Top Party Desserts Recipes
Finish your party menu with one of these crowd-pleasing desserts.
Whether it's pies, puddings, or panna cotta, these dreamy desserts will have your guests singing your praises all night.
Crisp cookies and fresh berries pair nicely with cool-and-creamy mocha mousse.
- Recipe: Easy Mocha Mousse
Vanilla wafers make a simple crumb crust for the lemon-almond custard filling of these refreshing tarts. Sweet, fresh raspberries top the custard and complete the flavor combination.
- Recipe: Lemon-Almond Tarts
- Recipe: Sweet Dip With Cookies and Fruit
Pavlova was the signature dessert of was former Test Kitchen Professional (and mother of current Test Kitchen Professional Marian Cooper Cairns) Jane Cairns. You don't have to be a professional to make it though. Assemble the elegant berry dessert just before serving; you can make the meringue up to two days ahead and store it in an airtight container.
There are crisp Italian cookies also called ladyfingers, but be sure to use soft ones in this recipe. Look for them in the bakery or produce section of your supermarket.
- Recipe: Raspberry Tiramisù Bites
Instead of using Mexican chocolate in this recipe, we developed the same flavor profile using more common ingredients—semisweet chocolate and cinnamon. If you prefer to use Mexican chocolate, look for it with the hot drink mixes or on the Hispanic food aisle.
This cupcake recipe is a time-saving desset dream. It starts with boxed pound cake mix and calls for only five ingredients, including what you need for the Browned Butter Frosting. It's party ready and ideal for school functions that call for dozens of cupcakes.
This seriously easy and decadent mousse hides a smart a secret: reduced-sodium soy sauce. Just 1/2 tsp. elevates the deep, rich flavor of the dark chocolate. Add crunch with cookies to contrast the mousse's silky texture. Heating store-bought shortbread in the oven opens up the flavors of the buttery cookies.
- Recipe: Mocha Chocolate Mousse
Muffin pans make the perfect baking vessels for these little fig cakes. Gussy them up by spooning a dollop or piping a silver dollar of hard sauce on top, and then garnish them with halved fresh figs, fresh herbs, or even pecan halves.
Baker Robin Wilson says, "You can also use yellow and pink food coloring gel to make peach. Practice on a piece of wax paper, adding a little at a time to achieve your perfect shade. I serve these to family and friends, and there's never a square left."
- Recipe: Orange Dreamsicle Crispy Treats
A new freezer favorite has arrived. One genius (and easy!) master recipe and four over-the-top variations provide an endless array of sweet and creamy ideas. The secret to these dreamy treats? Soft-baked cookies from your bakery. Go large or small—just don't go with the crunchy kind.
After visiting the Neshoba County Fair (billed as Mississippi's Giant Houseparty) during Ronald Reagan's 1980 bid for the presidency, Nancy Reagan shared this supreme creation. The buttery layers of shortbread and fruit topped with crisp meringue definitely get our vote. From Giant Houseparty Cookbook by The Philadelphia-Neshoba County Chamber of Commerce.
As pretty as petits fours, these luscious little two-bite gems can be finished with any kind of berry or preserves. Get ahead, and bake the cheesecakes in advance. After baking, they'll freeze up to one month. Thaw and top with preserves and fruit before serving.
Recipe: Petite Blueberry Cheesecakes
Finish the cakes with one of three toppings, listed with the recipe. Toss together the Streusel Topping before you start baking. Both glazes can be prepped while the cakes cool.
Recipe: Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes