The most mouthwatering desserts to make this holiday season

Whether you're cooking up a batch of sweets to leave out for Santa and his reindeers, having the family over for a dreidel-spinning Hanukah get-together, or hosting a holiday potluck with your friends, there's nothing like a good, homemade holiday dessert.

Holiday dessert recipes
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Holiday dessert recipes

Holiday Snowflake Cookies

Find the recipe here.

Cinnamon Star Cookies with Nutella


  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 2 2/3 cups ground hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Nutella® hazelnut spread
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice

Step 1
Preheat oven to 250°F; position rack in center of oven.

Using a mixer, beat together the egg whites and 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar for 4 to 5 minutes or until soft peaks form.

Reserve 2 tbsp into a small bowl for the icing used later – combine only this portion with 1 tsp of lemon juice

Step 2
Gently mix hazelnuts and cinnamon into remaining egg white mixture until combined.

Step 3
On work surface, roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 2 inch star cookie cutter, cut out 48 cookies, re-rolling scraps once.

Arrange cookies on 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Using 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds in the center of half of the cookies (these will be tops of sandwich cookies).

Spread “icing”-like mixture on the top of the cookie (with the cut out) using a teaspoon.

Step 4
Bake, in 2 batches, for about 10 minutes or until cookies are set. Let cool completely. Spoon Nutella® hazelnut spread into piping bag fitted with small round tip. Pipe 1 tsp Nutella® hazelnut spread onto half of the cookies (without round cut outs).

Dust remaining cookies with remaining confectioners’ sugar; place over Nutella® hazelnut spread on bottom halves of cookies.

Substitute pumpkin pie spice or gingerbread spice for cinnamon, if desired.
If desired, bake cookies in advance; fill with Nutella® hazelnut spread just before serving.



Chocolate Pretzel Trees

Find Donut, Dresses and Dirt's recipe here

Almond Sponge Cake 


  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup Nutella® hazelnut spread
Step 1

In a mixing bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and sifted all-purpose flour.

Stir in egg whites and melted butter until well combined.

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a mini muffin pan; divide batter equally among 24 muffin cups or in muffin pan.

Bake on center rack for 12 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove from pan.

Step 3

Use a toothpick to create a small hole in each cake.

Spoon Nutella® into piping bag; fill each hole with 1/2 tsp of Nutella®.

Garnish tops with remaining Nutella® and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Cinnamon Roll Chrismas Tree

Find the recipe here.

Chocolate Eggnog Cupcakes with Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

Find the recipe here

Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies

Find the recipe here.

Santa Heart-Shaped Cookies (Courtesy of Betty Crocker/General Mills)


  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix
  • 3 tablespoons Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • Betty Crocker™ red gel food color
  • 1 container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
  • Decorations, as desired
  • Betty Crocker™ Candy Shop candy eyeballs, M &M's Minis™ chocolate candies, semisweet chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, flaked coconut, white candy sprinkles


1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, flour, melted butter and egg until soft dough forms. On floured surface, roll dough 1/4-inch thick. Cut with floured 3-inch heart shaped cookie cutter. On
ungreased cookie sheets, place cutouts 2 inches apart.
3. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
4. In small bowl, stir food color into 1/2 cup of frosting to create desired color. Place 1/3 cup untinted frosting into small resealable food storage plastic bag; partially seal bag. Cut off tiny bottom corner of bag; set aside.
5. Turn cookies so pointed ends are up. Working with one cookie at a time, spread 2 teaspoons of remaining untinted frosting on lower third of cookie for beard. Spread generous teaspoon red frosting on upper 1/3 of cookie for hat. Squeeze bag of frosting to pipe dots to attach eyes and nose. Pipe to finish hat, pom pom; decorate with additional decorations as desired. (Use photo as guide.)
6. Decorate each cookie before starting another so frosting does not set. Let stand until frosting is set, about 1 hour. Store in airtight container at room temperature with waxed paper between layers.

Frosted Reindeer Cookies

You can find the recipe here

Peppermint Crunch Cookies

Find the recipe here.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookie Dessert Cups (courtesy of Brandi Milloy) 


  • 3 cups Pillsbury BEST All Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Pillsbury Filled Pastry Bag Chocolate Fudge Flavored Frosting
  • Crushed peppermint candies, for garnish
  • Mini marshmallows, for garnish
  • Mini pretzels


HEAT oven to 350°F. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl until blended.


