Save on Pinterest

40 of Our Favorite Holiday Desserts with 4 Ingredients (Or Less!)

These easy holiday treats are Santa-approved.

1 / 40
Peppermint Puff Pastry Sticks Exps Hccbz18 41414 C05 25 2b 1

Peppermint Puff Pastry Sticks

I wanted to impress my husband's family with something you'd expect to find in a European bakery, and these chocolaty treats are what I came up with. The flaky pastry melts in your mouth. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
2 / 40
Maple Syrup Pie Exps Ppp18 112917 B04 06  6b 2

Maple Syrup Pie

Folks in New Hampshire apparently appreciate maple syrup almost as much as we do in Vermont. When my husband and I took a road trip through New Hampshire, we discovered this pie at a number of diners and restaurants. We loved it so much we created our own version. —Laurie Herr, Westford, Vermont
3 / 40

Colorful Candy Bar Cookies

No one will guess that these sweet treats with the candy bar center start with store-bought dough. Roll them in colored sugar or just dip the tops for even faster assembly. Instead of using miniature candy bars, slice regular-size Snickers candy bars into 1-inch pieces for the centers. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
4 / 40
Shortbread Cutouts Exps Hcbz22 12476 Dr 04 26 2b 4

Shortbread Cutouts

I found this recipe in a magazine over 30 years ago and have made these shortbread cutout cookies for Christmas ever since. They're an oh-so-simple recipe to whip up during the hectic holidays. —Jean Henderson, Montgomery, Texas
5 / 40
Easy Truffles Exps Hc22 38197 P2 Md 06 01 3b 1

Easy Truffles

Our smooth, creamy bonbons are so divine you may be tempted to save this recipe for a special occasion. But with just a few ingredients, they're easy to make anytime. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
6 / 40
Chewy Macaroons Exps Ft19 8183 F 1105 1 6

Chewy Macaroons

These coconut cookies are lightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. “Sometimes I make them a bit larger so I can top them with a scoop of ice cream and some strawberry sauce,” jots Herbert Borland from Des Moines, Washington.
7 / 40
Spearmint Thins Exps Ucsbz17 46155 A05 25 5b 2

Spearmint Thins

No time to bake cookies from scratch? Create a tasty treat in little more than half an hour by doctoring butter-flavored crackers with vanilla chips and mint candies.—Kathleen Felton, Fairfax, Iowa
8 / 40
Icebox Cake Exps Ft22 8761 St 06 29 1

Icebox Cake

You don't have to bake to serve a wonderful dessert! This icebox cake is made from chocolate wafers and whipping cream. It is so delicious.—Cindy Hawkins, New York, New York
9 / 40
Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams Exps Hccbz19 20095 E05 16 6b 2

Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams

Because so many people seem to love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, I came up with this no-bake cookie recipe.—Geraldine Sliwa, Elgin, Illinois
10 / 40

Creamy Rice Pudding

I was fortunate to grow up around fabulous cooks. My mother and grandmother taught me to experiment with recipes, and we tried a lot of variations on this one. No matter how we chose to embellish it, it was always tasty. When I make this, it brings fond memories to mind. —Laura German, North Brookfield, Massachusetts
11 / 40
Chocolate Swirl Delight Exps Sddj18 37374 C08 01 4b 2

Chocolate Swirl Delight

I made a few updates to a great recipe and ended up with an impressive dessert. Everyone loves its light texture and chocolaty flavor. —Lynne Bargar, Saegertown, Pennyslvania
12 / 40

No-Bake Christmas Wreath Treats

Cornflakes take the place of traditional rice cereal in these sweet no-bake Christmas cookies from our Test Kitchen. Dressed up with green food coloring and red candies, they're a fun addition to cookie platters and dessert buffets. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
13 / 40
Lemon Snowflakes Exps Hcbz22 2533 Dr 05 24 5b

Lemon Snowflakes

You’ll need just four ingredients to make these delightful lemon snowflake cookies. Confectioners’ sugar highlights the cracked tops to give them their snowflake appearance. —Linda Barry, Dianna, Texas
14 / 40
Mint Sandwich Cookies Exps Hccbz19 19205 E05 16 2b 2

Mint Sandwich Cookies

Canned frosting, peppermint extract and chocolate candy coating quickly turn crackers into these wonderful little no-bake cookies. My children and I like to assemble them for parties and holidays. I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do. -Melissa Thompson, Anderson, Ohio
15 / 40

Layered Peppermint Icebox Cake

Our home economists take four ingredients and turn them into an impressive, no-bake cake. Do-ahead desserts don't get any better! —Taste Of Home Test Kitchen
16 / 40

Peppermint Kisses

These are fun, refreshing and low in fat! —Lynn Bernstetter, Lake Elmo, Minnesota.
17 / 40
Exps35015 Bhd153762c07 10 4b 3

Potato Chip Clusters

Just three offbeat ingredients add up to one unique, delectable, no-bake treat. These super easy, sweet-and-salty candy clusters make for merry munching during holiday trips or parties. They travel well in containers without melting or getting soft. —Donna Brockett, Kingfisher, Oklahoma
18 / 40

Snowshoe Cookies

Store-bought peanut butter sandwich cookies create the frames for these sweet snowshoes that are drizzled with melted chocolate. Pretzel sticks threaded with mini marshmallows make accompanying poles that kids of all ages can assemble.
19 / 40

Sweet Almond Twists

These delicate almond pastries make lovely light-as-air accompaniments for coffee, tea or cocoa. Your guests will never guess the recipe calls for packaged frozen dough. When I give them as a fresh-baked gift, I tuck in a note saying that they're best served warmed—and right away! —Gloria Devendittis, Waterford, Connecticut
20 / 40

