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The 65 Best Mother’s Day Desserts to Treat Mom to on Her Big Day

The 65 Best Mother’s Day Desserts to Treat Mom to on Her Big Day

Mother’s Day, a celebration to honor the moms, grandmas, aunts and loved ones who raised us to be who we are today, is coming on May 14. So, grab a spatula and get into the kitchen with your stash of flour, sugar and spices to whip up something sweet for the most important guest of all time. Whether you have five minutes or five hours, we have plenty of recipes that will make her feel the love on her special day. Here, 65 Mother’s Day desserts she’s bound to adore, from cake to pie to cookies. (A bouquet of flowers might help drive the message home even more…just saying.)

The 64 Best Mother’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Mom

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Impress Mom with this professional-looking naked cake. Adding olive oil makes it kinda healthy, right? (Sorta?)

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Salt & Wind

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Aida Mollenkamp presents her take on the Austrian classic from Vienna’s Hotel Sacher. While the real recipe is a secret, many have crafted their own delectable mashups of dark chocolate and apricot jam.

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Two Peas and Their Pod

If your mom’s a fan of fresh berries, look no further than Maria Lichty’s strawberry shortcake. We bet she’ll love digging into this pile of produce, whipped cream and homemade shortcake.

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Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

Calling all citrus lovers: This cross between a meringue pie and grapefruit pavlova is the dessert you never knew you needed. (But be warned: Now that you know it exists, you’ll want it every weekend.)

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The Full Helping

If your mom is vegan, whip up Gena Hamshaw’s chocolate Bundt, drizzled with dairy-free chocolate ganache glaze. You can make it in advance and store it for up to six weeks in the freezer.

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Foodie Crush

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, one bowl, beginner-friendly

Key lime is the queen of pies—the fresh, tart and sweet dessert will surely have Mom going for seconds. (Thanks for the recipe, Heidi Larsen.)

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Photo: Christine Han/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Rushing to get Mother’s Day dinner on the table? Don’t stress about the sweets. This chocolate and raspberry mousse-ish dessert is ready in a flash.

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The Cupcake Project

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Let Mom feel like a kid again on Mother’s Day with Stefani Pollack’s loaded dessert nachos: cookies covered with rainbow sprinkles, meringue and chocolate chips.

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Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

The prettiest way to dress up a simple yellow cake? Use hibiscus tea bags to create bright pink frosting in honor of your mother.

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The Mom 100

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one pot, gluten free

Dessert doesn’t need to be a big to-do. Sometimes a simple butterscotch pudding checks all the boxes. (Katie Workman knows.)

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What’s Cooking Good Looking

Here’s a dessert pairing we can get behind: Jodi Moreno’s vegan, gluten-free fruit and herb tart, served alongside a glass of Champagne. We hope your mama loves bubbly.

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Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes (plus freezing time)

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, gluten free, one pot

Finish your alfresco Mother’s Day dinner with the easiest warm-weather dessert: granita. This recipe requires just three ingredients—blood orange juice, sugar and water—and five minutes of prep.

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Ambitious Kitchen

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Monique Volz’s peanut butter and banana cake may be the ultimate dessert: It’s sweet, gooey, chocolatey and enrobed in peanut butter frosting.

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Healthfully Ever After

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 50 minutes (plus chilling time)

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, special occasion-worthy

So fresh, so clean. Whisk melted white chocolate with citrus juice and egg whites for Carlene Thomas’s fancy pots de crème this Mother’s Day.

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Floating Kitchen

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, make ahead

Fool is an English dessert that combines fruit and custard or whipped cream. Try this refreshing kiwi and lime version topped with juicy blackberries.

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The Modern Proper

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no bake, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes

Mom’s face when you bring out homemade tiramisu? Priceless. (Especially if she’s a habitual espresso drinker.)

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy

If chocolate is her kryptonite, mom will go gaga for this restaurant-caliber cake that’s begging to be sliced.

