Dessert Recipes Just Like Grandma Used To Make

Strawberry-Pretzel Jello Salad


Grandma probably always had at least one dessert on the table every time you walked through the door, if not more. From cakes to pies to cookies to brownies, we're sure she didn't need a special occasion to bake up a homemade dessert. She may even have believed that dessert should be served after every meal.

While Grandma might have been able to whip up these classic, no-fuss dessert recipes without even having to look at the directions or make a trip to the grocery store, we're here to provide some guidance to help you recreate classic sweet treats in your own kitchen. These dessert recipes are sure to bring back sweet memories of spending time at Grandma's house after just one bite.

01 of 20

Classic Southern Pound Cake

Classic Southern Pound Cake
Skyler Burt; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Karen Rankin

To make sure your pound cake turns out as successful as Grandma's, make sure that the butter, cream cheese, and eggs are all at room temperature before you begin the baking process.

02 of 20

Fresh Peach Cobbler

Fresh Peach Cobbler


Grandma has always known that peach cobbler is a must-make dessert when fresh peaches are in season.

03 of 20

Chocolate Delight

Ouida’s Chocolate Delight

Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

While Grandma may have a different name for this chocolate dessert that's made with layers of instant pudding, cream cheese, and whipped topping, we bet it was just as delicious.

04 of 20

Classic Chess Pie

plates with slices of chess pie
Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly

Refrigerated pie crust helps this classic pie come together quickly and easily. After prepping the pie crust, all that's left is stirring the ingredients together and pouring the mixture into the crust.

05 of 20

Strawberry-Pretzel Jello Salad

Strawberry-Pretzel Jello Salad


This layered dessert salad probably made an appearance at every cookout that Grandma was in charge of brining dessert to. It's a refreshing alternative to heavier desserts during sweltering Southern summers.

06 of 20

Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies

Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies

Hannah Zimmerman / Southern Living

There's a reason these cookies are referred to as the "easiest". They come together in just 35 minutes and require just four ingredients.

07 of 20

Texas Sheet Cake With Fudge Icing

Texas Sheet Cake With Fudge Icing

Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Karen Rankin, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

Grandma knew that sheet cakes were just as delicious as layer cakes, and much easier to frost and transport.

08 of 20

Pam Lolley's Pecan Pie

Pam’s Pecan Pie
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

While we include directions for making a homemade crust for this classic pecan pie, you can use store-bought if you prefer or are in a bind.

09 of 20

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting

Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Coconut-Pecan Frosting is the true star of this classic cake that rose to popularity in the 1950s.

10 of 20

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Antonis Achilleos

Coffee cake is a great excuse to have dessert for breakfast or as an afternoon snack accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee.

11 of 20

Mamie Eisenhower's Chocolate Fudge

Mamie Eisenhower's Chocolate Fudge

Photographer: Fred Hardy; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Christine Keeley

This no-bake fudge can be stored in an air-tight container for up to two weeks, so it's great to keep on hand for guests who drop in at the last minute, just like Grandma did.

12 of 20

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Unlike many other pies, apple pie is known for having crust on both the bottom and top.

13 of 20

Classic Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake

Jennifer Davick

While it may seem simple, classic caramel icing sandwiched between homemade cake layers is worthy of being served for any occasion year-round.

14 of 20

Best-Ever Brownies

Best-Ever Brownies
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

We can't argue with the fact that desserts just taste a little better when they're homemade, especially when they came from Grandma's kitchen.

15 of 20

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

a square pan of banana pudding on a yellow linen
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

While the banana pudding doesn't require baking, we like browning the top of the meringue slightly before serving but you can skip that step if preferred.

16 of 20

Coca Cola Chocolate Cake

Coca Cola Chocolate Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Southern grandmothers know Coca-Cola isn't just for drinking. You'll find it as an ingredient in both the cake layers and the frosting in this recipe.

17 of 20

Chocolate Chip Cookies

All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

This no-frills recipe will take you back to Grandma's house as soon as the aromas of them baking fill the air in your kitchen,

18 of 20

Luscious Lemon Bars

Luscious Lemon Bars
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Kacy Carroll

Not only are lemon bars a welcome change from super sweet chocolate desserts, they can also be stored in the freezer for up to a month.

19 of 20

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie
Southern Living

This coconut pie is simple enough to serve for dinner after Sunday supper, but is also impressive enough to make an appearance on the menu for holidays.

20 of 20

Fudge Pie

Fudge Pie
Iain Bagwell

Fudge pie is decadent dessert that's best enjoyed with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream on top.

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