Help! Looking for Christmas desserts that can be baked in advance!

I'm in charge of the desserts for Christmas in my family, but I'm working overtime from here until two days before the big date. I need ideas of desserts that can be frozen and then just thawed before dinner. My family will eat pretty much anything, so fire away :) Thank you in advance for the help!

  • Posted by: Anna
  • November 7, 2014
  • 2797 views
  • 20 Comments

20 Comments

AntoniaJames November 14, 2014
Consider a steamed pudding, which will hold beautifully for several months, and indeed, will improve with time if tightly wrapped. Here is my recipe, which can be made in a full pudding mold instead of smaller portions steamed in Mason jars or ramekins. https://food52.com/recipes/31848-steamed-holiday-pudding-the-mason-jar-edition

If you don't have a pudding mold, see this marvelous video from the BBC, on how to make do with a bowl, foil, parchment and string: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/technique/how-steam-pudding

To serve on a festive occasion, don't forget a good brandy or sherry sauce! Here is my recipe for the latter. If you don't have sherry, or are not terribly fond of it, substitute brandy, of course. https://food52.com/recipes/32024-amontillado-dessert-sauce

I'll be posting several other recipes for holiday dessert sauces in the next few weeks, too.

Keep in mind that any of the sauces can be used over a simple pound cake, which most people love, and which freezes beautifully. Cheers! ;o)
 
AntoniaJames November 14, 2014
Here's a link to a photo of my steamed pudding - can be made to taste much like a fruitcake or not, as you wish. http://instagram.com/p/vY3T7zmBxp/
 
Pegeen November 13, 2014
Just saw this article on freezing pies and noticed two things: fruit pies OK to freeze but it doesn't recommend freezing custard or pumpkin pies. And Pyrex or glass pie dishes are not recommended (use tin or ceramic like Emile Henry) because of the sudden temperature shift from frozen to hot - the Pyrex or glass can crack.
http://www.thekitchn.com/freeze-your-unbaked-pies-to-save-time-on-thanksgiving-thanksgiving-tips-from-the-kitchn-212636
 
ChefJune November 13, 2014
Interesting. I've frozen banana cream pie for short periods (like a week) with no noticeable degradation. And although I don't make pumpkin pies, I frequently freeze sweet potato pies (already baked) with no problem whatsoever. As for freezing in Pyrex -- I guess that article is assuming (always a dangerous thing to do) that the pie is going straight to the oven from the freezer. I generally freeze already baked pies, so that's not an issue.
 
aobenour November 7, 2014
Fudge!!
 
kimhw November 7, 2014
I always have chocolate mousse and lemon curd in my freezer. Get a variety of berries, whipped cream, chocolate syrup and people can made their own!
 
ChefJune November 7, 2014
Most of the do-ahead desserts have been covered here, but I have to add a couple. Frozen mousses are very festive, easy and you MUST do them ahead and freeze them. Also chocolate truffles can be frozen successfully. Just make sure you thaw them completely before boxing them with candy papers, as the moisture would make the little cups soggy.
 
amysarah November 7, 2014
That reminds me - how could I forget Semifreddo (much like a frozen mousse)? A chocolate one is on our standard Christmas rotation, because my daughter demands it and it's a great make ahead.
 
Pegeen November 7, 2014
I love fruit cake too (but without the green cherries). Nannydeb's "Holiday Fruit & Nut Cake" is very good: https://food52.com/recipes/8220-holiday-fruit-nut-cake
 
EmilyC November 7, 2014
This Date, Apricot and Walnut Loaf Cake that was recently featured on the site is SO good. It's a sophisticated version of fruit cake, and it gets better with age so you could bake it three or four days in advance with no need to freeze it. https://food52.com/blog/11454-diana-henry-s-date-apricot-and-walnut-loaf-cake
 
plainhomecook November 7, 2014
Fruit cake (I know, I know) should be made at least a month in advance. If you think you hate fruit cake, you could try this recipe - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/269321. It is really not what you would expect fruit cake to be and it is very, very good.
 
Anna November 7, 2014
I'm actually fond of fruit cake (go figure), so I'll definitely give this a go. Thanks for the tip!
 
Marian B. November 7, 2014
Cake! Cake! Any (unfrosted) cake!
 
Anna November 7, 2014
Any particulars as for the freezing in this case, or just wrap it tight in clingfoil and tupperware and it's ok to go?
 
ATG117 November 7, 2014
wrap each layer in saran wrap, then in foil, and then place in a freezer bag.
 
Pegeen November 7, 2014
Just saw this great recipe for rugelach (delicious - more of a pastry than cookie)
https://food52.com/blog/11669-mrs-wheelbarrow-s-rugelach#tmhmdj:SGy

You could also bake and fill little tartlets with lemon curd, jam or conserves, then freeze. Defrost and add a dollop of whipped cream before serving.
 
Anna November 7, 2014
Thanks for the rugelach suggestion - looks tasty!
 
amysarah November 7, 2014
Many types of cookies, plus brownies, blondies, etc. freeze well. Cheesecakes generally freeze well too (though if you're topping it with fruit, do that after defrosting.) I've frozen flourless (or near flourless) chocolate cakes and they were fine - just serve 'as is' with whipped or vanilla ice cream.
 
Pegeen November 7, 2014
Unbaked double-crust fruit pies freeze very well. You just need to add more baking time to defrost them when you finally put them in the oven. You can also freeze unfrosted layer cakes, defrost later, then frost, glaze or add toppings the day before or day of. Same with "loaf" dessert breads or bundt cake. Trifles are easy to assemble (fun for kids as they don't need much precision) and could be made quickly the day before or day of. Nigella Lawson has a very tasty chocolate cherry trifle - check her web site.
 
Anna November 7, 2014
Thanks for the tips - will definitely check Nigella's recipe!
 
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