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40 Quick & Easy Desserts for Any Baking Emergency

Forgot about that bake sale? Unexpected company? An impromptu celebration? We know the feeling, and we're here to help with these shortcut recipes that get you to treat time in a hurry.

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Old-Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

This old-fashioned banana cream pie recipe is full of flavor. Because it uses instant pudding, this no-bake dessert is ready in just minutes. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington
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Triple Fudge Brownies

When you're in a hurry to make dessert, here's a "mix of mixes" that's so convenient and quick. The result is a big pan of very rich, fudgy brownies. Friends who ask me for the recipe are amazed that it's so easy. —Denise Nebel, Wayland, Iowa
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Arctic Orange Pie

This frosty orange pie is so easy to make. I have tried lemonade, mango and pineapple juice concentrates instead of orange, and my family loves each one. —Marie Przepierski, Erie, Pennsylvania
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Bite-Sized Apple Pies

These little bites are fun for kids to make. Simply wrap strips of pastry around apple wedges and shake on some cinnamon-sugar. Then just bake and watch them disappear! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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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
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Creamy Pineapple Pie

Creamy Pineapple Pie is a light and refreshing dessert that's quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
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Quick Cherry Turnovers

Refrigerated crescent rolls let you make these fruit-filled pastries in a hurry. My family loves these turnovers for breakfast, but they’re so delicious, they’d be welcome any time of the day. Feel free to experiment with other pie fillings as well. —Elleen Oberrueter, Danbury, Iowa
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Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

Using just five ingredients makes this recipe so simple. You can add a little extra decoration with chocolate jimmies, too. —Chris Nelson, Decatur, Arkansas
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Easy Pistachio Tube Cake

Mixes make this light cake easy, and a fluted tube pan gets it holiday party-ready. Go for the pistachios on top—the extra crunch is worth it. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, Virginia
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Pumpkin Chip Cream Pie

This creamy pie is perfect for any autumn celebration. A store-bought graham cracker crust makes it such a cinch to whip up. —Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
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Easy Cake Mix Bars

I take this dessert to work for Friday pick-me-ups. It's one of my favorite yellow cake bar recipes. I love to share them because they're so easy to eat, easy to make and easy on the wallet. —Amy Rose, Ballwin, Missouri
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Fluffy Key Lime Pie

For a taste of paradise, try this no-bake Key lime pie recipe. It's low in fat, sugar and fuss. It truly is the best Key lime pie recipe ever! —Frances VanFossan, Warren, Michigan
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Trail Mix Cookie Cups

My granddaughter helped create these cookie cups for the first time by using ingredients from my pantry and fridge. We used trail mix to jazz them up. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie

For my mother's birthday, I made this strawberry pie recipe instead of a cake. Since it was mid-May in Oklahoma, the berries were absolutely perfect. It was a memorable occasion for the whole family. —Josh Carter, Birmingham, Alabama
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Root Beer Float Cake

I add root beer to both the cake batter and fluffy frosting of this summery dessert to get that great root beer float taste. Serve this moist cake to a bunch of hungry kids and watch it disappear! —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon
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Dream Cupcakes

My grandchildren absolutely love these cream-filled cupcakes, and I hope the chocolaty treats become a favorite in your home as well. —Dorothy Bahlmann, Clarksville, Iowa
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Layered Lemon Pie

This is a great ending for almost any meal that kids and adults all enjoy. The creamy lemon filling is always a hit with my husband. —Elizabeth Yoder, Belcourt, North Dakota
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Easy Oatmeal Cream Pies

These easy cookies use only five ingredients and taste very similar to a store-bought cookie. Of course, everything's better from your own kitchen! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Gooey Chocolate-Peanut Bars

These are so easy to make and take no time at all. They’re great to package up for those college kids looking for something from home. Everyone will want this recipe. —Elaine Grimme, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Blueberry-Lemon Upside-Down Cake

I was young when I married, so I watched my mother-in-law to learn baking. This cake with fresh blueberries is one of her beauties. —Bonnie Roberts, Newaygo, Michigan
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Lemon Snowflakes

You’ll need just four ingredients to make these delightful cookies. Confectioners’ sugar highlights the cracked tops to give them their snowflake appearance. —Linda Barry, Dianna, Texas
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Cool and Creamy Watermelon Pie

