49 Classic Desserts from the ’50s Worthy of a Comeback

Updated: May 20, 2024

Home cooks from the 1950s created some delicious treats, and many are still around today (or they should be). These classic desserts deserve some attention!

1 / 50

Peach Bavarian

Fruit molds are my specialty. This one, with its refreshing peach taste, makes a colorful salad or dessert. —Adeline Piscitelli, Sayreville, New Jersey
2 / 50

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

If you want to offer family and friends a dessert that really stands out from the rest, this is the cake to make. The beautiful high, rich sponge cake is drizzled with a succulent chocolate glaze. —Erma Fox, Memphis, Missouri
3 / 50

Irresistible Coconut Cream Pie

My husband and I grow 500 acres of wheat on the farm his family homesteaded in 1889. I grind my own flour and love to use it in this recipe. The easy, pat-in crust has a rich grain flavor. It’s irresistible filled with old-fashioned coconut cream and topped with a fluffy meringue. —Roberta Foster, Kingfisher, Oklahoma
4 / 50

Spumoni Baked Alaska

For a dazzling yet refreshing end to a rich holiday meal, try this freezer finale. It's bound to garner oohs and aahs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Also, check what is baked Alaska. We fill you in on the history of this dessert plus tips for making it at home.

5 / 50

Stained Glass Gelatin

Kids love this sweet, wiggly gelatin and whipped topping dessert. Use different flavors of gelatin to make color versions that are as wild as your imagination. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
6 / 50
7 / 50

Chocolate Bavarian Torte

Whenever I take this eye-catching torte to a potluck, I get so many requests for the recipe. —Edith Holmstrom, Madison, Wisconsin
8 / 50

Maraschino Cherry Rice Pudding

As a grandmother, I've been cooking for many years and love to share my recipes. This pretty pastel dessert is a fun choice when you need something sweet for a special occasion. —Sharon Crider, Junction City, Kansas
9 / 50

Strawberries & Cream Torte

This festive strawberries and cream summer treat is one of my mom's favorites. It wows guests every time yet is simple to make. —Cathy Branciaroli, Wilmington, Delaware
10 / 50

Spiced Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I often bake this beautiful cake in my large cast-iron skillet and turn it out
onto a pizza pan. —Jennifer Sergesketter, Newburgh, Indiana. If you love vintage food, then make sure you try this cranberry duff, a New England-style upside-down cake.
11 / 50

Strawberry Shakes

Full of summer fruit, these thick berry blends are the perfect way to savor hot days. "I serve tall glasses with strawberry garnishes," says Ruby Williams of Bogalusa, Louisiana.
12 / 50

Old-Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

This old-fashioned banana cream pie recipe is full of flavor. Because it uses instant pudding, this no-bake dessert is ready in just minutes. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington
13 / 50

Carrot Sheet Cake

We sold pieces of this to-die-for carrot cake at an art show. Before long, we sold all 10 cakes we had made! —Dottie Cosgrove South El Monte, California
14 / 50

Chocolate Chess Pie

This is one of my mother's go-to recipes. It's a yummy spin on classic chocolate chess pie. — Ann Dickens, Nixa, Missouri
15 / 50

Coconut Chiffon Cake

Toasted coconut adds visual appeal to this tall and impressive cake. With an airy texture and heavenly coconut-ginger flavor,it's a lovely end to meals throughout the year.
16 / 50

Meringue Shells with Lemon Curd

We love a dazzling dessert of meringue shells filled with sunny lemon curd. It’s sweet and tart, crunchy and fluffy. Top this lemon curd dessert with whipped cream and berries. —Kris Brill, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
17 / 50

Icebox Cake

You don't have to bake to serve a wonderful dessert! This icebox cake is made from chocolate wafers and whipping cream. It is so delicious.—Cindy Hawkins, New York, New York
18 / 50

Orange Dream Angel Food Cake

A basic angel food cake becomes a heavenly indulgence, thanks to a hint of orange flavor swirled into every bite. The orange color makes slices of the cake look so pretty when arranged on individual dessert plates.—Lauren Osborne, Holtwood, Pennsylvania
19 / 50

Banana Cream Eclairs

To surprise my banana-loving family, I made this dessert for a reunion, where it stood out among the usual fare. These special treats are something to look at and mouthwateringly delicious. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
20 / 50

Butterscotch Pie

This pie's filling is like creamy pudding and is crowned with golden peaks of meringue. —Cary Letsche, Brandenton, Florida
21 / 50

Fancy Fuss-Free Torte

Thanks to frozen pound cake and a can of pie filling, this torte is easy to make. If layers slide, keep them in place with toothpicks around the edges as you build. Just remove before serving. —Joan Causey, Greenwood, Arkansas
22 / 50

Apple Brown Betty

This apple brown betty can be whipped up in hardly any time. It costs little to prepare, but it's big on flavor. —Florence Palmer, Marshall, Illinois
23 / 50

Simple Lime Gelatin Salad

Looking for a festive dish to light up the buffet? This pretty green gelatin salad is eye-catching and has a delightful, tangy flavor. —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
24 / 50

Banana Skillet Upside-Down Cake

My grandmother gave me my first cast iron skillet, and I've been cooking and baking with it ever since. Sometimes I add drained maraschino cherries to this banana skillet dessert and serve it with a ice cream. —Terri Merritts, Nashville, Tennessee
25 / 50

