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60 Easy Christmas Desserts for a Crowd

Have half an hour? Then you have time to prep these easy Christmas desserts that feed at least a dozen of your nearest and dearest. Cakes and cupcakes, bars and brownies and big-batch cookies—get ready to serve up lots of sweets with little fuss!

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Frozen Grasshopper Torte

I first made this minty cool torte for a ladies' meeting at our church. I’m still making it, and the compliments keep coming. —Elma Penner, Oak Bluff, Manitoba

These easy holiday recipes have only five ingredients!

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No-Bake Cookie Butter Blossoms

Chewy and sweet, these easy treats mix Rice Krispies, cookie spread and chocolate kisses in an unforgettable spin on an old favorite. —Jessie Sarrazin, Livingston, Montana
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Lemon Ginger Icebox Cake

Everyone searches for grand desserts that have easy ingredients and minimal effort. My lemony ginger icebox cake is the answer. It’s a holiday lifesaver. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Fast desserts you can make on Christmas Eve. 

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Layered Candy Cane Dessert

This fabulous dessert has the magical flavor of candy canes plus the bonus of an Oreo cookie crust. And it looks like a winter wonderland. —Dawn Kreuser, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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My Christmas Fudge

This fudge is virtually foolproof and so creamy you won't believe it. I've searched for years for the richest fudge, and this one does it for me. You can add just about anything you like to customize it.—Barbara Miller, Oakdale, Minnesota

More amazing holiday fudge recipes.

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Holiday Cornflake Cookies

I can't seem to make enough of these cornflake wreaths around the holidays. The cookies firm up quickly, so you'll need to place the Red Hots right away. —Kathleen Hedger, Fairview Heights, Illinois
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Peppermint Stick Dessert

With every spoonful of this cool, creamy concoction, my family goes back in time to when our Grandma Dagmar made it each Christmas. The minty, refreshing flavor can't be topped. —Dianne Oertel, Racine, Wisconsin
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Ribbon Fantasy Fudge

I developed this recipe especially for my husband, who likes anything that has chocolate and peanut butter together!
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Cream Cheese Candies

These homemade mints make a perfect last-minute addition to holiday treat trays. Pretty much everyone in my neighborhood has this recipe now! —Katie Koziolek, Hartland, Minnesota
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Coconut Joys

If you like coconut, you’ll love these no-bake, no-fuss sweets. They are cute as can be and make a satisfying after-school snack to keep in the fridge. —Flo Burtnett, North Gage, Oklahoma
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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I like using pretty mini muffin liners and topping these homemade peanut butter cups with colored sprinkles to coordinate with the holiday we're celebrating. People can't believe how simple it is to make this irresistible candy with gooey peanut butter centers. This is how to make homemade peanut butter cups. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
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Frozen Peppermint Delight

If you’re looking for a dessert that’s festive, delicious and easy to make, this is the one for you. Drizzled in hot fudge sauce and loaded with pretty peppermint pieces, this almost tempting treat will have guests asking for seconds. —Pam Lancaster, Willis, Virginia
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Cherry Cheese Cupcakes

Our church Christmas party always includes these pretty cupcakes as my home-baked contribution. The holidays were the sweet inspiration for their cheery garnish of cherries. —Leanne Beagley, Rochester, New York
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Contest-Winning Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert

With its gingersnap crust and maple syrup drizzle, this rich and creamy spiced pumpkin dessert never fails to get rave reviews. It cuts nicely, too. —Cathy Hall, Phoenix, Arizona
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Carrot Fruitcake

Even those who don't care for fruitcake love this special holiday dessert. It's a fun way to "dress up" that old favorite, carrot cake. Try it—your friends and family will agree. —Ann Parden, Chunchula, Alabama
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Chocolate Almond Crescents

If you like chocolate-covered almonds, you’re in for a treat. These buttery, crumbly cookies make a thoughtful holiday gift. —Vicki Raatz, Waterloo, Wisconsin
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Buttery Coconut Bars

My coconut bars are an American version of a Filipino coconut cake called bibingka. These are a crispier, sweeter take on the Christmas tradition I grew up with. —Denise Nyland, Panama City, Florida
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Contest-Winning Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

I asked my mother-in-law for this recipe once I learned it's my husband's favorite. Now I bake it whenever he needs an extra-special treat. Spice cake topped with lemony sauce makes us both smile. —Kristen Oak, Pocatello, Idaho
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White Candy Bark

