20 Dessert Recipes That Always Work

overhead view of The Best Lemon Bars recipe on a white platter
Photo: Allrecipes Magazine

If you have a serious sweet tooth, you know there's nothing more disappointing than a dessert fail. That's why we put together this collection of dessert ideas that always work — so you'll never waste time or ingredients on a so-so recipe again. From foolproof cakes and cookies to infallible pies and cobblers, you'll find a new go-to in this collection of top-rated treats that always turn out exactly as planned.

01 of 21

Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles

Several of Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles
Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles by Ron Mesa.

You can't go wrong with these famous cinnamon-sugar cookies. With more than 7,000 reviews, this crowd-pleasing snickerdoodle recipe has a perfect 5-star rating.

02 of 21

Best Brownies

Closeup of two fudgy-looking frosted brownies on a white plate with milk in the background

"These brownies always turn out," according to recipe creator Angie. A 5-ingredient chocolate frosting takes this foolproof dessert over the top.

03 of 21

One Bowl Chocolate Cake III

One Bowl Chocolate Cake III
One Bowl Chocolate Cake III | Photo by Dianne.

The batter for this basic chocolate cake recipe comes together in just one bowl, so cleanup couldn't be easier. "One of the best cake recipes you're ever going to find," raves reviewer NJONG.

04 of 21

Aunt Teen's Creamy Chocolate Fudge

squares of chocolate walnut fudge on a square white plate
My Hot Southern Mess

Everyone needs a tried-and-true chocolate fudge recipe in their arsenal. This irresistible fudge, which has more than 2,000 rave reviews, is easy to whip up in about half an hour.

05 of 21

Fresh Southern Peach Cobbler

Fresh Southern Peach Cobbler

This fresh peach cobbler, with a cinnamon-sugar topping, is a sweet Southern favorite. "This is the best cobbler I have tasted," according to 5-star reviewer Mike Schoenbacher.

06 of 21

Five Minute Ice Cream

strawberry ice cream topped with a mint leaf in a glass bowl
Kim's Cooking Now!

You can use any frozen fruit you have on hand to make this 5-minute, 3-ingredient ice cream. To prepare it, just blend your chosen fruit with heavy cream and sugar.

07 of 21

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

overhead view of Apple Pie by Grandma Ople recipe topped with a lattice crust and decorative pastry cutouts
Joy Dambek Smith

This old-fashioned apple pie has almost 15,000 rave reviews from happy home cooks. "It will always be my favorite and has won me several first place prizes in local competitions," says recipe creator MOSHASMAMA.

08 of 21

Too Much Chocolate Cake

Too Much Chocolate Cake
Amber Dehn-Koenig

This decadent chocolate cake starts with two convenient ingredients: a box of devil's food cake mix and a package of instant chocolate pudding mix.

09 of 21

Chantal's New York Cheesecake

closeup of a slice of cheesecake with a thin sour cream layer and glazed strawberry on top
chibi chef

This simple cheesecake tastes just like the ones you'll find in New York City delis. "I don't want to be rude, but this is the deal: This is a perfect recipe, and if it fails for you, it's your fault, not the recipe's," says reviewer Morena.

10 of 21

The Best Lemon Bars

overhead view of The Best Lemon Bars recipe on a white platter
Allrecipes Magazine

Citrus lovers won't be able to get enough of these fresh and fruity lemon bars. "Excellent, everything a true lemon bar should be," according to reviewer MommyFromSeattle. "Buttery, tender and tart."

11 of 21

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

colorful plate of Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
France C

Almost 18,000 reviewers agree: These chocolate chip cookies are absolutely delicious. Reviewer ANGELFROMHEAVEN says they're "crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside."

12 of 21

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

top-down view of a snowflake-shaped sugar cookie decorated with pale blue and white frosting
Katherine Naomi

"Whenever you make these cookies for someone, be sure to bring along several copies of the recipe," warns recipe creator J. Saunders. You will be asked for it, I promise."

13 of 21

Coconut Macaroons III

close up of Coconut Macaroons

You need just five ingredients (coconut flakes, all-purpose flour, salt, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract) to make these top-rated cookies.

14 of 21

Chocolate Trifle

Chocolate Trifle
Photo by Meredith.

Brownies are layered with chocolate pudding and homemade whipped cream. Even the pickiest dinner guests will be impressed by this show-stopping dessert.

15 of 21

Creamy Rice Pudding

rice pudding with raisins in a glass bowl
Laura Retyi

This classic rice pudding recipe, which has almost 5,000 perfect reviews from the Allrecipes community, is ready to serve in just 45 minutes.

16 of 21

Banana Pudding IV

Banana Pudding in a blue dish
Tashauna Johnson

Who doesn't love classic banana pudding? This quick, easy, and crowd-pleasing recipe is a breeze to make in your trusty 9x13 pan.

17 of 21

Cream Cheese Pound Cake III

Cream Cheese Pound Cake III

Make this dense pound cake with just six ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen: a block of cream cheese, butter, sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, and vanilla extract.

18 of 21

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

These top-rated ginger cookies are perfect for the holiday season, but you'll want to serve them all year long. "If I could have rated these 10 stars, I would have," says reviewer StephanieM.

19 of 21

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

pieces of Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti lined up
Rob Tanner

These gorgeous Italian cookies are easier to make than you think. Serve them with coffee for a sweet mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-up.

20 of 21

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies.

There are few desserts more comforting than basic peanut butter cookies. With more than 4,000 glowing reviews, this recipe is sure to be a hit with your friends and family.

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More Inspiration

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
Buckwheat Queen

Try one of Our Favorite Dinner Recipes That Always Work. Plus, explore our entire collections of Hall of Fame Recipes and Dessert Recipes.

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