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44 Extraordinary Make-Ahead Desserts
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Are you craving that unbeatable taste of a homemade dessert, but don't have time during the week to even think beyond dinner? We've got the solution for you with this collection of 44 Extraordinary Make-Ahead Desserts! No longer will you have to shamefully lay out that grocery store pie or those brand name cookies. These make ahead desserts are even perfect for a weekend party or a family dinner. Just whip up these popular desserts when YOU have the time!
Table of Contents
Simple Bar Cookies and Brownies
Brownies and fruit bars are great on-the-go, make-ahead dessert options. These yummy treats usually last about 3-4 days in your pantry or about 5 days in your fridge. Be cautious about putting them in your freezer as it could affect the texture. It may be a good idea to individually wrap them before storing so you don't have to eat the whole batch at once!
Our recipe for Ultimate Fudgy Brownies is going to make you forget about any other recipe for brownies you've ever tasted... They're that good.
This is the best blondie recipe ever, hands down! Packed with chocolate chips, this blonde brownies recipe is sweet and satisfying. Don't be fooled by their light color, 'cause our Speckled Blonde Brownies are heavy-hitters, just like their chocolate counterparts! Whether you're baking up these blonde brownies with chocolate chips for your gang to enjoy at home or as a surprise for a friend, no one will be able to resist these delicious blondie brownies!
Teach your kids a few tasty skills in the kitchen while having fun! Bake up this treat together and enjoy our cheery Sunny Lemon Squares filled with the taste of sunshine.
Is there anybody who doesn't like brownies? Nah! Is there anybody who doesn't like cheesecake? Nah! Put 'em together and... Wow! Wow! Wow!!
Are you looking for a seven-layer dessert recipe? Look no further, because our seven layer cookie recipe is the God-send you've been waiting for! This appropriately named dessert is rich, flaky, and sweet. Cut our Seven Layers of Heaven into bars for an easy and heavenly anytime snack or dessert. We know this is a saintly seven-layer flavor combination that friends and family will find deliciously tempting.
These goodies will bring a ray of sunshine to anyone's face. With a dash of confetti-ed colors and a chocolate-y center, this easy cookie bar recipe for Chocolate Rainbow Bars is one of our favorite kid-friendly desserts. We especially love the different layers in these cookie bars 'cause we can get all of our favorite flavors into every bite. Just watch; you'll be looking for an excuse to make these sweet treats!
Easy as Pie
You can't go wrong with a gourmet pie recipe! Most homemade pies stay fresh for about 2-4 days in your fridge and can even last 6 months in the freezer! Keep it well covered, and make sure not to add any whipped cream or fruit toppings until you're ready to scarf it down!
Prepared pie crusts make it a snap to whip up homemade pies. This Easy Strawberry Pie recipe features fresh strawberries, which are sure to make your gang cheer!
This is one of our most requested Amish pies. It'll bake up as homey and wholesome as it would on an Amish farm, but our shortcut pie crust will allow you to enjoy Amish Molasses Oatmeal Pie even during a busy week.
If you've been searching your whole life for an easy blueberry pie recipe that tastes just like the one grandma used to have sitting on her counter, then it's a good thing you found our Awesome Blueberry Pie! This simple pie makes a beautiful addition to any spread, too! But who wants to just look at it? Dig in!
We all know that Cookies 'n' Cream is a favorite ice cream flavor. Now you can make this special treat at home. It's so quick and easy (and inexpensive) that you'll be making it over and over again!
Wanna know what takes our oh-so-yummy peanut butter pie to the next level of indulgence? We add in delicious peanut butter cups! But, the best part? It's a no-bake pie that will wow the crowd, but takes minimal effort to make! Trust us, this is one of those dessert recipes that will have the whole town talking, and wanting to know your secret!
Freshly baked cookies are the perfect make-ahead dessert! Soft cookies will stay good for 2-3 days in the pantry while hard cookies can stay fresh for 2-3 weeks! You can even keep them fresh for 4-5 months if you put them in the freezer! If you want to freeze your homemade cookies, make sure you let them cool to room temperature first and defrost for an hour or two before chowing down.
