Ready or not, the holidays are here. Nothing completes a big family holiday meal, friend gathering or potluck like dessert. However, if you find you dread the same old apple pie and pumpkin roll, try some of these unique sweet treats and desserts.
Eggnog brûlée cheesecake
If New York-style cheesecake is a staple at your holiday meal, give this eggnog brûlée cheesecake variation a try. This dessert features a crushed gingerbread crust with a cream cheese and eggnog filling. Once baked, it is finished with a torched sugar topping. This delicious dessert is a holiday perfected twist on the usual.
Pumpkin eggnog cupcakes
If pumpkin spice is your go-to holiday flavor, then check out these pumpkin eggnog cupcakes. Pumpkin spice cake is topped with an eggnog cream cheese frosting. This dessert is also super simple as it starts with a yellow box cake mix and then pumpkin spice and eggnog are added. These cupcakes are sure to be a party-friendly treat.
Pumpkin pie crescents
If you’re looking for simple yet festive, then these pumpkin pie crescents are right up your holiday alley. There’s nothing complex about this dessert. Refrigerated crescent rolls are stuffed with pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and heavy cream. Serve as an appetizer at a party or even for breakfast. Drizzle with a touch of powdered sugar or cream cheese glaze for a delectable and easy treat this holiday season.
Vegan, gluten-free iced holiday shortbread cookies
The holidays can be a difficult time for the gluten-free, dairy-free crowd. But with this recipe for vegan iced holiday shortbread cookies, there can be a dessert for everyone. Tasty oat flour is the base of these cookies and aquafaba (the liquid from drained chickpeas) is the base of the royal icing. We promise you won’t taste legumes in this icing. The flavor is straight-up holiday delicious.
Vegan chocolate pecan pie
Here’s another vegan dessert for the holiday season. Pecan pie is given a healthy makeover in this recipe for vegan pecan pie. Silken tofu comes to the rescue, allowing you to easily swap out the eggs, making this a protein-rich dessert to boot. The sweetness of chocolate and the crunch of pecans will not disappoint at your holiday table. And don’t miss the recipe for vegan whipped cream! It’s the perfect finisher for this pie.
Rustic apple tart
What is a holiday dessert table without apple pie? For some, apple pie for dessert is about as American as Thanksgiving itself. If apple pie is a must-have at your holiday table but you’re bored with the same old pie recipe, give this variation a go. This recipe for rustic apple pie is easy to prepare — no shaping the dough into a pie dish. The pie dough is spread with apricot preserves and then topped with sliced apples. It is finished with a drizzle of spiced apricot glaze for a no-fuss treat.
Cranberry pecan fluff
For an alternative to a fruit salad, this cranberry pecan fluff salad comes highly recommended. It takes the normal whipped cream and fruit salad and adds chopped fresh cranberries and roughly chopped pecans. This dessert is a tangy, sweet take on the usual holiday salad.
Keto pecan pie
Following a special diet doesn’t mean forgoing the sweets, especially with this keto pecan pie. This pie features a low-carb crust made from almond meal, coconut flour and coconut oil. The filling is a concoction of butter, coconut milk, sugar substitute and pecans. This fantastic pie is a great option for those with special dietary needs.
Chocolate peppermint pots de crème
Pot de crème is a French dish of creamy custard served in a dainty cup. We like it because the flavor of the custard is entirely customizable. In this recipe for chocolate peppermint pots de crème fresh mint is added to the chocolate custard and then topped with a white chocolate ganache. Guests will find it hard to resist a serving of this special dessert.
No-bake apple cookies
Gluten-free treats are a healthier way to enjoy holiday sweets. Often, gluten-free can mean substitute flours, but the nutritional content is just as problematic with those substitutions. If you want a dessert that is also on the healthier side, try these no-bake apple cookies. Slices of apples are smeared with almond butter and sprinkled with walnuts, sliced almonds, coconut and chocolate chips. These delicious treats will be easier on the waistline this holiday season.
