Three-Ingredient Desserts for Holiday Parties

There is something to be said for quick and easy cooking. Not all of us have the time, patience, or tools to craft elaborate meals from scratch every day — especially during the holidays. This year, as you plan out your holiday parties, check out some of our picks for delicious desserts that are as simple to make as their short ingredient list.

Click here for the 10 Classic American Desserts slideshow.

Store-bought pie crusts, biscuit dough, and puff pastries can be real lifesavers when you are trying to present that homemade effort without spending hours in the kitchen. Three-ingredient desserts aren’t limited to pudding and parfaits; you can actually make whole cakes, pies, trifles, and more with the right shortcuts and a little creativity.

Turn ice cream into cake with just a little flour or make an easy tart with store-bought puff pastry. Making three-ingredient desserts can be quick, delicious, and beautiful.

Check out some of our favorite ideas for three-ingredient desserts that are perfect for your next holiday party.

Caramel Apple Tart
Apples + Puff Pastry + Caramel Sauce

The keys to this tart are ripe apples and a good quality caramel sauce. First, you will want to unroll the store-bought puff pastry. Cut the pastry to make a 10-inch square, and then score around the edges of the tart. To keep the puff pastry from rising during baking, prick the middle of the dough with a fork all over. Spread a half cup of the caramel sauce on the dough. Layer the thinly sliced apples (about two apples). Finally, bake in a 400 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Gingersnap Icebox Cake
Gingersnaps + Heavy Cream + Pumpkin Pie Filling

Whip four cups of heavy cream in a large bowl until medium-stiff peaks. Fold in one and a half cups of canned pumpkin pie filling. On a plate, layer the gingersnap cookies with the whipped cream and pumpkin mixture. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Decorate with additional crushed gingersnaps if desired.

Marshmallow Peppermint Cake
Peppermint Ice Cream + Self-Rising Flour + Marshmallow Fluff

Combine one pint of melted peppermint ice cream with one and a half cups self-rising flour. Then, pour the mixture into an 8-inch cake pan that has been prepared with baking spray and flour. Bake the cake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. When done, turn out of the pan to cool on a rack. Then, cover with marshmallow fluff. You can torch the marshmallow fluff either with a kitchen blowtorch or by placing the cake under the oven broiler briefly.

Monkey Bread
Canned Biscuit Dough + Unsalted Butter + Jar of Pecan Pie Filling

Cut one pound of the biscuit dough into 16 equal-sized pieces. Then toss the balls of dough with two cups of pecan pie filling and a half cup of melted, unsalted butter. Then pour the mixture into an oven-safe skillet and bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until the biscuits are cooked through.

Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.