Our melt-in-your-mouth recipe for Soft Peanut Butter Cookies will satisfy all your peanut butter lovers, for sure. We even included the traditional fork hash marks on these peanut butter cookies! Serve these homemade peanutty tasting cookies with a cold glass of milk and watch them disappear from your cookie jar. (Good thing they're so easy to bake!)
Last-minute company? Need something in a hurry? Easy Peanut Butter Cookies are fast and delicious! However, you're probably gonna want these around all the time, company or not! You will be surprised how easy and how tasty these easy peasy cookies are fresh out of the oven.
These old fashioned spice cookies are soft and chewy, just like you remember. And, as if chewy spice cookies aren't good enough on their own, you can make these spice cookies from cake mix, so they're easy! No need to bother loading up your cookie jars with Grandma's Spice Cookies, 'cause the aromas coming from your oven will have everyone lining up to enjoy them right away.
It's hard to resist these Chunky Hazelnut Toffee Cookies! They're chock-full of nuts, chocolate, and toffee bits. Set them out on a platter or leave them in the cookie jar, and you'll be sure to notice how fast they disappear!
Biscotti are a staple at all the trendy coffee shops, and it's easy to see why! They're so crunchy and flavorful, they're perfect for dunking in our favorite steaming drinks. Why not try making this easy version of Triple Chocolate Biscotti at home?
A simple cake recipe can work easily in any event based on how you decide to decorate it! Most cakes can last a day or two in your pantry, 2-4 days in your fridge, or 2-4 months in your freezer. If you're going to freeze it, don't add the frosting until after you've defrosted it to keep your dessert as fresh as possible.
Don't be fooled by its thick batter, 'cause it'll bake up into a light and fluffy cake. And what's better is the caramelized cinnamon sugar peaches on top! Serve Easy Peach Fancy with a scoop of ice cream or on its own, either way it's to-die-for.
You'd never guess that this cake started with a mix. It's dressed up with a layer of caramel topping and topped with peanut butter frosting but it's not finished until chopped candy bars are sprinkled on top!
Cut into a slice of this moist, Bundt cake for a yummy experience like no other! Our Banana Chocolate Swirl Cake is made with coconut oil, a good-for-you, versatile ingredient that adds a whole other level of deliciousness to your baked treats!
No more rushing out to the local bakery, 'cause our Bakery Crumb Cake is easy to make and uses simple baking ingredients! In just 25 minutes, you'll have a moist, dense cake loaded with crumb topping. Best of all, your guests will love walking into a house filled with the smell of toasted cinnamon sugar.
There's something sinfully delightful about having your cake and eating it, too! Carrot cake is chock-full of good-for-you ingredients, along with a few sweet surprises. Our easy-to-make All in One Carrot Cake will let you enjoy them all.
Delightful Frozen Desserts
Frozen desserts are the ultimate make-ahead option. You know these classic treats going to stay good for several weeks, if not months, and be the perfect option to whip out at your next big get-together. It's a good idea to store these in smaller portions as well so you're not putting a half-melted, unfinished dessert back in the freezer!
When it's hot out and we don't want to to turn on the oven, how do we make a special cake? We pop it in the freezer! Our Pineapple Freezer Cake is one of our most popular no-bake desserts. Give it a try and you'll understand why!
It's time to get into vacation mode with our Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie! It'll take you to the beach without ever leaving the comfort of your own backyard. You can make it with yummy classic margarita flavors.
Everyone loves ice cream in summer but, no matter what time of year you make this luscious ice cream novelty cake we call Brownie Bowl Sundae, your gang is sure to squeal with delight!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! July is National Ice Cream Month and we wanted to create something new and fun to celebrate. Our Crazy Good Ice Cream Cake is filled novelty treats and creamy scoops of ice cream that your taste buds will fall in love with! It's layer upon layer of simple, but oh-so-delicious ingredients that you can find right in the freezer aisle of your favorite grocery store!
You'll bring a smile to everyone's faces when you pull this Frozen Chocolate Chip Fantasy out of the freezer. This homemade ice cream cake is loaded with chocolate chip goodness and creamy whipped topping. It's a no bake dessert that's simply delicious!
