Save on Pinterest

30 of Grandma’s Last-Minute Christmas Desserts 

Whether you're craving warm cookies, a creamy shake or some other nostalgic treat, turn to these quick, easy desserts from grandma's recipe box. They're perfect for the holidays!

1 / 30
Fruitcake Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies

These old-fashioned goodies are fun, colorful and chewy without being sticky. —Dorcas Wright, Guelph, Ontario

2 / 30
Truffle Hot ChocolateTaste of Home

Truffle Hot Chocolate

Greet holiday guests at the door with steaming mugs of rich hot chocolate. As the crowning touch, offer a selection of flavored whipped creams.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

3 / 30
Apple Honey Tapioca PuddingTaste of Home

Apple Honey Tapioca Pudding

I'm glad that apple season is long, since my family requests this pudding quite often!

4 / 30
Almond Spritz CookiesTaste of Home

Almond Spritz Cookies

This almond spritz cookies recipe can be left plain or decorated with colored sugar and frosting. In our house, it just wouldn't be Christmas without some cookie press recipes.—Tanya Hart, Muncie, Indiana

5 / 30
Peppermint Milkshakes

Peppermint Milkshakes

Rich ice cream and refreshing peppermint make this peppermint milkshake recipe a special treat, especially during the holidays. For a twist on this classic, stir in chocolate syrup and top with chocolate shavings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

6 / 30
Peanut Butter Chocolate FondueTaste of Home

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fondue

Whenever the family wanted to do a little celebrating over the years, I would make this fondue. It’s fun gathering around the table to get a taste of it. —Beverly Olthaus, Cinncinati, Ohio

7 / 30
Holiday Cornflake CookiesTaste of Home

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

8 / 30
Creamy Rice PuddingTaste of Home

Creamy Rice Pudding

I was fortunate to grow up around fabulous cooks. My mother and grandmother taught me to experiment with recipes, and we tried a lot of variations on this one. No matter how we chose to embellish it, it was always tasty. When I make this, it brings fond memories to mind. —Laura German, North Brookfield, Massachusetts

9 / 30
Skillet Banana FrittersTaste of Home

Skillet Banana Fritters

This delicious banana treat is sure to be a hit in your home. They are so yummy served with ice cream on the side. For an extra special treat, add chocolate syrup!—Sharon Yonts, Scottsboro, Alabama

10 / 30
Nana’s Rocky Road FudgeTaste of Home

Nana’s Rocky Road Fudge

We make rocky road-style fudge every Christmas and it’s a tradition, but why wait until the holidays for a recipe this good? —Ashley Berry, Montgomery Village, Maryland

11 / 30
Coconut-Layered Pound CakeTaste of Home

Coconut-Layered Pound Cake

If you love chocolate, almonds and coconut, this cake is for you. It comes together in a flash and tastes just like an Almond Joy candy bar! —Linda L. Nichols, Steubenville, Ohio

12 / 30
Peanut Butter Cornflake BarsTaste of Home

Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars

Peanut butter cornflake bars were one of my favorite treats when I was a little girl. If you like chocolate, I have a friend who spreads 1 cup of melted chocolate chips over the top. Let the chocolate set before cutting into the bars. —Laura Campbell, Lisbon, Maine

13 / 30
Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

The history of this whimsically named treat is widely disputed, but the popularity of this classic cinnamon-sugar-coated cookie is undeniable! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

14 / 30

Glazed Pear Shortcakes

Family and friends will savor every last crumb of this lickety-split dessert. The pound cake absorbs the apricot flavor and the warm sweetness of the pears. Special enough to serve company—and cute, too! —Fran Thomas, St. James City, Florida

15 / 30
Cinnamon Crackle CookiesTaste of Home

Cinnamon Crackle Cookies

This recipe is the compilation of many years of baking. I make these cookies for a holiday bazaar and year-round for our family. They freeze well. —Vicki Lair, Albert Lea, Minnesota

16 / 30
Butterscotch Pumpkin MousseTaste of Home

Butterscotch Pumpkin Mousse

Guests savor every creamy, spoonful of this spiced autumn dessert. It tastes so good, no one guesses that it's actually low in fat. —Patricia Sidloskas, Anniston, Alabama

