seemed so daunting and “impossible” to me. Mind you, I’ve never actually taken the time to look up a truffle recipe, but whenever I go into See’s Candies I get very overwhelmed at the thought of making the perfect beautiful little treats that I love so much.

But this 4-ingredient recipe seems so simple that even I can’t mess it up! Give it a try for the dessert table at your next party, or make a few batches and hand them out as gifts!

Ingredients
  • Biscoff Cookies
  • Biscoff Cookie Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • White Chocolate
Total Time

1 hour 20 min (including freezer time)

Get The Recipe: No-Bake Biscoff Truffles

Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Source: The Novice Chef Blog
Why You’ll Love It

Tis the season for tons of gingerbread! This cake is beautiful, moist, and only takes 30 minutes to prep. With a blend of rich spices and a touch of applesauce, the flavor is destined to leave a trail of deliciousness as the cake melts in your mouth. Give it a try!

Ingredients
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Spices: Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves
  • Molasses
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Applesauce
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Oil
  • Whole Milk
  • Cream Cheese
  • Pure Maple Syrup
  • Confectioners Powdered Sugar
Prep Time

30 min

Get The Recipe: Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Hot Cocoa Cupcake Mugs

HOT COCOA CUPCAKE MUGS topped with marshmallows and candy canes
Source: Ready Set Eat
Why You’ll Love It

I mean, come on. Look at them. They are absolutely adorable.

Clever and delicious, these cupcake “mugs” are sure to be a hit with kids! Made with pre-made cake mix and frosting, the fun is in decorating the top of your cupcake however you want.

Let your kids express their creativity while making these cute little pieces of chocolatey goodness. Try these for a class holiday party.

Ingredients
  • Swiss Miss Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Frosting
  • Candy Canes
  • Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Marshmallows
Total Time

90 min

Get The Recipe: Hot Cocoa Cupcake Mugs

Vegan White Chocolate Cranberry Tart

White Chocolate Cranberry Tart Holiday Pie recipe with floral and berry garnish
Source: Delight Fuel
Why You’ll Love It

This dessert is absolutely stunning. And after looking more closely, it’s super simple to make. None of the steps require any significant effort. Even the garnish is simple: grab some frozen berries and a few sprigs of rosemary and you’re done.

Proof that you don’t have to go over the top to get an elegant result.

If you like your desserts tangy, flavorful, and vegan, this is a great recipe to try.

Ingredients
  • Gluten-free Oats
  • Raw Almonds
  • Coconut Oil
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cranberries
  • Agar Agar
  • Coconut Milk
  • Raw Cashews
  • Cacao Butter
  • Vegan White Chocolate
Prep Time

10 min

Get The Recipe: White Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Bars

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Bars Recipe
Source: Handle the Heat
Why I Recommend It

Every year there is a big debate: do marshmallows belong in sweet potato casserole, or no?

My answer is a resounding YES

Maybe not all the time. Maybe not every time. But definitely in THIS case. The fluff and whipped potato melt in my mouth and send my soul flying. I had to recommend them!

These make a great holiday snack that you can pack up and eat on the road while you travel from house to house. Perfect for adults, even better for kids!

Ingredients
  • Graham Crackers
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Sweet Potato Puree
  • Eggs
  • Bourbon or vanilla
  • Salt
  • Whole Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Egg Whites
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Vanilla Extract
Prep Time

30 min

Get The Recipe: Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Bars

White Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

White Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies recipe
Source: Just So Tasty
Why You’ll Love It

If you or your kids have a super sweet tooth, this recipe is for you! The amount of sugar in these cookies is insane…but guess what? I’m still gonna eat them with zero regret! 

The perfect blend of crunch and gooey, this recipe is easy to follow, quick to bake, and makes 36 servings. And if you don’t want to bake all of the dough right away, it will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

The kiddos in your life will have a blast smushing the candy canes and placing the chocolate chip dots, and your kitchen will smell amazing throughout the entire process.

Enjoy!

Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Shortening
  • White & brown sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Peppermint Extract
  • Eggs
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Candy Canes
  • White Chocolate Chips
Prep Time

15 min

Get The Recipe: White Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Baked Pears with Walnut Oatmeal Crumble Topping

Baked Pears with Walnut Oatmeal Crumble Topping
Source: USA Pears
Why You’ll Love It

I love pears at the holiday season. Nothing says “Christmas” like a box of Harry & David pears. My family has been ordering them every year since before I was born, and it’s a delectable tradition that I’ll continue in the years to come.

Baked pears are great because they’re tender without being mushy. Wonderfully absorbent, they infuse your topping flavors with their own tangy sweet essence, creating the perfect blend of fruity goodness. 

Plus, since they’re a fruit, you can lie to yourself and call this is a healthy dessert, if you want to. 😂

This recipe is great as a breakfast dish or dessert.

