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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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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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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Seville orange and ginger pie

Sweet pie recipes

Seville orange and ginger pie

Seville oranges are made for more than just marmalade. Their distinctive sour bitterness and floral taste is great in desserts,...

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Bonet (Italian chocolate and amaretti pudding)

Italian dessert recipes

Bonet (Italian chocolate and amaretti pudding)

Bonet is a classic Piedmontese dessert showcasing two of the region’s favourite things – chocolate and amaretti biscuits. Gently cooked...

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Almond cheesecake meringue nests

Almond recipes

Almond cheesecake meringue nests

Scoops of pillowy amaretto-spiked mascarpone top golden sugar meringue nests to make these individual festive desserts. The meringues can be...

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Coconut pannacotta and raspberry trifle

Trifle recipes

Coconut pannacotta and raspberry trifle

Dreamy layers of coconut cake, pannacotta and cream make this trifle with a twist exciting enough, but the surprise layer...

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Spiced fruit and mascarpone ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream recipes

Spiced fruit and mascarpone ice cream sandwiches

These festive ice cream sandwiches are inspired by our popular Christmassy spiced fruit and mascarpone semifreddo recipe. The sponge is...

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Caramelised walnut and coffee pavlova

Pavlova recipes

Caramelised walnut and coffee pavlova

Chetna Makan’s easy pavlova is topped with cream and beautifully caramelized walnuts, then drizzled with dark chocolate ganache – the...

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Japanese soufflé cheesecake

Cheesecake recipes

Japanese soufflé cheesecake

Chef Jeremy Pang shares his recipe for a perfectly light and bouncy Japanese soufflé cheesecake. The sound and wobble of...

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