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40 Church Picnic Desserts

Summer is a great time for church fellowship outdoors! These are some of the best picnic desserts to share.

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Berry Dream Cake

I use cherry gelatin to give a boxed cake mix an eye-appealing marbled effect. It's so festive-looking. Top it with whatever fruit you like! —Margaret McNeil, Germantown, Tennessee
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Lavender Lemon Bars

Hints of lavender and lemon zest in the crust make these treats a favorite. —Judith Hilinski, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
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Mini PB&J Cheesecakes

I got hooked on these mini peanut butter and jelly cheesecakes when a friend made them. She let me steal her recipe, and now I'm sharing this tasty treat with you!—Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Berry-Patch Brownie Pizza

I just love the combination of fruit, almonds and chocolate that makes this brownie so unique. The fruit lightens the chocolate a bit and makes it feel as though you are eating something sinfully healthy. —Sue Kauffman, Columbia City, Indiana
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Caramel Fluff & Toffee Trifle

The best part of this stunning dessert is that you need only five ingredients to put it together. —Daniel Anderson, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Cinnamon Chocolate Cake

A healthy hint of cinnamon gives this chocolate cake an extra step up over the expected sheet cake. Its sweet frosting is full of crunchy pecans. —Victor Clifford, San Jose, California
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Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes

Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes

My granddaughter Sydney has acquired a love of baking. While I was visiting her in Tampa, we made these light, fluffy cupcakes. She's a natural—they turned out fantastic! —Lonnie Hartstack, Clarinda, Iowa
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Olive Oil Cake

A good olive oil cake isn't overly sweet, so it can just as easily be a breakfast treat or an afternoon snack as a dessert. —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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No-Bake Cappuccino Dessert

Summer gatherings call for cool desserts like this one. Lots of the party invites I receive come with a request for this delicious treat. You can make it even more chocolaty by adding cocoa powder to the dry pudding mixes. —Mary Beth Desens, Fredonia, Wisconsin
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Coconut Key Lime Thumbprints

This is the cookie recipe I created for the Las Vegas World Food Championships in 2013. It's similar to a shortbread thumbprint cookie, but with lots more personality. —Amy Freeze, Avon Park, Florida
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Rocky Road Cookie Cups

Traditional rocky road ice cream has nuts, marshmallows and chocolate. Using prepared cookie dough makes it easy to put the flavors together in these fast, kid-friendly rocky road cookis. —Charlotte McDaniel, Jacksonville, AL
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Quick and Easy Baklava Squares

I love baklava but rarely indulge because it takes so much time to make. Then a friend of mine gave me this simple recipe. I’ve made it for family, friends and co-workers—they can’t get enough. I’m always asked to bring these squares to special gatherings and parties, and I even give them as gifts during the holidays. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Blueberry Zucchini Squares

I saw a bar recipe on a box of muffin mix using apple and lemon zest. I tried it from scratch with shredded zucchini and fresh blueberries instead. It’s a tasty combo. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Coconut Orange Slice Cookies

This is a family recipe that was handed down to me. The coconut and orange combination gives them a distinctive taste unlike any other cookie I've had. They're perfect for Christmas! —Patricia Ann Stickler, Durand, Michigan
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Arnold Palmer Cupcakes

These fun cupcakes take a favorite Arnold Palmer recipe and turn it into dessert. Add a slice of lemon on top for a puckery finish. —Jessee Arriaga, Reno, Nevada
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Peach & Blueberry Trifle

This crowd-pleasing summer trifle recipe can be made the night before. I love that you can be flexible with the ingredients. Add any in-season fruit you like! —Raymonde Bourgeois, Swastika, Ontario
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Behr Track Cookie Bars

The holidays are the perfect time to indulge in these ooey-gooey, salty-sweet peanut butter bars. A lot of people comment that the pretzels in the filling are a pleasant surprise. Just make sure to cut cookie bars small—they're super rich. —Megan Behr, Marion, Iowa
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German Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

I first tried tres leches cake while in Ecuador several years ago. Since then, I’ve changed it up by adding some of my favorite ingredients, namely chocolate and coconut. This version also has a splash of rum for an adults-only treat. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Double-Layer Cheesecake Bars

Can't choose between chocolate and vanilla cheesecake? Have both when you make this bar recipe with two distinct layers. —Andrea Price, Grafton, Wisconsin
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Cherry Gelatin Supreme

When I was growing up, this yummy, easy dessert was always on the menu at holiday get-togethers. Years ago, my aunt gave me the recipe, and now when I make it for my family, I think of her. —Janice Rathgeb, Brighton, Illinois
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S'more Sandwich Cookies

