2019: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but through it all, there was dessert…and a lot of it. From the best no-churn mint chip ice cream we’ve ever tasted to an upside-down cake topped with squash, here are the best desserts we ate in 2019.
1. Brown-Sugar Pear Puff Pastries
The flaky pastry is store-bought, because we’re sneaky like that. These have “à la mode” written all over them.
2. Birthday Cake Petit Fours
Is it our birthday? Nope, but it sure feels like it, thanks to these adorable bite-size cakes.
3. Bite-Size Almond Raspberry Spoon Cakes
They’re just a spoonful apiece, so you won’t ruin your diet if you have one (or, you know, a few).
4. Blood Orange Eton Mess
We have a feeling Mary Berry would wholeheartedly approve of this classic British dessert. We love how the sharp citrus contrasts with all the sugary meringue and whipped cream.
5. Apple-Cider Pear Spelt Cake
Sometimes you want a slice of cake that won’t leave you in a sugar coma. This nutty spelt cake is for those times.
6. Easy Lemon-Hibiscus Layer Cake
Meanwhile, this three-layer cake looks super impressive, but it’s easier to make than anything from a box.
7. Giant Brown-Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies
When it comes to snickerdoodles, more really is more. These are chewier, spicier and—dare we say?—better than any you’ve made before.
8. Muffin-Tin Lemon Meringue Tarts
Nothing against muffins, but we hardly ever make them at home. Instead, we’re whipping up these mini lemon meringue tarts and putting our muffin tin to good use.
9. Swedish Cinnamon Rolls
Swedish sweets had a moment this year, but these cinnamon buns (aka kanelbullar) will last a lifetime. They’re that good.
10. Cardamom Crème Brûlée
We gave everyone’s favorite ’90s dessert a twist with just a hint of spicy cardamom. It’s low effort but makes all the difference.
11. Chocolate-Stuffed Brownie Bites
Think of these bite-size brownies as the adult version of the fudgy store-bought ones you used to eat in grade school. In a word, delicious.
12. Cardamom Cream-Filled Bundt Cake
This Swedish cake, called semlor, is light as air thanks to the addition of yeast and a delicate cardamom cream filling. Translation: Go ahead with that second slice.
13. Thai Iced Tea Panna Cotta
Creamy, heavily sweetened Thai iced tea already feels like dessert, so we upped the ante and turned it into one. The best part? You don’t have to turn on your oven.
14. Cookies-and-Cream Shortbread Cookies
Why have one type of cookie when you can have two at the same time? These shortbread-meets-Oreo treats are the after-school snack of our childhood dreams.
15. Easy Chocolate Marshmallow Cups
DIY candy isn’t just for holidays or special occasions. Our homage to Mallo Cups are fluffy inside with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate exterior that looks anything but homemade.
16. Cheater’s Brioche Buns with Fruity Glaze
We feel totally comfortable calling this the easiest brioche recipe on the internet. It’s so simple, you could make these buns for breakfast or dessert.
17. Coconut Rice Pudding with Rhubarb Compote
If rhubarb pie and rice pudding had a very delicious baby, this would be it. (Psst: It takes 30 minutes from start to finish.)
18. Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
We’ll never say no to chocolate chip cookies, but we sometimes wish they came with frosting. This cake is our answer to that problem.
19. Lemon-Raspberry Whoopie Pies
Pop quiz: Is it a sandwich cookie, a pie or a cake? (The answer: When it’s this tasty, who really cares?)
20. Rocky Road Cookies
Calling all chocolate lovers: These cookies are packed with cocoa powder and chocolate chunks (not to mention all the marshmallows and pecans).
21. Blackberry Jam Pie-Crust Straws
While pie is exceptionally delicious, it can also be exceptionally time-consuming to make. These pie-crust straws have all the pie-tastic flavor, but take 35 minutes to assemble and bake.
22. Cherry Slab Pie
But when you do feel like making a whole pie, try this sheet-pan version. It has the ideal ratio of crust to filling in each slice (and serves a crowd of hungry pie lovers).