Cherry Almond Mousse Pie

Treat your loved ones to a luscious pie with chocolate, cherries and nuts in a creamy vanilla mousse. It's a sweet yet refreshing dessert. —Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas
26 / 50

Creme de Menthe Cream Puff Tree

A tower of creme de menthe-flavored puffs makes a spectacular centerpiece for your dessert table. Guests will have this sumptuous pyramid deconstructed in no time at all! —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
27 / 50

Grandma Riley's Banana Cake

This favorite recipe has been passed down through my husband’s family. His grandmother wrote this out for me shortly after we were married. She copied it from a recipe that her mother had written out for her many years before. These handwritten treasures in my recipe box bring back so many fond memories. —Jamie Dunn, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
28 / 50

Moist Lemon Angel Cake Roll

Tart and delicious, this pretty cake roll will tickle any lemon lover's fancy. Its feathery, angel food texture enhances its guilt-free goodness. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
29 / 50

Macaroon Cherry Pie

I use homegrown cherries in this bountiful pie with its unique crunchy coconut topping. But I've found that purchased tart cherries yield a dessert that's nearly as delicious. I always bake this pie around Presidents Day or Valentine's Day, but it's popular with my family in any season. —Lori Daniels, Beverly, West Virginia
30 / 50

Chocolate Angel Cake

When I was married in 1944, I could barely boil water. My dear mother-in-law taught me her specialty—making the lightest angel food cakes ever. This chocolate version is an easy, impressive treat. —Joyce Shiffler, Colorado Springs, Colorado
31 / 50

Spiced Peach Cobbler

When you tuck into this warm and comforting fresh peach cobbler, you won’t miss the extra fat and calories a bit! —Mary E. Relyea, Canastota, New York
32 / 50

Creamy Pineapple Pie

Creamy pineapple pie is a light and refreshing dessert that's quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
33 / 50

Banana Split Supreme

This lovely and delightful dessert has the classic flavor of a banana split. It's a cool, creamy treat with no last-minute fuss since you just pull it from the freezer. It always solicits praise from our big family. -Marye Franzen, Gothenburg, Nebraska
34 / 50

Milk Cake

This is a simple recipe—and especially easy in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. The result is a deliciously light, airy cake. —Suzanne Coelman, Rabun Gap, Georgia
35 / 50

Memaw's Banana Pudding

Creamy and rich, this homemade banana pudding recipe is so easy. Layer it in a trifle bowl for a pretty presentation. —Ruth Kizer, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
36 / 50

Apple-Spice Angel Food Cake

I dressed up an angel food cake mix with some nuts, spice and applesauce to make an easy and light dessert. I serve it with a dollop of whipped topping mixed with a half cup of sour cream. —Joan Buehnerkemper, Teutopolis, Illinois
37 / 50

Lemon Pudding Dessert

After a big meal, folks really go for this light lemon treat. The shortbread crust is the perfect base for the fluffy top layers. I've prepared this sunny dessert for church suppers for years and I always get recipe requests. —Muriel DeWitt, Maynard, Massachusetts
38 / 50

Frozen Grasshopper Torte

I first made this minty cool torte for a ladies' meeting at our church. I’m still making it, and the compliments keep coming. —Elma Penner, Oak Bluff, Manitoba
39 / 50

Ribbon Fantasy Fudge

I developed this recipe especially for my husband, who likes anything that has chocolate and peanut butter together!
40 / 50

Favorite Coconut Cake

When I need an impressive dessert for a special occasion, this is the recipe I turn to. My guests are glad I do! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
41 / 50

Grapefruit Alaska

Easily impress your guests with this quick dessert. It takes just 30 minutes to prepare, and you'll receive rave reviews. —Peg Atzen, Hackensack, Minnesota
42 / 50

Candy Cane Pie

When my college roommate first made this pie, I couldn't get enough! Using a store-bought crust helps save time when you're in the midst of the holidays. —Charlotte Stewart, Mesa, Arizona
43 / 50

Bread Pudding with Nutmeg

I always make this bread pudding recipe for my dad on his birthday and on holidays. He says it tastes exactly like the bread pudding with nutmeg he enjoyed as a child. —Donna Powell, Montgomery City, Missouri
44 / 50

7UP Pound Cake

My grandmother gave me my first cake recipe—a pound cake using 7UP—which her grandmother had given to her. On top of being delicious, this cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California
45 / 50

Sacher Torte

Guests will be surprised to hear that this Sacher torte recipe starts with a convenient cake mix. Each bite features chocolate, almonds and apricots. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
46 / 50

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
47 / 50

Old-Fashioned Honey Baked Apples

My baked apple recipe is very old-fashioned yet tried and true. It's definitely a comfort food. —Rachel Hamilton, Greenville, Pennsylvania
48 / 50

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
49 / 50

Tropical Rainbow Dessert

Classic ribbon gelatin salad gets an up-to-date makeover with this tropical treatment. Cream of coconut creates the creamy layers in these showstopping parfaits. I like to surprise my nieces and nephews with this Jell-O mold done in neon colors. —Dan Kelmenson, West Bloomfield, Michigan
50 / 50

Swedish Christmas Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is an old-fashioned dessert that is comforting and delicious. The creamy treat has a mild vanilla flavor.—Karla Larson, East Moline, Illinois