Fun dessert fondue for the holidays

Michele Borboa, MS

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If traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie or the usual selection of Christmas cookies has your holiday dessert menu yawning, it's time for a luscious and guest-awing change. A sweet, gooey fondue is one of the simplest -- yet most impressive -- of desserts and can even be made a few days in advance, which will save you time and energy so you can actually sit down, dip and savor. Certified culinary professional George Geary, former pastry chef for the Walt Disney Company and author of 500 Best Sauces, Salad Dressings, Marinades & More, is passionate about home cooks creating jaw-dropping chef-caliber dishes. Here are three of Geary's dessert fondue recipes that will make a memorable finale for your holiday feasts this year.

Chocolate fondue

Ready your fondue pot

Fondue sounds impressive but it is a relatively easy sweet treat to make. The best guarantee for a hassle-free fondue experience is to have the right equipment. A double boiler and a fondue pot (or more than one) are invaluable in making and serving your ooey, gooey dessert. Geary, who is also the author of 125 Best Cheesecake Recipes, suggests making fondue ahead of time, storing it in the refrigerator in a heatproof bowl and then rewarming in a double boiler. Depending on the size of your holiday gathering or the number of fondues you make, serving the dessert in a fondue pot or two will keep the sauce warm, requiring no further work from you, other than to replenish the yummy dippers -- berries, thick banana slices, chunks of cake, chewy bite-sized cookies, brownies -- as they disappear.

Dessert fondue recipes

Recipes adapted from 500 Best Sauces, Salad Dressings, Marinades & More (Robert Rose, 2009)

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Fondue

Makes 1-1/2 cups For the chocolate and peanut butter lover, serve this four-ingredient fondue with pretzel sticks, marshmallows, pound cake, cookies or maraschino cherries for a festive holiday dessert. Make two batches: one batch with the hazelnut liqueur for the grown-ups; one without for the kiddos.


  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur


  1. In a double boiler or heatproof bowl, set over a saucepan of lightly simmering water, heat chocolate and peanut butter, stirring, until fully melted.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in cream and liqueur (if using). Serve immediately or let cool, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

500 Sauces

Salted Caramel Pecan Fondue

Makes 2 cups

Combining fine quality salt with sweet ingredients is a growing trend that brings out the best of both tastes. Fleur de sel, with its pure, clean taste, makes this thick, rich caramel sauce even more superlative. Try these salty sweet chocolate chip cookies as dippers or skewer chunks of banana, apple, chocolate cake, or brownies.


  • 1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream 1-1/2 cups caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


  1. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil over high heat.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in caramel sauce, fleur de sel and pecans.
  3. Serve immediately or let cool, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.


Apple Cinnamon Fondue

Makes 2 cups

A lighter take on traditional fondue, this fruit-based rendition is yummy with pieces of pannetone or other dense cake. You can even briefly dip caramel candies in the apple cinnamon sauce for a twist on the beloved caramel apple.


  • 4 baking apples, such as McIntosh or Rome, peeled, cubed 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream, at room temperature


  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, cook apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, stirring often, until apples are mushy, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process apple mixture until smooth, for 30 seconds. Add cream and pulse a few times to combine. Serve immediately or let cool, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Geary's latest book 500 Best Sauces, Salad Dressings, Marinades & More is whipped full of hundreds of tips, tricks and recipes that will come in handy for the holidays as well as for everyday and formal occasions throughout the year.

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Michele Borboa, MS
Michele Borboa, MS is a contributing editor for specializing in health, fitness, and all things food. She is a veteran health and fitness professional, personal chef, and mom in Bozeman, Montana. She is also the author of the time-saving cookbook Make-Ahead Meals Made Healthy (Fair Winds Press, July 2011). You can contact Michele at or give her a tweet at