Favorite Dessert Recipes

The best cake recipes and dessert recipes, as chosen by our readers

Over the years, we’ve tempted our readers with dessert recipes we’ve collected from all over the globe. We took a look at the recipe pages that people have bookmarked, linked to, and searched for the most. Unsurprisingly, cakes (especially chocolate) rule our readers’ dessert cart. A few regional classics made appearances. Here are our most popular dessert recipes.

It’s common knowledge that chocolate beloved, and our data backs it up. Brownies made a strong showing. Our moist, fudgy brownies are pure chocolate overload, while Katherine Hepburn’s brownie recipe adds chopped walnuts for texture.

People also love cake. Chocolate cake, then, is of course popular. Our Very Moist Chocolate Cake is a one-two punch of velvety chocolate cake and rich chocolate icing. The Smith Island cake is an eight-layer behemoth of yellow cake and fudge icing. German chocolate cake is named after an American baker, not the country—either way, the combination of chocolate, pecans, and coconut is a sure crowd-pleaser.

Coconut cakes don’t need any chocolate. Our recipe from Thomas Keller showcases shredded coconut with a thick Italian meringue. Drømmekage, or Danish dream cake, is a simple white cake encrusted in a delicious coconut and brown sugar topping.

If you’re not from the small town of Demopolis, Alabama, you’ve probably never heard of turtleback cookies. These spice cookies frosted with caramel icing are ubiquitous in the town, and apparently our readers are intrigued by them.

Find these treats and more in our collection of our readers’ favorite dessert recipes.

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.

Very Moist Chocolate Layer Cake

Adapted from Robbin Gourley’s Cakewalk (Doubleday, 1994), this time-tested recipe for moist chocolate layer cake has a velvety crumb and rich chocolate icing—the perfect birthday treat for your favorite chocolate-lover. Get the recipe for Very Moist Chocolate Layer Cake »

Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake

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

Danish Dream Cake (Drømmekage)

This delightfully basic white sponge cake, encrusted with a coconut and brown sugar topping, is a dream to make and eat.
Traeger’s Bakery in Demopolis, Alabama first popularized these soft spice cookies, which are named for their hard cinnamon glaze that glistens like a glossy turtle shell.

Hummingbird Cake

This hummingbird cake honors the legacy of the Southern cook Edna Lewis. Get the recipe for Hummingbird Cake »

Tim Tam Pavlova

Tim Tam cookies are the star of this oh-so Australian Pavlova.

German Chocolate Cake

This decadent triple-layer dessert takes its name from German’s Sweet Chocolate, a product that’s not German at all: the versatile baking chocolate was created by an American baker named Samuel German in 1852.

Blackberry Slump

A cousin of the cobbler, this dessert is served at the Four Swallows restaurant on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies

A version of this recipe accompanied an interview with the actress Katharine Hepburn in the August 1975 issue of The Ladies’ Home Journal. This brownie recipe, which calls for the smallest amount of flour, produces incredibly chewy bars with a full but mellow chocolate flavor. Get the recipe for Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies »

Nick’s Supernatural Brownies

Fudgy brownies make an ideal base for a decadent ice cream sundae.

Mom’s Banana Bread

This banana bread is exceptionally moist, and a quick bake, making it an amazing go to treat.

Heaven and Hell Cake

This rich, multilayered dessert of angel food and devil’s food cake, peanut butter mousse, and milk chocolate ganache should be frozen before icing is added and refrigerated before it’s sliced. Get the recipe for Heaven and Hell Cake »

Chocolate Cream Pie

A crunchy crust and pudding-like filling make this pie a standout.

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Spreading cream cheese into the layers of dough enhances the richness and moistness of these rolls. This dough may be prepared a day in advance and left to rise in the refrigerator overnight. Get the recipe for Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls »

The Best Damn Meyer Lemon Cake

We based this stalwart recipe on one from baking maven Maida Heatter, and we really do think it is the best damn Meyer lemon cake we’ve ever had.

Smith Island Cake

This version of the Smith Island cake comes from island resident Mary Ada Marshall. Each layer contains a sprinkling of powdered peanut butter cups, and the top is garnished with chunks of the same.