This speedy candy recipe can be varied depending on the type of fruit or nuts you have on hand. Since we have a walnut tree, I use walnuts, but pecans could also be substituted, as well as dried cherries in place of the cranberries. —Marcia Snyder, Grand Junction, Colorado
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Holiday White Fruitcake

Years ago, when I attended Koloa Missionary Church in Hawaii, a friend gave me this recipe. Now I whip up at least 60 loaves for the holidays. —Eileen Sokolowski Flatt, Chandler, Arizona
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Red Velvet Candy Cane Fudge

My favorite kind of cake, red velvet, inspired me to create this fudge. If you'd like, spoon the candy mixture into paper-lined mini-muffin cups instead of spreading it into a pan. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Aunt Murna's Jam Cake

I remember Aunt Murna telling me that she created her jam cake recipe as a young girl. She made improvements over the years, such as soaking the raisins in crushed pineapple. This cake is a favorite at our annual family reunions. —Mrs. Eddie Robinson, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
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Chocolate Mint Creams

This recipe came from an old family friend and is always high on everyone's cookie request list. I make at least six batches for Noel nibbling and give some away as gifts. —Beverly Fehner, Gladstone, Missouri
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Cranberry-Walnut Cake with Butter Sauce

Tired of plain ol' cakes? Give this recipe a shot! Cranberry-lovers will definitely like it because the cake is tart, but the warm butter sauce creates the ideal balance of sweet and sour. Pour the sauce over the cake just before serving. —Katie Kahre, Duluth, Minnesota
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Cinnamon Sugar Crackle Cookies

I get lots of compliments on these crunchy cookies. They're always part of my Christmas cookie platter. —Sarah Miller, Wauconda, Washington
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Brown Sugar Pound Cake

This tender pound cake is the first one I mastered. You'll want to eat the browned butter icing by the spoonful. It tastes like pralines. —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida
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Chocolate Mint Brownies

One of the best things about this recipe is that these mint chocolate brownies get moister if you leave them in the refrigerator for a day or two. The problem at our house is that no one can leave them alone for that long! —Helen Baines, Elkton, Maryland
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Cherry Dream Cake

I serve this cherry cake for holidays because it's so festive and easy. No one will know your secret is adding a package of cherry gelatin to a boxed cake mix! —Margaret McNeil, Germantown, Tennessee
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Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies

These are one of my favorite cookies to make for the holidays. I prepare a batch early in the holiday season and freeze them. —Sherry Conley, Noel, Hants County, Nova Scotia
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Easy Microwave Mint Fudge

I make these creamy, smooth squares not only for Christmas, but also for Valentine's Day. This easy microwave fudge is just as good as any you'd buy in a confectionery. —Donna Roberts, Manhattan, Kansas
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Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets

These adorable mini apple pie pastries make a delightful addition to a dessert buffet or snack tray. The recipe calls for convenient frozen phyllo shells, so they're surprisingly easy to prepare. The lemon curd filling adds a unique flavor twist. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
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Irish Creme Chocolate Trifle

I was given a bottle of Irish cream liqueur as a gift and had leftover peppermint candy, so I created this delicious trifle. It's always rich and decadent. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
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Easy Elephant Ears

You’ll love the classic cinnamon-sugar flavor of these crispy bite-size treats. Even more, you’ll love that they call for just three ingredients and are so simple to assemble. —Bob Rose, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Eggnog Cheesecake

I make good use of extra eggnog by creating this luscious cheesecake. A bit of rum extract adds a special taste. —Kristen Grula, Hazleton, Pennsylvania
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Butter Pecan Fudge

Toasted pecans add a nutty crunch to this creamy fudge, perfect for holiday giving. People always seem to rave about its wonderful caramel flavor. —Pam Smith, Alta Loma, California
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Cranberry-Pear Apple Crisp

With its crunchy golden topping and flavorful blend of tart cranberries and sweet apples and pears, this dessert makes a refreshing finish to heavy winter meals. —Lois Gelzer, Standish, Maine
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Decadent Fudge Cake

Everyone loves the rich flavor in this decadent cake made with four types of chocolate. —Anna Hogge, Yorktown, Virginia
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Dipped Gingersnaps

I get tremendous satisfaction making and giving time-tested yuletide treats like these soft, chewy cookies. Dipping them in white chocolate makes much-loved gingersnaps even more special. —Laura Kimball, West Jordan, Utah
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Little Holiday Cakes

My college friend shared this cupcake recipe that has pie crust on the bottom, raspberry jam in the middle and cake on top—scrumptious for a buffet or potluck. —Dana Beckstrom, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Cranberry Sauce Cake