Ingredients
  • Pears
  • Golden Brown Sugar
  • Walnuts
  • Old Fashioned Oats
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Ice Cream or Greek Yogurt
Prep Time

5 min

Get The Recipe: Baked Pears with Oat & Walnut Crumble

Peppermint Bark Macarons

Peppermint Bark Macarons Recipe
Source: Pies and Tacos
Why You’ll Love It

They’re beautiful, aren’t they? 😍 

I’ll be honest with you, this is not the easiest recipe on the list. Not by a long shot. The multiple components – the macaron shells, peppermint white chocolate ganache, and peppermint dark chocolate ganache – give this recipe the longest prep time on the list, reaching about 2 hours.  So if you’re short on time, I would recommend skipping this one.

But if you have time, I highly recommend giving these a try. Requiring only 11 ingredients to make a batch of 22 macarons, this can be a fun afternoon activity to do alone or with people you love. 

Plus, they’ll look so lovely when displayed on the dessert table. 🥰

Ingredients
  • Egg white powder
  • Egg whites
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa powder
  • White Chocolate
  • Heavy Cream
  • Peppermint Extract
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Candy Canes
Prep Time

2 hours

Get The Recipe: Peppermint Bark Macarons

Christmas Cheesecake (Cranberry Jam White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake)

Christmas Cheesecake (Cranberry Jam White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake) topped with beautiful berries and cream
Source: Will Cook For Smiles
Why You’ll Love It

This dessert is a total work of art.

It is a cheesy, moussey, vanilla bean-y cake masterpiece that I personally will be making on Christmas Day.

The blend of vanilla bean, cranberry, and white chocolate are a tangy and sweet delight. (I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, but I love desserts that are tangy and sweet!) The cheesecake, mousse, and graham cracker crust are textural perfection, giving you smoothness with a hint of crunch in every bite.

And again, it’s just so daggone pretty! 10/10 recommend.

Ingredients
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Sour Cream
  • Eggs
  • Corn Starch
  • Vanilla Bean
  • White Chocolate Bars
  • Cool Whip (*in my Stewie voice*)
Get The Recipe: Christmas Cheesecake (Cranberry White Chocolate Cheesecake)

Melting Snowman Christmas Cupcake

Melting Snowman Cupcake recipe
Source: Olive Magazine
Why You Love It

These melting snowman cupcakes will be so much fun to make with the kiddos in your life! The most fun part will be decorating them. Remember to give them different facial expressions to show off their unique personalities!

Ingredients
  • Caster Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Flour
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Yogurt
  • Marshmallows
  • Milk
  • Soft Cheese
  • Double Cream
  • Candies
  • Black icing pen
Total Time

45 min

Get The Recipe: Melting Snowman Cupcake

Bonfire Cupcake

Bonfire Cupcakes recipe
via TasteMade
Why You’ll Love It

I think these little bonfire cupcakes are so fun. They make me smile every time I see them, and I bet your kids will do the same!

What I like about these the most is that they aren’t specific to the holidays. You can make them year round, especially if you or someone you know loves camping. 

Super easy and fun to make, I feel confident that you’ll love this one. 😋

Ingredients
  • Flour
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Caster Sugar
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Whole Milk
  • Eggs
  • Orange zest
  • Icing Sugar
Get The Recipe: Bonfire Cupcake

Snowman Macaroons

Snowman Macaroons Recipe with scarf and smiley face
Source: Nerdy Mamma
Why You’ll Love It

Here’s another macaron recipe that you’ll love. These adorable snackies are equally as fun to make and to eat! Just don’t over-mix and you’ll be good to go!

Ingredients

There are a lot of them, so it’s best to just click the link and view the recipe in its entirety. ☺️

Prep Time

20 min

Get The Recipe: Snowman Macaroons

Chocolate Cranberry Christmas Mini Cakes

Chocolate Cranberry Christmas Mini Cakes Recipe
Source: Grits and Pine Cones
Why You’ll Love It

Aren’t these little towers of chocolate cranberry goodness just beautiful? Vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free, these little delights can be enjoyed by anyone, including people with dietary restrictions!

Simple to make and packed with healthier ingredients, these healthy-ish desserts are guaranteed to be a hit. Top them with some decorative holly (not edible) and serve.

Ingredients
  • Brown Rice Flour
  • Quinoa Flour
  • Arrowroot
  • Cacao Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Maple Syrup
  • Olive Oil
  • Aquafaba
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Vanilla
  • Rice Milk
  • Cranberries
  • Orange Juice & zest
  • Chia seeds
  • Dark Vegan Chocolate
Prep Time

40 min

Get The Recipe: Chocolate Cranberry Christmas Mini Cakes

Looking for more holiday inspiration?

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