Save on Pinterest

The Most Popular Potluck Dessert from Every Decade

Not surprisingly, many of these desserts are still found at potlucks today!

1 / 12
Moist Chocolate Cake Exps Tohfm23 1693 P2 Md 09 13 11b

1900s: Devil's Food Cake

The first recipe for this chocolate delight was printed around 1905 and called for melted chocolate rather than cocoa powder. It’s really no surprise this decadent dessert is still a hit more than a hundred years later.
2 / 12
Marble Chiffon Cake Exps Cmz18 6609 D10 31 1b 1

1910s: Sponge Cake

Sponge cakes were all the rage in the 1910s, especially chiffon cakes, which are made extra tender thanks to the addition of oil. Back then, these cakes were commonly flavored with fruit juices and zests, but there’s no limit to flavor options now.
3 / 12
Ultimate Fudgy Brownies Exps Bwcr21 190988 E01 07 15b 28

1920s: Brownies

Though brownies first appeared in cookbooks toward the end of the 19th century, they really got popular in the 1920s. Since then, home cooks have tweaked their recipes to create rich and fudgy desserts. Be sure to avoid these mistakes when making your brownies.
4 / 12
Pumpkin Icebox Cake Exps Pcbz19 176857 E04 24 1b 8

1930s: Icebox Cake

Icebox cakes were very trendy in the ’30s, since they made use of many packaged ingredients. Refrigerators were also becoming common in homes, making this an easy go-to potluck dessert.
5 / 12
Best Rosy Rhubarb Salad Exps Cwfm20 2579 B09 18 7b 6

1940s: Jell-O Salad

Jell-O salads were a hit in the ’40s and became a prime potluck choice. Later on in the ’60s, gelatin companies took advantage of their popularity and created all kinds of new flavors, including vegetables! They’re still a great option for holiday gatherings.
6 / 12
Memaw S Banana Pudding Exps Thfm17 125566 A09 20 4b 3

1950s: Banana Pudding

Whether it consists solely of store-bought ingredients or is made completely from scratch, banana pudding is (and perhaps always will be) a potluck staple. It really started to become a hit in the ’50s after Nabisco began to print the recipe on their Nilla Wafers box.
7 / 12
Not Your Mama S Seven Layer Bars Exps Thfm17 197614 C09 22 6b 2

1960s: Hello Dolly Bars

Named after the hit Broadway musical that debuted in the ’60s, Hello Dolly bars (also known as seven-layer bars) have a little something for everyone.
8 / 12
Cherry Dream Cake Exps19231 Hb133235c07 19 3b Rms 1

1970s: Poke Cake

It’s no surprise that a popular dessert in the psychedelic 1970s was the colorful poke cake. Endless variations exist depending on the type of cake and what is used to seep into those poked holes.
9 / 12

1980s: Trifle

Americans embraced this dessert of English origins and made it their own, using boxed cake mix and instant pudding as ingredients. Here’s everything you need to know about trifles.
10 / 12
Texas Sheet Cake Exps Ft19 19958 F 0821 1 2

1990s: Texas Sheet Cake

This thin, rich cake may have originated in Texas, but the rest of America loves to bake it, too! Sheet cakes like this one could always be found at potlucks in the ’90s.
11 / 12
Lemon Berry Dump Cake Exps Sdfm17 199963 B09 30 2b 5

2000s: Dump Cake

Dump cakes, which essentially consist of a few ingredients dumped together before baking, were popular in the early 21st century and show no signs of falling by the wayside. And why would they? They’re easy and delicious.
12 / 12
Exps158142 Cw163682d02 23 4b 2

2010s: Cupcakes

For a few years in the 2010s, you couldn’t walk down a city street without encountering a cupcake shop, and these handheld treats continue to be a favorite for potlucks. Check out these deliciously creative filled cupcakes!

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.