HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Make ahead desserts

So I have about 20 South American folks coming over on Sunday for lunch. I wanted to make a couple of desserts but the only time I have to make them is on Thursday. Any good ideas for make ahead desserts? They don't necessarily have to be traditional recipes.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. How about something frozen, like a sorbet or ice cream? Though I guess it's Winter where you are now... hmmm.

    The only thing I can come up with is not quite prep-on-Thursday-serve-on-Sunday, but it could be somewhat do-able ahead depending on your schedule. It's crock pot creme de menthe brownies - http://community.livejournal.com/what...

    Otherwise, I'm stumped. I think the time between Thursday and Sunday is the challenge...

    1. You could make a cake or cakes and wrap them and refrigerate until Sunday then assemble and frost. You could make chocolate truffles. They hold fine even at room temperature. or put them in plastic containers in the fridge.

      Like Ursey says... brownies hold up fine for a few days. I would wrap and refrigerate those, too.

      1. Cheesecake, make ahead lasts for days.

        1. I've made Pot de Cremes that held up pretty well after a few days in the fridge. Just cover with plastic wrap and add a dollop of whip cream right before serving.

          1. I make a "cake" that is actually graham crackers layered with a filling (vanilla pudding, fruit, marscapone thinned with espresso, anything you like really) and frosted with heavy whipped cream. sounds too simple but mostly I get compliments on how it's not too sweet and folks who aren't crazy about cake love this one. I usually use bananas, vanilla pudding, and chocolate pudding for my family. For guests, I use fancier fillings...
            Best part is you MUST make it at least 5 hours ahead, more is better!

            1. What are you serving for lunch? Seems to me that lunch desserts could be lighter, like cookies.

              1. Pecan Pie ~~~ Peach Cobbler

                Make the pie on Thursday....Cobbler on Saturday...

                Fun & Enjoy!

                1. Cheesecake! Make the crust and filling the evening before and once it's baked, cool it completely and put it in the fridge overnight (well wrapped in plastic and away from foods with strong odours).

                  My family loved this recipe for last year's Thanksgiving dinner. I think it's festive enough for the upcoming Christmas holiday.
                  Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sour Cream Topping


                  1. Rum Cream: Soak 1 envelope plain gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Beat 5 egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar. Slowly add 2 cups hot milk. Cook custard in top of double boiler. When thick and smooth, add soaked gelatin. Cool completely before adding 1/2 cup rum and 1 cup heavy cream whipped. Pour into serving dish and chill well. Serve with a few raspberries. This is rich and, as you can see from the amount of rum, rummy.

                    Date Nut Torte: Whirl in Cuisinart until perfectly smooth 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 cup water, 2 eggs, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and grated rind of 1 lemon (or remove peel with potato peeler and let Cuisinart grind it up). Then add 1 cup flour, 8-10 oz pitted dates, and about a cup of walnuts or pecans (exact amounts are not important) and zap machine on and off briefly to grind up dates and nuts a bit but not puree them. Bake in greased 8 in square pan @ 350* x 25 minutes or until done. Serve with whipped cream. This is very quick to make.

                    1. i'd make a cake that actually improves if you let it sit for 2 or 3 days. the first ones that come to mind:
                      - gingerbread (or any molasses-based spice cake)
                      - pound cake (vanilla or chocolate)
                      - chocolate loaf cake
                      - carrot cake
                      - rum cake
                      - Nigella Lawson's clementine cake

                      1. I'm going to second the suggestion for cheesecake or Nigella Lawson's clementine cake. You can also bake a cake and freeze it - then bring it out and thaw it Saturday morning. Lots of cakes work well that way - red velvet, bundt, etc.

                        1. second the better with age idea, esp gingerbread.

                          could also do fun bars like nanaimo or seven layer bars, as these hold very well.

                          chocolate sea salt truffles

                          you could also make cookie dough, then freeze/fridge it, bake off on sunday before serving with ice cream... ice cream cookie sammies!

                          prep everything for a trifle, then assemble saturday night to soak or sunday morning.