Best Dessert Recipes

 

Sweets lovers will have a hard time choosing from this decadent array of chewy, crunchy, caramelized and otherwise delicious desserts.

 

Photo By: Kathryn Cooper, Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

S'mores Bars

It's hard to improve on the classically simple s'more, but Kelsey might have done just that with her thick and gooey cookie bar stacks.

Get the Recipe: S'mores Bars

Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding

Two classic comfort foods meet in the middle to form this rich and gooey pudding. Cinnamon challah bread forms the base and gains deep flavor from almond liqueur and a tossing of toasted walnuts. 

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding

Homemade Fudge Brownies

Kelsey suggests serving these brownies like tiny tiered cakes, using a range of biscuit cutter sizes to form each fudgy layer. Dusting them with powdered sugar and topping each with a cherry adds a fancy flourish.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Fudge Brownies

Boozy S'mores Fondue

A nip of whiskey adds warmth to this soothing pot of dark chocolate that's made extra rich with whipping cream. Toast your marshmallows on the fondue pot's flame before swathing them in chocolate and dipping them in graham cracker crumbs. 

Get the Recipe: Boozy S'mores Fondue

Apple Crisp

Granny Smith apples? Check. Cinnamon? Check. Butter? Double check. While this apple crisp possesses all the classic flavors you'd expect, you might be surprised to find that it also features molasses and ground ginger for over-the-top stickiness and warming spice. 

Get the Recipe: Apple Crisp

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Chuck's individual molten chocolate cakes look and taste restaurant-worthy but are extraordinarily fast and simple to make.

Get the Recipe: Molten Chocolate Cakes

The Ultimate Cheesecake

What makes this the cheesecake above all other cheesecakes? It could be the crumbly graham cracker crust, the extra tangy sour cream and cream cheese filling, or the warm lemon-blueberry topping. But most likely, it's the sum of all these delicious parts.

Get the Recipe: The Ultimate Cheesecake

Oatmeal Marshmallow Whoopie Pies

Tia Mowry's homemade version of the childhood lunchbox staple gets an upgrade from a drizzle of chocolate, complementing the cookies' warm cinnamon and nutmeg flavors.

Get the Recipe: Oatmeal Marshmallow Whoopie Pies

Dominique Ansel's Kougin Amann

The Cronut creator's original hit is every bit as sensational as his renowned hybrid. The outside is crispy, but the inside is soft and fluffy.

Get the Recipe: Dominique Ansel's Kougin Amann

Chocolate Ricotta Pudding

Baking this bittersweet chocolate custard in a water bath is the key to achieving its moist and fluffy center. Ricotta lends supple sponginess to the pudding while dark rum and toasted almonds add fragrant depth. 

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Ricotta Pudding

Compost Crispy Rice Treats

These snack-studded "kitchen sink" creations are completely customizable to your taste. This recipe combines chocolate sandwich cookies, pretzels and potato chips with classic, crispy marshmallow treats, but let your imagination run wild along the snack food aisle.

Get the Recipe: Compost Crispy Rice Treats

Bobby's Five-Layer Bark

Bobby's semisweet-chocolate-based bark hosts a bevy of sweets inside; butterscotch morsels, sweetened coconut and chopped pecans all band together to build one tasty mosaiclike treat.

Get the Recipe: Bobby's Five Layer Bark

Homemade Pomegranate-Lime Lollipops

Smooth and full of zing, these lollipops make for a special treat. Feel free to swap out the lime juice and try ginger-spiked orange juice or grapefruit juice instead.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Pomegranate-Lime Lollipops

Momofuku Milk Bar Crack Pie

Aptly named for its undeniably addictive quality, this crack pie starts with a crumbly oat cookie crust that holds the buttery, smooth brown sugar filling. It's so intensely rich that you won't dare share a slice. 

Get the Recipe: Momofuku Milk Bar Crack Pie

Ricotta Crepes with Raspberry-Chile Coulis and Chocolate Shavings

These sweet and savory crepes take just minutes to prepare, but will wow guests with the fruity, fiery flavor of the red chile and raspberry coulis.

Get the Recipe: Ricotta Crepes with Raspberry-Chile Coulis and Chocolate Shavings

Rocky Road Brownie Bites

Bake these candy-clustered brownies in a mini muffin tin to make easily packable one-bite portions. Each fudgy round is chock-full of the familiar rocky texture of almonds and mini marshmallows. 

