Make-ahead dessert recipes

Browse our best make-ahead dessert recipes – all can be made in advance, with the finishing touches added  on the day. Perfect to take some stress out of throwing a dinner party.

Choose from crowdpleasing classics such as eton mess and Michel Roux Jr’s chocolate mousse or lemon tart, or new favourites including Japanese soufflé cheesecake and a mango twist on tiramisu.

In the mood for chocolate? We love these molten middle chocolate fondants and our chocolate tart inspired by After Eights. If fruit’s your thing, we have plenty of make-ahead dessert recipes in that vein, too. For summer, opt for a strawberry daiquiri tart; for winter, try our pear and butterscotch cheesecake. And if you’re a pavlova fan, you’ll be spoilt for choice with our topping ideas, from caramelised walnut and coffee to peach bellini and pink praline.

Need starter ideas for your soirée? Check out our recipes, including smoky garlic prawn cocktail and a halloumi and clementine salad.

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Meliz Berg’s spiced fruit baklava crumble

Crumble recipes

Meliz Berg’s spiced fruit baklava crumble

Hands up who wants to try Meliz Berg’s baklava crumble? Cook, food writer and best-selling author Meliz is an authority...

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Strawberry, black pepper and clotted cream tart

Strawberry recipes

Strawberry, black pepper and clotted cream tart

Freshly ground black pepper works beautifully with strawberries – the mellow heat opens up your palate, highlighting the fruitiness of...

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Mango and elderflower mess

Mango dessert recipes

Mango and elderflower mess

Based on the modern classic eton mess, this colourful mango and elderflower dessert swaps out the more common strawberries for...

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Easy mango mousse

Mango dessert recipes

Easy mango mousse

These almost effortless, incredibly summery mango mousses are perfect for a dinner party dessert, as they need to be made...

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Balsamic-roasted strawberries with mascarpone

Strawberry recipes

Balsamic-roasted strawberries with mascarpone

Six ingredients and minimal effort to make a seriously good grown-up pudding that wouldn’t look out of place in a...

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Baklava ricotta semifreddo

Frozen dessert recipes

Baklava ricotta semifreddo

Georgina Hayden’s spectacular baklava semifreddo has a crunchy, caramelised filo top and fragrant ricotta and rosewater base.  It’s frozen dessert heaven....

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Michel Roux Jr’s almond and raspberry frangipane tart

Sweet tart recipes

Michel Roux Jr’s almond and raspberry frangipane tart

Devote an afternoon to making Michel Roux Jr’s classy almond and raspberry frangipane tart. “I adore almond puddings and this...

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Tom Kerridge’s cappuccino fondants

Fondant recipes

Tom Kerridge’s cappuccino fondants

These melting-middle fondants by Tom Kerridge are hard to resist. “A combo of indulgent chocolate and aromatic coffee, these easy,...

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Mini baked alaskas

Frozen dessert recipes

Mini baked alaskas

Introducing our failsafe mini baked alaskas. This tried-and-tested recipe by food producer Pollyanna Coupland combines a spiced chocolate no-churn ice...

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Gooseberry and toasted coconut pavlova

Pavlova recipes

Gooseberry and toasted coconut pavlova

This showpiece pavlova by Angela Clutton anticipates summer’s arrival, combining floral elderflowers and early-season gooseberries. The soft-crunchy meringue is topped...

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Salted honey tart

Honey recipes

Salted honey tart

Creamy set honey gives this tart a pleasingly dense but smooth texture. It’s infused with flaky salt to open your...

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Galatopita (Greek filo custard pie)

Make-ahead dessert recipes

Galatopita (Greek filo custard pie)

Galatopita is a sweet and creamy milk pie from Greece. Georgina Hayden shares her recipe for this classic Greek pud,...

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Caramelised white chocolate cheesecake

Cheesecake recipes

Caramelised white chocolate cheesecake

This showstopping cheesecake has a high-sided chocolatey biscuit base, a creamy filling spiked with nutty caramelised white chocolate and a...

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Burnt honey pannacotta with rhubarb and chamomile syrup

Pannacotta recipes

Burnt honey pannacotta with rhubarb and chamomile syrup

Ravinder Bhogal’s burnt honey pannacotta with rhubarb is the perfect make-ahead dessert for spring. Ravinder says: “Who knew chamomile teabags...

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Black forest bakewell tart

Sweet tart recipes

Black forest bakewell tart

When black forest gateau meets bakewell tart, something magical happens. These two nostalgic desserts combine perfectly – especially when served...

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Lebanese syllabub with ghraybeh (pistachio biscuits)

Pistachio recipes

Lebanese syllabub with ghraybeh (pistachio biscuits)

Food writer Angela Zaher gives the traditional dessert syllabub a Lebanese twist with arak and orange blossom water, served with...

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