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Spring is coming (no, really) and with it you can bet that there are going to be tons of church picnics, potlucks, and get-togethers to attend. Don’t worry, I’ve got you with these easy potluck desserts that will feed a crowd of people – plus they’re so yummy they’ll be the first to disappear.
Perfect Potluck Dessert Recipes
What do you look for in a potluck recipe?
I don’t know about you but I want a recipe that’s super easy, relatively inexpensive, and will feed a crowd of people. Even more than that – I’m looking for a recipe that will allow me to maintain my unofficial “best cook status” where ever I go.
I usually pick a dessert recipe for a potluck because I don’t have to worry about keeping it hot or keeping it cold – people aren’t likely to get food poisoning (always a joy-killer), and desserts tend to be easy to transport.
I’ve put together my favorite potluck desserts from here on Restless Chipotle as well as from my favorite blogs around the Internet. Each of these recipes was chosen on the basis of being easy and feeding a lot of people.
No Bake Potluck Dessert Recipes
There’s nothing easier than a no bake dessert! Most of these DO need to be refrigerated so keep that in mind if you’re going to a church picnic in Texas in August.
- German Chocolate Pie – this pie doesn’t melt easily because it’s made with ganache AND it’s so rich you can cut it in 12-16 thin slices without looking cheap. 🙂
- No Bake Eclair Cake – will need refrigeration in very hot weather but it’s SO easy. Made with graham crackers and instant pudding.
- Coconut Praline Pie – A layer of pecan praline, a layer of creamy coconut filling, and a layer of whipped cream – addictive.
- Caramel Crunch Bars – are full of sweet-salty caramelly goodness! No worries about melting in the hot sun – although they might get a little messy.
- S’Mores Bars – have all the gooey s’mores flavors without the need for a campfire.
- Scotch-a-roos – are an old fashioned, no bake bar that pretty much everyone raves over.
- Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs – I love this idea! It’s a little more labor intense than some recipes (you have to feed the ingredients onto a skewer) but who doesn’t love food on a stick?
- Oreo Krispies – Uh, who could resist this combination of Rice Krispie Treats and Oreos?
- Millionaires Krispy Squares – Marshmallow, caramel, chocolate… all in a no-bake bar? Yes please!
- Watermelon Basket – Come on, you can’t go wrong with fruit!
- No Bake Banana Split Dessert – Delicious, rich and creamy, with all the ingredients you love in a banana split and no bake, too!
- Chocolate Covered Cashews – Quick, easy, and chocolate – no one is going to turn these down.
- Lemon Ice Box Pie – Just like grandma used to make! A sweet tangy mouthful of creamy goodness.
Easy Cake Recipes that Feed a Crowd
Pretty much everyone likes cakes but layer cakes don’t feed many people and can be hard to transport. Sheet cakes are easy and can be baked and “taked” right in the same pan!
- Texas Sheet Cake – Original Texas Sheet Cake is tooth-achingly sweet and is kind of a combination of brownies-chocolate cake- pecan fudge. It makes a big old sheet pan full of a thin, addictive cake that feeds everyone.
- White Texas Sheet Cake – I really fought against trying this variation but once I did I was totally smitten. SO good!
- Vanilla Sheet Cake – I love the pink frosting and sprinkles on this!
- Texas Tornado Cake – Pineapple, coconut, and all kinds of good!
- Coconut Sheet Cake – This version takes a southern classic and makes it quick and easy!
- Chocolate Sheet Cake – The frosting on this is unbelievable!
- Lemon Cream Sheet Cake – Whipped lemon frosting and a very puckery lemon cake – so good!
- Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake – Classic Boston Cream Pie in an easy form!
- Pig Pickin Cake – Mandarin orange, pineapple… this cake is a classic!
- Holy Cow Cake – Chocolate cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and caramel syrup, covered in Butterfinger Bars, then whipped cream… You’ll say “Holy Cow!”.
- Pineapple Upside Down Sheet Cake – This old fashioned favorite is usually made in a round pan but I make it in a sheet pan. It’s SO good.