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What’s Gaby Cooking

Magnolia Bakery has nothing on you. Gaby Dalkin shares her banana cream pie parfaits, which will look gorgeous in Mom’s crystal dessert bowls.

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Gimme Some Oven

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Hi, spring. We missed you. Want to dress up basic carrot cake? Fill it with cream cheese icing, roll it up and cut it into slices.

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Plays Well With Butter

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no bake, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy

Remind Mom of that epic trip to Italy you took way back when with this tangy dessert made with limoncello and lemon sorbet. Best part? It’s doused in Prosecco.

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Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Show Mom some love with simple heart-shaped thumbprint cookies, filled to the brim with her favorite flavor of jam.

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The Full Helping

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegan, dairy free, beginner-friendly

No one said Mother’s Day dessert had to come after dinner. Serve Gena Hamshaw’s vegan applesauce spice cake for brunch alongside coffee or tea.

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Salt & Wind

We’ll admit that a pavlova isn’t the easiest dessert to make, but you’ll be so satisfied once it’s done. Layer homemade meringue, mixed berry compote, lemon curd and mascarpone whipped cream to blow her away. (Brava, Aida Mollenkamp.)

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Two Peas and Their Pod

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Start Mother’s Day off right with a sweet treat. This yogurt coffee cake includes classic streusel topping and cream cheese glaze. (Maria Lichty knows the drill.)

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The Mom 100

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly

Searching the pantry for Mother’s Day dessert inspo? You likely already have the ingredients you need for this oh-so-simple chocolate mousse.

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Photo: Matt Dutile/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Surprise Momma with this Swedish twist on Bundt cake. It’s cut in half and filled with cardamom-laced whipped cream, so each forkful tastes like a fluffy bite of heaven.

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Foodie Crush

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Is lemon her go-to? We got you. Try these bittersweet, bite-sized sweets, dusted with powdered sugar. Use Meyer lemons if you can find them.

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Healthfully Ever After

Carlene Thomas’s bite-sized tarts topped with ginger peanut brittle will make a great addition to the dessert bar at your Mother’s Day celebration. Even if it’s just the immediate family, they’ll really dress up the party.

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Plays Well With Butter

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly

Six ingredients (including store-bought salted caramel ice cream) come together to create this decadent pie by Jesse Reilly. We bet Mom will be impressed.

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The Modern Proper

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

“No, I don’t want a giant salted chocolate chunk cookie,” said no mom (or human) ever.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no bake, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

No-bake desserts are our love language. We have a *major* crush on this layered treat made with store-bought ladyfingers, raspberry jam and ricotta-cream cheese filling.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Mom will love whatever you decide to make her, but what she really wants for Mother’s Day is quality time. Luckily, these cuties will only take you 30 minutes to make, so you’ll have plenty of time to hang.

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TARA DONNE/COOKING SOLO

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, gluten free

What has four ingredients, comes together in a blender and tastes like sunshine? This refreshing cantaloupe sorbet, of course.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Every mom loves a shortcut. Thanks to frozen puff pastry, you won’t have to fuss with making pie dough from scratch.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Behold, the most delicious mashup of all time. These handhelds have a secret to boot: They’re filled with sweetened fresh strawberries.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Part pie, part work of art. You can thank freeze-dried blueberries for the meringue’s gorgeous lilac hue.

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Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Cool off with these simple pies filled with uber-sweet roasted strawberry filling. If you don’t have mini pie pans, ramekins will work just fine.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, special occasion-worthy

How gorgeous are these pretty-in-pink treats topped with in-season rhubarb? They’re just begging to be topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

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Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes (plus chilling)

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy

Speaking of rhubarb, she can do way more than just pies and galettes—and this three-ingredient compote proves it.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

If your mom loves her plant babies or garden (almost) more than you, these cookies will be an easy win. You can find edible flowers like violets, pansies, roses or lavender online at Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.

