It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (2024)

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (1)

Full of colorful holiday cookies, candy-stuffed stockings and chocolate advent calendars, Christmas is arguably more about the sweets than the Christmas dinner. So round out your holiday menu with one or more of these stunning Christmas desserts, such as sugar-dusted snowball cookies, chewy bar cookies, rich gingerbread, frosting-topped Christmas cupcakes, jammy Linzer cookies and chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

Here, you'll find all the classic Christmas flavors: warm winter spices, sweet pumpkin, nutty pecan and so much more. Many of us wait all year for these flavors to come back into season (peppermint, anyone?) so when you're planning this year's dessert spread, don't hold back. After December 25, you'll have to wait another year to enjoy all your favorite Christmas treats — unless, of course, you make enough for leftovers!

We also included options for any diet, including gluten-free and vegan Christmas desserts, plus some healthy Christmas desserts if you're looking to add a lighter option to the table. Cooking Christmas dinner in addition to dessert? No sweat. There are easy Christmas desserts on this list (peep the White Chocolate-Dipped Madeleines, which start with store-bought cookies!) as well as bigger projects for more ambitious bakers. Don't be shy about enlisting a friend or family member to help whisk, knead, frost or decorate — or simply send them this list when they ask, "can I bring dessert?"

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1

Baked Applesauce Donuts

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (3)

Full of cinnamon-scented apple pie spice, these plush treats are perfect for the holidays.

Get the Baked Applesauce Donuts recipe.

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2

Neapolitan Cookies

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (4)

Thanks to these picture-perfect cookies, you don't have to choose between strawberry, chocolate or vanilla.

Get the Neapolitan Cookies recipe.

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3

Ricotta Cheesecake with Roasted Grapes

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (5)

The combo of rich mascarpone and fluffy ricotta creates the ultimate creamy texture in this holiday-worthy dessert.

Get the Ricotta Cheesecake with Roasted Grapes recipe.

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4

Cranberry-Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (6)

You'll want to brew a pot of coffee to go with these crunchy, dip-able cookies.

Get the Cranberry-Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti recipe.

RELATED: The Best Coffee Beans, According to Taste Tests

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5

Ricotta-Orange Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Oranges are in-season during the winter months and are a great way to add bright, citrusy flavor to all your Christmas treats.

Get the Ricotta-Orange Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting recipe.

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6

Jammy Walnut Rugelach

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (8)

We spiked the sugar filling with cinnamon and cloves to give these flaky pastries a holiday-friendly bite.

Get the Jammy Walnut Rugelach recipe.

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7

Shortcut Baklava Wedges

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (9)

Baklava is typically made with layers and layers of flaky filo pastry. We sped up the process with stuffed, folded tortillas so you can get your sweet fix even sooner.

Get the Shortcut Baklava Wedges recipe.

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8

Maritozzi

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (10)

Looking for a quick sweet that'll still wow? Consider these cream-filled brioche buns — you can decorate them with red and green sanding sugar or blitzed pistachios and freeze-dried fruit!

Get the Maritozzi recipe.

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9

Banana Pudding

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (11)

Bringing something to the party? Your host will likely have Christmas cookies and pies, so switch it up with this dreamy, no-bake dessert that's delicious any time of year.

Get the Banana Pudding recipe.

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10

Peanut Butter Molten Chocolate Cakes

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (12)

Hosting a smaller soirée this year? Consider this gooey chocolate cake recipe, which makes six personal-sized sweets.

Get the Peanut Butter Molten Chocolate Cakes recipe.

RELATED: Our 52 Best Chocolate Dessert Recipes That Are Irresistible and Decadent

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11

Brown Butter Crispy Rice Treats

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (13)

Brown butter gives these classic bars a caramel-like taste. Add red and green sprinkles for festive flare!

Get the Brown Butter Crispy Rice Treats recipe.

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12

Tiramisu Dip

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (14)

Even if you're full after all that prime rib, you'll still have room for this airy, whipped treat.

Get the Tiramisu Dip recipe.

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13

Matcha Snowball Cookies

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (15)

Add a pop of green to any cookie box with these light and airy bites.

Get the Matcha Snowball Cookies recipe.

RELATED: 10 Best Matcha Powders of 2023, According to Registered Dietitians

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14

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (16)

Freshly ground black pepper adds unexpected spice to this sweet and sticky cake.

Get the Gingerbread Bundt Cake recipe.

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15

Holly Cupcakes

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (17)

Decorate chocolate cupcakes with tuile holly cookies and candied cranberries for a sweet holiday treat.

Get the Holly Cupcakes recipe.

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16

Black Forest Cookies

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (18)

"Black Forest" refers to the flavor combo of chocolate and cherry. Whipped cream adds a decadent touch!

Get the Black Forest Cookies recipe.

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17

Chocolate and Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (19)

Instead of pumpkin pie — or, hey, in addition to — sandwich softened pumpkin ice cream in between chocolate graham crackers. Yep, it's that easy!

Get the Chocolate and Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches recipe.

RELATED: 44 Easy Pumpkin Recipes That Are Perfect for Fall

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18

Chai Tree and Snowflake Cookies

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (20)

Not only are these cookies shaped into Christmas symbols, they incorporate some of your favorite cozy spices (like cardamom and ginger).

Get the Chai Tree and Snowflake Cookies recipe.

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19

Cupcake Wreath

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (21)

Delicious buttercream cupcakes ... in the shape of a festive Christmas wreath. So genius!

Get the Cupcake Wreath recipe.

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20

White Chocolate-Dipped Madeleines

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (22)

Here's a party trick: get store-bought madeleines, dip them in melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped cranberries and pistachios.

Get the White Chocolate-Dipped Madeleines recipe.

It’s Just Not Christmas Dinner Without Dessert! Try These Sweet Recipes (2024)

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