65+ Nut-Free Desserts That Won't Trigger Allergies
When you've got a nut allergy, desserts can be a gamble. Whether you're avoiding pecans in pie, peanut butter in cookies, or almond slivers sprinkled atop cobbler, certain desserts can spark allergy-induced FOMO. Not here, though—none of the recipe we have here contain peanuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, pecans, cashews, nut butters and, for good measure, sesame seeds. All of these desserts are crowd-pleasers and will prevent flare-ups.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter
Brown butter takes these rich, seasonal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to the next level, adding a nutty, fragrant flavor that is absolutely perfect for fall. Canned pumpkin puree lends moisture to these fluffy, cake-like treats while warm chocolate chips fill every bite. Make these for a Halloween party or a fall dinner party, and be sure to store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Easy Individual Apple Crisps with Oatmeal Crumble
You can also peel and coarsely chop the apples, if you prefer. For more tender apples, decrease the heat to 400° and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Molten Dark Chocolate Cakes
Requiring a mere 2 ingredients (both of which are likely already in your pantry), this is the fudge you can make with one only one hand. Packing an intensely chocolatey flavor, this easy fudge recipe is sure to please.
Pink Lemonade Rolls
This playful take on the classic orange roll makes for a perfect treat for Mother’s Day, a bridal brunch, baby showers, or the next time you wanna bring a little extra cheer to you weekend breakfast spread. A tender, buttery dough encases a sticky lemon filling and is then glazed with a bright pink lemonade glaze. This sweet-tart glaze, which we make using powdered pink lemonade mix, is also a great way to spruce up a bundt cake, pound cake, muffins, or scones. We opted for Country Time brand lemonade mix, which you can find on the beverage aisle of your favorite supermarket.
Copycat Milano Cookies
For a cookie that’s sure to impress, look no further than our homemade take on the classic Milano cookie. These copycat cookies are crisp around the edges and slightly softer in the center than the store-bought variety, but we found them to be the perfect dunker for a cup of hot coffee or cold milk. Pro-tip: Use a microplane to shave the edges of the baked cookies (if needed) to shape or resize for perfect sandwiching. For other favorite filling flavors, be sure to try our takes on Mint Chocolate and Dulce De Leche Milano Cookies.
These incredibly tender, jelly-filled doughnuts are a perfect treat for breakfast/brunch, snack time, or dessert. Opting for using a store-bought hot roll mix (we particularly like Pillsbury brand’s) saves a little bit of labor, but keeps this traditional sweet treat feeling homemade. If you want an even faster route to doughnut satisfaction, you can also use prepared pizza dough, which you can usually find in the bakery section of the supermarket; however, know these doughnuts will have a slightly chewier mouthfeel (which you may like better!). We loved apple jelly for this sufganiyot recipe, as it’s a delicious compliment to the cinnamon-sugar coating, but feel free use whatever flavor of jam you prefer.
Thin Mint Whoopie Pies
Inspired by the favorite Girl Scout Cookie, these mint-chocolate whoopie pies are a Thin Mint lover’s dream. The addition of crushed Thin Mints to the soft and fluffy dessert sandwiches delivers the perfect element of crunch. In other words, here’s yet another fine reason to fully stock your freezer with these iconic Girl Scout Cookies this season.
Sheet Pan Oatmeal Toffee-Orange Cream Bars
These toasty-sweet, sheet pan sandwich cookies are fantastic for potlucks or tailgates—heck, whip a batch up on the weekend and enjoy for after-school snacks or dessert throughout the week. Toffee bits and cinnamon kick up the flavor of a traditional oatmeal cookie, while adding fresh orange zest to the filling adds a special touch or bright flavor to these tasty bars. Be sure the cookie is completely cool (out of the pan) before cutting it, or it will crumble. And to ensure a smooth cut, you’ll want to chill the filled cookie really well before slicing into bars.
