Boozy Holiday Desserts

Not only do we like to drink a bit more during the holiday season, but we actually find ways to put booze into things that don’t normally contain booze—hot chocolate, store-bought eggnog, and even dessert.

Doesn’t matter if it’s an innocent-looking bundt cake or an obviously devilish rum ball. We soak our sweets in booze this time of year. Not that having a slice of Vegan Christmas Cake will lay you out for the night. And you probably won’t start texting your ex after one too many slices of Grasshopper Tart.

But that’s a good thing. Between regular holiday imbibing and Uncle Pat’s radioactive “Jingle Bell Punch,” all you’ll need by way of dessert is something sweet, and a slight buzz.

Bourbon Apple Bundt Cake from The New York Times

Bundt cake hardly has a “bad ass” reputation in the baked goods world (in terms of hard core, it’s about a step above scones). But douse it in whiskey syrup and bourbon glaze, and you’ve got a bundt cake ready for your next holiday biker rally.

Boozy Bundt Cake

Gingerbread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce from Well Plated

Gingerbread pudding already sounds like enough to (happily) knock us out after a holiday meal. Add a creamy, cool bourbon sauce and we’re passing out under the tree. No shame.

Gingerbread Bread Pudding

Mocha Pecan Rum Balls from Stir and Strain

Rum balls are a holiday classic—though whoever first thought of serving rum in chocolaty ball shape, we owe you a debt of gratitude. This version does double buzz-duty, with aged rum and espresso powder.

Mocha Pecan Rum Balls

Pumpkin Spice Rum Balls from Tattooed Martha

For those of you clinging to pumpkin spice season until the bitter end, here’s a rum ball alternative. And since there won’t be as many hands reaching for cans of pumpkin, these should be pretty easy to put together. Not to mention the ¼ cup of rum should make converts of even the staunchest pumpkin-haters.

Pumpkin Spice Rum Balls

Vegan Black Christmas Cake with Rum from Tongue Ticklers

Vegans gotta get in on the holiday booze-baking, too. This cake dives into the deep end of holiday flavor with dates, citrus peel, rum, and rum-soaked fruit. Keep dousing the cake with a bit of rum or brandy to keep it moist. By day 3, we’re guessing it’ll be just right…

Black Christmas Cake

Eggnog Ice Cream from Jumbo Empanadas

Since eggnog is basically a boozy ice cream base, all this recipe does is take the final step and churn it into ice cream. There’s only about a quarter cup of booze in here (brandy and rum), so it won’t knock you out. Unless you top it with some kind of boozy chocolate sauce

Eggnog Ice Cream

Low-Gluten Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Brownies from London Bakes

These are actually called “gluten-free,” but since bourbon is made with 51% corn and then (potentially) 49% other, glutinous grains, the jury’s kind of out as to whether it causes a reaction. If you have gluten-sensitivity but can drink bourbon comfortably, feel free to make these as is. You could always sub in dark rum or 100% agave tequila.

Gluten Free Brownies

Grasshopper Tart from Diamonds for Dessert

Mint chocolate ice cream’s a year-round winner, but mint’s got a special place on the seasonal desserts spread. You don’t actually need an ice cream maker, only some crème de menthe and a bit of patience, but the reward will be a cooling, mildly buzzy, chocolatey delight.

Grasshopper Tart

Vegan Boozy Pecan Pie Bars with Sea Salt from the Minimalist Baker

It’s vegan, no-bake, with raw almonds and pecans, so you can almost convince yourself it’s healthy. And for a dessert, it sort of is. All the sugar comes from the dates, and all the buzz comes from the 1/3 cup of bourbon they soak in.

Boozy Pecan Pie Bars

Boozy Christmas Bombe from BBC Good Food

Fear not. A “Bombe” is actually just an ice cream dessert frozen into a half sphere to resemble, well, a cannonball. But it’s far more delicious, and this one’s packed with dried fruit and brandy.

Boozy Christmas Bombe