9 Hacks For Quick-Fix Christmas Desserts

With these quick-fix holiday desserts, you can whip up something impressive and delicious and still have time to celebrate with family and friends.

To make the first three desserts, start with a simple frozen pound cake.

1.) Pound Cake a la Mode
Heat three peeled and sliced apples in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in three tablespoons butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, two tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup apple cider; cook until reduced by half. Layer 2 slices of cake on dessert plates and top with a scoop of rum raisin ice cream and warm apple topping.

2.) Fondue
Cut half of a frozen pound cake into bite-sized cubes. You’ll also need 24 strawberries, four sliced bananas, and two sectioned oranges. Divide fruit and cake onto plates. Place two bowls of warmed chocolate sauce on the table and dip in!

3.) Tiramisu
Slice pound cake into 1-inch thick slices. Line a glass bowl with half of the cake. Combine ¾ cup espresso and ½ cup coffee liquor; drizzle half over cake. Combine eight ounces mascarpone cheese, ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, and one pint whipped cream. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over cake and repeat layering, finish with the mascarpone. Dust with cocoa powder.


Photo by Meredith

Find the perfect Pound Cake Recipe

For these next three desserts, start with puff pastry. Begin by baking the pastry according to the package directions. Then have a ball.

4.) No-bake Cheesecake

Whip together 16 ounces cream cheese, one teaspoon vanilla, and ¼ cup sugar until creamy. Warm 1 cup raspberry preserves. Fill each pastry with cheese mixture, then top with preserves.

5.) Mock Chocolate Macadamia Pie

Prepare one package instant chocolate pudding and fold in ¾ cup chopped macadamia nuts. Fill pastry with pudding. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and remaining nuts.

6.) Fruit Tarts

Fill each pastry with your favorite fruit pie filling, top with a dollop of whipped cream, and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Find your Fruit Pie-Filling Recipe.

These super-simple desserts combine cookies and ice creams or sorbet.

7.) Sorbet Parfait

Layer three scoops of different flavored sorbet in parfait glasses. Splash one tablespoon Grand Marnier or other liqueur over each serving and top with a cookie.

8.) Berries and Cream

Soften one pint of French vanilla ice cream. Fill large wine glasses with ¾ cup frozen mixed berries. Finely crush enough vanilla wafers to make one cup. Top berries with ice cream and crushed cookies and serve.

9.) Ice Cream Sandwich Sundaes

Place a chocolate chip cookie in a small dessert bowl. Top with one scoop of ice cream and another cookie. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and top with whipped cream, chopped nuts, and a cherry.

Cookies and Sundae

Photo by Meredith

Bonus Tip: Lots of baked goods can be prepared and tucked away in the freezer. Make ’em ahead, and you’ll never be short of treats for last-minute holiday guests.

See our complete collection of Christmas Dessert Recipes.