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55 Budget-Friendly Dessert Recipes

Serve up something sweet without breaking the bank with these tasty cheap desserts. Each recipe is made with 6 ingredients or less, and you probably already have them in your pantry!

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Almond Cherry  FudgeTaste of Home

Almond Cherry Fudge

Cooked in the microwave, this fast fudge is a sweet addition to any holiday gathering. I make it when I need a quick treat for a school party or to take to a neighbor. —Shellie Tucker, Hendersonvlle, Tennessee

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Potato Chip ClustersTaste of Home

Potato Chip Clusters

Just three offbeat ingredients add up to one unique, delectable, no-bake treat. These super-easy, sweet-and-salty candy clusters make for merry munching during holiday trips or parties. They travel well in containers without melting or getting soft. —Donna Brockett, Kingfisher, Oklahoma

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Berries with Vanilla CustardTaste of Home

Berries with Vanilla Custard

What a simple, delectable way to enjoy fresh raspberries. For a change, also try the custard with strawberries or peaches. —Sarah C. Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire

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Easy Cake Mix BarsTaste of Home

Easy Cake Mix Bars

I take this dessert to work for Friday pick-me-ups. It's one of my favorite yellow cake bar recipes. I love to share them because they're so easy to eat, easy to make and easy on the wallet. —Amy Rose, Ballwin, Missouri

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Crunchy Chocolate Mint BallsTaste of Home

Crunchy Chocolate Mint Balls

Get a jump on the holidays by making these four-ingredient truffles and tucking them away in the freezer to save for gift-giving. Present them in mini cupcake holders for an extra-special touch. —Amanda Triff, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

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Grossmutter's PeppernutsTaste of Home

Grossmutter's Peppernuts

Before Christmas, my grandmother would bake peppernuts and store them until the big day. When we came home from school, the whole house would smell like anise and we knew the holiday season was about to begin. —Marilyn Kutzli, Clinton, Iowa

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Mexican Wedding CakesTaste of Home

Mexican Wedding Cakes

As part of a Mexican tradition, I tucked these tender cookies into small gift boxes for the guests at my sister's wedding a few years ago. Most folks gobbled them up before they ever got home! —Sarita Johnston, San Antonio, Texas

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Easy Ice Cream Sundae DessertTaste of Home

Easy Ice Cream Sundae Dessert

We kids couldn't wait to dig into this tempting ice cream dessert. It's cool and smooth with a ribbon of fudge inside. Whenever I make it for my family, I think of Mom. —Anne Heinonen, Howell, Michigan

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Cranberry Pecan CookiesTaste of Home

Cranberry Pecan Cookies

These are so tasty and simple to prepare! Each delightful little cookie is loaded with cranberries, nuts and vanilla, giving them the taste of a treat that’s been slaved over. —Louise Hawkins, Lubbock, Texas

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Maine Potato CandyTaste of Home

Maine Potato Candy

Years ago, folks in Maine ate potatoes daily and used leftovers in bread, doughnuts and other dishes. This potato candy recipe captures all of the old-school flavors. —Barbara Allen, Chelmsford, Massachusetts

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Dipped Peanut Butter Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Dipped Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

You’ll love to give tins of these chocolate-coated cookies to your lucky friends. The shortcut holiday recipe is almost too simple to believe! Here's how to make peanut butter cookies without eggs. —Jackie Howell, Gordo, Alabama

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Macaroon Ice Cream TorteTaste of Home

Macaroon Ice Cream Torte

My family loves frozen treats. With chocolate four ways, this one is so beautiful, people think it came from an ice cream shop. —Barbara Carlucci, Orange Park, Florida

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Peach Cobbler Dump CakeTaste of Home

Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

This is one of the best peach dump cake recipes in the world. It's sweet, tender cake with a beautifully crisp cobbler topping. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, and dessert's golden. —Keri Sparks, Little Elm, Texas

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KipplensTaste of Home

Kipplens

My Great-Aunt Hilda makes this recipe every Christmas, and everybody loves them! Kipplens taste a lot like Mexican wedding cakes, but I like my aunt's version better. —Susan Bohannon, Kokomo, Indiana

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Chocolate Butterscotch HaystacksTaste of Home

Chocolate Butterscotch Haystacks

My grandmother made these haystack cookies and gave them to my cousin Vonnie and me when our parents didn't want us to have any more sweets. —Christine Schwester, Divide, Colorado

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Chocolate Toffee CrunchiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Toffee Crunchies

From the buttery crust to the golden toffee, melted chocolate and chopped pecans, these bars are filled with Noel flavor. —Joni Crans, Woodhull, New York

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Almond Pear TartTaste of Home

Almond Pear Tart

I had never seen a "pie without a pan" until my daughter brought back this wonderful pear almond tart recipe from a Rotary Club exchange program in Belgium. It's still a family favorite after all these years. —Sherry LaMay, Capitan, New Mexico