Mini Apple Pies
Is there anything better than having a whole pie all to yourself? With these Mini Apple Pies, you can do just that. We use an easy cream cheese pastry dough to create an incredibly rich and tender crust that’s thick enough to cradle the gooey apple filling without leaks. For an extra special touch, top each Mini Apple Pie with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Lavender-Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
These delicate, crispy shortbread cookies are incredibly impressive given how easy they are to make. With just the right balance of gentle herbaceous, floral flavor and saltiness, these not-too-sweet shortbread cookies are the perfect treat to pair with anything from coffee and tea to lemonade or rosé. While both have fairly potent flavors, when applied with an expert touch (i.e. knowing restraint), lavender and rosemary make an amazing team—delivering sophisticated personality to whatever they touch. Culinary lavender buds are readily available in many nationwide supermarkets, but you can also order them online if you have trouble finding them locally. One key baker's tip to remember when it comes to making shortbread, definitely don’t skip out on chilling your dough before baking. This resting period helps the dough relax (resulting in a more tender, delicate cookie) and helps the cookies keep their shape in the oven. If you plan to make these lavender shortbread cookies for a special occasion (or you just love them so much you want to keep them around), you can easily whip up a double or triple batch of dough in advance and keep the unbaked logs frozen; when you’re ready for cookies, just pop the logs out of the freezer, then slice and bake. If you wanted to dress them up even further, a simple lemon glaze would be a delightful addition drizzled over the baked and cooled lavender-rosemary shortbread.
Homemade Fortune Cookies
Create your own custom “fortunes” to stuff into these homemade fortune cookies for a fun treat the next time you have company. This DIY take on a take-out favorite is a great recipe to break out for parties.
Andes Mint Brownies
These decadent layered Andes mint brownies are the ultimate indulgence for any mint-chip lover. In order to create clean layers, it’s important that you’re working with cool ingredients—so be sure to allow the brownies to cool completely before spreading the icing on, and then chill before adding the chocolate ganache so that it will set quickly.
Air Fryer Glazed Cake Doughnut Holes
Few things in life are better than a warm, fresh doughnut, but it’s no secret that deep frying at home is a pain. Save yourself a mess (not to mention, some calories/fat) by breaking out the air fryer for these cakey glazed doughnut holes.
Raspberry-Cream Cheese Brownies
These pint-size desserts feature the best of Maple syrup, which is found in both the cupcake and the frosting. The frosting gets an extra dose of maple goodness thanks to the addition of maple flavoring. Top these cuties with a walnut or, for a sweet-and-salty twist, crumbled bacon.
Lemon-Honey Drop Cookies
Microwave Chocolate Fondue
We wanted just enough salt to heighten the flavor, so we opted for unsalted butter. Browning the butter deepens its flavor and, when combined with brown sugar, creates the butterscotch taste.
Zesty Lemon Tarts are adorable and easy to eat — and cost just 25¢ a serving! If you have any lemon curd leftover, cover and refrigerate it. Serve lemon curd with toast or scones for breakfast, or with butter cookies for a treat. It also makes a delicious filling for a layer cake.
Brandied Apricot-Peach Pies
The honey-citrus notes of dried apricots enhance the frozen peaches in this baked version of the classic fried pie.
Standing the cookies eliminates the traditional step of flipping them halfway through baking. Chocolate lovers can stir 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips into the batter or dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate.
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Marshmallow Cream Filling
Stuff homemade chocolate sandwich cookies with a sweet marshmallow cream filling for a delicious dessert that's lighter than it tastes.
Individual Banana Puddings
Red Velvet Cupcakes
For friends or family, a gift of Red Velvet Cupcakes is always a welcomed treat. Don't pass on the signature red food coloring to attain that unmistakable red cake color of this classic dessert.
Marble Cheesecake Squares
Use the tip of a knife to make the marble effect for these beautiful and delicious cheesecake squares. If you've forgotten to set out the cream cheese to soften, arrange the unwrapped blocks in a single layer in a large bowl, and microwave at HIGH a minute or until slightly soft.
