54 Kentucky Derby Desserts

Feel like you're at Churchill Downs with these fun and festive Kentucky Derby desserts. Full of pecans, chocolate, bourbon and more, these amazing recipes are worthy of the Triple Crown!

1 / 54

Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a Kentucky Derby dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia

Go to Recipe

2 / 54

Bourbon Balls

Remember the days at Grandma and Grandpa’s house when you made these wonderfully traditional treats? We love these Kentucky Derby bourbon balls—the blended taste of bourbon and pecans is irresistible! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
3 / 54

Southern Peach Toasts

These bruleed peach toasts are my creative homage to the beloved southern fresh peach cobbler. Its upscale presentation with delicious peaches is an amazing Kentucky Derby dessert. —Mary Louise Lever, Rome, Georgia

Pair these tarts with a mint julep for the freshest after-race treat.

4 / 54

Banana Pudding Cake

I love to make cakes, and my family loves banana pudding. One day while brainstorming in the kitchen, I came up with this banana pudding cake recipe to combine the two. My family and friends can't get enough of it! If you are pressed for time, you may substitute whipped topping for the homemade sweetened whipped cream. —Tiffany Barbee, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
5 / 54

Mama’s Buttermilk Coconut Pie

My mama showed me how to make this Kentucky Derby dessert about 40 years ago, just as her mama showed her how to make it. I was 6 when Mawmaw passed away, but I can still remember her cooking in the kitchen in her beautiful cotton dresses dusted with flour. I am honored to teach my daughter how to make this dessert, too. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
6 / 54

No-Bake Chocolate-Pecan Tartlets

At the last minute, I frantically came up with this treat for a holiday tea. The tartlets were quickly gobbled up. Now, I make them for our annual Teacher Taster's Choice and special family gatherings. —Joy Johnson, Culbertson, Montana
7 / 54

Million-Dollar Pound Cake

We've always included pound cake on our family menus. Through the years I've tried many recipes, and I can honestly say this million-dollar pound cake is the best! It has a very fine, rich texture that makes it unusually smooth. That texture, plus fantastic flavor, makes this pound cake a special treat each time we serve it. —George Dunn, Jasper, Texas
8 / 54

Fudge Bonbon Cookies

These fudgy favorites are double delights—the cookies are flavored with both chocolate chips and chocolate kisses. Drizzled with white chocolate on top, they're fancy enough for a buffet table. —Janice Smith, Cynthiana, Kentucky

These Kentucky Derby food ideas are the best way to fill out your party’s food table.

9 / 54

Dr Pepper Cake

This Dr Pepper cake is my favorite “go-to” Kentucky Derby dessert. Everyone loves it. When it’s baked in layers rather than in a single layer, its presence makes people say “wow.” It is a crowd-pleaser! —Shannon Parum, Vernon, Texas
10 / 54

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses

Eat these pretty treats as is or crush them into a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream. Readers of my blog, utry.it, went nuts when I posted that idea.—Amy Tong, Anaheim, California
11 / 54

Honey Pecan Pie

Looking for a sweet ending to a special meal? This attractive pecan pie is bound to please with its traditional filling and honey-glazed pecans. —Cathy Hudak, Wadsworth, Ohio
12 / 54

Chocolate Mint Creams

This Kentucky Derby dessert came from an old family friend and is always high on everyone’s cookie request list. I make at least six batches for Noel nibbling and give some away as gifts. —Beverly Fehner, Gladstone, Missouri
13 / 54

Aunt Murna's Jam Cake

I remember Aunt Murna telling me that she created her jam cake recipe as a young girl. She made improvements over the years, such as soaking the raisins in crushed pineapple. This cake is a favorite at our annual family reunions. —Mrs. Eddie Robinson, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky

Mix up one of these Kentucky Derby cocktails while you watch the fastest two minutes in sports!

14 / 54

Bananas Foster Sundaes

I have wonderful memories of eating bananas Foster in New Orleans, and as a dietitian, wanted to find a healthier version. I combined the best of two recipes and added my own tweaks to create this southern treat. —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina
15 / 54

Citrus Cranberry Pie

To showcase abundant fall cranberries, make this beautiful lattice-topped cranberry pie. A dollop of orange cream complements the slightly tart flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
16 / 54

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

My children always looked forward to these fudge brownies as an after-school snack. They're so fudgy they don't need icing. —Hazel Fritchie, Palestine, Illinois
17 / 54

Salted Butterscotch & Pecan No-Bakes

When I was deciding what type of cookie to make for a Kentucky Derby dessert, I opted for something with coconut, pudding mix and salted caramel. Boxed, these could make a great gift as well. I like to drizzle caramel over the tops of the cookies before serving for a special touch. —Stacey Ritz, Sudbury, Ontario
18 / 54