Get the Recipe: Rocky Road Brownie Bites

Spicy Maple Fudge

A candy thermometer and a strong stirring arm are all it takes to turn out a smooth batch of fudge. This maple-infused version is sweet, salty and spicy with a fine sprinkle of cayenne spiking its surface. 

Get the Recipe: Spicy Maple Fudge

Bobby's Red Velvet Cupcakes

Roasted beets not only add a vibrant ruby color to Bobby's red velvet (no red dye needed!), but they also add nutrients and a sweet flavor.

Get the Recipe: Bobby's Red Velvet Cupcakes

French Macarons with Salted Bourbon Caramel Buttercream

Light and chewy almond-flour macarons couldn't ask for a better filling than caramel buttercream spiked with bourbon and sea salt. Dust the tops with a little edible glitter to really make them shine.

Get the Recipe: French Macarons with Salted Bourbon Caramel Buttercream

Tres Leches Rice Pudding

The recipe for this rich pudding wisely suggests using leftover takeout rice that would otherwise linger in the fridge. And true to tres leches tradition, its rich creaminess comes from three distinct milks: evaporated, coconut and sweetened condensed milk.

Get the Recipe: Tres Leches Rice Pudding

Hot Chocolate with Homemade Espresso Marshmallows

Chuck gives a brewed boost to dark hot chocolate mix and homemade marshmallows with some espresso, creating a warming sip with a caffeinated kick.

Get the Recipe: Hot Chocolate with Homemade Espresso Marshmallows

Banana Split Funnel Cake

The carnival comes to your kitchen any day of the week with Kelsey's extra-indulgent take on the funnel cake. She tops this tangled web of fried dough with sundae fixins like homemade strawberry syrup, pecans and bananas, plus plenty of cherries on top. 

Get the Recipe: Banana Split Funnel Cake

Tiramisu

Did you know that tiramisu is Italian for "pick-me-up?" After trying Debi and Gabriele's coffee-drenched-cookie-filled recipe, you'll understand why.

Get the Recipe: Tiramisu

Caramel Apples

The caramel apples you see in the store usually star apples that are too soft and caramel that is cloyingly sweet. Skip those and make these instead. This caramel is easy to whip up and is rich, creamy, gooey and not over-the-top sweet. For a bit of contrast to the sweet caramel, you can dip the bottoms in salted peanuts.

Get the Recipe: Caramel Apples

Chocolate Pudding

Skip the powder-in-a-box route — you can make rich chocolate pudding with ingredients you already have in your pantry.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

This steamed date sponge cake swimming in a rich toffee sauce is a classic British sweet. Top with whipped cream or ice cream and watch it disappear.

Get the Recipe: Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sweet Actions' Trail Mix Ice Cream

Ice cream and camping don't usually bunk together, but this trail mix-studded frozen concoction is the exception. Riddled with nuts, chocolate candies and raisins, this cone is equipped to hit the trails (at least in spirit).

Get the Recipe: Sweet Actions' Trail Mix Ice Cream

Chocolate Souffle

Mark Bittman whips up a foolproof souffle with just a few ingredients and shares his simple instructions to achieve the same crackly topped, puffy pudding perfection at home. 

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Souffle

Black- and Blueberry Dumplings with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce

Store-bought egg roll wrappers encase the juicy berry filling in Nadia G.'s fried dumplings, which she laces with dried chamomile flowers to add a subtly floral scent. 

Get the Recipe: Black and Blueberry Dumplings with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce

Butterscotch Pot de Creme

This turbo-charged version of butterscotch pudding yields a seriously silky texture thanks to egg yolks and gentle baking in a water bath. The brown sugar tint and tangy creme fraiche will convince you to never eat a plain old pudding cup again.

Get the Recipe: Butterscotch Pot de Creme

Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream

It's no surprise that a grilling guru like Bobby Flay prefers to start his crumble with grilled Granny Smith apples. The cinnamon-granola topping acts as a crunchy counterpart to the tender, caramelized fruit and creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Get the Recipe: Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream

Baklava

Oozing with honey and warm spices, these flaky layered stacks feature almonds, walnuts and pistachios for those who prefer their sweet treats on the nutty side.

Get the Recipe: Baklava

Poor Man's Pudding

Despite its title, this traditional French-Canadian dessert boasts a wealth of rich flavor. Baked in mini ramekins, the simple vanilla batter transforms into a spongy pudding reminiscent of a pancake, especially when it's doused in a sticky maple sauce.