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Frosty Watermelon IceTaste of Home

Frosty Watermelon Ice

For a different way to serve watermelon, try this make-ahead frozen dessert. It's so refreshing on a summer day...and you don't have to worry about seeds while you're enjoying it. —Kaaren Jurack, Manassas, Virginia

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Caramel-Pecan Apple SlicesTaste of Home

Caramel-Pecan Apple Slices

Here's a warm, decadent side dish for fall or winter brunches. Ready to eat in only 15 minutes, the apples are also good alongside a pork entree or spooned over vanilla ice cream. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

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Lemony Cream Cheese BarsTaste of Home

Lemony Cream Cheese Bars

Anytime I can take a recipe that has been handed down two generations and lighten it up while keeping the delicious flavor memories intact, I’m a happy girl. —Patti Lavell, Islamorada, Florida

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Easy Pistachio Tube CakeTaste of Home

Easy Pistachio Tube Cake

Mixes make this light cake easy, and a fluted tube pan gets it holiday party-ready. Go for the pistachios on top—the extra crunch is worth it. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, Virginia

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Grandma Pruit's Vinegar PieTaste of Home

Grandma Pruit's Vinegar Pie

This historic pie has been in our family for many generations and is always at all of the family get-togethers.—Suzette Pruit, Houston, Texas

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Surefire Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Surefire Sugar Cookies

You can invite kids to help make these easy treats. Sometimes I melt white coating instead of chocolate chips because it can be tinted to match the season. —Victoria Zmarzley-Hahn, Northhampton, Pennsylvania.

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Creme de Menthe TrufflesTaste of Home

Creme de Menthe Truffles

I found this in a box of recipe clippings and decided to give them a whirl. I'm so glad I did! The minty flavor is perfect for Christmas. —Joe Mattes, Amana, Iowa

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Coffee Bean BarkTaste of Home

Coffee Bean Bark

Chopped coffee beans add a yummy crunch to this pretty, two-toned bark. Coffee-lovers won’t be able to resist pieces of the chocolaty candy treat. —Anne Addesso, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooker Baked ApplesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Baked Apples

Coming home to this irresistible dessert on a dreary day is just wonderful; it’s slow-cooker easy. — Evangeline Bradford, Erlanger, Kentucky

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Berry, Lemon and Doughnut Hole TrifleTaste of Home

Berry, Lemon and Doughnut Hole Trifle

I was able to whip up this quick, yet impressive dessert, in only a few minutes after my son called and said he was bringing home his college roommates. It's been a family favorite ever since. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

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Church Window CookiesTaste of Home

Church Window Cookies

This is a hit with kids—the little ones just love the colored marshmallows! —Emmilie Gaston, Wabash, Indiana

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Strawberry PillowsTaste of Home

Strawberry Pillows

Make cookie trays extra special with these mini pie look-alikes stuffed with sweet strawberry preserves. Yum! —Amy Sauerwalt, Columbia, Maryland

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Peanut Butter Pretzel BarsTaste of Home

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

My secret to these rich, no-bake bites? Pretzels in the crust. They add a salty crunch to the classic peanut butter-chocolate pairing. These irresistible chocolate peanut butter pretzel bars were the first to sell out at our PTA bake sale! —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia

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Ice Cream Cookie DessertTaste of Home

Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

Our family loves dessert, and this chocolaty, layered treat is one of Mom's most-requested recipes. It's so easy to prepare this Oreo ice cream cake! —Kimberly Laabs, Hartford, Wisconsin

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Layered Lemon PieTaste of Home

Layered Lemon Pie

This is a great ending for almost any meal that kids and adults all enjoy. The creamy lemon filling is always a hit with my husband. —Elizabeth Yoder, Belcourt, North Dakota

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Peanut Butter Cookie CupsTaste of Home

Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

I'm a busy schoolteacher and pastor's wife. I wouldn't dare show my face at a church dinner or bake sale without these tempting peanut butter treats. They're quick, easy to make and always a hit. —Kristi Tackett, Banner, Kentucky

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Mom's Fried ApplesTaste of Home

Mom's Fried Apples

Mom often made these fried apples for me while I was growing up. The recipe is very dear to me. —Margie Tappe, Prague, Oklahoma

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Almond CrunchTaste of Home

Almond Crunch

Once you start eating this taste-tempting treat, you may not be able to stop! Matzo crackers are topped with buttery caramel, chocolate and slivered almonds...and then baked to perfection. —Sharalyn Zander, Jacksonville, Alabama

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Icebox CakeTaste of Home

Icebox Cake

You don't have to bake to serve a wonderful dessert! This "cake" is made from chocolate wafers and whipping cream. It is so delicious.—Cindy Hawkins, New York, New York

