15 Make Ahead and Freeze DESSERTS! (with grocery list)

Here’s a list of fun desserts you can buy all the ingredients for and make ahead and freeze! No more panic attacks when a large group of people randomly decide to barge in on your home and call themselves family! These desserts turn out GREAT and they defrost well and will be ready in no time! NOTE: Although this does say “15 desserts,” I counted each batch as a separate dessert. You can split these recipes into 12 cookies, or 2 mini cakes instead of one, to save calories and not waste any food. A typical family of 4-6 would eat between 1-3 cookies each, so a batch of 12 cookies should give everyone just about 2 cookies each. If you have more guests than that, look for the dessert recipes that say LARGE batch and prepare those instead, or you can easily double any recipe, or make two or three batches at a time. Hope you enjoy these and please share!


Salted Chocolate Nutella Cookies (makes 2 batches of cookies, 12 in each batch)

1 ¼  cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup oats, lightly ground in food processor

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 ounce Nutella (about 2 Tablespoons)

1 ½ cups sugar

1 medium egg

sea salt

12 ounces Nutella (for filling)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, oats, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, Nutella, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg. Slowly add in flour mixture until incorporated. Use 1/2 Tablespoon measuring spoon to roll dough into balls. Place 12 cookies on cookie sheet. Flatten with bottom of glass. Sprinkle each with a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 8 minutes and allow to cool completely. Spread Nutella between two cookies and sandwich.

Freezing Directions: Prepare cookies as directed above. Place into 2 freezer bags, label, and freeze. To serve: Thaw.

 *image obtained from food.com



Homemade Samoa Cookies (makes 3 batches of cookies, 12 in each batch)


  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • Up to 5 tbsp milk

  • 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

  • 12 oz chewy caramels (unwrapped)

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla up to 2 tbsp milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough hold together without being sticky. Roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use the end of a wide straw to cut a small center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. (You can skip this step if you don’t mind your cookies not having a hole in the center.) Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Decrease oven heat to 300°F. Spread coconut evenly on a baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside. Place the caramels in a large microwave-safe bowl with 3 tbsp milk and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, stir in toasted coconut. Spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie.

While topping sets and cools, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45-second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate into a piping bag or a quart-size freezer bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate.

Freezing Directions:

Cool completely, then transfer into freezer bags. Label and freeze. To serve, thaw at room temperature.

 *image obtained from simplysweethome.com



Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies (makes 16 LARGE cookies, or one LARGE batch)

2 and 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170 grams) unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar, loosely packed

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (180 grams) chocolate chips or chocolate chunks


Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Roll the dough into balls, about 3 Tablespoons of dough each. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will allow the balls to stay intact. Roll the cookie dough balls to be taller rather than wide, to ensure the cookies will bake up to be thick. Put 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. Press a few more chocolate chips/chunks on top of the dough balls for looks, if desired. Rolled cookie dough may be frozen up to three months and baked in their frozen state for 12 minutes.

 *Image obtained from beckybakes.net



Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (makes 3 batches of cookies, 12 in each batch)

Whisk together and set aside:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Cream wet ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Then stir in

3 cups oats (not instant)

1 1/2 cups raisins

Directions: Whisk dry ingredients; set aside. Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low.

To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible. Combine all ingredients, then roll into balls. Freeze. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350°. Drop cookie dough 2-inches apart onto baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top. Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

 *Image obtained from allrecipes.com



Double Chocolate M&M Cookies (makes 2-3 batches, with 12 cookies in each batch)


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into eight pieces

3/4 cup M&M’s

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and the butter. Microwave for one minute at 50% power. Stir. Microwave again for one minute at 50% power and stir well. If the chocolate is not fully melted, continue microwaving in 30 second intervals at 50% power until the chocolate and butter are well combined (don’t overheat the chocolate or it can seize and turn hard and unusable). Let the mixture cool slightly, about 2-3 minutes until it is at room temperature or just slightly warm (but not hot).

3. In a large bowl (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer), combine the chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined. Gradually mix in flour mixture on low speed. Fold in M&M’s with a wooden spoon (don’t use a mixer as the M&M’s will break into pieces and not stay whole).

