The holidays can be stressful enough without trying to figure out an entire holiday dinner menu. If you’re also a parent on a budget, it can be that much trickier to figure out what to make or what to bring to a potluck style holiday feast. If you are tasked with dessert, however, these are easy holiday desserts for any parents who may be working with a tight budget this year.
By making a dessert, you are getting off a little easy. You don't have to try and fail at green bean casserole and you won't have to perfect and then successfully transport sweet potato pie without ruining it. And if you can use one of these easy holiday dessert recipes, then your assigned meal just got a lot easier.
10 Oreo Truffles
If you have a group of people who love chocolate, but don't want to deal with actual cake or even cake pops, then these Oreo truffles are the easy alternative. All you need are Oreo cookies, cream cheese, and melting chocolate. If you prefer another kind of Oreos, you can even substitute those. You can also add some festive sprinkles to kick things up a notch, but these are legitimately one of the easiest desserts to make at the drop of a hat. Just give yourself a little time to allow the chocolate to harden so the truffles will be ready in time.
9 No-Bake Cheesecake
There's no denying that making a cheesecake from scratch is a daunting task. It takes plenty of steps, careful baking, and lots of care. Luckily this no-bake cheesecake is a totally acceptable alternative to the more difficult to perfect dessert. The step which requires the most work will be the crust, but even then, it's a lot easier with this recipe than you would find with a baked cheesecake and crust recipe. You can also switch out that step for a store-bought crust. No one has to know.
8 Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
If your go-to dessert tactic is to always opt for something that requires minimal prep and no baking, then peanut butter chocolate bars are another solid option. You will need just five ingredients and some patience, but if you don't mind taking your time, these can turn out as a dessert that looks like you spent a lot more time on it.
The end result is bars that taste fairly close to peanut butter cups and as long as you have time to allow the chocolate on top to properly set, you're golden. Once you're a little more comfortable with the recipes you can even switch things up with more or less peanut butter and maybe even a layer of caramel.
7 Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
You can never really go wrong with cookies and you’d be hard-pressed to find a group of people at a holiday meal who wouldn’t be able to scarf down a half dozen in one sitting. But instead of going with standard chocolate chip or sugar cookies, give everyone the best of both worlds with chocolate crinkle cookies. As far as cookies in general go, these little bite-sized drops with stripes of white powdered sugar and chocolate cookies aren't as intimidating as you might first think. You might, however, find yourself snacking on them well before they get to the other dinner guests.
6 No-Bake Cookie Butter Blossoms
Most people have heard of standard peanut butter cookie blossoms. Instead of making peanut butter cookies from scratch, though, you can make these no-bake cookie butter blossoms and have essentially the same flavors, minus the peanut butter. In this instance, you will need Rice Krispies cereal in order to make the "cookie" base, but thanks to the rest of the ingredients on the shortlist of must-haves, your no-bake cookies will still taste similar enough to the tried and true version of peanut butter blossom cookies.
5 Shortbread Cookie Bites
These shortbread cookie bites are another example of an easy holiday dessert that doesn't require much effort or ingredients, but will still look and taste as though you spent lots of time and money on it. The almond extract is an essential ingredient to these buttery sprinkled cookies.
Once you have a little vial of the extract, however, you will be able to stretch it far with other future batches of this recipe. And you can even change up the sprinkles, depending on the holiday you need these cookies for. Though to be fair, shortbread cookies are sort of a Christmas season staple.
4 Chocolate And Sprinkle Covered Pretzels
You can also take the baking and illusion of baking out of your holiday dessert altogether. By making chocolate and sprinkled covered pretzels, you kill three birds with one stone. You make a holiday dessert that is almost universally loved, you don't have to turn on the oven to perfect the recipe, and you don't have to spend a ton of money on ingredients. You can even make these several days in advance to really make things easier on you. Or, make them in batches whenever you have time leading up to the holiday dinner.
3 Individual Strawberry Shortcakes
As much as you might want to make a low-calorie dessert, sometimes the closest anyone can come is the appearance of something lighter. And because there is no chocolate or baking involved with individual strawberry shortcakes, your dieting relatives will love you for opting for this one. You can go with whatever berry fruit you want, but you will need ladyfingers or pound cake, along with some whipped topping and cream cheese, to get this one just right. The best part about it is that there are few ways to get the recipe wrong and the ending result will look fancy no matter how it turns out.
2 Cinnamon Apple Oreo Delight
Don't let the name fool you. This cinnamon apple Oreo delight sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. It’s all about properly layering whipped topping, pudding, apple pie filling, and Cinnamon Bun Oreos.
If you don't have the latter on hand, you could also use Golden Oreos, so there is some wiggle room with this particular dessert. But even for novices, as long as you follow the instructions and don't veer too off course, this is an easy recipe to make ahead of time for small or large crowds at your holiday dinner.
1 Simple Pumpkin Pie
For some, no holiday meal is complete without a standard pumpkin pie. And thanks to the ability to buy cans of pumpkin pie filling, it has never been easier to make pumpkin pie from scratch. You can find a recipe for an easy homemade pie crust to go with it, but even that is more effort than is needed for a simple pumpkin pie. This particular recipe even includes a ready-made store-bought pie crust, so you really can't go wrong as long as you follow the recipe and treat the resulting pie as you would a newborn baby.
The dessert is arguably the best part of any holiday meal. Sure, turkey and ham are well and good, but there is something to be said for a dessert spread that you can look forward to at the end of said meal. And if you are in charge of making a dish to add to the mix, any one of these easy holiday desserts are perfect for busy parents who are also on a budget.