Top 15 Prep Ahead Christmas Desserts

As the Christmas countdown begins, so does the season of list making, present buying and stretchy pant wearing ahead of that perfect festive feast you’re whipping up for the family – no pressure! While it’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also the warmest here in Australia, adding that extra level of stress (and sweat) when baking for loved ones. So this year, do yourself a favour and cut out any last minute preparations with our top 15 favourite prep ahead desserts.

1. Choc Jaffa Tart

While a slice of this decadent Choc Jaffa Tart might send you straight to the ‘naughty’ list, what is Christmas if not for indulging! Make your dough up to 3 days ahead, then wrap it tightly in glad wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble.The orange syrup can be made 2 days in advance, then cook the tart the day before and you’re all set for the big day.

 

2. Ginger Nut Cheesecake

In the midst of a 35 degree day, turning on your oven is the last thing you need. The solution? A no-bake dessert, like our deliciously creamy Ginger Nut Cheesecake. Not only is it super simple to whip up (hello 20 minute prep time!), you can keep it in the fridge for a day or two before Christmas and top it off with seasonal fruit just before serving.

 

3. Red Velvet Cheesecake Trifle

For many us, Christmas simply wouldn’t be Christmas without a trifle, and our famous Red Velvet Cheesecake Trifle is a Queen go-to. With deep red velvet cake, shards of minty choc Oreo bark, and a heavenly cheesecake icing, this recipe has graced the festive table of many Queen Bakers over the years! Prep for this dessert can start 4 weeks in advance, by baking, wrapping and freezing the red velvet cake. Get the Oreo bark done up to 14 days out (and hide it at the back of your fridge – it’s very moreish!) then assemble the trifle the day before you intend to serve.

 

4. Eggnog Gingerbread Tiramisu

Tis’ the season for all things extravagant and dessert should be no exception. You’ll think all your Christmases have come at once with this Eggnog-Gingerbread-Tiramisu combo from Also the Crumbs Please. This dessert HAS to be chilled overnight, so you have no excuse not to prep ahead! You’ll need some nice soft gingerbread for this recipe, and our classic Gingerbread Biscuits are just the ticket.

 

5. Rosewater Panna Cotta

You don’t typically find elegant and easy in the same sentence, but our Rosewater Panna Cotta are one and the same. Delicately floral, this beautiful dessert provides much needed relief on a hot day, as well as relief from baking with just 15 minutes of prep! Make up to 2 days in advance, storing in the fridge until ready to serve.

 

6. Chocolate Coconut French Silk Banoffee Tart

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me… A sweet tart topped with Banoffee! We’ll certainly be counting down the days until this French Silk Banoffee Tart from Half Baked Harvest sits proudly on our festive table. You can prep the cookie base and the silky filling a day in advance, before topping with store bought caramel, whipped cream and banana when you’re ready to serve.

 

7. Cinnamon Pull Apart Loaf

To ease you into a day of non-stop Christmas action, it’s comforting to know that breakfast can be all ready to go – and our Cinnamon Pull Apart Loaf and is definitely something to get out of bed for! Buttery slices of fresh homemade bread and the scent of cinnamon decking the halls is enough to stir even the deepest sleeper. The best part? Loaf prep can start a month ahead! Simply fill and form the loaf in preparation for its final rise, then wrap in cling wrap and freeze for up to 4 weeks. When Christmas Eve rolls around, pop the loaf in the fridge to defrost overnight before taking it out on Christmas morning for its final rise. If you hate the thought of freezing dough, prep the loaf the night before and allow it to rise for 8 hours overnight in the fridge.

 

8. Summer Passionfruit Tart

Bursting with bright, sunny flavours, this tropical Summer Passionfruit Tart certainly fits the bill for a scorching Aussie Christmas. While it’s best eaten within 1 or 2 days, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on the prep. Uncooked tart dough can be made up to 2 days ahead, and stored in the fridge alongside the passionfruit custard filling. Simply assemble and bake on the day you plan to serve.

 

9. Deep Dish Vanilla Custard Tart

Our love for Christmas runs as deep as our Deep Dish Vanilla Custard Tart. Filled to the brim with fragrant Vanilla and smooth, creamy custard, even the fullest of guests will have room for a slice! Prep ahead with store bought pastry (shh – we won’t tell) or make your own and freeze the dough a month in advance. The cooked tart is best made the day before, then served within 24 hours to make sure the pastry stays nice and crisp.

 

10. Grapefruit Curd Tarts

Cut through all the decadence of Christmas lunch with these zesty Grapefruit Curd Tarts from Jacquelyn Clare. Everything can be prepped a day or two in advance including the fragrant chamomile cream. They also come with the added bonus of being single mini tarts, so you won’t even have to share.

 

11. Eton Mess Passionfruit Cheesecake

Here in Australia, we’re lucky to have an abundance of tropical fruit available Christmas and our Eton Mess Passionfruit Cheesecake certainly makes the most of it! Get started 3 days out by prepping your cheesecake and meringues. Store the cheesecake in the fridge and the meringues at room temperature, then all that’s left to do on the big day is whip up a pile of cream and top with fresh fruit. We must warn you: this dessert is guaranteed to make you as famous as Saint Nick himself, so be prepared to make it for every Christmas here after.

 

12. Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

While you may struggle to find chestnuts roasting on an open fire here in Australia, eating ice cream by the pool is the next best thing. Better yet, try a slice of this Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich Cake from Chew Town! While it has 4 different elements, you can rest easy knowing they are all super simple to make and most can be prepped up to a week in advance. Queen tip: Add a tablespoon of Glucose Syrup when making the ice cream. This helps to bind and stabilise the ingredients, so it stays frozen for longer. You’ll thank us when serving it up after a steamy hot Christmas lunch!

 

13. Raspberry Rosewater Pavlova

Some argue that an Aussie Christmas isn’t complete without Pavlova to finish the feast. For our pav purists, let us introduce you to our Raspberry Rosewater Pavlova, dressed up to the nines with fresh raspberries, Turkish delight, and a drizzle of rosewater syrup. Everything can be prepped the day before, then topped with whipped cream and the final flourishes just before serving. As for storing, our favourite way to store a Pavlova after baking is by keeping it in the oven with the door closed – just remember to remove it before turning the oven on for turkey!

 

14. Vanilla Panna Cotta

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the kitchen, not a baker was stirring, not a stand mixer mixin’. The Panna Cotta was done, the kitchen was clean, ready for Christmas, no mess to be seen. It took just 15 minutes for it to be prepped, smooth and downright creamy with Vanilla bean specks. Get ahead of your game and chill for 2 days, then serve up to your family and wait for the praise!

 

15. Store Bought Hero

At the end of the day, Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones. So if an elaborate dessert is not on the cards, or your grand plans have gone out the window, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with popping out to the shops to grab a store bought meringue. Simply whip up your cream with a generous squeeze of Vanilla Bean Paste to make it a little bit fancy, then dress it up with fresh fruit – dessert is served!

 

From all of us here at Queen, we wish you all a very merry, and most importantly – delicious Christmas!

For more Christmas Baking Inspiration, why not register with the Queen Baking Club to download our free Christmas recipe eBook or share your bakes with us #queenbaking #queenvanilla

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