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65 Potluck Desserts to Feed a Crowd

Whether you're hosting a party or need to bring a dish to pass to a gathering, these potluck dessert recipes that serve at least 12 are real crowd pleasers.

Chocolate Peanut Treats

When I was in high school, I took these sweet and crunchy squares to bake sales— and they were the first to sell out. I still make them for family and friends who love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter. —Christy Asher, Colorado Springs, Colorado

California Lemon Pound Cake

Citrus trees grow abundantly in California, and I'm always looking for new recipes which use the fruit from the orange and lemon trees in my yard. This is one of my favorites! My mother passed this recipe down to me. —Richard Killeaney, Spring Valley, California

Crinkle-Top Chocolate Cookies

When I baked these moist, fudgy cookies for the first time, my three preschool children went wild over them! But I like them because they're lower in fat and easy to mix and bake. —Maria Groff, Ephrata, Pennsylvania

Cherry Cheese Cupcakes

Our church Christmas party always includes these pretty cupcakes as my home-baked contribution. The holidays were the sweet inspiration for their cheery garnish of cherries. —Leanne Beagley, Rochester, New York

Rhubarb Mandarin Crisp

An attractive dessert, this crisp is also a popular breakfast dish at our house, served with a glass of milk rather than topped with ice cream. Because it calls for lots of rhubarb, it's a great use for the bounty you harvest. —Rachael Vandendool, Barry's Bay, Ontario

Fudge-Topped Brownies

If you love brownies and fudge, why not combine the two? Mix up a pan of these exquisite brownies for any holiday or special gatherings...or just when you want to treat yourself to the ultimate chocolate dessert. —Judy Olson, Whitecourt, Alberta

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

Nutty Cheesecake Squares

I grew up on a farm and have had a lot of good recipes handed down to me. This is one of my favorite desserts to serve when guests come over or at family gatherings and church suppers. —Ruth Simon, Buffalo, New York

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 recipe contest. This toffee is a family favorite. —Kathy Dorman, Snover, Michigan

Crispy Chocolate Squares

Folks will think you slaved away on these fast and fudgy treats. People often request the recipe and are surprised to find out how easy they are to make. Even kids can make 'em! —Karen Speidel, Wheeling, Illinois

Cranberry Cheesecake

Every year when the cranberries are harvested, my family looks forward to eating this cheesecake. —Nairda Monroe, Webberville, Michigan

Fudge Puddles

I was inspired to make these cookies last year when we stopped for a snack while Christmas shopping. I changed a few things when I got home, and my Fudge Puddles became a favorite with my husband's family. —Kimarie Maassen, Avoca, Iowa

M&M Oat Bars

These irresistible bars can sweeten any holiday. —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota

Chocolate Pudding Pizza

My sister Brenda and I made up this recipe while talking on the phone! My family loved the classic pairing of chocolate and peanut butter presented in a whole new way. —LaDonna Reed, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

These nicely spiced, soft gingerbread cookies are perfect for folks who like the flavor of ginger but don't care for crunchy gingersnaps. —Barbara Gray, Boise, Idaho

Brownie Mocha Trifle

By using instant pudding and a convenient box of brownie mix, there's nothing to the preparation. The result is moist and chewy. And the layers look so pretty spooned into a glass trifle bowl. —Louise Fauth, Foremost, Alberta

Pecan Pie Bars

These 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. —Carolyn Custer, Clifton Park, New York

Cherry Chewbilees

This is a good dish to carry to potlucks and parties. It's a hit at home, too - my husband rates it as one of his favorite desserts. —Debbi Smith, Crossett, Arkansas

First Place Coconut Macaroons

These coconut macroon cookies earned me a first-place ribbon at the county fair. They remain my husband's favorites—whenever I make them to give away, he always asks me where his batch is! I especially like the fact that this coconut macaroon recipe makes a small enough batch for the two of us to nibble on. —Penny Ann Habeck, Shawana, Wisconsin

Pineapple Sheet Cake

This sheet cake is perfect for serving to a crowd. It keeps so well that you can easily prepare it a day ahead and it will stay moist. I often bring it to church potlucks, and I have yet to take much of it home. —Kim Miller Spiek, Sarasota, Florida

