HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Bring-along dessert ideas?

I am attending an in-home dinner party this weekend, quite casual, and agreed to the hostess's request that I being along a dessert. The dinner is a pot roast, and there is already an apple pie planned. Any ideas about a suitable complementary dessert that can be made ahead?

Funny, but I realize I have little dessert imagination. Left to my own whims, I tend to neglect desserts entirely in meal planning. That said, I cook a lot and have most basic kinds of equipment (no stand mixer, though!). Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Here are some of the ones I make that are always HUGE hits.



    They are both easy to make as well.

    1. tiramisu. easy and can be prepared in advance. nothing to heat up or do last minute.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cheesecake17

        I was going to suggest trifle, but tiramisu is an excellent idea. Light, cold, not fruity, the perfect dish when the other dessert is a fruit pie.

      2. How about a blackberry (or other berry, of course) pavlova with a flavoured simple syrup or coulis that can be made in advance and drizzled on after? Or Eton Mess with raspberries?

        1. I'm going to be difficult and say I disagree with the others. I don't see apple pie and tiramisu as complementary at all! I like the idea of bringing something small, so that if people are indecisive (or just hungry) they can have a bit of both desserts. I love these bars. I cut them into small pieces, just a bit bigger than you would fudge, as they are pretty rich. One plopped on the side of a piece of pie would be brilliant, and if people linger over coffee and wine, it makes dessert number two!

          3 Replies
          1. re: katecm

            Kate, I think you forgot the link? But I was thinking something like brownies, maybe with toffee, which would be simple and homey and would go well with this meal.

            1. re: Pia

              Sorry! Here you go - they are so much greater than the sum of their parts:


            2. re: katecm

              An apple pie and a tiramisu don't complement each other.. and that's why I suggested it! The dinner is casual so it's not like there's a "theme" to go along with. Apple pie is fruity, warm, substantial, and homey. Tiramisu is chilled, fluffy, and lighter. With a tiramisu, one could take a forkful or a bowlful, but a pie can only be sliced so thin. Two choices that are different enough from each other but typically well liked. At least that's what I think...

            3. I say you can't go wrong with chocolate, especially since I just made Nick malgeris supernatural brownies that folks rave about. I'm not really a brownie person, but seriously, I could have eaten the whole pan myself! Do let them sit a day before cutting.

              1. Thanks for the ideas so far, everyone. Everything sounds delicious. Right now I'm leaning in the brownie direction, but I've got a bit more time to decide...

                4 Replies
                1. re: Bada Bing

                  I suggest bringing some really good vanilla ice cream & perhaps some caramel to go with the pie

                  1. re: Bada Bing

                    Hi Bada Bing! I know exactly what you mean, I am the same way, dessert always gets left to the end of my planning process, and I don't usually address it until I have to.

                    I think lemon bars would be nice, and lemons are in season now, and if you find some Meyers, even better. I use Martha Stewarts recipe from Everyday Food, it's straightforward and simple, and you just need to do it a little early in the day, so they have an hour to chill.

                    Another idea I had was mini cheesecakes. Make you favorite cheesecake filling, then use either mini muffin tins lined w/cracker or cookie crumbs and melted butter crusts. Or I have even used those premade phyllo cups I find in the freezer case at the market. I have made key lime minis or orange cheesecake ones with grand Marnier. Let me know, and I'll type out or link you to the recipes. : ))

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      I was thinking lemon too. Maybe a frozen lemon souffle and something like that.

                    2. re: Bada Bing

                      If you are looking into brownies, then check out Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownie recipe over on the food network site. They are amazing and the recipe calls for making them in a half sheet pan, which feed a ton of people. :)

                    3. These Seven Layer bars are always a hit, and very easy.


                      1. What about pecan pie bars, or an always-crowd-pleasing-favorite like chocolate chip cookie cake or brownie?

                        1. I would want to know whether mine was the only "extra" dessert or whether this would be a sort of dessert buffet involving multiple efforts. If the latter and I were rushed, I might take nice box of chocolates to go with post-dessert coffee.

                          1. I made Rose Levy Beranbaum's chocolate peanut butter mousse tart the other night and it was excellent. It can be made in advance and it is very homey. I think it is always nice to have a chocolate option after a beef dish for the chocoholics.


                            1 Reply