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30 Last-Minute Holiday Desserts

Chocolate-dipped, candy-topped and more. Get to the best part of the holidays in under 30 minutes with these last-minute holiday desserts.

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Crispy Christmas Trees

Crispy Christmas Trees

These holiday novelties will draw admiring comments wherever you serve them— a sprinkle of sugar supplies a yuletide touch to each fanciful hand-shaped creation. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Chocolate Pecan FondueTaste of Home

Chocolate Pecan Fondue

When our kids have friends sleep over, I like to surprise them with this chocolate treat. Our favorite dippers include fruit, marshmallows, cookies and pound cake. —Suzanne McKinley, Lyons, Georgia

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Ornament Popcorn BallsTaste of Home

Ornament Popcorn Balls

These gooey-sweet treats are great for dressing up the tree with a little more than the classic popcorn string. And they're yummier and fun for the family, too. — Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri

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Air-Fryer Peppermint Lava CakesTaste of Home

Air-Fryer Peppermint Lava Cakes

It never ceases to amaze to see warm chocolate pudding ooze out of the center of this tender chocolate cake. These cakes are a showstopper on a plate! Serve lava cakes with whipped cream or ice cream. —Carolyn Crotser, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Gluten-Free SugarplumsTaste of Home

Gluten-Free Sugarplums

Lots of moist, fruity flavor and nutty crunch give these sweet/spicy bites a kind of gumdrop richness. They make a delicious addition to cookie trays. Sneak one early—they’ll be gone before you can lick the sugar off your fingers! —Corleen Heidgerken, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Pressure-Cooker Cranberry Stuffed ApplesTaste of Home

Pressure-Cooker Cranberry Stuffed Apples

Cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts add a homey autumn flavor to these stuffed apples. What a lovely old-fashioned treat! —Grace Sandvigen, Rochester, New York

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Pumpkin Pecan SundaesTaste of Home

Pumpkin Pecan Sundaes

My family enjoys anything with pumpkin so I knew this recipe would be well-received. Butter pecan ice cream is a perfect partner for the spiced pumpkin sauce.—Fancheon Resler, Bluffton, Indiana

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Raspberry Coconut BallsTaste of Home

Raspberry Coconut Balls

My family loves Hostess Zingers, especially the raspberry flavor coated with coconut, inspiring this treat to make for school bake sales. We can make about four dozen in 30 minutes, and they sell out fast! —Pam Clark, Wheaton, Illinois

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Quinoa, Fresh Fig and Honey-Balsamic ParfaitTaste of Home

Quinoa, Fresh Fig and Honey-Balsamic Parfait

This quinoa yogurt parfait is special to me because of its wholesome ingredients. Quinoa is gluten-free, which is good for those who have food allergies, like my daughter. And I love fresh ripe figs when they are in season. Enjoy this for breakfast or dessert. —Dawn Hutchins, St. Johns, Florida

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Coconut-Layered Pound CakeTaste of Home

Coconut-Layered Pound Cake

If you love chocolate, almonds and coconut, this cake is for you. It comes together in a flash and tastes just like an Almond Joy candy bar! —Linda L. Nichols, Steubenville, Ohio

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Quick Apple CrispTaste of Home

Quick Apple Crisp

This dessert can be assembled in a snap and cooks up in minutes, making it a delectable dessert for unexpected guests. You’ll love it served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped topping. —Suzie Salle, Renton, Washington

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Chocolate Chip Dutch BabyTaste of Home

Chocolate Chip Dutch Baby

I modified a friend's traditional Dutch baby recipe to come up with this version, which my family thinks is terrific. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to make. —Mary Thompson, La Crosse, Wisconsin

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Apple Honey Tapioca PuddingTaste of Home

Apple Honey Tapioca Pudding

I'm glad that apple season is long, since my family requests this pudding quite often!

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Chocolate-Raspberry FondueTaste of Home

Chocolate-Raspberry Fondue

You don't need a fancy fondue pot to make this melt-in-your-mouth concoction. I serve the dip in my small slow cooker. Folks love the chocolate-raspberry combination.--Heather Maxwell, Fort Riley, Kansas.

