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30 Heirloom Potluck Recipes Passed Down from Grandma

Grandma's dish was always the first to go at any get-together, and these tender cakes, chewy cookies, bubbling soups and creamy salads prove why. They've been passed down through the generations, ready for you to teach your family, too.

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Gran's Apple CakeTaste of Home

Gran's Apple Cake

My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this dessert a treasured recipe. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California

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Fudge Nut BrowniesTaste of Home

Fudge Nut Brownies

There's no brownie recipe or mix I've ever tried that's better than this! And it's so easy—you can mix it in one bowl in just a few minutes. My husband's grandmother passed the recipe on; now our son makes these brownies for after-school snacks. —Becky Albright, Norwalk, Ohio

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Breakfast BunsTaste of Home

Breakfast Buns

My grandmother taught me to bake these breakfast buns 70 years ago. Now my granddaughter makes them! This batter is like a biscuit dough and can be made up in a short time. There's no nicer way to wake up in the morning than to the aromas of biscuits baking and coffee perking! — Dorothy McGinnis, West Haven, Connecticut

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Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

My family's best carrot cake recipe dates back to my great-grandmother! We bake up a few of these carrot cakes for special occasions to make sure there's enough to go around. You'll love the texture this pretty, moist treat gets from pineapple, coconut and, of course, carrots! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland

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Grandma's Pea SoupTaste of Home

Grandma's Pea Soup

My grandma's pea soup recipe was a family favorite. What makes it different from any other pea soups I have tried is the addition of whole peas, spaetzle-like "dumplings" and sausage. Try it once and you'll be hooked. —Carole Talcott, Dahinda, Illinois

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Grandma's Potato Salad

Grandma's Potato Salad

Our Fourth of July feast wouldn't be complete without this chilled old-fashioned potato salad. It's my grandma's treasured recipe. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

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Frosted Spice CookiesTaste of Home

Frosted Spice Cookies

This recipe has been handed down through many generations of my husband's family. The cookies were always in his grandmother's cookie jar when he'd visit. Today, he enjoys them more than ever—and so do I. —Debbie Hurlbert, Howard, Ohio

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Zucchini CupcakesTaste of Home

Zucchini Cupcakes

I asked my grandmother for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They're such a scrumptious dessert, you actually forget you're eating your vegetables, too! —Virginia Lapierre, Greensboro Bend, Vermont

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Sliced Tomato SaladTaste of Home

Sliced Tomato Salad

I got this recipe from my grandmother. It's a perfect platter to serve with burgers or hot sandwiches. —Kendal Tangedal, Plentywood, Montana

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7UP Pound Cake

7UP Pound Cake

My grandmother gave me this 7UP pound cake recipe. On top of being delicious, this 7UP cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California

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Bourbon Ham BallsTaste of Home

Bourbon Ham Balls

Grandma Nette was the queen of ham ball recipes. I make them salty-sweet with a bourbon and vinegar kick. Serve them alone, in a sandwich or over pasta or rice. —Kimla Carsten, Grand Junction, Colorado

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Grandma Krause's Coconut CookiesTaste of Home

Grandma Krause's Coconut Cookies

When my two daughters were young, their great-grandma made them coconut cookies with oats. Thankfully, she shared the recipe. —Debra Dorn, Dunnellon, Florida

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Honey-Lime Almond CookiesTaste of Home

Honey-Lime Almond Cookies

Decades ago my grandmother passed this buttery lime cookie recipe to me. Through years of baking, our cookie memories keep the family connected, although we’re miles apart. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania

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Martha Washington CandyTaste of Home

Martha Washington Candy

Passed down by my grandmother and mother, this Martha Washington candy recipe is a cherished family tradition. We've even had each grandchild and great-grandchild take a turn stirring the candy mixture! —Cindi Boger, Ardmore, Alabama

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Mamaw Emily's Strawberry CakeTaste of Home

Mamaw Emily's Strawberry Cake

My husband loved his mamaw's strawberry cake recipe. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers. —Jennifer Bruce, Manitou, Kentucky

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Grandma's Star Cookies

Grandma's Star Cookies

My husband's grandma would only make these butter cutouts with a star cookie cutter. I use various shapes for celebrations throughout the year. —Jenny Brown, West Lafayette, Indiana

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Family-Favorite Peanut Butter CakeTaste of Home

Family-Favorite Peanut Butter Cake

My grandmother and aunts made this for family gatherings to go along with fresh homemade ice cream. I now share it with my family and friends during special gatherings. —Keith Gable, Goddard, Kansas

