Traditional Sweet Treats for the Holidays

By: Bob's Red Mill | December 8 2020

The holidays are full of so many things; love, laughter, family and friends. However, there is one thing the holiday season rings in more than any other time of the year—food! And not just any food, desserts to be exact. During the holidays, traditional desserts are made in nearly every household. No holiday would be complete without a dessert table loaded with sweet treats, from pumpkin pie to sugar cookies. 

We understand that this holiday season is unlike any other. While the holidays may look slightly different this year, that doesn't mean the food has to. Baking classic holiday desserts is a great way to keep the joyful spirit alive. Whether you spend your time mixing batter or decorating cookies, setting aside time to bake your favorite treats is sure to bring back wonderful memories of holidays past and make even greater ones this season. 

This year, take advantage of the time spent inside and get the entire family in on the baking process. Setting up different baking stations, letting little ones get creative with the dessert decorating, and bringing everyone together in the kitchen is an excellent way to add more family time to the books. To help boost your holiday spirit and get everyone excited about this years' treats, we've created a complete guide to our favorite traditional holiday desserts. Keep reading to discover which dessert on this list you'd like to try first. 


Cake is one of the most loved holiday desserts around. It comes in a variety of different flavors, shapes, textures, colors and sizes. This versatility makes it an easy dessert to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters. Often used as a celebratory food, the type of cake you choose to make greatly depends on your personal preferences.

Cake flavors range from simple ones like vanilla and chocolate to more extravagant flavors like toffee. Spending time picking out the perfect recipe for you and your family is crucial when determining whether they'll like the dessert or not. 

If you're searching for a delicious cake to make this holiday season, look no further. We've rounded up our favorite cake recipes below.

Gingerbread Cake

Traditional Sweet Treats for the Holidays | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Nothing says the holidays quite like gingerbread does. This mouthwatering Gingerbread Cake recipe is the ideal dessert to bake this season. Lavish with good for you ingredients like Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and unsweetened applesauce, this cake is light, fluffy and delicious. Topped with a powder sugar icing, it's a dessert that looks as great as it sounds.

Pumpkin Cake Balls

Love cakes but tired of bringing the same thing to all of your holiday gatherings? Take your favorite cake recipe to the next level and make cake balls instead. Easy to make, cake balls are a great way to package your cake into tiny bite-sized pieces. And because each cake ball is one serving, guests won't have to spend time slicing a cake before enjoying their dessert. This Pumpkin Cake Ball recipe is a fun and tasty cake alternative. Made with just five ingredients; Gluten Free Vanilla Yellow Cake Mix, eggs, vegetable oil, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, it's sure to have everyone running back for more.


Pudding is a dessert that has been around for ages. Its creamy texture and sweet flavor make it a treat that can be enjoyed any time of the day. Because pudding is simple to make, it's a great starter dessert for kiddos just beginning in the kitchen. The minimal ingredients and easy mixing method make pudding a recipe that requires little supervision. When making pudding determine baking tasks depending on your child's age. While some kids may be ready to assemble the ingredients, younger children should be given more straightforward tasks like mixing. 

Sweeten up the holiday season and make a delicious pudding of your own. There is undoubtedly a pudding recipe out there that your children will enjoy, from chocolate pudding to figgy pudding. Great for gatherings, pudding can be made in large batches to serve multiple guests.

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Traditional Sweet Treats for the Holidays | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Love pudding but want to make something a bit healthier this year? Have your pudding and eat it too with this Chocolate Chia Pudding recipe. Made with healthy, whole food ingredients, this recipe is dairy free, gluten free and sugar free. Packed with flavor, this pudding is everything you'd want in a dessert and more. It's rich, silky and decadent taste will leave anyone who tries it wanting more. Simple to make, it's the perfect dessert for a casual night in, yet elegant enough to make for a holiday dinner party. 


Bread is one of the most versatile baked goods. Where soft and savory bread is often sliced and used for sandwiches, sweeter bread is baked into a commonly enjoyed dessert. Dessert bread comes in all shapes and sizes, and it's up to you to determine which flavor to make. The bread's light and airy texture make it the ideal baked good to house sweet flavors. 

Combine your favorite sweet bread recipe with delicious fruits like strawberries and bananas, or turn it into a tasty treat by adding rich flavors like chocolate, caramel and toffee. Because it can be quickly served and sliced, dessert bread is the perfect treat to bring to your next get-together.

Caramel Apple Cider Bread

Traditional Sweet Treats for the Holidays | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Sweetbread is the ideal celebratory treat. This mildly sweet and crusty Caramel Apple Cider Bread is the perfect combination of seasonal flavors. The cider in this recipe works to give the bread a lift, whereas the caramel contributes to its sweet taste. Fresh diced apples and a velvety rich hard cider caramel are drizzled atop this bread, making it a top-notch dessert. 


No dessert table would be complete without a sweet cookie recipe. Cookies are a classic and widely loved dessert that is made to celebrate nearly every occasion. Cookies come in many flavors and shapes, making them the ideal dessert for novice bakers.

If you're a fan of cookies, then you've come to the right spot. Here at Bob's Red Mill, we love cookies, and over the years, we've built quite a recipe collection. From sweet and salty to tangy and savory, if you can dream it, there's a cookie recipe for it. 

To help you get started, try out our favorite cookie recipes below. Loaded with flavor and wholesome ingredients, they're sure to be the star of any dessert table. 

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Traditional Sweet Treats for the Holidays | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Snickerdoodles are a classic wintertime dessert. Favored for their sweet flavor and chewy texture, this traditional sweet is one you'll want to have in stock at all times. Whether your baking for a few or making large batches to give to friends, this classic Snickerdoodle Cookie recipe is sure to be a hit. The crispy edges, tender center and sweet cinnamon goodness of this cookie make it a timeless dessert you'll find yourself making time and time again. 

S'mores Cookies

Bring your favorite classic campfire treat indoors with this S'mores Cookie recipe. Made with all of the ingredients traditional s'mores are made from, the taste is nearly identical. To make these sweet cookies, chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers are mixed into a buttery dough that's made with nutty graham flour. While this recipe may be a favorite among the kiddos, adults will love these cookies just as much. 


Muffins are delicious! Not only is this dessert easy to make, but it also makes for the perfect grab-and-go treat when you're craving something sweet on the run. Load up your favorite muffin recipe with sweet add-ins like blueberries, raisins and nuts, or cover it in a sweet frosting for a truly festive touch.

The perfect dessert to set out for multiple guests. Muffins are a single-serving treat easy to bring to small gatherings and get-togethers.

Blueberry Muffins

Traditional Sweet Treats for the Holidays | Bob's Red Mill Blog

There's nothing like walking into a house that smells of freshly baked blueberry muffins. A traditional sweet treat for the holidays, Blueberry Muffins can be found at nearly every dessert table. To make this dessert even better, we put a spin on traditional muffins and made them entirely gluten free. Made with our Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, these muffins are free of gluten and full of flavor.

Desserts are a fun way to liven up the holidays. Whether you enjoy baking or eating desserts, nearly everyone loves them in one form or another. This holiday season, take a look at your dessert recipes and see if there is a way you can spice things up. From actual pumpkin spice to a drizzle caramel glaze, sweet dessert flavors have a way of winning over your heart one bite at a time. Use the recipes on this list as inspiration to make your own traditional sweets this holiday season. We can't wait to see what you come up with. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, happy holidays! 

Have a traditional dessert recipe you'd like to share? We'd love to hear more about it. Let us know what desserts you're cooking up this season in the comments below. 


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