96 Summer Potluck Desserts

Updated: Apr. 29, 2024

Bring sweetness to the party this summer with these potluck dessert recipes.

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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

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S’more Cheesecake

This luscious dessert is just as wonderfully tasty as the campfire snack that inspired it. It’s a great way to savor a summer classic anytime of year. Our 4-year-old daughter likes it so much that she’s requested it for her next birthday! —Robin Andrews, Cary, North Carolina
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Banana Split Cake Bars

Summer isn’t summer without a banana split or two, and these fun bars bring that same delicious flavor in potluck-perfect form. —Jasey McBurnett, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Peach Cobbler Cookies

My sister brought me fresh peaches one year, and we decided to make these fruity cookies. They also make fantastic ice cream sandwiches—just put some vanilla ice cream between two cookies for a delicious summer treat! —Anna Miller, Churdan, Iowa
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Fried Ice Cream Dessert Bars

Fried ice cream is such a delicious treat, but it can be a hassle to make individual servings. This recipe gives you the same fabulous flavor in an easy and convenient bar form. —Andrea Price, Grafton, Wisconsin
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Key Lime Cream Pie

I am very proud of this luscious no-bake beauty. It's so cool and refreshing—perfect for any summer potluck or get-together. Wherever I take this pie, it quickly disappears, and everyone asks for the recipe. —Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida
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Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars

These cheesecake bars layer a buttery pecan shortbread crust with a rich and creamy filling and sweet-tart strawberry rhubarb jam. For larger squares, cut into nine bars instead of 16. —Amanda Scarlati, Sandy, Utah
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No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cannoli Cheesecake

I make this cannoli cheesecake in the summer for a flavorful and refreshing treat. I love the added bonus of not having to turn on the oven in hot weather. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

Years ago, I added some zucchini to a peanut butter bar I had created, and this time I wanted to try adding it to a cake. The zucchini makes the cake super moist but doesn’t get in the way of the chocolate and peanut butter goodness. —Marilyn Blankschien, Clintonville, Wisconsin
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Creamy Layered Blueberry Ice Pops

These delicious ice pops can also be made with raspberries or blackberries. The rosemary sprig and lemon zest bring another layer of flavor. The pops are quick, easy, kid-friendly and freezable. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois
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Easy Strawberry Lemonade Freezer Pie

Three simple ingredients mixed together and spread into a graham cracker crust make magic while your freezer does all the work. Prep this pie ahead and freeze it overnight or even longer. Feel free to vary the fruit if you'd like! —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
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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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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 shortbread-like 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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Pineapple Orange Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes. It’s moist and light yet so satisfying. I’ve been adapting it for years and now it’s almost guilt-free. —Pam Sjolund, Columbia, South Carolina
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Frosted Banana Bars

These bars are always a hit at potlucks in the small rural farming community where my husband and I live. I also like to provide them for coffee hour after church. They're so moist and delicious that wherever I take them, they don't last long. —Karen Dryak, Niobrara, Nebraska
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Banana-Pineapple Cream Pies

My mother gave me this simple and delicious recipe years ago. The recipe makes two pies, so it's perfect for a potluck. I've never met anyone who didn't like it! —Robyn Appenzeller, Portsmouth, Virginia
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Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

This rich, tempting, peanut butter brownie trifle feeds a crowd and features the ever-popular combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Try this dessert for your next get-together. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

These soft banana cookies have a cakelike texture and lots of flavor that everyone seem to love. It's one of the best banana cookie recipes I've found. —Vicki Raatz, Waterloo, Wisconsin
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Pina Colada Icebox Cake

This icebox cake has all the flavors of a pina colada. It takes just one bite to escape to a tropical island! —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
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Bake-Sale Lemon Bars

The recipe for these tangy lemon bars comes from my cousin, who is famous for cooking up farm feasts. —Mildred Keller, Rockford, Illinois
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight

This is a simple chocolate delight recipe for any type of potluck occasion, and the pan always comes home empty. —Diane Windley, Grace, Idaho. Check out these potluck dessert recipes that start with packaged cookies
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Chocolate Chip Blondies

Folks who adore the classic cookies will enjoy that same beloved flavor in these chocolate chip bars. This blondie recipe can be mixed up in a jiffy, tastes wonderful, and is perfect for occasions when company drops by unexpectedly or you need a treat in a hurry. —Rhonda Knight, Hecker, Illinois
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Sour Cream Pound Cake

Because I'm our town's postmaster, I can bake only in my spare time. I especially enjoy making desserts such as this one. It tastes amazing as is, or tuck it under ice cream and chocolate syrup like a hot fudge sundae! —Karen Conrad, East Troy, Wisconsin
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Potluck Banana Cake

