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75 Desserts That Start with Cake Mix

These great cake mix recipes use the store-bought mix as an ingredient, not an end point. Your gorgeous dessert will still be distinctive and delicious—and look nothing like the photo on the box.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Poke Cake

When my family is planning a get-together, I can count on three or four people asking if I’m bringing this chocolate peanut butter poke cake. If you don’t have a chocolate cake mix, use a white or yellow one and stir in 3 tablespoons of baking cocoa. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas

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Blueberry Lemon Cake Exps Ft21 24212 F 0205 1 3

Blueberry Lemon Cake

“I always set aside some of my fresh-picked blueberries to make this quick and easy dessert,” says Leona Luecking, West Burlington, Iowa. Lemon flavor sparks the fruit layer and the tender cake.

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Two Tone Caramel Brownies Exps Tohdj21 249394 E07 30 7b 1

Cake Mix Brownies

These cake mix brownies are a mash-up of two of my favorite desserts. A woman I worked with gave me a recipe for chocolate caramel brownies, and I have a recipe yellow cake mix bars. I wondered what they would taste like together, so I tried it—and I’ve been making them ever since! —Staci Mergenthal, Verdi, Minnesota

Not sure which brand of cake mix to buy? Check out the brands our editors and the Taste of Home Test Kitchen recommend.

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Dutch Oven Cherry Chocolate Dump Cake Exps Ft20 251148 F 0219 1 2

Dutch Oven Chocolate Dump Cake

Looking for a quick dessert that will make people think you spent all day in the kitchen? This Dutch oven dump cake will wow your guests. Feel free to use your favorite pie filling in place of cherry. — Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Red Velvet Jar Cake

Red Velvet Jar Cake

I love to make these red velvet jar cakes for friends, family and teachers. Red velvet is my favorite during the holidays, but you can use your favorite cake and frosting flavors. Then dress up the jars with homemade labels and ribbons for gifting. Don't forget to tie a spoon to the jar; everyone likes to dig right in! —Lillie Collier, Mobile, Alabama

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Pumpkin Spice CakeTaste of Home

Pumpkin Spice Cake

We sometimes call this pumpkin spice cake "Thanksgiving Cake" because it's a tasty alternative to pie, but we don't relegate it to just that holiday. I think you'll agree it's delicious any time of the year.—Kathy Rhoads, Circleville, Ohio

New to baking cakes? Check out our ultimate guide on how to bake a cake from scratch.

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Pistachio Quick BreadTaste of Home

Pistachio Quick Bread

I love making many of these special loaves to give away for the holidays. They also freeze well so it is easy to pull out for unexpected guests. —Judy Fischer, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Birthday Cake Fudge Exps Ft20 257224 F 0804 1 1

Birthday Cake Fudge

This decadent birthday cake fudge is the perfect thing to make your big day special. Or prepare it ahead and package it as a surprise gift for a friend. —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Rhubarb Custard Cake Exps Ft20 12577 F 0624 1 1

Rhubarb Custard Cake

Rhubarb thrives in my northern garden and is one of the few crops the pesky moose don't bother! Of all the desserts I've tried, this rhubarb custard cake is my first choice. It has old-fashioned appeal but is so simple to prepare. —Evelyn Gebhardt, Kasilof, Alaska

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Devil's Food Whoopie PiesTaste of Home

Devil's Food Whoopie Pies

These mini cookie cakes were one of my favorite treats while I was growing up in Pennsylvania. We called them gobs because they are gobs of fun to eat! The recipe can make fewer or more, depending on how large or small you make the cookies. Place the finished chocolate whoopie pies in large cupcake liners for a professional look. —Pamela Esposito, Galloway, New Jersey

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Angel Food Cake Roll Exps Ft20 16977 F 0422 1 Home 1 9

Angel Food Cake Roll

There's always room for dessert—especially when it's this eye-catching angel food cake roll. We like strawberry yogurt in the filling, but different flavors work well, too. —Joan Colbert, Sigourney, Iowa

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Pineapple Pudding Cake Exps Ft20 26937 F 0406 1 Home 3

Pineapple Pudding Cake

My mother used to love making this easy pineapple sunshine cake in the summertime. It's so cool and refreshing that it never lasts very long! —Kathleen Worden, North Andover, Massachusetts

