6 Holiday Desserts in 15 Minutes or Less!

These 6 Holiday Dessert Recipes in 15 Minutes or Less will save you time & will wow party guests! ( @marlameridith)

Hi guys! I’ll be on ABC World News this Sunday 12.20.2105. I’ll be sharing these amazing holiday desserts that can be made in a pinch! I know we are all busy this time of year and have many more things on or to-do lists then being tied down in the kitchen. It’s an exciting time, but it can also be stressful if you are planning to host an event at your home. I’m here to take a load of stress off of you with desserts that will take just minutes to prepare, but the memories of their great flavors will last a lifetime!

These recipes take advantage of seasonal flavors & simple to find, budget friendly ingredients. They look beautiful & taste even better! No matter how many guests you are entertaining, these recipes can easily be adapted to serve two for date night or make plenty more for a large group.

Cranberry & Meringue “Eton Mess” Parfaits

The name is fun & the pretty presentation requires hardly any effort at all. All you need is store bought meringue, heavy cream & a sweet cranberry sauce that you can make on your own (or use store bought) These can be larger parfaits or small “shooters”  Get creative with your glassware! (4 servings)


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 1 package (5 ounces) meringues, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade cranberry sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce (to make this faster you can use store bought)

  • 3 cups cranberries
  • juice from one orange
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • pinch ground cinnamon


Chill parfait glasses in the fridge. Whip cream in a stand mixer until you have stiff peaks, sweeten to taste with maple syrup.

While the cream is whipping make the cranberry sauce. In a medium saucepan heat cranberries with maple syrup & orange juice over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Cranberries will pop. Mash them on the sides of the pan, until you have a desired consistency. Remove from heat, transfer the sauce to a bowl & let the sauce chill a few minutes in the fridge. In the chilled parfait glasses layer the cranberry sauce with the whipped cream & crushed meringues.

Quick Pumpkin Pudding

This is like pumpkin pie in a glass! All the flavors of the filling in a pumpkin pie…but in a quick & easy pudding! (7 servings)


  • 2 packages instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can (15 oz) 100% pure pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • graham crackers
  • whipped topping (optional)


BEAT pudding mix milk according to package directions in large bowl, add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; mix well. Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until ready to serve. Top with whipped topping & a graham cracker, if desired.

Broiled Pears with Ginger Whipped Cream

This recipe takes advantage of seasonal pears.Their delish flavor is more pronounced with a touch of heat. The ginger whip puts this dessert over the top!! (4 servings)

  • 4 pears halved & cored
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter

Ginger Whipped Cream:

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar


Whip cream with ginger in a stand mixer until you have stiff peaks, sweeten to taste with maple syrup.

Brush pears with lemon juice and place on a broiler pan, cut side up. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and almonds; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over pears. Broil 5 inches from the heat for about 5 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

In a Pinch Tiramisu

Everyone loves classic tiramisu. This comes together in minutes when time is tight! (4 servings)

  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 ladyfingers
  • 3/4 cup espresso
  • 1 tablespoon rum

Mix mascarpone with sugar. Dip 12 ladyfingers in a mix of espresso and rum. Layer the mascarpone and ladyfingers in glasses, breaking the cookies to fit if needed.

Cinnamon Spice Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Add a holiday twist to sandwich cookies! It’s always nice to have a hit of chocolate bliss at a party, these sweet & crunchy bites are like grown-up Oreos with a touch of homemade love. (yield 44 sandwich cookies)


  • 3 sticks (24 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 2 boxes chocolate wafers (9 ounces)


In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add cinnamon, thinning mixture with milk if needed. Spread the chocolate wafers with a small amount of filling; top with remaining cookies. Press gently to spread filling to the edges.

Bananas Foster

This classic is loved by all. Prepare in front of guests for a fun treat…or put someone else in charge! For a more adult dessert add some booze. Use a large sauté pan if feeding a crowd and multiply the ingredients accordingly.(2 servings)


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 scoops ice cream (vanilla or something more exotic like praline or maple pecan)


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced bananas and stir for 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
Lower heat and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 2 more minutes. Serve over a scoops of ice cream.

Note: 1 oz of rum may be added during the last 2 minutes of cooking (brandy is great too), Add to the mix with the pan off of the heat- Beware of flaming!

~ Marla Meridith

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