28 Best Potluck Desserts (+ Easy Recipes)

Okay, so for those of you who have never heard the word pot luck before, it’s essentially a communal gathering. Each guest, or group, is meant to contribute a homemade dish to be served.

It’s a great way to give back to communities and those around you in a light-hearted and joyous way. Depending on your community, many have limited resources and access to food so for them, this is a wonderful experience to partake in.

And for those who do, but want to contribute to this kind of gathering, it’s still an amazing opportunity to converse with those around you. 

28 Best Potluck Desserts

During a time when being around other people without things like phones, for example, can be difficult, it’s lovely to take a step back and enjoy the company of others for who they are!

We hope that one of these recipes and desserts can give you that little push in the right direction that you need to bring a delicious dish along with you! 

Pot luck Cheese Cake Dessert

There’s nothing better than a dessert you don’t have to bake! If you’ve got a busy schedule and need something that can be made in stages rather than something that consumes all of your afternoon in one go. Pot luck cheesecake is the one for you.

Cheesecakes have a tendency to be fairly simple anyhow, and stress-free to follow along with. They’re also one for using up what you have in the house, as long as you have something that can work as a biscuit base, some ingredients to whip up cream cheese, and toppings of your choice.

You’re pretty much good to go. This recipe uses a crust that has been made with Nilla Wafers and uses crushed pineapple to top the cake off with. What have you got in your pantry to use?

Fudge

Fudge is one of those desserts that is diverse for many occasions, and gifting it as a present to a loved one never backfires in any way, so taking some homemade fudge along to a pot luck lunch gathering.

It also doesn’t matter what time of year it is, fudge is thoroughly enjoyed through any season, and that’s another reason to make your own from home today! It also has a long shelf life, what more could you want?

This particular recipe makes carnation fudge, which is actually more simple to make than traditional, a combination of milk, sugar, chocolate, marshmallows, salt, and vanilla will give you the most perfect balanced fudge.

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Three ingredients are better than one, and this Oreo cookie ball pot luck recipe may be the easiest recipe we’ve come across to date! Not everyone has the time to prepare for a potluck gathering, and sometimes the recipes that take the smallest amount of time end up being the crowd favorites anyway.

So, try not to worry, and take this recipe along with you to share around with the community. They actually have zero baking time, and the cake pop texture inside these delightful Oreo balls is just wonderful!

Ambrosia Salad

Sometimes the best go-to recipes for gatherings and events are the refreshing ones. This pineapple, mandarin, marshmallow, and coconut topped ambrosia salad is one of them!

If you’re attending a spring or summer potluck event, and you just cannot bear the thought of constraining yourself to bake in a hot and stuffy kitchen, a marvelous take on a dessert salad may be more to your liking.

No one likes being in a room that practically cooks you as well as the dish you’re trying to prepare! I once lived in a building as old as time, and the windows faced the sun during sunset. Needless to say, I was being cooked alive most evenings in my Greenhouse of an apartment. 

Magic Monster Layer Bars

This dessert is literally the dish that is designed to use up ingredients only in your pantry, we love how creative this recipe is, and you will too when you’re finally able to use all the stubborn baking supplies that just don’t seem to fit anywhere else.

They’re crunchy, sweet, and sticky, so you know children will certainly enjoy them! And because you’ll be bringing them to a potluck gathering, you won’t have to worry about the mess from children who are not yours!

Just make sure to keep them refrigerated before going to your event, in heated rooms they can melt and cause a mess to conjure up very quickly!

Rice Crispy Treats

You know before even reading into this recipe that it would make the perfect pot luck dessert! Kids love rice crispy’s, and adults do as well, so really there is no reason not to try this one out. They’re kid-approved, which ticks all the boxes of this type of gathering.

Do you remember coming home from school to delicious rice crispy treats made by your mom or family members? It was like Christmas mid-week, and nothing could get better than that.

Amish Sugar Cookies

These are a no-roll, no-cut, and no-chill cookie recipe, and you’ll be glad you’ve chosen this one when you try them yourself! It’s a modern adaptation of Amish sugar cookies, and it produces delightfully soft dessert cookies.

They’re so delicate in appearance, and there’s not a person on the planet that would not enjoy their taste and visual appeal of them! You can actually make these cookies by hand and without a mixer, as because they’re Amish, they’re known for being made using a bit more elbow grease rather than a stand mixer.

The recipe is from an Amish cookbook, so that’s where the name comes from, and versions of these cookies have been around since the 18th century, having said to be originated from Pennsylvania.

No-Bake Cookies

You can’t beat a no-bake cookie recipe, and especially one that takes no longer than 20 minutes to make! All you need is 7 simple ingredients and your contribution to the next pot luck gathering will be sorted.

We can’t guarantee it, but most of the 7 ingredients you probably already have in the pantry, however, if not a quick trip to the store won’t take you long either.

