Holiday Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Food and Drink

Holiday Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Tis the season for celebrations and festive gatherings. Holiday parties are certainly not complete without something sweet on the menu. Treat your family and friends to something special during the holidays.

Have you ever had Grinch Cookies or a Chocolate Potato Cherry Cream Torte? We included some rather interesting recipes in our roundup. Get ready to make the season sparkle with this collection of holiday desserts that are sure to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.

Champagne Cake Balls

Reprinted with permission from “Spectacular Spreads” by Maegan Brown, The BakerMama. ©2021 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.

"Shimmering gilded delights made with Champagne in just the right size to leave guests with a touch of celebration and sweetness."

Makes: 24


1 16.25-ounce box white cake mix

1 ¼ cups Champagne or sparkling wine (or sparkling juice for kid-friendly), divided

½ cup canola or vegetable oil

3 large eggs

¼ cup whipped white cake frosting (store-bought)

1 16-ounce package vanilla candy coating or 2 (10-ounce) bags white melting wafers

12 festive paper straws, cut in half

1 2.2-ounce container gold shimmer sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 × 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cake mix, 1 cup of the champagne, oil, and eggs at medium speed until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in the baking pan.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, crumble in the cooled cake along with the whipped white cake frosting and remaining ¼ cup Champagne. Beat on medium speed until the cake starts to come together.

Roll the mixture into 2-tablespoon-size balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or in the freezer for about 20 minutes to harden.

To coat the cake balls, melt the candy coating in a shallow microwave-safe bowl according to the package directions, usually 90 seconds to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Be sure not to over melt as it will burn and become too thick to stir and coat evenly. Cover another baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the cake balls from the refrigerator. Using a fork, gently roll a cake ball in the melted candy coating, remove, and let the excess coating drip off the fork before placing the ball on the prepared baking sheet. Immediately, while the coating is still melted, insert a paper straw, cut side down, into the top center about halfway into the cake ball. Sprinkle the coated ball with some gold shimmer sugar. Repeat with the remaining cake balls.

Allow the cake balls to set completely, and then break off any excess coating around the bottoms. Store the cake balls in a cool, dry place, covered in plastic wrap or in a sealed container.

Blackberry Oat Crumble

Reprinted with permission from “The National Parks Cookbook” by Linda Ly, © 2022 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc; Photo: © 2022 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. - Photography: Will Taylor

"Berries grow abundantly in the Smokies, serving as the staple summer diet for black bears—and as trail snacks for hikers—and they’re the inspiration for this blackberry oat crumble, a simple pastry that can double as breakfast or dessert."

Linda Ly
Makes: 16


2 heaping cups fresh blackberries

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups quick cooking oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a 9 × 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper and coat it with a thin film of cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the blackberries, sugar, and cornstarch. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl and using a handheld electric mixer, beat the flour, oats, brown sugar, pecans, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg until combined. Add the butter and beat on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Spread half the oat mixture evenly across the prepared baking dish. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the dish. Spread the blackberry mixture evenly over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the blackberries, but do not press down. Bake for 30–35 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely, then slice into sixteen squares.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

Courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin; visit, photo: © Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

"Mascarpone resembles cream cheese or ricotta cheese but with a bit more sweetness and acidity, bringing a velvety smoothness and layers of flavor to this dessert."

Makes: 12


for brownies:

1 box (18.3 ounces) fudge brownie mix (+ egg(s) + sub milk and melted butter for water and oil)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon chili powder


for spiced pecans:

2 tablespoons butter, cubed

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon chili powder

2 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans

2 tablespoons sugar


for mascarpone frosting:

4 tablespoons butter, cubed and softened

1 8-ounce container Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Mascarpone cheese

4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, divided

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


for ganache:

8 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ teaspoon chili powder

For the brownies, line a greased 9-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing excess paper to hang over the sides. Grease the paper. Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions adding egg(s) and substituting milk for water and melted butter for oil. Stir in cinnamon and chili powder. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake according to package directions. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the spiced pecans, reduce oven to 300°F. Line a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Grease foil. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add the cinnamon and chili powder. Remove from the heat and stir in pecans and sugar. Spread the pecans onto the prepared pan and bake for 15–20 minutes or until nuts are toasted, stirring once. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting, cream the butter, mascarpone, and 2 cups confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add remaining confectioners’ sugar, beating each addition until combined. Beat in milk and vanilla. Frost brownies. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For the ganache, place the chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes. Stir until chocolate mixture is smooth. Stir in chili powder, and cool slightly. Spread the ganache over the frosting. Sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until set.

