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The Most Popular Dessert the Year You Were Born

You might be a Bananas Foster baby—or were you born in the year of Hummingbird Cake? Take a look back at 60 marvelous years of dessert trends. They're our birthday gift to you!

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1940: Bread Pudding

When I really want to impress guests, I serve this decadent bread pudding. With just a few staple ingredients—bread, eggs, sugar and chocolate—I'm able to turn out this masterpiece in no time! —Erin Chilcoat, Smithtown, New York
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1941: Pecan Pie

I absolutely love pecans. I combine them with maple and vanilla to create the ultimate tart, made even richer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. —Redawna Kalynchuk, Barrhead, Alberta
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1942: Gingerbread

I asked my mother-in-law for this recipe once I learned it's my husband's favorite. Now I bake it whenever he needs an extra-special treat. Spice cake topped with lemony sauce makes us both smile. —Kristen Oak, Pocatello, Idaho
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1943: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This pineapple upside-down cake is a classic recipe that never goes out of style! It’s delicious with the traditional pineapple, but try it with peaches or a combination of cranberries and orange. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas
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1944: Mincemeat Pie

My daughter won the grand champion title at the Alaska State Fair with these bars when she was 10. The topping is delicious but a bit crumbly; for neatly edged cookies, freeze before cutting. —Mary Bohanan, Sparks, Nevada
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1945: Lazy Daisy Cake

We always called this Mama's "never fail" recipe. I guess the same holds true for me, since I've entered this lazy daisy cake in contests and won with it. This tasty dessert is popular in our family, and it always brings back fond memories of Mama. —Carrie Bartlett, Gallatin, Tennessee
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1946: Brown Betty

If I had to define the "Betty" of Apple Brown Betty, she'd be a smart and thrifty Southern gal with a knack for creating simple, soul-comforting desserts. In this sweet dish, spiced apples are slow-cooked between layers of cinnamon-raisin bread cubes for a wonderful twist on the traditional oven-baked classic. —Heather Demeritte, Scottsdale, Arizona
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1947: Molasses Cookies

My family always requests these soft molasses cookies. These chewy molasses cookies are also great for shipping as holiday gifts or to troops overseas. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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1948: 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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1949: Jell-O Salad

Here's an eye-catching salad that my mother makes for Christmas dinner each year. You can choose different flavors to make other color combinations for specific holidays or other gatherings. —Jan Hemness, Stockton, Missouri
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1950: Rice Cream

This recipe, which originated in Sweden, is famous at church suppers with our Minnesota neighbors. It's a delicious addition at family gatherings and parties, too. I usually make a double batch because it's so good! —Lori Jeane Schlecht, Wimbledon, North Dakota
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1951: Bananas Foster

The flavors of caramel, rum and walnut naturally complement fresh bananas in this classic dessert made easy! —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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1952: Baked Alaska

Surprise—there's ice cream inside these tiny showstoppers! Dinner guests will be thrilled with the pretty presentation. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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1953: 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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1954: Marshmallow Creme Fudge

My sister shared the recipe for this unbelievably easy peanut butter fudge with marshmallow cream. I prefer using creamy peanut butter for this mouthwatering dessert, but the chunky style works just as well. —Mary Jane Rummel, Linglestown, Pennsylvania
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1955: Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia
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1956: Baked Apples

My baked apple recipe is very old-fashioned yet tried and true. It's definitely a comfort food. —Rachel Hamilton, Greenville, Pennsylvania
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1957: 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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1958: Rice Pudding

Sweet and simple, this creamy arroz con leche recipe is real comfort food in any language. You’ll love the warm raisin and cinnamon flavors. It’s great served cold, too. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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1959: Chocolate Cake

Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you'll see why this velvety beauty was named the best chocolate cake recipe won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
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1960: Lane Cake

I just love this southern-style dessert, and so do dinner guests. With pecans, cherries and raisins in the filling and topping, this version reminds me of a fruitcake—only so much better! —Mabel Parvi, Ridgefield, Washington
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1961: Butterscotch Crunchies

My grandmother made these haystack cookies and gave them to my cousin Vonnie and me when our parents didn't want us to have any more sweets. —Christine Schwester, Divide, Colorado
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1962: Apple Pie

I remember coming home sullen one day because we'd lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested, "Maybe a slice of my homemade apple pie will make you feel better." One bite, and Grandma was right. If you want to learn how to make homemade apple pie filling, this is really the only recipe you need. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington
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1963: Tomato Soup Cake

Canned tomato soup replaces some of the oil in this spice cake, decreasing the fat, boosting the color and (surprise!) enhancing the taste. —Hannah Thompson, Scotts Valley, California
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1964: Banana Split

This lovely and delightful dessert has the classic flavor of a banana split. It's a cool, creamy treat with no last-minute fuss since you just pull it from the freezer. It always solicits praise from our big family. -Marye Franzen, Gothenburg, Nebraska
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1965: Cranberry Mallow Pie

Talk about scrumptious summer desserts - this one is colorful, cool and sweet. Fresh raspberries are my favorite fruit, and pie's my favorite dessert...so this is the perfect combination for me! I think you'll enjoy it, too. —Deanna Richter, Elmore, Minnesota
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1966: Tiramisu

This variation of the popular Italian dessert is so easy to assemble. It's convenient, too, since you can make it the day before your dinner party or potluck. —Linda Finn, Louisville, Mississippi
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1967: Floating Islands

My family has passed down this elegant dessert generation by generation. It started with my Russian great-grandmother, who traveled to America more than 100 years ago. I love continuing the tradition with her recipe. —Tonya Burkhard, Palm Coast, Florida
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1968: Frozen Lemon Pie

