13 Mini Christmas Desserts to Add to Your Wish List
Who says Christmas desserts have to be big, bold, and over-the-top? Sometimes good things do come in small packages, as these dangerously delicious one-bite treats demonstrate. Mini angel food cupcakes, topped with fresh raspberries and a snowy dusting of powdered sugar, will melt in your mouth, while sparkly vanilla bean macarons with three different festive fillings (white chocolate peppermint, eggnog marshmallow, and spicy chocolate mocha) will disappear from your holiday dessert table in a flash. It doesn't get any cuter than individually-sized cheesecakes made with gingerbread Oreos and gingerbread pudding, each topped with a tiny gingerbread man. (Even better, the recipe doesn't require any baking.) Or dress up hot chocolate or coffee with a miniature version of a gingerbread house that sits right on top of the mug, just waiting to be dunked and eaten. Sweet meets savory in chocolate pretzel sandwich bites made with your favorite mini candy bars and decorated with red sprinkles for the season. And who could resist bite-size petit fours with layers of peppermint bark and cake, all covered with vanilla frosting and holiday-themed sweet garnishes? Don’t let their small size fool you—these tiny sweets will be the star of any holiday party.
Snow Angel Cupcakes
Cupcakes are inherently cute, but they become even more adorable when they’re made miniature. Presented as if they’ve just been dusted with snow, these elegant and whimsical cupcakes are sure to disappear in seconds. Freshly grated lemon zest brightens up a traditional batter, and a swirl of sweetened whipped cream makes them party-ready. A garnish of a single fresh raspberry and a snowy sprinkle of powdered sugar adds that final festive touch. Their light and fluffy texture (and individual size) ensures you won’t end Christmas feeling overly stuffed—that is, as long as you can eat just one. Consider yourself warned.
Recipe and photo from Carrie Sellman for The Cake Blog.
Get the recipe: Snow Angel Cupcakes
Mini Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Thumbprint cookies are a classic holiday treat, and they’re fun to make with kids of all ages. Press on the dough to create thumbprint-sized indents, then slightly underbake the cookies (yes, you read that right) until fudgy and brownie-like in consistency. If you prefer a firmer, more shortbread-like cookie, bake for a minute or two longer. Once cooled, homemade chocolate frosting is poured into the well, and colorful sprinkles are added for a festive finish. When the frosting has set, serve the cookies or store in tins as needed, though we bet these won’t stick around for long.
Recipe and photo from Pinch of Yum.
Get the recipe: Mini Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Gingerbread Oreo No Bake Mini Cheesecakes
Gingerbread flavor shines in three ways in these creamy, airy cheesecakes: in the Gingerbread Oreo crust, in the gingerbread pudding cream cheese filling, and in the miniature gingerbread man sitting on top (he’s actually an edible cake decoration—clever!). A spoonful of pumpkin pie spice further amps up the flavor. Store-bought ingredients help speed up prep, and there’s no additional chilling time required. The best part? Because these cheesecakes are no-bake, they won’t take up oven space, and you can ease day-of stress by making them in advance and storing in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Recipe and photo from My Baking Addiction.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread Oreo No Bake Mini Cheesecakes
Mini Cranberry Apple Crisps
Take a break from the cookie tray and serve these comforting individually-portioned crisps, which are filled with tender, spiced apples and tangy fresh cranberries. The brown sugar-oat topping with cinnamon and nutmeg is so warm and delicious, we suggest making extra for sprinkling over the (non-optional) vanilla ice cream. If not, an extra dusting of cinnamon is a good idea, too. Bake in small ovenproof ramekins until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, then let cool slightly before serving. Your guests will be delighted to have their own personal holiday dessert—no sharing allowed!
Recipe and photo from Jelly Toast.
Get the recipe: Mini Cranberry Apple Crisps
Mini Paleo Christmas Puddings
Traditionally served at the end of holiday dinners in England, Christmas puddings are known for being tedious and time-consuming, as they usually steam for hours. This lightened-up version is designed with ease in mind, and each miniature cake is studded with chopped apricots and cherries and filled with spices—ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Freshly squeezed orange juice and zest add a citrusy brightness. They’re topped off with a vegan-friendly icing made from cashews, coconut oil, and vanilla, along with a fresh cherry for garnish (though you can skip this or substitute another fruit). They’re great for breakfast on Christmas morning, too.
