Our 52 Most Popular Desserts

Our 52 Most Popular Desserts


With thousands of recipes on our site, dessert is, by no means, an afterthought to our community. Covering the entire confectionary gamut, this collection includes cakes, custards, ice creams, brownies, cookies, pies, and just about every other treat that’s ever been baked, frozen, or whipped. Unsurprisingly, these are some of our most popular and most-saved recipes of all time. To celebrate our collective love for the sweet—and sometimes savory—treasure that is dessert, we gathered our 52 most beloved below.

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1. Louisa’s Cake

Our editors describe it best: “This cake is airy and light, but not without integrity: ricotta, eggs and plenty of butter give it richness, grated apple lends heft, and lemon zest rescues it from being at all bland.”

2. Carrot Cake with Cardamom

This carrot cake has no flaws. Yogurt and carrots ensure moisture, cardamom brings complexity, and cream cheese frosting—well, it’s just good.

3. Chocolate Bundt Cake

In less than an hour, throw together a tender, moist (our editors compare the texture to British steamed pudding), and deeply chocolatey bundt cake that you’ll be snacking on for days. Top with powdered sugar to make it look extra nice.

4. Simple Summer Peach Cake

If you’ve suddenly stumbled into a bounty of fresh peaches, make this cake. While peaches are the focal point, the supporting work of ground almonds, vanilla and almond extracts, and nutmeg offers an enjoyable layer of depth.

5. Grown-Up Birthday Cake

Two things to love about this cake: One, it’s delicious and wonderfully complex, thanks to the use of olive oil instead of canola oil. Two, you can (attempt to) ward off potential dessert thieves (children) by telling them this cake is for “grown-ups.”

6. Banana Cake with Penuche Frosting

“This [cake] has a light, airy crumb, one that lends itself well to a layer cake,” say our editors. “But the real star here is the frosting; its brown sugar-milkiness shines through, a perfect complement to the banana.”

7. Funnel Cake

Cake in name only, but possibly my favorite dessert on the list. I’m of the opinion that world peace could be brokered around a state fair deep fryer. Fry some dough—it’ll bring you back.

8. Chocolate Dump-It Cake

This chocolate treat from Judy Hesser—mother of Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser—is the kind of cake you’ll pick at every time you’re nearby. Unsurprisingly, this cake is a community favorite, having already racked up over 400 positive reviews.

9. Ice Cream Cake

More of a template than a recipe, here Coral Lee gives you an in-depth guide to making your dream ice cream cake. If you’re unsure about what flavors to pick, go with mint-chip. (It’s never let me down).

10. Chocolate, Coffee & Hazelnut Baked Alaska

Although technically difficult, this Baked Alaska is so delicious (coffee, chocolate, and hazelnut belong together) and so damn impressive looking, that the effort it requires will always be worth it.

11. Meyer Lemon Cheesecake With Biscoff Crust

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Combining three really good things—cheesecake, Meyer lemons, and Biscoff cookies—makes one really, really good thing (this cake).

12. Blueberry Lemon Cake

A great way to highlight the flavor of wild blueberries, this light cake from Food52 co-founder Merrill Stubbs is one to keep on file this summer. Top with fresh whipped cream and serve with a cup of coffee.

13. Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

Salty from the pretzels, sweet from the malt, and balanced by the vanilla—this ice cream hits all the right notes. While this does require an ice cream machine, if you don’t have one, the recipe for the chocolate-covered pretzels is still worth making.

14. Honeycomb Ice Cream

This to-the-point review from community member Melanie tells you everything you need to know: “This was delicious and different. The taste was like deep, crunchy caramel mixed with rich vanilla. I will definitely make this again.”

15. Oreo Ice Cream Dessert

There are nearly 100 positive comments on this recipe, here are some of my favorites: “Our family is crazy about this recipe—it is pure alchemy,” writes Jennifer. “Could. Not. Stop. Devouring. It.” says Yvonica. “This recipe got me through a very long summer,” says Melissa.

16. No-Churn Scotch Ice Cream

From former Food52 editor and current New York Times columnist Eric Kim comes a no-churn ice cream that uses single-malt Scotch whiskey to highlight the “deep, musky notes of vanilla bean.”