This moist cake is so easy to make because it mixes in one bowl. Slice it at the table so everyone can see how beautiful it is. Make one for your dinner and another for a friend. —Marge Clark, West Lebanon, Indiana
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Jeweled Thumbprints

When I moved here from Malta more than 20 years ago, a kind neighbor lady took me under her wing and baked many cookies for me. This is one of her recipes that I treasure. —Maria Debono, New York, New York
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Chocolate Chip Raspberry Bars

These buttery bars combine the magical duo of chocolate and raspberry. My husband found this recipe in a farm paper, so I made it. The results were out of this world. —Bev Cudrak, Coaldale, Alberta
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Ginger-Walnut Tube Cake

My husband, Ken, loves this tube cake with its bits of crystallized ginger. Feel free to drizzle it with a lemony glaze. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, NJ
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Little Amaretto Loaf Cakes

Using smaller pans and topping the cakes with amaretto glaze makes these loaves so incredibly moist. —Donna Lamano, Olathe, Kansas
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Kipplens

My Great-Aunt Hilda makes this recipe every Christmas, and everybody loves them! Kipplens taste a lot like Mexican wedding cakes, but I like my aunt's version better. —Susan Bohannon, Kokomo, Indiana
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Three-Chocolate Fudge

I make this fudge at Christmastime to give to friends and neighbors. That tradition started years ago when I made more candy than my husband, three sons and I could eat, so we shared it. It's a tasty tradition I'm glad to continue. —Betty Grantham, Hanceville, Alabama
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Cranberry Bundt Cake

Cranberry sauce gives this moist cake its pretty swirled look. Serve slices for dessert after dinner or as coffee cake for bunch. —Lucile Cline, Wichita, Kansas
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No-Bake Chocolate-Pecan Tartlets

At the last minute, I frantically came up with this treat for a holiday tea. The tartlets were quickly gobbled up. Now, I make them for our annual Teacher Taster's Choice and special family gatherings. —Joy Johnson, Culbertson, Montana
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Lemon-Butter Spritz Cookies

This recipe makes a lot of terrific cookies! It's great for Christmas when all the kids and grandkids visit. They can help decorate the cookies-not to mention help eat them! —Paula Pelis, Rocky Point, New York
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Cranberry Peach Cobbler

This cobbler is a little nontraditional but it will soon be at the front of your recipe list. Serve it warm with French vanilla ice cream. —Grace Sandvigen, Rochester, New York
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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a wonderful recipe I discovered and changed a bit to suit my taste. I love the flavor of pumpkin and the cinnamon makes ordinary cream cheese frosting extra special. When I made a batch for my husband to take to work, he said they disappeared in record time. —Debbie Wiggins, Longmont, Colorado
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Sacher Torte Squares

Sacher torte is a Viennese cake that requires several steps. My squares are an easy alternative, but they still feature the classic apricot and chocolate flavors. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Holiday Almond Bars

This fast, delicious dessert always makes an appearance during our Christmas celebrations.—Cheryl Newendorp, Pella, Iowa
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Layered Mint Candies

These incredible melt-in-your-mouth candies have the perfect amount of mint nestled between layers of mild chocolate. Even when I make a double batch for everyone to enjoy, the supply never lasts long at Christmas! —Rhonda Vauble, Sac City, Iowa
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Caramel Pretzel Bites

I created this recipe wanting to make my own version of a pretzel log dipped in caramel, chocolate and nuts from a popular candy store. These are smothered with homemade caramel. —Michilene Klaver, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Coconut Fruitcake

A neighbor gave me this recipe when we first moved to this small town, saying it dated back to the 1800s and everybody in the area made it. I soon discovered why when I took a taste...and I'm not a fruitcake fan! —Lorraine Groh, Ferryville, Wisconsin
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Red Velvet Spritz Cookies

I had never come across a red velvet spritz recipe, so I decided to create one. The hint of cocoa makes these taste like red velvet cake. Add peppermint flavoring for a little extra kick. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Fudgy Macaroon Bars

Anyone with a sweet tooth will make a beeline for my dessert tray when these rich squares show up. They're attractive on the platter and delectable with fudge and coconut. —Beverly Zdurne, East Lansing, Michigan
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Star Anise-Honey Cookies

When I was growing up, my mother made many desserts and pastries with anise. Today, I continue the tradition with these cookies, which are flavorful and great for decorating in a variety of ways.—Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Miniature Christmas Fruitcakes

I’ve found that people who normally won’t eat fruitcake make an exception when they sample these. Using mini muffin pans for baking creates fun, single-serving cakes. —Libby Over, Phillipsburg, Ohio

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.
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