The way I look at it is that desserts for a crowd are an essential part of cooking for a crowd recipes and are devised for pleasure alone. You can get by without appetizers for a crowd but not the “finale” of the meal. Whether you are having a family gathering, a gathering of close friends, a church supper or an office party, do not forget the dessert. After everyone has enjoyed a good meal they are looking for the dessert as the finale to give their stamp of approval.
Desserts for a crowd are a hit with almost everyone; it is a big disappointment when none is provided by the hostess. The second biggest disappointment happens when there is not enough to go around for seconds. They can be as simple as cake recipes and cupcake recipes which are the most common and easiest to decorate for special parties and events. These can be made in different flavors for different seasons and events.
Fresh baked pies are also easy to make and very popular desserts for a crowd; especially at church suppers and many potluck dinners. Fruit cobbler and fruit crisps are also recipes to please your dinners; they can be made ahead of time which is also a “pleaser” for you. Do not overlook cookies and bars when making desserts for a crowd. Ones like the 7 layer bars recipe makes a luscious dessert and is easy to prepare ahead.
One dessert that I was introduced to in the French restaurant was the cream puff recipe. These little gems came in from the commissary filled with cream and drizzled with a delicious blueberry sauce they are perfect desserts for a crowd. One day a few were smashed when they came in so I had the chance to sample them. Oh, how delicious!
Years later when I worked at the country club, the cream puffs became the favorite of desserts for a crowd for most parties. I have made hundreds of these; after baking, when they were cold I would put them in large plastic bags and place them in the freezer. When the party date arrived, they were so easy to fill with cream or custard. Right before serving I would drizzle some type of berry sauce (blueberry or raspberry) over them and garnish with a little whipped cream and a couple of fresh berries. They were a hit every time!
BEST BANANA CAKE RECIPE
This really is the best banana cake recipe suitable for any gathering when you want a dessert for a crowd. It is said to have been Elvis’ favorite cake and I can see why.
I have made it as an 8 inch layer cake, baked in a 9 X 13 inch cake pan, baked in a Bundt cake pan and I have even made the most delicious cupcakes with the batter. You could get 12 to 15 servings but it is so good I would allow less per cake and maybe bake 2 if I necessary. (That’s me; I love good cake!) This makes a great desserts for a crowd whichever way you chose to make it.
Preheat oven at 350F degrees; grease and flour chosen pan or pans or paper cupcake liners.
Beat cream cheese until smooth; add milk, sugar and butter and beat until well blended.
Blend in eggs and bananas; combine and sift flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Stir nuts into flour mixture; stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture just until blended.
Pour batter into prepared pan, pans or cupcake liners.
Bake until pick comes out clean: about 60 minutes for Bundt pan; 45 minutes for 9 X 13 inch pan; 30 minutes for layer cakes; 12 to 15 minutes for cupcakes.
Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting; I double frosting recipe for a layer cake.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Combine all ingredients; beat with mixer until creamy and standing in peaks.
BLACKBERRY JAM CAKE RECIPE
This is one of the recipes for desserts for a crowd which I have made in a smaller version many times over the years. It is always very good.
Preheat oven to 300F degrees.
Grease heavily and flour a tube baking pan.
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs beating after each addition.
Sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice together.
Mix baking soda with buttermilk and add alternately with flour mixture to creamed mixture.
Mix in jam and whiskey blending well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 2 hours; cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.
Let set until cold and ice with brown sugar frosting. Serves 16 to 20.
BROWN SUGAR FROSTING
Combine milk and sugar and bring to a boil; add baking soda and butter.
Cook to a soft ball stage (235F degrees); add vanilla and beat until cool.
Pour over cake.
CREAM PUFFS RECIPE
I found it best to make one recipe at a time. But these are great desserts for a crowd since the recipe is easy to make. Each makes about 14 puffs.
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
Heat butter and water to a rolling boil; stir in the flour.
Stir vigorously over low heat for about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball.
Remove from heat; beat in eggs one at a time and continue beating until smooth.
Using a pastry bag with a wide tip, drop dough (about ¼ cup each) 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
Cool away from drafts.
Fill with cream or custard; dust with powdered sugar or top with fruit sauce.
CUSTARD FILLING RECIPE
This is the custard filling recipe I use for cream puffs recipe. Even though I make one recipe of the cream puffs at a time, I have made two recipes of the filling at a time with no problems.
Mix together flour, ½ cup sugar and salt; scald milk and add to the flour mixture while stirring.
Cook mixture until thick and smooth.
Beat egg yolks; stir a little of the hot mixture into the yolks and then pour it back into the pan with remaining hot milk mixture.
Cook 2 minutes stirring constantly; remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla and let cool.
Beat egg whites until stiff gradually beating in the 6 tablespoons sugar.
Fold egg whites into cooled pudding; refrigerate until cold and fill puffs.
7 LAYER BARS RECIPE makes 15 (When it comes to desserts, I like to provide lots!)
This sinfully delicious cookie bar makes a perfect dessert for a crowd.
Preheat oven at 350F degrees.
Place butter in 9 X 13 inch baking pan and melt in oven 5 minutes.
Layer graham cracker crumbs and then semi sweet chocolate chips over the butter.
Next layer butterscotch morsels and then coconut over chocolate chips.
Pour sweetened condensed milk over the coconut layer.
Top with pecans; bake for 30 minutes.
Cool and cut into bars.
PINEAPPLE CASSEROLE RECIPE
This is a great dessert for a crowd recipe. It makes two 9 X 13 inch baking pans or 16 servings. I think it is best a little warm served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. (But that is me!)
Preheat oven to 350F degrees; butter two pans.
Combine all cans of pineapple flour, sugar and cheese; spoon into greased pans.
Combine crumbs and butter; sprinkle mixture evenly over casseroles.
Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes.
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