5 Fabulous No-Bake Holiday Desserts

Main course monopolizing your appliance space? Treat your guests to one of these delicious desserts—no oven required.


Gooey Chocolate Caramel Tart

Photo by Samantha Seneviratne

A thin slice of this rich dessert goes a long way—especially when it’s served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. For neater results, wait to slice the tart until it is completely cold. Let the slices stand at room temperature for a few minutes before serving, so that the caramel becomes soft and silky.

Get the recipe: Gooey Chocolate Caramel Tart


Honey Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee

Photo by Samantha Seneviratne

Classic crème brulee recipes call for topping the custards with a sugary crust that’s burnt to a caramel crunch by a kitchen blowtorch. This version tweaks tradition—and streamlines it—by melting the sugar on the stovetop, applying it as a liquid, and letting it harden as it cools. The result? A simpler topping with a lovely sugary snap that still pairs beautifully with the honey and vanilla custard.

Get the recipe: Honey Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee


Cranberry Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Photo by Samantha Seneviratne

Tangy cranberries get a sweet makeover when incorporated into a classic chocolate-covered marshmallow cookie. But fear not: You don’t need any fancy equipment to make marshmallow. To test whether your sugar is at the "soft ball" stage without a candy thermometer, just drop a small bit of the hot syrup into a glass of cold water. If it forms a squishy ball, it’s ready.

Get the recipe: Cranberry Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies


Skillet Apple Cranberry Crisp

Photo by Samantha Seneviratne

This crisp is equally delicious served with a dollop of yogurt for breakfast as it is with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Out of apples? You can substitute any seasonal fruit that you have on hand.

Get the recipe: Skillet Apple Cranberry Crisp


Gingerbread Stack Cake

Photo by Samantha Seneviratne

This rustic beauty is simple to assemble and fun to eat. The filling can be made a day in advance, but the pancakes are best the day they’re made.

Get the recipe: Gingerbread Stack Cake