Easy Holiday Desserts

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Here’s the truth: the holidays are here, and party season has begun. Some parties warrant homemade baked goods, fresh pies, and special treats. Other parties are fun and deserve something delicious, but a shortcut is ideal. Here’s a list of holiday desserts that feel extraordinary but require only ordinary effort:

Ice Cream Cakes

Frozen ice cream cakes are your holiday party secret weapon. They’re a crowd favorite; everyone loves them. Plus, with their whipped topping and layers of creamy ice cream and rich cake, they are sure to make an impression. It’s also easy to doll one up for the season. Top a basic ice cream cake with fresh berries, drizzle on some chocolate topping, or press on a few holiday cookies. It’s easy to whip out one of these treats at a moment’s notice, and, let’s face it, sometimes during the holidays, you need a festive dessert at a moment’s notice.


Sure, brownies are a year-round favorite. Chewy, fudgy, delicious brownies are yummy any time, but they’re super easy to convert into a holiday delight. Brownies come together fast (you can even freeze a pan ahead of time) and are easy to dress up in the holiday spirit. Add a scoop of peppermint ice cream, or top your favorites with layers of minty buttercream and dark chocolate ganache. Cut them into holiday shapes such as trees or balls. A small dose of creativity is all it takes to make plain old brownies into a sensational holiday dessert.

Hot Cocoa

Not every sweet treat needs to be baked. Serve your guests delicious, creamy hot cocoa. You can go basic with already prepared mixes, or you can throw together rich, creamy cocoa from scratch in your slow cooker and let it simmer before your guests arrive. Having a batch ready for Christmas morning is a fun tradition as well. Seasonal touches such as candy canes, chocolate-dipped marshmallows, and peppermint whipped cream to make everyday hot chocolate seem like something to remember. Pair it with traditional holiday cookies, and you have a simple dessert that takes no time to prepare, but everyone will enjoy. 

Take it Easy

Take the time this year to create something special. Spend a day baking cookies, crafting a yule log, or saucing a pudding. On the other days, pull out these other treats for holiday desserts in a snap. Plan ahead to take a few shortcuts so you can enjoy time with friends and family. 

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