20 Cozy Winter Desserts

Treat yourself to something sweet

Turtle Cheesecake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

When the weather outside is frightful, these delightful desserts take the edge off winter. From sticky toffee and bread puddings to wintry cheesecakes, fruit crumbles, chocolate confections, creamy cheesecakes, and nostalgic pies, these are the desserts made for cold winter days and nights. Try our best, easy recipes for winter desserts you can make for family dinners, holiday gatherings, or solo snacking.

  • 01 of 20

    Instant Pot Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce

    Instant Pot Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    What could be more comforting on a cold winter day than classic bread pudding? Use your Instant Pot to cook up the rich and silky-smooth bread pudding of your dreams, including an impressive Kentucky bourbon sauce that will wow your family and friends. Use an eggy bread, such as brioche or challah, for a dessert you can make in an hour.

  • 02 of 20

    Dark Chocolate Mousse With Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur

    Dark Chocolate Mousse With Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur

    Getty Images

    Boozy, rich, and velvety-smooth, this liqueur-spiked dark chocolate mousse is an impressive dessert for winter dinner parties and holiday gatherings. A glug of Baileys Irish Cream adds an extra, holiday-worthy dimension to a classic chocolate mousse recipe. Prepare it a day ahead, and chill in the fridge until ready to serve, for a low-effort treat.

  • 03 of 20

    Turtle Cheesecake

    Turtle Cheesecake

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Imagine the popular Turtles candy transformed into a luscious cheesecake, and you've got the idea of this fantastic winter dessert. The rich and fluffy cheesecake filling is nestled in a sweet pecan and graham cracker crust, topped with caramel sauce and chocolate chips, and decorated with a ring of pecans, for an ultra-decadent special dessert.

  • 04 of 20

    Baked Glazed Eggnog Doughnuts

    Baked Glazed Eggnog Doughnuts

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    You don't need to pull out a stand mixer for these easy baked doughnuts that taste like the classic Christmas eggnog drink. Cake-like and delicious, they are a yummy holiday treat that even beginner bakers can make. Because they are oven-baked, not fried, they are also lighter in fat than traditional doughnuts and won't make a mess on your stove-top.

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  • 05 of 20

    Sticky Toffee Pudding

    The Ultimate Sticky Toffee Pudding

    Diana Miller / Getty Images

    Sticky toffee pudding is a deeply sweet British dessert that is typically made in winter. It is also one of Harry Potter's favorite puddings in the book series. The dark, rich, date-filled sponge drenched in thick toffee sauce would make an excellent addition to a traditional British Christmas dinner menu.

  • 06 of 20

    Butternut Squash Creme Brulee

    Butternut Squash Creme Brulee

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Whipping up an indulgent creme brulee at home is easier than you might think. This wintry version uses butternut squash puree, plus some basic fridge and pantry ingredients, to create that sweet, silky custard with a shattering sugar crust. Plan ahead to make the dessert, which needs to chill in the fridge for a few hours. Or freeze individual custards to defrost later adding the torched sugar topping just before serving.

  • 07 of 20

    Gingerbread Rum Balls

    Gingerbread Rum Balls

    The Spruce / Elizabeth LaBau

    Gingerbread rum balls are everything you love about classic rum balls, with a delicious holiday twist. This nicely-spiced, chocolatey treat uses gingersnap crumbs, instead of traditional vanilla wafers or graham cracker crumbs, for a seasonal, grab-and-go treat. For an alcohol-free version, try substituting rum extract or orange juice for the rum.

  • 08 of 20

    Quick Vanilla Rice Pudding

    Quick Vanilla Rice Pudding

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Creamy vanilla rice pudding is warm comfort in a bowl. Enjoy it as a warming treat on chilly days with this quick and easy stove-top recipe that takes just 20 minutes to prepare. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top, if you like, and feel free to toss in a few plump raisins for added texture.

