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45 Easy Dessert Recipes For Your Next Graduation Party

Celebrate the graduate in your life with something sweet! The best part is that these dessert recipes are easy to throw together, but still taste amazing.

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White Texas Sheet Cake

This cake gets better the longer it sits, so I try to make it a day ahead. My mother-in-law introduced this deliciously rich sheet cake to me. With its creamy frosting and light almond flavor, no one can stop at just one piece! —Joanie Ward, Brownsburg, Indiana

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Coconut Key Lime Thumbprints

This is the cookie recipe I created for the Las Vegas World Food Championships 2013. It's similar to a shortbread thumbprint cookie, but with lots more personality. —Amy Freeze, Avon Park, Florida
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Chocolate Peanut Treats

When I was in high school, I took these sweet and crunchy squares to bake sales— and they were the first to sell out. I still make them for family and friends who love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter. —Christy Asher, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Roro's Pineapple Cookies

My memories of Christmas always include my mom's pineapple cookies. The kids called her Roro, and we still make them every year to keep her memory alive. You can substitute your favorite flavor of preserves for the pineapple. —Donna Scarano, East Hanover, New Jersey
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Patchwork Quilt Cake

This cake has a great homemade flavor and tender crumb. Be sure to pile on the buttery frosting, which adds a burst of vanilla. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Banana Cream Sandwich Cookies

People go bananas for these! These rich little sandwiches are a nice change of pace on a Christmas platter, and they ship well, too. —Elaine Owens, Dubuque, Iowa
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Not Your Mama's Seven-Layer Bars

The addition of dulce de leche makes this a decadent new take on traditional seven-layer bars. You can cut this recipe in half and make it in an 8x8-in. pan. —Andrea Barlow, Hot Springs, Arkansas
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Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting

This is a classic scratch cake. The homemade buttery frosting and crisp, sugared edges really make it stand out. —Aria Thornton, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Strawberry-Rhubarb Flip Cake

My friend Dave always brought two strawberry rhubarb cakes to work to celebrate his birthday. He’d use up rhubarb growing in the yard and treat his co-workers. —Charlene Schwartz, Maple Plain, Minnesota
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Peach & Blueberry Trifle

This crowd-pleasing summer trifle recipe can be made the night before. I love that you can be flexible with the ingredients. Add any in-season fruit you like! —Raymonde Bourgeois, Swastika, Ontario
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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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Layered Chocolate-Raspberry Triangles

My chocolaty triangles layered with raspberry jam are a must during the holiday season. The cakelike bars look festive, and one batch goes a long way.—Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
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Triple Fruit Freeze

These pops won't turn your tongue blue or neon green like many store-bought pops because they're made with fresh grapes, blueberries and kiwifruit. —Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Lemon Cheesecake Tarts

To make these cute tarts more quickly, add the filling to store-bought phyllo tart shells. —Sarah Gilbert, Beaverton, Oregon
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Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

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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Chocolaty S'mores Bars

One night my husband had some friends over to play poker and he requested these s'mores bars. They polished off the pan and asked for more! I shared the recipe, and now their families make them, too. —Rebecca Shipp, Beebe, Arkansas
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Lemon Coconut Bites

The tangy lemon flavor of this layered bar dessert is especially delicious on a warm day. It takes me back to selling lemonade on the sidewalk as a little girl. —Donna Biddle, Elmira, New York
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Banana Flip Cake

Here's a recipe that will bring back memories of your childhood. Banana flip snack cakes taste just like the banana flips we used to eat when we were kids. —Berta Hagen, Int'l Falls, Minnesota
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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 shortbreadlike 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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Crunchy Candy Clusters

These cereal and marshmallow clusters are so simple that I make them for the holidays each year, as my family looks forward to them. —Faye O'Bryan, Owensboro, Kentucky
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Marinated Oranges

This flavorful fruit was actually the topping in a cake recipe. But I didn't want all the calories or fat from the cake—and the oranges are a good dessert all by themselves! The dash of vanilla extract brings out the fruit's sweetness. —Carol Poindexter, Norridge, Illinois
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Chocolate Malt Crispy Bars

This chunky, chewy malted milk chocolate bar is a feast for your eyes. Malted milk flavor fills this bar from top to bottom. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Lemon Shortbreads

Every year my mom and I collect cookie recipes we want to try and then get together in early December for an afternoon of baking. These no-fail lemon cookies have become an annual tradition. They're a wonderful homemade holiday gift. —Kristen Stecklein, Glendale, Wisconsin
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Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice Cream

Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice Cream

The third U.S. president is credited with jotting down the first American recipe for this treat. No vanilla bean on hand? Substitute 1 tablespoon vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. Just stir the extract into the cream mixture after the ice-water bath. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Slow-Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake

Everyone who tries this dessert falls in love with it. Using a slow cooker liner makes cleanup a breeze. —Latona Dwyer, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
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Black & White Cereal Treats

When my daughter was just 7 years old, she had the brilliant idea of adding Oreo cookies to cereal treats. Now an adult, she still asks for them on occasion; they're that good. —Tammy Phoenix, Ava, Illinois
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Butterscotch-Toffee Cheesecake Bars

I took a cheesecake bar recipe and added a new flavor combo to transform it! The butterscotch and toffee really taste divine here. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Berry Dream Cake

I use cherry gelatin to give a boxed cake mix an eye-appealing marbled effect. It's so festive-looking. Top it with whatever fruit you like! —Margaret McNeil, Germantown, Tennessee
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Buttery Orange Sugar Cookies

My husband's grandmother made a variety of cookies every year for her grandkids at Christmastime. She would box them up and give each child his or her own box. This crisp, orange flavored cookie is one of my favorites from her collection.—Heather McKillip, Aurora, Illinois
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Sue's Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Our family absolutely loves zucchini, especially when we grow it ourselves. We’ve found many ways to use it, including this spiced cake that’s super moist and chocolaty good. —Sue Falk, Warren, Michigan
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Blueberry Zucchini Squares

I saw a bar recipe on a box of muffin mix using apple and lemon zest. I tried it from scratch with shredded zucchini and fresh blueberries instead. It’s a tasty combo. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Banana Split Brownies

How's this for a dish—all the joy of a banana split without the mess. Everything in my recipe fits into one pan of delectable brownie bars. —Connee Sheckler, Chestertown, Maryland
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Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Cookies)

I had to bake something from my heritage for school. So, I made this heavenly kourabiedes recipe. —Rebecca Sprague, St. Louis, Missouri
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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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Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Bites

My son Micah and I love peanut butter cups, so we made them into a new treat. We entered these peanut butter no bake cookies in a creative baking contest and won first place! —Autumn Emigh, Gahanna, Ohio
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Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cobbler

This cobbler came about because I love chocolate-covered strawberries. Top it with whipped cream, either plain or with a little chocolate syrup stirred in. —Andrea Bolden, Unionville, Tennessee
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Salted Peanut Rolls

Salted Peanut Rolls

A Christmas gift of homemade candy is always a hit with sweet tooths. I dip these peanut rolls in chocolate, but they're yummy plain, too. —Elizabeth Hokanson, Arborg, Manitoba
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Mexican Cinnamon Cookies

My extended family shares a meal every Sunday. The aunts and uncles take turns bringing everything from main dishes to desserts like this traditional Mexican cinnamon cookie called reganadas. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Black Bottom Brandy Bites

The idea for these bite-sized tarts started with little chocolate bottles of brandy. For an extra dash of fabulous, I place chocolate in the bottom of each pastry cup. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Memaw's Banana Pudding

Creamy and rich, this homemade banana pudding recipe is so easy. Layer it in a trifle bowl for a pretty presentation. —Ruth Kizer, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

This is one of the best peach dump cake recipes in the world. It's sweet, tender cake with a beautifully crisp cobbler topping. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, and dessert's golden. —Keri Sparks, Little Elm, Texas
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Banana Cream Pie with Cake Mix Crust

I added something special to the classic banana cream pie: A crunchy peanut-buttery streusel tops it off. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
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Lemon Thyme Icebox Cookies

I found this recipe at my grandmother's house, and I made it as soon as I got home. The lovely melt-in-your-mouth butter cookie is very unique. It's almost savory because of the thyme, which pairs well with the lemon. —Catherine Adams, Westwego, Louisiana
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Pina Colada Icebox Cake

This icebox cake has all of 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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Fudgy S'mores Brownies

I combined the perfect, simple summer snack with my favorite brownie recipe to get a treat that's sure to wow at your next big party. —Judy Cunningham, Max, North Dakota

Rashanda Cobbins
When Rashanda’s not tasting and perfecting Taste of Home’s recipes, you’ll find this food editor sifting through our recipe collection, curating digital content or tracking the latest culinary trends. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.