Chocolate Alternatives

Creamy pavlova, lemon pie, and 38 more sweet recipes sans the cocoa-bean confection.

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee This is our adaptation of a recipe developed many years ago by Dieter Schorner, then pastry chef at New York City’s Le Cirque. See the recipe for Creme Brulee »

Napoleons

This classic French pastry, whose name means thousand leaves (for its delicate multiple layers), is known as the napoleon. The name is probably a reference not to the diminutive Corsican emperor, but to the multilayered confections of Naples.

Rose’s Famous Caramel Cake

This buttery cake slathered with rich caramel icing has earned local fame on Chicago’s South Side—it’s one of our favorites to make for special occasions.

Lindy’s Cheesecake

This classic New York-style cheesecake is brightened with orange and lemon zest. Get the recipe for Lindy’s Cheesecake »

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska first made its way into print in Fannie Farmer’s 1896_ Boston Cooking-School Cook Book,_ but the idea of baking ice cream inside cake and meringue had been around for much of the century. The way was paved in the early 1800s by that genius of thermodynamics Benjamin Thompson, with his work on the resistance of egg whites to heat.
Literally named “crunch in the mouth,” croquembouche is an edible monument of caramelized pastry.

Huckleberry Crisps

This dessert can be made with either fresh or frozen huckleberries or blueberries.

Pavlova

Few desserts are as pretty and as easy to make as this meringue-and-fruit confection, named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

A buttery cinnamon crumble tops a sweet breakfast favorite; the cake itself gets an extra boost of flavor from cinnamon extract. Get the recipe for Cinnamon Coffee Cake »

Blackberry Slump

A cousin of the cobbler, this dessert is served at the Four Swallows restaurant on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Get the recipe for Blackberry Slump »

Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake

A heady mixture of olive oil and preserved oranges flavors this moist, dense Sicilian dessert.

Vanilla-Rum Custard (La Tarte)

The creaminess of this classic vanilla custard gains an edge with the addition of light rum.

Shortbread Cookies (Punitions)

Traditional French shortbread cookies taste best using a good salted butter with a high butterfat content, such as Kerrygold.

Pok Pok

Chef Pichet Ong, of Spot Dessert Bar in New York City, gave us this recipe for pok pok, an ice cream sandwich based on those he ate as a child in Bangkok. See the recipe for Pok Pok »

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry cake, topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting, is a favorite soul food dessert; this delicious version comes from Bertha’s Kitchen.

Banana Pudding

Custard, vanilla wafers, and bananas are layered and topped with whipped cream in our version of the classic Southern dessert. Get the recipe for Banana Pudding »
A back-of-the-box recipe for lemon icebox pie gets a gourmet upgrade with real whipped cream, lemon simple syrup, vanilla shortbread, and homemade candied lemon peel scattered over the top—it’s a lovely dessert for a special occasion.

Vanilla-Scented Quince and Pear Pie

This sweet, tart fruit pie is a beautiful showcase for the flavors of fall and winter. It’s great on a holiday table, and is at its best when served alongside a plate of cheese: the rich quince flavor balances beautifully with a wedge of funky, crumbly blue beside it on the plate.

Caramel Pretzel Bars

Buttery shortbread meets gooey caramel meets salty pretzels in cookie bar form. We love that the caramel calls for sugar, honey, and maple syrup; it creates a multifaceted sweetness that pairs beautifully with the pretzel’s salt.

Pistachio Financiers

This two-bite pastry is as rich as the name suggests: its defining ingredients are almond flour, ground pistachios, and brown butter, lightened with whipped egg whites. Get the recipe for Pistachio Financiers »

Lemon Soufflé

There is something about a souffle—a magical blending of eggs, air, and acid—that turns any meal into an unforgettable event. Get the recipe for Lemon Soufflé »
Named for its light, fluffy texture and ethereal, pale crumb, angel food cake is the perfect base for a whipped cream and syrupy fruit topping.

Classic Bananas Foster

This boozy, buttery concoction of caramelized bananas flambéed in rum sauce is a dining-out classic invented at legendary New Orleans restaurant, Brennan’s.

Todd’s Snickerdoodles

Cinnamon-sugar dusted snickerdoodles are always one of the most-requested holiday cookies. Get the recipe for Todd’s Snickerdoodles »
Sweetened with ripe persimmons and dates, and coated with a tart, toothsome, lemon-sugar glaze, these bars are a wonderful celebration of late-fall fruits. Get the recipe for Lemon-Glazed Persimmon Bars »

Rhubarb Tarte Tatin

Rhubarb Tarte Tatin

Strawberry Mousse

This pretty pink strawberry dessert should be chilled before enjoying—make it a day ahead and freeze for an especially refreshing treat. Get the recipe for Strawberry Mousse »

Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Dough studded with dried cranberries and a drizzle of sweet, cinnamon-spiced glaze take oatmeal cookies from ordinary to perfect.

Steep it for Killer Custard and Ice Cream

Often used in southeast Asian curries and Indian rice dishes, pandan leaf lends a subtly exotic savory note to this coconut ice cream.

Grapefruit and Campari Granita

Ruby Red grapefruit juice and Campari are a refreshingly bittersweet combination. Get the recipe for Grapefruit and Campari Granita »

Sherry and Cardamom Granita

This delicately sweet, icy treat is a mix of spiced black tea and bright sherry. Get the recipe for Sherry and Cardamom Granita »

8 Great Pie Tips

A few essential techniques will help you achieve rich, flaky crusts and perfect fillings. Briefly cooking fruit fillings will concentrate their flavors and prevent soggy crusts, while using butter with a high fat percentage ensures flakiness. **Get more tips for perfect pies »**

Flan de Caramelo (Caramel Flan)

Luscious, eggy, caramel-coated custard is a favorite in Buenos Aires, and the perfect sweet ending to a languorous meal. See the recipe for Flan de Caramelo (Caramel Flan) »

Cranberry Chiffon Pie

Fresh or frozen cranberries make the base for this tart custard pie.

Brown Butter Walnut Pie with Sour Whipped Cream

Browned butter accentuates the flavor of earthy walnuts and a sour cream topping offsets the richness of the filling for a balanced, delectable dessert.

Colameco’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This cake is brought to the next level with a caramel topping. Get the recipe for Colameco’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake »

Lime Bars

A light dusting of confectioners’ sugar tempers the intense lime pucker of these creamy bars.

Glacéed Bananas

Inspired by a dessert from Beijing’s China Club restaurant, chef and restaurateur Cecilia Chiang coats fried bananas in a thin, delicate shell of caramel. Get the recipe for Glacéed Bananas »

Thomas Keller’s Coconut Cake

Thick Italian meringue is sandwiched between moist layers of cake, which is topped off with sweetened shredded coconut in this recipe from chef Thomas Keller.