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4 desserts to make ahead of time

4 desserts to make ahead of time

. 4 min read

You’re going to have enough on your plate preparing your Christmas meal, so here are 4 desserts that can be prepared a day earlier to make life easier!

Easy Chocolate Bark


  • 450g dark chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups roasted whole almonds
  • 3/4 cup roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds


Finely chop the chocolate then place it in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. The bowl should never be touching the water. Stirring occasionally, heat the chocolate until it is mostly melted. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and continue stirring until the chocolate has melted completely. If it doesn’t melt completely, place it back over the saucepan for another minute or two.

Stir in the almonds and seeds, then spread over a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. The layer should be around 1/2-inch thick. Make sure all your nuts and seeds are completely coated in chocolate. Refrigerate the baking sheet for about 10 minutes until the chocolate has fully hardened. Flip the entire layer onto a clean surface and roughly break or cut into around 25 pieces. The chocolate bark can be kept in an airtight bag or container at a cool room temperature for up to 10 days.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes


For The Cupcakes

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • ¾ cup of cherry preserves or jam

For The Frosting

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups of confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream


For the cupcakes

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Place 12 paper liners in a muffin tray and set aside. Beat the oil, butter, and sugars together until fluffy, then add the eggs in one at a time. Beat the mixture well after adding each egg. Add the vanilla and beat again. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk. Now, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture. So, add a little flour, and mix, then add a little milk, then mix. Begin and end with the flour. Once all incorporated, beat until blended.

Scoop two tablespoons of batter into each of the muffin cups. Bake for around 15-20 minutes. To check if your cupcakes are done, insert a wooden toothpick into the center. The toothpick should come out with only a few dry crumbs attached. Once baked, remove the cupcakes immediately from the pans to cool completely.

When the cupcakes have fully cooled down, cut a small hole into the top center of each cupcake and fill it with cherry jam. Cover it with the cutout you removed and top it with frosting. For extra styling, top the cupcakes with a cherry.

For the frosting

Beat the butter until fluffy, and gradually add the sugar. Add the cream and beat the entire mixture until it becomes thick enough to spread.

Apple Pie


  • 1 ready-made shortcrust pastry pack (500g)
  • 1kg of cooked apples, thickly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 100g of sugar, plus a little extra for top of pie
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  • 10ml of water


Preheat your oven to 220°C. Divide the pastry in half and roll out one half to line a shallow pie plate. Put the plate with the pastry in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling. Toss the apples with the lemon juice, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Remove the pie plate from the fridge and fill with the apple mixture. Roll out the remaining pastry and place it gently on top of the pie. Pinch the sides to seal the edges. Alternatively, cut the pastry into shapes and place on top in a pattern. Brush the top with water and sprinkle the top with sugar. Bake the pie for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. If making ahead of time, let the pie cool, then cover and keep it refrigerated. Heat the pie for 10-15 minutes on a high heat in the oven, prior to serving.

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake


  • 125g of digestive biscuits, crumbled
  • 40g of butter, melted
  • 280g of cream cheese
  • 397g of condensed milk
  • 140ml of fresh lemon juice


Combine the crumbled biscuits and melted butter. Press the mixture into the base of an 18cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Chill the tin in the fridge while you prepare the filling. Whisk together the cream cheese and condensed milk. Stir in the lemon juice and combine. Pour the mixture over your prepared base and chill for at least 2 hours. Before serving, top the cheesecake with your desired fruit topping.

With these easy, make-ahead dessert ideas, you can relax knowing that the sweet ending to your festive celebrations is ready! Share your creations with us @noknokgroceries!