46 Never-Fail Dessert Recipes

Skip the stuck-on cookies or cracked cheesecake—these no-fail treats won't give you any trouble.

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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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Lemon Shortbreads

Every year my mom and I collect cookie recipes we want to try and then get together in early December for an afternoon of baking. These no-fail lemon cookies have become an annual tradition. They're a wonderful homemade holiday gift. —Kristen Stecklein, Glendale, Wisconsin
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Contest-Winning Rhubarb Meringue Pie

My husband’s grandmother was an excellent cook, but she didn’t always share her secrets. Luckily, we have her rhubarb pie recipe. I added one of my favorite crusts and a never-fail meringue. —Elaine Sampson, Colesburg, Iowa
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Never-Fail Cutout Cookies

I have tried numerous recipes for cutout cookies over the years—this one is foolproof. My daughter and my granddaughter love making these for holidays and social events. Most of all, we enjoy decorating them. You can try almond flavoring or another flavoring of choice. This recipe is easily doubled. —Irene Palm, Mansfield, Ohio
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Rhubarb Crisp

I found this strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe on a box of Quaker Oats about 20 years ago. It's quick and easier to make than pie. It's versatile, too, because you can add strawberries in spring or apples in fall. I usually pop it into the oven shortly before we sit down to eat so it's still warm for dessert! —C.E. Adams, Charlestown, New Hampshire
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Moist Lazy Daisy Cake

We always called this Mama's never-fail recipe. I guess the same holds true for me since I've won contests with this lazy daisy cake. The tasty dessert always brings back fond memories of Mama. —Carrie Bartlett, Gallatin, Tennessee
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Toffee Brownie Trifle

This decadent combination of pantry items is a terrific way to dress up a brownie mix. Try this trifle with other flavors of pudding or substitute your favorite candy bar. It tastes great with low-fat and sugar-free products, too. —Wendy Bennett, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Pumpkin Roll

This pumpkin roll recipe is great to keep in the freezer for a quick dessert for my family or unexpected guests, to take to a gathering, or to give as a yummy gift. —Erica Berchtold, Freeport, Illinois
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Chocolate Carrot Cake

Finely shredding the carrots gives this cake an extra-nice texture. The walnuts sprinkled on top add crunch, but you can leave them off if you prefer. —Pamela Brown, Williamsburg, Michigan
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Five-Star Brownies

There's a bit of my state's history behind these brownies' name and shape. In 1990, when I entered them at our state fair, Kansas was celebrating the 100th birthday of a famous native son, Dwight Eisenhower. In fact, that occasion was the theme of the fair. So I renamed my brownies, in honor of the rank he'd achieved as a general and cut them out with a star cookie cutter. They ended up winning a blue ribbon! —Pam Buerki Rogers, Victoria, Kansas
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White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

Friends sometimes ask me to make these for wedding receptions. For a fancier presentation, I cut the bars into triangle shapes and drizzle white chocolate over each one individually. —Erika Busz, Kent, Washington
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Tropical Carrot Cake

I look forward to August because our family reunion means fun and great food, like this classic cake with the special flair it gets from pineapple. My great-aunt gave me this recipe, and I always make it for the reunion. —Victoria Casey, Enterprise, Oregon
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Luscious Almond Cheesecake

I received this recipe along with a set of springform pans from a cousin at my wedding shower 11 years ago. It makes a heavenly cheesecake. My son Tommy has already told me he wants it again for his birthday cake this year. —Brenda Clifford, Overland Park, Kansas
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Potluck German Apple Cake

My mother made this German apple cake for my brothers and me when we were kids. It's an excellent choice for a Christmas potluck or actually any time of year. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Kentucky Butter Cake

I found this Kentucky butter cake 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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Big Soft Ginger Cookies

These nicely spiced, big soft ginger cookies are perfect for folks who like the flavor of ginger but don't care for crunchy gingersnaps. —Barbara Gray, Boise, Idaho
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Contest-Winning Moist Chocolate Cake

You don't have to spend a lot of time to serve an elegant and delicious dessert. Just mix up the batter in one bowl, bake and get ready for people to love this moist dark chocolate cake recipe. —Christa Hageman, Telford, Pennsylvania
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Contest-Winning Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert

With its gingersnap crust and maple syrup drizzle, this rich and creamy spiced pumpkin dessert never fails to get rave reviews. It cuts nicely, too. —Cathy Hall, Phoenix, Arizona
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Caramel Chocolate Trifle

A highlight of our annual family reunion is the dessert competition. The judges take their jobs very seriously! Last year's first-place winner was this tempting trifle.—Barb Hausey, Independence, Missouri
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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I like using pretty mini muffin liners and topping these homemade peanut butter cups with colored sprinkles to coordinate with the holiday we're celebrating. People can't believe how simple it is to make this irresistible candy with gooey peanut butter centers. This is how to make homemade peanut butter cups. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
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Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

My grandma kept two cookie jars in her pantry. One of the jars, which I now have, always had these crisp and chewy gingersnaps in it. They're still my favorite cookies. My daughter used this recipe for a 4-H fair and won a blue ribbon. —Deb Handy, Pomona, Kansas
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Blueberry Angel Dessert

