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80 Classic Diner Desserts

Get ready for vintage-style diner desserts so good, you'll want to spin on your red-vinyl counter stool.

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Cherry Almond Mousse Pie

Treat your loved ones to a luscious pie with chocolate, cherries and nuts in a creamy vanilla mousse. It's a sweet yet refreshing dessert. —Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas
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German Black Forest Cake

As far as I know, this cake recipe can be traced back to my German great-grandma. When I got married, my mother gave me a copy and I hope to someday pass it down to my children. —Stephanie Travis, Fallon, Nevada
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Cola Cake with Strawberries & Cream

We Southerners have been eating cola cake for decades. This easy version has strawberries, too. Chill it in the fridge for a dreamy summer dessert. —Peggy Walpert, Fort Worth, Texas
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Peanut Butter Custard Blast

"Ooey, gooey, great!" is how friends and family describe this chocolate-peanut butter dessert. I appreciate the make-ahead convenience. —Marilee Evenson, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
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Pink Lemonade Stand Cake

If you love a moist and creamy cake, this is it. Lemon juice and lemonade give the layers a tangy touch, and the cream cheese frosting with sprinkles makes it pretty. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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7UP Pound Cake

My grandmother gave me this 7UP pound cake recipe. On top of being delicious, this 7UP cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California
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Browned Butter Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust

How do you make good old-fashioned apple pie even better? Enhance the crust with shredded cheddar cheese and stir browned butter into the filling. Wonderful! —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Pie

My mother made a chewy, gooey peanut butter pie I loved as a child. Now I continue the tradition for the next generation of peanut butter lovers. —Brianna DeBlake, Fremont, Michigan
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Peach Cream Puffs

On a sizzling day, we crave something light, airy and cool. Nothing says summer like cream puffs stuffed with peaches and whipped cream. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia
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Lemon Meringue Floats

I actually dreamed of this float idea one night, and woke up knowing I needed to make it. Thank you, Mr. Sandman! —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Chocolate Almond Silk Pie

This pie recipe is one I clipped years ago that became a big hit with my husband and three daughters. I've been baking since I was 9 years old. Back then, my friends and I would get together on Saturdays to bake chocolate chip cookies—but we liked the dough so much we ate lots of it raw! Of all the cooking I do today, I think I still enjoy baking best. —Diane Larson, Roland, Iowa
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Caramel Dumplings

My family just loves these tender dumplings in the sweet, rich sauce. I love them because they turn out wonderful every time I make them, which is a lot! —Faye Johnson, Connersville, Indiana
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Sour Cream-Lemon Pie

I first tasted this pie at a local restaurant and hunted around until I found a similar recipe—now it's my husband's favorite. —Martha Sorensen, Fallon, Nevada
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Spiced Devil's Food Cake

One of my mom's friends gave her this recipe when I was a child, and it has been a family favorite ever since. When your chocolate sweet tooth acts up, this really hits the spot! —Linda Yeamans, Ashland, Oregon
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Skillet Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

For a change of pace, you can substitute fresh or frozen peach slices for the pineapple in this old-fashioned recipe. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas
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Grandma's Strawberry Shortcake

Here's a family-sized version of my grandma's summertime dessert. I can still taste the sweet juicy berries she piled over warm biscuits and topped with a huge dollop of fresh whipped cream. My father added even more indulgence to his serving by first buttering his biscuits. —Shirley Joan Helfenbein, Lapeer, Michigan
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Sandy's Chocolate Cake

Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you'll see why this velvety beauty was named the best chocolate cake recipe and won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
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Banana Cream Pie

Made from our farm-fresh dairy products, this pie was a sensational creamy treat any time Mom served it. Her recipe is a real treasure, and I've never found one that tastes better! —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

I’ve baked this cake every spring for many years, and my family loves it! Use your own fresh rhubarb, hit up a farmers market or find a neighbor who will trade stalks for the recipe! —Helen Breman, Mattydale, New York
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Red, White and Blue Berry Pie

To me, this colorful pie is the epitome of summer. Bright blueberries and raspberries sandwich a cream cheese layer in the pie that’s quite festive. I can’t imagine a holiday party without this tasty treat! —Cindy Zarnstorff, Anchorage, Alaska
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Banana Split Supreme