This simple pie is so refreshing that it never lasts long on warm summer days. Watermelon and a few convenience items make it a delightful dessert that doesn't take much effort. —Velma Beck, Carlinville, Illinois
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Dipped Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

You’ll love to give tins of these chocolate-coated cookies to your lucky friends. The shortcut holiday recipe is almost too simple to believe! Here's how to make peanut butter cookies without eggs. —Jackie Howell, Gordo, Alabama
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Date-Walnut Pinwheels

Every time someone drops in for coffee, I bake up a batch of these fruit and nut pastries—I always keep the ingredients in my pantry. The recipe's a cinch to double, too, so it's good for parties and potlucks. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
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Angela's XOXO Shortbread Brownies

Everyone loves a brownie. This one has a buttery crust with a sweet finish, thanks to the touch of candy on top. —Angela Kamakana Baptista , Hilo, Hawaii
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Raspberry Cream Sugar Cookies

We make sugar cookies and fill them with a tangy raspberry cream cheese. They taste best after they've been refrigerated for at least 45 minutes.—Heidi Farnworth, Riverton, Utah
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Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding Torte

This recipe is a busy mom's twist on one of my favorite desserts—tiramisu. The dish is simple to assemble and perfect to make the day before you want to serve it. The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for it to chill so you can eat it! —Cheryl Snavely, Hagerstown, Maryland
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Citrus Mini Cakes

These moist, bite-size muffins from Linda Terrell of Palatka, Florida are melt-in-your-mouth good. "With their appealing look, they really dress up a party table," she notes. The recipe makes a big batch, so there's plenty to please a crowd.
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Easy Mint Thins

My friends often try to guess the ingredients, but I never tell them how simple they are to make. They taste just like the Girl Scout cookie, and they're perfect for Christmas and bake sales. —Jennifer Setser, Morgantown, Indiana
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Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream Pie

My family and I always try new desserts during the holidays. This one was a clear winner, so we now make it for all occasions! —Patricia Ness, La Mesa, California
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Easy Elephant Ears

You’ll love the classic cinnamon-sugar flavor of these crispy bite-size treats. Even more, you’ll love that they call for just three ingredients and are so simple to assemble. —Bob Rose, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Peach Cake

I first tasted this cake about 15 years ago when a dear aunt brought it to a family reunion. I knew I had to have the recipe...and I was thrilled to discover how easy it is to make.—Donna Britsch, Tega Cay, South Carolina
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Surefire Sugar Cookies

You can invite kids to help make these easy treats. Sometimes I melt white coating instead of chocolate chips because it can be tinted to match the season. —Victoria Zmarzley-Hahn, Northhampton, Pennsylvania.
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Strawberry Shortcake Puffs

When my wonderful friend Kelly brought me a pint of strawberries, I didn’t want to just eat them straight (tempting as it was). I decided to make strawberry shortcake with my own pretty, elegant spin. These light and airy puff pastry stacks let the fruit shine. —Jenny Dubinsky, Inwood, West Virginia
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Orange-Lemon Cake

Family and friends will love this moist cake’s refreshing citrus taste and its pretty presentation. —Ann Robinson, Bloomington, Indiana
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Pumpkin Whip

Even though this dessert is quick to fix, it has a creamy pumpkin taste and golden harvest look...just like traditional pumpkin pie. It's a great dessert for both everyday dinners and special-occasion suppers.—Linda Clapp, Stow, Ohio
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Lemon Pudding Dessert

After a big meal, folks really go for this light lemon treat. The shortbread crust is the perfect base for the fluffy top layers. I've prepared this sunny dessert for church suppers for years and I always get recipe requests. —Muriel DeWitt, Maynard, Massachusetts
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Peppermint Puff Pastry Sticks

I wanted to impress my husband's family with something you'd expect to find in a European bakery, and these chocolaty treats are what I came up with. The flaky pastry melts in your mouth. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Boston Cream Angel Cake

You can prepare this delectable dessert in no time. To change this cake to your family's liking, try different flavors of instant pudding or different ice cream toppings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Colorful Candy Bar Cookies

No one will guess these sweet treats with the candy bar center start with store-bought dough. Roll them in colored sugar or just dip the tops for even faster assembly. Instead of using miniature candy bars for the centers, you can also slice regular-size Snickers candy bars into 1-inch pieces. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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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