4 Simple Winter Desserts You’ll Love


Let your sweet tooth do the talking with these simple but indulgent winter desserts. Perfect for effortless winter entertaining.

Sticky date pudding, homemade ice cream with hot fudge sauce, tarte tatin, baked nutmeg custard… Winter desserts are our favourite way to warm the cockles. But slaving over a hot stove is so passé. So we’ve hunted down three easy-as-pie recipes for effortless winter entertaining.

Host a dinner party or just indulge the fam, infuse your home with delicious aromas, and cash in on the kudos.

These dessert recipes are destined to win hearts. But be warned. Leftovers are rare. Unless of course you double the recipe!! 🙂 It’d be rude not to…

Self-saucing Chocolate Puddings donnahaydotcomdotau

Donna Hay’s Self-Saucing Chocolate Puddings

Is it just us? Self-saucing puddings seem a little magic. It’s the fusion of rich velvety textures with that delicious molten chocolate experience – surely this is for the Masterchefs amongst us.

Not so! This Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding from Donna Hay is less culinary feat, more just sift and mix. But unlike the Magic Pudding that starred in Norman Lindsay’s children’s book,* this magic pudding will disappear in moments.

*Albert, Lindsay’s bad-tempered Magic Pudding, becomes a whole pudding again each time he’s eaten.

You need:

  • ½ cup (75g) plain flour
  • 1½ tbsp hazelnut meal
  • ¼ cup (45g) brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 3½ tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ cup (125ml) milk
  • 35g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (90g) brown sugar, extra
  • 1 cup (250ml) boiling water

The how:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Sift flour, hazelnut meal, sugar, baking powder and 2 tablespoons of cocoa into a bowl. Add milk, butter, egg and vanilla and mix well to combine.
  2. Spoon into 4 x 1 cup-capacity (250ml) ovenproof dishes/ramekins and place on a baking tray.
  3. Place the extra sugar and remaining cocoa in a bowl and mix to combine. Sprinkle over puddings and pour water evenly over each. Bake for 12–15 mins or until tops are firm.

Serves: 4

Recipe and image sourced from Donna Hay here.

Apple, berry and port crumble tastedotcomdotau

Apple, Berry + Port Crumble

Crumble is synonymous with winter warming for those of us with British roots. Originating in the food rationing of World War II, this stewed fruit dessert delivers that hearty full-bellied feeling. (Traditional pastry pies asked for too much butter, a scarcity during the war.) Crumbles are fuss-free and flavourful, the perfect accent to a winter weekday dinner with friends.

This crumble exploits the sweet flavours of port. Create your own variations by changing the fruit (try plums, rhubarb, apricots, even pears) or adding sultanas. Alternatively, opt for more crunch in the topping by introducing oats, toasted pecans, flaked almonds, or other nuts.

You need:

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1kg Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1cm slices
  • 500g frozen mixed berries
  • 185g caster sugar
  • 300ml port
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 300g good-quality shortbread biscuits

The how:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt 20g of the butter in a pan over a medium-low heat. Cook apple, stirring, for 5-6 mins until soft. Add berries, sugar, port and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 8 mins until fruit releases a lot of juice.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fruit to a 2-litre pie dish or six 300ml ramekins. Reduce juice in pan over a medium-high heat for 3-4 mins until syrupy. Pour over fruit.
  3. Pulse shortbread in a food processor to form coarse crumbs. Add remaining butter and process to combine. Top fruit with crumbs. Bake 35 mins or until golden.

Serves: 6

Recipe and image sourced from Taste here.

Coffee + Chocolate Cups from gordonramsaydotcom

Gordon Ramsay’s Coffee + Chocolate Cups

Gordon Ramsay is the enfant terrible of celebrity chefs. The multi-Michelin starred entrepreneur doesn’t seem to give a pip what people think about him. He’s carved out a niche for himself courtesy of his culinary innovation and combative nature. This man is a master of gastronomy and a maker of drama.

This chilled Coffee + Chocolate Cups dessert has finely nuanced flavours. It’s super simple – pre-prep it the day before your event, then just whip the cream and serve.

You need:

  • 100g good-quality dark chocolate (approx. 60–65% cocoa)
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp strong espresso coffee, cooled
  • 150ml double cream

 To serve:

  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • A little dark grated chocolate
  • A few amaretti biscuits, crushed

The how:

  1. Break chocolate into small pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth, then remove bowl from heat and leave to cool.
  2. With a hand whisk, beat the mascarpone and icing sugar together until smooth, then whisk in the espresso and melted chocolate.
  3. In another bowl, whip the double cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the mocha mixture until well combined. Spoon mousse into four cappuccino cups or ramekins and chill overnight. To serve: lightly whip the 4 tbsp of double cream until thick and swirl over top. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and crushed amaretti and serve immediately.

Serves: 4

Recipe and image sourced from Gordon Ramsay here.

Salted Almond Ice Cream from thekitchndotcom

Salted Almond Ice Cream

A homemade ice cream adds the finishing touch to your dessert course. We adore this salted almond flavour. With just eight ingredients, this vanilla-based ice cream is easy to make and it compliments a wide range of desserts.

The salted nuts add texture and nuances of caramel. Substitute honey for the sugar for an earthier flavour. You won’t need quite as much honey. Add ¼ cup of honey to milk whilst it’s heating and use 1 tbsp to caramelise almonds.

You need:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ cup white sugar, divided
  • ½ tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup chopped almonds

Salted Almond Ice Cream from thekitchndotcom2

The how:

  1. In a medium saucepan over a medium heat, heat milk and cream until bubbles appear around the edges. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks with ⅓ cup sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt until thick and pale yellow. Slowly pour about half of the hot milk into the egg mixture whilst whisking. Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Pour custard into a metal bowl, stir in almond and vanilla extracts, and set aside to cool. (To speed up cooling, prepare an ice bath in a slightly larger bowl and place custard bowl in ice. Stir custard until cool.)
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until they just begin to show colour. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until nuts caramelise to a dark brown colour, approx. 5 mins. Spread them out on a plate to cool. When cool, break the nuts apart.
  3. Meanwhile, begin to process the custard in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions (or see below for DIY workarounds for making ice cream without an ice-cream maker). When the mixture is the consistency of frozen yogurt, sprinkle in nuts and process until it hardens further.

No ice cream maker? No worries! Try these DIY workarounds from The Kitchn here and here.

Makes approx. one litre

Recipe and image sourced from The Kitchn here.

Americanflat Ice Cream Print Art Retrokitchen Ice Cream Mini Storer (Set of 4)Retrokitchen Ice Cream Mini Storer (Set of 4) 2 Americanflat Love Waffles Print Art
From L to R: Americanflat Ice Cream Print ArtRetroKitchen Ice Cream Mini Storer (Set of 4), and Americanflat Love Waffles Print Art, online at Zanui.

Have you got a sweet tooth? What’s your favourite winter dessert?

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.