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30 Winter Desserts That Will Make You Feel Warm and Cozy

Keep the winter blues away with these dessert recipes that will warm you from the inside out. Think bread pudding, cobbler and so much more.

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Turtle Skillet

“This caramel-chocolate dip with buttery biscuit dippers is delicious! You can use refrigerated croissants instead of biscuits for a flakier texture and caramel dip instead of sauce.” —Betsy Tankersley, Flat Rock, North Carolina

Get the recipe for Turtle Skillet.

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Slow-Cooked Gingered Pears

“My slow cooker allows me to serve a heartwarming dessert without much effort. Topped with caramel sauce, these tender pears feature a surprise filling of nuts and brown sugar.” —Catherine Mueller, St. Paul, Minnesota

Get the recipe for Slow-Cooked Gingered Pears.

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Slow-Cooker Lava Cake

“I love chocolate. Perhaps that’s why this decadent slow-cooker cake has long been a family favourite. Sometimes I serve it warm, with vanilla ice cream; the cake can also be served cold.” —Elizabeth Farrell, Hamilton, Montana

Get the recipe for Slow-Cooker Lava Cake.

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Skillet Stout Brownies

“These stout brownies are so rich and fudgy. I also love that it comes together quickly, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights.” —Mandy Naglich, New York, New York

Get the recipe for Skillet Stout Brownies.

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Cinnamon-Raisin Banana Bread Pudding

“My family likes to change the toppings for this luscious dessert. We use berries, chopped nuts or fruit, ice cream, whipped cream or caramel topping. If I’m making the dessert for adults only, I love to add a little rum to the milk mixture to give the pudding extra flavour.” —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho

Get the recipe for Cinnamon-Raisin Banana Bread Pudding.

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Black Forest Panettone Pudding

“My chocolate-cherry bread pudding uses Panettone, the holiday bread people often receive but aren’t sure how to use. I make a glorious sauce for it using ice cream.” —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut

Get the recipe for Black Forest Panettone Pudding.

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Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake

“This gingerbread recipe came from my grandmother, and we always ate it with warm applesauce. I adapted it into a one-pan dessert by layering the apples around the bottom of a cast-iron skillet and topping them with the gingerbread batter. The skillet creates a wonderfully thick crust on the gingerbread.” —Mary M. Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina

Get the recipe for Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake.

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Ginger Apple-Pear Crisp

“Enjoy autumn aromas—apples, cinnamon and spices—in this delicious recipe. It’s even better with a scoop of vanilla or pumpkin ice cream! Whipped cream is always an option.” —Holly Battiste, Barrington, New Jersey

Get the recipe for Ginger Apple-Pear Crisp.

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Peppermint Lava Cakes

“It never ceases to amaze to see warm chocolate pudding ooze out of the centre of this tender chocolate cake. These cakes are a showstopper on a plate! Serve lava cakes with whipped cream or ice cream.” —Carolyn Crotser, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Get the recipe for Peppermint Lava Cakes.

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Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Cake

“Think slow cooker as a cake-maker for some seriously yummy dessert that is easy enough for Sunday brunch and tasty enough for Thanksgiving Day—and frees up oven space on holidays, too.” —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

Get the recipe for Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Cake.

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Cherry Upside-Down Bread Pudding

“I’ve always loved bread pudding, and I enjoy fixing this for my family on a chilly day. You could use a different flavour of pie filling and omit the chocolate chips to make a completely different dessert. It’s always delicious!” —Ronna Farley, Rockville, Maryland

Get the recipe for Cherry Upside-Down Bread Pudding.

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Cinnamon Spiced Apples

“If you’re feeling festive, scoop some vanilla ice cream over a bowl of my cinnamon spiced apples. They’re homey, aromatic and just plain heavenly.” —Amie Powell, Knoxville, Tennessee

Get the recipe for Cinnamon Spiced Apples.

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Dark Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

“Croissants make an incredible base for this rich, chocolaty bread pudding. I prefer dark chocolate, but semisweet or white chocolate work, too. Garnish with your favourite nuts.” —Jennifer Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California

Get the recipe for Dark Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding.

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Fudgy Peanut Butter Cake

“I clipped this easy peanut butter cake recipe from a newspaper years ago. The house smells fantastic while it’s slow cooking. My husband and son enjoy the cake with ice cream and nuts on top.” —Bonnie Evans, Norcross, Georgia

Get the recipe for Fudgy Peanut Butter Cake.

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Burgundy Pears

These warm spiced pears elevate slow cooking to a new level of elegance, yet they’re incredibly easy to make. Your friends won’t believe this fancy-looking dessert came from a slow cooker. —Elizabeth Hanes, Peralta, New Mexico

Get the recipe for Burgundy Pears.

