12 Quick and Easy Christmas Desserts

Square Pretzels
Photo: Melissa Goff

Whether you're a culinary pro or a kitchen novice, you'll appreciate these quick and easy Christmas dessert recipes that only require a short list of easy-to-find ingredients and simple prep. These decadent holiday treats take some of the pressure off — allowing more time for you to spend with your family. Find your favorite from our collection of deceptively simple Christmas desserts.

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Morgan's Amazing Peppermint Bark

Morgan's Amazing Peppermint Bark

All you need for this holiday treat are two ingredients and a microwave. The recipe comes together in just a few minutes, and then chills out in the fridge for an hour. "This is as easy as it gets — and yet so tasty and delicious!" raves home cook Rebekah. "Super creamy, and the peppermint flavor goes so well with the white chocolate."

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Cheesecake in a Jar

For a quicker (and a cuter) take on cheesecake that won't take hours to make, assemble this no-bake version in small canning jars or ramekins. To dress them up for the holidays, tie a bright, festive ribbon around each jar.

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Pecan Caramel Clusters

Somewhere between candy and a decadent dessert lies this pecan caramel cluster that's easily made in the microwave. Share this rich, nutty treat with your family during the holidays or anytime of year.

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Thin Mint Cookies

Thin Mint Crackers

It takes only three ingredients and a few minutes of your time to make irresistible minty chocolate cookies. To get a perfectly smooth finish, make sure the chocolate is completely melted before adding the peppermint,

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Rum or Bourbon Balls

confections rolled in different coatings: chocolate sprinkles, red, white and green nonpareils, powdered sugar, and chopped nuts

Rum balls are best made a few days in advance so the flavors have a chance to meld— simply remove them from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. With a prep time of just 10 minutes, you'll have plenty of time to sit back and relax with your loved ones.

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Apple Cobbler Crumble

Apple Cobbler Crumble

If you need to whip up a last-minute dessert, this comforting apple cobbler crumble is the perfect choice. Much easier to make than a traditional apple pie, it still has all of the warm flavors and goes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Too Much Chocolate Cake

Too Much Chocolate Cake
Amber Dehn-Koenig

Can there ever really be too much chocolate in a cake? We think not! This recipes is easy to prepare thanks to shortcut ingredients like cake mix and chocolate pudding, so you can work on other dishes for the holidays while it bakes in the oven.

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Quick and Easy Peanut Brittle

Quick and Easy Peanut Brittle

A favorite treat to bring along to holiday parties (or have out on the table for snacking), peanut brittle can be a lot of work to make. However, this quick and easy recipe uses only four ingredients, and no candy thermometer is necessary.

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Mini Strawberry Santas

It doesn't get cuter, or easier, than these miniature Santas made with strawberries, whipped cream, and chocolate sprinkles. If you don't have tiny hands to help you decorate, you can use tweezers to put on the sprinkle eyes. Keep these adorable Santas refrigerated until just before serving.

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Easy Pumpkin Turnovers

Easy Pumpkin Turnovers

Store-bought puff pastry found in the freezer section makes for an elegant and easy dessert when stuffed with canned pumpkin and spices. Sprinkle the slightly cooled turnovers with a little sugar frosting (a simple mixture of confectioner's sugar and milk or water) for a touch more sweetness and a pretty finish.

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Chocolate Pretzels

Square Pretzels
Melissa Goff

The kids will love helping you make these fun and easy holiday treats. Use red and green candy-coated chocolates for the best seasonal look, or try putting a small piece of candy cane on top. Carefully line the baking pan with parchment paper to keep the pretzels from sticking.

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Extra Easy Fudge

Extra Easy Fudge

The trick to making this fudge is its secret ingredient: chocolate frosting! It's so easy, even kids can join in on the fun. Chill in the fridge for at least five to six hours, or even overnight, so that it's easier to cut into squares.

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