If you’re anything like us, the one thing you love about the holidays is that you feel less guilty when it comes to enjoying your desserts. Office holiday parties turn into a collective excuse to dive into cakes and cookies out of solidarity, gratitude, and an all-around sense of celebration. Family gatherings end up turning the dessert table into the main event, with sugary wonderlands and displays of fun holiday desserts that cannot and shouldn’t be ignored.

Photo above: Christmas Tree Brownies from Southern Living. Photo: Micah A. Leal

So here it is, the one time a year when throwing yourselves without reserve into the irresistible world of yummy desserts is not just encouraged but practically mandatory. And since a feast for the eyes is just as important as one for the stomach, you might be on the lookout for treats that not only satisfy a sweet tooth but also bring a collective smile to everyone’s face. 

We are always on the same adventure, so we already put together a list of fun holiday desserts you might want to try this year. 

Photo by Diliara Garifullina on Unsplash

Let’s go from simple to complex, and tackle the vast world of seasonal sweet treats by starting with the easiest recipe ever! These easy Mini Peppermint Trifles need no baking, no rearranging your schedule, and only minimal effort for a delightful look that radiates holiday cheer. Made with angel cake, heavy cream and the candy canes that flood the stores this time of the year, the trifles are topped with a mini Santa hat and are as decorative as they are irresistible.

Mini Peppermint Trifles from Living Locurto

Speaking of simplicity, here is another no-bake dessert that demands more craft skills than baking talents. Beginning with the humble but well-loved Milano cookies, these reindeer treats combine the saltiness of pretzels with the sweetness of the cookies, creating some satisfying bites of goodness. They can be assembled in no time and make for an adorable display on the dessert table.

Milano Reindeer Cookies from Delish. Lucy Schaeffer Photography

If your talents lie more in the artistic realm rather than in the baking department, these Melted Snowman Sugar Cookies are simple enough to bake and offer you the chance to fill an hour or so with some artistic work.

Melted Snowman Sugar Cookies from Betty Crocker

Moving on to a slightly higher level of difficulty, here we have the Christmas Tree Brownies—a must-have on every Christmas table in one form or another. With a gooey center and some piping work that takes them to another decorative level, nothing says Christmas like these delightful little bites.

Christmas Tree Brownies from Southern Living. Photo: Micah A. Leal

If your dessert table needs a colorful pick-me-up in classic seasonal colors, these Christmas Pinwheel Cookies are what you’re looking for. Festive yet fairly easy to make, they can serve as perfect candidate for goodie bags. 

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies from Southern Living. Photo: Joy Howard

For some visual impact paired with a delicious combination of ingredients, try these elegant and colorful chocolate gingerbread wreath cookies. While they do require some basic piping work, the end result is a flavorful display of holiday beauty.

Chocolate Gingerbread Wreath Cookies from Southern Living
Photo: Greg Dupree. Food styling: Emily Nabors Hall. Prop styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Leaving elegance behind and throwing an ugly-sweater Christmas party? There is no better match for the occasion than this Ugly Sweater Cake that can make anyone’s lack of artistic skills a deliberate move. The red velvet interior is a nice surprise—this cake is no joke but a delicious treat with deep flavors.

Ugly Sweater Cake from Southern Living
Photo: Frederick Hardy II. Food stylist: Margaret Dickey. Prop stylist: Christina Daley

Decorating a cake is easy when you have some frosting handy. These White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies use a homemade alternative to spread the Christmas spirit. 

White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies from Delish
Photo: Dane Tashima. Food styling: Jason Schreiber

Finally, if you’re feeling fancy, go all the way with this fabulous and impressive Redbird Cake. With its warm baking spices, marzipan cones, and frosted redbird cookie decorations, the taste is legendary—those who have tried it swear it’s the best cake they have ever served for Christmas. Test their theory and incorporate it into your menu this year for an unforgettable and celebratory dessert table centerpiece.

Redbird Cake from Southern Living
Photo: Victor Protasio. Food stylist: Torie Cox. Prop stylist: Lidia Pursell

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