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Red Velvet Cinnamon RollsTaste of Home

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls

Turn a box of red velvet cake mix into this easy dessert—or breakfast! The icing tastes good and makes a pretty contrast with the rolls. —Erin Wright, Wallace, Kansas

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Slow-Cooker Spumoni CakeTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Spumoni Cake

I created this spumoni cake for a holiday potluck one year. It has become my most requested dessert. If you prefer, substitute semisweet chocolate chips for the white chocolate. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri

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Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake Exps Ft20 232731 F 0225 1 1

Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake

It always seems like my rhubarb goes bad in a hurry, so I was looking for a simple way to combine two of my favorite flavors in an incredibly easy dessert. I added extra spices to enhance the flavor of this strawberry-rhubarb dump cake for a sweet treat my whole family loved! —Jessica Bridge, Grand Junction, Colorado

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Margarita Cake Exps Toham20 144162 B11 06 1b

Margarita Cake

This margarita cake is perfect for a picnic on a warm day. You'll be surprised at how closely it tastes like the real thing. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

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Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake Exps Tohcom19 204281 B10 04 5b 2

Pineapple Upside-Down Dump Cake

This dump cake recipe is wonderful topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It works well with gluten-free and sugar-free cake mixes too. —Karin Gatewood, Dallas, Texas

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Birthday Cake PancakesTaste of Home

Birthday Cake Pancakes

I try to make special foods for my kids, especially on their birthdays. To transform plain ol' pancake mix, I add cake mix and sprinkles. Frosting closes the deal. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, Virginia

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Black Forest Upside-Down CakeTaste of Home

Black Forest Upside-Down Cake

The divine flavors of this simple Black Forest cake will impress your guests and leave you with many requests for the recipe! —Kimberly Campbell, Wheeling, West Virginia

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Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I created this recipe based on our family's love of chocolate-dipped ice cream cones. Red heart-shaped sprinkles make them fun for Valentine's Day. Vary the color to match the occasion. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan

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Giant Buckeye CookieTaste of Home

Giant Buckeye Cookie

I’m from Ohio, and we love our buckeye candy! Buckeyes are a delicious combination of peanut butter and chocolate, which is exactly what this cookie is. All you need is a box of cake mix, a few common pantry ingredients, and voila—you have a tasty dessert ready for family and friends in under an hour. You can customize it, too, by substituting other mix-ins for the chocolate chips. We serve it warm with ice cream or whipped cream. —Arianna Harding, Cincinnati, Ohio

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Banana Cream Pie with Cake Mix Crust

Banana Cream Pie with Cake Mix Crust

I added something special to the classic banana cream pie: A crunchy peanut-buttery streusel tops it off. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin

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Double Butterscotch Coconut Cake

Double Butterscotch Coconut Cake

I got this recipe for coconut cake from a co-worker years ago, then I changed it up a bit by adding a family favorite: butterscotch. It’s super easy to throw together and it makes a perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California

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Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake Exps Toham20 8274 B06 07 7b 6

Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

I prepare this colorful dessert quite often in the late spring or summer when fresh rhubarb is abundant. I make this rhubarb cake with cake mix and take it to church potlucks. People actually line up for a piece. —Bonnie Krogman, Thompson Falls, Montana

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Angel Macaroons Exps Hccbz19 11140 E03 27 4b 5

Angel Macaroons

These chewy coconut cookies start with a boxed angel food cake mix. —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota

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Shortcut Peppermint Layer CakeTaste of Home

Shortcut Peppermint Layer Cake

When I first made this cake it was snowing outside, the entire family was home, and we enjoyed it all together. A perfectly pretty holiday cake for a perfect holiday moment! Be sure to measure the the peppermint extract carefully—it's strong, and a little bit goes a very long way. —Mindie Hilton, Susanville, California

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Pressure Cooker Chocolate Apricot Dump Cake Exps Thcom19 233303 C01 16 1b 4

Pressure-Cooker Chocolate-Apricot Dump Cake

Years ago, I used to prepare a dessert similar to this in the oven. Oh, it was so good. I converted it to my Instant Pot and now we can enjoy it quickly. Try it also with white cake mix and blueberry pie filling. Best served warm with ice cream or whipped cream. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Mocha Truffle CheesecakeTaste of Home

