25 Mini Christmas Desserts That Are Equal Parts Delightful and Delicious

·7-min read

If we had to choose between eating one normal-size cookie and popping seven tiny ones into our mouth in rapid succession, we’d choose mini every. Single. Time. We can’t exactly explain the allure of tiny treats, but we can provide these mini Christmas desserts—from pint-size panettone to tiny tiramisu—to make your holiday season that much more magical. Set out a few extra for Santa on Christmas Eve—we hear he has a big appetite.

48 Christmas Dessert Recipes That Can Get Anyone in the Holiday Spirit

1. Mini Cranberry, Pistachio and Chocolate Panettone

Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, <500 calories

Not only are they fun-sized, they’re also light, airy and moist (unlike the dry, boring store-bought kind).

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2. Mini Caramel Pecan Pies with Cinnamon Roll Crust

Photo: Jon Cospito/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

It’s two desserts in one bite. And just look at those Instagram-worthy caramel drips. (You’ll start with store-bought pie crust, no worries.)

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3. Mini Citrus Monkey Bread

Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, kid-friendly

They might be mini, but they sure are sticky. Pass the napkins. You can make the dough yourself, or buy a pizza dough in the frozen section.

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4. No-Bake Mini Mason Jar Spiced Cheesecakes

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly

These little guys take all of ten minutes to assemble, but they’re packed to the brim with flavor.

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5. Mini Cranberry Potpies

Photo: Matt Dutile/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, special occasion–worthy

Tonight, sharing is optional. That gorgeous crust? It’s frozen puff pastry.

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6. No-Bake Sugar Cookie Truffles

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients

You can start with store-bought cookies to save yourself some time, and no, you don’t have to tell anyone.

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7. Mini No-Bake Gingersnap Icebox Cakes

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours

  • Why We Love It: no cook, make ahead, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Try not to ogle over how cute they are. You still have to drizzle them with caramel sauce.

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8. Mini Apple Cinnamon Tarts

Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

They look like a fancy bakery treat, but they have a secret. (It’s that ingenious frozen puff pastry again. That’s the secret.)

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9. Mini Chocolate Snowball Cakes

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

You’re about to win the lunchbox snack game. For a festive (and kitschy) twist, try tossing the coconut in a touch of green or red food dye before coating the cakes.

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10. Mini Tiramisu

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, <10 ingredients, make ahead

Don’t mind if we tirami-do. These require a 45-minute chill before serving, but feel free to keep them in the fridge overnight.

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11. Miniature Banoffee Cobblers

Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

Banoffee is a combination of banana and toffee. Never had it? You’re in for a treat.

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12. Mini M&M’s Cookies

Sally’s Baking Addiction

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

If you haven’t already, it’s time to bust out the seasonal candy. (Fair warning: The tinier the cookie, the faster they disappear.)

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13. Chocolate-Stuffed Brownie Bites

Photo: Matt Dutile/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Because they’re mini, they’re also easy and quick to bake. You could whip them up every week, but that might get dangerous...

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14. Vanilla Sugar Dusted Macaroon Trees

Half Baked Harvest

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

We’ve always wanted to stroll through a forest of tiny, sugary trees. The “trunks” are peanut butter cups and the tops are coconut macaroons.

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15. Mini Gingerbread Houses

I Am a Food Blog

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, plus drying time

  • Why We Love It: make ahead, kid-friendly

They’re sturdy enough to rest on the rim of a hot cup of tea, but not so sturdy that they taste like cardboard—an important consideration when it comes to gingerbread.

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16. Mini Citrus Pavlovas

Spoon Fork Bacon

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, special occasion–worthy

The winter fruit selection can feel bleak, but don’t forget all the citrus. For an eye-catching effect, use a mix of different colors, from blood oranges and tangerines to grapefruit.

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17. Mini Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Pinch of Yum

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Mini thumbprints call for mini thumbs. Read: It’s time to get the kids involved.

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18. Nutella Sandwich Cookies

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, gluten free

We love the combination of melt-in-your-mouth meringue cookies and rich, sweet Nutella. For a shortcut, go ahead and use store-bought cookies.

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19. Three-Ingredient Chocolate Truffles

Colin Price/Dinner Then Dessert

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours, 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, make ahead

Introducing your new favorite party dessert and holiday gift. Everyone will be so impressed.

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20. Gingerbread Cupcakes

A Cookie Named Desire

  • Time Commitment: 48 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, kid-friendly, <500 calories

Who needs a whole loaf when you can have a cake all to yourself?

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21. Peppermint Devil’s Food Hi-Hat Cupcakes

The Fearless Baker

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion–worthy

These aren’t just any chocolate cupcakes. Nope, they’re topped with a huge mound of minty marshmallow frosting and covered with a thin layer of chocolate glaze. (Yum.)

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22. Eggnog Panna Cotta

Photo: Michael Marquand/Styling: Caroline Lange

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes, plus chilling time

  • Why We Love It: make ahead, <10 ingredients, special occasion–worthy, gluten free

Psst: It’s a three-ingredient dessert, but it doesn’t taste like it. (It’s also a great way to use up leftover eggnog, but we digress.)

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23. Peppermint Patties

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, <10 ingredients, gluten free

These classic candies are easier to make at home than you think, plus you’ll need something to do while you watch Christmas Vacation for the third time.

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24. Orange and Chocolate Brioche Tarts

Photo: Christine Han/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, plus overnight chilling time

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

They don’t have a traditional pie crust, but that’s not holding them back. Anything can be pie (or a tart) if you have the right mindset. The brioche dough can even be made ahead and frozen for up to a month.

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25. Muffin-Tin Lemon Meringue Tartlets

Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser

Before you get lost in those swoops and swirls, dust off your trusty (albeit underused) muffin tin.

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46 Easy Christmas Treats the Whole Family Can Help Make

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.