Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (2024)

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (1)

Over the course of her career, Martha has shared hundreds of recipes for meal-ending sweets-but which are her all-time favorites? When pressed, she narrowed it down to these 32 recipes. That might seem like an unwieldy number but taking a closer look at her picks for desserts greatest hits reveals certain themes. Martha's preferred treats often come in the form of cookies or bars, though she also loves a good layer cake. Of course, lemon makes a number of appearances.

A good portion of Martha's round-up reads like a who's who of American classics, from chocolate chip cookies and brownies, to strawberry shortcake and apple pie (and surely these desserts would be on anyones list?). And her picks span all seasons, whether you've got a bounty of summer fruits (rhubarb, peaches, plums, nectarines, blueberries, apricots, you name it) or are looking for a warm and cozy treat on a chilly night.

It's also a crash course in dessert fundamentals. Pick a recipe and you just might learn how to make pâte à choux (necessary for making Cream Puffs with Pastry Cream and Maple-Espresso Glaze-as well as profiteroles); or pâte brisée, the flaky pastry that makes Martha's apple pie so spectacular (well, three different kinds of apples-and lots of them-also contribute to its magnificence). There are also crepes, meringue-based seven-minute frosting, and other recipes that you'll use again and again, in myriad ways.

Whether it's a birthday, a holiday, or just a regular Wednesday night, there's definitely a dessert on Martha's best-of list that'll fit the bill, deliciously so.

01of 32

Alexis's Brown-Sugar Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (2)

This beloved recipe comes from Martha's daughter, Alexis. The batter produces very flat and crisp chocolate-chip cookies. Use an ice-cream scoop to ensure even baking and uniform size and remember that they spread wide on the pan during baking.

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02of 32

Old-Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (3)

A classic lemony flavor; a chewy texture; and glistening, crackly tops created with a double sprinkling of sanding sugar-these large cookies have it all.

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03of 32

Fireworks Cookies

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (4)

Martha likes the beautiful drawn icing decoration on these red, white, and blue cookies.

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04of 32

Sable Cookies

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (5)

These delicate, crumbly cookies hail from the Normandy region of France and are delicious plain, dipped in dark chocolate, or sandwiched with jam. Once you have a handle on the basic recipe, try adding almonds, orange zest, or other flavorings. This recipe is adapted from Martha's book Entertaining

.

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05of 32

Fudgy Brownies

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (6)

Doesn't everyone love a brownie? And Martha likes hers fudgy rather than cakey.

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06of 32

Brown-Butter Toffee Blondies

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (7)

This is a wonderful variaton on the blondie, the brown butter gives an extra-rich toffee flavor. We used card-suit cookie cutters to shape the blondies into hearts, clubs, diamonds, and spades.

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07of 32

Zesty Lemon Bars

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (8)

Light and brightly flavored, this classic bar cookie is one of Martha's all-time favorites.

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Basic Crepes

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (9)

This recipe can be used as the basis for any crepe creation. (The buckwheat variation has a heartier texture and a more robust flavor and is best paired with savory fillings.)

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09of 32

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (10)

With its distinctive look, this popular cupcake is a top contender for favorite flavor.

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10of 32

Classic Cheesecake

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (11)

A crumbly graham-cracker crust and silky cream-cheese filling make this New York-style cheesecake a winner.

Watch Martha make more cheesecakes.

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11of 32

White Layer Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (12)

These light, tender layers, made from the ultimate white cake recipe, are interspersed with tart lemon curd and surrounded by fluffy clouds of meringue-based peaks of Seven-Minute Frosting.

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12of 32

Coconut Layer Cake

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (13)

A towering creation of tender sour-cream cake, coconut filling, and piles of fluffy frosting, this dessert is the last word in coconut.

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13of 32

Carrot Ginger Layer Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (14)

More sophisticated than the average carrot cake, this tall layered confection is altogether irresistible.

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14of 32

Edward Kostyra's Birthday Cake

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (15)

This orange-curd-filled cake topped with Mrs. Milman's chocolate frosting was Martha's father's favorite. Make it as a birthday treat for someone special in your life.

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15of 32

Classic Angel Food Cake

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (16)

Martha's favorite angel food cake is served with an elderflower syrup. You'll need to plan ahead to make it: Allow at least two days for the elderflower syrup to sit at room temperature before starting the cake.

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16of 32

Devil's Food Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (17)

This devilishly delicious all-occasion cake recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

, and the frosting recipe is courtesy of Matt Lewis of Baked.

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17of 32

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (18)

It is delicious unembellished, but you could also try this pound cake dusted with confectioners' sugar and topped with a berry compote or poached peaches and whipped cream. Chef David Waltuck shared the recipe for this rich cake with Martha.

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18of 32

Sour Lemon Cake

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (19)

A tart treat from Martha Stewart's Christmas

that makes a thoughtful food gift-that is if you can resist eating it yourself.

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19of 32

Mile-High Apple Pie

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (20)

Flaky pâte brisée pastry encases three different kinds of apples in this favorite pie. Martha says this dessert tastes even better the day after it has been baked.

Watch Martha make Mile-High Apple Pie.

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20of 32

Mile-High Lemon Pie

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (21)

A whimsical pie that sets the bar high for taste and appearance: It has a zesty lemon filling-Martha's favorite-a flaky pâte brisée base, and a glossy Swiss meringue crown.

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21of 32

New York Crumb Cake

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (22)

Martha got this recipe for New York Crumb Cake from her friend Sara Foster, owner of Foster's Market in Durham, North Carolina.

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22of 32

Cream Puffs with Pastry Cream and Maple-Espresso Glaze

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (23)

Fill these puffs with pastry cream and top with a maple-espresso glaze-or use the shells to make larger versions of our delicious profiteroles dessert.

