Peanut Butter Pound Cake S'mores
In this takeoff on the campfire classic, Grace Parisi replaces crunchy graham crackers with buttery store-bought pound cake, sandwiched with marshmallow fluff and peanut butter and served alongside a cup of warm melted chocolate for dipping.
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream
Southern red velvet cake is usually a tall layer cake, slathered with cream cheese icing and studded with pecans. In this deconstructed version, the cake is low (like a torte), the pecans are coated in caramel to make pecan praline and the cream cheese icing is transformed into cream cheese-flavored ice cream.
Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafer Crumble
David Guas remembers this comforting dessert from the buffet spreads at family funerals.
Texas State Fair Pecan Pie
This extraordinarily rich and sweet dessert was the winner at the 1996 State Fair of Texas State pie competition, which Dean Fearing helped judge. "Out of 140 pies, this one was it," he says. "Her name was Bobby Lee; she never told me her last name."
German Chocolate Cake
Actress Ali Larter's super-indulgent dessert features layers of light chocolate cake and a sweet coconut-pecan frosting.
These fudgy, gluten-free brownies are baked in a graham cracker crust, then topped with marshmallows and broiled.
Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake
Lauren Chattman makes this pound cake especially rich by swirling in the chocolate-hazelnut spread Nutella. She recommends serving the cake with coffee ice cream.
With its delightful contrasts of warm spicy pudding and cold vanilla ice cream, this version of an American classic is the ultimate comfort dessert. Homey as it is, though, it looks elegant when served in stemmed bowls. While Indian pudding is frequently stodgy, our version is soft and light and altogether tempting.
Best-Ever Banana Splits
What makes these banana splits from Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica, California, so good is the insanely fudgy chocolate sauce coupled with the light, crunchy almond topping.
Granny Smith Apple Crisp
Granny Smith apples are the key to this crisp, because their tartness is delicious with the sweet, crunchy oat-flecked crumb topping.
Minty Lime Baked Alaska
Instead of making a butter cake, Grace Parisi created this recipe with nonfat angel food cake. She tops the cake with lime sorbet mixed with chopped mint and rum.
Lemon Ice Box Pie
This silken frozen pie is adapted from Clancy's, one of David Guas's favorite New Orleans neighborhood restaurants.
Applesauce-Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Kristin Donnelly is devoted to her mother's one-bowl Bundt cake because of its clove and cinnamon spices and its simplicity. As an exchange student in France, she even paid top dollar for chocolate chips and applesauce at an American market to make it for her host family. Today she adds a kick of black pepper to the batter and serves each slice with a cool-sour dollop of crème fraîche.
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
This delicious whipped-cream-topped peanut butter pie offers the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavors.
Apples baked in flaky pastry with cinnamon sugar are irresistible, especially when served with vanilla ice cream. To save preparation time, we use frozen puff-pastry sheets.
Georgia Peach Pie
When you slice into this delicious pie, don't be surprised by the gap between the filling and the top crust. This happens when a pie is baked at high heat because the crust sets before the fruit in the filling has cooked down.
This luscious pumpkin pie is light (almost soufflé-ish) with a flaky crust and great spice.
Apple Pie Sundaes with Cheddar Crust Shards
Using a slightly tart apple, like a Granny Smith or Pink Lady, is key to this frozen-yogurt sundae; sautéing brings out the fruit's sweetness. The crispy, salty cheddar crisps that accompany the sundaes are as good with cocktails as they are with desserts.
Strawberry Shortcake with Star Anise Sauce
Pastry Chef Sherry Yard loved strawberry shortcake as a kid, even though her mother made it with "plain old pound cake," she says. Since then, Yard has improved the recipe with a (formerly) secret trio of ingredients—high-quality white chocolate in the batter, crème fraîche and heavy cream in the icing—which make this all-American dessert especially rich and moist.