17. No-Cook Blackberry-Lemon Ice Cream

If you’ve got both an ice cream maker and an abundance of blackberries, this bright, frozen sweet is for you. You’ll combine pureed blackberries, lemon, and condensed milk to create an ice cream fit for the height of summer.

18. David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Sorbet

Despite not having dairy or eggs, this chocolate sorbet is undeniably creamy. Also, it only takes five minutes of prep—meaning if you’ve got even a sliver of free time in the morning, you could enjoy homemade sorbet later in the day.

19. Peanut Butter Cream Pie

“This easy, no-bake peanut butter pie is made with a delicious combination of graham crackers, cream, and molasses for the crust and filling, plus raisins, walnuts, and rum for the topping,” our editors write. “It’s a very forgiving recipe that will have you and your guests clamoring for another slice.”

20. Coconuttiest Coconut Cream Pie

This is coconut, everywhere, all at once. Truly, coconut is in all four aspects of this pie: in the crust, pastry cream, whipped cream, and crisped topping. That is to say, if you’re a coconut fan, you’re in the right place.

21. Bill Smith’s Atlantic Beach Pie

One of the most popular-ever recipes on our site, Bill Smith’s salty-sweet twist on a classic North Carolina lemon pie is as easy to make (40 minutes total) as it is Genius.

22. Anne Dimock’s Straight-Up Rhubarb Pie

Proof that rhubarb has the chops to make it as a solo artist (sorry, strawberry).

23. Tahini Mousse Pie

Community member CK1 says, “Things we love: Tahini. Tahini in desserts. Mousse. Chocolate. Cookies. Halva. It’s all here—with the added benefit of a bit of espresso, which balances the sweetness of the mousse and the nuttiness of the tahini.”

24. Mallomar Pie

From Resident Baking BFF Erin McDowell comes a fun twist on the seasonal, regional, dare I say, culinarily perfect Mallomar cookie. If Mallomars aren’t available where you live, this pie—with its graham cracker crust, marshmallow filling, and ganache topping—offers a good glimpse into why they’re so beloved.

25. Autumn Apple & Pumpkin Galette

“We love this dessert for how it combines two of Thanksgiving classic flavors while keeping everything in sync, and not at all cloying. Taste it, and you’ll think pumpkin and apple were born to be together, too,” say our editors.

26. Rhubarb & Blueberry Galette

This galette from Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh is all about balance. Blueberry and rhubarb offer acidity and brightness, Amaretti cookies bring a deep, complex almond note, and a whipped cream topping adds a richness that rounds everything out.

27. Chocolate Pecan Galette

Allow Erin McDowell to introduce her own creation: “As a lover of fruit pies, I almost always forget how much I love pecan pie. This pecan galette has everything I love about it—plus, I have no problem adding the chocolate I love because it’s already not quite traditional!”

28. Easy Apple Galette

This is Food52 columnist Ella Quittner’s go-to hosting dessert, and for good reason: It’s simple (you’ll quickly make the dough by hand) and it doesn’t need to be perfect to look good. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

29. Sourdough Galette With Peaches & Blueberries

From James Beard award winner and former Food52 baking resident Maurizio Leo comes a sourdough galette perfect for highlighting the fruits of summer. Pro tip: Double up on the dough recipe and freeze the extras; according to Maurizio, it’ll be good for months.

30. Peach Tart

Requiring just a knife, bowl, and pan to be made, this is the ideal dessert for when you’re baking in a less-than-ideal kitchen. Bonus: This tart comes together in under an hour.

31. Lazy Mary’s Lemon Tart

Of the over 200 comments lauding this bright and simple lemon tart, here are some of the best: “How much easier can it get? So simple and so tasty,” says Karen. “Thank you for this perfect dessert,” writes Cristy. “I am not a baker so this was so simple and easy and the end result, delicious!” claims Windyspirits.

32. Magic Espresso Brownies

We’ve covered this multiple times, but will happily say it again: Adding coffee to chocolate desserts creates an intense chocolately flavor that’s hard not to love. If you haven’t tried this combination yet, give these espresso brownies a shot.

33. Super Fudgy Brownies

Dense, super fudgy brownies—like these from Dana Cowin—are great on their own, but best served warm, with a heap of vanilla ice cream on top.

34. Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies

These cocoa brownies are many things: moist, delicious, aesthetically pleasing (thank you, flaky salt). But more than anything, they’re foolproof. For evidence, consider that community member Aleelee commented the following, “My 11-year-old makes them for parties and they never disappoint.”

