Christmas & New Year’s Recipe Roundup: Desserts!

NEED SOME SWEET INSPIRATION for Christmas or New Year’s? Here are links to a dozen desserts that have appeared on my holiday table over the years. Most are easy to make, some are gluten-free, and all are guaranteed to wow the crowd!

Ice Cream Tart with Gingersnap Crust. The “ice-cream” is simply whipped cream, infused with lemon zest, orange zest, and brandy. Yes, brandy. Use gluten-free gingersnaps, and even the wheat-sensitive can enjoy this awesomeness. The recipe. 

Dreamy Cinnamon Rolls. I make these rolls for Christmas breakfast each year. They are gooey, sweet, knock-your-socks-off delicious. Here’s the recipe.

Victoria Cake. This week, why not invite a few friends for tea?  You can serve Queen Victoria’s favorite tea “sandwich” — cream and jam, spread between layers of moist sponge cake. Delicious…and easy. The recipe.

Cranberry Orange Bars. Sweet. Tart. Moist. Crumbly. And a cinch to make. Make them for yourself…or for someone you love.  The Recipe.

Autumn Spice Cookies. These are crisp, tender, and perfectly perfumed with molasses, cinnamon, and allspice. Just call them “Christmas Spice Cookies”, and you’re all set.   The recipe.

Strawberry Souffle. Because this light-as-a-feather dessert can be made with frozen strawberries, and because it goes so well with champagne, I’m serving it — yet again — on New Year’s Eve.   The recipe.

Cognac Cookies.  These grown-up treats are light, buttery, and gently infused with orange-cognac. If you are over the age of twenty-one, I beg you to try them. They are incredibly easy to make. The recipe.

Monkey Bread. If you’ve never made this sweet, cinnamon-spiced dessert from scratch, I beg you to do so. Immediately. All you need is some sweet yeast dough and a  Bundt pan.   The recipe.

Glazed Apple Tart.What can you do with a little pastry dough, two apples, and a jar of apricot preserves? Why, you can turn them into a glistening French apple tart. Believe it or not, this bit of poetry is easy to make! The recipe.

Panna Cotta. Have you tried this Tuscan treat? It’s glamorous. It’s gluten-free. And it’s outrageously delicious. You can prepare it in 10 minutes or less, just as I do.  The recipe.

Chocolate Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting. Naturally-moist, euphorically-dense, and decadently-delicious. One bite and you’ll hear angels sing. The recipe.

Cranberry Almond Tart. I made this tart for Thanksgiving, and I’ll probably make it again for Christmas. The ruby fruit and crunchy almonds are set in homemade caramel sauce. Delicious, delicious, delicious. The recipe.

Do any of these desserts look tempting to you? You can let me know by leaving a comment. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas everyone!

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Related Posts:
My Christmas Tree Decorations
Figgy Pudding
Kevin’s Caramelized Butternut Squash Soup


  1. LAVON EBLEN says:

    Love your recipes and the colored pictures and directions are super helpful. Merry Christmas.

  2. Diane H Hinkle says:

    Each and every one looks wonderful. I made the strawberry souffle earlier this year. It was wonderful. I may do it again for Christmas.
    Thank you for the recipes, the tours, the tips, the fun…….that you share with us all year long. My Sunday morning is not complete without you.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  3. Ring……….. there go those angel ring bells. Love all your recipes and pictures. I think the pear fritters would pair nicely (ha, ha) with a crispy roast pork, perhaps without the cinnamon and sugar dusting.

  4. I love having coffee with you Sunday mornings!! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes, ideas and everything else you share with us. Have a wonderful Christmas and the best of 2014 to you and yours!!

  5. Greetings from New Brunswick, Canada. Merry Christmas and a very Merry New Year

  6. Echoing all of the others with wonderful wishes to you and yours, thanks for all you share with us and my Sunday morning smiles! Your’s is the first email I open and read and always enjoy.

  7. Rita Chalfant says:

    Merry Christmas!!

  8. Ohhh Kevin, these all look divine! Thank for sharing yet again. It is such a lovely treat to wake up here in Australia and find a new message from you. Hope all in your household have a wonderful s Christmas. Kathryn from Aust..

  9. Merry Christmas and a happy and most of all healthy New Year to you and your family (of course the 4-legged one too)! Looking forward to another year of your tips and recipes!

  10. Thanks for the yummy recipes! Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all of you!!

  11. Juanita Trent says:

    All of them look mighty tempting. Happy holidays to all of you

  12. The Monkey Bread ought to come with a caveat – do not make this if you are alone, or if there are only two of you present – you can easily eat the entire thing without stopping. Just saying:)

  13. Hi Kevin,

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Canada.

  14. Bonnie Shileny says:

    Kevin, we wish you a very special Christmas and New Year! A big thank you for the weekly newsletter full of great garden and baking ideas! I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into giving to all of us fans! You are so generous!

  15. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Kevin!
    I know it will be delicious and beautiful!!!

  16. …and a Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  17. Merry Christmas to you too, Kevin and all!

  18. Your Panna Cotta has become my go-to dessert for this year’s Holiday parties and potlucks. It is so beautiful with macerated raspberries and the chocolate mint garnish from my garden. Love it! Thanks for all your inspirations.

  19. This Christmas I made your Cognac Cookies. They are so light and oh so delicious. Your recipe is definitely one that will be made again.

    I just love your website and have enjoyed seeing the transformation to your home. It is beautiful.
    Hope you were not one of the unfortunate areas to be hit with the power outage.

    Looking forward to spring and getting back into my own garden, but for now I will enjoy the beautiful white snowy winter we are having here in the midwest.

    Happy Holidays!

  20. Made these Christmas Eve and put in the refrigerator for the second rise. Removed and baked for breakfast. My four year old granddaughter and my 94 year old mother were fighting over them (along with everyone else). Thanks for a great recipe. Definitely a keeper.


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