15 of Grandma's Best Christmas Desserts
Nothing beats Grandma's treats. But you can get awfully close with Grandma's favorite recipes. This holiday, add a taste of nostalgia to your Christmas dessert table and fill your home with the familiar scents and sweetness of the holidays. Grandma would approve.
Grandma Minecci's Snowball Cookies
These dainty delights melt in your mouth and play the perfect counterpoint to fudge and other richer treats in a Christmas cookie tin. For a fragrant twist, swap almond extract for the vanilla.
Italian Cream Cheese and Ricotta Cheesecake
"This is my grandmother's cheesecake recipe passed down to my entire family. It's the best," writes Allrecipes user April Caudle. "I can't believe I'm sharing it, but everyone needs to know how to make an authentic Italian cheesecake. It is creamy and not thick, which is why our family loves it!"
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Just like your nonna used to make! "Italian friends have told me this tastes 'just the way biscotti is supposed to taste,'" writes Allrecipes user GZJ123. Her advice? "Don't use butter or margarine. Find a light, good quality olive oil. Butter doesn't belong in biscotti — it won't age well and will become rancid instead of allowing the flavor to develop."
Ruth's Grandma's Pie Crust
Grandma Minnie's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
"This is a wonderful recipe. It is now my favorite sugar cookie recipe," writes Allrecipes user MARCIE4. "Make sure you do not use electric beaters to mix in vanilla, egg and cream — do it by hand."
Grandma Gudgel's Black Bottom Cupcakes
Ooey, gooey, chocolatey. Meet the cupcake of your dreams. "These were absolutely PERFECT! Even better than the expensive ones they sell at coffeehouses. I followed the recipe exactly and baked for 30 minutes for a picture-perfect product," writes Allrecipes user Mo. "Will make these over and over again, much to my family and coworkers' delight!"
Just like your favorite Swedish grandma used to bake! These jam thumbprints come together in a snap and call for only four ingredients.
Grandma's Caramel Popcorn Balls
"My mom made these delicious popcorn balls when I was growing up," writes Allrecipes user Kim1520. "I made the family recipe for the first time this year. My daughters, grown with their own families, asked why I hadn't made these sooner. Thirty-plus years later, this recipe will now be a family tradition at Christmas."
Willard Family German Chocolate Cake
"My great-grandma could make this with her eyes closed," wrote Allrecipes user K-Dub. Says fellow home cook Rae "My family was sad when this cake was gone and there was a fight over the last piece. (I won!) Thanks for the great recipe, it's a keeper."
"Excellent cookie! Comes out thin and crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle," writes Allrecipes user surf's up. "Be sure to follow the directions and leave them on the cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring to a rack (or else they will fall apart!). And they spread out a lot, so don't make them too big! Delicious!"
Grandma's Pound Cake
"After making more of these pound cakes than I can count over the holidays, I've decided to share this fabulous recipe," Allrecipes user Braelyn says of her grandmother's pound cake.
White Christmas Pie
A handful of reviewers say their grandmothers and mothers made this old-fashioned chiffon pie for Christmas. "I have been making it in her stead to carry on the tradition," user lauramd says of her own grandmother's recipe. "Christmas just wouldn't be the same without this pie."
Grandma's Christmas Candy
"This recipe has been passed down in our family for generations and is always a favorite," recipe submitter Patti Lee O'Leary says. Not to mention, it calls for just three ingredients: semisweet chocolate chips, butter, and crunchy peanut butter.
Grandma Leone's Fruit Cake
"Don't get this cake confused with the traditional fruit cake. It is so much more. This recipe has been handed down for three generations and I now want to share it with all of you. Don't get nervous with all the ingredients. Everything gets hand-mixed in one great big bowl." — Debbie Doo
Grandma Leach's Fruitcake
"My grandmother and mother made these cakes for years. They are moist but don't contain eggs. Applesauce is the secret ingredient. I sold these at bake sales for years and we had many customers who returned every year just to get one." — GAREYSGAL