BEAT shortening and sugar in large bowl with mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.


BLEND in egg, milk and vanilla. Gradually blend in flour mixture.


FORM dough into 1 tablespoon size balls and press into mini muffin tin and up the side to create a cup. Repeat this step until you’ve filled each tin.


Bake 10-12 minutes or until very light golden brown. Cool completely.


To decorate: Pipe chocolate frosting into cups. Sprinkle with peppermint and marshmallows. To create the handle: break off the loops from pretzels and attach to the sides of the cookie cups using chocolate frosting. 

Sparkling Toffee Cookies 

Find Jelly Toast's recipe here

Hanukkah Apple Fritters

Find the recipe here

Gingerbread Cookies (Courtesy of Carrington Farms)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1  3⁄4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 tablespoons Carrington Farms Organic Ghee
  • 3⁄4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1⁄2 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
  2. In a large bowl beat Carrington Farms Organic Ghee, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.
  4. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
  5. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) 
  6. Preheat oven to 375 deg. Prepare baking sheets by greasing or lining with parchment paper.
  7. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.
  9. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.
  10. Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
  11. Cut out cookies with desired cutter-- the ginger bread man is our favorite of course.
  12. Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart.
  13. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies-- very good!).
  14. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
  15. After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like

Mango Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake (courtesy of Taylor Kiser, Food Faith Fitness)

Cake ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
  • 6 Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup Molasses
  • 4 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup Tapioca Starch* (90g)
  • 3/4 Cup + 4 tsp Coconut flour, Sifted and divided (75g)
  • 2 Tbsp Ginger
  • 4 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Baking soda
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 Cup Mango, diced (about 1 large mango)

For the frosting:

  • 2 Cans Coconut cream, chilled overnight
  • 1/4 Cup Honey

Optional mango rose garnish:

  • 1-1/2 Large mangos, peeled (a vegetable peeler works great)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper, rubbing the sides with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Put coconut sugar and melted coconut oil in a bowl and blend with a handheld electric mixer. 
  3. Separate the egg white and egg yolks, adding the yolks to the sugar mixture and the whites to a separate bowl to be used later. 
  4. Add molasses and vanilla to the mixture and beat until well combined. Set aside. **
  5. Place the tapioca starch, coconut flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and ground clove into a separate bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  6. Stir mango with the remaining coconut flour and set aside.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with clean beaters to stiff peaks, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.
  8. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet sugar/molasses mixture and beat, scraping down the sides as necessary. 
  9. Gently fold in the egg whites to the mixture until no white streaks remain.
  10. Then fold the mangos gently into the cake, making sure to scrape all the coconut flour in with the mangos.

From jelly donuts to apple fritters, chocolate gingerbread confections to frosted reindeer treats, we've got you covered with some of the yummiest holiday goodies we've ever tasted. Scroll through above to see what we're making this holiday season! 

And for more holiday baking inspiration, watch the video above. 

Related: Get sipping on these holiday cocktails

Delicious holiday cocktails to make this season
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Delicious holiday cocktails to make this season
Peppermint Mocha White Russian (Created by Thumbtack Chef Niko Paranomos)

This white russian is a perfect easy-to-make post dinner holiday treat. Serves 4


  • 4 ounces Vodka
  • 4 ounces Kahlua
  • 3/4 cup of a rich milk of your choice (I prefer light coconut milk)
  • A few drops of peppermint extract
  • Optional: Whipped Cream & Crushed Candy Canes for topping


Add all of the ingredients together and stir. Top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes, then enjoy!

Candy Cane Kahlua Hot Chocolate (Created by Thumbtack Chef Niko Paranomos)

A festive yet simple creamy delight that you might be tempted to keep all to yourself. Serves 6.


  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 5 tbsp. high quality cacao powder
  • 1-4 tbsp. raw sugar, agave or honey (depending on what type of sweetener you like, and how sweet you like it)
  • ¼- 1/2 tsp. of a quality peppermint extract
  • Optional: Whipped Cream & Crushed Candy Canes for topping


Add all ingredients except peppermint extract to a saucepan over medium heat, slowly stirring till your liquid is warm. Remove from the heat and add peppermint extract, starting with a few drops, and adding more to your liking. Top with whipped cream and crushed peppermint and enjoy. 

