68 Winter Treats That'll Keep You Feeling Cozy All Season Long
Let it snow.
Every December, we pull out our coats, turn up our thermostats, and get excited for winter parties, holiday baking, and the best excuse of all for staying cozy indoors instead of going out (snow, ofc!). Once the holidays are behind us though, we often find ourselves falling into a winter slump. You too? Join us as we attempt to ward away the winter sads by keeping up with our holiday baking even after the holidays are over. We’ve got recipes for everyone here, from traditional Christmas cookies or Hanukkah-inspired desserts (no reason to not make them all season long), to winter-wonderland-inspired treats, to desserts full of warming spices and flavors that’ll keep you feeling extra cozy. Check out our 68 winter treats for ideas—they’re sure to help keep away those winter blues this year.
It’s practically law that you’ve got to bake at least one festive thing for each winter holiday, so we’ve included some of our favorites, like our sufganiyot, our bûche de noël, our figgy pudding, our Italian ricotta cookies, and our chocolate babka. Want even more holiday baking inspiration? Check out our favorite Christmas cakes, our best easy and no-bake holiday desserts, our top Hanukkah desserts, and our favorite homemade Christmas candy (we don’t know about you, but we’ll be making peppermint bark 'til spring).
If you don’t celebrate the holidays (or are just over them this year—relatable), try making desserts inspired by winter instead. Check out our igloo cake, our snowflake cookies, our snowball cookies (including ones stuffed with kisses), our marshmallow cake, or our eggnog truffles. A number of these make great use of snowy powdered sugar, and we dare you to not laugh when you get covered in it while making them.
Is the weather outside frightful? Make your home feel extra delightful by baking up one of our recipes here that employ special ingredients that will make you feel all warm and cozy. Try our brown butter snickerdoodles, our Earl Grey crème brûlée, our sticky toffee pudding, our gingerbread truffles, or our bread pudding to see what we mean. They’re comforting, delicious, and are as enjoyable whether you're staying in or need something to warm you up after a snowball fight.
And don’t forget about wintery drinks too. There’s really something to be said for how a hot beverage can really turn one’s mood around, so we’ve included some of our favorites, like our Christmas coffee, our best-ever hot chocolate, our eggnog, and our masala chai. Want more of a buzz? Check out our favorite winter cocktails too.
Fair warning: the powdery confectioners' sugar that makes these snowballs "snowy" and delicious can end up dousing you in sugar with every bite, so make sure you have napkins ready and eat them over a plate to catch the winter wonderland. We should also say that this mess is totally worth it for these nutty sweet cookies, and they couldn't be easier to make.
Get the Snowball Cookies recipe.
Popular in the Caribbean, rum cake is a vanilla Bundt cake that has rum in the batter. Traditionally, dried fruit is soaked in rum for months and then added to the cake batter too, but we have a more accessible homemade version.
Get the Rum Cake recipe.
Truffles are the ultimate one-bite wonder, and these gingerbread ones have a delightful touch of holiday magic in each bite. Bonus: They’re rolled in crushed gingersnaps for a zippy ginger bite and a pleasingly crunchy texture.
Get the Gingerbread Truffles recipe.
Classic buttercream is great and all, but have you ever had Italian meringue? The not-too-sweet frosting pairs well with the rich chocolate cake and looks great swirled or toasted on the outside. Pipe it on to make pretty swirls and rosettes, or use a kitchen torch for a s'mores vibe.
Get the Marshmallow Cake recipe.
These elegant snowflake cookies turn our best-ever sugar cookie dough into a magical work of art. Trust us: You don't need any special kind of decorating expertise to pull these off—just a snowflake cookie cutter and some decorating sugar pearls.
Get the Snowflake Cookies recipe.
Homemade hot chocolate is infinitely better than boxed mix. And our recipe is extra-decadent, thanks to the cup of actual chocolate (not just cocoa powder). For a perfect cup of cocoa every time, follow our tips.
Get the Best-Ever Hot Chocolate recipe.
Barely crunchy on the outside and soft and fudgy on the inside, these cookies call for a thick cardamom-flavored glaze that hardens into a candy-like shell. The addition of fresh ginger, orange zest, and rum gives these little bites a warm sweetness that blends well with the dark notes of molasses and black pepper.
Get the Pfeffernüsse recipe.
It's officially hot cocoa season, and we've got the cutest dessert ever to celebrate with. They look a little tricky, but they couldn't be easier. We gave ours a Christmas spin with red and green sprinkles, but they're perfect for any winter holiday or snow day.
Get the Hot Chocolate Brownie Cups recipe.
This fudge is perfect whether you're a fan of the movie franchise, or just loving the winter wonderland outside. Use whatever winter-y sprinkles you can find!
Get the Frozen Fudge recipe.
These Rice Krispie treats are the perfect holiday sweet. They're super-easy to make, and the mini Reese's inside make for a fun surprise. Decorate them with white or milk chocolate—just don't forget the sprinkles!
Get the Rice Krispie Snowballs recipe.
Bûche de Noël cakes are a French Christmas tradition dating back to the 19th century. Rolling up a warm cake in a towel might seem crazy, but it's the best way to ensure the cake won't crack when you frost it. You could decorate it like a log, as is traditional, or try any other variety of frosting and topping combos—it's all about that gorgeous swirl, so anything else you manage is a bonus.