Humble Bumble Crumble Bars

While developing a treat for my bingo group, I asked my husband for ideas. He suggested a fruity bar. This berry bar is lightly sweet and so easy. —Nancy Phillips, Portland, Maine
19 / 54

Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

There's nothing better than this comforting bread pudding recipe on a cold, wintry day. The bourbon sauce makes the dessert taste special, but it's so easy to prepare—the slow cooker does most of the work! —Hope Johnson, Youngwood, Pennsylvania
20 / 54

Honey Cinnamon Bars

My Aunt Ellie gave us the recipe for these sweet bar cookies with cinnamon and walnuts. Drizzle with icing, and serve with coffee or tea. —Diane Myers, Star, Idaho
21 / 54

Mocha-Pecan Ice Cream Bonbons

These bite-sized bonbons may sound tricky to make, but you'll find that fashioning them is a breeze. What's more, our cooking experts advise that you keep this recipe handy when you serve them—as soon as folks sample the treats, they'll be asking how to make them. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
22 / 54

Blueberry Lemon Trifle

A refreshing lemon filling and fresh blueberries give this sunny dessert sensation plenty of color. Don't worry about heating up the oven—this trifle doesn't require baking. —Ellen Peden, Houston, Texas

Go old-school and serve up an Oaks Lily cocktail at your Kentucky Derby shindig.

23 / 54

Chippy Blond Brownies

If you love chocolate and butterscotch, you won’t be able to resist these blonde brownies. I often include this Kentucky Derby dessert inside a baking dish as a wedding present. Everyone, young and old, enjoys these delectable treats. —Anna Allen, Owings Mills, Maryland
24 / 54

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

When my fiance first made this chocolate bourbon pecan pie for me, I declared it to be the best pie ever! Creamy chocolate combines with crunchy nuts in a great, gooey filling. We can't get enough of this recipe inspired by Kentucky Derby bourbon chocolate pecan pie. —Tanya Taylor, Cary, North Carolina
25 / 54

Perfect Peppermint Patties

I make lots of different candy at Christmas to give as gifts. It can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it to see the delight it brings people. Calling for just a few ingredients, this candy is one that is quite simple to prepare. —Joanne Adams, Bath, Maine
26 / 54

Billie's Southern Sweet Potato Cake

I made sweet potato cakes for my kids when they were younger and they told me in their little voices, "Mommy, you're the best baker." Little did they know that was Mommy's first attempt at homemade cake! —Billie Williams-Henderson, Bowie, Maryland
27 / 54

Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

I’m a busy schoolteacher and pastor’s wife and I wouldn’t dare show my face at a church dinner or bake sale without some of these tempting peanut butter treats. They’re quick and easy to make and always a hit. —Kristi Tackett, Banner, Kentucky
28 / 54

Kentucky Butter Cake

I found this Kentucky Derby dessert 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
29 / 54

Favorite Banana Cream Pie

Homemade banana cream pie is my mom’s specialty, and this dreamy dessert has a wonderful banana flavor. It looks so pretty, and it cuts easily too. —Jodi Grable, Springfield, Missouri
30 / 54

Pecan Caramel Candies

Salty and sweet, these candies are the perfect little snack. Form a kitchen assembly line with your kids, and the making becomes just as fun as the eating. —Julie Wemhoff, Angola, Indiana
31 / 54

Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

Using just five ingredients makes this Kentucky Derby dessert so simple. You can add a little extra decoration with chocolate jimmies, too. —Chris Nelson, Decatur, Arkansas
32 / 54

Buttermilk Pecan Pie

This is the treasured "golden oldie" that my grandmother made so often whenever we'd come to visit. Grandma grew her own pecans, and we never tired of cracking them and picking out the meat when we knew we'd be treated to her special pie! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
33 / 54

Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A pleasingly moist cake, this treat is the one I requested that my mom make each year for my birthday. It's dotted with sweet carrots and a hint of cinnamon. The fluffy buttery frosting is scrumptious with chopped walnuts stirred in. One piece of this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is never enough—it's better than all the other carrot cakes I've tried! —Kim Orr, West Grove, Pennsylvania
34 / 54

Salted Pecan Shortbread Squares

My shortbread squares are the ultimate go-to for cookie trays and gift-giving. The buttery caramel and toasted nuts make it tough to eat just one. —Diana Ashcraft, Monmouth, Oregon
35 / 54

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake

This Kentucky bourbon pecan cheesecake will wow your guests and your taste buds. Serve in spring during the Kentucky Derby or at any other special occasion throughout the year. —Rashanda Cobbins, Taste of Home Food Editor
36 / 54

