7 Delicious Holiday Dessert Recipes

By Madge Maril Premium

These scrumptious holiday dessert recipes are family recipes from the editors of Family Tree Magazine; which means that they’ve been tweaked, perfected and burnt over the generations. There are also a few recipes from our book, From the Family Kitchen, as well. Have fun and feel free to substitute as need be for food allergies or preferences.


Theodore’s Orange Pie

This orange pie recipe is from Mrs. Theodore W. Hyde. Oranges were (and still are) a popular Christmas stocking stuffer, perhaps due to their rarity and popularity during the Great Depression. My grandma gave me an orange each Christmas as a child. 
You will need:
  • The juice of 1 orange
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 grated rind of 1 orange
  • 3 eggs
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Nutmeg, if desired
To prepare, cream the butter and sugar and beat in the orange and lemon until very light. Then add the beaten yolks of eggs and bake with bottom crust. When done, cover with the whites of eggs beaten to a stiff froth and sweetened with two tablespoons of sugar. Brown the pie in the oven.

Bread Pudding

This recipe is from Mrs. Olga Gilbert Imperatori.

You will need:

  • 1 cup of bread crumbs or broken bread
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks (and the whites)
  • A pinch of salt

Soak the bread crumbs or bread in the milk until soft, then beat them until smooth. Add a mixture of the milk, egg yolks, half a teaspoon of vanilla, and a tablespoon of sugar. Bake 15 or 20 minutes in slow oven, placing pudding dish in pan of hot water. When done, cover top with jam or jelly, and then with a meringue made of the whites of one of the eggs. If desired, omit the jelly or meringue, and serve with the following sauce:

Put the two cups of water and one cup of sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, slowly add one tablespoon of cornstarch that’s been mixed in cold water. When cooked clear, remove from the stove and add two teaspoons of vanilla.

Gould’s Carrot Pudding  

While simple, this pudding recipe from Mrs. George Gould is a delicious and nutritious treat for a cold December night.
You will need:
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup suet, chopped fine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated potato
  • 1 and a 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon soda 
The directions simply read: “Steam three hours, and serve with hard sauce.” 

Coffee Cream with Meringues

This recipe, from Mrs. E. Williams, combines two of my favorite things: coffee and sugar. It does contain uncooked eggs, so please dine with caution or take alternative measures to prepare safely.
You will need: 
  • 1 pint cream
  • 1 pint milk
  • 1/2 pint ground coffee
  • 1/2 box of gelatin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 pint granulated sugar 
Begin by putting the coffee and milk together on the stove and simmering (not boiling). Then take off and strain through a fine sieve or a napkin. Put back on stove and add the yolks of the eggs and the sugar. Let mixtures get thick as custard, then take off the fire and add the gelatin, which should be soaked two hours before you start the cream. Let the whole mixture cool. Then add beaten cream and whites of eggs. Pour into moulds and put on ice.
For the meringue topping, beat whites of 4 eggs as stiff as possible, and add a cup of granulated sugar. Flavor it with vanilla to taste. Drop on a buttered pan. Bake in a moderate oven. When ready to serve, lay the meringues around the cream on a platter. 

Butter Scotch

Once you had homemade butterscotch, you will never go back to eating it from the candy store! This recipe comes from Miss Helen Cleveland. 
You will need:
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • A pinch of soda 
To prepare, simply boil until it hardens in water, and pour the mixture in thin sheets then cool.

Diane’s Mom’s Easy Pecan Pie  

Family Tree Magazine’s editor, Diane Haddad, writes, “Mom would bring this pie to Grandma’s house for Christmas every year.” It may become a tradition in your family, too!
You will need:
  • 1 cup white corn syrup
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Dash vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 9-inch unbaked pie crust (store-bought is fine) 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients and pour into pie crust. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Center will be slightly jiggly. Let cool completely before serving.

Grandma Fern’s No Bake Cheesecake

This is a recipe I found in my grandma’s recipe box. My grandma raised 3 boys, so it’s no wonder she had easy recipes like this on hand.
You will need:
  • A 9″ graham cracker crust
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 ounces of condensed milk (not evaporated)
  • 1/3 cup of lemon juice 
Mix the cream cheese, condensed milk, and lemon juice together. Pour into the pie shell. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. It’s that easy!