The peanut butter and cocoa powder, when combined, make delicious cookies with a fudge texture, and we know you have a jar of peanut butter somewhere in the house just waiting to be used!

You’ll need quick oats, crunchy peanut butter, cocoa powder, white sugar (preferably), milk, butter, and vanilla extract. 

Frosted Banana Bars

Fruits have been used in desserts for a very long time, probably since the invention of cakes and sweets to be honest, so it’s no surprise that a fruit-orientated dessert has made it onto our list of favorites!

These splendid bars are a classic take on a banana bread recipe, in the form of cute bite-size bars!

Also, when something has fruit in it, it’s pretty difficult to resist making it multiple times as an excuse to get more fruit in your diet! We’re not sure if it’s the sour cream or the butter that makes these bars so moist and delightful, but we’re not going to complain!

Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut butter bars are always a crowd-pleaser, and these have a delicious chocolate glaze to smother them with! They’re also a huge family favorite no matter what the occasion, so perhaps they would be most appreciated at the next pot luck gathering you attend or are invited to?

Just remember to cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar as a first step. Doing this ensures that your dessert recipe will bake properly and just trust me, baker, to baker, always mix the butter and sugars together first. No questions asked.

Peanut Butter Cups

Have you ever found yourself enjoying peanut butter cups, and desiring to make them for yourself? It would be satisfying to make your own and impress the neighbors with your baking skills!

Well, you can with this recipe because they’re actually easier than you’d think, and you can make them for the next pot luck gathering.

Also, nothing beats the taste of peanut butter and chocolate together, and you’ll be delighted by how rich and light they are to taste! Besides, they’re much cheaper than buying the real thing, surprisingly, I know! 

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Don’t be deceived by the name, these cookies have a dark secret that will have you wanting to gatekeep them for yourself! They are perfectly soft, chewy, and are jam-packed full of toffee, chocolate, and pretzels.

They’re like the rocky road of cookie recipes, and you can take or add to this recipe as you please if, for example, pretzels, are not your favorite! Either way, you won’t be sorry baking these cookies and if you can bear to part with a batch for the next pot luck gathering, then they’ll be loved by all who try them!

Cookies And Cream Brownies

They’re exactly how they sound, cookies and cream, in cookies! They’re Oreo cookie inspired and so easy to bake in little time at all. Just imagine it, you’re baking the most divine brownies with a center that is gooey, yet delightful in texture. The batter looks great, and they bake for the perfect amount of time.

But, they’re just missing something when you cut the tray into pieces! That’s where this recipe comes in to save the day, you need to try cookies and cream-infused brownies to really get the best brownie experience of a lifetime.

If you’ve got a husband who usually shares his dessert with friends, well, you won’t be getting low on these brownies any time soon because he is going to hoard them.

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Pot luck gatherings always need a bit of everything, they need heavy desserts to please the cake lovers, light treats to please the fussy eaters and delightful and simple recipes that no matter who you’re baking for, they will always aim to please every time.

They take under an hour to make and serve and for the best results we recommend using milk chocolate, however, if you’re more of a dark chocolate fan, either will work! They also serve 25 people roughly, so a few batches, and you’re done.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There’s nothing more delightful than sticking to a classic, right? So, literally, stick yourself to these divine gooey chocolate chip cookies!

The recipe is a secret like no other, and the guests at the next pot luck gathering won’t be able to comprehend where you got your hands on the best chocolate chip cookie recipe of all time.

The secret? Add an extra egg yolk in, it’s as simple as that! The texture can never be off this way, you’ll thank us later. And between you and me, using more brown sugar than white is a wiser choice for chewy, and soft cookies. 

Butter Toffee Pretzels

Not every dessert must be a sweet and almost sickly dish! Why not mix up your baking skills and try out something that utilizes both sweet and savory flavors in one dessert. It’s also guaranteed to please everyone at the next potluck gathering!

You’ll simply need to empty an entire bag of your favorite pretzels onto a baking pan, and add the most delightful toffee mixture to them!

Crispy Chocolate Squares

Chocolate squares are best served crispy, and this recipe makes around 4 dozen servings, so there’s no need to worry about if you have enough for the pot luck event! 4 dozen could feed an entire flock! Let alone the guests at the potluck gathering. They take a total of 20 minutes to prepare with added chilling time, but you can use that time to make your own toppings if you wish to!

Louisiana Crunch Cake 

This crunch cake is bound to impress the whole crowd at the next pot luck event for its appearance alone! Bundt cakes are tremendous for being able to do all the pleasing, by the shape of the cake alone, so why not try it for yourself and use a delicate glaze to compliment It further.

This recipe uses both sour cream, and buttermilk for an extra moist sponge texture every time. And because of its shape, and the exposure to heat, it’s impossible to not bake this cake right every time you make it.

