New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection and gratitude, and of course it’s a moment to think about the year ahead. Whether you’re team resolution, goal setter or just ready for whatever comes your way, kicking off the year with a great meal is always a good idea. Since no celebration would be complete without dessert, we’ve rounded up 45 of our favorite recipes to fit the bill.
The joy of a New Year’s Eve meal is that there’s no set menu or expected dishes, so you can really lean into the celebratory nature of the night. For a fancy dinner party, you might want to consider something like chocolate lava cakes or crème brûlée, which are prohibitive to make for a crowd. If you’re having a big party for a crowd, think about offering an assortment of bite-sized options to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Whether you’re a pro-baker looking to show off your skills, or want something the whole family can partake in, this is really a time to make something that feels fun and festive, no matter your skill level.
For kid-friendly gatherings, we’ve got cake pops, cookies and bars, chocolate bark and so much more. If you’re looking for more grown-up options, think about a towering truffle croquembouche, roasted pears, silky pie, or desserts subtly spiked with booze. Whether you’re opting for a quiet night in or a big party with friends, ringing in the new year with a festive spread is a sweet way to start 2024.
There’s a reason lava cake has never gone out of style. This dessert is a chocolate lover’s dream. Dripping with decadence, the joy of this dessert is that you can do most of the prep work ahead of time and bake it off when you’re ready for something sweet.
If you’re throwing a party, an assortment of homemade cookies is the perfect way to wrap up a meal. We love Martha Stewart’s Chai Snowballs, which riff on the traditional recipe with a combination of Darjeeling tea and warming spices in the batter. Pro tip: these cookies can be made up to two weeks in advance, making party planning a breeze!
A classic French croquembouche is the pinnacle of showstopping desserts. And while we love the classic, making cream puffs and caramel is no small feat. To get the same wow-factor with a fraction of the work, take a cue from Christina Tosi’s truffle tower. All it takes is adhering store-bought cake truffles to a cone with toothpicks.
The joy of chocolate bark is that you can completely customize it to suit your flavor preferences. This one, made with dark chocolate, is studded with almonds, dried cherries and candied ginger. While a double boiler may seem intimidating, it really couldn’t be easier to assemble. Just make sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the boiling water. It’s equally good for dessert as it is for snacking.
These truffles by Jessie Sheehan could not be easier to make. Oreo cookies (with their filling!) get ground in a food processor along with cream cheese and salt until smooth. Roll the mixture into balls and coat them in chocolate for a low lift dessert.
If you’re a fan of croissants, you’re going to love xuixos. Xuixos are a pastry from the Spanish region of Catalonia. To make it easier for home cooks to have a taste of this incredible pastry, we recommend using store-bought frozen croissants. The croissants are fried, baked and then filled with a citrus- and spice-infused pastry cream.
This chocolate bark skips the double boiler for the ease of the microwave. Add crushed pretzels, freeze-dried strawberries, chopped hazelnuts and pistachios to melted chocolate and spread on parchment paper. The chocolate will harden after 20 minutes in the refrigerator and then you’ll have ready-made dessert fit for a New Year’s Eve party.
Pralines are a classic Southern sweet treat steeped in history. It only takes five ingredients (which we bet you have in your pantry) to make this sweet dessert. The flavor is reminiscent of butterscotch, but gets great textural interest from chopped pecans. Pro tip: Invest in a candy thermometer before making these pralines.
Crinkle cookies are always a favorite throughout the holiday season. While chocolate is classic, we love this gingerbread and lemon variation. The key here is to let the cookie dough fully chill before baking in order to get that traditional crinkle cookie look.
Banana cream pie is a favorite, but if you’re looking for a dessert for a big crowd, serving a pie may not be the best option. Enter these banana cream pie shots, which maintain all the flavors of pie but are served in individual portions. Make sure to use ripe bananas for the best results.
Delicate lady fingers are layered with a creamy mascarpone custard and infused with coffee and chocolate. It’s truly a dessert that everyone loves. This version is made in individual glasses, ensuring all your guests will get your fix. It can be easily doubled — or even tripled — for a crowd.
Panna cotta, which translates to cooked cream in Italian, is exceptionally easy to put together, although you’d never know it. While it looks custardy in appearance, what sets panna cotta apart is that there’s no eggs needed to bind it together. Instead, use gelatin which helps it maintain its jiggly form. This version is infused with fresh vanilla bean, but you can use whatever flavorings you’d like to make it your own.
