The Cakes, Cookies, and Bars We’re Most Obsessed with Right Now

published Sep 5, 2023
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A photo of a slice of chocolate eclair cake.
Credit: Perry Santanachote

It’s official: These dessert recipes are the best on the internet! (Find all our editors’ picks here.) The Kitchn 100 is presented in partnership with Target Good & Gather; it was created independently by our editorial team.

Having a go-to dessert for every possible scenario is our idea of a responsible home baker. So whether you’re hosting the in-laws unexpectedly or need a birthday party-worthy stunner, we’ve got you covered with these 14 treats. 

1 / 14
Fancy Chocolate Chip Cookies

If your idea of a perfect chocolate chip cookie is crispy around the edges and soft and chewy in the center, you’re in the right place. With two types of chocolate and the most perfect circle shape (we have a trick for that!), these are practically designed to garner “oohs” and “aahs” on Instagram.

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2 / 14
Confetti Gooey Butter Cake

A colorful spin on the classic Midwestern dessert that’s guaranteed to spark joy with every ooey, gooey bite. And unlike most modern butter cake recipes, this one is entirely homemade, which makes it an extra-special treat for the lucky recipient.

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3 / 14
Chocolate Cobbler

Think of chocolate cobbler as molten lava cake for a crowd: It’s saucy, fudgy, and gooey, with a brownie-like cake layer, too. If the photo alone hasn’t sold you, your first bite definitely will.

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4 / 14
Better-than-the-Box Rice Krispies Treats

Classic Rice Krispies treats are always good — but these are the best you’ll ever taste, thanks to a couple of simple upgrades, like browning the butter and toasting the cereal. If you want to level them up even further, swap in some crushed potato chips.

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5 / 14
Salted Caramel Apple Pie

With its sparkly sugar-coated crust, homemade salted caramel sauce, and heavily spiced apples, this might be the most impressive baked good to come out of your kitchen this year. Trust us: The hard work of weaving the lattice crust is worth it.

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6 / 14
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Cream Cheese Cookies

If cream cheese is your idea of a good time, these pillow-soft cuties will make you really want to party. They have a cheesecake-like tang with a hint of vanilla, and the dusting of powdered sugar even makes them feel a little luxe.

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7 / 14
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King Arthur Flour's Basque Cheesecake

This deeply caramelized Basque-style cheesecake is shockingly easy to pull off: There’s no water bath, no crust to fuss with. You don’t even have to soften the cream cheese!

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8 / 14
Creamy Limoncello Bars

When life hands you lemons, make creamy lemon bars. This boozy twist on the classic bake sale treat has a buttery graham cracker crust, limoncello-spiked filling, and dollops of lemony whipped cream.

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9 / 14
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TikTok Coffee Brownies

We’ve always known boxed brownies have the potential to rival homemade. Swap the water for strongly brewed hot coffee in the batter, and it’s game over. These are the very best brownies you will make this year — promise.

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10 / 14
Buttermilk Pound Cake

The most traditional style of pound cake calls for just four ingredients — one pound (!) each of sugar, flour, butter, and eggs — but we’ve got a few improvements. Our #1 tip? Add a cup of buttermilk, which lends its signature tang and a soft and tender texture.

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11 / 14
Big Mary's Carrot Cake

Making carrot cake with baby food may sound like an unbelievable TikTok trick, but this recipe — from The Kitchn’s Senior Lifestyle Editor, Mara Weinraub’s, relative — actually dates back several generations. Not only does it let you skip grating carrots, but it also makes the cake impossibly moist and flavorful.

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12 / 14
Chocolate Éclair Cake

This five-ingredient cake tastes and looks like an éclair, but requires none of the cooking or tedious pastry-piping. Needless to say, we’re not surprised it went viral.

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13 / 14
Giant Cherry Shortcake

Think shortcakes have to be single-serve? Think again. This gorgeous dessert bakes in an 8-inch round cake pan, yielding enough to feed your whole crew of hungry guests. Make it year-round, with frozen cherries in the winter.

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14 / 14
Ube Swirl Ice Cream

We guarantee you’ve never had (or seen) no-churn ice cream like this before. A layer of ube-infused white chocolate ganache ripples through the base of sweetened condensed milk, and each picture-perfect scoop gets topped with toasted coconut.

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