Get the Recipe: Poor Man's Pudding

Mint Thins

Lovers of that famous mint-and-chocolate Girl Scout cookie won't be able to tell that these aren't the real deal.

Get the Recipe: Mint Thins

Peach Cobbler

In her take on this classic Southern dessert, Nealey Dozier opts for pure honey over sugar and uses barely sweetened whipping cream biscuits to contrast the sunny fruit's natural sweetness. Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Get the Recipe: Peach Cobbler

Chocolate and Amaretto Mousse in Almond Lace Bowls

Delicate brown sugar lace is malleable when it's warm from the oven and easily contours to the shape of a bowl before hardening. The ground almonds in the lace mimic the amaretto flavor in the mousse for a doubly nutty hand-held treat.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate and Amaretto Mousse in Almond Lace Bowls

Whoopie Pies

Is it a cookie? Is it a pie? Is it a cake? It's Chuck Hughes' whoopie pie: a cookie-shaped cake filled with heavenly marshmallow cream.

Get the Recipe: Whoopie Pies

Vanilla Meringues

These vanilla meringues make for an incredibly sweet and light bite. Mark Bittman recommends dyeing some of them pink (or a color of your choice) so they're eye candy as well.

Get the Recipe: Vanilla Meringues

Pecan Pie Pops

The most comforting cold-weather pie is easily miniaturized to allow guests to roam the room without utensils. Plus, a smidgen of Irish whiskey added to the filling (and served on the side) can help start any party. 

Get the Recipe: Pecan Pie Pops

Waffle Nachos

Every single bite of these dessert nachos is crunchy, buttery, sweet and salty. Try mixing and matching toppings — you can't go wrong. (But whipping the maple syrup into the cream a second time right before serving adds an extra dose of sweet maple flavor.)

Get the Recipe: Waffle Nachos

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

These creamy, to-die-for truffles are proof that you don't need fancy gadgets or ingredients (or even an oven!) to whip up an insanely delicious confection.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Shoofly Pie

The Pennsylvania Dutch are responsible for this gooey molasses pie, made easily from pantry ingredients to satisfy a sweet tooth any time of year. The deep, slightly bitter molasses flavor coupled with a sandy topping is unforgettable.

Get the Recipe: Shoofly Pie

Strawberry Shortcake Parfait

This classic shortcake is piled high in parfait form when Nadia G. layers store-bought vanilla cake cubes with white chocolate whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake Parfait

Chocolate Crepes

For a double dose of chocolate, make like the French and fill a chocolate crepe with a silky dark chocolate sauce and your choice of fruits, like sliced strawberries and bananas. Cinnamon-flecked whipped cream adds the perfect finishing touch.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Crepes

Balsamic Chocolate Truffles

Giada intensifies the flavor of her dark chocolate truffles with a couple teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. This adds a tart edge to the pleasantly bitter chocolate and cream.

Get the Recipe: Balsamic Chocolate Truffles

Frozen S'mores Pop Chocolate Semifreddo

Surprise guests with a taste of nostalgia by passing around Zac Young's creamy grown-up s'mores.

Get the Recipe: Frozen S'Mores Pop Chocolate Semifreddo

Mango Milk Chocolate Bonbon

With a creamy mango-citrus filling, these rich squares can either be dipped in dark chocolate or rolled in flaked coconut like truffles for an easier approach. 

Get the Recipe: Mango Milk Chocolate Bonbon

Cake in a Glass

This party-perfect wine glass presentation allows guests to view the alternating layers of airy genoise sponge cake and mascarpone mousse. Top each glass with berry meringues and serve with a bubbly rose. 

Get the Recipe: Cake in a Glass

Bomboloni

These fluffy Italian doughnut holes are distinct because they're filled from the top, rather than the side, and proudly showcase their sweet insides. Just about any flavor goes well with fried dough, so choose your favorite jam or cream and get filling. 

Get the Recipe: Bomboloni

Chocolate-Hazelnut Arancini

These cinnamon-spiced arancini are sweeter than average thanks to a Nutella filling. After a dip in the fryer, the golden spheres ooze with a gooey core akin to chocolate rice pudding. 

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Hazelnut Arancini

Honey Almond Fingers

These simple cookies require only a handful of ingredients and gain natural flavor from honey and ground almonds. Don't forget to roll them twice in powdered sugar for a doubly sweet, finger-licking coating. 

Get the Recipe: Honey Almond Fingers

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