48 Christmas Dessert Recipes That Can Get Anyone in the Holiday Spirit
It’s the most wonderful time of the year...and also the most repetitive, dessert-wise. (Seriously, how many sugar cookies and candy canes can you eat?) Once the holiday monotony hits, try these Christmas dessert recipes that feature seasonal flavors in new and creative ways. We're talking about revamped gingerbread cookies, gluten-free takes on classic pie recipes and easy single-serving desserts that take holiday baking up a notch. Below, 48 festive treats to serve to your nearest and dearest.
1. Peppermint Devil’s Food High Hat Cupcakes
The best seasonal flavors, peppermint and chocolate, unite in these gorgeous homemade cupcakes. The crowning glory? A generous dollop of marshmallow frosting.
2. Ginger Cherry Pie
Spice up your holiday pie game with this gingery masterpiece that riffs on the idea of a gingerbread cookie, but with cherry filling.
3. Eggnog Snickerdoodles
Eggnog isn’t just for sipping. These chewy cookies incorporate homemade eggnog for extra holiday flair.
4. Cinnamon Mascarpone Pudding
This fragrant, creamy pudding is dreamy on a snowy day. (It’s kind of like tiramisu, minus the cake.)
5. Gingerbread Lattice Cookies
Gingerbread people and houses rarely taste as good as they look, so serve up something special. These actually delicious gingerbread cookies that look just like little pie tops. (Bonus: No cookie cutters required.)
6. Vegan & Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Ginger Tart
You’ll be surprised that this decadent and zingy tart is completely vegan and gluten-free. Win, win, win.
7. CARDAMOM CREAM-FILLED BUNDT CAKE
A Bundt pan adds a fancy look to this homemade cake that’s actually very simple. Plus, the seasonal spices pair perfectly with hot punch or cider, making this dessert recipe fabulous for a Christmas party.
8. Sweet Potato Sugar Cookies with Marshmallow Topping
Turn the classic side dish into a decadent dessert with these bright orange cookies that, yeah, you might want to devour before dinner even starts.
9. Sea Salt Butterscotch Tart
Almond flour makes the crisp crust of this tart totally gluten-free. And the slightly salty homemade butterscotch filling is just the perfect amount of gooey.
10. Baileys Chocolate Truffles
A little booze in a holiday dessert adds a lot more fun. These truffles don’t require baking and are a fantastic host gift throughout the season.
11. Chocolate-Peppermint Linzer Cookies
The flavor of a brownie with all the crisp of a cookie. The white chocolate ganache cream is made with melted peppermint candies.
12. Pecan Brittle Bark Cookies
Chocolate-chip cookies are fine for Santa, but you deserve an upgrade. These are salty, sweet, sticky and gooey in all the right ways.
13. Sugar Cookie Chocolate Crème Brûlée
Meet your new holiday go-to. No torch? You can also use your broiler for the burnt sugar topping.
14. Peppermint Bark Crepe Cake
Three amazing dessert elements become one in this stack of thin crepes glued together with peppermint whipped cream.
15. Pear Mug Pie
Dessert for one? No problem. Whip up a cozy fruit pie in your favorite holiday mug and don’t be shy about the ice cream on top.
16. Eggnog Panna Cotta
This Italian sweet never fails to make us feel fancy—even if it's made with only three ingredients.
17. Sticky Toffee Honeycomb Cake
Traditional sticky toffee pudding gets a buttery, beautiful makeover.
18. Sweet Potato Brownies with Date Caramel Frosting
Santa came early for the vegans at your holiday table.
19. Caramel-Stuffed Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies
Hear us out: There's nothing wrong with standard gingerbread cookies. But molten caramel couldn't possibly hurt.
20. Eggnog Custard with Raspberry Jam
We know what to do with the leftover carton of eggnog in your fridge (and it involves bourbon).
21. Peppermint Patties
Why should cookies get to have all the fun? These have the store-bought patties beat by a mile.
22. No-Bake Sugar Cookie Truffles
File this recipe under Reasons Why We Love Sprinkles.
23. Matcha-Cranberry Linzer Cookies
Matcha powder and cranberry jam filling show off the season's signature colors in an unexpected way.
24. Swedish Cinnamon Rolls
Psst: They taste even better if you eat them for breakfast while opening presents.
25. Brown Sugar Cookies with Dulce de Leche
Using canned dulce de leche is so much simpler than fussing with homemade icing.
26. Caramelized Pear Tartlets
Butter + pears + brown sugar + pie dough = the easiest seasonal dessert you've ever served.
27. Giant Brown-Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies
These cinnamon cuties get an extra dose of brown sugar, which gives them a crackly, caramelized effect.
28. Mini Caramel Pecan Pies with Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust
Go ahead, have a second one. We're on our fifth.
29. Classic Eggnog
Aka the only *right* way to wash down frosted sugar cookies.
30. Rocky Road Cookies
Have 30 minutes? These marshmallow- and pecan-speckled gems are totally within reach.
31. Miniature Banoffee Cobblers
Crispy graham crackers meet sweet bananas, fluffy whipped cream and gooey dulce de leche.
32. Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
You'll want to bookmark this recipe for Valentine's Day dinner too.
33. Caramelized Butternut Squash Upside-Down Cake
For when you've reached your pumpkin pie quota for the season.
34. Citrus Shortcake
Mandarins, grapefruits, blood oranges and tangerines offer vibrant brightness in the dead of winter.
35. Caramel Coconut Macaroons
Dip the bottoms in chocolate and boom! You've got grown-up Samoas.
36. No-Bake Mini Mason Jar Spiced Cheesecakes
Complete with gingersnap crust, red currant jelly and whipped cream.
37. Easy Cranberry-Pecan Sandwich Cookies
We had no clue a six-ingredient cookie could be this nutty and buttery. It's the perfect match for the sour cranberry-citrus filling.
38. Caramel-Chocolate Macadamia Tart
Don't let the fluted edges scare you. This showstopper is easier to whip up than you'd expect.
39. Slow-Cooker Salted-Caramel Rice Pudding
Set it and forget it while you cook Christmas dinner. It'll be ready to devour in a few hours.
41. Jammy Shortbread Bars
Crumbled, freeze-dried raspberries make for a posh finishing touch.
42. Hot Buttered Rum
One sip will have you saying, "hot cocoa who?" And heck yeah, it counts as dessert.
43. Orange and Chocolate Brioche Tarts
If you don't want any bitterness, peel the oranges. But we leave the rinds on to balance the sweetness of the chocolate.
44. Chai Crème Brûlée
Don't forget to ask St. Nick for a mini blowtorch this year.
45. The Most Perfect (and Easiest) Sugar Cookie Recipe Ever
OK, OK, we said no more sugar cookies. But if you decide to indulge anyway, we've got your back.
46. Pineapple and Ginger Upside-Down Cake
Looking for a baking project that will elicit all the oohs and ahhs? Look no further than Danielle Alvarez’s recipe for pineapple and ginger upside-down cake, from her new cookbook, Always Add Lemon. It’s sweet, spicy and practically decorates itself.
48. Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
If a soft molasses cookie and a good old chocolate chip number had a very delicious baby, it would be one of these chocolate gingerbread cookies. They’re sweet but not too sweet, with all the cozy spices of a holiday dessert (and plenty of chocolate too).