23. Blueberry, Blackberry and Raspberry Soufflés
Why hello, fancy-pants dessert. As long as you don’t overmix the batter, your soufflés will be totally foolproof.
24. Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies
These blondies are irresistibly chewy and swirled with jam, so naturally, we’re skipping the sandwich and going straight for dessert.
25. Itty-Bitty Sandwich Cookies
They’re so tiny! (That means you can eat a handful or two.)
26. Mini Strawberry Ice-Cream Pies
If you have a pint of vanilla ice cream in your freezer, you’re one step closer to dessert. These cuties look like they take a ton of effort, but really, they come together in no time.
27. Peaches-and-Cream Ice Pops
Behold, summer in ice-pop form. Don’t worry, though. You can make these any time of year; just roast frozen fruit instead of fresh.
28. No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
No ice-cream maker? No problem. This batch of fresh mint ice cream (which tastes just like our childhood fave) is as easy to make as whipped cream.
29. 30-Minute Angel Food Cupcakes
The only downside to traditional angel food cake is that it can take a few hours to make. That’s where these quick-baking cupcakes save the day.
30. 3-Ingredient Strawberry Magic Shell
This pretty pink chocolate sauce becomes crackly and cold (like magic!) when it hits a scoop of ice cream. We’re not saying the rainbow sprinkles are mandatory, but, well…
31. Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
Finally, we can get a caffeine buzz and a sugar rush in one convenient package. Permission to eat these cookies for breakfast, granted.
32. Mini Apricot Meringue Pies
A press-in coconut crust and jam-like filling make these mini tarts a breeze to bake.
33. Blackberry Plum Upside-Down Cake
Plum season is fleeting, but that makes this beauty all that much more special. The batter has a touch of whole-wheat flour in it it, and the result kind of tastes like a PB&J.
34. No-Bake Key Lime Cheesecake
A traditional cheesecake requires a water bath and hours of your time. This one, on the other hand, requires 30 minutes of work and no oven at all.
35. Vegan and Gluten-Free Apple Blackberry Crumble Tart
When our chef in residence Aran Goyoaga made us this tart, we couldn’t believe it was vegan and gluten-free. After one bite, you might not believe it either.
36. Caramelized Butternut Squash Upside-Down Cake
Squash in a dessert? Yep, and it’s totally delicious. This autumnal cake is so moist and caramelly, you won’t want to make anything else ever again. (Well, maybe.)
37. Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze
You love pumpkin spice; embrace it. This angel food cake bucks tradition in the best ways possible. (Just look at that glaze!)
38. Mini Cranberry Potpies
Tart cranberries plus buttery (store-bought) puff pastry? Why yes, we’ll have seconds.
39. Creamy Pumpkin Eton Mess
This is like all the best parts of pumpkin pie (spicy-sweet pumpkin, whipped cream) in one bowl. Drizzle extra caramel on top and invite us over.
40. Sweet Potato Pots de Crème with Toasted Marshmallow
Cancel your dinner reservations and make this restaurant-quality dessert instead. It’s like pudding, but fancy and French.
41. Fig Tarte Tatin
Want to impress your dinner guests? Unmold this tart at the table for maximum oohs and ahhs (and don’t tell them you didn’t make the crust yourself).
42. Sweet Potato Sugar Cookies with Marshmallow Topping
Because everyone knows cookies beat casseroles, no matter what day it is.
43. Roasted Apple Pavlova with Honey Whipped Cream
Marshmallowy and saucy, his is the kind of dessert that you dive straight into with spoons.
44. Caramel Coconut Macaroons
These have a not-too-sweet, burnt sugar vibe…but would also be fantastic dipped in chocolate.
45. Spiced Palmiers
These are worth the extra effort of making your own puff pastry. We promise it’s easier than you think.
46. Chocolate-Peppermint Linzer Cookies
Brownie meets cookie meets delicious.
47. Raspberry White Chocolate Bûche de Noël
Behold: A guaranteed way to win every holiday party from now until forever.
48. Sugared Holiday Bread
Bread is great. Fluffy, buttery sugar-crusted bread is even better.
49. Brown Sugar Cookies with Dulce de Leche
This might be the easiest sugar cookie recipe on the internet.