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30 Recipes Whose Secret Ingredient is Cream of Tartar

That cream of tartar in your cupboard isn't just for lemon meringue pie! It's also the key to a finely textured biscuit, a perfectly crystallized candy, a light-as-air angel food cake and so much more,

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Frosted Chocolate Cake

This recipe is my mother's oldest and most popular chocolate cake recipe. I always thought it should have a fancier name, but this is what she called it. Mom would say a fancy name would not make it taste better. —Beth Bristow West Plains, Missouri

Before we dive in, what is cream of tartar, exactly? We unpacked the mystery!

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Bomb Pop Cookies

The sound of the ice cream truck has even my husband running out to the curb with money in hand. Our neighborhood has a big potluck on the Fourth of July, so I decided to make cookies that resemble Bomb Pops. These were a big hit! —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Decadent Chocolate Crepe Cake

No other dessert has wowed family and friends the way this stunning crepe cake did the first time I made it. A showstopper in every sense of the word, it features layers of tender chocolate crepes and rich white chocolate buttercream frosting draped in a semisweet chocolate ganache. —Tina Sawchuk, Ardmore, Alberta
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Glazed Strawberry Cookies

I learned to bake with my grandmother and mother. I knew I was giving them a sweet new family tradition when I shared this recipe with them. —Andrea Zulauf, Livonia, New York
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Unicorn Cake

This magical unicorn cake tastes as good as it looks. Baking in smaller pans creates impressive height, and a few simple decorating tricks turn it into a showstopping dessert. —Lauren Knoelke, Des Moines, Iowa
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Special Occasion Cutout Cookies

This is a old family cookie recipe; after many years, I have yet to find another one as good. I've served these at family gatherings and of course it's my Christmas cut-out cookie recipe. I gave these as gifts to overnight guests when my daughter got married, and also as Valentine's Day presents. At family gatherings, everyone asks for them! —Teresa Broullire, Niagara, Wisconsin
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Two-Berry Pavlova

Here's a light and airy dessert that I first tried in Ireland. When I got home, I made this berry pavlova for my kids, who loved to build their own with their favorite fruits. The whipped cream makes for icing on the cake! —Norma Stevenson, Eagan, Minnesota
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Easy Cheesy Biscuits

I'm a big fan of homemade biscuits, but not the rolling and cutting that goes into making them. The drop biscuit method solves everything! —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio
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Amish Sugar Cookies

These easy-to-make, old-fashioned sugar cookies simply melt in your mouth! I've passed this recipe around to many friends. After I gave it to my sister, she entered the cookies in a local fair and won best of show. —Sylvia Ford, Kennett, Missouri
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Buttermilk Lemon Meringue Pie

For lemon lovers everywhere, this wonderful pie with a little extra tang beats the usual lemon meringue every time, no contest. Compliments roll in whenever I serve it. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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Strawberry Cookie Cups

I learned to bake beside my mom and grandmother. When I was on break from college, I knew just how to entertain myself: I made cookies. Sharing this recipe with my mom and grandmother was a proud moment.—Andrea Zulauf, Livonia, New York
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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. The beautiful high, rich sponge cake is drizzled with a succulent chocolate glaze. —Erma Fox, Memphis, Missouri
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Blue-Ribbon Doughnuts

What could be more delicious than a warm homemade doughnut? I've been making these tasty treats for my children and grandchildren for many years. —Kay McEwen, Sussex, New Brunswick
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Deluxe Sugar Cookies

Christmas cutouts signal the holiday season. For variety, sprinkle half of the cookies with colored sugar before baking and frost the remaining ones after they're cooled.—Dawn Fagerstrom, Warren, Minnesota
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Cranberry-Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze

I used cranberries for decorations in a wedding, then challenged myself to find a way to use up the surplus. This pretty, super moist cake with cranberries in the batter and sometimes, sugared ones on top, was the result! —S. Jade Klope, Paducah, Kentucky
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Vanilla Meringue Cookies

Want to learn how to make meringues? This meringue cookie recipe creates light, airy morsels. It's the perfect fat-free treat to really beat a sweets craving. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Lemon Chiffon Cake

This moist, airy lemon chiffon cake was my dad's favorite. Mom revamped the original recipe to include lemons. I'm not much of a baker, but whenever I make this dessert my family is thrilled! —Trisha Kammers, Clarkston, Washington
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Cherry-Chip Oat Scones

My family loves scones and anything with oatmeal. I started with my basic scone recipe and added oat flour to increase the oat taste and texture, then included special ingredients you can find in every bite. Look for add-ins that harmonize with the mellow flavor of oats. —Amy Brnger, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
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Moist Lemon Angel Cake Roll

Tart and delicious, this pretty cake roll will tickle any lemon lover's fancy. Its feathery, angel food texture enhances its guilt-free goodness. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies

These are one of my favorite cookies to bake for Christmas. The dough recipe is versatile and you can use it for other holidays, too. Children like to help with decorating. —Cynthia Ettel, Glencoe, Minnesota
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Angel Sugar Crisps

Whenever I've taken this sugar crisp recipe to church coffees, I've had women come into the kitchen and request the recipe. You'll enjoy this sugar cookie's secret ingredient—brown sugar! —Annabel Cox, Olivet, South Dakota
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Favorite Coconut Cake

When I need an impressive dessert for a special occasion, this is the recipe I turn to. My guests are glad I do! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Soft Sugar Cookies

These soft cookies are always a hit, so I often stir up a big batch. I usually add food coloring to the frosting to coordinate with the current holiday. —Coleen Walter, Bancroft, Michigan
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Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is everyone’s favorite blank slate for making awesome desserts. Serve it with a simple glaze or pile on fresh fruit, chocolate sauce or nutty sprinkles. —Leah Rekau, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Double Delights

You get the best of both worlds with these chocolate and vanilla cookies. They're an appealing addition to any cookie tray. I usually serve them at the holidays, when they're often the first cookies to disappear, but you can have them any time of year. —Ruth Ann Stelfox, Raymond, Alberta
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Brown Sugar Cutout Cookies

Our neighbor made these for me when I was little, and now I make them for my kids, grandkids and for the children at school. Serve them with milk for the kids and tea for the grown-ups. —Nancy Lynch, Somerset, Pennsylvania
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Vanilla Butter Rollouts

Even cooks who normally shy away from cut out cookies can make these with confidence. The dough is so easy to work with after a mere 30 minutes of chilling. —Colleen Sickman, Charles City, Iowa
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Surprise Meringues

These crisp, delicate cookies are light as a feather. Mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts are a delightful and yummy surprise in every bite. Mom knows this fun dessert is a fitting finale to a big meal. —Gloria Grant, Sterling, Illinois
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Icebox Cookies

This cookie recipe from my 91-year-old grandmother was my grandfather's favorite. She still makes them and sends us home with the dough so that we can make more whenever we want, I love to make a fresh batch when company drops in. —Chris Paulsen, Glendale, Arizona
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Snickerdoodles

The history of this whimsically named treat is widely disputed, but the popularity of this classic cinnamon-sugar-coated cookie is undeniable! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.

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