Soft, Creamy Cheesecake
A simple cheesecake recipe is just what you need to please even the pickiest of eaters. You can keep one of these tasty treats in the fridge for about 5-10 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. Bonus tip: Cut the cheesecake into slices after you cook it. Put half in the freezer and half in the fridge for the ultimate space-saver!
When I can't quite make up my mind between cookies, candy, or cheesecake...it doesn't matter! With this one, I don't have to choose!
Our easy take on the Big Apple favorite, this rich and creamy New York Cheesecake recipe is inspired by the famous mile-high version you can still find at the Carnegie Deli in New York City.
Berry Trio Cheesecake Pie is loaded with fresh berries and even though it looks fancy, it's easy to put together. The oven and the fridge do most of the work and you get to be creative!
Just when you think you don't have any room left, you remember the Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie and...oh look, there's still some room! This creamy pie combines two favorites for an after-feasting dessert that's make-some-more-room delicious!
This no-springform-required cheesecake will be one of the easiest cheesecakes you'll ever make. Our recipe for rich and creamy Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake lets you take all the credit.
This easy crust cheesecake will make you a baking maven in no time! Rich and creamy, and kissed with a citrusy taste of Florida sunshine - it's a no-fuss fancy idea that they won't be able to wait to indulge in.
The name says it all. Simple Cheesecake Pie is as simple as can be! And it's great as is or topped with berries, pineapple, or whipped cream.
Fun 'n' Jiggly Gelatin
How could you ever go wrong with a gelatin mold recipe? This party dessert can stay fresh for 1-3 days in your refrigerator. Make sure to wait to add any fruity garnishes until you're ready to eat!
It's said that there's a Pot of Gold at the end of every rainbow. Well, this colorful gelatin dessert is sure to add sunshine and a rainbow of color to your taste buds and your table!
Transport your taste buds back to the 50's with our Creamy Fruit Cocktail Mold. It's a wiggly-jiggly treat that has plenty of creamy and fruity flavor. It's just as tasty today as it was in yesteryears!
There's a whole lot of peach flavor waiting for you in our "Just Peachy" Fluff Salad. This easy dessert is made from just 5 ingredients and can be thrown together just an hour before your next get-together - absolutely no baking or cooking involved!
Weve updated the classic summer gelatin mold with popular pomegranate juice. With all the buzz about the benefits of antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice, our Pomegranate Fruit Mold is sure to bring raves.
Remember the ice cream novelties we used to get at the corner store? Well, our Corner Store Orange Favorite is a creamy orange treat that'll remind you of your favorite snack from yesteryear.
While unopened pudding mixes can last for 3-4 weeks, homemade pudding can only last for about a day in the pantry and 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Make sure the container remains tightly sealed to prolong that fresh, creamy taste!
When you're craving the classic tastes of the good old days, this bread pudding recipe will do the trick. Our Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding is made the same way that Grandma used to make it and boy is it good!
When boxed pudding just won't do, our homemade Very Banana Pudding scores with its fresh-tasting big banana flavor. They'll go crazy for it!
Our recipe for Creamy Rice Pudding is the creamiest rice pudding you'll ever taste! A bit of butter and other tasty add-ins make this version unbelievably delicious!
Our Almost Belgian Chocolate Mousse is heavenly, decadent and tastes like it came right from a fancy restaurant. Fortunately for you, this dessert doesn't cost a lot to make or take a lot of time. We know you and your gang'll fall in love.
Panna cotta is a chilled Italian-style dessert with a custard consistency. It may have a fancy name but this panna cotta recipe is easy as can be! Serve it when you want to impress, and you're sure to be on the receiving end of loads of raves!
Test Kitchen Tip: Make sure you wrap up all of your treats to keep them extra fresh! We suggest dividing everything into smaller portions and wrapping them up individually so you can eat as much or as little as you want!
Check out more potluck favorites with our popular recipe collection, Party Pleasers: 58 Easy Potluck Recipes and don't forget to check out our Homemade Frosting Recipes, to help dress up your cakes, cupcakes, and more!
If you love these recipes, then you'll love this FREE eCookbook!
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