Isn’t it funny how you can always manage to find room in your stomach for holiday desserts even at the end of a big meal? That’s because the best is usually saved for last! Everyone’s list of top holiday desserts will vary, but it’s great to have something that will fulfill all cravings, from chocolate-lovers to fruit fanatics. Check out the following suggestions for easy holiday dessert recipes to prepare for your friends and family.
Get inspired by these holiday dessert ideas:
- Toffee Kumquat Pudding: This unusual recipe is one of the best holiday desserts to impress your guests. To prep, butter eight 3x2 inch ramekins and sprinkle 1 tsp sugar in the bottom of each. Set these aside for now while you place 8 ounces sliced kumquats (with the seeds removed), 1 cup granulated sugar, and ½ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer kumquats for 15-20 minutes until they are soft. Now preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next you’ll need to combine 8 finely chopped dates, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 cup boiling water. Sift 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl. Beat 4 tbsp butter and ¾ cup packed light-brown sugar until fluffy. Continue to mix as you add two large eggs, one at a time. Add your flour mixture until combined and finally your date mixture until combined. Optionally, you can add 4 ounces toasted and roughly chopped walnuts to add some crunch to your pudding. Place kumquats into the bottom of each ramekin and pour in batter. Bake about 30 minutes and then unmold each dessert. Top with toffee sauce.
- Snowman Cupcakes: Everyone is always looking for easy holiday desserts recipes and this can be your go-to trick. Using plain, store-bought cupcakes as your base, add festive decorations to transform them into cheerful treats. Best of all, you can choose either chocolate or vanilla cupcakes depending on your preference. Begin by spreading a layer of white or buttercream frosting to make a snowy surface. You’ll need two marshmallows for the body. Cut a slice off of the top one and squish it a little to make his head. A tiny dab of icing can be used as glue to keep his plump figure in one piece. Poke two holes using a wet toothpick and place chocolate sprinkles for the snowman’s eyes. His nose can be made from a slice of any orange colored gummy candy.
- Peppermint Hot Fudge Sundaes: This dessert is sure to be a hit with the kids. Combine 1 cup heavy cream and ⅓ cup light corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir to combine and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the stove and add a 12 ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips and 1 tsp peppermint extract. Whisk everything together until the chocolate has melted. If you think it is necessary to adjust the consistency of your fudge, add a little bit of corn syrup. Serve over vanilla ice cream and garnish with chopped peppermint candy and a big spoon.
- Pear Cranberry Crisp: A rosy winter dessert bursting with flavor! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 3 peeled pears cut into chunks, 1 cup whole cranberries, ¼ cup maple syrup, 2 tbsp lemon juice. Toss and set aside. Now in another bowl, mix ½ cup oatmeal, ¼ cup brown sugar, and 1 tbsp flour. Cut in 1 tbsp butter until the consistency of your mixture resembles coarse crumbs and the dough just barely holds together. Spoon your wet mixture into an 8x8 baking dish and then pour the dry mixture over it. Bake for 10 minutes or until the topping is brown and crisp. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling. Serve a la mode if desired.
- Chocolate Glazed Cake with Jam Filling: If you’re setting up a beautiful table spread, it’s always a good idea to have a couple of holiday recipes for dessert that are guaranteed to be showstoppers. This fits the bill perfectly! To make your cake, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and setting out a 9-inch round pan. Whisk together 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, and ½ tsp salt. In a large bowl, beat together 3 large eggs and 1 cup sugar on high for 5 minutes. Simmer ½ cup whole milk and ½ cup unsalted butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. With mixer on medium, add flour mixture to egg mixture until combined, then turn the mixer on low and beat in milk mixture. Finally, fold in 1 tsp vanilla extract and pour batter into greased pan. Bake 35-40 minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely. With a serrated knife, split cake in half horizontally and place bottom layer on your display plate. Spread 1 ½ cups thick fruit jam (strawberry or raspberry work well) evenly with a spatula and then top with second layer. To make your chocolate glaze, start by bringing ⅔ cup heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Immediately pour over 6 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and 1 tbsp light corn syrup and let this sit for 2 minutes. Stir until your mixture is smooth and then pour over your cake. For an extra special touch, you can buy 20-30 cream puffs from your local bakery and arrange these on top of your cake in a pyramid, then finish with more glaze for a whole tower of chocolaty goodness.
These holiday dessert ideas are a great way to finish off your feast with something sweet. And don’t be surprised if you receive requests for a second helping! Kickoff your celebration with this beautiful, free Christmas party invitation to announce it's time to Eat, Drink & Be Merry!