4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly grease them with cooking spray. Drop dough onto baking sheets by tablespoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. If desired, place five or six M&M’s on top of the cookie dough balls (even perched slightly on the rounded sides). Bake the cookies until they have slightly flattened and there are a few cracks on the surface, about 13-14 minutes. The cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies sit for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for about 2 days. I freeze them between sheets of wax paper in a large tupperware container and they defrost beautifully at room temperature or for a few seconds in the microwave.

 *Image obtained from theyearofthecookie.com



Chocolate Cherry Cake (serves 16, or can be made into 2 different desserts)

This super simple cake is made from a cake mix and canned cherry pie filling. Cool it completely after frosting, wrap, and freeze. let stand at room temperature for 2-3 hours to thaw. You don’t need to refrigerate this cake because of the milk in the frosting. There’s so much sugar and fat in the frosting that the milk doesn’t present a safety hazard even when left at room temperature.

  • 1 (18-ounce) package chocolate cake mix

  • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • 1/3 cup whole milk

  • 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9″ pan with nonstick baking spray containing flour and set aside. In large bowl, combine cake mix, cherry pie filling, 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, then beat 1 minute at medium speed. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until cake is set. While cake is in the oven, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and milk in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir with a wire whisk until the chips are melted and frosting is smooth. Pour over warm cake and spread to cover. Let cool on wire rack before serving.

*Image obtained from beckybakes.net



Easy Cream Lemon Pie (makes 1 large dessert, serves 10)

  • 6 whole reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 11oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup(s) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Grind graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Or place crackers in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Place crumbs in a small bowl.

Melt butter on stove top or in microwave and pour over graham cracker crumbs, mixing with a fork until completely moistened. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of a 9-inch pie pan; place crust in refrigerator while preparing lemon filling.

In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk and eggs; mix until smooth. Add lemon juice and zest; stir until incorporated and pour into prepared crust.

Bake pie for 15 minutes. Cool completely and for best flavor, serve chilled. Yields 1 piece per serving.

*This pie can be baked and frozen for up to two weeks. Defrost and serve chilled. I added lite Cool Whip on top when it was defrosted.

*Image obtained from melskitchencafe.com



More Make Ahead Freezer Dessert Ideas:

Cookie dough: prepare any batch of your favorite cookie dough, then roll it up into 1-2 inch balls. Store in ziploc bag and freeze. Remember to write baking instructions from cookie recipe of your choice onto the bag so you remember how long to bake them. You can also, if preferred, make your cookies completely, then let cool and freeze in between wax paper or plastic wrap. I have added both types of recipes here.

Cake: Always frost and decorate your cake after thawing. And if you’re freezing a layer cake, double-wrap each layer separately.

Cheesecake: Freeze for about 30 minutes so that it hardens enough for you to wrap it without damaging it.

Brownies: To freeze brownies or bar cookies, cool brownies or bar cookies completely, but do not cut into individual servings. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap again with foil. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw at room temperature before cutting into individual servings.


SHOPPING LIST (to make ALL these recipes):

Here’s a Printable Shopping List for my followers:


***If there’s not a measurement on some of these, its because most people have them at home already, or only a small amount is needed.

1 Box of Freezer Bags (around 20-25 ct)

All Purpose flour – 8.5 cups

Unsweetened cocoa powder – ¾ cups

Rolled oats – 3 ¼ cups

Baking soda

Baking Powder

Unsalted butter – 2.5 cups or 5 sticks

Salted butter – 2 cups or 4 sticks


Sugar – 5 cups

10 Eggs

Sea salt


Whole milk – about ⅔ cup

Unsweetened shredded coconut – 3 cups

12 oz chewy caramels (or 1 package)

Chocolate chips – (2) 12oz packages

Chocolate chunks – 1 cup (can use chocolate chips instead, buy 3 packages in this case)


Light brown sugar – ¾ cups

Dark brown sugar – 1 cup (can just use light brown sugar instead, if you prefer)

Raisins – 1 ½ cups

Chocolate Cake mix – 1 box

(1) 21oz can of Cherry Pie filling

6 whole graham crackers

11oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk

½ cup lemon juice

lemon zest


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