Capture the taste of campfire s'mores in your kitchen. Graham cracker crumbs added to chocolate chip cookie dough bring out the flavor of the fireside favorite. Melting the cookies' marshmallow centers in the microwave makes them simple to assemble. —Abby Metzger, Larchwood, Iowa
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Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

These yummy pecan bars start with a homemade pastry crust and pile on lots of semisweet chocolate. They’re perfect for a holiday bake sale or casual get-together.—Heather Biedler, Martinsburg, West Virginia
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Key Lime Trifle

When I saw a recipe for banana cream pie trifle I was inspired to invent a version than spun off my favorite pie, Key lime. My family loved it! Some friends got to try it, too, and they enjoyed immensely as well. —Rebecah Lytle, Ocala, Florida
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Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

This recipe is special to me because it is totally original, my very own! The cookies are firm but not crunchy on the outside, and they're tender inside. The powdered sugar makes them melt in your mouth. —Jane Rundell, Alanson, Michigan
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Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake

My Grandma Gigi loved summer berry cakes. Almost any time I’d call her during the warmer months, she’d invite me over to taste her latest masterpiece. This cake is a tribute to her. —Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
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Butterscotch Apple Cake

"My family often requests this easy old-fashioned cake for get-togethers—especially in the fall," writes Beth Struble from Bryan, Ohio.
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Mississippi Mud Pie

This southern favorite is one my family can never get enough of and there are never any leftovers. My grandmother, mother and aunts always made this recipe for family gatherings. Now I make it for everyone because it's so easy to prepare and everyone loves it! —Elizabeth Williston, Thibodaux, Louisiana
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Banana Split Cake Bars

Summer isn’t summer without a banana split or two, and these fun bars bring that same delicious flavor in potluck-perfect form. —Jasey McBurnett, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Gimlet Bars

I love a tangy gimlet when the weather turns steamy—but these bars are just the thing when the craving hits and summer seems too far away. Add more lime zest if you want these a bit tangier. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Coconut Dream Cupcakes

My daughter, Elizabeth, came up with this incredible recipe. The cream cheese in the middle is a fun surprise when someone takes their first bite. —Julie Flournoy, Laurelville, OH
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Peanut Butter Pie Cookies

I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, but my favorite—peanut butter pie—is tough to eat on the go. I dreamed up these cookies to get my favorite flavor combo in a bite-size package. They can be made ahead and taken to any holiday gathering. —Ashley Moyna, Elkader, Iowa
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Coffee Lover's Mini Cheesecakes

Everyone in my family knows how much I adore cheesecake. Anyone who wants one made comes to me because they know I have a lot of tried and tested recipes. But I was getting bored with the standard chocolate or cherry. And then I had an idea—mocha cheesecake! After lots of experiments, I came up with this recipe. It's really good, even if I do say so myself. —Holly Sharp, Warren, Ontario
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Carrot Sheet Cake

We sold pieces of this to-die-for carrot cake at an art show. Before long, we sold out of all the 10 cakes we had made! —Dottie Cosgrove, South El Monte, California
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Easy Mexican Brownies

I was hosting a fun Mexican-themed cocktail party and needed a quick dessert. Dressing up an ordinary boxed brownie mix made life easy and delicious! —Susan Stetzel, Gainesville, New York
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Chocolate Chip & Pecan Meringue Bars

I've had recipes for chocolate chip cookies and pecan meringues in my collection for a number of years—and I combined them to make these bars! They're a lovely addition to any holiday cookie tray. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Layered Lemon Dessert Squares

I found this recipe in an old cookbook and changed it to be extra citrusy. If you’re a fan of Key lime pie, substitute lime for the lemon flavors. —Dawn E. Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

I received this recipe from my sister-in-law more than 35 years ago. Chock-full of chocolate, these crispy cookies have a tantalizing aroma while baking. —Marilyn Spangler, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Ginger-Glazed Lemon Bundt

Tangy ginger, tart lemon and puckery cranberries make this melt-in-your-mouth cake as crisp—and gorgeous—as autumn. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Hot Chocolate Tiramisu

Instead of using coffee and rum, I let cinnamon shine in this tiramisu. It's best if eaten within two days—if it even lasts that long! —Cathy Geniti, Saratoga Springs, New York
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Pumpkin and Walnut Squares

The buttery crust and crumb topping plus the creamy pumpkin filling make this a popular dessert at potlucks. Try it with whipped cream, ice cream or all by its yummy self. This is the pumpkin walnut recipe to end all recipes. —Ruth Beller, Sun City, California

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.

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