- Classic Marble Pound Cake – Made in a bundt pan this pretty marble cake will feed a lot of hungry people.
- Apple Whisky Bundt Cake – Might not be the best one to take to a church potluck.
- White Chocolate Key Lime Bundt Cake – Tangy, sweet and super easy!
- Cannoli Cake – You’ll need to keep this chilled but… WHOA! Rich creamy ricotta cheese with mini-chocolate chips fills three layers of sponge cake frosted with sweetened whipped cream. And finally, a chocolate glaze with chocolate dipped strawberries embellish this sumptuous dessert.
Cookies and Bars for Bake Sales and Potlucks
Cookies and bars are great potluck desserts AND for bake sales, too! You can make them ahead of time and freeze until needed. I tend to gravitate toward bars for potlucks because it’s just less work to make a lot of them.
- Cookie Dough Brownies – Chewy, rich brownie, topped with edible cookie dough, then covered with shiny chocolate ganache. Did I mention the toffee? The pecans? This is a crown pleaser!
- Motherlode Layered Cookie Bars – Imagine biting into ALL your favorite cookies at once? Chocolate chip, sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, double chocolate chip cookies…. it’s a cookie explosion!
- Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars – Take a trip back to your childhood with these crowd pleasing bars!
- Soft Sugar Cookie Bars – These have a thick frosting with plenty of pretty sprinkles! Who doesn’t love that?
- Brown Butter Blondies with Bourbon and Pecans – OK, these might not be the best for your next church event but they’ll be very popular at the next family get-together!
- Copycat Cosmic Brownies – Moist, dense chocolate and a gooey rich ganache make these copycat Cosmic Brownies even better than the original. Colorful M&M candies add flavor, texture and cosmic color, man. Groovy.
- Sheet Pan Chocolate Chip Cookies – All the yum of your favorite chocolate chip cookies in an easy bar. Everyone gets a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie every time.
- Giant Monster Cookies – All the good stuff in these! I like to make them giant sized for bake sales.
- Ranger Cookies – Remember these? Full of oatmeal, coconut, pecans and other good things.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cream Cookies – I probably don’t have to say a lot more about these! Just WOW!
- Molasses Peanut Butter Cookies – Crispy edges and chewy middles with lots of peanut butter flavor. These are an old fashioned favorite!
- Chewy Butterscotch Cookies used to be called Buckaroons when I was a kid.
Potluck Desserts with Fruit
Easy potluck desserts with fruit come in the form of bars, pies, cobblers, and more. Fruit desserts are especially good in summer and fall when everything is ripe and at its best. Here are some of the best dessert recipes for picnics, potlucks, and church suppers. Get ready – you’re about to be very, very popular.
- Sheet Pan Cherry Pie Bars – Think of it like a cherry pie you can eat with your fingers.
- Blueberry Pie Bars – Kind of like the cherry ones above but with blueberries.
- Blackberry Crumb Bars – Mmmm… Imagine biting into these – it would taste just like summer!
- Strawberry Filled Angel Food Cake – SO easy. Use a purchased angel food cake for this – no one will know. Creamy filling, sweet berries, light as a cloud cake. Who’s not going to love that?
- Triple Berry Crisp – What sets this crisp apart from the other millions out there, is the layering process. You’ve got to try it!
- Bourbon Apple Pandowdy – You can click on the number of servings and change them to more or less. Just make this in a regular casserole dish – absolutely yummy.
- Blackberry Cobbler – I added a splash of Merlot to this. It really enhanced the flavor of the berries.
- Texas Cobbler – So this looks like a dump cake with a ton of different fruit. I can’t resist much of anything with Texas in the title.
- Banana Pudding – This is my favorite stuff. I have a lot of variations on it but this is the southern classic.
- Key Lime Fruit Salad – Quick and easy, this simple fruit salad is covered in a creamy yogurt dressing.
You May Need…
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Super cute casserole dishes from Pioneer Woman will be the talk of ANY potluck or church picnic. These are SO pretty!
Is your favorite on the list? Am I missing something? Leave a comment below and let me know!