There’s no better pairing than chocolate chip cookies and a cold glass of milk. Served in shooter form, this fun dessert will make the whole party feel like kids again. If you’re dishing these out at an adults-only party, try spiking the milk with booze for a sweet surprise.
Cookie butter is an all time favorite, no matter how old you are. To make these truffles, combine pre-made cookie butter with butter and powdered sugar before dipping them in melted chocolate. You can use this recipe as a base to experiment with other flavor truffles by swapping in peanut butter, almond butter or even nutella.
A classic chocolate cake is always a hit. The not-so-secret ingredient recipe in this one is coffee, which enhances the chocolatey flavor, while keeping the cake moist and tender. Another perk? The caffeine will help you stay perked up to ring in the new year!
Similar to Mexican wedding cookies or snowballs, these irresistible cookies are always a favorite. This Spanish version adds chopped almonds to the dough, along with vanilla and almond extract. These are a great option if you want to do party prep ahead of time, as they hold up well in the freezer.
These Italian-style doughnuts are equally as fun to eat as they are to say. These sweet treats are definitely a project, so plan on getting the whole gang involved in making them! Filled with chocolate hazelnut spread, jam or pastry cream and coated in sugar, they’re completely irresistible.
Brownie fans, this one’s for you. These impossibly fudgy chocolate cookies have all the trappings of brownies, but in cookie form. The joy of this recipe is that the cookies are best baked immediately after combining the dough for the best results, so there’s no waiting time involved.
These beloved cookies are definitely a project, but what better time to put in some baking time than to ring in the new year? Almond-scented sponge cakes are baked until just set, layered on top of each other with jam and draped in a glossy layer of chocolate ganache. While the red, white and green layers are classic, you can mix it up and do any color combination of your choice using different food coloring.
These all-American treats always elicit a smile when served. This sandwich cookie layers vanilla buttercream between two domed chocolate cakes, toeing the line between cupcake, cake and cookie. The best part about these is they bake in just 10 minutes!
While cannolis are always a hit, they can be a bit of a challenge to make at home frying. This recipe takes all the classic cannoli flavors and marries them with the easiest-ever cheesecake. To avoid any baking mishaps, this recipe uses both a no-bake crust and filling.
Fondue is the ultimate group activity, and there’s no better time to serve it than a New Year’s Eve party. This recipe swaps cheese for chocolate, putting dessert first. Serve it alongside your favorite fruit, marshmallows, pretzels or cake — just don’t forget the skewers!
Roasted pears are an elevated dessert that happens to be exceptionally easy to make. Pears are halved, brushed with butter and baked until tender. Top them with a pecan-studded crumble to add some great texture. It also happens to be gluten-free!
This five-ingredient cookie is a great option when you’re looking for a dessert recipe in a pinch. The base of the cookie combines melted butter and chocolate chips, but from there you can add any toppings you like. We love the combination of corn flakes, marshmallows and coconut flakes.
If you’re looking to serve a crowd with dietary restrictions, look no further than this chocolate mousse recipe, which omits dairy and eggs, making it a great vegan option. Instead, this recipe leans on aquafaba, which is the thick liquid found in cans of chickpeas. Whipped aquafaba mimics egg whites in texture, making it an ideal vegan baking option.
The magic in this cake all boils down to science. As the cake bakes, you’ll see three distinct layers form: a rich crust, tender filling and angel food cake-like topping. We love the contrast of vanilla cake to the rich chocolate ganache that coats the top of the cake. Sprinkles are optional but encouraged.
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly sweet treat or dessert for a crowd, cake pops are a versatile crowd-pleaser. To cut down on time, use store-bought cake or boxed cake mix. Coating the cake pops in chocolate ensures that they hold together while also adding a great crunch.
This dessert mashup combines two holiday favorites: cheesecake and pecan pie. The cheesecake gets all the goodness of pecan pie, without the hassle of making a pie crust. While cheesecake can easily form unsightly cracks, this one gets draped in a gooey, buttery pecan pie topping making the prospect of cracks obsolete. It’s truly a dessert that combines the best of both worlds.