Recipe and photo from Brooke Meredith of A Conscious Collection.
Get the recipe: Mini Paleo Christmas Puddings
Mini Cinnamon Wreaths
These edible wreaths prove good things definitely come in small packages. Not only is there cinnamon-sugar swirled inside, but each wreath is topped with brown sugar and walnuts. Save a batch (or two) for yourself, then pack the rest into bags and give to friends throughout the season.
Recipe and photo from Box of Spice.
Get the recipe: Mini Cinnamon Wreaths
Mini Gingerbread Houses
Instead of baking a full-sized gingerbread house, create these mini versions that sit atop your mug. They’re perfect for setting out with after-dinner coffee, or for serving with steaming mugs of peppermint hot cocoa. For a snowy effect, dust the roofs with edible glitter.
Recipe and photo from Juliette Laura.
Get the recipe: Mini Gingerbread Houses
Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons
Forget store-bought macarons. These vanilla bean beauties are filled with a trio of frostings (think white chocolate peppermint and eggnog marshmallow), then brushed with simple syrup and dusted with edible glitter. Amidst large pies and other traditional desserts, these will stand out on any holiday table.
Recipe and photo from Kevin & Amanda.
Get the recipe: Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons
Mint Chocolate Mini Cakes
Reminiscent of a Thin Mint cookie, these decadent beauties will please any chocoholic. Each mini cake is draped with homemade chocolate-mint ganache, then finished with whipped cream and a flurry of chocolate shavings. Add a fresh sprig of mint for a festive pop of color.
Cranberry Swirl Mini Cheesecakes
With their graham cracker crust and rich creamy filling, you’ll be going back for seconds of these bite-sized cheesecakes. Don’t skimp on the homemade cranberry swirl—it adds a punch of tart flavor and a decorative touch. For easy cleanup, line your mini muffin tin with paper liners.
Recipe and photo from My Baking Addiction.
Get the recipe: Cranberry Swirl Mini Cheesecakes
Peppermint Bark Petit Fours
Traditional petit fours call for a layer of jam or buttercream in the middle, but this recipe uses peppermint bark for a unique holiday twist. They require a bit of time and labor, but they're totally worth it. Once you've assembled your layers of cake, peppermint chocolate, and marzipan, pour vanilla icing over the mini cakes and sprinkle on your desired decorations while the icing is still wet: nonpareils, dragées, and mini sugar snowflakes are all pretty options. Or wait for the icing to dry and then pipe on designs with colored frosting. Each one-bite cake is like a sweet little Christmas present—completely irresistible.
Recipe and photo from A Beautiful Mess.
Get the recipe: Peppermint Bark Petit Fours
Candy Bar Pretzel Bites
Sweet and salty. Chocolate and pretzels. You can't go wrong with these winning combinations, and these little bites don't disappoint. We're not quite sure if they count as cookies or confections, but either way, they're delicious. Slightly melted mini chocolate candy bars (think Snickers and Milky Ways—use your favorites) are sandwiched between square pretzels, then allowed to harden. Make them festive by dipping half the pretzel sandwich into melted white chocolate and adding a dash of red sprinkles. Once they're set, you're ready to indulge. Crunchy, chewy, chocolatey, and savory all at once, they just might be the perfect bite.
Recipe and photo from The Gunny Sack.
Get the recipe: Candy Bar Pretzel Bites
Chocolate Mousse and Brownie Trifles
An English-style layered trifle is a classic way to top off Christmas dinner. It's often served in a large glass serving bowl, with individual portions spooned out at the table. Taking a cue from the original, these mini trifles are assembled in clear shot glasses so you can see each luscious layer. Instead of traditional cake, fruit, and custard, this version stars rich brownies and an airy chocolate pudding lightened with whipped cream. For a prettier presentation, pipe the pudding into the glasses using a pastry bag (a resealable plastic bag with a corner snipped off will do in a pinch). Finish it off with a sprinkle of brownie crumbs or chocolate curls.
Recipe and photo from Sarah Hearts.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Mousse and Brownie Trifles