Cupid's Pulse Article: Food Trend: 5 Festive Dessert Ideas for the HolidaysCupid's Pulse Article: Food Trend: 5 Festive Dessert Ideas for the Holidays

By Nicole Maher

The holiday season is upon us, whether we’re ready for it or not. Between buying gifts and decorating your house, you may also be tasked with creating the perfect holiday dessert for your gathering this year. If you are mildly dreading the idea of preparing a dessert, or want something different from the traditional fruitcake, check out some of the following food trends for creating a fresh and unique dessert that will leave your guests asking for the recipe.

Try some of these food trends for creating your most festive holiday desserts.

1. Cheesecake squares: A simple holiday dessert option is cheesecake squares. Mix together cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and eggs to create the standard base, then add in your favorite flavors and toppings. Rather than shaping your creation into the classic round cake, place the mixture in a square pan and cut the finished product into squares for the perfect bite-sized pieces. Make this dessert even more festive by using strawberries as Santa hats on your finished squares.

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2. Rice Krispie treats: If you’re looking for a dessert that requires minimal ingredients and no baking, rice krispie treats are the way to go. Simply melt down some marshmallows and butter on top of the stove and add in your Rice Krispies. Make this dessert even more festive by cutting the finished product into different shapes, such as Christmas trees and Santa hats. Add some red and green sprinkles to finish them off. This is also a great gluten-free adaptive dessert, as you can easily swap the Rice Krispies for a different gluten-free cereal like Fruity Pebbles or Lucky Charms.

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3. Traditional cookies: There is no going wrong with an old-fashioned holiday cookie. It is likely that your family has a recipe that has been passed down over the years, making this the perfect holiday dessert option to pull out every year. If you don’t have a go-to family recipe, take the opportunity to start the tradition yourself. Go for something simple, such as the classic gingerbread cookie, or choose something that is unique to your heritage to add some extra meaning.

4. Festive hot chocolate: If you’re not a huge fan of dessert, or anticipate being stuffed after your holiday meal, offering a dessert drink is a great alternative. Hot chocolate is the perfect option for creating a holiday-themed dessert that is lighter than a baked good. Take this food trend to the next level by allowing your guests to customize their drinks with different flavored syrups. Be sure to top the drinks off with some marshmallows and whipped cream!

5. Holiday bark: A great last-minute dessert option is holiday bark. Similar to Rice Krispie treats, holiday bark requires few ingredients and little prep time. It is also extremely versatile, and can be altered to whatever flavor profile you would like! Go for a classic holiday bark by using white and milk chocolate along with candy-cane pieces, or create your own unique recipe with different ingredients. M&Ms, pretzels, and toffee pieces make great toppings when creating a holiday bark perfect for your gathering this season.

What are some other holiday dessert ideas? Start a conversation in the comments below!