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Over-the-top desserts

Explore 58 recipes, 9 galleries, and more

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recipe

This elegant monochromatic cake gets its hue from brown-sugar buttercream. The design is first sketched with a skewer, then stems, buds and leaves are made. Piped roses are placed last.

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recipe

Horizontal slices of rich brownie cake make dramatic stripes in this striking frozen dessert, which features all the fixings of an old-fashioned sundae -- and then some. Two kinds of ice cream -- vanilla and strawberry -- are used as the fillings, along with crunchy peanut butter and crushed raspberries. Everything is layered in a loaf pan before freezing, slicing, and serving -- with whipped cream, sugared peanuts, and cherries on top.

recipe

Five pastel layers form this colorful creation. You can also use the batter to make four dozen cupcakes or a two- or three-layer cake (bake each layer a few minutes longer than instructed). Use our Seven-Minute Frosting if you'd prefer a bright-white, swoopy finish.

recipe

If you love coconut-chocolate candy bars, this may be your dream dessert. Ice cream coated in shredded coconut is served with bourbon-spiked butterscotch sauce and a crunchy chocolate-almond topping. You will have more of the topping than you need -- and that's a very good thing, as it's also excellent on its own.

recipe

If eating pie leaves you yearning for more crust, here's your dream dessert: Flaky, golden-brown pate brisee disks are layered with jam, then pasty cream that has whipped cream and sliced strawberries folded in, and stacked four-deep. Making the disks is easy -- just roll out the dough into rounds (no need to fit it into pie plates or crimp edges), sprinkle them with sugar, and bake. The whole thing is chilled overnight like an icebox wafer cake, for easier slicing.

recipe

This rustic cake is infused with the tastes of honey, lemon, and a hint of ground cardamom, like a flavorful cup of tea. Four layers of cake -- made tender and moist with oil (in place of butter), milk, honey, and brown sugar -- are brushed with more honey, then spread with a satiny-smooth filling that�s a cross between lemon curd and cream-cheese frosting (for the best of both). We topped ours with a piece of honeycomb, but a drizzle of honey is just as buzzworthy.

recipe

We tweaked a favorite ice cream flavor from way back to make a treat for all ages. The exceptionally moist cream-cheese pound cake gets split and filled -- three times -- with a luscious mousse flavored with pureed cooked peaches and studded with chopped fresh peaches and cherries. Because it's thickened with gelatin, the mousse gets nice and firm, then stays that way when layered in the cake -- and in every last slice.

recipe

Our version of the German specialty is wonderfully left to the elements, rather than shrouded in whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Tow layers of chocolate sponge cake (or genoise) -- brushed with a creme de cassis syrup � sandwich chocolate-ganache glaze, whipped cream, and fresh blackberries (a no-pitting-required swap for cherries). The toppings? More ganache glaze and a pile of berries.