Snow Bites

Reprinted with permission from “Advent: Recipes and Crafts for the Countdown to Christmas” by Kerstin Niehoff and Laura Fleiter, © 2021 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc; Photography: Kerstin Niehoff

"Every bite of these rich little snowy balls enchants the senses, without any added sugar. An ideal gift for friends and family who like to limit the sweet treats around Christmas."

Makes: 12


½ cup quick-cooking oats

2/3 cup cashews

3 tablespoons agave syrup

1 pinch ground vanilla

1 pinch sea salt

4 tablespoons desiccated coconut

Add the oats and cashews to a food processor or blender and blend until you have a fine meal. Add the agave syrup, vanilla, salt, and 1 tablespoon water and blend again briefly.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Combine with 2 tablespoons of the desiccated coconut and shape into small balls. Roll the balls in the remaining coconut.

Stored in a tin or jar in the refrigerator, the snow bites will keep for about a week.

Chocolate Potato Cherry Cream Torte

Courtesy of Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

"Mashed potatoes in your dessert. Now that’s a twist on a tradition. But in baked goods, mashed potatoes just add a luscious, moist texture."

Serves: 12


¾ cup flour

¼ teaspoon soda

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

¾ cup warm mashed Wisconsin potatoes, nothing added

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

¼ cup water


for filling:

½ cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 cup cherry pie filling from 21-ounce can


for glaze:

2 tablespoons butter

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

3 tablespoons water

1  ½ cups powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch, round cake pans.

Combine flour, soda, salt and cocoa. Set aside. Separate eggs into two medium-size mixing bowls. Add the mashed potatoes and 1/2 cup of the sugar to the yolks. Beat at high speed 2–3 minutes or until light. Add vanilla, water and almond extract. Beat just until combined.

With clean beater, beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold into the yolk mixture. Then fold in the flour mixture.

Divide batter equally in the prepared pans. Bake for about 15 minutes or until firm when lightly touched. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans on a cooling rack. Then remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely.

Prepare filling by combining the cream, powdered sugar, and almond extract. Whip. Fold in cherry filling. Spread the mixture over one cake layer. Top with the remaining cake layer. Chill while preparing the glaze.

To prepare glaze, combine butter, chocolate and water in a small, heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat until the chocolate melts, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Spoon glaze over the top of the cake, allowing some to run down the sides. Chill. Before serving, garnish with additional whipped cream and cherries, if desired.

Grinch Cookies

Reprinted with permission from “Advent: Recipes and Crafts for the Countdown to Christmas” by Kerstin Niehoff and Laura Fleiter, © 2021 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc; Photo: © 2021 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. - Photography: Kerstin Niehoff

"Don’t let the grumpy sounding name fool you. Grinch Cookies are a festive holiday treat. Delicious and Cindy Lou Who approved."

Makes: 15


½ cup butter, softened

4½ ounces raw sugar

1 egg

½ teaspoon ground vanilla

5 ounces plain (all-purpose) flour

2 teaspoons matcha powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

½ teaspoon sea salt

5½ ounces milk chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy, about 3 minutes, with a hand whisk or a hand mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Sift the flour, matcha powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the mixture and gently fold in with a spatula. Coarsely chop the chocolate and fold it into the cookie dough.

Place small heaps of the dough (about 2 tablespoons each) onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Leave them as mounds; don’t flatten them. Bake for 7–10 minutes until the edges start to brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes, as the cookies will still be very soft just after baking. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Stored in a cookie tin or a jar in a cool, dry place, the cookies will keep for 2–3 months.

Coffee Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Recipe and photo courtesy of Diane Williams (

"A wonderful coffee overtone topped off with a delicious hint of salted caramel in a beautiful and rich frosting."

Prep: 40 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Serves: 12


3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chilled strong coffee (I brewed French roast)

12 chocolate-covered espresso beans (garnish)



1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup salted caramel sauce + enough to drizzle over the top

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter and granulated sugar until thoroughly combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each until mixed. Add the vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/8 of the chilled coffee to the liquid mixture, mixing well. Continue alternating the flour and the coffee, until everything is mixed well. Taste the batter and add more coffee, depending on how strong you would like your cupcakes to taste.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full of the batter. Place them in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove and let cool.

For the FrostingCream the softened butter for 3 to 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, mixing well between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the salted caramel and thoroughly blend. The frosting should be thick, but light and airy. Place the frosting in a piping bag, and pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Place the remaining salted caramel sauce in a piping bag with a small circle tip, and drizzle slowly over the frosting. Top each with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.