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68 Make-Ahead Freezable Desserts for the Holidays

Updated August 31, 2023

There's no question that the holidays are the busiest time of year...a good kind of busy, but busy nonetheless! We can all use a few shortcuts during the holiday season, and one of our Test Kitchen's favorite tricks is make-ahead holiday desserts that you can freeze and save for later. Adding make-ahead desserts that freeze well to your holiday menu can save you a ton of time when you add them to your holiday menu.

We've got super holiday cakes, pies, cookies, and more, as well as great tips for freezing and thawing, too. So instead of stressing right before the holidays, give yourself a little extra time with these freezable desserts. (And check out our collection of 40 Decorative Desserts for year-round dessert ideas!)

TEST KITCHEN TIP: Don't forget to double-wrap and label everything! One thing we like to do is bake several batches of cookies, brownies, and muffins — and then freeze them in separate containers. This way, we can grab a few of each here and there and enjoy throughout the season.

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Holiday-Special Cakes

Always frost and decorate your cake after thawing. And if you're freezing a layer cake, double-wrap each layer separately. For cheesecake, freeze for about 30 minutes so that it hardens enough for you to wrap it without damaging it. If you prepare them appropriately, these freezeable desserts should be just as fresh and tasty after thawing as they were when they went into the freezer!

Perfect Holiday Pies

Most pies should be frozen before baking, except for pecan pie which can be frozen after baking. Most cream pies cannot be frozen, except for shortcut cream pies using pudding! Luckily for you, these make ahead holiday desserts can all be frozen without fear. 

Fantastic Frozen Desserts

Wrap these freezable desserts tightly in plastic and then store them in a 2-gallon freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Add whipped cream or any other toppings just before serving.

Freeze-for-Later Cookies

All of these cookie recipes freeze well. Bake your cookies first, then let them cool to room temperature before freezing. Defrost at room temperature for an hour or two. Once they're thawed, these make-ahead holiday desserts should be as delicious as the day you baked them.

Best Holiday Brownies

Bake your brownies, let them cool to room temperature, and cut into squares before freezing. Defrost at room temperature for an hour or two, and serve. These freezable desserts should fare very well in the freezer and come out good as new!

Quick Breads & Muffins

Bake quick breads and muffins, let cool to room temperature, and then freeze. And if you freeze muffins individually, you can thaw 'em as you need them! You won't be disappointed with how delicious these make ahead holiday desserts are. 

Make-Ahead Frozen Cheesecakes

Decadent and delicious, adding cheesecake options to your dessert table is always impressive. Unfortunately, it can take quite some time to bake the perfect cheesecake, making them a difficult dessert to plan for! Fortunately, we have this list of make-ahead frozen cheesecakes that are sure to impress! Just be sure to give these tasty, freezable desserts enough time to thaw. Since cheesecake is so dense, it can take a bit longer than other foods.

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