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37 Desserts with a Surprise Inside

Surprise! These delicious dessert recipes all feature a hidden filling that takes an ordinary cake, cookie or cupcake to a new level of tasty.

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Peanut-Filled Devil's Food CupcakesTaste of Home

Peanut-Filled Devil's Food Cupcakes

This recipe features a luscious peanut butter filling surrounded by devil's food and then iced with a rich layer of ganache. They're to die for! —Mary Lou Timpson, Colorado City, Arizona

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Cranberry-Filled Orange Pound CakeTaste of Home

Cranberry-Filled Orange Pound Cake

I made this for a holiday dinner with my family. Everyone loved the cran-orange flavor and the sweet glaze drizzled on top. For a fun variation, add 2/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut when including the orange juice to the batter, and sprinkle the finished cake with toasted coconut. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania

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Heavenly Filled StrawberriesTaste of Home

Heavenly Filled Strawberries

These luscious stuffed berries are the perfect bite-sized dessert. —Stephen Munro, Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia

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Truffle-Filled Cookie TartsTaste of Home

Truffle-Filled Cookie Tarts

I made chocolate truffles as a Christmas tradition for many years. I created this recipe to incorporate my truffles into the center of fudgy cookies. It was a hit with friends and family.—Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania

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Cherry Surprise CookiesTaste of Home

Cherry Surprise Cookies

I tuck a rich chocolate surprise into each of these cute bites. Candied cherries add a colorful finishing touch.
—Gloria McBride, Payson, Utah

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Orange Ricotta Cake RollTaste of Home

Orange Ricotta Cake Roll

I come from a big Italian family where my mom cooked and baked many delicious meals and desserts from scratch. Now I like to do the same for my family. This cake is my finale to our Italian Christmas Eve dinner. —Cathy Banks, Encinitas, California

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Cream-Filled Pumpkin CupcakesTaste of Home

Cream-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes

Here's a charming use for pumpkin. Bursting with flavor and plenty of eye-catching appeal, these sweet and spicy filled cupcakes are bound to dazzle your family any time of the year. —Ali Johnson, Petersburg, Pennsylvania

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Rhubarb-Filled CookiesTaste of Home

Rhubarb-Filled Cookies

I won a blue ribbon at our local fair for these tender cookies. They're so pretty with the ruby-red filling peeking through the dough. Try making these special cookies and watch the smiles appear. —Pauline Bondy, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Chocolate-Drizzled Ravioli CookiesTaste of Home

Chocolate-Drizzled Ravioli Cookies

My daughter Madalyn came up with the recipe for these Oreo-filled raviolis. Our family couldn't stop eating them! Even her teachers were asking her to make them and to share the recipe! —Sarah Sandifer, Bamberg, South Carolina

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Surprise Carrot CakeTaste of Home

Surprise Carrot Cake

A cousin gave me this carrot cake recipe. It's a wonderful potluck pleaser with its "surprise" cream cheese center. My husband and our two young children love it, too! —Lisa Bowen, Little Britian, Ontario

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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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Mint-Filled CookiesTaste of Home

Mint-Filled Cookies

I tuck a peppermint patty inside these treats for a fun surprise. The bites will melt in your mouth. —Karen Nielson, St. George, Utah

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Raspberry Chocolate PuffsTaste of Home

Raspberry Chocolate Puffs

This chocolaty, flaky dessert is one of my favorite show-off recipes because it makes a spectacular presentation. The best part? It’s actually surprisingly easy and quick to make. —Anneliese Deising, Plymouth, Michigan

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Walnut-Filled PillowsTaste of Home

Walnut-Filled Pillows

These tender cookie pillows, filled with a delicious walnut mixture, are my husband's favorite. He says it wouldn't be Christmas without them. —Nancy Kostrej, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

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Mocha Nut RollTaste of Home

Mocha Nut Roll

I’ve enjoyed this dessert several times at a friend’s house, and it never ceases to be delightful. The tender, impressive cake is the ultimate indulgence for anyone who loves coffee or chocolate!—Susan Bettinger, Battle Creek, Michigan

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Apricot-Filled TrianglesTaste of Home

Apricot-Filled Triangles

Traditionally called hamantaschen, these crisp, buttery triangle cookies truly do melt in your mouth. It's a good thing this classic Jewish dessert recipe makes a big batch because no one can stop after eating just one! —Mildred Lorence, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

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Orange Dream Mini CupcakesTaste of Home

Orange Dream Mini Cupcakes

The bright taste of these cute cupcakes reminds me and my friends of orange-and-vanilla frozen treats. —Jen Shepherd, St. Peters, Missouri

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Peanut Butter & Jelly CupcakesTaste of Home

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

My husband's love for classic peanut butter and jelly inspired this recipe. The strawberry buttercream and peanut butter frosting are a delicious combination. —Kelly McCrea, North Kingsville, Ohio

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Chocolate Macaroon CupcakesTaste of Home

