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10 Make-Ahead Christmas Desserts

Skip the stress this holiday season and plan to use this list of 10 Make-Ahead Christmas Desserts to the fullest.
Make-Ahead Christmas Desserts on display.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

IN THIS ARTICLE: You’re about to get 10 Christmas Desserts and easy holiday recipes that you can make ahead, instead of last-minute, to save yourself from your usual holiday stress. You’ll get recipes like an Ice Cream Bombe, French Walnut Tart, Christmas Wreath Pavlova, and more.

Around Christmas, the last thing on your mind is probably making dessert — luckily, it’s always the first thing on mine! 

In between wrapping (and unwrapping) gifts, spending time with loved ones, and cooking a special meal, it can be difficult to carve out time around the holidays to make dessert for the big day. That’s why I’ve compiled ten of my favorite make-ahead desserts so you can scratch at least one thing off your to-do list early!

Any dessert on this list is a sure winner, and remember, it doesn’t have to be the holidays to enjoy them!

Christmas Pudding Ice-Cream Bomb

An ice cream bombe decorated.

This Ice Cream Bombe is an absolute show-stopper! It looks so festive and tastes even better. It packs all the punch of a traditional Christmas pudding with spiced mincemeat and an ice cream treat. The texture is incredible as well — it’s loaded with crunch, chew, and creaminess! Make it the day before and let it chill overnight in the freezer, and you’re set.

Simplified Mincemeat Christmas Pudding

Simplified Mincemeat Pudding on a dish.

Christmas pudding is a must-have in Ireland on Christmas. This moist steamed pudding is filled with fruit, spices, and boozy flavors. It’s the perfect end to Christmas supper. I have made this pudding with different alcohol, including whiskey, brandy, and cognac, and it turns out great every time.

Christmas Wreath Pavlova

A pavlova recipe designed to look like a Christmas wreath.

It’s no secret that I love pavlova. This recipe makes a perfect marshmallow-like center with a wonderfully crunchy exterior. This pavlova is a holiday twist on my traditional recipe — I like to decorate it with strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves. 

Bonus? You can make this up to five days in advance.

Poached Pear Frangipane Tart

Pear Frangipane Tart, sliced, and served with cream.

This recipe is super simple to make but looks super impressive. I also love the flavors: I start with my own buttery pie crust, which is still my favorite pie crust after all these years, and I use my homemade frangipane and my simple poached pear recipe.

Rich Chocolate and Hazelnut Torrone

Chocolate & Hazelnut Torrone on a silver platter surrounded by holiday ornaments.

My chocolate torrone is one of the easiest desserts to make but is a real crowd-pleaser! It’s chock full of chocolate and hazelnuts — it seriously tastes like a million-dollar jar of Nutella. You can store the torrone in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, too!

French Walnut and Caramel Tart

Two slices of my Walnut Caramel Tart next to the whole tart.

If you love pecan pie, you have to give this French walnut tart a try. It’s less time-consuming to make than a pecan pie, but you still have all that crunchy, nutty flavors. The slightly bitter walnuts cut the caramel, making it the perfect sweetness. 

Classic Steamed Treacle Pudding

Treacle Pudding with a slice taken out of it.

Nothing makes me feel more like I’m back home in Ireland than my steamed treacle pudding. We love these types of puddings because they’re super moist and retain unbelievable flavor back home.

American Buttermilk Pecan Pie

Most of a American Buttermilk Pecan Pie, on a placemat with a serving knife.

My American buttermilk pecan pie turns traditional pecan pie on its head. This easy recipe has a creamier, more custard-like filling than traditional, and the subtle tang from the buttermilk really makes this dessert come alive. Everyone who has made this pie says it is the best they’ve ever had! Make sure you use my Best-Ever Pie Crust recipe, too.

Holiday Gingerbread Trifle

Gingerbread Trifle- Perfect dessert for entertaining over the Holiday Season

This gingerbread trifle is made with my very traditional Irish gingerbread recipe, and it’s one I don’t tend to steer far from. The spiced gingerbread is layered with whipped orange cream cheese filling and cranberry-orange sauce, and every bite is bliss.

Decadent Chocolate Pudding Pie

A slice of pie coming from my chocolate pudding pie

My chocolate pudding pie is a recipe you can’t go wrong with: it’s easy to make, the ingredients are likely already in your cupboards, and everyone is a fan of the cold, rich, creamy chocolate pudding inside a buttery crust. You can even make this with a no-bake pie crust!

‘Tis The Season (For More Cookies!)

Have you seen my two new cookie lists? Check out The Top 10 Classic Christmas Cookies and the Top Holiday Cookies of 2021!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook — it makes the perfect gift!

Plus, SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Bold Baking Academy for exclusive in-depth baking courses, The Baking Concierge™, and the Bold Baking Academy Community!

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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