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30 Dessert Recipes Your Guests Are Secretly Hoping For

Hosting a party or a potluck? You'll want one of these dessert recipes. These are the sweets that everyone is hoping to see on the table (and the ones everyone will want the recipe for).

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Special Occasion Chocolate Cake

This cake won Grand Champion at the 2000 Alaska State Fair, and you will see why once you taste it. This decadent chocolate cake boasts a luscious ganache filling and fudge buttercream frosting. —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska

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Key Lime Cream Pie

I am very proud of this luscious no-bake beauty. It's so cool and refreshing—perfect for any summer potluck or get-together. Wherever I take this pie, it quickly disappears, with everyone asking for the recipe. —Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida
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Broadway Brownie Bars

I named these dessert bars for Broadway because they're a hit every time I serve them. I especially like to make them as a gift for anyone with a sweet tooth! —Anne Frederick, New Hartford, New York
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Lemon Tart With Almond Crust Exps Jmz18 24207 B03 06 2b 2

Lemon Tart with Almond Crust

Our state produces an abundance of lemons, and everyone is always looking for new ways to use them. This beautiful tart is my delicious solution to the excess-lemon problem! —Lois Kinneberg, Phoenix, Arizona
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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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Sky-High Strawberry Pie

This pie is my specialty. It's fairly simple to make but so dramatic to serve. The ultimate taste of spring, this luscious pie has such a big, fresh berry taste. I've had many requests to bring it to gatherings. —Janet Mooberry, Peoria, Illinois
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Minted Chocolate Torte

Our family has enjoyed this remarkable layered cake for years. It's a favorite for many occasions. —Barbara Humiston, Tampa, Florida
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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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Caramel-Apple Skillet Buckle

My grandma used to bake a version of this for me when I was a little girl. She would make it using fresh apples from her tree in the backyard. I've adapted her recipe because I love the combination of apples, pecans and caramel. —Emily Hobbs, Springfield, Missouri
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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.
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Black Forest Tart

Cherry pie filling and a melted chocolate drizzle top a rich, fudgy cake made from chocolate cookie crumbs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Malted Chocolate & Stout Layer Cake

If you want a dessert that will take the cake at a St. Patrick's Day celebration, look no further! The rich chocolate cake is incredibly moist and has a nice malt flavor that's perfectly complemented by the Irish cream frosting. —Jennifer Wayland, Morris Plains, New Jersey
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Rhubarb Strawberry Pie

This strawberry rhubarb pie with frozen fruit recipe has become a favorite with us. My husband never liked rhubarb until he tasted this pie...now he asks me to make it often! — Sandy Brown, Lake Worth, Florida
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Chocolate Salted Caramel Bars Exps Fbmz18 186032 B05 11 1b 2

Chocolate Salted Caramel Bars

I love to experiment with different recipes and combine classic and new flavors. I've been making this shortbread for over 20 years and finally have found the perfect pairing! I love salted caramel, and of course I love dark chocolate, so I layered these two flavors with my favorite shortbread crust. It's melt-in-your-mouth good, and it is quickly becoming a favorite with my family, friends and customers! For even more gooey goodness, drizzle bottled caramel sauce over top. —Lisa Glenn, Sarasota
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Red Velvet Cheesecake

Festive and oh, so good, this cheesecake will become a fixture on your Christmas dessert menu. The red velvet filling is spiked with cocoa, topped with cream cheese frosting and baked in a chocolate cookie crumb crust. —Karen Dively, Chapin, South Carolina
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Chocolate Cream Pie

Our teenage son, John, has done lots of 4-H baking. His favorite is this old-fashioned chocolate cream pie recipe with a flaky crust. —Mary Anderson, De Valls Bluff, Arkansas
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Pumpkin Dessert Bars Exps Pcbz19 34304 B04 26 7b 3

Pumpkin Dessert Bars

Put a twist on traditional pumpkin pie with this recipe. It packs the spicy pumpkin flavor you love, but in a new crowd-sized form. —Tena Huckleby, Greeneville, Tennessee
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Sandy's Chocolate Cake

Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you'll see why this velvety beauty was named the best chocolate cake recipe and won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
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Blueberry Lattice Bars Exps Hca18 19073 C05 19 6b 4

Blueberry Lattice Bars

Since our area has an annual blueberry festival, my daughters and I are always looking for new berry recipes to enter in the cooking contest. These lovely, yummy bars won a blue ribbon one year. —Debbie Ayers, Baileyville, Maine
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Majestic Pecan Cake Exps Hbmz18 47605 C07 12 4b 2

Majestic Pecan Cake

This recipe truly lives up to its name. The pecan-dotted cake is stacked in three layers, and made-from-scratch frosting is the crowning touch.—Karen R. Jones, Claypool, Indiana
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Grasshopper Cookies And Cream Cheesecake Exps Tohon19 229487 E06 12 6b 49

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake

I created this mint chocolate cheesecake for our high school's annual fundraiser. We were told that it brought a hefty price and was one of the first desserts to go! If desired, you can stir the cookie pieces into the batter instead of adding them in a layer. Keep the pieces fairly small or they have a tendency to rise to the top. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Grandma's Strawberry Shortcake

Here's a family-sized version of my grandma's summertime dessert. I can still taste the sweet juicy berries she piled over warm biscuits and topped with a huge dollop of fresh whipped cream. My father added even more indulgence to his serving by first buttering his biscuits. —Shirley Joan Helfenbein, Lapeer, Michigan
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Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookie Exps Cimz17 213117 B09 16 4b 4

Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookie

Bake up the ultimate shareable cookie. For variety, replace the chocolate chips with an equal quantity of M&M's or chocolate chunks. Or go super fancy by mixing the chocolate chips and pecans into the dough, then gently folding in 1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Bake-Sale Lemon Bars

The recipe for these tangy lemon bars comes from my cousin Bernice, a farmer's wife famous for cooking up feasts. — Mildred Keller, Rockford, Illinois
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Rustic Caramel Apple Tart

Like an apple pie without the pan, this scrumptious tart has a crispy crust that cuts nicely and a yummy caramel topping. —Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas
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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Bars Exps Tohon19 217977 E06 12 2b 5

Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

What could be better than a brownie crust layered with chocolate cheesecake and topped with chocolate ganache? These cheesecake bars will satisfy even the biggest chocolate lovers out there. —Andrea Price, Grafton, Wisconsin
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Ultimate Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie

Our family hosts an annual barn party for our close friends, complete with a pie cook-off. A few years ago, this recipe won first prize! —Janice Schneider, Kansas City, Missouri
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Blue Ribbon Butter Cake Exps Ghbz18 37065 B08 15 1b 21

Blue-Ribbon Butter Cake

I found this buttercake recipe in an old cookbook I bought at a garage sale and couldn’t wait to try it. I knew it had been someone’s favorite because of the well-worn page. —Joan Gertz, Palmetto, Florida
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Best Red Velvet Cake

It's just not Christmas at our house until this festive cake appears. This is different from other red velvet cake recipes I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Triple Chocolate Mousse Torte

When it's too hot to bake something sweet but you're craving chocolate, my chocolaty mousse tart is all you need. Stack up the layers any way you like. —Samantha Hernandez, Vacaville, California

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.

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