7 Festive Desserts to Make for Your New Year’s Eve Bash

Every good New Year’s Eve party has a delicious dessert, and this year is your time to shine. No one’s resolutions have started yet, so something sweet is definitely in order. Here are some festive and elegant New Year’s Eve desserts everyone at your bash will love.

1. Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Mini cherry cheesecakes

Mini cherry cheesecakes | iStock.com

First up are mini cherry cheesecakes from Betty Crocker. They’re perfect for parties because you don’t even need napkins. Better yet, the prep time caps at 20 minutes. Once topped with the tasty fruit, these mini treats are ready to party.

Ingredients:

  • 24 vanilla wafer cookies
  • 2(8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • ½ cup toasted, sliced almonds

Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 24 regular-size muffin cups with paper liners. Place 1 vanilla wafer cookie in bottom of each cup.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and almond extract with electric mixer on medium-high speed 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is light and fluffy. Spoon evenly into muffin cups.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from muffin cups to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before serving.

Just before serving, top each cheesecake with a generous tablespoon of pie filling; sprinkle with almonds.

2. Pecan Bars

Pecan nuts in wooden bowel

Pecans in wooden bowel | iStock.com/Amawasri

You’ll love these nutty treats from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. They’re made with a homemade shortbread crust and a decadent filling that’s reminiscent of pecan pie. You’ll get 24 bars from this recipe and they’re the perfect dessert for people to grab.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Filling

  • ¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces pecans
  • ½ cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions: For the crust, Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg; pulse just until a dough forms.

Transfer dough to prepared pan; with floured fingers and an offset spatula, press firmly into bottom and ¾ inch up sides. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

Prick bottom of dough; bake until lightly golden, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool while preparing filling.

Make the filling: In a large saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly, until smooth; continue boiling, without stirring, until slightly darkened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in cream and salt; mix in pecans.

Assemble and bake: Spoon hot filling evenly over crust, using spoon to arrange and press in nuts so they fit snugly. Bake until bubbling and amber-colored, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

Using foil, lift cake from pan; peel off foil. With a sharp knife, trim edges (if desired). Cut into 6 even strips; cut each strip crosswise into four even strips to make 24 bars.

3. Tiramisu Cupcakes

Source: iStock

Frosting cupcakes | iStock.com

These tiramisu cupcakes from Cooking Channel will convince anyone and everyone to put off their New Years resolutions for one more day. The decadent treats are topped with espresso-mascarpone icing and even get an espresso glaze. This pretty and festive dessert will start everyone’s year on a good note.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • ⅓ cup hot brewed espresso
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 2 ounces 70% dark chocolate, shaved

Directions: To make the glaze, add 2 tablespoons of raw sugar to the hot espresso and stir to dissolve. Add 1 tablespoon of rum and mix. Cover and refrigerate until cool.

For cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and position a rack in the center of the oven. In a large bowl beat the eggs with a hand mixer until they’re foamy. Continue to beat the eggs while adding 1 cup of raw sugar in a slow and steady stream. Add 1 tablespoon of rum, and continuously beat the egg mixture for 6 minutes, until pale and shiny. In another large bowl, use a wire mesh sieve to sift together the all-purpose flour and sea salt. Fold one third of the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Repeat two more times until all the flour is incorporated into the egg mixture. Delicately fold in the melted unsalted butter. Divide the batter equally among 12 lined muffin cups. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are slightly golden around the edges and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and cool them on a rack. When the cupcakes have cooled slightly, brush each one generously with the espresso glaze.

For espresso mascarpone icing: In a medium sized bowl combine the mascarpone, icing sugar, and the rest of the espresso glaze. Beat with a hand mixer until the icing is stiff. Using a pastry bag with a round nozzle (or a butter knife), ice each cupcake with about ¼ cup of the icing. Garnish each cupcake with 1 teaspoon of shaved dark chocolate. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to set.

4. Chocolate Truffle Cake

Chocolate truffle cake

Chocolate truffle cake | iStock.com

Chocolate lovers simply must make this decadent dessert from Saveur. There’s chocolate in the cake, ganache, and garnishes. The cake feeds 16, which is great considering no one will be able to resist. It takes some time, but your efforts will be worth it.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 6 ounce semisweet chocolate, preferably 54%, chopped
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 7 eggs, separated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup dark rum
Ganache
  • 24 ounce semisweet chocolate, preferably 54%, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

Directions: Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Add ¼ cup flour; shake to evenly coat inside. Invert and tap out excess flour; set pan aside.

Set a medium bowl over a 1-quart saucepan of simmering water. Add chocolate; melt. Set aside to let cool.
In a large bowl, beat the melted chocolate, butter, and confectioners’ sugar with a handheld mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and salt and mix until just combined; set batter aside.
In a bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until frothy. Sprinkle in ¼ cup sugar and beat to form stiff, glossy peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg whites into the cake batter. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula. Bake until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a rack; let cool. Invert and unmold cake. Cut cake horizontally into three even layers; set cake layers aside.
Dissolve remaining sugar and ¼cup water in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until syrup has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in rum; let cool.
Make the ganache: Place chocolate in bowl of a standing mixer. Bring cream to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan; pour over chocolate; let sit for 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, combine chocolate and cream. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until ganache reaches room temperature. Chill until ganache has the consistency of peanut butter, 2 hours. Transfer bowl to standing mixer fitted with a whisk. Whip on medium speed, 15-20 seconds.
Place bottom cake layer on a cardboard cake circle. Using a pastry brush, brush cake with one-third of rum syrup. Using a butter knife, spread 1 cup ganache evenly across cake top. Top with second cake layer and one-third of rum syrup; repeat process with remaining cake, rum syrup, and ganache. Spread remaining ganache over cake. Press chocolate shavings onto sides. Shake cocoa powder over cake with a mesh sieve.

