7 Better Boxed Mixes for Easier Holiday Baking

With fewer artificial ingredients and preservatives than many traditional baking mixes, these shortcut sweets can help you get into the holiday spirit even when you're short on time--and serve up hassle-free cookies and bars that taste as good as homemade.

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Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

Please Paleo and gluten-free friends and family (and everyone else, too) with these pumpkin muffins from Simple Mills. Made with a base of almond flour, coconut flour, spices, and pumpkin, these perfectly spiced muffins pack nutrition and holiday flavor. Bonus: Smear some cream cheese or vanilla frosting on top and you've got holiday cupcakes!

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Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake Bars

Creamy, crowd-pleasing cheesecake is dead easy with the new Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bar Mix from King Arthur Flour. Made with easily identifiable ingredients including ground vanilla beans, graham cracker crumbs, and whole-wheat flour, the bars bake up easily and beautifully. Plus, for each mix sold, the company donates a meal to Feeding America.

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Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

Bake up two-dozen freshly baked, and perfectly chewy, oatmeal cookies with this mix from Cherryvale Farms. Simply add applesauce and oil to the mix—which includes rolled oats and whole-wheat flour—and the batter is ready to go. These better-for-you cookies are perfect for class parties.

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Brownies

Brownies

While you might think of Annie's Homegrown for mac and cheese or cheddar bunnies, they also make a delicious line of all-natural baking mixes. Add butter and 2 eggs to this whole grain mix and cross baking for the cookie exchange off of your to-do list. For more festive flair shake on holiday-themed sprinkles before baking. (We also love Annie's new refrigerated, ready-to-bake dough for even easier last minute baking.)

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Confetti Cookies

Confetti Cookies

Made with 90% certified organic ingredients, the Confetti Pop cookie mix from Miss Jones Baking Co requires only butter and an egg—and 9 minutes in the oven—to make colorful sugar cookies. And since they're holiday party-perfect without the need for fancy frosting, you'll have time to bake up a batch of their outrageously good Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies as well.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pillsbury

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pillsbury recently introduced its Purely Simple line featuring baking mixes made with streamlined, straightforward ingredients. Try the Chocolate Chip Cookie mix for a classic treat to share with teachers, neighbors, and friends. Or, choose the Sugar Cookies Mix, roll out festive shapes, and let the kids have fun with frosting.

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Pie Crust

Pie Crust

For many, the crust is the hardest (and most intimidating) part of making pie, but it doesn't have to be. With the 2-pack of refrigerated, ready-to-bake crusts from the Immaculate Baking Company, all you need to do is assemble the filling and bake. Look for Immaculate's delicious gluten-free boxed cookie mixes, too.