Mocha Brownie Trifle

This one is more for the adults, and we don’t have a problem with that at all! The kids may have to miss out on this one because of the coffee content, however that only means more for you and the other moms!

Trifle is one of those desserts that just hits all the cravings because of the number of layers, between cream, chocolate, coffee, and all the other sweet flavorings. This dessert is heaven for the ultimate chocoholics out there, and we won’t blame you if you eat the whole thing before the gathering date!

Pecan Pie Bars

This recipe has the most delicious shortbread bottom to the pecan pie bars, we simply don’t know any other way that shortbread should be used, because pecan pie bars just utilize it so well.

The pecans on the top of these bars are also just delightful in taste, and the crunch is exactly what you need when enjoying a pecan-themed pie bar! It’s hard to find the recipe that has the perfect ratio of egg and the filling and the baking time too.

One recipe will have a better mixture, but the baking time is off by a mile! And the other simply do not use enough wet ingredients. This recipe has cracked the code!

Chocolate Pudding Pizza

We think that there is nothing more fun than the element of making your own pizza, and this pizza is a dessert of dreams! It only takes 35 minutes to make and serves 12 people once it has adequate time to chill. Like any other pizza, they’re literally designed to be shared, so bring this one along to the next potluck gathering and share it with everyone around you!

If you cut it differently from any other pizza you’ve had, you’ll get double the servings, making it a pizza for two dozen people.

Snickers-Stuffed Brownies

Sometimes, a stodgy favorite is exactly what your potluck gathering needs to be the cherry on the cake! This delicious snickers-stuffed brownie recipe is always a crowd-pleaser, it really is the type of recipe where no matter how the dessert turns out, it will be enjoyed.

The gooey Snickers bar inside the brownies is so wonderful and just hits the cravings spot every time.

Millionaire’s Shortbread

There’s just something about millionaire’s shortbread that has us coming back for seconds, every single time! Maybe it’s the layer of shortbread crust, or the chewy golden caramel, or the thick chocolate ganache!

Yeah, it’s got to be the chocolate ganache layer, hasn’t it? This recipe may be intimidating for all its layers, however, you’ll find out how easy it is once you take a look at the instructions!

Cherry Chewbilees

This is a fantastic dish to take along to a potluck dinner or party because of how fun and exciting it looks! It takes 25 minutes to prepare, and 30 minutes to bake plus chilling time, and it serves 20 people.

So, you’re sorted for the evening! Cherries are splendid in desserts, which is why they have a reputation behind the saying, “The cherry on top.” They’re just delightful to taste and are packed full of fresh flavors.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

We didn’t think we’d be able to find a dessert that could beat the peanut butter bars, then we came across this recipe for peanut butter cookies, and boy were we proven wrong.

The trick is to unwrap and freeze your peanut butter cups before pressing them into the cookie dough. This prevents them from falling apart, and they taste better somehow too!

Macaroon Madness Bars

This recipe is exactly as it sounds, these bars are absolute madness, and you’d be mad to try them out! So, we know you’re going to anyhow. They look like a storm has hit the baking sheet, however, their taste is what makes them wonderful, and the flavors are like no other bars we’ve ever come across. 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

There’s nothing moister than a recipe like Duncan Hines pineapple upside-down cake, and when you try it out for yourself and your guests, you’ll understand why! It has an incredible pineapple and cherry-topped glaze with brown sugar to caramelize.

This old-fashioned favorite has been made with cake mix, pineapple slices, maraschino cherries, and a cool whipped topping.

Scotcheroos

This dessert is a next-level rice crispy treat flavored with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch, as the name suggests. They take 10 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to cook.

And all you’ll need is crispy rice cereal, granulated sugar, light corn syrup, creamy peanut butter, butterscotch chips, and semi-sweet chocolate chips!

Final Thoughts

Potluck gatherings require the best of the best when it comes to desserts, and we hope, today, that you’ve been able to find the perfect one to suit your baking skills and desires! Our personal favorite was the classic cookie recipe, you just can’t go wrong with that!

Frequently Asked Questions 

There are dozens of recipes you could bake and bring along to a potluck gathering, you just need to experiment and find the one to suit you!

Try out a few of your favorite event and party recipes in this list to see which works for your schedule the best! Some are baked, and some are no-bake, so there’s a recipe for everyone.

What Is A Potluck?

Essentially, it’s a gathering, where you, as the guest, as well as all the other participants, bring along your own homemade dish to support the event! You can bring anything you’d like and even contribute as a group if you haven’t got the time to bake.

What Is The Origin Of The Potluck Dinner?

The modern execution would be something like this. “A communal meal, where a guest brings their own food”. This most likely originated in 1930 during The Great Depression. 

28 Best Potluck Desserts (+ Easy Recipes)

5 from 2 votes

Struggling to find the perfect pot luck recipe to take to your communal gathering? Look no further, as we’ve got 28 of the best potluck desserts and easy recipes!

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review
Jess Smith

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