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50 Kentucky Derby Desserts

Feel like you're at Churchill Downs with these fun and festive Kentucky Derby desserts. Full of pecans, chocolate, bourbon and more, these amazing recipes are worthy of the Triple Crown!

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No-Bake Chocolate-Pecan Tartlets

At the last minute, I frantically came up with this treat for a holiday tea. The tartlets were quickly gobbled up. Now, I make them for our annual Teacher Taster's Choice and special family gatherings. —Joy Johnson, Culbertson, Montana
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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses

Eat these pretty treats as is or crush them into a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream. Readers of my blog, utry.it, went nuts when I posted that idea.—Amy Tong, Anaheim, California
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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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Honey Pecan Pie

Looking for a sweet ending to a special meal? This attractive pecan pie is bound to please with its traditional filling and honey-glazed pecans. —Cathy Hudak, Wadsworth, Ohio
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Chocolate Mint Creams

This recipe came from an old family friend and is always high on everyone's cookie request list. I make at least six batches for Noel nibbling and give some away as gifts. —Beverly Fehner, Gladstone, Missouri
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Aunt Murna's Jam Cake

I remember Aunt Murna telling me that she created her jam cake recipe as a young girl. She made improvements over the years, such as soaking the raisins in crushed pineapple. This cake is a favorite at our annual family reunions. —Mrs. Eddie Robinson, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
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Bananas Foster Sundaes

I have wonderful memories of eating bananas Foster in New Orleans, and as a dietitian, wanted to find a healthier version. I combined the best of two recipes and added my own tweaks to create this southern treat. —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina
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Cinnamon-Sugar Sweet Potato Pastries

We always have leftover mashed sweet potatoes after our Thanksgiving feast. I take what’s left to make an indulgent filling for sweet potato empanadas. Convenient crescent roll dough makes this recipe easy as pie. —Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Cranberry Chocolate Walnut Pie

For a showstopping holiday pie, I mix cranberries, chocolate and walnuts. A little touch of rum makes it even happier. —Lorrie Melerine, Houston, Texas
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Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

My children always looked forward to these fudge brownies as an after-school snack. They're so fudgy they don't need icing. —Hazel Fritchie, Palestine, Illinois
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Salted Butterscotch & Pecan No-Bakes

When I was deciding what type of cookie to make for a Christmas swap, I opted for something with coconut, pudding mix and salted caramel. Boxed, these could make a great gift as well. I like to drizzle caramel over the tops of the cookies before serving for a special touch. —Stacey Ritz, Sudbury, Ontario
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Humble Bumble Crumble Bars

While developing a treat for my bingo group, I asked my husband for ideas. He suggested a fruity bar. This berry bar is lightly sweet and so easy. —Nancy Phillips, Portland, Maine
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Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

There's nothing better than this comforting bread pudding recipe on a cold, wintry day. The bourbon sauce makes the dessert taste special, but it's so easy to prepare—the slow cooker does most of the work! —Hope Johnson, Youngwood, Pennsylvania
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Honey Cinnamon Bars

My Aunt Ellie gave us the recipe for these sweet bar cookies with cinnamon and walnuts. Drizzle with icing, and serve with coffee or tea. —Diane Myers, Star, Idaho
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Mocha-Pecan Ice Cream Bonbons

These bite-sized bonbons may sound tricky to make, but you'll find that fashioning them is a breeze. What's more, our cooking experts advise that you keep this recipe handy when you serve them—as soon as folks sample the treats, they'll be asking how to make them. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Blueberry Lemon Trifle

A refreshing lemon filling and fresh blueberries give this sunny dessert sensation plenty of color. Don't worry about heating up the oven—this trifle doesn't require baking. —Ellen Peden, Houston, Texas
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Chippy Blond Brownies

If you love chocolate and butterscotch, you won't be able to resist these blonde brownies. I often include this recipe inside a baking dish as a wedding present. Everyone, young and old, enjoys these delectable treats. —Anna Allen, Owings Mills, Maryland
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Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

When my fiance first made this chocolate bourbon pecan pie for me, I declared it to be the best pie ever! Creamy chocolate combines with crunchy nuts in a great, gooey filling. We can't get enough of this recipe inspired by Kentucky Derby bourbon chocolate pecan pie. —Tanya Taylor, Cary, North Carolina
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Creamy Peppermint Patties

These smooth chocolate candies fill the bill for folks who like a little sweetness after a meal but don't want a full serving of rich dessert. —Donna Gonda, North Canton, Ohio
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Billie's Southern Sweet Potato Cake

I made sweet potato cakes for my kids when they were younger and they told me in their little voices, "Mommy, you're the best baker." Little did they know that was Mommy's first attempt at homemade cake! —Billie Williams-Henderson, Bowie, Maryland
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Lemony Sweet Potato Pie

Lemony Sweet Potato Pie

For a finger-licking finale to any holiday meal, I turn to this light and luscious sweet potato pie laced with just a hint of lemon. Funny how folks always seem able to find room for this delectable dessert! —Peggy West, Georgetown, Delaware
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Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