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  • 09 of 20

    Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

    Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

    The Spruce

    Bake up an old-fashioned apple crisp just like grandma used to make. Even beginner bakers can make this bubbling, baked fruit crisp with a buttery, crumbly oatmeal and brown sugar crumble topping. Use a mixture of tart and sweet seasonal apples, and feel free to leave the peels on for a rustic dessert. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

  • 10 of 20

    Hot Chocolate Mug Cake

    Hot Chocolate Mug Cake

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Imagine padding into your kitchen in slippers and making a delicious 5-minute chocolate cake for one. Hot chocolate mug cake is easy enough for kids who can use the microwave to cook up and is a fabulous solo treat on cold winter days. Top it with mini-marshmallows for a truly decadent hot chocolate dessert experience.

  • 11 of 20

    Easy Banana Pudding

    Easy Banana Pudding

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Banana pudding is a nostalgic, comforting dessert. This quick and easy version makes use of store-bought ingredients and is convenient to mix up on a busy day. Use firm, ripe bananas for this homey treat made with instant pudding, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla wafers, and prepared whipped topping.

  • 12 of 20

    Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

    Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Amazing cranberry upside-down cake is a fantastic way to celebrate seasonal cranberries. You make it in the oven, topping the tart-sweet cranberry and brown sugar mixture with sweet cake batter for baking. When you invert the finished cake, the caramelized fruit is a show-stopping topping. Add it to your Christmas dessert menu to conclude the holiday in style.

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  • 13 of 20

    Rocky Road Fudge

    Rocky Road Fudge

    The Spruce / Elizabeth LaBau

    Rocky Road fudge is a smooth, rich, kid-pleasing chocolate fudge candy packed with crunchy nuts and sweet, chewy marshmallows. You don't need a candy thermometer or any special equipment for this easy, no-bake fudge, which starts in the microwave and sets up in your refrigerator in about 2 hours.

  • 14 of 20

    Marmalade Steamed Sponge Pudding

    Marmalade Steamed Sponge Pudding

    Getty Images

    Marmalade steamed sponge pudding is an old-timey dessert worthy of The Great British Bake-Off. Moist, warm, and sticky with incredible fruity flavor from orange marmalade, it is the type of dessert from which childhood memories are made. It requires some time to steam but needs little hands-on effort and is a great beginner introduction to steamed puddings.

  • 15 of 20

    Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

    Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Peppermint bark cheesecake is the perfect indulgent winter treat. The velvety-smooth filling is lush, creamy, and refreshingly minty, and nestles in a divinely delicious Oreo cookie crust. With a pretty peppermint candy topping made from candy canes or purchased peppermint bark, it is a beautiful addition to your holiday or weekend dinner table.

  • 16 of 20

    German Baked Apples

    German Baked Apples

    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

    After a long, cold walk in the woods, it's wonderful to come home to the enchanting aroma of apples baking in the oven. This easy, traditional German baked apple dessert is a nourishing treat when the temperatures drop. Scale the recipe up easily to serve more people, topping the warm apples with vanilla sauce or ice cream.

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  • 17 of 20

    Mississippi Mud Cake

    Mississippi Mud Cake

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Rich chocolate Mississippi mud cake is a treasured Southern dessert. It hits just the right spot on frosty days when you crave deeply sweet food. This ultra-decadent version starts with pecan and coconut-studded chocolate cake and is topped with more nuts and a swirl of melting marshmallow fluff.

  • 18 of 20

    Christmas Dump Cake

    Christmas Dump Cake

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Few desserts are easier to make than dump cake. This Christmasy version uses purchased ingredients and is a cinch to assemble for even novice bakers. Simply open up cans of cranberry sauce and apple pie filling, and a box of yellow cake mix, and dump them into a baking pan with butter and pecans. Bake for just over an hour, and enjoy!

  • 19 of 20

    Raisin Pie

    Raisin Pie

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    If you haven't tried raisin pie, this humble recipe is a great way to try something new using familiar ingredients. Everyone in the family will love this flaky pastry pie filled with a creamy, spiced sour cream batter, and a generous helping of dark raisins. Make it extra-special for serving with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

  • 20 of 20

    Salted Caramel and Chocolate Marshmallow Treats

    Salted Caramel and Chocolate Marshmallow Treats

    The Spruce / Sabrina S. Baksh

    Kids love marshmallow cereal treats, but these salted caramel and chocolate marshmallow bars are fancy enough for adults to get in on. They make a great winter snack to pack when you go sledding, a fun after-work treat with hot chocolate or an easy family dessert.