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Quick Bananas FosterTaste of Home

Quick Bananas Foster

Guests are always impressed when I ignite the rum in this delicious bananas Foster dessert. Use perfectly ripe bananas for best results. —Mary Lou Wayman, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Grapefruit AlaskaTaste of Home

Grapefruit Alaska

Easily impress your guests with this quick dessert. It takes just 30 minutes to prepare, and you'll receive rave reviews. —Peg Atzen, Hackensack, Minnesota

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Pumpkin WhipTaste of Home

Pumpkin Whip

Even though this dessert is quick to fix, it has a creamy pumpkin taste and golden harvest look...just like traditional pumpkin pie. It's a great dessert for both everyday dinners and special-occasion suppers.—Linda Clapp, Stow, Ohio

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Cannoli DipTaste of Home

Cannoli Dip

Ricotta is one of my family's favorite ingredients. I made up the cannoli filling and broke up some ice cream waffle shells to use as "chips and dip"—it was an instant hit! It's also good served slightly warm. —Ann Marie Eberhart, Gig Harbor, Washington

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Fruity Cereal BarsTaste of Home

Fruity Cereal Bars

With dried apples and cranberries, these crispy cereal bars are perfect for snacks or brown-bag lunches. —Giovanna Kranenberg, Cambridge, Minnesota

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Cinnamon Apple Pan BettyTaste of Home

Cinnamon Apple Pan Betty

I found this recipe soon after I was married decades ago. You'll need just a few ingredients that you probably have on hand. It's super quick to put together and a favorite of ours during fall and winter, when apples are at their best. —Shirley Leister, West Chester, Pennsylvania

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Chocolate Malt Crispy BarsTaste of Home

Chocolate Malt Crispy Bars

This chunky, chewy malted milk chocolate bar is a feast for your eyes. Malted milk flavor fills this bar from top to bottom. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Chocolate Caramel Turkey LegsTaste of Home

Chocolate Caramel Turkey Legs

Mention turkey legs made of pretzels and chocolate, and the kids come running. Let them help by unwrapping caramels for this easy, no-bake treat. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Holiday Rum BallsTaste of Home

Holiday Rum Balls

I use this recipe for special occasions with my wonderful family and friends. The treats are so easy to make and pack a festive rum punch. — Diane Duschanek, Council Bluffs, Iowa

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Nutella Hand PiesTaste of Home

Nutella Hand Pies

These pint-size Nutella hand pies made with puff pastry are too good to keep to yourself! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Chocolate-Raspberry FondueTaste of Home

Chocolate-Raspberry Fondue

You don't need a fancy fondue pot to make this melt-in-your-mouth concoction. I serve the dip in my small slow cooker. Folks love the chocolate-raspberry combination.--Heather Maxwell, Fort Riley, Kansas.

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Molten Peppermint-Chocolate CakesTaste of Home

Molten Peppermint-Chocolate Cakes

I doctored up a recipe I found in the newspaper years ago. When you see the gooey chocolate dripping out, you know you're in for an awesome dessert. —Genise Krause, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

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Chocolate Banana BundlesTaste of Home

Chocolate Banana Bundles

Banana and chocolate are such an irresistible combo that I make this quick dessert often. You can also top them with the butter and brown sugar mixture left over from coating the bananas, or sprinkle on a dash of sea salt. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey

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Traditional Popcorn BallsTaste of Home

Traditional Popcorn Balls

Kids of all ages enjoy this popcorn ball recipe as an old-fashioned holiday treat. One batch goes a long way. —Cathy Karges, Hazen, North Dakota

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Mocha Pudding CakesTaste of Home

Mocha Pudding Cakes

These mouthwatering mini cakes make the perfect treat for a twosome. My mom used to make these when I was a little girl. Now I whip them up for a speedy dessert. —Debora Simmons, Eglon, West Virginia

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White Chocolate Cereal BarsTaste of Home

White Chocolate Cereal Bars

A friend shared with me this fresh take on traditional crispy treats. My husband loves them, and I feel so efficient with their quick prep time. —Anne Powers, Munford, Alabama

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

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