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A Dessert-A-Day Meal Plan Because You Deserve It

Get ready for a month full of deliciously easy dessert recipes, with everything from chocolate cake to apple pie tarts and snickerdoodle cheesecake. Go ahead, treat yourself!

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Day 1: Layered Turtle Cheesecake

After receiving a request for a special turtle cheesecake and not finding a good recipe, I created my own. Everyone is thrilled with the results and this cheesecake remains a favorite at the coffee shop where I work. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

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Day 2: Lemon Layer Cake

This citrusy cake with a luscious cream cheese frosting will garner plenty of applause. The flavor, a duet of sweet and tangy notes, really sings. —Summer Goddard, Springfield, Virginia
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Day 3: Slow Cooker Chocolate Pots de Creme

Lunch on the go just got a whole lot sweeter. Tuck jars of rich chocolate custard into lunch bags for a midday treat. These desserts in a jar are fun for picnics, too. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Day 4: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake

My maternal grandmother preferred sewing and quilting to cooking and baking, but there were some things that she cooked and baked really well. She was the only person I knew who made snickerdoodles, simple but yummy cookies that I've always enjoyed. Since cheesecake is my very favorite dessert, I couldn't resist coming up with one that re-creates those flavors. I think of my grandmother each time I make it! Sometimes I'll drizzle the slices with maple syrup. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Day 5: Key Lime Pie Cookies

The classic creamy filling, graham cracker crust and burst of lime are all mixed together in every bite of these rolled cookies. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Day 6: 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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Day 7: Blue Ribbon Red Velvet Cake

This two-layer beauty features a striking red interior. It calls for more baking cocoa than most red velvet cakes, making it extra chocolaty. Feel free to change the color of the food coloring to suit the occasion. I'm proud to say that this recipe won a blue ribbon in the holiday cake division at the 2006 Alaska State Fair. I think this award-winning red velvet cake recipe will be a winner in your house, too! —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska
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Day 8: 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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Day 9: Lemon Berry Dump Cake

This sweet-tart cake recipe is so much fun to make with my grandkids. They love just "dumping it all in" and watching it magically become a pretty, delicious dessert. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Day 10: Raspberry Ice Cream in a Bag

Making homemade ice cream is fun for the whole family, and the fresh raspberry flavor of this treat makes it a perfect summer activity. Kids can shake the bags until the liquid changes to ice cream and then enjoy the reward! —Erin Hoffman, Canby, Minnesota
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Day 11: Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets

These adorable mini apple pie pastries make a delightful addition to a dessert buffet or snack tray. The recipe calls for convenient frozen phyllo shells, so they're surprisingly easy to prepare. The lemon curd filling adds a unique flavor twist. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
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Day 12: Easy Bourbon Pecan Pie

This pie has a mellow bourbon flavor that's not too strong and not too sweet. And it is easy, crunchy and chewy—just what you want in a pecan pie. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Day 13: Trail Mix Slices

With big handfuls of dried apricots and cherries, almonds and pistachios, we make dozens of treats you can take anywhere.—Donna Pochoday-Stelmach, Morristown, New Jersey
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Day 14: 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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Day 15: Creamy Layered Blueberry Ice Pops

These delicious ice pops can also be made with raspberries or blackberries. The rosemary sprig and lemon zest bring another layer of flavor. The pops are quick, easy, kid-friendly and freezable. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois
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Day 16: Apricot-Hazelnut Triangles

These crispy cookie treats can be changed up—try different nuts and jams, and dark or white chocolate depending on the holiday. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Day 17: Fresh Raspberry Icebox Cake

Layered icebox cakes are so fun because they look impressive but couldn't be easier. Fresh raspberries make this one really special. Use Anna's Ginger Thins to get the scalloped edges, or regular gingersnaps if those are not available. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Day 18: Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

When you don't have time to bake a real cheesecake, reach for this easy recipe. An almond-flavored dough serves as both crust and topping for a soft fudgy filling. —Louise Good, Flemington, New Jersey
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Day 19: Frosted Carrot Cake Cookies

I took my favorite carrot cake recipe and slightly tweaked it to make cookies. Just like the cake, the yummy bites are filled with shredded carrot, pineapple and raisins—and topped with a homemade cream cheese frosting. —Lawrence Earl, Sumner, Michigan
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Day 20: Berry Pistachio Pie

My grandmother used to make this pie when I was a small child. A Brooklyn woman gave her the recipe, but my grandmother could never remember the woman’s name or the name of the pie, comically dubbing it Lady from Brooklyn’s Pie. Feel free to use any flavored gelatin, or try walnuts or pecans instead of pistachios. I use a store-bought graham cracker crust, but you can also use a chocolate graham cracker crust. —Judy DeGrottole, New York, New York
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Day 21: Aunt Rose's Fantastic Butter Toffee

I don't live in the country, but I love everything about it—especially good old-fashioned home cooking! Every year, you'll find me at our county fair, entering a different contest. This easy toffee recipe is a family favorite. —Kathy Dorman, Snover, Michigan
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Day 22: Double-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

My mom and her friend did a lot of cookie swaps together. They were always finding new recipes to share, including this one. There's something about a dipped cookie that makes it seem so special, so we usually save these for the holidays. —Ginger King, Big Bear Lake, California
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Day 23: Frosted Chocolate Cake

This recipe is my mother's oldest and most popular chocolate cake recipe. I always thought it should have a fancier name, but this is what she called it. Mom would say a fancy name would not make it taste better. —Beth Bristow West Plains, Missouri
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Day 24: Berry Tartlets

Bring spring flavors together in these delectable miniature tarts. Raspberries and blueberries both work well with the whipped cream and lemon curd mixture or choose your favorite berries instead. These sweet treats are great for a ladies tea, brunch or spring holiday celebration. —Mary J. Walters, Westerville, Ohio
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Day 25: Chocolate Marshmallow Peanut Butter Squares

I combined a couple of recipes to create these crunchy, chocolaty peanut butter marshmallow bars that burst with flavor. The bars could also pass for fudge! —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Day 26: Macaroon-Topped Rhubarb Cobbler

Crumbled macaroons are a surprising addition to this cobbler’s topping. We love that you can make the sweet treat in a baking dish or a cast-iron skillet. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Day 27: Old-World Ricotta Cheesecake

I reconstructed this dessert based on an old recipe that had been in the family for years but was never written down. The subtle cinnamon flavor of the zwieback crust reminds me of the cheesecake I enjoyed as a child, but substitute other crumbs if you like. —Mary Beth Jung, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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Day 28: Chocolate Almond Drops

So much rich, chocolaty flavor, so little time! My trufflelike cookies are deceptively easy to make and look so elegant on a party tray. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Day 29: Peach Crumb Bars

I had the most beautiful peaches and really wanted to bake with them. I started with my blueberry crumb bar recipe, and after a couple of tries, I was so happy with the results. My co-worker taste testers were, too! —Amy Burns, Newman, Illinois
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Day 30: Grandma's Carrot Cake

My grandma was very special to me. She had a big country kitchen that was full of wonderful aromas any time we visited. This was one of her prized cake recipes, and it continues to be a favorite from generation to generation. —Denise Strasz, Detroit, Michigan

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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