No matter your age, there’s nothing that beats a rice krispie treat. This recipe takes the classic up a notch thanks to marshmallow fluff, which adds a rich, buttery flavor. For even more marshmallow flavor, mini marshmallows get folded into the mixture before setting.
If you’re a cheesecake lover but need to serve a party, these cheesecake bars are a great option. Better yet, they’re no-bake and can be made ahead of time, cutting down on day-of prep. While you could serve them on their own, we love the simple raspberry sauce that gets drizzled overtop.
This classic French dessert is an absolute dream to serve if you’re hosting a smaller gathering to ring in the new year. It’s a festive dessert that definitely shows how much you care. The silky smooth custard is sprinkled with sugar and torched until a crackly crust forms. Make the custard ahead of time and place under the broiler when you’re ready to serve, making this seemingly complicated dessert easy as can be.
While this pie is an absolute showstopper, it happens to come together without much fuss. A chocolate cookie crust is home to pillowy chocolate mousse that’s dotted with whipped cream and raspberries. Cream cheese is the secret ingredient here, which naturally stabilizes the pie while also adding a subtly tangy flavor.
Despite the name, French silk pie isn’t really French. This All-American treat was developed in the 1950s and has been beloved ever since. The chocolate mousse is made with whipped cream rather than egg whites for an extra-luscious texture.
Traditionally a tres leches cake is a sponge cake laden with three different types of milks. In an effort to make it lower lift, this recipe takes a few shortcuts without sacrificing flavor. This light sponge has an airy texture with a sweet flavor throughout, making it a great option to serve after a heavy meal.
If you’ve never heard of scotcheroos, you’re not alone. This no-bake treat is a Midwestern staple that combines puffed rice cereal with melted butterscotch chips and peanut butter before getting coated in chocolate ganache. This recipe elevates the traditional version by swapping peanut butter for tahini along with a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top for contrast.
Gingerbread isn’t reserved just for Christmas. This festive flavor keeps the holiday spirit going all throughout the new year! This spiced bundt cake is more of a showstopper than cookies, and feeds a crowd to boot.
Red velvet cake gets transformed into truffles with this recipe that’s perfect for serving at a party. Mix the crumbled cake with a handful of pantry staples until they can be easily rolled into a ball, creating the classic truffle shape. A white chocolate ganache adds a great color contrast when you bite into the truffles. To cut down on time, use store-bought red velvet cake or use a boxed mix.
Swiss roll cakes are always a great party dessert. With a moist sponge and airy cream, this roll cake is a delicious blank slate. This one makes use of high-quality tea, with matcha getting added to the cake batter and jasmine perfuming whipped cream.
A lot of brownie recipes claim to be the best, but these really deliver. Giving you the best of both cakey and fudgy brownies, this recipe is reminiscent of the boxed version, but homemade. Since they’re so rich, they feed a crowd, which is ideal for a New Year's Eve party. You could also add them to an ice cream sundae bar!
There’s nothing quite like piping hot churros straight out of the fryer. While this Mexican staple might seem complicated, it actually comes together with a handful of pantry staples. Since they’re best served hot, make this into an activity for the whole family to get involved with. Chocolate dipping sauce is optional, but highly encouraged.
Who doesn’t love apple pie? This all-American star is a year-round thrill. It’s especially good when you’re feeding picky eaters. The joy of a slab pie is that it feeds a crowd while also delivering the perfect ratio of crust to filling. Serve it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
S’mores get winterized in this festive dessert. A graham cracker crust is filled with chocolate custard and topped with pillowy Swiss meringue that gets torched until burnished, just like a s’more. It’s a dessert for all ages that can mostly be made ahead of time.
If you’re looking to add to a dessert spread, these mini apple tarts are a real crowd-pleaser. Hunks of apples are drenched in salted caramel, which offers a great balance between sweet and tart. To cut down on prep time, use pre-made pie dough for this recipe.
Linzer tarts are an old timey dessert that still holds up today. If you’re unfamiliar, a buttery crust is filled with a layer of homemade raspberry jam — although you could also use store-bought versions. It’s the perfect way to wrap up a celebratory dinner party.
Shortbread cookies are a classic for good reason. Buttery and sweet with a good snap, they’re irresistible — and they come together quickly. This version is inspired by a traditional tea service and incorporates matcha powder into the dough. The result is a bright green cookie with an elevated flavor.