Chocolate Macaroon Cupcakes

A delightful coconut and ricotta cheese filling is hidden inside these chocolate cupcakes. —Dolores Skrout, Summerhill, Pennsylvania

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Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream PuffsTaste of Home

Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream Puffs

This extraordinary dessert showcases homemade pumpkin ice cream and cream puffs. The effort is worthwhile...and you can make the parts ahead of time for easy assembly later.—Richard Lasher, Stuarts Draft, Virginia

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Sherbet-Filled Angel Food CakeTaste of Home

Sherbet-Filled Angel Food Cake

Here’s a cool way to treat angel food cake: Fill it with sherbet or ice cream. We finish this cake with a tart, sweet lime glaze. —Leah Rekau, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Cherry SnowballsTaste of Home

Cherry Snowballs

A juicy maraschino cherry is the secret center tucked inside these special cookies. My mom was inspired to create this by a recipe she clipped out of a newspaper more than 30 years ago. —Evy Adams, West Seneca, New York

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Surprise Pumpkin CupcakesTaste of Home

Surprise Pumpkin Cupcakes

I like to share these little pumpkin cakes at work. Cupcakes are the perfect workplace treat because they're already wrapped up and so easy to eat. —Kathleen Dimmich, Easton, Pennsylvania

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Almond Bonbon CookiesTaste of Home

Almond Bonbon Cookies

These bonbons remind me of England, with a touch of America. Dip cooled cookies into one frosting or each side into different frostings. Have fun adding any kind of sprinkle toppings you like. — Teri Lee Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan

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Chocolate-Filled Angel Food CakeTaste of Home

Chocolate-Filled Angel Food Cake

This decadent angel food cake has a secret tunnel of Amaretto-and-chocolate-flavored whipped cream and a luscious chocolate glaze. It's sure to impress. —Leah Rekau, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Surprise MeringuesTaste of Home

Surprise Meringues

These crisp, delicate cookies are light as a feather. Mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts are a delightful and yummy surprise in every bite. Mom knows this fun dessert is a fitting finale to a big meal. —Gloria Grant, Sterling, Illinois

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Chocolate-Filled Cookies with Peppermint FrostingTaste of Home

Chocolate-Filled Cookies with Peppermint Frosting

Baking is one of my favorite traditions around the holidays. These special cookies draw you in with candy-topped frosting and seal the deal with a chocolate center. —Deborah Puette, Lilburn, Georgia

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Snowball Surprise CookiesTaste of Home

Snowball Surprise Cookies

Keep the guests guessing until the big cake reveal! Use candy coating disks to tint the inside of these tender cookies pink and blue. Since these disks come in a variety of colors, you can also make the cookies to match any holiday or theme. —Jan Whitworth, Roebuck, South Carolina

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Cream-Filled CupcakesTaste of Home

Cream-Filled Cupcakes

These moist chocolate cupcakes have a fun filling and shiny chocolate frosting that make them different from any other. They always disappear in a flash! —Kathy Kittell, Lenexa, Kansas

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Lemon Meringue Angel CakeTaste of Home

Lemon Meringue Angel Cake

I've been told that this dessert tastes exactly like a lemon meringue pie and that it's the best angel food cake anyone could ask for. I'm not sure about all of that, but it is delightful to serve, and each slice is virtually fat free. —Sharon Kurtz, Emmaus, Pennsylvania

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Merry Cherry Cookie TartsTaste of Home

Merry Cherry Cookie Tarts

I love to cook and bake, and I think these are the best-ever Christmas cookies. Tender almond-flavored dough with a sweet cherry filling and thin glaze just feels like the holidays.—Janice Christofferson, Eagle River, Wisconsin

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Cream Cheese Chocolate CupcakesTaste of Home

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes

Smooth cream cheese inside makes these cupcakes so rich. The classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate chips comes through in every yummy bite. You'll be asked to make them again and again. —Shirley Dunbar, Mojave, California

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Cranberry Stuffed ApplesTaste of Home

Cranberry Stuffed Apples

Cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts add a homey autumn flavor to these stuffed apples, but the slow cooker does most of the work for me. —Graciela Sandvigen, Rochester, New York

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Moist Lemon Angel Cake RollTaste of Home

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

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Walnut Horn CookiesTaste of Home

Walnut Horn Cookies

At our house, it wouldn't be Christmas without these Pennsylvania Dutch cookies, which are known locally as kiffels. —Sharon Allen, Allentown, Pennsylvania

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Sugar Plum Phyllo KringleTaste of Home

Sugar Plum Phyllo Kringle

Thanks to store-bought phyllo dough, this pastry is easier to make than it looks. Serve it not only for breakfast, but also for dessert with a scoop of ice cream. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona

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Lemon Curd-Filled Angel Food CakeTaste of Home

Lemon Curd-Filled Angel Food Cake

For a sunny angel food cake, we make a filling of mascarpone, cream cheese and lemon curd, and then drizzle the cake with a lemony sweet glaze. —Leah Rekau, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.

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