I found this recipe more than five years ago and have been making it for family gatherings ever since. The coffee-flavored frosting complements the moist banana cake. —Kathy Hoffman, Topton, Pennsylvania
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

My family loves this peanut butter cookie bars recipe—oatmeal, brownie bars, peanuts—it's made from all our favorite things! Oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chips make these bars a big hit with kids of all ages. Since I always have these basic ingredients on hand, I can whip up a batch anytime. —Patricia Staudt, Marble Rock, Iowa
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

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
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Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

These luscious cheesecake-stuffed strawberries are the perfect bite-sized dessert. —Stephen Munro, Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia
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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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Frosted Fudge Brownies

A neighbor brought over a pan of these rich fudge brownies along with the recipe when I came home from the hospital with our baby daughter. I asked her how to make brownie frosting like that, and I've made them ever since for family occasions, potlucks and parties at work. —Sue Soderlund, Elgin, Illinois
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Iva's Peach Cobbler

My mother received this peach cobbler recipe from a friend of hers many years ago, and fortunately she shared it with me. Boise is situated right between two large fruit-producing areas in our state, so peaches are plentiful in the summer. —Ruby Ewart, Boise, Idaho
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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
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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
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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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Zucchini Dessert Squares

We planted one too many zucchini plants a few summers ago and harvested a lot of zucchini that year. I was looking for ways to use them, and this delicious dessert is the result. —Nancy Morelli, Livonia, Michigan
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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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Patriotic Frozen Delight

My husband and I pick lots of fruit at berry farms in the area and freeze it to enjoy all year long. This frozen dessert showcases both blueberries and strawberries and has a refreshing lemon flavor. —Bernice Russ, Bladenboro, North Carolina
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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

I received this recipe from a co-worker who made these heavenly bars for a potluck. Since they combine two favorite flavors—chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake—in one bite, they were a hit with our three grown children. —Jane Nolt, Narvon, Pennsylvania
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Red, White and Blue Dessert

I changed a recipe I found and ended up with this rich, fresh-tasting dessert. Decorated to resemble a flag, it's perfect for the Fourth of July or any other patriotic occasion. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Chocolate-Topped Strawberry Cheesecake

Creamy and airy, this gorgeous dessert is the perfect special something for a summer dinner party. I love the mix of smooth strawberry cheesecake and crumbly chocolate crust—and how elegant it looks on the table. —Kathy Berger, Dry Ridge, Kentucky
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S'more Sandwich Cookies

Capture the taste of campfire s'mores in your kitchen. Graham cracker crumbs added to chocolate chip cookie dough bring out the flavor of the fireside favorite. Melting the cookies' marshmallow centers in the microwave makes them simple to assemble. —Abby Metzger, Larchwood, Iowa
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Chunky Blond Brownies

Every bite of these chewy blondies is packed with chunks of white and semisweet chocolate and macadamia nuts. It's a potluck offering that stands out. —Rosemary Dreiske, Lemmon, South Dakota
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Fruit Tart

It's well worth the effort to whip up this creamy fruit tart bursting with juicy berries. A friend gave me the recipe, and it always receives rave reviews at gatherings. —Susan Terzakis, Andover, Massachusetts
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Hummingbird Cake

This impressive hummingbird cake is my dad’s favorite, so I always make it for his birthday. It makes a memorable dessert for any celebration and is lovely with a summer meal. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Chocolate Bavarian Torte

Whenever I take this eye-catching torte to a potluck, I get so many requests for the recipe. —Edith Holmstrom, Madison, Wisconsin
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Gooey Chocolate Caramel Bars

These rich, gooey bars are my most-requested treats. They're popular at school functions, family barbecues and picnics. We like them alone or topped with a scoop of ice cream. —Betty Hagerty, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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White Chocolate Fruit Tart

It takes a little time to make, but this tart is absolutely marvelous, especially in summer when fresh fruit is in abundance. —Claire Darby, New Castle, Delaware
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Frozen Mocha Marbled Loaf

This showstopping marbled dessert seems fancy, but it's really simple to prepare ahead of time and pop in the freezer. Frosty slices have a creamy blend of chocolate and coffee that's delightful anytime of year. —Cheryl Martinetto, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
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Cherry Pudding Cake

A cross between a cake and a cobbler, this cherry dessert is awesome. Add it to your list of trusty potluck recipes, because this one is sure to go fast. —Brenda Parker, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars

Lower in fat and calories than you might ever guess, these sweet bars couldn't be easier to whip up, boast a great chocolaty flavor, and make a fun, quick dessert to bring to parties or serve to company! —Jennifer Rafferty, Milford, Ohio
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Quick Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

