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Desserts I’ve Tried To Make: What Worked & What Didn’t

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The holiday season has arrived and you’re probably in need of a good dessert recipe to wow your friends and family. Here’s a list of things I’ve tried over the years that have worked and that needs some tweaking. (Click on the title for each dessert to see what recipe I used)

What Worked

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

This was a recipe that combined my two favorite desserts: sweet potato pie & cheesecake. It was relatively easy to make since it was just a matter of mixing the wet and dry ingredients and then pouring it into the graham cracker crust. To make the mixing process quicker make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. And to save you sometimes use sweet potato puree instead of mashing your own sweet potatoes. 

Also, if you’re interested in making your own crust you can use a food processor to grind your graham crackers or put them in a ziplock bag and crush them yourself until you have roughly 1 ½ cups of crumbs. Then combine with about 6 T of melted butter and pack them into a 9-inch pie pan using your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup. Then bake in the oven at 350 ℉ for 10 minutes. 

Mini Mango Cheesecakes

This was a fun twist on the regular recipe that allows everyone to get their own personal cheesecake. It’s really important that your mangoes are very ripe otherwise they won’t be sweet enough. I opted not to make the glaze and instead just topped them with whipped cream, but feel free to try it out!

Pecan Pie

This recipe is pretty straightforward since it’s similar to the sweet potato cheesecake where you just have to combine the ingredients and pour them into the graham cracker crust. And you can also opt to make your own crust. And to elevate this pie pair it with vanilla ice cream


This is my own very short and easy recipe to make with only a few ingredients.


  • 12 oz pack of semisweet chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  • A can of condensed coconut milk or regular milk if you want
    • For regular milk, a can is about 14 oz, but for coconut milk, it will likely be around 11 or 12 oz.
  • Sprinkles of your choice (I like the crystalized ones)


  • Put the chocolate chips in a saucepan on medium heat and stir until fully melted
  • Pour the melted chocolate into a square cake pan lined with parchment paper, and then stick it in the freezer overnight
  • Once it’s been chilled, place sprinkles on the top, cut it into slices, and enjoy!

What Didn’t 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

The cake’s chocolatey flavor isn’t the problem, it’s how dry it was when it came out of the oven. A way to fix this is by using half of the butter the recipe calls for and replacing it with the vegetable oil of your choice. 

Another problem I ran into was that the glaze I made was too thin. A way to fix this is to add starch (but I suggest cornstarch) of any kind to the mixture. You can use about 1 T of starch for every cup of glaze you have.

Gluten-Free Funfetti Cake

This was one of my more ambitious bakes since it was a three-layer cake. The recipe gives you a lot of tips to ensure the best outcome, but honestly, I did not use all of them. The recipe calls for a variety of different gluten-free flours. I didn’t have all the flour listed so I swapped sorghum and millet flour with almond and coconut flour. The taste was lacking, and the buttercream frosting was probably the best part of it. I think if you give this recipe a try, following it with the tea will end in better results. Also, this felt like a recipe for a more advanced baker than myself, so it may be easier for someone with more experience.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This recipe will get you a really great look but the taste was somewhat lacking. I would possibly try adding slightly more sugar (¼ cup more – depends on how much of a sweet tooth you are) and maybe an extra tsp of vanilla extract. It was also a little dry so I would try the 50/50 butter and oil method.

Emma Baby

TCNJ '25

Emma is a sophomore at The College of New Jersey. She is a Speech Pathology and Audiology major with a Deaf Studies minor.