A fruit cake covered in white icing with a slice taken out of it

Make-ahead Christmas dessert recipes

Try our stunning make-ahead Christmas baking recipes, bursting with seasonal flavours. Make a traditional fruit cake, a rich chocolate tart or an indulgent trifle

Looking for make-ahead Christmas dessert recipes so you can spend less time in the kitchen? Want the best Christmas desserts? Our tarts, trifles, cakes and terrines are perfect for prepping in advance and serving up stress-free on the day.

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Try our mouth-watering ideas below and then take a look at our Christmas baking recipes for even more sweet inspiration.

Make-ahead Christmas baking recipes

Make-ahead Christmas cake

Get ahead with your Christmas baking and rustle up our gently spiced, orange and ginger wine-spiked fruit cake. This beautiful bake is a classic for a reason, enjoy a slice as an after dinner treat.


Christmas pudding

This is a classic recipe for luxurious homemade Christmas pudding. You can make this a couple of months ahead and keep it wrapped in the basin in a dark cupboard until the big day.


Salted caramel and chocolate tart

Christmas time = treat time. You may want to serve this rich, salty caramel tart with Greek yogurt to offset the sweetness. It’ll last in the fridge for 4-5 days.


Baileys tiramisu chocolate trifle

Make our stunning trifle with Baileys, chocolate swiss roll and lightly whipped espresso cream for a Christmas centrepiece. Once assembled, it will keep for a day in the fridge, or, make the custard a few days ahead and chill until you’re ready to put it together.


No-bake chocolate tart with PX sherry

This festive dessert ticks all the boxes – plenty of chocolate, alcohol and cream. It’s also a no-bake recipe, so can be whipped up with little effort and will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.


Classic trifle

The amaretti biscuits add a lovely texture and flavour to this classic trifle – the perfect way to conclude your Christmas day feast. Make a day ahead of time and chill overnight.


Biscoff cheesecake

Check out our indulgent cheesecake recipe with crunchy Biscoff biscuits, creamy biscuit spread, and lightly whipped cream. Chill overnight and serve up a slice of this rich dessert with pride.


Gingerbread trifle

Edd Kimber’s super festive trifle has lashings of rum cardamom custard, gingerbread Christmas trees, juicy pears and caramel cream. Chill until ready to serve and top with gingerbread trees.


Nougat terrine with caramel

This is a beautiful dessert to end a special dinner, the red glacé cherries looks especially Christmassy. It can be made in advance and kept in the freezer until you are ready to finish with the caramel.


Mint chocolate mousse pots

Want to serve individual desserts to your guests this Christmas? Try our creamy chocolate and peppermint pots for an impressive way to finish your dinner party.


Espresso panna cotta

This silky smooth panna cotta with espresso syrup is an ideal way to end the festivities, it’s also gluten-free. Leave overnight in the fridge and bring out to impressed ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’.


Black Forest cheesecakes

These BlackForest cheesecake bombes are a real showstopper. Make ahead and stash in the freezer – they’ll keep nicely for a month or so.


Chocolate and hazelnut torte

This chocolate and hazelnut torte is a seriously indulgent treat. It only takes 30 minutes to whip up, chills overnight and can feed up to 12 people. Minimal effort, maximum flavour.


Chocolate raspberry terrine

This cake is the ultimate in kitsch. Drizzle the ganache on top so that the pretty striped layers of peanut butter and raspberry jam show through. Make a day ahead and chill overnight for a stress-free day with your guests.


Ginger ice cream bombes

These smooth ice cream puds are topped with seasonal crystalized ginger. Festive and sweet, they’re a quick and easy way to up your pudding game.

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