Aunt Rose's Fantastic Butter Toffee

I don't live in the country, but I love everything about it—especially good old-fashioned home cooking! Every year, you'll find me at our county fair, entering a different contest. This easy toffee recipe is a family favorite. —Kathy Dorman, Snover, Michigan
21 / 40
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Exps Tohcom19 23016 B11 20 6b 11

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

A bumper crop of berries turned into a real treat when I dipped them in chocolate! I like to make these chocolate covered strawberries before dinner and put them in the fridge, so they're ready when we're finished eating. My family can't get enough of these chocolate strawberries. —Valerie Gee, Depew, New York
22 / 40
Elegant White Chocolate Mousse Exps Hca17 35611 B10 20 6b 3

Elegant White Chocolate Mousse

Simply elegant is a fitting description for this smooth treat. Whipped cream teams up with white chocolate to make this easy recipe extra special. —Laurinda Johnston, Belchertown, Massachusetts
23 / 40
Chocolate Covered Pretzels Exps Ft19 46159 F 0904 1 4

Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

These chocolate-covered pretzels came from my grandma, who loves to make candy and treats for my students. I have followed in her footsteps and make these for people at work and for other family members. —Aimee Worth, Fair Oaks, California
24 / 40
Cream Cheese Candies Exps Sddj18 11288 B08 03 4b 2

Cream Cheese Candies

These homemade mints make a perfect last-minute addition to holiday treat trays. Pretty much everyone in my neighborhood has this recipe now! —Katie Koziolek, Hartland, Minnesota
25 / 40

Peppermint Pretzel Dippers

A friend made these treats and gave them away in pretty canning jars. The combination of sweet, salty and peppermint is just right. Try dipping them in white candy coating and rolling them in crushed candy canes for variety.—Michelle Krzmarzick, Redondo Beach, California
26 / 40
Mocha Dessert Fondue Exps42699 Sd19999445d08 25 3bc Rms

Mocha Dessert Fondue

I love to entertain, but with a full-time job, a 2-year-old and another one on the way, I don't have a lot of time. This is one of my favorite quick ways to have a memorable time with others. There's nothing like catching up with friends as we gather around a fondue pot! —Tonya Vowels, Vine Grove, Kentucky
27 / 40

Grossmutter's Peppernuts

Before Christmas, my grandmother would bake peppernuts and store them until the big day. When we came home from school, the whole house would smell like anise and we knew the holiday season was about to begin. —Marilyn Kutzli, Clinton, Iowa
28 / 40

Chocolate Caramel Wafers

To keep my holiday cooking quick, I've come to rely on fast recipes like this one. The crunchy-chewy tidbits are our youngster's favorite.
29 / 40
Scottish Shortbread Exps Diyd20 1889 B09 17 3b 2

Scottish Shortbread

My mother, who is of Scottish heritage, passed this shortbread recipe, along with other favorite recipes, on to me. When I entered this treat at our local fair, it won a red ribbon. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
30 / 40

Burnt Custard

The recipe for this smooth-as-silk custard came from a local restaurant years ago. With its broiled topping it looks pretty in individual cups. —Heidi Main, Anchorage, Alaska
31 / 40

32 / 40
No Bake Cookie Butter Blossoms Exps Ucsbz17 205265 C05 24 5b 2

No-Bake Cookie Butter Blossoms

Chewy and sweet, these easy treats mix Rice Krispies, cookie spread and chocolate kisses in an unforgettable spin on an old favorite. —Jessie Sarrazin, Livingston, Montana
33 / 40
White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Exps Hccbz18 39002 B05 01 6b 5

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch

This is my favorite confection to make at Christmas. Not only is it easy, it's delicious as well. I like to fill small bags with the crunchy candy to place in gift baskets.—Nancy Shelton, Boaz, Kentucky
34 / 40

Mom's Fried Apples

Mom often made these fried apples for me while I was growing up. The recipe is very dear to me. —Margie Tappe, Prague, Oklahoma
35 / 40
Palmiers Exps Mcsmz17 30144 C01 05 5b 2

Palmiers

It takes just two ingredients to make these impressive but easy-to-do French pastries, which are often called palm leaves. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
36 / 40
Raspberry Almond Strips Exps Hccbz19 27229 E03 29 6b 12

Raspberry Almond Strips

Get ready to pour yourself a cup of tea, because you won’t be able to resist sampling one of these cookies. Almonds add taste and texture to the simple strips that are dressed up with raspberry pie filling. —Taste of HomeTest Kitchen
37 / 40
Pistachio Cranberry Bark Exps Sddj18 30268 B08 03 9b 11

Pistachio Cranberry Bark

I picked up this bark recipe at a Christmas sweets swap hosted by a woman in my Bible study group. My family, friends and I think it's just divine. Even my dad, who's not big on candy, loves it. —Susan Wacek, Pleasanton, California
38 / 40
Yummy Cracker Snacks Exps Hcbz21 39576 B05 25 5b

Yummy Cracker Snacks

These treats are my family’s favorite. In fact, it seems no matter how many I make, they always disappear too soon! —D. Weaver, Ephrata, Pennsylvania
39 / 40
Chocolate Truffles Exps Hca17 13122 B10 20 3b 5

Chocolate Truffles

You may be tempted to save these chocolate truffles for a special occasion since these smooth, creamy chocolates are divine. But with just a few ingredients, this truffle recipe is easy to make anytime. —Darlene Wiese-Appleby, Creston, Ohio
40 / 40

Pumpkin Ice Cream

This recipe really captures the flavor of fall. It's good with or without the gingersnaps.

Katie Bandurski
As Senior Shopping Editor, Katie connects Taste of Home readers with the best gifts, deals and home products on the market. An avid foodie and a holiday enthusiast, Katie is an expert at cultivating meaningful moments. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and watching Christmas movies.