Strawberry-Kiwifruit Pizza in a Cookie Crust
We used the Pineapple Curd in this family-style dessert, but Lemon Curd would be just as tasty. Fresh blueberries, halved grapes, sliced banana, and plum wedges are other topping ideas. Serve the pizza immediately or the crust will become soggy.
Lemon Cup Custard
Unfried Apple Pies
Hot milk dissolves the shortening in the pastry, resulting in a soft, easy-to-work dough.
Best Fudgy Brownies
Meet your new go-to recipe for homemade brownies. These decadent treats are extra rich and fudgy, thanks to a double hit of baking chocolate and bittersweet chocolate morsels. They’re incredibly easy to make, plus you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. And while we’re definitely not above boxed brownie mixes, these homemade brownies would certainly steal the show at any party or get-together.
Potato flour serves as the backbone for this delightfully simple Swedish classic. Though gluten-free, sandkaka is similar in texture to a dense, buttery pound cake and, thanks to the starchiness of the potato flour, will retain its moisture for days.
Copycat Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies
Is this recipe an exact replica of Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies? No. These are better. Rather than thin cakes, we went for oatmeal cookies that pack an almost peanut-butter-like flavor without any nuts. The crème filling completely nails what we love about the prepackaged pies, but takes things further with an almost airy, marshmallow-based consistency. If that doesn’t convince you, preparing these at home is just as quick (if not faster) than a grocery run.
Ultimate Coconut Cake
"Ultimate" is no exaggeration here—this cake features coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut sugar, coconut extract, and (of course) flaked coconut. Given this cake's incredibly moist layers, intense coconut flavor, and lighter-than-air filling, our test kitchen chefs fought over the leftovers.
Blueberry Pound Cake Muffins
What’s better than blueberry muffins? Blueberry pound cake muffins. These are sweet, fluffy, and rich, with a crispy caramelized top. The blueberries add color and flavor, and the lemon zest adds just enough tartness.
Lucky Charms Cookies
Hearts, stars, horse shoes, clovers, and blue moons, pots of gold, and rainbows, and the red balloons… all stirred into a buttery, cereal inspired cookie dough. In addition to all of the signature marshmallow charms, these Lucky Charms cookies have ground cereal incorporated right into the dry mixture for the sugar cookie dough. In other words, yes, they are magical.
Easy Key Lime Pie
Dessert doesn’t get easier, or more delicious, than a no-bake key lime pie. Requiring just a handful of ingredients, this easy pie is a great recipe for less experienced bakers—especially considering what a crowd-pleaser it is. Perfect for the hot summer months when you’d rather reduce your oven use, the luscious key lime filling sets up to creamy perfection with the help of Cool Whip. Though we provide instructions for a homemade graham cracker crust, you can make this key lime pie recipe all the easier (and skip the oven altogether) by opting for a pre-made, store-bought pie crust instead.
Susan’s Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting
On the surface, so simple. A moist, richly banana-flavored, two-layer cake with a dark chocolate frosting. No frills or fancies. No nuts, chocolate chips or chunks, no crispy bits or coconut. Just a basic banana cake with a simple chocolate frosting. And yet, in the marriage of these two tastes something extraordinary happens. It is cake alchemy.
Air Fryer Churros With Chocolate Sauce
These delights are lighter than traditional churros—almost like éclairs—coming out of the air fryer fluffy and delicious. The cinnamon-sugar mixture creates a thin crust on the outside, delivering that classic churro crunch. Kefir is a dairy product similar to yogurt that is much thinner (it’s drinkable, like a smoothie) and packed with gut-healthy probiotics. The slightly tangy flavor makes the chocolate sauce nice and smooth. Be sure to chill the dough before piping to help it to hold its shape in the air fryer basket. You'll to enjoy the churros immediately as they're best fresh, but you can save any extra chocolate sauce—try drizzling it over frozen yogurt.