Mocha Truffle Cheesecake

I went through a phase when I couldn't get enough cheesecake or coffee, so I created this rich dessert. Its brownie-like crust and creamy mocha layer really hit the spot. It's ideal for get-togethers because it can be made in advance. —Shannon Dormady, Great Falls, Montana

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Berry Dream Cake Exps Scmbz19 179116 C01 24 4b 4

Berry Dream Cake

I use cherry gelatin to give a boxed cake mix an eye-appealing marbled effect. It's so festive-looking. Top it with whatever fruit you like! —Margaret McNeil, Germantown, Tennessee

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Red Velvet Cake Bites Exps Cwfm19 134351 C10 12 8b 2

Red Velvet Cake Bites

Everyone loves red velvet, but any cake mix can work. I've rolled chopped macadamia nuts into pineapple cake and dipped them in white chocolate. Whatever you do, have fun! —Anne Powers, Munford, Alabama

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Pecan Coffee CakeTaste of Home

Pecan Coffee Cake

My mom serves this nutty coffee cake for Christmas breakfast each year. The simple recipe is a big timesaver on such an event-filled morning. Everyone loves the crunchy topping. —Becky Wax, Tuscola, Illinois

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Banana Flip Cake Exps Cpl19 141401 C11 06 11b 4

Banana Flip Cake

Here's a recipe that will bring back memories of your childhood. Banana flip snack cakes taste just like the banana flips we used to eat when we were kids. —Berta Hagen, Int'l Falls, Minnesota

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Apple Sweet Potato Pecan Dump Cake Exps Sdfm19 232686 B10 11 5b 3

Apple-Sweet Potato Pecan Dump Cake

This quick cake has lots of delicious apples, sweet potatoes, spices, pecans and caramel. My surprise of white cheddar cheese enhances the wonderful filling. —Kathy Specht, Clinton, Montana

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Chocolate Comfort CakeTaste of Home

Chocolate Comfort Cake

This moist and delicious chocolate cake is usually the first dessert to go. People even eat the crumbs. It’s always my top choice for holiday dinners. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

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Double-Layer Cheesecake BarsTaste of Home

Double-Layer Cheesecake Bars

Can't choose between chocolate and vanilla cheesecake? Have both when you make this bar recipe with two distinct layers. —Andrea Price, Grafton, Wisconsin

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Raspberry CakeTaste of Home

Raspberry Cake

Jazz up plain cake with raspberry gelatin and frozen berries. Spread with a light, fruity whipped topping (or this whipped topping substitute), the festive results make a cool and refreshing dessert. —Marion Anderson, Dalton, Minnesota

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Birthday Cake WafflesTaste of Home

Birthday Cake Waffles

These super fun waffles—soft on the inside, crisp on the outside—taste just like cake batter! They are quick to whip up anytime, but would make birthday mornings feel even more special. —Andrea Fetting, Franklin, Wisconsin

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Cinnamon Pecan BarsTaste of Home

Cinnamon Pecan Bars

I'm a special education teacher and we bake these bars in my life skills class. It 's an easy recipe that my special-needs students have fun preparing. —Jennifer Peters, Adams Center, New York

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Hazelnut Cake SquaresTaste of Home

Hazelnut Cake Squares

When one of my daughters is asked to bring a dish to a church function, a birthday party or any special occasion, they ask me for this recipe. It is so easy to prepare because it starts with a cake mix. It doesn't need icing, so it is great for bake sales, too. —Brenda Melancon, McComb, Mississippi

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Pumpkin-Gingerbread Thumbprint CookiesTaste of Home

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies are the result of a recipe inspiration and an afternoon spent experimenting in the kitchen with my daughters. I took the cookies to a meeting and they were a hit. So yummy with a cup of coffee! —Jennifer Needham, Woodstock, Georgia

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Pear Upside-Down CakeThe musical "Waitress"

Pear Upside-Down Cake

Using a packaged cake mix speeds up the preparation time of this tasty pear and pecan upside-down cake. This moist cake is pretty to look at and luscious, too. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pretzel and Salted Caramel Chocolate CookiesTaste of Home

Pretzel and Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies

Sweet meets salty in these shortcut cookies that only require six ingredients.