Chunky Banana Cream Freeze

Everyone loves ice cream, but we all know it doesn't make a great after-school snack. Until this! With its sweet banana-almond flavor and chunky texture, this appealing banana peanut butter "ice cream" is a crowd-pleaser. People who ask me for the recipe can't believe how easy it is to make. —Kristen Bloom, Okinawa, Japan
37 / 54

Grits Pie

Simple, southern and scrumptious, this pie will be a definite hit even with people who dislike grits. It has the perfect custardy texture.—Victoria Hudson, Pickens, South Carolina
38 / 54

Chocolate Pecan Torte

This impressive dessert looks lovely on a Kentucky Derby dessert table. It takes some time to prepare, but it’s worth the effort. —Lois Schlickau, Haven, Kansas
39 / 54

Chewy Chocolate-Cherry Bars

Colorful dried cherries and pistachios star in this take on seven-layer bars. To switch it up even more, try cinnamon or chocolate graham cracker crumbs instead of plain, and substitute pecans or walnuts for the pistachios. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
40 / 54

Toffee Pecan Bars

Curl up with a hot cup of coffee and one of these treats. The golden topping and flaky crust give way to the heartwarming taste of old-fashioned pecan pie. —Dianna Croskey, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
41 / 54

Hidden Mint Morsels

Is it a cookie or a candy? No matter which answer folks choose, they find these minty morsels yummy. The recipe makes so much that you can whip up tons of gifts at once. —Adina Skilbred, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
42 / 54

Apple Rhubarb Crumb Pie

My family and friends always ask for my apple rhubarb pie for birthdays and get-togethers. Everyone loves the unique flavor that the rhubarb adds to this pie. —Sherri Moon, Decatur, Indiana.
43 / 54

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Blondies

There's nothing better than a cookie, brownie and cheesecake mixed together, with bacon to top it off! —Katie O'Keeffe, Derry, New Hampshire
44 / 54

Fudgy Mint Cookies

Chocolate lovers will get a double dose when they bite into this cakelike cookie. The cookies are especially popular served alongside a big scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream! —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota
45 / 54

Lemon Cheesecake Tarts

To make these cute tarts more quickly, add the filling to store-bought phyllo tart shells. —Sarah Gilbert, Beaverton, Oregon
46 / 54

Buttermilk Cake with Caramel Icing

This fabulous cake and caramel frosting are so tender, it melts in your mouth. It's been a family favorite since the '70s and it goes over really well at church potluck meals. —Anna Jean Allen, West Liberty, Kentucky
47 / 54

Pecan Pie Bars

These pecan pie bars are rich and delicious - just like pecan pie! They're perfect for taking to potlucks and other gatherings...I always come home with an empty pan. These Kentucky Derby pecan pie bars are the perfect snack while watching the races. —Carolyn Custer, Clifton Park, New York
48 / 54

Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bars

If you're looking for something other than pumpkin, these sweet potato bars are a yummy alternative. Make them ahead—they're even better refrigerated overnight. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
49 / 54

Southern Lane Cake

I just love this southern-style dessert, and so do dinner guests. With pecans, cherries and raisins in the filling and topping, this version reminds me of a fruitcake—only so much better! —Mabel Parvi, Ridgefield, Washington
50 / 54

Caramel-Pecan Apple Pie

You'll love the smell in your kitchen—and the smiles on everybody's faces—when you make this scrumptious caramel apple pie recipe. It takes me back home to Virginia, to my granny's table. —Jean Castro, Phoenix, Arizona
51 / 54

Rhubarb Dream Bars

Dreaming of a different way to use rhubarb? Try these sweet bars with a tender shortbread-like crust topped with rhubarb, walnuts and coconut for delicious results. —Marion Tomlinson, Madison, Wisconsin
52 / 54

Easy Lemon Berry Tartlets

These fruity, flaky tartlets filled with raspberries and topped with lemon-tinged cream cheese are a sweet ending to any weeknight meal. They are elegant yet come together quickly and easily. —Elizabeth Dehart, West Jordan, Utah
53 / 54

Butter Pecan Fudge

Toasted pecans add a nutty crunch to this creamy fudge, perfect for holiday giving. People always seem to rave about its wonderful caramel flavor. —Pam Smith, Alta Loma, California
54 / 54

Delicate Mint Thins

Newly married, I needed something fancy to impress my relatives at a reunion and came up with these cookies. I got many compliments on their subtle flavor.—Kristine McDaniel, Kettering, Ohio

Caroline Stanko
Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish. When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer cocktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.