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Warm Rocky Road Cake

“When it’s warm, this reminds me of super moist lava cake. And until I made this, I didn’t think a slow cooker cake could be so attractive. It’s a real winner.” —Scarlett Elrod, Newnan, Georgia

Get the recipe for Warm Rocky Road Cake.

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Slow-Cooker Mixed Fruit and Pistachio Cake

“This cake is easy to make on a lazy day and is a guaranteed delicious dessert that can be enjoyed for several days—if you can make it last that long. It’s also wonderful for fall weather and the holidays.” —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

Get the recipe for Slow-Cooker Mixed Fruit and Pistachio Cake.

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Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookie

“Bake up the ultimate shareable cookie. For variety, replace the chocolate chips with an equal quantity of M&M’s or chocolate chunks. Or go super fancy by mixing the chocolate chips and pecans into the dough, then gently folding in 1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries.” —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Get the recipe for Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookie.

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Apple-Nut Bread Pudding

“Traditional bread pudding gives way to autumn’s influences in this comforting dessert. I add apples and pecans to this slow-cooked version, then top warm servings with ice cream.” —Lori Fox, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

Get the recipe for Apple-Nut Bread Pudding.

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Warm Cinnamon-Apple Topping

“You’ll quickly warm up to the old-fashioned taste of this cinnamon-apple topping. Spoon it over vanilla ice cream or slices of pound cake.” —Doris Heath, Franklin, North Carolina

Get the recipe for Warm Cinnamon-Apple Topping.

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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Monkey Bread

“Time to give rum cake a little competition! If this boozy take on monkey bread is too strong for your taste, cut back on the bourbon or use milk as a non-alcoholic substitute.” —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor

Get the recipe for Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Monkey Bread.

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Butterscotch-Pecan Bread Pudding

“Bread pudding fans just might hoard this yummy butterscotch version. Toppings like whipped cream and a butterscotch drizzle make this dessert absolutely irresistible.” —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas

Get the recipe for Butterscotch-Pecan Bread Pudding.

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Molten Mocha Cake

“When I first made my decadent slow-cooker chocolate cake, my husband’s and daughter’s expressions said it all. She says it’s one of her favourites. Later, I brought one of these to our next-door neighbours. Their teenage son, who answered the door, ate the whole thing without telling anyone else about it!” —Aimee Fortney, Fairview, Tennessee

Get the recipe for Molten Mocha Cake.

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Macaroon Apple Cobbler

“Especially when I’m just serving a dessert, I like to prepare this. I’ll usually make it with fresh apples, but I’ve also sometimes used home-canned ones.” —Phyllis Hinck, Lake City, Minnesota

Get the recipe for Macaroon Apple Cobbler.

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Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp

“Gingersnaps lend crunch to my heartwarming cool-weather classic, featuring the season’s juiciest fruit—pears.” —Linda Robertson, Cozad, Nebraska

Get the recipe for Fresh Pear Ginger Crisp.

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Chocolate Banana Bundles

“Banana and chocolate are such an irresistible combo that I make this quick dessert often. You can also top them with the butter and brown sugar mixture left over from coating the bananas, or sprinkle on a dash of sea salt.” —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey

Get the recipe for Chocolate Banana Bundles.

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Fried Sweet Potato Pies

“With my dad being a farmer who grew them, sweet potatoes have graced our table for as long as I can recall. This recipe, however, resulted from an experiment at a church bake sale when we had excess pastry. People couldn’t get enough!” —Marilyn Moseley, Toccoa, Georgia

Get the recipe for Fried Sweet Potato Pies.

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Cranberry-Pear Apple Crisp

“With its crunchy golden topping and flavourful blend of tart cranberries and sweet apples and pears, this dessert makes a refreshing finish to heavy winter meals.” —Lois Gelzer, Standish, Maine

Get the recipe for Cranberry-Pear Apple Crisp.

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Caramel-Apple Skillet Buckle

“My grandma made a version of this for me when I was a little girl—and fresh apples from a tree in her backyard added an extra-special touch. I’ve adapted her recipe because I love the combination of apple, pecans and caramel.” —Emily Hobbs, Springfield, Missouri

Get the recipe for Caramel-Apple Skillet Buckle.

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Apple Pandowdy

“This apple pandowdy, which comes from a very old cookbook, is tangy and delicious.” —Doreen Lindquist, Thompson, Manitoba

Get the recipe for Apple Pandowdy.

Next, here are 30 small-scale Christmas dinner ideas.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home