35. Triple-Chocolate Olive Oil Brownies

The brownie equivalent of grown-up birthday cake. While these triple-chocolate, olive oil treats from Ella Quittner may be more complex in flavor than your typical brownie, they remain easy to make, coming together in just 30 minutes.

36. Salted Toffee & Coffee Blondies

So far, this blondies recipe has been one of our most-saved recipes of the year. When you consider the flavors—espresso, Heath bar, and brown sugar—it’s not hard to figure out why.

37. Chewy Sugar Cookies

Here are some facts about these cookies. They take 20 minutes to make. They’ve received nearly 200 positive reviews and been saved over 3,000 times by our community members. In 2010, they won our “Best Sugar Cookie” recipe contest.

38. The Pantry Cookies Recipe

These pantry clean-out cookies use a range of familiar ingredients (chocolate chips, pecans, oats, and dried fruit) to create a balanced flavor, exciting texture, and overall spectacular treat.

39. Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

As Resident Erin McDowell states, these cookies are great on their own. However (as if the picture isn’t convincing enough), they’re best sandwiching a scoop of ice cream.

40. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe developer Phyllis Grant says that some people complain these cookies are “too big” and “overly packed with chocolate chips.” While those critics are entitled to their opinion, those comments are the reason I’d make these cookies.

41. Ovenly’s Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kristen Miglore, author of our Genius recipe column, says, “This isn’t just genius for a vegan chocolate chip cookie or in spite of it. This cookie, which comes from Ovenly founders Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin, can rest entirely on its own merits: its soft-bellied, chewy, caramelly-crisp-edged, rippled and ringed and puddled with melty chocolate, haunting, well-salted, incidentally vegan merits.”

42. Aunt Lolly’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These thin, crispy cookies maintain a rare, perfect, five-star rating amongst our community. Bonus: They take just 20 minutes to make.

43. Soft, Puffy Snickerdoodles

Biting into a warm, pillowy snickerdoodle is one life’s great treasures. Serve with a tall glass of milk or your favorite cup of tea.

44. Red Velvet Cookies

Inspired by Magnolia Bakery’s red velvet cupcakes, these cookies from Eric Kim combine a crunchy, cracked exterior with a luscious, tangy, rich, and deeply red inner layer. Serve year-round, but definitely keep these on hand for the holidays.

45. Bien Cuit Shortbread

One of our more popular recipes that was born from a professional kitchen, these all-too-snackable shortbreads from Bien Cuit are what Ted Lasso wishes his biscuits tasted like.

46. Almond Biscotti

According to Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser, these biscotti have many use cases: “My family eats them at breakfast. We dunk them in coffee post-lunch. We pair them with bourbon to finish a holiday dinner. We bake big batches and give them as gifts. We may occasionally hoard them for ourselves, too.”

47. Triple Layer Mousse

This triple-layer treat from Erin McDowell is the ideal dinner party dessert: It’s impressive looking, fully delicious, and able to be made hours in advance. Also, if you make too much mousse, it’ll be just as good for the next few days.

48. Pudding Chomeur

A cross between sticky toffee pudding and pancakes with maple syrup, this pudding chomeur (a French Canadian dessert created during the Great Depression) is prepared and served in ramekins—making it an ideal treat for any upcoming dinner parties.

49. Individual Guinness Sticky Toffee Puddings with Ginger Cream

Re: the rule of combining multiple good things to make one really, really good thing. These sweet Guinness puddings are a crowd-pleasing treat fit for a grand—preferably wintertime—occasion.

50. Chocolate Stout Pudding

“You can never go wrong when pairing chocolate with more chocolate,” write our editors. “Where this pudding exceeds the choco-norm is in the depth of flavor created by the addition of crisp, slightly bitter stout. Each bite hits the perfect balance between sweet and bitter—the only drawback is waiting for it to cool.”

51. Butterscotch Pudding

A classic butterscotch pudding recipe from the consistently amazing Erin McDowell—you already know this is going to be good.

52. Instant Pot Tres Leches Bread Pudding

Requiem for the Instant Pot (bankrupt but never forgotten), this bread pudding highlights the convenience and consistency intrinsic to our favorite pressure cooker.

Which of these desserts is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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