Advertisement
Recipe Collections

20 Amazing No-Bake Desserts For The Holidays

Who says holiday treats have to come from the oven? These no-bake treasures are every bit as sublime.
20 Amazing No-Bake Desserts For The Holidays

Photography, Erik Putz. Food Styling, Dara Sutin. Prop Styling, Krystin Leigh Smith.

After the turkey, baked brie, fresh pull-apart rolls and everything else you need your oven for this month, it can be difficult to find time (or oven space) for dessert. And if you're out of time to bake more holiday cookies—or you're interested in adding something new to the menu—these no-bake desserts are the way to go!

From bite-sized peanut butter balls, to a decadent chocolate trifle, here are our best recipes.

Classic Nanaimo Bars

Faster than anything requiring a pastry crust, and perfect for socially distanced porch drop-offs, this recipe for Nanaimo bars is truly bar none. Get our Classic Nanaimo Bars recipe here here.

Classic Nanaimo bars on wooden cutting boardPhotography, Erik Putz. Food Styling, Dara Sutin. Prop Styling, Krystin Leigh Smith.

Chocolate Truffles

These decadent truffles are both intensely satisfying and incredibly easy to make. After whipping together a simple ganache using melted chocolate, butter and cream, pop the mixture in the fridge and let it firm up. After that, it’s just a matter of rolling into bite-sized balls and choosing your favourite toppings to coat them in. Get our chocolate truffles recipe here.

20 Amazing No-Bake Desserts For The Holidays(Recipes by Irene Ngo, Produced by Sun Ngo, Photography by Erik Putz, Prop Styling by Madeleine Johari, Food Styling by Michelle Rabin)

Advertisement

Chewy Chocolate Coconut Bars

Once you add these homemade bars to your holiday repertoire, there’s no going back. Delicious and oh-so-easy to make, they may just be the start of a new holiday tradition. Get our chewy chocolate coconut bars recipe here.

Chewy chocolate coconut bars topped with grated coconut on a silver serving platter on a marble counter

No-Bake White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

If you’re not that into dark chocolate (we know you’re out there), try this simple holiday treat made with white chocolate and crushed candy canes. Get our peppermint fudge recipe here.

White chocolate peppermint fudge cut into squares, no-bake peppermint fudge recipePhoto, Erik Putz.

Salted-Almond Nanaimo Bars

These decadent salted-almond Nanaimo bars may be a star Christmas dessert, but they’re also a Chatelaine Kitchen favourite year-round. Get our salted almond nanaimo bars recipe here.

Nanaimo bars and Turtle fudge bars on cooling rackPhoto, Erik Putz.

Advertisement

No-Bake Gingerbread Cookie Truffles

A no-bake delight you can make with just a few ingredients (think ginger cookies, cookie butter and tempered chocolate) and cute gem-shaped silicone molds (optional—you can also shape these truffles into balls). Get our no-bake gingerbread cookie truffles recipe here.

Chocolate shapes topped with gingerPhoto, Erik Putz

Turtle Fudge

This no-bake Christmas dessert is simply irresistible. (And using packaged caramels makes it incredibly easy.) Get our turtle fudge recipe here.

Nanaimo bars and Turtle fudge bars on cooling rackPhoto, Erik Putz.

Black Forest Trifle

What do you get when you mix Black Forest cake with a trifle? A holiday party waiting to happen! Best of all, it’s easy to make ahead (and tastes even better the next day). Get our black forest trifle recipe here.

a Black Forest trifle in a glass trifle bowl topped with whipped cream, Black Forest trifle recipe(Photo: Erik Putz)

Advertisement

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

These bite-sized snacks are an ode to one of the best flavour combinations that exists. (They’re also perfect for all holiday entertaining). Get our chocolate peanut butter balls recipe here.

New chocolate CanadaPhoto, Erik Putz.