Spiced Carrot Pie
Briana Carson from Crave Pie Studio in Duluth, Georgia, was inspired by gajar halwa, an Indian carrot pudding, and wanted to adapt it for a pie. “I just started playing around and kind of decided to go with a spice profile similar to pumpkin pie or sweet potato,” she says. She roasts the carrots to bring out their sweetness and purees them until they are as smooth as possible. Then the pie gets topped with a thick marscapone whipped cream.
Spiced Pear Cobbler with Ricotta-Thyme Biscuits
There are all kinds of tricks for light, fluffy biscuits, but adding ricotta might not have been one you've heard of before. The cheese adds a richness to the top of this cobbler, as well as being an excellent way to soak up all that delicious juice released from the pears as they cook. The result is a cobbler with a crispy brown top, a flavorful biscuit middle, and a stew of perfectly spiced brandy-stewed pears at the bottom.
Rum and Coke Pound Cake With Lime Glaze
Pound cake is easy to make and infinitely variable. When plain, you can almost defend it as a breakfast or afternoon snack. But dressed up with any manner of fruit or cream or ice cream or other garnish, it can hang at everything from a backyard barbecue to an elegant dinner party. So, it occurred to me that perhaps I might mash-up one of my go-to summer desserts with one of my go-to summer drinks!
This rum and Coke pound cake benefits from the same attention to detail as my version of the cocktail. European-style butter (I like Kerrygold or Plugra for this), light brown sugar to pick up the caramel notes in the cola and the rum, and vanilla paste which has all those lovely vanilla seeds in it and is closer to using fresh vanilla pod than extract.
Maple-Caramel Apple Clafoutis
This tender, fluffy apple clafoutis is the simple, and simply impressive, dessert you’ll make again and again. And with a maple caramel sauce, it fully delivers on toasty fall energy. You’ll have extra caramel sauce leftover, which can be refrigerated in an airtight container and spooned over everything from ice cream and pound cakes to waffles or baked apples.
When we set out to create the best basic blueberry scone recipe, we knew it needed to be buttery and tender, but not cakey or overtly sweet—dense for sure, but not dry. These deliver on every front. While these blueberry scones are divine as-is, you can customize the recipe with whatever flavor add-ins you like. Try mixing in some spices—we found that ground ginger and ground cardamom (about 1/4 teaspoon each) to be great aromatic flavor compliments to the blueberries—or you could add a little fresh citrus zest to the dough. If you like your scones on the sweeter side, we’ve also included a simple citrus glaze recipe to drizzle over top. You can use fresh lemon or orange here; we actually used a combination of both with very tasty results. In order to prevent soggy blueberry scones, wait to glaze them until you’re ready to serve.
Brown Butter-Coconut Cookies
Your search for the perfect Christmas cookie swap recipe is over. Our test kitchen couldn’t get enough of the heavenly combination of white chocolate, toasted coconut, and brown butter. These cookies are lighter than the average holiday cookie since they’re not heavy on spices or molasses, but they’re just as jolly, and the brown butter really takes the flavor to the next level.
Hot Toddy Cake
Incorporating black tea into the batter imbues this incredibly tender, cocktail-inspired cake with moisture and a gentle tea flavor. Brushing the brown-sugary spice cake with a rich whiskey syrup puts the bundt’s cozy factor over the top. And finally, finishing the cake with a zippy fresh lemon and ginger glaze delivers that perfect, sunny touch of brightness needed for a balanced cocktail. It’s all the soothing warmth of a steamy hot toddy, baked into an eye-catching bundt cake—what more could you ask for?
Ginger-Lemon Sandwich Cookies
Lemon, molasses, and ginger are an unexpected, but unbeatable combination in these simple sandwich cookies. The cookie itself is delicious on its own, but then the tart lemon curd brings out the best in the molasses and warm spices. The higher quality lemon curd you use, the better the sandwiches will be, but you can also make your own. This batch is easy to make and only look fancy, making them a perfect addition to a cookie swap.
