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Forget the Pie: 3 New Holiday Desserts

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December 15, 2011

The Holiday season is a time of feasting and overindulging in delicious foods. Once you have filled yourself with delicious meats, sides and eggnog, you somehow find a way to make a little more room for dessert. It’s the Holidays, after all.

Here are a few recipes for desserts that will be a hit at your holiday party or gathering this year.

Apple Crisp



  • 10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
  • Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples.
  • Pour water evenly over all.
  • Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together.
  • Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Layer Cake


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2/3 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts plus extra for garnish
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 10- x 15-inch rimmed baking sheet.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar, the pumpkin, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt; mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Pour onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle 1/2 cup walnuts over batter. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle a dish towel with 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Run a knife around edge of baking sheet to loosen baked cake, invert cake onto towel, and let it cool slightly. Remove baking sheet then allow cake to cool completely.
  • Place remaining confectioners’ sugar, the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl; beat until smooth.
  • Cut cake crosswise into thirds, turning pieces nut-side up. Spread filling onto each of the 3 pieces of cake, dividing it evenly. Sprinkle a little granulated sugar on a serving tray (to keep cake from sticking). Place one layer on prepared tray then stack remaining layers over it. Sprinkle extra walnuts on top. Chill, then slice.

Caramel Pecan Tart



  • 36 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 3-1/2 cups pecan halves


  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits
  • 1 tsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 tbsp. whipping cream

You will also need: 1 9-inch pie crust

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare the pie crust according to the directions on the package for a one-crust baked shell using a 9-inch pie pan. Bake then allow to cool completely.
  • Prepare the Filling: In a medium size heavy saucepan, combine the caramels and 1/2 cup whipping cream. Cook over low heat until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add the pecans and stir well to coat. Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the cooled pie shell.
  • Prepare the Topping: In a small size saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate bits with butter, stirring constantly. Add 1 tablespoon of whipping cream and stir until well blended.
  • Drizzle the topping over the pecan filling. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until the filling is firm. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream if desired. Store in refrigerator.
Hope you enjoy these desserts and please share your favorite recipes below.

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