60 Easy Dessert Recipes for a Graduation Celebration (2024)

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60 Easy Dessert Recipes for a Graduation Celebration (1)

ByRashanda Cobbins

Taste of Home's Editorial Process

Updated: Jul. 08, 2024

    Graduation calls for a celebratory event! Serve your graduate a buffet filled with graduation party food like these graduation cakes, brownies, pies and other sweet treats. These graduation desserts may just be good enough for their own celebration.


    White Texas Sheet Cake

    This graduation dessert gets better the longer it sits, so I try to make it a day ahead. My mother-in-law introduced this deliciously rich sheet cake to me. With its creamy frosting and light almond flavor, no one can stop at just one piece! —Joanie Ward, Brownsburg, Indiana

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    Oreo Rice Krispies Treats Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

    These Oreo Rice Krispies Treats are chewy on the inside with a crispy, crunchy cookie top. Not only are they tasty, but the crumbled cookies make for a sweet graduation dessert. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Graduation Sheet Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Graduation Sheet Cake

    The surface of this graduation dessert is perfect for decorating in any way you like. We use school colors to match the specific graduate. —Patsy Dean, Sealy, Texas

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    Oreo Mousse Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Oreo Mousse Cake

    Oreo mousse cake is so simple to put together, but it tastes as decadent as fancy restaurant desserts. Have fun garnishing it as you like using crushed or whole Oreos, additional whipped cream rosettes or chocolate shavings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Graduation Cupcakes

    Graduation day will be a lot more festive with these graduation cupcakes. Choose decorating icing and M&M’s to match the graduate’s school colors. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    Instant Pot Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Instant Pot Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

    I adapted my favorite cheesecake recipe to work in the Instant Pot. The texture was so incredible, I may never bake it in the oven again! Be sure to use mini chocolate chips. If you use regular size chips, they will sink to the bottom. —Michele Kusma, Columbus, OH

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    Graduation Caps

    I made this cute graduation dessert for my daughter’s graduation. They really topped off the party fun! —Margy Stief, Essington, Pennsylvania

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    Luscious Lime Angel Squares Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Luscious Lime Angel Squares

    A creamy lime topping turns angel food cake into yummy squares that are perfect as a graduation dessert. I adapted this luscious treat from another recipe. It is super easy to make. Beverly Marshall, Orting, Washington

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    Strawberry Pretzel Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Strawberry Pretzel Pie

    This cool no-bake strawberry pie is the perfect cure for your sweet tooth, especially in the summer. Made with pantry staples, it is as easy as pie to make and has become one of my most requested warm-weather treats. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah

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    Butterscotch Pecan Dessert Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Butterscotch Pecan Dessert

    Light and creamy, this butterscotch graduation dessert never lasts long when I serve it at parties. The fluffy cream cheese layer topped with cool butterscotch pudding is a lip-smacking combination. —Becky Harrison, Albion, Illinois

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    Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

    This recipe started out as a plain zucchini cookie. But over the years, I added nuts and chocolate chips. These soft cookies never make it to the cookie jar! —Tina Lunt, Bass Harbor, Maine

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    Mackinac Fudge Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Mackinac Fudge

    When I got married, a woman at my parents’ church gave me this version of a popular Michigan treat. I sometimes pipe a bit of frosting onto each piece for decoration during the holidays. —Kristen Ekhoff, Akron, Indiana

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    Moist Cream Cheese Pound Cake

    Warm a slice of this cream cheese pound cake in the microwave for about 25 seconds. Then serve it with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream, fresh fruit or alone. —Betty Smith, Evans, Georgia

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    Orange Cream Pops Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Orange Cream Pops

    For a lower-fat alternative to ice cream-filled pops, try this citrus novelty. The tangy orange flavor will make your taste buds tingle, while the silky smooth texture offers cool comfort. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Oatmeal S'more Cookies

    I can't count how many times I have made these cookies—they are our favorites. I love to bake all kinds of goodies with my two daughters, and my husband loves to sample the treats. —Carmen Rae, New Haven, Indiana

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    Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars

    Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars were one of my favorite treats when I was a little girl. They are very versatile. A friend likes to spread a cup of melted chocolate chips over the top to make it special enough to be a graduation dessert. Be sure to let the chocolate set before cutting into these simply delicious bars. —Laura Campbell, Lisbon, Maine

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    Circus Peanut Gelatin

    Circus peanuts are one of the most popular candies in my hometown's old-fashioned candy shop. When I saw this circus peanut Jell-O recipe, I knew just where to buy them. Kids love the cool fruity taste, and older folks enjoy the trip down memory lane. —Ruthanne Mengel, De Motte, Indiana

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    Rhubarb Custard Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    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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    Taste of Home

    Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    When you don’t have time to bake a real cheesecake, reach for this easy recipe for a graduation dessert. An almond-flavored dough serves as both crust and topping for a soft fudgy filling. —Louise Good, Flemington, New Jersey

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    Ice Cream Cone Treats Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Ice Cream Cone Treats

    I came up with this recipe as a way for my grandkids to enjoy Rice Krispies treats without getting sticky hands. You can also pack the cereal mixture into paper cups and insert a wooden pop stick to create cute pops. —Mabel Nolan, Vancouver, Washington

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    Best Angel Food Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Best Angel Food Cake

    For our daughter’s graduation dessert, a friend made this lovely, angel food cake from a recipe she’s used for decades. It really is one of the best angel food cake recipes I’ve found. Serve slices plain or dress them up with fresh fruit. —Marilyn Niemeyer, Doon, Iowa

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    Magic Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Magic Bars

    These rich bar cookies will melt in your mouth! They’re ideal to have on hand for a snack at graduation parties. —Pauline Schrag, Theresa, New York

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    Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

    This luscious lemon poppy seed cake recipe uses cake mix and pudding mix for an easy graduation dessert highlighting the classic flavor combination. —Betty Bjarnason, Egbert, ON

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    Easy Key Lime Pie Trifle

    I came up with this easy Key lime pie trifle because I adore Key lime pie in all its forms. It’s a refreshing treat to serve for those spring graduation celebrations. The pie is easier to cut when still a little frozen, but be sure to let the pieces finish thawing before starting the recipe. —Barbara Moorhead, Gaffney, South Carolina

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    Chocolate Pecan Fondue Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Chocolate Pecan Fondue

    When our kids have their own graduation parties, I like to surprise each of them with this chocolate treat. Our favorite dippers include fruit, marshmallows, cookies and pound cake. —Suzanne McKinley, Lyons, Georgia

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    Taste of Home

    Peanut Butter Graham Bars

    I rely on my microwave to hurry along the assembly of these yummy peanut butter bars with graham crackers. With their pleasant flavor, they’re sure to disappear quickly at graduation events. —Mina Dyck, Boissevain, Manitoba

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    Strawberry Shortcake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Strawberry Shortcake

    I grew up helping my mom make a lot in our farmhouse kitchen; strawberry shortcakes, roasts, soups and pies. This sunny strawberry shortcake recipe brings back memories of family summers on the farm. —Janet Becker, Anacortes, Washington

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    Taste of Home

    Cookie Sticks

    If you have a craving for cookies and you want them now, these yummy strips take just a few minutes to make from start to finish. —Kathy Zielicke, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

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    Taste of Home

    Rhubarb Icebox Dessert

    A light and fluffy marshmallow layer tops the tart rhubarb filling in this delicious make-ahead graduation dessert. —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota

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    Berry Dream Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    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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    Cheesecake Berry Parfaits Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Cheesecake Berry Parfaits

    The summer berry season is a real treat. This is an easy way to enjoy berries with cheesecake, which is a refreshing change from traditional pudding and fruit parfaits. —Patricia Schroedl, Jefferson, Wisconsin

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    Coconut Key Lime Thumbprints

    This is the cookie recipe I created for the Las Vegas World Food Championships in 2013. It's similar to a shortbread thumbprint cookie, but with lots more personality. —Amy Freeze, Avon Park, Florida

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    Chocolate Peanut Treats Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Chocolate Peanut Treats

    When I was in high school, I took these sweet and crunchy squares as a dessert for graduation parties. I still make them for family and friends who love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter. —Christy Asher, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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    Not Your Mama's Seven-Layer Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Seven-Layer Cookies

    Dulce de leche plays a starring role in this new take on seven-layer cookies. Our seven-layer cookie recipe also uses sandwich cookies for the crust, paired with layers of crispy rice cereal, coconut and pecans. Yum times seven!

