Desserts That Will Make You the Most Popular Party Guest
Every one of these treats from sweets stylist Amy Atlas is easy to make and won't be a mess by the time you get to the big event.
The "Wow, You Made That?" Cheesecake
Individual ramekins filled with creamy cheesecake and topped with an orange slice and blood orange gelee make for a stunning presentation, but they aren't complicated, and you can make them up to three days before serving. Amy Atlas—whose new book, Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It
, is filled with delicious desserts and gorgeous presentation ideas—says not to be intimidated by the gelee; it's just gelatin and juice mixed together.
Get the recipe: Cheesecake Mousse with Blood Orange Gelee
A Luxury Dessert for a Song
Atlas made these tiny cakes for a refined, Coco Chanel–themed affair, and they're surprisingly simple: You trim the crust off store-bought pound cake; use petit four (or cookie) cutters to turn the cake into little diamonds, ovals and squares; drizzle a confectioner's sugar glaze on top; and finish with pearlized sprinkles. They'll keep for up to two days in an airtight container.
Get the recipe: Diamonds and Pearls
Lemon Bars That Only Look Dainty
Though they seem fragile, these treats hold up well during transport, says Atlas. To get razor-sharp cuts through the curd and crust, use a very sharp knife dipped in warm water. Rewet it every few cuts to maintain ultraprecise edges. You can make these up to a week ahead of time (store them in the fridge).
Get the recipe: Tangy Lemon Bars
A Towering Masterpiece That'll Have Everyone Oohing
If you lay this impressive-looking trifle down on the dessert table, we promise it'll be the first thing partygoers dig into. Atlas combines dense butter cake; sweetened, spiked strawberries; and tons of whipped cream for a ridiculously indulgent treat that's easier to put together than it looks (packaged pound cake strikes again!).
Get the recipe: Strawberry Trifle
Blondies That Are Both Familiar and Fete-Worthy
Everyone loves these home-baked classics, which you can make a day in advance and keep in a covered container. For game night, Atlas decorates the bars like dominoes, using melted white chocolate for the line separating each tile in two and chocolate chips (pointed side down) for the dots.
Get the recipe: Butterscotch Domino Blondies
The Fruity Cupcake
Atlas makes these apple-like cakes for back-to-school events and bake sales, but you can vary the color of the sanding sugar on top to make them look like any fruit. Try lemon yellow, lime green or peach—and whichever fruit you're making, pretzel stems and Sour Patch candy leaves are a must.
Get the recipe: Delicious Apple Cupcakes
Next: Summer potluck dishes everyone will love