Inexpensive, Easy Holiday Desserts

If you’re not a baker and don’t want to spend your holiday budget on gourmet cupcakes and expensive pies, here are some ideas for delicious desserts you can serve for just pennies per person this Christmas.

cheap-easy-holiday-dessertsIce Cream Station

Let people make their own sundaes and parfaits by setting up an ice cream station. Include some red (strawberry) and green (mint) ice creams and fruits to highlight the Christmas theme, and use a holiday themed tablecloth and napkins. Look for Christmas themed glasses and bowls at your local dollar store.

String Cheese Candy Canes

Who doesn’t love a tray filled with fruit and cheese? Add a holiday theme to platter by wrapping thinly sliced cherry and sour apple fruit leather around white string cheese to make fruit-and-cheese candy canes.

Dessert Kabobs

Skewer marshmallows, fruits, soft chocolates and other goodies on sticks topped by tiny Christmas ornaments or figurines. Use red and green fruits such as kiwi, strawberry, cherries and green apples.

Cookie Staircase

Make your cookies stand out with a special presentation. Buy or make your cookie dough and pick up some holiday cookie molds, sprinkles and frostings from the dollar store. Serve your cookies on a tiered stand that showcases your creations and makes your budget goodies look more upscale. These simple stands let you take them to a party, setting one up in just a matter of minutes.

Dessert Wraps

Use Flatout flatbread to create easy-to-eat dessert wraps. Check out the FlatoutBread.com for lots of great dessert recipes. Using Flatbread wraps and strawberry or cherry fillings, you can make a Christmas colored dessert treat.

Red and Green Sour Cream Gelatin

Combine red and green gelatin cubes with sour cream and crushed almonds to create a sweet and savory dessert. You can add the sour cream to a gelatin mold as another option, or create a layered parfait in glasses.

Cobbler, Crumble & Cream

Using canned fruit, butter, brown sugar or a crumble or cobbler topping mix, you can create a warm, sweet dessert your family or guests can spoon over vanilla ice cream. Add some cranberries to give it a Christmas tie-in.

Warm Apples & Raisins

Slice apples and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Add raisins and sprinkle with cinnamon. Heat until the apples and raisins moisten and you begin to see a sweet syrup form. Add brown sugar if you want an even sweeter, bubbly bowl of goodness you can spoon over ice cream or eat straight from individual bowls.

Red and Green Yogurt Parfaits

Buy a large tub of your favorite yogurt, a bag of frozen strawberries and some crushed nuts. Layer the yogurt, defrosted fruit and crush nuts in a tall glass and top with a sprig of mint to create a Christmas colored taste treat. Using an unsweetened or unflavored yogurt creates a savory contrast between the yogurt and the sweet fruit.

Christmas Cupcakes

Wait until cake mix is on sale at your grocery store or buy generic brands, which will let you bake a dozen or more cupcakes for pennies each. Buy your cupcake wrappers at the dollar store so you can create budget dessert favorites no one will know aren’t store bought. Decorate with red, white and green frostings and sprinkles and add tiny snowman, reindeer and snowflake candies.

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