Haystack Cookies

This recipe uses crunchy chow mein noodles, creamy peanut butter and butterscotch chips for easy, no-fuss drop cookies the whole family will love. Get our haystack cookies recipe here.

haystack cookiesPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

Mocha Biscuit Cake

Short on time (or baking know-how)? This cake—rumoured to be a favourite of Prince William’s—is the perfect, eye-pleasing Christmas dessert. Get our Mocha biscuit cake recipe here.

No-bake Christmas dessert: Mocha biscuit cakePhoto, Erik Putz.

Advertisement

White And Dark Chocolate Pink Salt-And-Pepper Whiskey Truffles

While we never say no to Christmas cookies, these dark chocolate whiskey truffles are our new guilty pleasure. Get our salt and pepper whiskey truffles recipe here.

White And Dark Chocolate Pink Salt-And-Pepper Whiskey Truffles one with bite out of it on a red background

Prosecco Jelly Squares

We’ve added a little grown-up sparkle to make this guilty pleasure extra-fun. Get our prosecco jelly squares recipe here.

Prosecco jelly squaresPhoto, Roberto Caruso.

Cider Gelées

Gummy candies for grown-ups. These jellies have a healthy dose of hard apple cider, so they’re a great adult treat. Get our cider gelées recipe here.

cider gelees - homemade candies - holiday candyPhoto, Liam Morgan.

Advertisement

Chocolate Mint-Crisps

Part cookie, part chocolate bar and all delicious, this easy treat is even prettier when decorated with candied sprinkles. Get our chocolate-mint crisps recipe here.

No-bake Christmas dessert: Chocolate-mint cookie thinsPhoto, Erik Putz.

Chestnut Marzipan Rum Balls & Victorian Sugarplums

The no-bake Christmas dessert you didn’t know you needed. The flavours of chestnut and almond marry beautifully, while a little flaky sea salt adds crunch and contrast. Get our marzipan rum balls recipe.

Almonds and assorted dried fruits are the base of these bite-sized sparkly, sweet gems. Get our Victorian sugarplums recipe.

No-bake Christmas dessert: Chestnut Marzipan Rum Balls

Honey Peanut Balls

The original 1957 version of these make-ahead bonbons were billed as a convenience treat. Sprinkling a bit of childhood-favourite sugary cereal overtop adds a bit of crunch, colour and fun. Get our honey peanut balls recipe here. 

Honey peanut balls, rolled in colourful crushed cereal bits, on a lime green surfaceProduced by Chantal Braganza and Sun Ngo, Photography by Christie Vuong, Food Styling by Eshun Mott, Prop Styling by Nicole Billark.

Advertisement

Pistachio And Rose Halva

Dried rose petals add extra colour and creativity to this pistachio- and rosewater-flavoured halva. Bonus: Like all halva, this recipe is vegan.Get our pistachio and rose halva recipe here.

20 Amazing No-Bake Desserts For The HolidaysPhotography by Erik Putz; Food styling by John Kruusi; Prop styling by Madeleine Johari

Marbled Candy-Cane Bark

Absolutely irresistible! Marbled candy-cane bark looks too good to eat. But then again, with a double hit of chocolate – both white and dark – as well as crunchy pistachios and minty candy canes, who can resist? Treats don’t get much easier than this! Get our marbled candy-cane bark recipe here. 

peppermint barks in a red metal box

Gelatina Mosaico

On childhood trips to visit family in Mexico, I looked forward to running to the nearest corner store and digging into a cup of cold gelatina. Also known as gelatina mosaico (stained glass jelly) in Mexico and Brazil, this no-bake dessert is made from sweetened condensed and evaporated milks, and chopped Jell-O. You can set it in eight to 10 cups for a quick dessert fix, or in a Bundt pan for an easy summer stunner, as we’ve done here. This recipe makes a pretty firm-set cake; you can reduce the unflavoured gelatin amount by 1/4 for a wobblier one. Get our Gelatina Mosaico recipe here. 

a gelatin cake in the shape of a bundt mould sits on a glass cake platePhoto by Christie Vuong.

Assorted cookies on a pink background with the words in white

How to make turtle fudge

GET CHATELAINE IN YOUR INBOX!

Subscribe to our newsletters for our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement