Make-Ahead Christmas Dessert Recipes

When it comes to Christmas dinner, there is so much going on it's nice to have some things already prepped. And since dessert is *one* of the most important parts of any holiday meal, we have a variety of easy Christmas treats that can be made ahead of time. From decadent pies to delicious cookies, these make-ahead easy Christmas desserts will have you spending less time in the kitchen and more time with your loved ones. Talk about a holiday treat!

Staff Picks

Meringues

Rating: Unrated
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Perfect meringues depend on totally yolk-free whites. The seemingly fussy step of separating each egg into a small bowl before combining them guarantees yolk-free whites for bakeshop-quality meringues every time. These crispy little morsels travel well and make great gifts too.

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Rating: Unrated
4
These flourless cookies get their volume from whipped egg whites (like a meringue) instead of grains, making them gluten-free and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. A chocolate chip in each bite adds to the rich chocolate flavor.

Lemon Poppy Seed Chiffon Cake

Beating the egg whites separately and then folding them into the batter gives this chiffon cake recipe great height, while the egg yolks make this healthy cake recipe rich and tender. Be sure to use a completely clean bowl and whisk when beating the whites-if the whites come in contact with any fat they won't whip up airy and light.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Rating: Unrated
4
Here's a simple recipe for low-fat vanilla ice cream. Our version has all the richness you'll need but about 90 fewer calories than store-bought premium ice cream and a whopping 15 grams less total fat and 10 grams less saturated fat per serving.

Chocolate Nut Bark

Rating: Unrated
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Use your favorite combination of nuts to make this quick and easy chocolate nut bark.

Fried Apple Pie Rolls

Rating: Unrated
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In this healthy take on apple pie, wonton wrappers stand in for pie crust, saving you calories and the headache of rolling out dough. We like to use Granny Smith apples because they hold their shape and provide tart balance to the sweet filling. Try dipping these handheld crispy treats in whipped cream.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Rating: Unrated
2
Looking for a fun cooking project to do with kids? Make chocolate truffles! In this easy vegan dessert recipe, we make a chocolate ganache filling with peanut butter and coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Make chocolate bark with the leftover chocolate and wrap it up together with a few truffles for a beautiful edible gift.

Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars

Rating: Unrated
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These easy apple-cinnamon fruit bars make a big batch--perfect for fall potlucks and parties.

Greek Walnut Spice Cake

Rating: Unrated
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A rich, flavorful syrup infuses this Mediterranean-inspired walnut coffee cake with the bright aroma of oranges and cloves. Heart-healthy olive oil and whole-grain barley flour add subtle complexity and texture to this nutty treat.

Chocolate Decadence

Rating: Unrated
11
Inspired by the old-school, ultra-rich, mousselike chocolate cake that usually called for a whole pound of chocolate, half a dozen eggs and lots of butter, this enlightened rendition has deep bittersweet chocolate flavor and dense melt-in-your-mouth texture. No one will guess it's healthier. The secret is excellent natural cocoa powder and good-quality bittersweet chocolate, preferably with 70% cacao. Although the cake can be eaten once it's completely cool, it comes out of the pan much easier and even tastes better if it has been chilled at least overnight.

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

Rating: Unrated
1
Here's a simple recipe for low-fat chocolate ice cream. Our version has all the richness you'll need but about 90 fewer calories than store-bought premium ice cream and a whopping 15 grams less total fat and 10 grams less saturated fat per serving.

Coconut-Dark Chocolate Truffles

Rating: Unrated
4
Coconut macaroons meet dark chocolate truffles in these little treats. Inside the snap of the dark chocolate shell lies the tender coconut-cocoa filling: a mix of naturally sweet dates, cocoa and coconut flour. Coconut flour is a healthy way to add decadent coconut flavor to this coconut-dark chocolate truffle recipe and other baked goods. It packs a whopping 5 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons (with only 2 grams of total and saturated fat). Look for coconut flour near other gluten-free flours.

Inspiration and Ideas

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Coconut oil stands in for butter in this dairy-free, eggless cookie recipe for completely mouthwatering gingerbread cut-outs. Decorate cookies with a simple vegan icing or sanding sugar.

Cinnamon Swirl Apple Pie

Instead of topping your apple pie with a full crust, cover the dough in cinnamon sugar, roll it up and slice it like cinnamon rolls to make beautiful cinnamon swirls to top the pie. The fragrant cinnamon bun-like topping makes homemade apple pie even more special!

Pear Custard Pie

A velvety, light custard surrounds ripe pears in this healthy pear pie recipe. Serve with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream.