3 Easy Make-Ahead Desserts to Wow a Crowd


Easy Make-Ahead Desserts from OKCMomsBlog

I can’t say I love to entertain, because as an introvert – I don’t! But I DO love to make showstopping desserts for parties. I live for that moment of silence when everyone is intently focused on chowing down on my perfect dessert.

For entertaining, I love to make desserts that can be prepared way ahead of time. When they are made ahead, there is no stressing over dessert at the last minute. And after many years of baking, I have some tried and true favorites that I go back to again and again, because I know guests will love them.

Here are recipes for some of my favorite party desserts. All of these desserts travel well, so they are perfect for making ahead and taking to someone else’s gathering, too. 

1. Easy French Silk Pie

This might be the easiest showstopper pie ever invented! I like using the frozen pie crust for this, because of my life history of “pie crust struggles.” Be sure that your pie crust is the deep dish size, because this pie has a lot of filling! It is also very rich, so you can slice it to make 12 servings.


1 deep-dish (frozen) pie crust, previously baked and cooled

3 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. + 2 TBS. sugar

Optional:  chocolate shavings for garnish (Shave the side of a thick chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler, onto a plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.)

Pour the cream into a heavy-bottomed very clean saucepan and begin to heat it over low heat. Whisk it often to prevent any sticking or scorching on the bottom. Slowly heat until the cream is steaming, but not simmering. You may see some tiny bubbles around the edges. Remove from heat.

Place the chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chips, let sit 60 seconds, and then slowly whisk to combine. Add the sugar and gently whisk until all the chocolate is melted and the sugar dissolved. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least four hours.

Easy French Silk Pie

After it is thoroughly chilled, beat the chocolate mixture with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until a stiff peak will hold its shape.

Easy French Silk Pie

Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie shell, and smooth the top. Garnish with the chocolate shavings, if desired. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the freezer to firm up completely. Remove from freezer 30 minutes before serving to make slicing easier. Makes 12 servings.

French Silk Pie Recipe



2. Stars and Stripes Cake

This patriotic themed cake is essentially a yellow cake topped with whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries. I like it best made with real whipped cream. But if you prefer convenience foods (and that’s all right, Mama!) you can use a boxed yellow cake mix and a large container of purchased whipped topping instead.


1 yellow cake, baked in a 13×9″ pan and cooled

(3 c. heavy whipping cream, chilled)

(1/2 c. sugar)

OR use 16-oz. tub of purchased whipped topping

1 c. fresh blueberries, approximately

4 c. fresh strawberry slices, approximately

Make the yellow cake, from scratch or from a mix. Cool completely and leave in the pan.

Whipped Cream:  Combine the heavy cream and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2-4 minutes, until soft peaks form. Don’t overbeat or it will turn into butter.

Top the cake with whipped cream or topping. Decorate with the blueberries and strawberries in a flag-stripe design. Makes 18 servings.

*Decorating tip:  After topping the cake with the whipped cream or topping, use the back of a spoon to make a little ditch to hold each stripe of fruit and to define the “stars” area. Your cake will look neater and any fruit juice will stay in the ditch instead of running all over your beautiful cake!

Stars and Stripes Cake recipe from OKCMomsBlog



3. Peach Cookie Cobbler

This delicious cobbler is good made with other fruits too – such as apples, blackberries, blueberries, and cherries.


2 29-oz. cans of sliced peaches in heavy syrup, drained, reserving 1 c. of the syrup

2 17.5-oz. pouches of Oatmeal Cookie Mix

2 sticks butter

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

(Vanilla ice cream)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 13×9″ pan with release spray. Spread the peach slices in the bottom of the pan. Pour the 1 c. reserved syrup over them.

In a separate large bowl, combine the cookie mix and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the mixture with a knife, and then use fingers to combine thoroughly so that the cookie mix is crumbly.

Spread the cookie mixture evenly over the top of the peaches and gently press down only around the edge of the pan. Leave the rest of the cookie topping crumbly and bumpy. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Peach Cookie Cobbler Recipe

Serve with vanilla ice cream. Makes 18-20 servings.

Peach Cookie Cobbler Recipe

I hope these desserts make your next get-together a sweet one!

Do you have any easy dessert favorites to recommend?

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Kelly was born near Alva, and grew up in Enid and then near Miami, Oklahoma. She met her handsome husband Charles while they were both students at OSU in Stillwater. They were married in 1992 and have two daughters, ages 15 and 20. Kelly has been a happy stay-at-home- mom for nearly two decades, and has more hobbies than is probably healthy for one to have. When she is not outside tending to her flowers and shrubs, she may be making jewelry, sewing, painting, baking, or working on her blog. Volunteering for her children's schools and arts programs has been a pivotal experience for Kelly. Proud to be a Drama Mama and a Choir Booster, she has worked hard to support the fine arts in education because she has seen the positive impact these activities have on student lives. Kelly is very happy to be putting her BA in English to good use, by helping to teach ACT Test prep workshops, writing a fictionalized family memoir, and with OKCMomsBlog, making a contribution from the perspective of a mom to older kids.


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