These easy Christmas desserts are perfect for serving a crowd! Here are the best recipes for holiday entertaining, from gingerbread to Christmas pudding.
Looking for easy Christmas desserts? The holidays can be crazy, to put it lightly! When you’re entertaining for a crowd, the best recipes are the ones you can prepare in advance, or easily make as guests arrive. Alex and I love the Christmas season, but also feel the stress of trying to make something everyone will love!
Here we’ve compiled our favorite ideas for Christmas desserts for a crowd. We’ve got everything from a showy pie and a traditional Christmas pudding on the more involved end, to chocolate bark and a holiday affogato on the seriously easy end. Don’t forget to serve with vegan hot chocolate or hot cider (or the slow cooker version). Ready to get cooking?
And now…our top Christmas desserts for a crowd!
First up: Chocolate bark! The perfect easy Christmas dessert for a crowd! This one is topped with quinoa, cherries and pumpkin seeds for a red and green confetti theme. It's so easy to whip up a batch: once the chocolate is dry, smash it into irregular pieces. It's perfect for a cookie tray!
Of course, cookies are the most obvious choice in Christmas desserts for a crowd! These almond thumbprint cookies are total crowd pleasers. They're topped with a homemade jam made of real fruit, and the base is perfectly chewy, made mostly of almond flour. Drizzled with our 1-minute powdered sugar icing, they're perfectly festive!
This Christmas pudding is a stunner! My family makes it every year. While it's a little bit of a process (you need a pudding steamer and a few hours!), it's 100 percent worth it and the perfect Christmas dessert for a crowd, if there ever was one. Top this spongy pudding in a dreamy, creamy butter sauce and prepare to be amazed.
What's better easy Christmas dessert for a crowd than a big apple crumble! This is the best classic apple crumble (or apple crisp, because they’re pretty darn similar). It’s a big 9 x 13 pan to feed a crowd, and fresh ginger accentuates the gooey filling perfectly.
What’s your ultimate cookie? These vegan peanut butter cookies are where it’s at for us! They’re soft but perfectly crumbly, and salty sweet. Decorated with the classic criss-cross pattern, they’ve got a sparkle of sugar. And a chocolate icing drizzle makes them look even more fun. They're the perfect addition to any Christmas cookie tray.
Snowballs are a Christmas classic, and this one is a unique spin! It's made of almond flour (ground almonds), so it's filling and works for many diets. The kicker? It's flavored with chai spice: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom. It adds the perfect cozy holiday flair.
Why not add homemade peanut butter cups to your tray of Christmas desserts for a crowd? These peanut butter cups are other-worldly. The peanut butter filling is salty-sweet, and the chocolate is smooth and crisp. Top that with a little sea salt, and it's the best peanut butter cup you've ever had.
What's more classic of an easy Christmas dessert for a crowd than gingerbread cookies? These have a wholesome spin, made with almond butter and applesauce to keep them soft. They're topped with chunky turbinado sugar for an all-natural glitter.
Who loves buckeyes? This chocolate peanut butter cookie is popular at Christmas: it was always my favorite growing up! Here's a healthy spin on buckeyes: instead of using lots of butter, the centers are a mix of Medjool dates and peanut butter! (Medjool dates are used in energy bars like Larabars to bring natural sweetness.) Coat them in dark chocolate, and they're fabulous easy Christmas dessert.
Last up in our easy Christmas desserts for a crowd (and maybe our favorite idea): affogato! This one is a play on the traditional Italian affogato dessert, where warm espresso is poured over vanilla ice cream. As a holiday twist, we've used peppermint ice cream and homemade hot cocoa. It's 100% festive! Use store bought ice cream to make it ridiculously easy (and fun).
More Christmas resources
Looking for more Christmas recipes? We’ve got you covered! Here are a few more holiday recipe collections for you to peruse:
- 10 Best Healthy Christmas Cookies
- 15+ Vegetarian Christmas Dishes
- Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes
- Simple Christmas Cookies
Looking for easy Christmas desserts for a crowd? Chocolate bark is so easy to make, and this one features dark chocolate, tart cherries and quinoa.
- 3 tablespoons quinoa
- ½ cup dried tart cherries
- 12 ounces (2 cups) dark chocolate chips, vegan if desired
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Toast the quinoa over medium low heat in a dry pan for 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan often, until golden (some kernels will pop during the process). Remove from heat into a bowl to cool fully.
- Chop the dried cherries.
- Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Place chocolate in a heat-safe bowl (metal or glass). Once the water is simmering, turn off the heat and place the bowl of chocolate in the water, then stir until melted. (Alternatively, melt in a microwave for 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, stirring in between each interval with a spatula). When chocolate is fully melted, stir in 2 tablespoons quinoa, ¼ cup cherries, and ¼ cup pepitas.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the parchment paper in a 1/4-inch thick layer. Sprinkle over the top the remaining 1 tablespoon quinoa, ¼ cup cherries, and 2 tablespoons pepitas.
- Refrigerate at least 15 minutes until hardened. When hard, cut into irregular pieces with a knife. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Easy Christmas Desserts, Christmas Desserts for a Crowd
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.