10 Make-Ahead Christmas Desserts

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Prashant Kadukar Modified: January 31, 2024
10 Make-Ahead Christmas Desserts


Christmas is a time for family, joy, and of course, delicious desserts! But who wants to spend the entire holiday in the kitchen? That’s why make-ahead desserts are a lifesaver during the busy Christmas season. In this article, we’ve collected 10 mouthwatering make-ahead Christmas desserts that will save you time and still impress your guests. So put on your apron and let’s get started!

1. Peppermint Bark

There’s something about the combination of chocolate and peppermint that screams Christmas. Prepare this holiday classic by melting dark and white chocolate and pouring it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add crushed candy canes on top and let it set in the fridge overnight. Cut into elegant pieces and serve this irresistible treat at your Christmas gathering.

2. Gingerbread Trifle

Gingerbread is a staple during the festive season, and this make-ahead trifle is a perfect way to showcase its flavors. Layer gingerbread cake, whipped cream, and spiced apples in a clear glass bowl. Refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavors to meld together. Top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and serve this stunning dessert to your loved ones.

3. Eggnog Cheesecake

Eggnog is a classic Christmas drink, but why not turn it into a delicious make-ahead dessert? Whip up a creamy cheesecake base and flavor it with nutmeg and a generous dose of eggnog. Let it chill in the fridge overnight for a smooth and velvety texture. Dust some grated nutmeg on top before serving to add a festive touch.

4. Cranberry Orange Loaf

This moist and tangy cranberry orange loaf is a fantastic dessert to have on hand during the holiday season. Make the loaf a day in advance and let it cool completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. The flavors will deepen overnight, and you’ll have a delightful treat for breakfast or dessert throughout the Christmas festivities.

5. Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites

If you’re a fan of bite-sized desserts, these chocolate peppermint cheesecake bites are for you. Prepare a rich chocolate cheesecake batter, swirl in some crushed candy canes, and bake them in mini cupcake liners. Once cooled, refrigerate them overnight, and you’ll have adorable and delicious treats that are perfect for popping in your mouth.

6. Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

These addictive cinnamon sugar pecans are a must-have at any Christmas gathering. Toss pecans with melted butter, sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake until golden and fragrant. Make a big batch in advance and store them in an airtight container. They’ll be gone before you know it!

7. Peppermint Mocha Brownies

If you’re a coffee lover, these peppermint mocha brownies will be your new holiday obsession. Bake a batch of rich and fudgy brownies flavored with espresso powder and peppermint extract. Let them cool completely, then refrigerate overnight for maximum fudginess. Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of crushed candy canes.

8. Pomegranate Panna Cotta

Add an elegant touch to your Christmas table with this make-ahead pomegranate panna cotta. Mix pomegranate juice, cream, and sugar, then heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat, stir in gelatin until dissolved, and let it cool slightly. Pour the mixture into individual serving glasses and refrigerate overnight. Top with fresh pomegranate seeds before serving for a beautiful and refreshing dessert.

9. Mini Apple Pies

Individual-sized treats are always a hit, and these mini apple pies are no exception. Prepare the pie crust and apple filling in advance, then assemble and bake the pies a day before serving. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container. Whether you’re hosting a Christmas party or looking for a festive treat, these mini apple pies are sure to impress.

10. White Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

End your Christmas feast on a sweet note with these indulgent white chocolate raspberry truffles. Mix crushed freeze-dried raspberries, cream cheese, and melted white chocolate, then refrigerate the mixture overnight. Roll into bite-sized truffles and coat them in a layer of melted white chocolate. Refrigerate until set, and serve these luscious treats to your delighted guests.


With these 10 make-ahead Christmas desserts, you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the holiday festivities. From classic flavors like peppermint and gingerbread to elegant treats like pomegranate panna cotta, there’s something for everyone on this festive dessert list. So go ahead and prepare these delectable desserts in advance, and let the Christmas magic unfold!

Can I make these desserts ahead of time and freeze them?
Yes, all the desserts on this list are perfect for make-ahead preparation. They can be stored in the freezer and thawed when you’re ready to serve them.
What is the best way to thaw the frozen desserts?
For best results, transfer the frozen dessert to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. This will ensure that the texture and flavors are preserved.
How long can I store these desserts in the freezer?
The desserts can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.
Can I customize these desserts with different flavors?
Absolutely! Many of these desserts can be easily customized to suit your preferences. Feel free to experiment with different flavors of extracts, spices, or even add your favorite toppings.
Are these desserts suitable for people with dietary restrictions?
While some of the desserts may contain ingredients like dairy or gluten, there are several options on this list that cater to specific dietary needs. Look out for desserts labeled as vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free.
Can I prepare these desserts in advance and refrigerate them instead of freezing?
Yes, you can refrigerate these desserts instead of freezing them if you plan to serve them within a few days. Just make sure to cover them properly to prevent drying out.
Can I make these desserts the day before Christmas?
Absolutely! In fact, making these desserts the day before Christmas will not only allow you to conserve time but will also give the flavors a chance to develop and meld together for a more delicious result.