Watch Martha make pâte à choux.

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23of 32

Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (24)

Fresh peaches and blueberries are baked beneath a fluffy layer of vanilla-cream biscuits. The tops are brushed with heavy cream and sprinkled with sanding sugar for a crispy-sweet crunch.

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24of 32

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (25)

The crumb "topping" on this beautiful cake actually ends up on the bottom. Each bite has a surprisingly crunchy texture.

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25of 32

Pear Brown Bettys

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (26)

A Betty is a spiced fruit dessert with buttered breadcrumbs or a cake-crumb topping that turns golden brown as it cooks. Martha's individual Bettys have two layers of Bartlett pears. In between and on top is a blend of torn sourdough bread, butter, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a splash of apple cider.

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26of 32

Apricot-Almond Cobbler

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (27)

A classic cobbler is a fruit dessert with a thick top layer of crust. In Martha's favorite version, spiced apricot wedges are arranged atop a toasted-almond batter. Baking puffs up the cake, so only bits of fruit peek through.

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27of 32

Rhubarb-Berry Crumbles

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (28)

This dessert has British origins: a crumble is a blend of berries or other fruit with a textured sugary topping, often with oats, the result is all but synonymous with a crisp. Martha's individual crumbles include rhubarb, strawberries, and raspberries nestled under an oatless blend of butter, brown sugar, flour, salt, and grated orange zest.

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28of 32

Plum-Nectarine Buckle

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (29)

A buckle is a decadent dessert hybrid: cakelike cobbler with a crumble topping.

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29of 32

Apple-Raisin Pandowdy

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (30)

Usually sweetened with brown sugar or molasses, a pandowdy is a fruit dessert that's closely related to a pie though without the bottom crust. Its pastry top is broken with a spoon halfway through cooking so the collapsed bits soak up the juices and soften. For ours, we used brown sugar and apples and raisins laced with cardamom and allspice.

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30of 32

Berry Grunt

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (31)

A classic grunt is a dumpling-topped fruit dessert that's cooked on the stove; it is often called a slump. Martha's grunt has blackberries and raspberries that are simmered together. Then dollops of ginger-spiked dumpling batter are added to the pan, to steam in berry juice. Give everyone a dumpling and a splash of heavy cream.

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31of 32

Strawberry Shortcake

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (32)

Like most of us, Martha adores strawberry shortcake. The combination of sugared fresh fruit, sweet biscuit, and whipped cream makes for a delightful jumble of contrasting tastes, textures, and flavors in every spoonful.

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32of 32

Sour-Cherry Pistachio Crisp

Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (33)

A crisp is a baked concoction of sweetened fruit with a crumbly topping. This favorite version from Martha has more than a pound and a half of pitted sour cherries. The topping includes oats, pistachios, and the traditional brown sugar, butter, and flour. The result is a fruit dessert that's tangy, sugary, and has lots of crunch.

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Martha Stewart's Absolute Favorite Dessert Recipes (2024)

FAQs

What is Martha Stewart's favorite dessert? ›

Martha's preferred treats often come in the form of cookies or bars, though she also loves a good layer cake. Of course, lemon makes a number of appearances. A good portion of Martha's favorites reads like a who's who of American classics, from chocolate chip cookies and brownies, to strawberry shortcake and apple pie.

What is the most popular Martha Stewart recipe of all time? ›

In what should be a shock to no one, our Community's most beloved Martha Stewart recipe is her One-Pan Pasta. Part of our Genius recipe series, this pasta is convenient, consistent, and absolutely delicious. The recipe begins by combining spaghetti, basil, cherry tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a sauté pan.

What is Gordon Ramsay's favorite dessert? ›

Gordon Ramsay's favorite dessert - Sticky toffee pudding.

What is Martha Stewart most known for? ›

Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Emmy® Award-winning television show host, entrepreneur and bestselling author, is America's most trusted lifestyle expert and teacher.

How did Martha Stewart lose weight? ›

'I drink lots of water and avoid junk (I don't keep snacks in the house). ' The star even claimed that she has 'nearly stopped dining out' after years in which was she do 'almost every night', which resulted in weight loss that 'delighted' her doctors.

What is Martha Stewart's famous saying? ›

Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success.

Is Martha Stewart a chef or cook? ›

Mirken was impressed by Stewart's talent as a chef and hostess and later contacted her to develop a cookbook, featuring recipes and photos from the parties that Stewart hosted.

What diet does Martha Stewart follow? ›

Here's a closer look at four of Stewart's healthy-eating habits:
  • She drinks green juice every morning. ...
  • She keeps a garden where she grows her own organic veggies. ...
  • She sticks with fish for the most part. ...
  • She opts for nontraditional flours.
Oct 25, 2018

Who is Martha's daughter? ›

Alexis Gilbert Stewart (born September 27, 1965) is an American television host and radio personality. She is the only child of Martha Stewart and her ex-husband Andrew.

What is Maine's favorite dessert? ›

In 2011, the Maine State Legislature designated the whoopie pie as Maine's official state treat. This confection traditionally consists of two chocolate cake-like rounds surrounding a white cream filling.

What does Martha Stewart's daughter do? ›

Is Martha Stewart a Millionaire? ›

What is Martha Stewart's net worth? While Stewart certainly was a billionaire at the time Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public in 1999, her net worth has fallen since then and is estimated by multiple sources to be around $400 million as of early 2024.

Does Martha Stewart have a love interest? ›

Stewart is currently single! Part of the reason for that is her circle. She explained on Dear Chelsea in 2022 that most of the men she meets are taken. "I've had the opportunity to be a homewrecker and I have not taken anybody up on it," she said.

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