Get the Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake) recipe.
These are essentially molds of chocolate filled with homemade hot cocoa mix and marshmallows that explode after being dropped into hot milk. And although they're extremely fun to watch unfold, it's not just a novelty thing. The melted chocolate, along with the hot cocoa mix, makes the creamiest, best hot chocolate ever.
Get the Hot Chocolate Bombs recipe.
If you love eggnog (or even if you don't!), this recipe is for you. Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cream wrapped in white chocolate—what could be better?
Get the Eggnog Truffles recipe.
Traditionally a date-studded sponge cake topped with a rich toffee sauce, this the perfect dessert for holiday meals or special occasions. It’s truly a dessert like any other and is best served still slightly warm out of the pan with extra toffee sauce drizzled on top.
Get the Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe.
No holiday party in Puerto Rico is complete without a cup of this rum-spiked coconut drink. However, no two abuelas make coquito exactly the same way, and the inclusion of an egg yolk often sparks a passionate debate. Feel free to omit if you prefer, as the drink will still be plenty creamy.
Get the Coquito recipe.
These are kind of like if cheesecake and hot chocolate came together in one perfect bar. They're a chocolate lover's dream.
Get the Hot Fudge Cheesecake Bars recipe.
What exactly IS a Shoofly Pie? Well, it's a lot of things. Somewhere between cake, pie, crumble, and gingerbread, it's got a little something to please everyone, perfect for Thanksgiving dessert. Molasses lovers, this one's for you!
Get the Shoofly Pie recipe.
This lightly fried, gorgeously dusted, low-key sugary jelly donut serves as a reminder that life can be sweet sometimes—which is exactly why we make it exclusively for Hanukkah. You can really fill the donuts with whatever filling makes you happy... as long as it's sweet.
Get the Sufganiyot recipe.
Got pears that are less than ripe? Underripe pears are an ideal ingredient in cooking, especially for poaching. Poaching slightly underripe pears makes them tender and sweetens them while allowing them to maintain their structure. Once poached, they can be served warm or cold, garnished with a caramel reduction of the cooking liquid, and accompanied with everything from ice cream to whipped cream to yogurt.
Get the Poached Pears recipe.
Crème brûlée says "fancy" like no other dessert: It's deliciously rich, luxuriously smooth, and indulgently creamy. And cracking that glassy sugar surface right before your first bite? Delightfully fun. The addition of Earl Grey tea and citrus zests gives much more depth and an aromatic bitterness to the mix, perfect for winter.
Get the Earl Grey Crème Brûlée recipe.
For a traditional Texas sheet cake, the batter and the icing are prepared separately on the stovetop. Using a skillet eliminates a dish and makes things way more fun. Especially when everyone digs in while it's still warm... with tons of ice cream on top.
Get the Skillet Texas Sheet Cake recipe.
This dough is made with flour, sugar, yeast, and lemon zest. The loukoumades are then drizzled with melted chocolate, covered in cinnamon and honey, and sprinkled with pistachios. Yum!
Get the Loukoumades recipe.
These melt-in-your-mouth holiday cookies are an Italian classic, and a breeze to make. What’s more fun than frosting? Sprinkles! You can adorn these cookies with any combination of sprinkles, whether for a Christmas celebration or just another Tuesday this winter.
Get the Italian Ricotta Cookies recipe.
Where apples swerve slightly tart, pears are all soft sweetness for a cozy, comforting pie that's perfect for winter. A buttery crust cradles the filling—which is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves—and a sugary crumble coats the top. Then, as if we’re not already on board, the finished pie gets drizzled in caramel sauce. 😍
Get the Pear Pie recipe.
A Jewish sweet braided bread loved by all, babka is stuffed, rolled, then baked with a variety of fillings. Chocolate babka tends to dominate the flavor popularity contest, but there's a certain appeal to a cinnamon babka that just can't be denied—which is why this recipe sneaks both into the mix.
Get the Chocolate Babka recipe.
Snickerdoodle blondies + creamy cheesecake = MAJOR success. Don't worry if the top of the cheesecake isn't perfectly covered with cookie dough. It's meant to be a little bit crumbly. 😉
Get the Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars recipe.
A classic chocolate cake is always a good idea, but if you want to switch things up a bit, give this white chocolate cake a try. It's soft and layered with a white chocolate mousse and then frosted with a simple cream cheese frosting. We recommend using good-quality bars of white chocolate with this cake, as it will really make a difference.
Get the White Chocolate Cake recipe.
We use sweetened condensed, evaporated, and whole milk for this Latin American sponge cake. Some recipes use heavy cream in place of whole milk, but we feel the mixture is already so decadent and that milk helps balance it. Plus, we use heavy cream for the topping, so it still makes its way in there.
Get the Tres Leches Cake recipe.
Inspired by the cream cheese-maple sauce drizzled on the butter pecan blondies at Applebee's, these easy white chocolate chip blondies highlight a very underutilized baking ingredient: maple syrup. Feel free to use walnuts or pecans here, whichever you prefer.
Get the Maple Butter Blondies recipe.
Eggnog is the type of drink that people either love or really really hate. It's rich, creamy, and, well, egg-y. We fall into the camp of people who love it (like, really really love it), and we're serving it cold or hot all winter long.
Get the Classic Eggnog recipe.