The holidays traditionally involve elaborate menus, ranging from roasts and pasta dishes to festive desserts, and even if your gatherings are smaller this year, everyone still enjoys a sweet treat or two. More importantly, you don’t need to be a master baker to make it happen. These holiday desserts include options for every level of kitchen confidence, allowing you and your loved ones to enjoy the flavors of the season.
Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites
Cheesecake is a popular indulgence, but a whole slice of cheesecake can be overwhelmingly rich, which is why we recommend these no-bake cheesecake bites. Covered in a layer of chocolate and surrounding a tart raspberry center, these cheesecake bites are perfectly balanced and come together without ever turning on the oven. Plus, it makes hardly any mess, requiring just a bowl or two, an ice cube tray, some spoons, and your trusty microwave.
Festive Cutout Cookies
Gingerbread men are among the most iconic holiday treats, but you don’t have to limit yourself to this one shape – or the gingerbread seasoning profile. Instead, choose from an assortment of holiday cookie cutter shapes paired with sugar cookie dough or other flavor infusions. With plenty of different shapes available, you can create a whole holiday scene or choose from your favorite figures, such as stars or candy canes.
Pumpkin is most closely associated with Halloween and Thanksgiving, but squashes are so hardy that it’s worth considering them right through Christmas. Impress your guests with this pumpkin roll-up cake, wrapped around a traditional cream cheese filling. Though these cakes are relatively simple to make, they make for an impressive presentation. Just make sure you bake it in a high-sided jelly roll pan and not a traditional sheet pan.
Peppermint Bark Dip
Cookies and cakes are old hat as far as desserts go, and pies can be so fussy – and, more importantly, sometimes you just want to make something a little different. If that describes your relationship to desserts, surprise your family and friends this year with peppermint bark dip paired with cookies for scooping. Simply whip cream cheese and fold in whipped topping, then add peppermint extract, crushed candy canes, and mini chocolate chips for a dessert that’s best described as Christmas in a bowl.
Simple Raspberry Trifle
Trifle offers a simple way to assemble a dessert, yet in the United States, we don’t serve it especially often; it’s more commonly served in England, where it’s exceedingly popular. Well, it’s time to change that, and this raspberry trifle with rum sauce is the perfect place to start. Made up of chunks of cake, pudding, and raspberry jam, one of the great benefits of this dessert is that it can be made almost exclusively from store-bought ingredients or gussied up if that’s more your style. During the busy holiday season, channeling Ina Garten’s “store-bought is fine” can take some of the stress off of dessert prep.
Some people find crafting new holiday desserts to be a lot of fun, while for others its more of a chore, but whatever your feelings about baking and other kitchen tasks, you can still make a delicious dish to share with friends and family. So this year, set aside the stress and pick a dessert that suits your kitchen competency – this season, make your meal’s final bites stress-free and delicious.