This lovely and delightful dessert has the classic flavor of a banana split. It's a cool, creamy treat with no last-minute fuss since you just pull it from the freezer. It always solicits praise from our big family. -Marye Franzen, Gothenburg, Nebraska
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Green Tomato Pie

When frost nips our garden, I quickly gather all the green tomatoes still on the vine and make this old family favorite. It's been handed down from my grandmother, and now my granddaughters are asking for the recipe.—Violet Thompson, Port Ludlow, Washington
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Lemon Pudding Dessert

After a big meal, folks really go for this light lemon treat. The shortbread crust is the perfect base for the fluffy top layers. I've prepared this sunny dessert for church suppers for years and I always get recipe requests. —Muriel DeWitt, Maynard, Massachusetts
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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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Moist Lemon Chiffon Cake

This fluffy cake is a real treat drizzled with the sweet-tart lemon glaze. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A pleasingly moist cake, this treat is the one I requested that my mom make each year for my birthday. It's dotted with sweet carrots and a hint of cinnamon. The fluffy buttery frosting is scrumptious with chopped walnuts stirred in. One piece of this homemade carrot cake is never enough—better than all the other carrot cakes recipes I've tried!—Kim Orr, West Grove, Pennsylvania
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Raspberry Sorbet

With an abundant crop of fresh raspberries from the backyard, it's no wonder why I rely on this dessert for a tasty, no-fuss frozen dessert. —Karen Bailey, Golden, Colorado
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Sherbet Cookie Delight

Looking to save some time when preparing for a party? Throw together this creamy crowd-pleaser and freeze it a day or two before the event. The combination of raspberry and chocolate in this dessert is delightful, but it's also good made with lime sherbet, vanilla sandwich cookies and walnuts. —Donna Carper, South Jordan, Utah
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Layered Brownie Dessert

A tasty brownie is the base for layers of cream cheese and chocolate pudding in this make-ahead dessert. —Muriel Ledeboer, Oostburg, Wisconsin
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Almond-Coconut Lemon Bars

Give traditional lemon bars a tasty twist with the addition of almonds and coconut. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Lemon Meringue Angel Cake

I've been told that this dessert tastes exactly like a lemon meringue pie and that it's the best angel food cake anyone could ask for. I'm not sure about all of that, but it is delightful to serve, and each slice is virtually fat free. —Sharon Kurtz, Emmaus, Pennsylvania
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Frozen Peppermint Delight

If you’re looking for a dessert that’s festive, delicious and easy to make, this is the one for you. Drizzled in hot fudge sauce and loaded with pretty peppermint pieces, this almost tempting treat will have guests asking for seconds. —Pam Lancaster, Willis, Virginia
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Black Forest Tart

Cherry pie filling and a melted chocolate drizzle top a rich, fudgy cake made from chocolate cookie crumbs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pineapple Breeze Torte

This lovely torte features ladyfingers, a creamy filling and a crushed pineapple topping. It's a special treat for my large family and a must at Christmas. —Barbara Joyner, Franklin, Virginia
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Chocolate Swirl Delight

I made a few updates to a great recipe and ended up with an impressive dessert. Everyone loves its light texture and chocolaty flavor. —Lynne Bargar, Saegertown, Pennyslvania
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Blueberry Cloud Pie

I always make two of these pies at a time because my husband and five children devour them! It's so light and fluffy, and the cereal-treat crust puts an extra playful spin on cloud pie. —Denise Heatwole, Waynesboro, Georgia
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Rhubarb Mallow Cobbler

My mom used to make this cobbler every year when I was growing up. Now we take fresh rhubarb to my son in Texas so he can share this recipe with his family. —Judy Kay Warwick, Webster City, Iowa
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Frozen Peach Pies

A refreshing, peachy filling and a buttery graham cracker crust are the perfect pair. I’ve found that this pie can be frozen up to three days. —Athena M. Russell, Florence, South Carolina
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Yellow Cupcakes

Nothing is better than homemade cupcakes. This yellow cupcake recipe makes delicious and fluffy treats. To top them, choose whatever frosting you want. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Marshmallow-Almond Key Lime Pie