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Butterfinger Cookie Bars

Butterfinger Cookie Bars

My boys went through a phase where they loved Butterfingers. We made Butterfinger shakes, muffins, cookies and experimented with different bars; this one was voted the best of the bunch. Make sure you have an extra candy bar on hand because it’s hard to resist a nibble or two while you’re chopping. —Barbara Leighty, Simi Valley, California

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Apple Pie Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

These apple pie cupcakes are always a hit! They are so easy to make and the flavor just screams fall. Of course, they're just as delicious any other time of year. —Jennifer Stowell, Deep River, Iowa

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Peanut Butter Caramel BarsTaste of Home

Peanut Butter Caramel Bars

When my husband and our three sons sit down to dinner, they ask, "What's for dessert?" I have a happy group of guys when I report that these rich bars are on the menu. They're chockfull of yummy ingredients. —Lee Ann Karnowski, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

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Almond Chocolate BiscottiTaste of Home

Almond Chocolate Biscotti

My neighbors look forward to getting my gifts of these chocolate-covered cookies. I love that this chocolate biscotti recipe is such a cinch to make. —Ginger Chatfield, Muscatine, Iowa

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Pear Bundt CakeTaste of Home

Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota

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Lemon Snowflakes Exps Wrsm17 2533 D04 13 7b 2

Lemon Snowflakes

You’ll need just four items to whip up these delightful cookies. Confectioners’ sugar highlights the cracked tops to give them their snowflake appearance. —Linda Barry, Dianna, Texas

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Irish Creme Chocolate Trifle

Irish Creme Chocolate Trifle

I was given a bottle of Irish cream liqueur as a gift and had leftover peppermint candy, so I created this delicious trifle. It's always rich and decadent. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California

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Cake & Berry Campfire Cobbler

Cake & Berry Campfire Cobbler

This warm cobbler is one of our favorite ways to end a busy day of fishing, hiking, swimming or rafting. It's yummy with ice cream—and so easy to make! —June Dress, Boise, Idaho

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Pecan Pumpkin DessertTaste of Home

Pecan Pumpkin Dessert

I always fix this recipe for Thanksgiving. It was given to me by a friend and I've shared it with many others. —Sue Williams, Mt. Holly, North Carolina

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Caramel Apple CupcakesTaste of Home

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Take these extra special cupcakes to your next event and watch how quickly they disappear! With a caramel topping and spice cake base, they're the perfect mix of two fall-favorite treats. —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas

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Lemon Angel Cake Bars Exps142776 Sd132779d06 11 5bc Rms 6

Lemon Angel Cake Bars

A neighbor gave me this recipe years ago and it's been in flavor rotation ever since. It can be made ahead and serves a bunch, so it's perfect for parties and potlucks. —Marina Castle, Canyon Country, California

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Butterscotch Toffee Cookies Exps89586 Thcm14d08 09 3bc Rms 1

Butterscotch Toffee Cookies

With its big butterscotch and chocolate flavor, my cookie stands out. I like to enjoy it with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. It’s my fallback recipe when I’m short on time and need something delicious fast. —Allie Blinder, Norcross, Georgia

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Sweet Potato Cheesecake BarsTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars

Your whole house will be filled with the aroma of pumpkin spice when you bake these wonderful sweet potato cheesecake bars. They look complicated but are so easy, you can whip up a batch anytime. —Nancy Whitford, Edwards, New York

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Cranberry Layer CakeTaste of Home

Cranberry Layer Cake

I adapted a Bundt cake recipe to create this layer cake. Cranberries, walnuts and homemade frosting make it taste so delicious that you'd never guess it starts with a convenient cake mix. —Sandy Burkett, Galena, Ohio

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Pina Colada Tube Cake

We named this a “pina colada” cake because it has coconut, pineapple and rum. It’s a soothing finish at the end of a big spread. —Debra Keil, Owasso, Oklahoma

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Caramel Nut Breakfast CakeTaste of Home

Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake

I first tasted this incredible coffee cake when a kind neighbor brought it by. It was so good that my brother-in-law tried hiding it from us so he wouldn’t have to share. —Arlene Isaac, Crooked Creek, Alberta

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Easy Oatmeal Cream PiesTaste of Home

