Why should dinners have all the plan-ahead fun? Make-ahead desserts are like money in the bank: it’s great to know you’ve got something extra waiting for you at the end of the day (or any time of day).
Desserts are often prepared as a special occasion treat – sometimes when you expect guests to come over. Whether it’s a large, formal holiday soiree or a small gathering with a few friends just for coffee and pie – preparing to have people over to your house can be stressful. It makes sense to do whatever you can ahead of time to reduce the amount of tasks to be completed the day of your event.
Plus, according to world-renowned pastry chef Eddy Van Damme, there’s an even better reason for some make-ahead desserts. Many recipes actually taste better when you bake them ahead of time—especially cakes. “Just one night to marry the flavors can make a big difference in the taste,” said Chef Eddy. “Moisture from the icing absorbs into the cake and makes it more moist.”
One great recipe to make a day ahead of time is our Carrot Cake. When given a day to rest before serving, the cream cheese icing, carrots, nuts and raisin flavors combine together for a decadent, moist sweet treat.
While cakes are great make-ahead desserts, so are chocolate chip cookies. Make your homemade dough the day before and allow it to sit in the refrigerator. “When scooped and baked the next day, your cookies will taste much better,” said Chef Eddy. Try this recipe. Also, our Biscoff Cookies taste better when dough is made a day or two ahead and placed in the refrigerator because the brown sugar and exotic spices have time to blend. Additionally, the dough is much easier to work with.
In addition to cakes and cookies, there are many frozen desserts that are great to make ahead during the summer months. Try our Pina Colada Sorbet, Sugar Cookie Ice Cream (no ice cream maker needed) and Pineapple Granita that is made with just three ingredients but needs plenty of time to chill before serving.
We also love to make ahead some of our layered sweet treats. You can prepare most of the layers in these recipes a day or two ahead and just add them together and sprinkle on the garnish before serving.
Not all dessert recipes are created equal and while many are great when assembled before hand, some shouldn’t be made ahead. “If the integrity of the texture of a dessert will be compromised, it’s best to make it the day you plan to serve it,” said Chef Eddy. An example of a recipe that should not be made ahead is our Pavlova Meringue.
What are your favorite make-ahead desserts?