36 Tempting Potluck Dessert Recipes | Midwest Living
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36 Tempting Potluck Dessert Recipes

Try our potluck dessert recipes for delicious bar cookies, brownies, cookies, cakes, trifles, cupcakes and more for potlucks, family reunions, summer cabin get-togethers—or just your next backyard dinner.

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars

Zesty lemon peel adds zing to this fruit bar cookie; almond extract and brown sugar give it extra sweetness.

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars

Peanut Butter Chip and Jelly Bars

Connie Seigel bakes these bars to take to a Wisconsin library where Karen Grochowski organizes the packing and shipping of these and other cookies. They're sent to soldiers overseas who yearn for a taste of home.

Peanut Butter Chip and Jelly Bars

Neapolitan Party Cake

This crowd-pleaser is easier than it looks. (You only make one batter.) Garnish the strawberry-frosted cake with double-dipped berries to hint at the festive stripes hiding inside.

Neapolitan Party Cake

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

These soda-shop-cute cupcakes are inspired by the whimsical treats served at Designer Desserts Bakery in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Berry Easy Cobbler

This warm, crunch-topped cobbler calls for 3 cups of blueberries, but if you'd like a version with extra color and flavor, reduce the blueberries to 2 cups and add 2 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries.

Berry Easy Cobbler

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This classic potluck dessert includes a crushed pretzel crust, a layer of sweetened cream cheese, and a top layer of strawberry gelatin and strawberries. 

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Chocolate-Strawberry Shortcake Sliders

Classic strawberry shortcake reveals its dark, chocolatey side with these luscious mini cakes. The recipe makes 18, so they're perfect for parties.

Chocolate-Strawberry Shortcake Sliders

Caramel Heavenlies

Graham crackers form the base for this bar cookie with layers of marshmallows, brown sugar, almonds and coconut. "I've made these cookies since 1984," says Georgine Simmonds of Genesee, Michigan. "They're one of my family's favorites."

Caramel Heavenlies

Tropical Ambrosia Shortcake

Classic shortcake meets church-basement standard ambrosia salad in this surprising and crowd-pleasing dessert that's packed with tropical fruit flavor.

Tropical Ambrosia Shortcake

Strawberry-Blueberry Cookie Crisp

Prep this easy dessert in just 10 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes. Crumbled pecan shortbread cookies form the topping over a fresh fruit filling.

Strawberry-Blueberry Cookie Crisp

Peach Upside-Down Cake

The family behind Illinois' Rendleman Orchards has amassed some great peach recipes in 135 years of growing peaches. This cake is no exception. Peach slices and brown sugar form a moist base for the tender, square cake--and when flipped over, that base becomes the topping. We like the cake warm with ice cream.

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Co's Candy-Bar Brownies

Combine packaged sweets with homemade frosting for this easy dessert. Top with your favorite chocolate-covered candy bar, chopped, or small chocolate candies.

Co's Candy-Bar Brownies

Caramel and Chocolate Kettle-Corn Crispie Bars

This recipe from Judy Reynolds of Bloomington, Indiana, was the $10,000 winner in our first Best of the Midwest cook-off. Start with a Hoosier staple—popcorn—and stir together these sweet-salty snack bars. Homemade caramel sauce helps makes them a standout.

Caramel and Chocolate Kettle-Corn Crispie Bars

Out-and-About Cheesecake

Combine sweetened Brie and cream cheese with fresh blueberries for this no-bake dessert designed for single-serving cups.

Out-and-About Cheesecake

White Chocolate Brownies

White chocolate and macadamia nuts give traditional brownies a flavor and color makeover.

White Chocolate Brownies

Danish Pastry Apple Bars

One of the most popular recipes on our website, these bars taste like apple pie in a baking pan. "You can't go wrong with these," writes one of our website reviewers "I've taken them to all kinds of events and they are always the first dessert to go!"

Danish Pastry Apple Bars

Luscious Lemon Bars

Anyone who loves lemon chess pie will enjoy these bite-size bars from Palmer's Deli and Market in Urbandale, Iowa. The moist bars are topped with powdered sugar.

Luscious Lemon Bars

Orange Cream Pop Cupcakes

For this party-special cupcake, combine white cake mix, orange-flavor gelatin, orange juice, and cheesecake-flavor instant pudding and pie filling mix. Cream cheese frosting gets a flavor punch from orange gelatin and shredded orange peel.

Orange Cream Pop Cupcakes

Salted Caramel, Chocolate and Peanut Cracker-Stack Bars

These fantastic potluck bars come from Patrice Hurd of Bemidji, Minnesota. She won the grand prize in our 2012 Best of the Midwest® Recipe Contest. Patrice says they're a twist on her grandmother’s cracker bars. They cut beautifully and brim with salty-sweet-nutty-chocolately flavor.