These cookies freeze well, so it's easy to keep some on hand for last-minute munching. In summer, I often make them larger to use for ice cream sandwiches. —Mary Rempel, Altona, Manitoba
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Summer Dessert Pizza

My family enjoys this dessert pizza recipe anytime of the year, but it’s especially refreshing during the hot months. You can use whatever fruits are in season. —Ida Ruth Wenger, Harrisonburg, Virginia
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Strawberries & Cream Torte

This festive strawberries and cream summer treat is one of my mom's favorites. It wows guests every time yet is simple to make. —Cathy Branciaroli, Wilmington, Delaware
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Winning Apricot Bars

This recipe is down-home baking at its best, and it really represents all regions of the country. It's won blue ribbons at county fairs and cookie contests in several states! Easy to make, it's perfect for potluck suppers, bake sales, lunchboxes or just plain snacking.—Jill Moritz, Irvine, California
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Lemon Angel Cake Bars

A neighbor gave me this recipe years ago and it's been in flavor rotation ever since. It can be made ahead and serves a bunch, so it's perfect for parties and potlucks. —Marina Castle, Canyon Country, California
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Chocolate Strawberry Punch Bowl Trifle

I threw this dessert together when I needed something quick to take to my in-laws’. Because it’s beautiful, everyone thinks it requires a lot of effort. It’s easy. And the recipe makes a lot, making this perfect for potlucks and large gatherings. —Kristi Judkins, Morrison, Tennessee
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Lemon-Lime Bars

This easy lime bar recipe is a dessert that will wow your guests. I baked these bars for a luncheon on a hot summer day. A gentleman made his way to the kitchen to compliment the cook who made them. —Holly Wilkins, Lake Elmore, Vermont
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Makeover Lemon Pound Cake

For this lovely golden cake, I use fat-free yogurt to trim the calories. It's a comforting dessert for days when it's warm enough to dine outside. —Lauren Gilmore, Pennington, New Jersey
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Cookies & Cream Brownies

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

This cool and creamy no-bake dessert is perfect for hot summer days. I sometimes replace raspberries for half of the blueberries to make it look more patriotic. —Jodie Cederquist, Muskegon, Michigan
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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
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Raspberry Ice Cream Delight

This gorgeous make-ahead dessert is a light, refreshing ending to a summer meal. I first made it for my aunt's 85th birthday dinner and everyone loved it! —Nancy Whitford, Edwards, New York
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Blueberry Crumb Bars

Think of this as a blueberry crisp turned into a hand-held treat. Oats and fresh blueberries combine for a sweet, uncomplicated dish. —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, Virginia
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Watermelon Cookies

--Ruth Witmer, Stevens, Pennsylvania
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Blueberry Lattice Bars

Since our area has an annual blueberry festival, my daughters and I are always looking for amazing new recipes to enter in the cooking contest. These lovely bars won a blue ribbon one year. —Debbie Ayers, Baileyville, Maine
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Caramel Nut Bars

No one can resist these chewy caramel and chocolate bars with a delightful oat crust and topping. They make a tempting dessert or a special snack anytime. These rich bars are perfect for a potluck since a little goes a long way. —Pat Hills, South Dayton, New York
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Best Lime Tart

This treat is the perfect balance between tart and sweet, and the almonds in the crust are just wonderful. This is one of my husband’s favorite desserts. Enjoy! —Charis O'Connell, Mohnton, Pennsylvania
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Caramel Peanut Bars

Rich chocolate, crunchy peanuts and gooey caramel peek out from between golden oat and crumb layers. Delicious!—Ardyce Piehl, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
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Pink Lemonade Stand Cake

If you love a moist and creamy cake, this one’s for you. The lemon juice and lemonade give the layers a tangy, citrusy touch, and the cream cheese frosting with sprinkles makes it extra pretty. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Pina Colada Tube Cake

We named this a “pina colada” cake because it has coconut, pineapple and rum. It’s a soothing finish at the end of a big spread. —Debra Keil, Owasso, Oklahoma
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Creamy Mocha Frozen Dessert

Light as a feather, this cool, satisfying dessert is delicious and impressive to serve. It's an excellent dessert to take to a potluck because it can be made ahead and stored in the freezer. —Launa Shoemaker, Landrum, South Carolina
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Mini S'mores

Want to sink your teeth into s’mores all year long? Here’s the answer! Just combine marshmallow creme, chocolate and graham crackers for an awesome bite.—Stephanie Tewell, Elizabeth, Illinois
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Popcorn Cookies

It's so much fun to surprise people with the crushed popcorn in these yummy cookies. They're definitely a distinctive cookie on the holiday tray.—Leigh Anne Preston, Palmyra, Indiana
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Strawberry Muffin Cones