Spiked Gingerbread Eggnog (Created by Thumbtack Chef Niko Paranomos)

Don’t wait till after dinner for this one; it’s perfect served with breakfast or brunch to welcome you into the holiday spirit. Serves 6.


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup finely ground sugar
  • 3 cups milk (or 2 cups milk, 1 cup heavy cream for a creamier egg nog)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 fresh vanilla bean pod, scrapped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup rum 


Crack whole eggs into a bowl. Using your fingers, grab one egg yolk at a time and slowly pass it from hand to hand, until all of the white has separated. Place egg yolks in a separate bowl and whisk in sugar until the mixture is light yellow and looks creamy.  

Place the spices, salt & vanilla bean in a large sauce pan with the milk and heat in until just simmering.  

Temper your egg yolks with the hot liquid, by carefully ladling a small amount of the milk into your eggs while whisking. Repeat until the two are combined.

Place the mixture back in your large pan on the stove.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.  Place a candy thermometer in the mixture and turn off the heat when it reaches 160 degrees. 

Let chill for at least four hours.  Mix in the rum when the mixture has chilled and top with cinnamon for serving (optional)

Holly-Day Hot Chocolate (Created by Vanessa Lachey)


  • 2 oz Baileys Original Irish Cream
  • 1 oz Hazelnut & Pomegranate Puree
  • 2 oz Hot Chocolate (brewed with mint leaves and white & milk chocolate and cinnamon)
  • Chocolate Sauce for Rim
  • Whipped Cream, Nutmeg, Cinnamon Sticks, Mint Leaves and Pomegranate Seeds for Garnish


Combine Baileys Original Irish Cream, hazelnut and pomegranate puree, and hot chocolate in a cocktail shaker and give a good shake.

Strain liquid into a mug rimmed with chocolate sauce. 

Top with whipped cream, a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon sticks. 

Add mint leaves and pomegranate seeds to resemble holly for that extra festive touch and enjoy!

Beet Me Up (Created by mixologist Carlos Ruiz)


  • 1.25 oz. Johnnie Walker Black label 
  • 0.5 oz. Dry Vermouth 
  • 0.25 oz. Beet Juice 
  • 0.5 oz. Lime Juice
  • 0.5 oz. Simple syrup
  • 2 oz. Club Soda


In a cocktail shaker add all ingredients without the club soda.

Shake with ice and double strain into rocks glass filled with one 2x2 ice cube. Top off with club and garnish. 

Holiday Crush (Created by mixologist Ben Scorah)


  • 1 1/2 oz Tequila Don Julio Blanco
  • 1/2 oz Apple Turmeric Cider 
  • Clove Studded Orange for Garnish
  • Grated Nutmeg for Garnish


Pour Tequila Don Julio Blanco into camping mug and top with hot apple turmeric cider. Stir to incorporate.

Garnish with clove studded orange zest and light dusting of nutmeg.

Tanqueray No. TEN Apple Cider Toddy (Created by mixologist Eric Ribeiro)


  • 1.5 oz Tanqueray No. TEN
  • 2 oz Hot Apple Cider
  • 2 Bar spoons Pumpkin Butter
  • .75 oz ginger Syrup

  • .75 oz Lemon Juice
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Dried Apple Crisp and Nutmeg for Garnish


Add Tanqueray No. TEN, Hot Apple Cider, Ginger Syrup, Lemon Juice, Angostura Bitters and Pumpkin Butter to a cocktail shaker (dry shake). Pour into a coffee mug and garnish with Dried Apple Crisp and Nutmeg.

The Jingle Berry (Created by mixologist Eric Ribeiro)


  • 1.5 oz Tanqueray No. TEN
  • 1.5 oz. Fresh Blackberry and Sage Juice
  • 2 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish: Sage Sprig & Blackberries


Build Tanqueray No. TEN, fresh blackberry and sage juice, cranberry juice (to fill) in glass over ice and stir. 

