Coming home for winter break from college seems to get more boring every year. You lose touch with high school friends, people are traveling, working, and you're stuck on your couch alone. I've found that a good way to pass time and have fun is to bake. With the holiday season fast approaching us, what better way to be productive than make easy baked goods for your holiday gatherings? Check out these fun, easy recipes that will be sure-fire hits at any event (or even just for yourself).

1. Peppermint Cupcakes

cupcake, cream cheese, cream, sprinkles, chocolate, buttercream, cheese
Roann Pao

These are basically amped-up chocolate cupcakes. These are filled with chocolatey-goodness and minty-freshness, all at the same time. They can be a great brownie-cupcake, for those who aren't as big on icing and don't want as cake-like a texture.

2. Penuche Pumpkin Pecan Cookies

peanut, chicken, sauce, butter
Kristen Yang

Anything that has to do with pumpkin, I'm there. These are a cute, simple alternative to a full pumpkin pie if you're more into finger-food-type desserts. They're also made with almond milk, so they're healthy, right?

3. Cannoli Dip

cream, milk, dairy product, sweet, chocolate, coffee
Jessica Small

Dips are so often used as appetizers, so why not desserts too? Cannolis are rich and decadent, and the filling is always the best part. This way, you can have as much of it as you want, and can dip it in anything you'd like. This recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

4. Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

chocolate, cake, cheesecake, cream
Adrienne Shih

Red velvet is often correlated with the holiday season because of the color and richness. These red velvet cheesecake brownies bring the term "richness" to a whole new level. Warm them up and top it off with some ice cream and you might as well be in heaven.

5. Salted Caramel Bread Pudding

chocolate, sweet, cream
Angela Lin

Basically, the easiest dessert on here. Wanna know the best part? The main ingredient can be stale leftover bread in your kitchen. Salted Caramel is known as a holiday favorite, partly because of Starbuck's famous salted caramel drinks. While those drinks are great, this pudding is the real deal.

6. Apple Pie Cups

cream, sweet, milk, chocolate, dairy product, caramel, coffee, ice, pudding, yogurt
Susanna Tuan

Love your grandma's classic apple pie, but think it could use a modern makeover? Here's my solution. These individual treats are great for large parties when guests just wanna grab a cup and spoon quickly. This takes out the hassle of cutting a piece of pie and trying to plate it.

7. No-Bake Peanut Butter Oreo Pie

cake, chocolate, cream
Xinwei Zeng

For the folks that are particularly oven-challenged and are constantly peeking in to see if their food is ready, this is the dessert for you. No holiday is complete without pie, especially this one. While a bit different than your typical pumpkin or apple, you can't go wrong with peanut butter and Oreo.

8. Caramel Apple Pizza

pastry, sweet, cake, pie
Gracey Wallace

Forget pie. Forget plain caramel apples. Forget regular pizza. Is your mind blown from this idea yet? This recipe requires surprisingly very few ingredients, and can be a fun way to spice up the old pie routine, yet still getting that classic lattice-design on your dessert of choice.

9. No-Bake Pumpkin Trifle

cream, sweet, chocolate, dairy product, coffee, cake, milk
Brittany Arnett

No baking? Less than 30 minutes to make? Absolutely adorable and delicious? Sign me up. Cup desserts are very "in" right now, mostly because having the portions pre-measured can limit you from turning that one pie piece into half of the pie.

10. Apple Bourbon Monkey Bread

apple pie, apple, meat, chicken
Meghan Buonanno

Any dessert with booze, you know is going to be a rich and comforting blast to your taste buds. Monkey bread is one of the easiest things to make, and you don't need many ingredients. Add your own spin with some cinnamon roll icing drizzle or mix some pears in with the apples. With monkey bread, it's hard to go wrong. 

11. Gingerbread Fudge

sweet, candy, pastry, cake, chocolate
Caroline Ingalls

Gingerbread cookies are the classic Christmas-time treat and they're also super fun to make, so why not amp 'em up a notch by making them extra delicious. Cover them in sprinkles or decorate them as though they were sugar cookies. Even trying to shape the fudge into something beyond a square and decorating them is a fun few hours with friends and family. 

So get off the couch, get into the kitchen, and start baking away for friends, family, or just yourself.