All the Christmas Treats from Universal Studios That You Can Make at Home

These festive, pop culture-inspired creations from Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando are sure to make spirits bright.

Santa’s Cookies & Milkshake From Universal Orlando Resort
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

My favorite time to visit the Universal theme parks is undoubtedly the holiday season, especially Universal Orlando. It snows in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there's a mini Macy's parade down the replica New York City block, and there's so much fun festive food. All the characters and franchises are represented with limited-edition Christmas treats, from Santa Minion cookies to the roast beast from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

But, if you can't make it down to Universal Studios Orlando or Hollywood this year, don't fret. We've rounded up the best Christmas treats from each park and—thanks to our amazing community of home cooks—figured out some hacks and copycat recipes to recreate these seasonal items at home. Check out our favorite Universal holiday fare below, and whip up one of these magical dishes in your own kitchen.

Minion Santa Cookie

A Grinch tree cookie, snowglobe cookie, and minion decorated sugar cookie from Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood

Minions are everywhere in Universal's holiday celebrations, from giant balloons and floats to this adorable sugar cookie at Universal Hollywood. You can make a Santa Minion cookie at home with this base recipe and this sugar cookie icing—thousands of bakers say it's the only cookie icing you'll ever need because the icing dries hard and the colors stay bright. And if you need more Minion-inspired goodies, these Minion Marshmallow Pops would look so stinking cute with little strawberry Santa hats!

Grinch Ice Cream Sandwich

Grinch Ice Cream Sandwich at Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

Seuss Landing at Universal Orlando goes hard for Christmas. You can't look anywhere and not see something Grinch-inspired, from the "Who-liday Spectacular" to a Christmas character breakfast with the mean one himself.

And there's so much Grinch grub. So much. One of the cutest is this green cookie ice cream sandwich with a teeny, tiny heart candy. The Grinch cookies themselves are worth the trip alone. They're super soft, chewy sugar cookies that taste like an Italian butterball, but have the same crackled texture of a big crinkle cookie. To make at home, this Brown Sugar Cookie recipe will have the same chewy, fluffy texture. Just add a few drops of green food coloring and, of course, a candy heart.

Grinch Giant Donut

Grinch Donut at Universal Orlando Resort or Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood

Not to be outdone, Universal Hollywood put a Grinch twist on an iconic Universal parks treat: Giant donuts. This trend started with big pink donuts in the Simpsons area of Universal Studios Hollywood, but now you can find giant donuts all around the parks.

Recreate them at home (though, perhaps on a smaller scale) with this recipe for Polish Doughnuts; The dome on them is the perfect canvas for piping on that signature Grinch grin. And while donuts typically use a glaze, for intricate decorating like this, we recommend royal icing—it's sturdier and will hold its shape better.

Grinch Christmas Tree

Tree Treat Grinch Cookie from Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood

Adding one more sweet Grinch treat because I think this little hack is super clever. At Universal Hollywood, you'll find these gingerbread Christmas tree cookies with that signature Whoville aesthetic. The top is leaning just like in the book! To make it at home, use this recipe and this tree-shaped cookie cutter with a star on top. Once you have your cutouts on a baking sheet, just stretch the dough a little bit to the side. So clever, so easy.

Roast Beast Sandwich

Roast Beast Sandwich at Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

Okay, I lied. One final Grinch eat (I told you Seuss Landing goes hard!) because when and where else you can feast like a Who?! Roast beast. They made roast beast sandwiches! Though, unlike the Whos in Whoville, this isn't a raw roast beast, nor is it an unidentified game animal. It's really a decadent riff on a French dip sandwich with roast beef smothered in pretzel cheese dip, served up on a pretzel bun. You can recreate this meaty treat at home with these recipes: Easy Slow Cooker French Dip and Cheese Sauce, plus some plush pretzel buns from your local bakery or grocery store.

Hot Butterbeer

Butterbeer from Harry Potter World at Universal Studios
Universal Orlando Resort

The holidays mean the return of hot Butterbeer to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And for the uninitiated, hot Butterbeer is best, full stop. I know because I've had every single possible version of Butterbeer in the theme parks: Cold Butterbeer, frozen Butterbeer, Butterbeer ice cream, Butterbeer soft serve, Butterbeer fudge, Butterbeer pot de crème. Oh, yeah. It's a whole thing. I've ranked them all, have very strong opinions about each, and after all that, I'm telling you nothing can touch hot Butterbeer.

The butterscotch-meets-shortbread cookie flavor really shines through when it's hot, much like an apple cider or hot cocoa. And there's just something extra magical about walking around snow-capped Hogsmeade with a hot Butterbeer. You also can't get this version year round—though I would still drink it in 95-degree humidity—so it feels special. Of all the user-submitted Butterbeer recipes on Allrecipes, I think this recipe from community member tamaraarlene comes the closest to what you can get in the parks. Though, I urge you to warm this mixture back up once all the ingredients are combined. Trust me, hot is the way to go.

Earl's Acorn Hot Cocoa Bomb

Earl-Salted-Caramel-Acorn-Hot-Chocolate at Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

There's one Christmas character at Universal that you may not know, but he's everywhere and he even has his own cocoa: Earl the Squirrel. Inspired by the true story of a real squirrel that snuck its way into Universal's Christmas tree and chewed through a massive light strand, Earl is now an actual character in the parks.

This year, for Christmas you can buy Earl's salted caramel hot chocolate bomb, which is perfectly presented in an acorn chocolate mold. If you're a cocoa bomb newbie, this 101 guide walks through the steps and trouble shoots common chocolate mistakes. You can even make your own acorn-shaped cocoa bomb at home with these silicon molds.

Santa's Cookies and Milkshake

Santa’s Cookies & Milkshake From Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando's CityWalk is jam-packed with themed restaurants, but nothing has the sheer scale of The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. This massive steampunk-looking factory cranks out incredibly over-the-top sweets, especially milkshakes. For Christmas, you can try Santa's Cookies and Milkshake. It's got tiny chocolate chip cookies, what looks like a homemade Little Debbie Christmas tree, and a cookie butter-flavored milkshake. Try it at home with Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter or make your own with this recipe from Allrecipes Allstar Yoly.

Holiday Leftovers Sandwich

Holiday Leftovers Sandwich at Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort

Returning this year at Universal Orlando, the Holiday Leftovers panini is back. This pressed sandwich has roasted turkey and melted Brie on a—wait for it—sweet cranberry bread. And it's served with a side of gravy for dipping! It's a nice twist on the holiday leftover sandwich, and who could resist a gravy dip?!

We have so many great cranberry loaves on Allrecipes, but for a pressed sandwich this Cranberry Orange Breakfast Bread would be great. Or, if you have a bread machine, this Cranberry Oat Bread is perfect for this creation. As for gravy, you can't go wrong with Chef John's Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy.

Roasted Chicken & Brie Croissant

Holiday Croissant sandwich from Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood

Over on the West Coast, Universal Hollywood interprets the leftover sandwich a little bit differently, and I'm here for it. No, that's not turkey; It's roasted chicken and it's on a croissant. This decadent sandwich also has cranberry aioli, arugula, Brie, and a massive helping of stuffing. If you don't have a go-to, family recipe for stuffing, we highly recommend Grandma's Cornbread Dressing.

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