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Pinwheel MintsTaste of Home

Pinwheel Mints

Both my grandmother and my mom used to make these eye-catching confections as a replacement for ordinary mints. When I offer them at parties, guests tell me the candies are wonderful, and then ask how I created the pretty swirl pattern. —Marilou Roth, Milford, Nebraska

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Chocolate Peanut TreatsTaste of Home

Chocolate Peanut Treats

When I was in high school, I took these sweet and crunchy squares to bake sales— and they were the first to sell out. I still make them for family and friends who love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter. —Christy Asher, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Bite-Sized Apple PiesTaste of Home

Bite-Sized Apple Pies

These little bites are fun for kids to make. Simply wrap strips of pastry around apple wedges and shake on some cinnamon-sugar. Then just bake and watch them disappear! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Creamy Peppermint PattiesTaste of Home

Creamy Peppermint Patties

These smooth chocolate candies fill the bill for folks who like a little sweetness after a meal but don't want a full serving of rich dessert. —Donna Gonda, North Canton, Ohio

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Scottish ShortbreadTaste of Home

Scottish Shortbread

Scottish settlers first came to this area over 150 years ago. My mother herself was Scottish, and—as with most of my favorite recipes—she passed this shortbread recipe on to me. I make a triple batch of it each year at Christmas, to enjoy and as gifts. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba

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Fruity Cereal BarsTaste of Home

Fruity Cereal Bars

With dried apple and cranberries, these crispy cereal bars are perfect for snacks or brown-bag lunches. —Giovanna Kranenberg, Cambridge, Minnesota

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Fluffy Key Lime PieTaste of Home

Fluffy Key Lime Pie

For a taste of paradise, try this no-bake Key lime pie recipe. It's low in fat, sugar and fuss. It truly is the best Key lime pie recipe ever! —Frances VanFossan, Warren, Michigan

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Semisweet Chocolate MousseTaste of Home

Semisweet Chocolate Mousse

A friend shared this rich velvety chocolate mousse recipe with me. I love to cook and have tons of recipes, but this one is a favorite. Best of all, it's easy to make. —Judy Spencer, San Diego, California

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Marshmallow PopsTaste of Home

Marshmallow Pops

Making these pops is a fun activity for a children's party because any age can participate. Customize them for holidays or special occasions by rolling them in coordinating colored sprinkles. —Marcia Porch, Winter Park, Florida

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Cranberry Bog BarsTaste of Home

Cranberry Bog Bars

Sweet and chewy, these fun bars combine the flavors of oats, cranberries, brown sugar and pecans. I like to sprinkle the squares with confectioners’ sugar before serving. —Sally Wakefield, Gans, Pennsylvania

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Crispy Pretzel BarsTaste of Home

Crispy Pretzel Bars

I often make a big batch of these peanut butter-flavored cereal bars on days that I don't want to heat up the kitchen. Kids especially love them, so they're great for picnics, potlucks and school bake sales. —Jane Thompson, Eureka, Illinois

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Angel Food Christmas CandyTaste of Home

Angel Food Christmas Candy

It was my dad who inspired me to first try making this Christmas candy. He remembered it from when he was a boy. The ultimate compliment was when he told me my version tasted even better! My husband's a driver with a parcel service. As you can probably guess, he works long hours around the holidays—that gives me time for making treats! We have a 2-year-old (he likes to jump up on a chair and help in the kitchen) and a second child due in March.

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Pear Bundt CakeTaste of Home

Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota

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Apple Yogurt ParfaitsTaste of Home

Apple Yogurt Parfaits

Get the morning started right with this super simple four-ingredient parfait. Try chunky or flavored applesauce for easy variations. —Rebekah Radewahn, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

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Gooey Chocolate-Peanut BarsTaste of Home

Gooey Chocolate-Peanut Bars

These are so easy to make and take no time at all. They’re great to package up for those college kids looking for something from home. Everyone will want this recipe. —Elaine Grimme, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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Cream Cheese Cookie CupsTaste of Home

Cream Cheese Cookie Cups

Need a quick dessert? Try these yummy cookie bites. For a pretty look, use an icing bag to pipe the filling into the cups, then top each with mini M&M's. —Rachel Blackston, Mauk, Georgia

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Coconut-Layered Pound CakeTaste of Home

Coconut-Layered Pound Cake

If you love chocolate, almonds and coconut, this cake is for you. It comes together in a flash and tastes just like an Almond Joy candy bar! —Linda L. Nichols, Steubenville, Ohio

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No-Bake Cereal BarsTaste of Home

No-Bake Cereal Bars

With two kinds of cereal and peanut butter, these bars taste almost like candy. —Pauline Christiansen, Columbus, Kansas

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Grasshopper PieTaste of Home

Grasshopper Pie

I only need six ingredients to whip up this fluffy and refreshing grasshopper pie. I usually make two of the minty treats for our family, since we're never satisfied with just one slice. —LouCinda Zacharias, Spooner, Wisconsin

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