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Sunday Pot Roast

Sunday Pot Roast

With the help of a slow cooker, you can prepare a down-home dinner any day of the week, not just on Sundays. The roast turns out tender and savory every time. —Brandy Schaefer, Glen Carbon, Illinois

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Chocolate & Coconut Cream TorteTaste of Home

Chocolate & Coconut Cream Torte

My grandmother passed this recipe down to me years ago and now I make it for my own grandchildren. When preparing, make sure the chocolate layer is properly chilled before adding the next layer, or the coconut will sink into it. —Jason Purkey, Ocean City, Maryland

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Easy German Potato SaladTaste of Home

Easy German Potato Salad

This tangy potato salad stirs memories of my grandma, who made it for us. Now my mom makes it with brats and sauerkraut, truly the best meal! —Devin Mulertt, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

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Pumpkin Chip Cake with WalnutsTaste of Home

Pumpkin Chip Cake with Walnuts

My grandmother gave me this family recipe. After a few changes, I made the treat even healthier and tastier. Holidays wouldn’t be the same without it!—Amy Bridgewater, Aztec, New Mexico

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German Black Forest CakeTaste of Home

German Black Forest Cake

As far as I know, this cake recipe can be traced back to my German great-grandma. When I got married, my mother gave me a copy and I hope to someday pass it down to my children. —Stephanie Travis, Fallon, Nevada

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Pinwheel Mints

Pinwheel Mints

Both my grandmother and my mom used to make these eye-catching confections as a replacement for ordinary mints. When I offer them at parties, guests tell me the candies are wonderful, and then ask how I created the pretty swirl pattern. —Marilou Roth, Milford, Nebraska

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Bacon Cheese WreathTaste of Home

Bacon Cheese Wreath

My grandmother makes this smoky bacon and Parmesan spread for parties and holiday get-togethers. For a pretty yuletide presentation, decorate the cream cheese wreath with green parsley and red pimientos. —Lisa Carter, Warren, Indiana

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Grandma's Poultry DressingTaste of Home

Grandma's Poultry Dressing

Every family seems to have their own favorite dressing recipe that becomes a tradition, and this is ours. It came from Grandma, who passed it down to my mother. Now our children have carried it into their kitchens. This is truly a good old-fashioned recipe. —Norma Howland, Joliet, Illinois

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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter CookiesTaste of Home

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

My mother insisted that my grandmother write down one recipe for her when Mom got married in 1942: the how to make peanut butter cookies from scratch recipe. That was a real effort because Grandma was a traditional pioneer-type cook who used a little of this or that until it felt right. This treasured recipe is the only one she ever wrote down! —Janet Hall, Clinton, Wisconsin

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Grossmutter's PeppernutsTaste of Home

Grossmutter's Peppernuts

Before Christmas, my grandmother would bake peppernuts and store them until the big day. When we came home from school, the whole house would smell like anise and we knew the holiday season was about to begin. —Marilyn Kutzli, Clinton, Iowa

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Spiced Oatmeal CookiesTaste of Home

Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

I'm the fourth generation of cooks in my family to bake these cookies. When my grandmother sent me a batch for my birthday one year, I asked her for the recipe. That's when I learned it was originally my great-grandmother's recipe. It's one that I will definitely make sure gets passed on! —Loretta Pakulski, Indian River, Michigan

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Buttery Orange Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Buttery Orange Sugar Cookies

My husband's grandmother made a variety of cookies every year for her grandkids at Christmastime. She would box them up and give each child his or her own box. This crisp, orange flavored cookie is one of my favorites from her collection.—Heather McKillip, Aurora, Illinois

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Tangy Bacon Green BeansTaste of Home

Tangy Bacon Green Beans

My grandmother’s Pennsylvania Dutch-style recipe turns plain old green beans into a tangy cross between three-bean and German potato salads. —Sharon Tipton, Casselberry, Florida

Rachel Seis
As senior editor for Taste of Home magazine, Rachel has her hand in everything you see from cover to cover, from writing and editing articles to taste-testing recipes to ensuring every issue is packed with fun and fabulous content. She'll roll up her sleeves to try any new recipe in the kitchen—from spicy Thai dishes (her favorite!) to classic Southern comfort food (OK...also her favorite). When she's not busy thinking of her next meal, Rachel can be found practicing yoga, going for a run, exploring National Parks and traveling to new-to-her cities across the country.

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