Summer is peak season for Key limes—a must for this pie’s distinctive sweet-tart flavor. Unlike other Key lime pies, mine has a smooth marshmallow layer on top that makes it stand out as a crowd favorite. —Judy Castranova, New Bern, North Carolina
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Grandma's Red Velvet Cake

It's just not Christmas at our house until this festive cake appears. This is different from other red velvets I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Orange Dream Angel Food Cake

A basic angel food cake becomes a heavenly indulgence, thanks to a hint of orange flavor swirled into every bite. The orange color makes slices of the cake look so pretty when arranged on individual dessert plates.—Lauren Osborne, Holtwood, Pennsylvania
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Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars

Lower in fat and calories than you might ever guess, these sweet bars couldn't be easier to whip up, boast a great chocolaty flavor, and make a fun, quick dessert to bring to parties or serve to company! —Jennifer Rafferty, Milford, Ohio
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Cranberry-Cherry Nut Pie

This delightful, stress-free pie combines cranberries with convenient cherry pie filling for a fresh, fun flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Citrus Cornmeal Cake

Cornmeal adds a rustic quality to this delicate dessert flavored with citrus and almond. It’s sure to be a staple in your recipe collection and also makes a great holiday party hostess gift. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

I'm originally from Paraguay, and dulce de leche reminds me of where I came from. If you can't find it at your grocery store, try caramel ice cream topping instead. It tastes different, but this decadent dessert will still be amazing. —Sonia Lipham, Ranburne, Alabama
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Favorite Coconut Cake

When I need an impressive dessert for a special occasion, this is the recipe I turn to. My guests are glad I do! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Root Beer Float Pie

This is the kind of recipe your kids will look back on and always remember. And you don't even need to use an oven. —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

My 3-year-old son loves these vanilla bean cupcakes! Vanilla bean flecks give the moist, tender cupcakes special-occasion status. —Alysha Braun, St. Catharines, Ontario
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Grits Pie

Simple, southern and scrumptious, this pie will be a definite hit even with people who dislike grits. It has the perfect custardy texture.—Victoria Hudson, Pickens, South Carolina
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Mamaw Emily's Strawberry Cake

My husband loved his mamaw's strawberry cake recipe. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers. —Jennifer Bruce, Manitou, Kentucky
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Butterscotch-Pecan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding fans just might hoard this yummy butterscotch version. Toppings like whipped cream and a butterscotch drizzle make this dessert absolutely irresistible. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Pistachio Cake with Walnuts

It didn't take long for this cake from the 1970s to become the favorite birthday cake of my husband, Joe. —Patty LaNoue Stearns, Traverse City, Michigan
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Hand-Held Apple Pies

When I was in high school, my best friend's mother baked this mini apple pie recipe every year. I was thrilled when she shared it with me—I finally felt like an adult! —Katie Ferrier, Houston, Texas
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Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia
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Cherry Cola Cake

Cherry cola and marshmallows make a zippy chocolate dessert that is scrumptious topped with vanilla ice cream. — Cheri Mason, Harmony, North Carolina
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Red, White & Blue Berry Trifle

This luscious trifle tastes best if made the day before serving. Keep additional berries on hand for decoration. —Kaia McShane, Munster, Indiana
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Peaches & Cream Jelly Roll

Cake rolls make a lovely presentation for a party, and they are simple to cut into even slices. My father taught me how to make them, and sometimes we get together and make them for family and friends. —Malena Coleman, Rockville, Indiana
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Chocolate Spice Cake with Caramel Icing

I found this recipe back in the late '80s and knew it was a special cake. The caramel icing can be a little tricky because you have to work quickly, but it's so worth it! —Mariann James, Ferguson, Missouri
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Blue-Ribbon Apple Pie

This pie is special to me because I won a blue ribbon for it at the local fair and was able to compete at the state farm show. —Collette Gaugler, Fogelsville, Pennsylvania
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Marvelous Marble Cake

Pound cake and chocolate make the best marble cake. — Ellen Riley, Birmingham, Alabama
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Coconut-Pecan German Chocolate Pie