Cherry Chocolate Nut Cookies

Each Christmas, I make about 600 cookies to share with family and friends. The holidays wouldn't be the same without several batches of these colorful goodies. —Sybil Brown, Highland, California

Buttermilk Pound Cake

Now that I've retired from teaching, I have more time to bake. This buttermilk cake is the one I make most often. It is a truly Southern recipe, and one I think can't be topped—once people taste it, they won't go back to their other pound cake recipes. —Gracie Hanchey, De Ridder, Louisiana

Chocolate Pecan Caramels

I haven't missed a year making this candy for the holidays since a friend gave me the recipe in 1964! It is made like a pan of upside-down bars and tastes like my favorite caramel pecan candies. We are natives of the Lone Star State who moved to Ohio when my husband was transferred several years ago. —June Humphrey, Strongsville, Ohio

Lemon Snowflakes

You’ll need just four items to whip up these delightful cookies. Confectioners’ sugar highlights the cracked tops to give them their snowflake appearance. —Linda Barry, Dianna, Texas

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan

White Texas Sheet Cake

This cake gets better the longer it sits, so I try to make it a day ahead. My mother-in-law introduced this deliciously rich sheet cake to me. With its creamy frosting and light almond flavor, no one can stop at just one piece! —Joanie Ward, Brownsburg, Indiana

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

My mother insisted that my grandmother write down one recipe for her when she got married in 1942. That was a real effort because Grandma was a traditional pioneer-type cook who used "a little of this or that 'til it feels right." This treasured recipe is the only one she ever wrote down! —Janet Hall, Clinton, Wisconsin

Peanut Butter Fudge

This peanut butter fudge is a favorite "never fail" quickie recipe. —Eleanore Peterson, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

Cherry Bars

Whip up a pan of these festive bars in just 20 minutes with staple ingredients and cherry pie filling. Between the easy preparation and pretty color, they're destined to become a holiday classic. —Jane Kamp, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Irish Creme Chocolate Trifle

I was given a bottle of Irish cream liqueur as a gift and had leftover peppermint candy, so I created this delicious trifle. It's always rich and decadent. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California

Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota

Mocha-Pecan Ice Cream Bonbons

These bite-size 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

Frozen Chocolate Cheesecake Tart

I first made this irresistible dessert for some dinner guests. They were overwhelmed by it's rich flavor and appearance. My husband commented that it was the best dessert he had ever eaten in his whole life. —Heather Bennett, Dunbar, West Virginia

Crispy Pretzel Bars

I often make a big batch of these peanut butter-flavored cereal bars on days that I don't want to heat up the kitchen. Kids especially love them, so they're great for picnics, potlucks and school bake sales. —Jane Thompson, Eureka, Illinois

Amish Sugar Cookies

These easy-to-make cookies simply melt in your mouth! I've passed the recipe around to many friends. After I gave the recipe to my sister, she entered the cookies in a local fair and won the "best of show" prize! —Sylvia Ford, Kennett, Missouri

Caramel Brownies

I love to cook. My family can't possibly eat all the sweets I whip up, so my co-workers are more than happy to sample them—particularly these rich, chewy brownies that are full of gooey caramel, chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts. —Clara Bakke, Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Pecans and butter give this cake the same irresistible flavor as the popular ice cream. —Becky Miller, Tallahassee, Florida

Pecan Meltaways

These sweet, nutty treats are a tradition in our house at Christmastime, but they are great any time of the year. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

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 these for the holidays, or for hostess gifts. They're always sure to please any sweet tooth! —Anne Frederick, New Hartford, New York

Shortbread

I live in Missouri, but many family recipes come from New Zealand where I was born. My parents moved there when I was a year old, so I have a "Down Under" heritage. These special-occasion cookies bring back warm memories of my childhood, and I'm going to make sure they're passed on to the next generation in my family…no matter where they live! —Allen Swenson, Camdenton, Missouri

Caramel Apple Bars

These bars make a great fall dessert. We like to warm individual servings in the microwave and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It quickly became a family favorite. Maybe it'll become one of your family's, too. —Carol Stuber, Osawatomie, Kansas

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

My husband loves homemade cookies, and these are probably his favorites. The wheat flour and oats give these cookies a distinctive flavor.