I'm a busy schoolteacher and pastor's wife. I wouldn't dare show my face at a church dinner or bake sale without these tempting peanut butter treats. They're quick, easy to make and always a hit. —Kristi Tackett, Banner, Kentucky
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Blue-Ribbon Butter Cake

I found this buttercake recipe in an old cookbook I bought at a garage sale and couldn’t wait to try it. I knew it had been someone’s favorite because of the well-worn page. —Joan Gertz, Palmetto, Florida
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Banana Cream Pie

Made from our farm-fresh dairy products, this pie was a sensational creamy treat any time Mom served it. Her recipe is a real treasure, and I've never found one that tastes better! —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Pecan Caramel Candies

Salty and sweet, these candies are the perfect little snack. Form a kitchen assembly line with your kids, and the making becomes just as fun as the eating. —Julie Wemhoff, Angola, Indiana
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Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

Using just five ingredients makes this recipe so simple. You can add a little extra decoration with chocolate jimmies, too. —Chris Nelson, Decatur, Arkansas
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Buttermilk Pecan Pie

This is the treasured "golden oldie" that my grandmother made so often whenever we'd come to visit. Grandma grew her own pecans, and we never tired of cracking them and picking out the meat when we knew we'd be treated to her special pie! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
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Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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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Salted Pecan Shortbread Squares

My shortbread squares are the ultimate go-to for cookie trays and gift-giving. The buttery caramel and toasted nuts make it tough to eat just one. —Diana Ashcraft, Monmouth, Oregon
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Pecan Butter Tarts

I searched for the perfect butter tart for ages. After many attempts, I discovered this favorite that begs for a scoop of ice cream on top. —Susan Kieboam, Streetsboro, Ohio
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Chunky Banana Cream Freeze

Everyone loves ice cream, but we all know it doesn't make a great after-school snack. Until this! With its sweet banana-almond flavor and chunky texture, this appealing banana peanut butter "ice cream" is a crowd-pleaser. People who ask me for the recipe can't believe how easy it is to make. —Kristen Bloom, Okinawa, Japan
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Grits Pie

Simple, southern and scrumptious, this pie will be a definite hit even with people who dislike grits. It has the perfect custardy texture.—Victoria Hudson, Pickens, South Carolina
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Chocolate Pecan Torte

This impressive dessert looks lovely on a buffet table. It takes some time to prepare, but it’s worth the effort. —Lois Schlickau, Haven, Kansas
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Chewy Chocolate-Cherry Bars

Colorful dried cherries and pistachios star in this take on seven-layer bars. To switch it up even more, try cinnamon or chocolate graham cracker crumbs instead of plain and substitute pecans or walnuts for the pistachios. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Toffee Pecan Bars

Curl up with a hot cup of coffee and one of these treats. The golden topping and flaky crust give way to the heartwarming taste of old-fashioned pecan pie. —Dianna Croskey, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
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Hidden Mint Morsels

Is it a cookie or a candy? No matter which answer folks choose, they find these minty morsels yummy. The recipe makes so much that you can whip up tons of gifts at once. —Adina Skilbred, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
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Apple Rhubarb Crumb Pie

My family and friends always ask for my apple rhubarb pie for birthdays and get-togethers. Everyone loves the unique flavor that the rhubarb adds to this pie. —Sherri Moon, Decatur, Indiana.
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Bacon Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Blondies

If you're a sweet and savory fan like me, you'll go wild over this bacon cookie bar recipe. You just can't beat a cookie, brownie and cheesecake all mixed up and sprinkled with bacon. —Katie O'Keeffe, Derry, New Hampshire
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Fudgy Mint Cookies

Chocolate lovers will get a double dose when they bite into this cakelike cookie. The cookies are especially popular served alongside a big scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream! —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota
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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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Fudgy Mint Cookies

Chocolate lovers will get a double dose when they bite into this cakelike cookie. The cookies are especially popular served alongside a big scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream! —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota
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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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Pecan Pie Bars

These pecan pie bars are rich and delicious - just like pecan pie! They're perfect for taking to potlucks and other gatherings...I always come home with an empty pan. These Kentucky Derby pecan pie bars are the perfect snack while watching the races. —Carolyn Custer, Clifton Park, New York
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Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bars

If you're looking for something other than pumpkin, these sweet potato bars are a yummy alternative. Make them ahead—they're even better refrigerated overnight. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
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Southern 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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Caramel-Pecan Apple Pie

You'll love the smell in your kitchen—and the smiles on everybody's faces—when you make this scrumptious caramel apple pie recipe. It takes me back home to Virginia and being at my granny's table. —Jean Castro, Phoenix, Arizona
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Rhubarb Dream Bars

Dreaming of a different way to use rhubarb? Try these sweet bars with a tender shortbread-like crust topped with rhubarb, walnuts and coconut for delicious results. —Marion Tomlinson, Madison, Wisconsin
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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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Butter Pecan Fudge

Toasted pecans add a nutty crunch to this creamy fudge, perfect for holiday giving. People always seem to rave about its wonderful caramel flavor. —Pam Smith, Alta Loma, California
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Delicate Mint Thins

Newly married, I needed something fancy to impress my relatives at a reunion and came up with these cookies. I got many compliments on their subtle flavor.—Kristine McDaniel, Kettering, Ohio

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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