Make the most of angel food cake, pie filling and whipped topping by creating this light impressive dessert that doesn't keep you in the kitchen for hours. It's the perfect way to end a summer meal. —Carol Johnson, Tyler, Texas
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Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

If you delight in the taste of chocolate, then this is the cheesecake for you. Every creamy bite melts in your mouth. It's so impressive yet not difficult to prepare-I whip up this dessert each time I want a yummy treat for my family, friends or co-workers. —Mary Jones, Cumberland, Maine
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Dipped Gingersnaps

I get tremendous satisfaction making and giving time-tested yuletide treats like these dipped gingersnaps. Dipping them in white chocolate makes much-loved gingersnaps even more special. —Laura Kimball, West Jordan, Utah
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Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I make these banana bars with cream cheese frosting whenever I have ripe bananas on hand, then store them in the freezer to share later. With creamy frosting and big banana flavor, this treat is a real crowd-pleaser. —Debbie Knight, Marion, Iowa
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Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

Our family loves dessert, and this chocolaty, layered treat is one of Mom's most-requested recipes. It's so easy to prepare this Oreo ice cream cake! —Kimberly Laabs, Hartford, Wisconsin
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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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Chocolate Billionaires

Everyone raves about these chocolate and caramel candies. I received the recipe from a friend while living in Texas. When we moved, I made sure this recipe made the trip with me! —June Humphrey, Strongsville, Ohio
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Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

I said I’d take dessert to a holiday party so I tried this recipe. I’m sure you’ll agree it tastes as luscious as it looks! —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Here's proof that peanut butter and chocolate just belong together. These peanut butter blossom cookies are an easy family favorite and never fails to make my children smile. —Tammie Merrill, Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Bread Pudding with Nutmeg

I always make this bread pudding recipe for my dad on his birthday and on holidays. He says it tastes exactly like the bread pudding with nutmeg he enjoyed as a child. —Donna Powell, Montgomery City, Missouri
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Apple Crisp Pizza

While visiting the bakery at a Wisconsin apple orchard, I tried this tempting treat. At home, I put together this recipe. As it bakes, the enticing aroma fills my kitchen, and friends and family linger waiting for a sample. —Nancy Preussner, Delhi, Iowa
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Rhubarb Custard Bars

Once I tried these rich, gooey bars, I just had to have the recipe so I could make them for my family and friends. The shortbreadlike crust and the rhubarb and custard layers inspire people to find rhubarb that they can use to fix a batch for themselves. —Shari Roach, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Peanut Butter Pudding Dessert

Here's a fun layered dessert that will appeal to all ages. If you want it even nuttier, you can use chunky peanut butter, and if you're not a fan of cashews, substitute your favorite nut. This peanut butter lasagna is one of my favorite pudding desserts. —Barbara Schindler, Napoleon, Ohio
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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Here's a different version of a traditional recipe. I love these soft peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. — Clarice Schweitzer, Sun City, Arizona
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Apple Dumpling Bake

I received this recipe for baked apple dumplings with Mountain Dew from a friend of mine, then tweaked it to suit my family's tastes. The soda is definitely the secret ingredient in this rich apple dessert. —Chris Shields, Monrovia, Indiana
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Layered Chocolate Marshmallow Peanut Butter Brownies

A friend gave me the recipe for these layered brownies, but I added my own touch--chunky peanut butter. Every time I take these to a group gathering, I get requests for the recipe. It's a real crowd-pleaser! —Judy Sims, Weatherford, Texas
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Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

After sampling this flavor at an ice cream stand, I kept trying to duplicate it until it was just right. This blueberry cheesecake ice cream is a hit! —Melissa Symington, Neche, North Dakota
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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
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Marbled Orange Fudge

This decadent treat doesn't last long at our house. The Creamsicle flavor of this soft fudge brings on the smiles. Bright orange and marshmallow swirls make it a perfect takealong for events and get-togethers. —Diane Wampler, Morristown, Tennessee
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Family-Favorite Cheesecake

This easy cheesecake recipe has been a family favorite for almost 20 years. It's fluffy, delicate and absolutely delicious. I've shared it at many gatherings over the years and have even started baking it for our friends instead of Christmas cookies. —Esther Wappner, Mansfield, Ohio
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Raspberry Ribbons

I make these attractive, buttery cookies to serve at our remote guest lodge, and all the cooks in the kitchen are addicted to them! —Patsy Wolfenden, Golden, British Columbia
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Layered Lemon Pie

This is a great ending for almost any meal. Kids and adults all enjoy it, and the creamy lemon filling is always a hit with my husband. —Elizabeth Yoder, Belcourt, North Dakota
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Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake

An attractive topping of cinnamon-spiced apple slices and a homemade oat-and-walnut crust make this creamy dessert a definite showstopper. —Emily Ann Young, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

We don't want to brag, but as far as vanilla ice cream recipes go, this one is the best. And with only four ingredients, it just might be the easiest, too. No ice cream maker? No problem. Just follow the directions below to learn how to make homemade ice cream by hand. It's the perfect base for our best ice cream sundae ideas, too. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Katie Bandurski
As Senior Shopping Editor, Katie connects Taste of Home readers with the best gifts, deals and home products on the market. An avid foodie and a holiday enthusiast, Katie is an expert at cultivating meaningful moments. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and watching Christmas movies.