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

Chocolate Topped Peanut Butter Spritz

Peanut butter make these delicious cookies different from other spritz. The chocolate drizzle makes them extra special. —Dolores Deegan, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Farm Apple Pan Pie

You'll find this pie's very convenient for taking to a covered-dish supper, picnic, etc. But be prepared—people always ask for a copy of the recipe! —Dolores Skrout, Summerhill, Pennsylvania

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies?" inquires field editor Diane Hixon, who credits cocoa in the batter for the double dose of chocolate in her treats. These disappear fast from the cookie jar in her Niceville, Florida 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 I do. —Debbie Hurlbert, Howard, Ohio

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

If you want to offer family and friends a dessert that really stands out from the rest, this is the cake to make. Beautiful high layers of rich sponge cake are drizzled with a succulent chocolate glaze. —Erma Fox, Memphis, Missouri

Easy Ice Cream Sundae Dessert

We kids couldn't wait to dig into this tempting ice cream dessert. It's cool and smooth with a ribbon of fudge inside. Whenever I make it for my family, I think of Mom. —Anne Heinonen, Howell, Michigan

Chocolate Toffee Crunchies

From the buttery crust to the golden toffee, melted chocolate and chopped pecans, these bars are filled with Noel flavor. —Joni Crans, Woodhull, New York

White Chocolate Cookies

Fixing desserts is my favorite kind of cooking. I usually make these cookies for Christmas—their pale-white adds a special touch to all the reds and greens. We—my husband, our daughter (6) and I—live on a real dirt road! I'm a full-time wife and mother. Our second child's due to join us in mid-January.

Italian Sprinkle Cookies

These cookies take some time, but, believe me, they are well worth it! My husband and I used to operate an Italian-American restaurant, and this recipe goes back generations. —Gloria Cracchiolo, Newburgh, New York

Fudgy Macaroon Bars

Anyone with a sweet tooth will make a beeline for my dessert tray when these rich squares show up. They're attractive on the platter and delectable with fudge and coconut. —Beverly Zdurne, East Lansing, Michigan

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

Cranberry-Orange Bars

My mother has had this recipe for years. I love it! These bars make great snacks, but can also be served for dessert. —Margaret Adelman, Bellingham, Minnesota

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 cake is never enough—better than all the other carrot cakes I've tried!—Kim Orr, West Grove, Pennsylvania

Frosted Cashew Cookies

We savor these cookies every Christmas, but they're special year-round with coffee or tucked into a lunch box. I won a ribbon with these cookies at my county fair.—Sheila Wyum, Rutland, ND

Peppermint Brownies

My grandmother encouraged me to enter these mint brownies in the county fair many years ago—and they earned top honors! They're a chewy treat to serve during the holidays. —Marcy Greenblatt, Redding, California

P.S. I Love You Cake

Growing up, there was always some scrumptious treat to eat at our house. The name my mom chose for this cake has a double meaning: P.S. for the type of cake (poppy seed) and for the love note to her family. —Sue Groetsch, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Spicy Applesauce Cake

This picnic-perfecgt cake travels and slices very well. With chocolate chips, walnuts and raisins, it's a real crowd pleaser. —Marian Platt, Sequim, Washington

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

White baking chips and macadamia nuts are a fantastic duo in these buttery cookies. They are a nice change from the classic chocolate chip ones. —Cathy Lennon, Newport, Tennessee

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

My children always looked forward to these after-school snacks. They're so fudgy they don't need icing. —Hazel Fritchie, Palenstine, Illinois

Cookies N Cream Brownies

You won't want to frost these brownies, since the marbled top is too pretty to cover up. Besides, the tasty cream cheese layer makes them taste like they're already frosted. The crushed cookies add extra chocolate flavor and a fun crunch. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

Kipplens

My Great-Aunt Hilda makes this recipe every Christmas, and everybody loves them! Kipplens taste a lot like Mexican wedding cakes, but I like my aunt's version better. —Susan Bohannon, Kokomo, Indiana

Moist Lemon Chiffon Cake

This fluffy cake is a real treat drizzled with the sweet-tart lemon glaze. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah

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