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Photo: Matt Dutile/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Be sure to brag to mom about not using food dye in the cream filling. Raspberry jam and fresh raspberries turn it pink naturally.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no bake, gluten free, vegan

How can brownies this fudgy and chocolatey also be gluten-free and no-bake? We’re glad you asked. The recipe calls for a base of sweet pitted dates instead of traditional flour.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Why not pregame your Mother’s Day celebration with a trip to the local farmers market for fresh berries? This one’s all about the produce, so feel free to use a store-bought pie crust.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, special occasion-worthy

They’re as stunning as they are delicious, so much so that Mom might not even believe you made these light-as-air pavlova bites yourself.

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Photo: Eric Moran/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no bake, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Trust us: This no-bake gem is the next best thing to gifting her a tropical vacation for Mother’s Day.

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Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Might we recommend digging into this breakfast delight with a batch of lavender lattes?

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no bake, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Easy store-bought sugar cones > challenging homemade pastry shells. Thank us later.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Repeat after us: “I do not need fancy equipment to make ice cream.” All you need to pull it off is a large casserole dish or pan instead of an ice cream maker.

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Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Remember all those times mom slipped one of these into your lunchbox as a kid? It’s about time you return the favor. Little Debbie would be proud.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Presenting the most gorgeous pie you’ll ever make from scratch. Good looking out, freeze-dried strawberries.

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MARK WEINBERG/THE BOOK ON PIE

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Your grade-school PB&J, all grown up. The elegant swoops of pink, fruity meringue make the pie look like it was pulled straight out of a fairy tale.

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PHOTO: NICO SCHINCO/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

“Doughnuts for dessert” has a nice ring to it, no? Even picky kids won’t be able to resist.

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Cookie + Kate

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes (plus chilling)

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, gluten free

Free of dairy and added sugar? Pinch us, we’re dreaming. Oh, and pass the hot fudge.

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Heidi Swanson/Super Natural Simple

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one bowl, beginner-friendly

Tart-sweet freeze-dried raspberries are the ultimate foil for nutty, malty rye flour. We’d have cold milk at the ready if we were you.

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Matt Russell/Lazy Baking

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, crowd-pleaser

If an hours-long Mother’s Day brunch is on the agenda, this elegant loaf peppered with loose-leaf Earl Grey tea is a stellar starter.

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Photo/Styling: Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy

And once again, the day is saved, thanks to store-bought puff pastry. You’ll be shocked what a difference a teaspoon of vanilla paste can make.

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Photo/Styling: Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

You know how your mom always starts the day with a latte? Consider this New Mexico-inspired, cinnamon-laced treat her new BFF.

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Infraordinario Studio for Dalcò Edizioni S.R.L.

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Because wheat shouldn’t stand between Mom and dessert, especially on her special day. Finish the cheesecake with melted chocolate, berry compote or caramel sauce.

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Photo/Styling: Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

The cookies’ melt-in-your-mouth texture is courtesy of cornstarch in the dough. Feel free to substitute Meyer lemon or blood orange for clementine.

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Photo/Styling: Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

All you need to pull off that decadent, caramelly dulce de leche swirl is a can of sweetened condensed milk.

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Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Whether you know them as seven-layer bars, magic bars or Hello Dolly bars, one thing’s for certain: This confection *never* gets old. Bring on the condensed milk.

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Jenny Huang/What’s for Dessert

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, make ahead

Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these bite-sized treats are very similar to French macarons—but a million times easier to prepare.

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Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Dessert is only four ingredients away, including easy store-bought vanilla ice cream. Make it Saturday night for minimal stress on the big day.

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Sully Sullivan/The Way Home

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, special occasion-worthy

Don’t let the from-scratch crust intimidate you: It’s surprisingly low-fuss. As for the filling, it’s as easy as whisking the ingredients together and baking until slightly jiggly.

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Katherine Gillen

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Nothing against the O.G., but these cakey cookies were overdue for an update. No one will miss the chocolate, promise.

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63 Spring Desserts Starring *All* the Seasonal Produce

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.