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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.