Salted Caramel, Chocolate and Peanut Cracker-Stack Bars

Peanut Butter-Fudge Pie

This make-ahead dessert is an ice cream/peanut butter/fudge delight created by a Waukesha, Wisconsin, reader, who likes to take it to potlucks. You can double the recipe to fill a 13x9 pan; cut it into squares to feed a crowd.

Peanut Butter-Fudge Pie

Strawberry-Coconut Thumbprints

Linda Roberts of Rapid City, South Dakota, tops her buttery cream cheese, coconut coated cookie with fruit jam. This recipe was a finalist in our first Best of the Midwest cook-off.

Strawberry-Coconut Thumbprints

Buttermilk Banana Bars

These moist snack bars with creamy frosting taste a lot like banana bread. The recipe is from a Wyoming, Michigan, reader.

Buttermilk Banana Bars

Berry Trifle

Mix buttery pound cake, creamy vanilla pudding, soft cream cheese, and fresh strawberries or blueberries for a rich comfort-food dessert. To trim calories, try making it with angel food cake, fat-free pudding, and low-fat or fat-free cream cheese.

Berry Trifle

Our Own Dream Cookies

It's not easy satisfying everyone, but this cookie from the Midwest Living® Test Kitchen tries to meet the challenge! It's packed with oatmeal, chocolate, peanut butter and nuts.

Our Own Dream Cookies

Cherry Phosphate Icebox Pie

A humble pie if you ever saw one, this unassuming potluck star has an almondy crust and a yogurt-based filling that mimics the acidic tang of a phosphate. Amaretti (Italian almond cookies) are available at large supermarkets. You can substitute graham cracker crumbs.

Cherry Phosphate Icebox Pie

Candy Bar Cookies

These bite-size treats feature a creamy mixture of chocolate pieces, butterscotch pieces and peanut butter over a cooked oatmeal-brown sugar layer. The recipe is from a Madison, Wisconsin, reader, who takes the bar cookies to potluck gatherings.

Candy Bar Cookies

Blueberry-Almond Bars

Fruit fillings complement the sweetness of other bar cookie ingredients. Blueberry-Almond Bars was a grand champion award recipe at the Marshall County Fair's annual Blueberry Bake-A-Rama in Plymouth, Indiana. Lori Van Der Weele combined blueberries, butter, white baking pieces and almonds for this winner.

Blueberry-Almond Bars

Incredible Turtle Brownies

Lots of chocolate, homemade caramel sauce and toasted pecans create a decadent, hard-to-resist brownie.

Incredible Turtle Brownies

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars

Zesty lemon peel adds zing to this fruit bar cookie; almond extract and brown sugar give it extra sweetness.

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars

Blackberry-Pecan Streusel Pie

Precook the juicy, tart blackberry filling before pouring it in the crust. The streusel topping becomes a crunchy sugar-pecan crown.

Blackberry-Pecan Streusel Pie

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Hopkins, Minnesota, calls itself America's Raspberry Capital and hosts an annual Raspberry Festival—including a cooking contest. One entry was this recipe for Raspberry Cheesecake Bars, which combines layers of cheesecake and raspberry filling in an almond crust.

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars recipe

Caramel Blonde Brownies

Caramels, oats and milk chocolate pieces blend in these gooey sweets from a West Des Moines, Iowa, reader.

Caramel Blonde Brownies

Summer's Best Peach Pie

Just-picked fruit from your farmers market will taste great in this pie, but you can use frozen peach slices if needed.

Summer's Best Peach Pie

Prairie State Oatmeal Cake

Rolled oats keep this old-fashioned cake moist. You'll love the gooey coconut-walnut topping.

Prairie State Oatmeal Cake

Double-Cherry Supreme Pie

Dried tart cherries add extra flavor to this classic pie, which was pictured on a cover of Midwest Living®.

Double-Cherry Supreme Pie

Krista's Kitchen Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

These big cookies—loaded with chocolate chips and nuts—are a customer favorite at Krista's Kitchen Bakery/Cafe in Portage, Wisconsin. The cookie bakes crisp on the outside, cakey inside.

Krista's Kitchen Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Hunka Chocolate Cookies

This recipe will satisfy chocolate lovers' cravings with semisweet chocolate pieces, unsweetened chocolate, melted white chocolate and melted semisweet chocolate. Just a half a cup of flour goes into this fudgy delight.

Hunka Chocolate Cookies

Cherry-Brickle Coffee Cake

This coffee cake recipe, one of the winners in a Midwest Living® potluck recipe contest, comes from a Robinson, Illinois, reader. Cherry pie filling stars in the cake.

Cherry-Brickle Coffee Cake

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