This German chocolate pecan pie combines the ingredients everyone loves in its classic cake cousin. It's so silky and smooth, you won't be able to put your fork down. —Anna Jones, Coppell, Texas
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Mocha Hazelnut Torte

I make this cake on birthdays and other special occasions because it looks and tastes so amazing. The combination of mild hazelnut and coffee flavors is impossible to resist. —Christina Pope, Speedway, Indiana
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Frozen Grasshopper Pie

When I first started experimenting with cream pies, this seemed like the right recipe to create for a house of chocolate lovers. I guessed right. This is more of an adult New Year's Eve pie, but some have made it for Christmas dessert—served after the kids have gone to bed! —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Chocolate-Cherry Brownie Cake

My grandmother taught me the tricks to making this cake, and I've added my own special touches. The melted chocolate keeps the icing from being too dry and gives it a texture similar to chocolate ice cream. I have more requests for the icing than I do anything else! —Susan Hayes, Massapequa, New York
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Confetti Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream

This simple and tender cake has been celebrated in my family for years. Dressed up with tinted frosting and confetti, it becomes pure party fun. — Karen Berner, New Canaan, Connecticut
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Winning Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie

While being raised on a farm I often ate rhubarb, so it's natural for me to use it in a pie. I prefer to use lard for the flaky pie crust and thin, red rhubarb stalks for the filling. These two little secrets helped this recipe win top honors at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. —Marianne Carlson, Jefferson, Iowa
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Juicy Raspberry Pie

This pie is packed with jammy raspberry flavor and looks stunning. Have some fun with the top pie pastry and punch out star shapes for a festive look. — Karen Berner, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Dar's Coconut Cream Pie

When I whip up a toasted coconut cream pie, my family goes wild and the pie vanishes. —Darlene Bartos, Shoreview, Minnesota
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Malted Milk Cake

Bake this cake in a 13x9 pan or as cupcakes in fun paper liners. I am a sweet and salty addict, so I sprinkle popcorn on top. —Susan Scarborough, Fernandina Beach, FL
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Best Ever Fresh Strawberry Pie

Next time you get a pint or two of perfectly ripe strawberries, make my favorite pie. It combines fresh berries and a lemony cream cheese layer. If you’re in a hurry, use a pre-made pie shell. —Janet Leach, Granger, Washington
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Cape Cod Blueberry Pie

We Northeasterners have been baking this pie since the 18th century. Settlers would’ve used little wild blueberries and topped it with cream. I do, too. —Nancy O'Connell, Biddeford, Maine
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Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream

My mother's family owned peach orchards in Missouri. I live in Tennessee, a top consumer of buttermilk. This summery ice cream combines my past and present. —Kim Higginbotham, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Kahlua Dream Bars

I always double this recipe so everyone gets a piece. For a glaze with deeper flavor, use 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate and 2 ounces semisweet.—Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Whipped Cream

I combined my two loves, cupcakes and pie, into one amazing treat. These pumpkin cupcakes have a piecrust bottom and a snow white topping. —Julie Herrera-Lemler, Rochester, Minnesota
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Creme de Menthe Squares

This layered bar hits all the sweet spots: It’s airy, creamy, crunchy and the perfect mix of cool mint and rich chocolate. It has a vintage dessert appeal that no one in our family can resist. —Marilyn Blankschien, Clintonville, Wisconsin
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Mile-High Cranberry Meringue Pie

Your holiday crowd will be blown away when they see this pie with towering meringue on top. Let it sit in your refrigerator for at least four hours for best results. —Marcia Whitney, Gainesville, Florida
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Coconut Dream Cupcakes

My daughter, Elizabeth, came up with this incredible recipe. The cream cheese in the middle is a fun surprise when someone takes their first bite. —Julie Flournoy, Laurelville, OH
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Homemade Pear Pie

I entered this pie in a local baking contest and ended up winning! Bartlett pears hold up well when baked, adding a nice layer of texture. —Darlene Jacobson, Waterford, Wisconsin
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Easy Confetti Pie

Sugar cone crust makes a pie that tastes like birthday cake when you add a colorful, creamy no-bake confetti filling. —Gina Nistico, Taste of Home Food Editor

Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.

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