5. Lemon Cream Tart

lemon on steel lemon juicer

Break out your juicer for this one | iStock.com/gzorgz

If you want to take a break from the heavy desserts, try this lemon cream tart from Epicurious. It serves 8 and is simply made with eggs, lemons, sugar, heavy whipping cream, and  a touch of wine. It’s simple, delicious, and sophisticated, and it pairs perfectly with a glass of champagne. Those looking for a light treat to end the night will love this one.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 large egg yolks

Filling

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions: To make the crust, butter the bottom of a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Blend flour, sugar, grated lemon peel, and salt in processor. Add butter; blend until coarse meal forms. Add egg yolks; blend until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Press onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Freeze crust until firm, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake crust 5 minutes. Press up sides with back of fork if falling. Continue to bake until golden, pressing up sides as needed, about 18 minutes longer. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling: Whisk sugar, eggs, yolks, and lemon peel in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in lemon juice and wine. Cook over medium heat until custard thickens and just begins to bubble, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Cool to just warm, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Pour filling into crust. Bake tart until filling is set in center and begins to puff at edges, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.

5. Elvis-Inspired Peanut Butter “Brunch” Parfait

Peanut butter parfait

Peanut butter parfait | iStock.com/nata_vkusidey

Your guests won’t soon forget about these parfaits, which are inspired by Elvis. This Food Network recipe combines creamy peanut butter pudding with crunchy cookies and salty bacon for a seriously delicious treat. We think they’re worth every single calorie.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large egg yolks, beaten
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 6 slices bacon
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 15 butter waffle cookies, lightly crushed
  • 3 small bananas, sliced into ⅛-inch-thick rounds

Directions: Heat 2¾ cups of the milk in a large saucepan over medium until hot but not boiling.

Whisk the granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks and the remaining ¼ cup milk. Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth, and then gradually whisk the egg mixture into the heated milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter until melted. Transfer to a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and chill until set, at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack set on the middle shelf. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the bacon on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Brush both sides of the bacon with the maple syrup. Bake until golden brown and slightly crispy, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, 20 to 25 minutes. Place on the lined baking sheet and cool completely. The bacon will continue to crisp as it cools. Break each piece of cooled bacon in half.

Whip the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer to soft to medium peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble, loosen the chilled pudding by whisking it until smooth and creamy. Spoon ¼ cup of the pudding into the bottom of a 10- to 12-ounce glass. Layer in this order: ¼ cup crushed waffle cookies, half of a sliced banana, ¼ cup whipped cream, ¼ cup pudding and a light sprinkle of additional crushed waffle cookies. Top each parfait with a dollop of the remaining whipped cream and two bacon halves.

6. Salted Caramel Brownies

Caramel brownies

Caramel brownies | iStock.com

This recipe from Food Network‘s Ina Garten takes your typical brownie recipe up a notch. Adding sea salt to your brownies makes the chocolate flavor pop, and your treats get even sweeter with the addition of good caramel sauce. This recipe yields 12 large brownies and only requires 25 minutes of prep time. Your guests will thank you for these.

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces plus 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1½ tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 to 6 ounces good caramel sauce
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons flaked sea salt

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 9-by-12-by-1½-inch baking pan.

Melt the butter, 8 ounces of the chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate together in a medium bowl set over simmering water. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, coffee, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together ½ cup of the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate chips and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour in a medium bowl and add them to the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, place the jar of caramel sauce without the lid in a microwave and heat just until it’s pourable. Stir until smooth. Drizzle the caramel evenly over the hot brownies and sprinkle with the sea salt. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars.

7. Champagne Mousse

Champagne mousse

Champagne mousse | iStock.com

We’re going out with a bang with this champagne mousse featured on Epicurious. If this dessert doesn’t scream New Year’s Eve, then we don’t know what does. It’s made with only six ingredients — egg yolks, sugar, Champagne, gelatin, water, and whipping cream — and it’ll take you only minutes to make. The end result is a rich and velvety mousse that you can serve in champagne glasses and garnish with fruit.

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or sugar
  • ⅔ cup Champagne or other sparkling wine
  • ½ teaspoon gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions: Whip the heavy cream and refrigerate. Combine the yolks and evaporated cane juice in a glass or stainless steel bowl and whisk thoroughly until the mixture whitens. Add the Champagne and whisk together completely.

Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook, beating constantly until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a light hollandaise sauce. Remove from heat and continue whisking for about 1 minute. Set aside and allow to cool. Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

Heat the softened gelatin mixture until the gelatin dissolves and the liquid clears. Whisk the dissolved gelatin into the Champagne mixture. Then fold in the whipped cream with the aid of a rubber spatula. Chill for 1 hour before piping the mousse into Champagne glasses. Garnish with fruit marinated in champagne.