Chai Swirl Cheesecake Bars
These eye-catching dessert bars taste like your favorite chai latte, reimagined in cheesecake form. Featuring flavorful swirls of chai-infused cream cheese filling, each bite offers richly aromatic, spiced flavor set against a cool and creamy vanilla cheesecake backdrop. They’re a simple dessert to make, but undeniably impressive.
Easy Peach Cobbler
What could be a more perfect ending to a summertime meal than easy peach cobbler? Savor the flavors of summer with sliced fresh peaches cooking away with butter and spices. The topping can made from pantry ingredients you have on hand and peaches can easily be substituted with any fruit you have depending on the time of year. The tang of the lemon juice paired with the sweetness of the peaches is perfectly balanced with the crisp topping. Want to make dessert even better? A dollop of fresh whipped cream or cold vanilla ice cream truly makes it the perfect way to end a summer night.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties
We’re not exaggerating when we say these peppermint patties knock York’s out of the water. These are perfect to make with kids because they’re easy and—let’s face it—messy. They make a sweet after-dinner treat, mid-day pick-me-up, or even cookie swap contribution. If you’re not crazy about peppermints, try leftover candy canes, crushed, nuts, sea salt, or sprinkles as toppings.
Banana Pudding Cake
One of our testers called this "the ultimate banana pudding in cake form." Tender laters of cake, creamy vanilla custard, and bananas come together to create a mouthwatering dessert. Warning: There won't be leftovers.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
We’ve got a triple-threat here: Rich red velvet, gooey, fudgy brownies, and tangy cheesecake unite to form a dessert bar everyone will love. These red velvet cheesecake brownies are decadent without being too sweet, thanks to the cheesecake swirl, and a delicious twist on plain old brownies. They slice super clean, but remain gooey and soft. If you like your brownies fudgy bake them on the lower 30-minute end. For cakier brownies, bake longer, up to 35 minutes. Lining your pan with parchment keeps these from sticking to the pan, making them much easier to slice.
Easy Strawberry Cobbler
Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean this biscuit-topped strawberry cobbler won’t impress. In fact, bursting with vibrant berry flavor (regardless of how perfectly ripe your strawberries may or may not be), we can just about guarantee that it will. We keep this stunning berry dessert stunningly simple by using Bisquick baking mix for the topping. The bottoms of each fluffy biscuit soaks up luscious juices from the berries while the tops bake up golden-crisp. And sprinkling the cobbler’s Bisquick topping with a bit of turibinado sugar is a pro’s touch for adding visual and textural interest. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for the full cobbler experience.
Shake in a Bag Ice Cream
The easiest way to make ice cream. Just put ice and salt in a big Ziploc bag with a smaller bag full of the ice cream mix, shake away, and voila! Soft serve! If you want to add other flavors, chocolate syrup, jam, extracts, etc. feel free. Don’t add chunky mix-ins like cookies or nuts or chips until after the ice cream is finished.
Grilled Pound Cake with Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup
Pound cake chars up really nicely on the grill and gets even grill marks. Don’t skip the syrup, because it’s packed with flavor. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, regular lemons will work just fine. The simple syrup will hold up for two weeks, so you can definitely make it ahead of time—or make extra and save it for later.
Raspberry Braid Loaf
Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies
You’ve probably heard of olive oil cake, and if you’ve ever tasted one, you know how much rich character olive oil can bring to a dessert. And that’s certainly the case for these anything-but-average chocolate chip cookies. With their crispy edges and perfectly gooey center, they’re downright dreamy. Fruity olive oil subtly shines, complementing the melt-in-your mouth chocolaty factor in this distinctly delicious twist on the cookie jar classic. Although it’s tempting to go straight from the bowl to the oven, it’s important that the cookie dough is thoroughly chilled before baking. Not only will this step make scooping the cookies easier, but refrigeration solidifies the oil, which keeps the cookies from spreading too fast and becoming too thin. Being that olive oil is the star ingredient in this chocolate chip cookie recipe, be sure to use a good quality oil.