Pumpkin pecan cheesecake bars
Can’t decide between pumpkin pie, pecan pie or cheesecake? Make all three with these pumpkin pecan cheesecake bars. These bars are a moist and decadent dessert for a crowd, perfect for your holiday party. Not to mention, they freeze amazingly well. Make a double batch, and cut and freeze for an easy, portable dessert.
Double-crusted pineapple pie
This recipe, much like the pineapple upside-down cake, was a tradition during the 1950s to 1980s until it fell out of popularity. But like overalls, what was once out of fashion is back in. For a vintage yet delicious dessert, try this double-crusted pineapple pie.
Sweet potato cake with marshmallow frosting
Don’t care for pie? Give this sweet potato cake with marshmallow frosting a go. Not only is this a twist on pumpkin pie, but it can also be a stand-in for the traditional sweet potato marshmallow casserole. The sweet potatoes will keep the Bundt cake moist, and the marshmallow frosting is just the right amount of sugar. Your guests are sure to gobble this up.
Pumpkin pie with harvest spiced cream and caramelized almonds
Holidays are a usual time to splurge for pumpkin pie. Nothing beats this recipe for creamy, sweet and flaky pumpkin pie. It’s hard to top perfection, but if you’re going to try, look to this pumpkin pie with harvest spiced cream and caramelized almonds. It’s all about the accessories with this dessert. Simply add sour cream, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice to fresh heavy cream and whip. The pie is finished with caramelized almonds for an irresistible crunch.
White chocolate drizzled apricot biscotti
Biscotti are twice-baked and are a favorite side dish for mornings and afternoons. For a delightful treat this year, serve these white chocolate drizzled apricot biscotti with the after-dinner desserts. The sweetness and crunch of the biscotti perfectly balance the bitterness of coffee or tea.
Orange cranberry muffins
We love desserts that can double as breakfast foods. Just like these orange cranberry muffins. The muffins feather sweet orange and tart cranberry with a dusting of sugar for a desirable crunch. Serve as a dessert or save some for an easy morning breakfast.
Mini eggnog baked oatmeal muffins
Combining dessert foods with dessert drinks, these mini eggnog baked oatmeal muffins will be the highlight of your dessert table. This recipe is essentially baked oatmeal with eggnog as the liquid in a mini-muffin tin. These are freezer-friendly and great for on-the-go breakfasts. Serve with maple syrup, sugared cranberries or whipped cream. Place these bite-sized beauties around your other desserts for a lovely and tasty effect.
Rich mocha eggnog
Eggnog is a custardy drink made from real egg yolks, sugar, cream, milk, nutmeg and bourbon. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that all eggnog is the same. Homemade eggnog is truly a special experience and cannot be duplicated. This recipe for rich mocha eggnog is made even more special with the addition of extra-fine dark chocolate. This drink is more akin to a decadent and spiced hot chocolate and will be adored by all.
Pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
If you need an uber-portable dessert for your office holiday potluck, these pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies come highly recommended. The traditional chocolate chip cookie is given a texture upgrade with moist pumpkin and chewy oatmeal. Another dessert that can be frozen, this recipe doubles easily for a quick dessert go-to.
Apple pie yogurt parfait with cranberries
Apple pie for breakfast? Healthy and delicious? Yes, please! These apple pie yogurt parfaits with cranberries are a layered treat for the eyes and taste buds. These parfaits are a pared-down version of apple pie using cooked apples, a simple stove-top granola and some fresh cranberries. Make the layers ahead of time for easy-assemble breakfasts and quick desserts.
Strawberry pretzel dessert
Need something for potlucks but don’t want to bring cookies? Then try this recipe for strawberry pretzel dessert. This dessert is a throwback treat from the 1960s, but it’s still delicious. The crust is made from butter and pretzels, crushed and baked. The middle is a combination of cream cheese, sugar and whipped cream. The top is strawberry gelatin with fresh strawberries. Over 50 years on, and this dessert is still a wonderful treat.