17 / 30
Chocolate Malt Crispy BarsTaste of Home

Chocolate Malt Crispy Bars

This chunky, chewy malted milk chocolate bar is a feast for your eyes. Malted milk flavor fills this bar from top to bottom. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

18 / 30
PizzelleTaste of Home

Pizzelle

This recipe was adapted from one that my Italian-born mother and grandmother followed. They used old irons on a gas stove, but now we have the convenience of electric pizzelle irons. These delectable cookies are still a traditional treat in our family. —Elizabeth Schwartz, Trevorton, Pennsylvania

19 / 30
Chocolate Banana BundlesTaste of Home

Chocolate Banana Bundles

Banana and chocolate are such an irresistible combo that I make this quick dessert often. You can also top them with the butter and brown sugar mixture left over from coating the bananas, or sprinkle on a dash of sea salt. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey

20 / 30
Cranberry Lime Macaroons

Cranberry Lime Macaroons

It wouldn’t be the holidays for my family and friends if I didn’t make these chewy lime-flavored macaroons. I usually make several batches a week during the season..—Alisa Costa, Chatham, New York

21 / 30
No-Bake Peanut Butter TreatsTaste of Home

No-Bake Peanut Butter Treats

Perfect for road trips, these peanut butter oatmeal balls won’t stick to your hands. Keep them in the refrigerator for portable snacks. —Sonia Rohda, Waverly, Nebraska

22 / 30
Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Vanilla beans and a hazelnut liqueur like Frangelico lend a sophisticated flavor to this hot chocolate. With such rich taste, it could be served as a dessert. —Michael Compean, Fountain Hills, Arizona

23 / 30
Hazelnut Toffee

Hazelnut Toffee

The Willamette Valley produces a lot of hazelnuts, so this recipe truly represents our neck of the woods. I always make plenty of this delicious toffee to serve at Christmas and give as gifts. —Earlene Ertelt, Woodburn, Oregon

24 / 30
Cinnamon Apple Pan BettyTaste of Home

Cinnamon Apple Pan Betty

I found this recipe soon after I was married decades ago. You'll need just a few ingredients that you probably have on hand. It's super quick to put together and a favorite of ours during fall and winter, when apples are at their best. —Shirley Leister, West Chester, Pennsylvania

25 / 30
Mini Rum CakesTaste of Home

Mini Rum Cakes

My mother and I tried many different types of rum cake to find the best one, and finally hit on this cake that doesn't dry out and imparts the most flavor. For a really moist cake, brush rum over the individual sponge cakes before topping them with the filling. —Dona M. Hoffman, Addison, Illinois

26 / 30
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

My mother insisted that my grandmother write down one recipe for her when Mom got married in 1942: the how to make peanut butter cookies from scratch recipe. That was a real effort because Grandma was a traditional pioneer-type cook who used a little of this or that until it felt right. This treasured recipe is the only one she ever wrote down! —Janet Hall, Clinton, Wisconsin

27 / 30
Chocolate Chip Dutch BabyTaste of Home

Chocolate Chip Dutch Baby

I modified a friend's traditional Dutch baby recipe to come up with this version, which my family thinks is terrific. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to make. —Mary Thompson, La Crosse, Wisconsin

28 / 30
Big Soft Ginger CookiesTaste of Home

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

These nicely spiced, big soft ginger cookies are perfect for folks who like the flavor of ginger but don't care for crunchy gingersnaps. —Barbara Gray, Boise, Idaho

29 / 30
Eggnog ShakesThe musical "Waitress"

Eggnog Shakes

Although made with fat-free ingredients, the easy-to-fix eggnog shake recipe retains the thick creamy consistency of the classic Christmas beverage. I love serving this milkshake! —Dale Hartman, Coventry, Rhode Island

30 / 30
Drop DoughnutsTaste of Home

Drop Doughnuts

For 30 years, I've been using leftover mashed potatoes to make these light and fluffy doughnuts. The recipe was originally created by my neighbor's mother-in-law. The doughnuts are great for breakfast or as a snack anytime. —Marilyn Kleinfall, Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

Popular Videos