Oreo Cookie Pie
Oreos on Oreos on Oreos. This Oreo pie recipe is super easy and a must-make for any fan of Milk's Favorite Cookie.
You know how some cocktails are so good they're basically dessert? This mudslide cake takes that even further, making the classic dessert cocktail into an actual dessert. The inclusion of both Irish and coffee liqueurs give the cake depth of flavor, and the chocolate glaze and cherries give a nod to the traditional mudslide garnishes. Eat it with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. No straw required.
Copycat Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists
Our take on Taco Bell’s Cinnamon Twists taste just like the real thing, minus the drive-thru experience. They’re super light and crunchy, and the cinnamon-sugar mixture provides the perfect balance of sweetness and spice.
Chewy Chocolate-Molasses Cookies
Forget the holidays, you’re gonna want these cookies all winter long. Chewy nuggets of candied ginger, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, and warm hints of molasses made this cookie a favorite in our test kitchen. To prevent overmixing the dough, fold in the chocolate—it’ll also produce a tougher cookie. To make these cookies look as good as they taste, reserve a few of the chocolate chunks to place on top of each cookie. That way, they won’t all get hidden in the dark dough.
Foolproof Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie is a classic for a reason - it's got an unrivaled flavor that nobody can resist. Whip up this Foolproof Key Lime Pie for an easy dessert your guests are sure to enjoy. In a pinch, you can use regular limes, but when it comes to fresh juice versus bottled, the real thing always triumphs.
Grilled Banana Split
This is a fun mashup between banana pudding and a sundae. You could even get the kids involved with this. Grilling the banana adds a little flavor, while charring the vanilla wafers makes for an interesting texture—together, it’s delicious. Banana pudding ice cream pulls everything together, so it’s definitely worth buying.
Tamarind Peach Cobbler
Tamarind paste is commonly used in savory applications (like this Tamarind Chipotle Barbecue Sauce), but provides an incredible warm depth of flavor in this rave-worthy peach cobbler. The tart paste, which is made from the dark, sticky, and sour fruit of the tamarind tree, is a popular ingredient in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and can be found at supermarkets like Whole Foods or online.
Cinnamon Apple Pull-Apart Bread
For a special breakfast that’s sure to impress, this easy Cinnamon Apple Pull-Apart Bread is a must. Not only is it a looker, but every fluffy crevice and golden fold of this loaf is smattered with irresistibly buttery, apple and cinnamon-brown sugar goodness. Using canned biscuits keeps this pull-apart bread recipe simple enough for bakers of all skill levels; however, it’s what you bring to the convenience dough product that yields a treat that tastes completely homemade. If you find that your melted butter begins to re-solidify slightly after you’ve stirred in the vanilla extract, no worries—just pop it back into the microwave for a few seconds and proceed with brushing the biscuit dough rounds. When arranging the stacks of dough into your pan, keep in mind that the dough will need space to rise and expand a bit as it bakes. A tangy cream cheese drizzle over the warm cinnamon-apple bread is certainly a welcome finishing touch, but it’s not essential if you’d rather dig in immediately.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Pie with Coffee Liqueur Whipped Cream
Whether or not you’re a fan of the infamous, seasonal Starbuck’s beverage, we’re willing to bet you won’t have any regrets about swapping your typical pumpkin pie for this caffeinated uptake this Thanksgiving. We were surprised by just how amazing a hint of coffee sets off creamy, spiced pumpkin pie filling, but the depth of rich flavor speaks for itself—this PSL-inspired pie is in a league of it’s own. Served with a coffee liqueur-spiked whipped cream, this fall dessert reaches a level of decadence a basic pumpkin pie could only dream of. Note: If you opt to create a decorative lattice effect as we did here, be very careful when placing your dough strips atop the pie—the pie’s surface will be very hot and not fully set.