Easy Oatmeal Cream Pies

These easy cookies use only five ingredients and taste very similar to a store-bought cookie. Of course, everything's better from your own kitchen! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Macadamia Sunshine BarsTaste of Home

Macadamia Sunshine Bars

Your guests will be delighted with my bars. They are packed with nuts and dried fruit. I think that when you take a bite of this treat it’s like a mini-vacation to a Polynesian paradise. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

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German Chocolate Tres Leches CakeTaste of Home

German Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

I first tried tres leches cake while in Ecuador several years ago. Since then, I’ve changed it up by adding some of my favorite ingredients, namely chocolate and coconut. This version also has a splash of rum for an adults-only treat. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas

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Exps7411 Mrr143297b09 09 2b Ver2 2

Graham Streusel Coffee Cake

I use this sweet coffee cake recipe often. It's quick and easy to make. —Blanche Whytsell, Arnoldsburg, West Virginia

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Rum-Glazed Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Rum-Glazed Pumpkin Cake

For years, my co-workers were taste testers as I worked on a recipe for pumpkin cake. This version wins, hands down. —Gilda Smith, Santee, California

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Pumpkin Spice CookiesTaste of Home

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These big, soft spice cookies created by our staff have a sweet frosting that makes them an extra-special treat. Enjoy! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Minister's DelightTaste of Home

Minister's Delight

A friend gave me this recipe several years ago. She said a local minister's wife fixed it every Sunday, so she named it accordingly —Mary Ann Potter, Blue Springs, Missouri

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Can't Leave Alone BarsTaste of Home

Can't Leave Alone Bars

Convenient cake mix hurries along the preparation of these tasty bars. I bring these quick-and-easy treats to church meetings, potlucks and housewarming parties. I often make a double batch so we can enjoy some at home. —Kimberly Biel, Java, South Dakota

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Apricot-Pecan Thumbprint CookiesTaste of Home

Apricot-Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

I enjoy experimenting with cake mixes to make new cookie recipes. I love apricot, but feel free to fill the thumbprint in the center of these goodies with any fruit preserve you like. —Nancy Johnson, Laverne, Oklahoma

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Little Holiday CakesTaste of Home

Little Holiday Cakes

My college friend shared this cupcake recipe that has pie crust on the bottom, raspberry jam in the middle and cake on top—scrumptious for a buffet or potluck. —Dana Beckstrom, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Peppermint Patty Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Peppermint Patty Sandwich Cookies

At my annual holiday party, these cookies are a big hit with kids and adults, especially when I mix festive food coloring or crushed candy canes into the filling. —Amy Martin, Vancouver, Washington

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Cherry Dream Cake Exps19231 Hb133235c07 19 3b Rms 1

Cherry Dream Cake

I serve this cherry cake for holidays because it's so festive and easy. No one will know your secret is adding a package of cherry gelatin to a boxed cake mix! —Margaret McNeil, Germantown, Tennessee

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Favorite Frosted Cinnamon RollsTaste of Home

Favorite Frosted Cinnamon Rolls

I serve these yummy frosted rolls warm from the oven as a Christmas morning treat at our house. Even if you are not accustomed to working with yeast dough, you'll find this dough is easy to handle. —Julie Sterchi, Jackson, Missouri

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Sweet Potato Cranberry CakeTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Cranberry Cake

This convenient recipe uses items you have in your pantry, like sweet potatoes, cranberries, coconut and chocolate chips. Everyone will enjoy this delicious dessert! —Amie Valpone, New York, New York

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Giant Spice CookiesTaste of Home

Giant Spice Cookies

I heard this cookie recipe over the radio about 1950—shortly after my husband and I married. The big spicy treats are so nice and chewy, they remain my favorite to this day. —Sandy Pyeatt, Tacoma, Washington

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Root Beer Float CakeTaste of Home

Root Beer Float Cake

I add root beer to both the cake batter and fluffy frosting of this summery dessert to get that great root beer float taste. Serve this moist cake to a bunch of hungry kids and watch it disappear! —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon

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Easy Cake Mix BarsTaste of Home

Easy Cake Mix Bars

I take this dessert to work for Friday pick-me-ups. It's one of my favorite yellow cake bar recipes. I love to share them because they're so easy to eat, easy to make and easy on the wallet. —Amy Rose, Ballwin, Missouri

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.
Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.