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    Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting

    This is a classic scratch cake. The homemade buttery frosting and crisp, sugared edges really make it stand out. —Aria Thornton, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    This crowd-pleasing graduation dessert can be made the night before. I love that you can be flexible with the ingredients. Add any in-season fruit you like! —Raymonde Bourgeois, Swastika, Ontario

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    Strawberry Cookie Cups

    I learned to bake beside my mom and grandmother. When I was on break from college, I knew just how to entertain myself: I made cookies. Sharing this recipe with my mom and grandmother was a proud moment.—Andrea Zulauf, Livonia, New York

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    Taste of Home

    Triple Fruit Freeze

    These pops won't turn your tongue blue or neon green like many store-bought pops because they're made with fresh grapes, blueberries and kiwifruit. —Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

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    Chocolate-Dipped Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

    I created this recipe based on our family’s love of chocolate-dipped ice cream cones. Vary the color to match school colors for a creative graduation party dessert. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan

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    Chocolaty S'mores Bars

    One night my husband had some friends over to play poker and he requested these s'mores bars. They polished off the pan and asked for more! I shared the recipe, and now their families make them, too. —Rebecca Shipp, Beebe, Arkansas

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    Banana Flip Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    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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    Crunchy Candy Clusters

    These cereal and marshmallow clusters are so simple that I make them for the holidays each year, as my family looks forward to them. —Faye O'Bryan, Owensboro, Kentucky

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    Chocolate Malt Crispy Bars

    These chunky, chewy squares are a feast for the eyes. Malted milk flavor coats this treat from top to bottom. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Kir Royale Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Thomas Jefferson’s Vanilla Ice Cream

    The third U.S. president is credited with jotting down the first American recipe for this treat. No vanilla bean on hand? Substitute 1 tablespoon vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. Just stir the extract into the cream mixture after the ice-water bath. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Slow-Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Slow-Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake

    Everyone who tries this dessert falls in love with it. Using a slow cooker liner makes cleanup a breeze. —Latona Dwyer, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

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    Peanut Butter Pudding Dessert Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Peanut Butter Pudding Dessert

    Here’s a fun layered graduation dessert that will appeal to all ages. If you want it even nuttier, you can use chunky peanut butter, and if you’re not a fan of cashews, substitute your favorite nut. This peanut butter lasagna is one of my favorite pudding desserts. —Barbara Schindler, Napoleon, Ohio

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    Banana Split Brownies Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Banana Split Brownies

    How’s this for a dish? All the joy of a banana split without the mess. Everything in this recipe fits into one pan of delectable brownie bars. —Constance Sheckler, Chestertown, Maryland

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    Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Cookies)

    I had to bake something from my heritage for school. So, I made this heavenly kourabiedes recipe. —Rebecca Sprague, St. Louis, Missouri

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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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    Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cobbler

    This cobbler came about because I love chocolate-covered strawberries. Top it with whipped cream, either plain or with a little chocolate syrup stirred in. —Andrea Bolden, Unionville, Tennessee

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    Taste of Home

    Salted Peanut Rolls

    A gift of homemade candy is always a hit with sweet tooths. I dip these peanut rolls in chocolate, but they’re yummy plain, too. —Elizabeth Hokanson, Arborg, Manitoba

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    Mexican Cinnamon Cookies

    My extended family shares a meal every Sunday. The aunts and uncles take turns bringing everything from main dishes to desserts like this traditional Mexican cinnamon cookie called reganadas. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    Banana Pudding Cups Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Banana Pudding Cups

    Creamy and rich, this homemade banana pudding recipe is so easy. Layer it in a trifle bowl for a pretty presentation. —Ruth Kizer, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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    Peach Cobbler Dump Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

    This is one of the best peach dump cake recipes in the world. It's sweet, tender cake with a beautifully crisp cobbler topping. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, and dessert's golden. —Keri Sparks, Little Elm, Texas

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    Fudgy S'mores Brownies

    I combined the perfect summer snack with my favorite brownie recipe to get these s'mores brownies. They're sure to wow at your next big party. —Judy Cunningham, Max, North Dakota

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    Originally Published: April 01, 2019


    Rashanda Cobbins

    While studying for her bachelor's degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living's test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content for ConAgra Brands. During her time at Taste of Home as a food editor, she developed, tested and curated recipes for more than 40 annual publications and books.

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    60 Easy Dessert Recipes for a Graduation Celebration (56)

    60 Easy Dessert Recipes for a Graduation Celebration (2024)


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