The holidays just aren’t the holidays without something sweet to share with your family and friends. But with a bunch of dishes on the menu at every meal from Friendsgiving to New Year’s Eve, there might not be much room in the oven for dessert. No need to break out your vintage Easy Bake Oven, though—there are a plethora of no bake desserts that are perfect for serving to a crowd this holiday season.
You might associate nachos more with Cinco de Mayo and football Sundays, but the highly customizable food can easily transition to after dinner. Much like your traditional cheesy nachos, dessert nachos can be tweaked depending on your favorite toppings, whether that’s nuts, chocolate sauce, or fruit.
Need some fuel for your Turkey Trot or holiday shopping? Then easy-to-make protein balls, which take only a few moments to throw together, are an ideal food to tote along. Add in some chocolate chips, honey, or coconut flakes for a bit more sweetness.
Give your favorite instant pudding mix an upgrade by transforming it into drool-worthy banana pudding. In addition to using vanilla wafers in the dish, up your presentation by crushing some cookies to top your pudding with. We promise you’ll hardly be able to wait to dig in.
No, we’re not talking about the dusty fruitcake that you’ve had to choke down at your grandparents’ house for the last 20 years. We’re talking about an assortment of fruit arranged as an actual cake. Large fruits like watermelon or pineapple serve as a nice base for the center while strawberries, grapes, and berries work well for decor.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Why wait for someone else to buy them for you on Valentine’s Day? Swap out milk chocolate for white chocolate for a twist on the traditional dipped strawberry.
Ambrosia Fruit Salad
This oldie but goodie deserves a slot in your dessert rotation. Take your favorite fruit, douse it with vanilla yogurt and shredded coconut, and boom, dessert is ready. Take the time you’ve saved mixing and measuring to enjoy another glass of wine before your guests arrive.
Cake in a Mug
The fun trick of “baking” a mini cake in the microwave is a tried and true hassle-free way to make dessert by just pushing a few buttons. Sure, it won’t exactly feed the entirety of your holiday party guestlist, but why not make it for yourself to enjoy during your prep time? You deserve it, after all.
Looking for some more specific inspiration? Read ahead for some no-bake recipes.
Chips and dip get a sweet makeover in this recipe. Graham crackers are the ideal vehicle for scooping up this creamy dip. Get the recipe.
You’ll never want to go store-bought again after making this impressive cheesecake which takes only about 15 minutes to put together. Top it with berries or a fruit sauce to complement the mildly tangy flavor and rich texture of the cake. Get the recipe.
For anyone who is a fan of coffee and cocoa, this tiramisu is everything you could ever want. Amaretto or rum adds some additional flavor to this layered confection. Get the recipe.
Want to add a bit of festiveness to your office potluck or your kids’ bake sale? These polar bear cookies are sure to be a hit. They’re almost too cute to eat…almost. Get the recipe.
This isn’t your grocery store’s fruit salad. A creamy dressing elevates this dish to the ideal fall recipe. Get the recipe.
Get your PSL fix via these no bake cookies, which are essentially like autumn in a bite. Vanilla extract, peanut butter, and pumpkin pie spice make for the ideal blend of savory and sweet. Get the recipe.
What spells the holidays more than peppermint? You and your nearest and dearest will love digging into these mini cheesecakes that feature the winning combination of chocolate and mint. Get the recipe.
Header image by Chowhound.