Garnish with a sage sprig and fresh blackberries on skewer

#SleepyKeech (Created by Ryan Andrews, Prohibition Lounge)


  • 2oz Jägermeister
  • 1/2oz Pear-Clove-Cinnamon Shrub
  • 1/2oz Lemon Juice
  • Top with hot Apple Cider
  • Garnish: Charred Cinnamon Stick or Caramelized Cinnamon Apple
Home for the Holidays (Created by Pete Canny, The Wayland and The Lost Lady)


  • 2 oz. Patrón Silver
  • .75 oz. Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz. Allspice Syrup
  • .5 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • 1 Egg White
  • Silver Luster Dust


Add Patrón, Lemon Juice, Allspice Syrup and Cocchi Americano to shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a glass mug over ice. In separate shaker, dry shake egg white. Add Silver Luster Dust to mug and stir. Top with egg white foam, and garnish with a miniature gingerbread house.

Macallan Maple Old Fashioned (Created by James Frankhouse of Goodnight Sonny)


  • 2 oz. The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old
  • ¼ oz. fig rosemary maple syrup
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes orange bitters


Combine Macallan, fig rosemary maple syrup and bitters. Serve in rocks glass with ice ball. Garnish with rosemary sprig, lemon peel and orange peel.

Truly Festive Egg Nog (Created by Natasha David, Nitecap)


  • 4 oz. Truly Spiked & Sparkling Colima Lime
  • 1 oz. Spiced Rum
  • 1 oz. Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp. Stevia Powder
  • 1 Egg White
  • Grated Nutmeg


Combine spiced rum, vanilla almond milk, stevia powder and egg white in a cocktail shake. Begin by shaking without ice to incorporate all ingredients. Next, add ice to the cocktail shaker and continue to shake. Strain the liquid into a  Collins glass without ice and top with Truly Spiked & Sparkling Colima Lime. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Munich Maiden (Created by Kevin Doyle, Brownyn)


  • 75oz Jägermeister
  • .5oz Berentzen Peach Schnapps
  • .5oz Schladerer Kirshwasser
  • .5oz cranberry juice
  • Top with Bembel cider


Mix all ingredients, quick shake, pour into stein, top with Cider, garnish with Cranberries

Holiday Sidecar


  • 1.5 oz. Cointreau
  • 2 oz. Rémy Martin 1738
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 9 Drops Aromatic Bitters


Combine Cointreau, Remy Martin 1738, fresh lemon juice, and Aromatic Bitters into tin can. Shake and strain into cinnamon sugar rimmed coupe glass. Garnish with star anise.

Winter Cosmopolitan


  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 oz. Lemon Infused Botanist Gin
  • 1/4 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters


Combine Cointreau, lemon infused Botanist Gin, cranberry juice, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and angostura bitters in a shaker. Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with star anise

Winter White Lady


  • 1.5 oz. Cointreau
  • 1.5 Botanist Gin
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 9 Drops Aromatic Bitters
  • Egg White


Combine Cointreau, The Botanist Gin, fresh lemon juice, and Aromatic Bitters into tin can. Shake and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Pear Tree


  • 2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. Pear Juice
  • 2 Dashes Black Walnut Bitters


Combine Cointreau and pear juice into a glass over ice. Add 2 dashes of black walnut bitters. Stir Briefly. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Prosecco Superiore Cranberry Skewer


  • 1 bottle of Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG
  • 8-10 frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp water


  1. Put cranberries on a skewer and rinse under cold water.
  2. Dip skewered cranberries in water, then roll in granulated sugar.
  3. Place skewers on wax paper and place in freezer for 5 minutes.
  4. Fill glass ¾ with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore.
  5. Place skewers on top of glass and serve.

Option: For a slightly sweeter garnish, soak fresh or frozen berries in maple syrup overnight, then skewer and roll in sugar.

Fernet-Branca Cocoa

Spike your hot cocoa with 1 oz. of Fernet-Branca! 

Topsy Turvy (created by Jeremy Oertel)


  • 2 oz Carpano Antica
  • 1 oz Lock Stock & Barrel Rye
  • 1 tsp. Borghetti Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 dash Mole Bitters (preferably Bittermens)

Directions: Stir and Strain. Garnish with an orange twist.

Veuve Clicquot Rich + Pear + Mint


  • 5-6 large ice cubes
  • 1-2 slices of pear
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • Veuve Clicquot Rich Champagne

Directions: Place 5 ice cubes in a large wine glass, add pear slices, top with Veuve Clicquot Rich, and finish with leaves of fresh mint.


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