Crushed lemon sandwich cookies give this creamy pie extra flavor. It's a wonderful dessert to store in the freezer for nights when you need a low-sugar treat in a hurry. —Emma Overby, East Prairie, Mississippi
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1969: Jell-O Mold

1969: Jell-O Mold

This gelatin is enjoyed by everyone because you just can't go wrong with fresh berries. —Nicole Nemeth, Komoka, Ontario
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1970: Fondue

This dessert is fast yet fancy. Keep the ingredients on hand for last-minute entertaining. —Christopher Bingham, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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1971: Grasshopper Brownies

One of the best things about this recipe is that these mint chocolate brownies get moister if you leave them in the refrigerator for a day or two. The problem at our house is that no one can leave them alone for that long! —Helen Baines, Elkton, Maryland
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1972: Ambrosia Salad

My mom's ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island
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1973: Apple Swirl Cake

I bake my family-favorite fall cake to usher in this abundant season. It looks so luscious that eating one piece is nearly impossible. —Jamie Jones, Madison, Georgia
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1974: Watergate Salad

I received this recipe from a cousin-in-law at a family reunion. Since then, I've brought it to many gatherings myself. We also like to eat it as a dessert.—Kelli Giffen, Barrie, Ontario
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1975: Carrot Cake

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 homemade carrot cake is never enough—better than all the other carrot cakes recipes I've tried!—Kim Orr, West Grove, Pennsylvania
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1976: Peanut Butter Cookies

It is amazing how much flavor these simple peanut butter cookies without brown sugar have. I make them very often because I always have the ingredients on hand. —Maggie Schimmel, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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1977: 7-UP Cake

My grandmother gave me this 7UP pound cake recipe. On top of being delicious, this 7UP cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California
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1978: Caramel Apples

When caramel apple season arrives, we roll apples in salted pecans and drizzle them with homemade fudge. For a different crunch factor, use honey-roasted peanuts. —Cori Cooper, Flagstaff, Arizona
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1979: 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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1980: Oatmeal Scotchies

With a cookie-loving husband and seven kids, one batch of cookies doesn't last long here! When I make this colossal recipe, I divide it into thirds and make three different types to please everyone. One with chocolate chips and nuts, another with raisins and one with butterscotch chips. Everyone is happy! —Lisa Cooper, Paris, Texas
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1981: Mud Pie

Here's one of those "looks like you fussed" desserts that is so easy it's become a standard for me. I love the mocha version, but pure chocolate lovers may prefer using chocolate chip ice cream. The cookie crust is a snap to make. —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
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1982: Poke Cake

A sweet treat in the summer, this patriotic poke cake with dazzling red and blue stripes is a fun one to make with the kids. —Elisabeth Schulz, Blossvale, New York
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1983: 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
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1984: Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie does not have to be difficult to make. This easy Thanksgiving dessert recipe has a wonderful taste and will be a hit at your holiday meal. —Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington
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1985: 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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1986: Pineapple Dream Dessert

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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1987: Coconut Custard Pie

This soft custard pie has a mild coconut flavor. Who wouldn't love a hearty slice topped with a dollop of whipped cream? —Betty Swain, Bear, Delaware
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1988: Jell-O Jigglers

1988: Jell-O Jigglers

Kids love this sweet, wiggly gelatin and whipped topping dessert. Use different flavors of gelatin to make color versions that are as wild as your imagination. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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1989: Red Velvet Cake

It's just not Christmas at our house until this festive cake appears. This is different from other red velvets I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina
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1990: Peanut Butter Blossoms

Everyone who tries these beloved gems is amazed that they use only five ingredients. Baking cookies doesn't get much easier than this. —Dee Davis, Sun City, Arizona
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1991: Molten Lava Cake

I doctored up a recipe I found in the newspaper years ago. When you see the gooey chocolate dripping out, you know you're in for an awesome dessert. —Genise Krause, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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1992: Mini Cheesecakes

These little cheesecakes make a fun dessert that's just right for cooks who don't have a lot of time for fussy recipes. Plus, you get to eat the whole thing yourself! —Kay Keller, Morenci, Michigan
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1993: Sticky Toffee Pudding

This rich dessert is not pudding in the American sense of the word. The moist, spiced cake is loaded with mincemeat and toasted walnuts, drizzled with warm buttery toffee sauce. We like our sticky toffee pudding steaming or at room temperature. —Denise Nyland, Panama City, Florida
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1994: Gingerbread Men Cookies

No holiday treat platter would be complete without gingerbread man cookies! This is a tried-and-true recipe I'm happy to share with you. —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland
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1995: Eclair Cake

I love eclairs, but making the actual pastry is difficult. So I came up with this recipe as a substitute. It still satisfies my cravings with the same wonderful flavors. —Thelma Beam, Esbon, Kansas
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1996: Frogurt

You could also use boysenberries, raspberries or strawberries for this delicious dessert. — Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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1997: Coca-Cola Cake

We live in Coca-Cola country, where everyone loves a chocolaty, moist sheet cake made with the iconic soft drink. Our rich version does the tradition proud. —Heidi Jobe, Carrollton, Georgia
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1998: Rice Krispies Treats

My aunt always brought s’mores-style bars to our family's summer cottage. Plain or frosted, they’re perfect for eating on the run. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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1999: Funfetti Cake

When we were young, Mom made birthday cakes with a small toy on top, chosen just for us. Now that I'm a parent, I go with jimmies. —Becky Herges, Fargo, North Dakota
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2000: Crème Brûlée

Inspired by a favorite ice cream flavor, I created this make-ahead recipe to free up some time in the kitchen. You can also serve this as a custard if you choose to not caramelize the top. —Eleanor Froehlich, Rochester, Michigan

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.
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