This is a delightful, fun way to serve a cupcake. I share these with the neighborhood kids and they love the ice cream cone look and ease of eating. Adults who try them say snacking on them makes them feel like kids again. —Barb Kietzer, Niles, Michigan
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Apple Slab Pie

Apple slab pie is a terrific contribution to a covered-dish supper, picnic or potluck. It’s baked in a large 15x10 baking pan so it’s easy to make and tote, too. But be prepared—people always ask for a copy of the recipe! —Dolores Skrout, Summerhill, Pennsylvania
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Soft Blueberry Button Cookies

I have fond memories of picking blueberries and enjoying icy cold lemonade at my aunt’s house. This cookie is an attempt to marry those two flavors and memories. —Renee Murby, Johnston, Rhode Island
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Fudgy S'mores Brownies

I combined the perfect summer snack with my favorite brownie recipe to get these s'mores brownies. They're sure to wow at your next big party. —Judy Cunningham, Max, North Dakota
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Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars

If you're looking for a fun snack for kids, try this chewy peanut butter popcorn recipe that have a mild peanut butter taste. They're easy to mix and can be pressed into a pan to form bars, or shaped into balls. —Kathy Oswald, Wauzeka, Wisconsin
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Crispy Star Pops

These patriotic pops are a hit at our annual Fourth of July get-together. Serve them as an after-picnic dessert. Or slip them into cellophane bags, tie on ribbons and give them as favors. —Colleen Sturma, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Cola Cake with Strawberries & Cream

We Southerners have been eating cola cake for decades. This easy version has strawberries too. Chill it in the fridge for a dreamy summer dessert. —Peggy Walpert, Fort Worth, Texas
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Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Peanut butter lovers go nuts for these rich little sandwich cookies. On a hot day, sandwich ice cream between the cookies instead of frosting. It cools you right down. —Keri Wolfe, Nappanee, Indiana
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Rainbow S'moreo Cookies

Homemade Oreo-style cookies are pretty great on their own, but they're even better when you add graham cracker crumbs to the cookie dough, stuff them with marshmallow creme and roll them in sprinkles. You can change the color of the sprinkles depending on the holiday or occasion. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Cherry Coconut Treats

My great-grandmother created this recipe more than 100 years ago, so these tasty bites have appeared at many family parties. If you're preparing these for the holidays, make them festive by using both red and green maraschino cherries. —Anne Mullen, Windsor, Ontario
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Banana-Pecan Sheet Cake

A dear friend of mine gave me this recipe, and I make it often, especially for potlucks. Sometimes I make it ahead, freeze the cake and then frost it before the party. —Merrill Powers, Spearville, Kansas
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Malted Milk Cake

Bake this cake in a 13x9 pan or as cupcakes in fun paper liners. I am a sweet and salty addict, so I sprinkle popcorn on top. —Susan Scarborough, Fernandina Beach, FL
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Delicious Ice Cream Dessert

We appreciate a cool, creamy dessert like this in summer. It stays fresh in the freezer for one week. Top with the fudgy sauce before serving. — Mrs. Earl Brewer, Jackson, Mississippi
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Aloha Cupcakes

A friend asked me to make a coconut and pineapple cupcake for a gathering she was hosting. Everyone agreed that this beauty took them to the tropics. The macadamia nuts are completely optional (the friend happens to be allergic), and the cupcakes are still fantastic without them. —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta
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Sand Dollar Cookies

Before the military relocated our family, my children had never lived near the ocean. I came up with this special treat with a beach theme—it made our move even more fun!—Michelle Duncan of Callaway, Florida
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Lemon & Rosemary Butter Cookies

Cooling lemon and aromatic rosemary make these butter cookies stand out at the holidays. I use them to punch up the cookie trays for potlucks or as gifts.—Elizabeth Hokanson, Arborg, Manitoba
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Magic Wands

These fun and colorful wands don't need to be made by a magician to be magical. You can change the colors to fit any party theme. —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota
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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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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
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Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I created this recipe based on our family's love of chocolate-dipped ice cream cones. Red heart-shaped sprinkles make them fun for Valentine's Day. Vary the color to match the occasion. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Cherry-Coconut Slices

My mother got this recipe from a woman named Emmie Oddie, a well-known home economist in Canada who had a column in a farming newspaper. Oddie would test reader recipes in her own kitchen and write about it. These tasty sweets are so rich that you need only a small piece. —Judy Olson, Whitecourt, Alberta
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Chocolate-Cherry Sandwich Cookies

I make these often at Christmastime, but they're a winner for summer parties, too. Chilling the cookies before you dip them into chocolate is important because it firms up the filling. —Amy Sauerwalt, Columbia, Maryland
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