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25 Desserts That Start with a Package of Cream Cheese

Can't figure out what to do with that leftover package of cream cheese? These desserts are the answer. Find amazing recipes for parfaits, cookies, tarts and, of course, cheesecake.

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Makeover Traditional Cheesecake

Though softer than a full-fat cheesecake, this lightened-up dessert has all of the original's delectable flavor. It's sure to make any special event more festive. —Anne Addesso, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Apple Kolaches

A fellow home cook shared this recipe for a sweet, fruit-filled pastry. My son, who isn’t a dessert fan, was disappointed when he came home to find his dad had polished off the last kolache in the batch. —Ann Johnson, Evansville, Indiana
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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
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Miniature Pumpkin Cake Towers

I make these pumpkin treats every autumn and they are gone in minutes. The spice combination is perfect for fall, and it is all wrapped up in a pretty little cake.—Deb Lyon, Bangor, Pennsylvania
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Cheesecake Berry Parfaits

The summer berry season is a real treat. This is an easy way to enjoy berries with cheesecake, which is a refreshing change from traditional pudding and fruit parfaits. —Patricia Schroedl, Jefferson, Wisconsin
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Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Swirl Cheesecake

I make a sweet potato souffle that I’ve always thought tastes like a dessert. I finally decided to use that idea for an actual dessert, and the result was a smooth, rich cheesecake.
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Strawberry Tart

This creamy strawberry tart boasts a crunchy chocolate layer tucked next to the crust. Try making individual tartlets instead of one big dessert. —Dawn Tringali, Hamilton Square, New Jersey
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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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Caramel Pumpkin Tiramisu

I'm not fond of traditional tiramisu, so I used pumpkin and in place of coffee, bourbon, and it's absolutely fabulous. I always make extra sauce and eat it over vanilla ice cream. It's so good, I don't want to leave it alone! – Mary Filipiak, Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Rustic Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Here’s a delectable dessert that’s simple but feels upscale. With its fresh raspberries and Nutella-covered homemade pastry crust, you and your guests won’t be able to get enough. —Christina Seremetis, Rockland, Massachusetts
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Dutch Treats

I was born and raised in Holland, where we used almond paste quite often in our baking. I created this recipe to capture the outstanding flavors of home.
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Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Enjoy this holiday dessert without worrying about calories. Plus it is so luscious that no one will guess that it is light! —Jean Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin
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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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Pecan Roll-Ups

This recipe is so delicious and is sure to become a favorite of your family. The pecans make them so rich.—Lee B. Roberts, Racine, Wisconsin
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Quick Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

These cookies freeze well, so it's easy to keep some on hand for last-minute munching. In summer, I often make them larger to use for ice cream sandwiches. —Mary Rempel, Altona, Manitoba
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Easy Nutella Cheesecake

Creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread tops a crust made of crushed Oreo cookies to make this irresistible baked cheesecake.—Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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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Apricot-Nut White Fudge

We look forward to this luscious apricot fudge recipe every Christmas. It's easy to make, and it melts in your mouth. I wrap up small squares of the candy with ribbon and silk holly.
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Lemon Cheesecake Tarts

To make these cute tarts more quickly, add the filling to store-bought phyllo tart shells. —Sarah Gilbert, Beaverton, Oregon
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Chocolate-Cherry Sandwich Cookies

I make these often at Christmastime, but they're a winner for summer parties, too. Chilling the cookies before you dip them into chocolate is important because it firms up the filling. —Amy Sauerwalt, Columbia, Maryland
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Cinnamon-Sugar Sweet Potato Pastries

We always have leftover mashed sweet potatoes after our Thanksgiving feast. I take what’s left to make an indulgent filling for sweet potato empanadas. Convenient crescent roll dough makes this recipe easy as pie. —Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Blueberry Graham Dessert

When you're short on time but long for cheesecake, try this fruity dessert. Ricotta and cream cheeses give every bit as much flavor as cheesecake without the effort. Instead of making individual servings, you could layer the ingredients in a glass serving bowl. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Refrigerator Lime Cheesecake

I made this for a Father's Day party, and it was a hit! I guarantee compliments when you serve this fantastic dessert. —Cher Anjema, Kleinburg, Ontario
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Grilled Banana Brownie Sundaes

My niece Amanda Jean and I have a lot of fun in the kitchen creating different dishes. One of us will start with a recipe idea and it just grows from there—and so does the mess. In this case, the happy result was our Grilled Banana Brownie Sundae. —Carol Farnsworth, Greenwood, Indiana
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Peachy Summer Cheesecake

This is a cool, always refreshing dessert that is fancy enough to take to a gathering. You can make this ahead of time and freeze it. Make sure you cover it well in an airtight container and add the peaches only after the cheesecake thaws. —Joan Engelhardt, Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Laurie Dixon
Having a passion for writing her whole life, Laurie joined the Taste of Home team to bring together her two favorite things—creative writing and food. She spends most of her time playing with her dog, drafting up short stories and, of course, trying out new recipes.
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