These Simple 9x13 Desserts Serve a Crowd and Taste Amazing

Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake
Photo: Jacob Fox

When it comes to easy baking ideas, 9x13-inch pan desserts are among the best options, bar none. For sweet rolls, cakes, bar cookies, and crispy rice treats, these recipes are a cinch to make and to share with a crowd. And for those of you reluctant to turn on your ovens, we've included some no-bake dessert casseroles.

01 of 13

Boston Cream Pie Bars

Boston Cream Pie Bar on green surface
Carson Downing

Inspired by pie, but featuring a cookie crust, and basically a dessert casserole, this easy chocolate dessert checks all the boxes. The no-bake secret is store-bought shortbread cookies ground with pecans, powdered sugar, and butter to form the irresistible base. Add the creamy filling and crown it with microwave-melted chocolate, then chill until firm (if you can wait that long).

02 of 13

Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake

Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake
Jacob Fox

A quadruple-dose of lemon (zest, lemonade concentrate, lemon curd, and lemon slices) perks up a boxed cake mix. Add a splash of almond extract and a simple homemade blueberry sauce, and this poke cake transforms into one of our best 13x9-inch summer desserts. Bonus: It can be made with fresh or frozen berries, prepped entirely ahead, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before serving.

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Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownies

Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownies
Blaine Moats

Why choose between a brownie recipe or a cheesecake when you can have both in one bite? In this 9x13-inch dessert recipe, the brownie "crust" and cheesecake topping bake simultaneously. And since the cheesecake portion features Nutella, this is one of the ultimate sweet treats for chocolate lovers.

04 of 13

Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Potato Cinnamon Rolls
Karla Conrad

Admittedly, this is more of a pastry than a dessert, but we count these fluffy cinnamon rolls as one of the best 9x13-inch brunch recipes. There's a reason these rolls have been featured in the Red Plaid cookbook time and time again—"they are so light" and "turn out perfectly," according to BH&G home cooks who bake them. Mashed potato in the dough, and a brown butter-infused frosting, help these rolls to stand out from their pastry competition.

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Root Beer Cake with Float Frosting

Root Beer Cake with Float Frosting
Blaine Moats

Speaking of uniquely-infused homemade frostings, this buttercream gets its float-like flavor from replacing milk with thawed vanilla ice cream. It's the perfect a la mode-style topping for a cake flavored with root beer. To really drive the concept home, garnish your cake with a cherry.

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Apple Sheet Cake

Applelicious Sheet Cake
Andy Lyons

You're probably more familiar with pineapple upside-down cake, but the concept works just as well for apple desserts—especially during fall harvest. Sweet-tart baking apples, such as Gala, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn, join forces with apple butter and freeze-dried apples to load a lot of fruit flavor into one 13x9-inch pan. And, of course, we had to pump up the frosting. This version calls for a drizzle of autumn maple syrup.

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10 Ways with Marshmallow Treats

10 Ways with Marshmallow Treats
Matthew Clark

Do you remember those cereal-based lunch-box bars from brown bag days in grade school? We've given this nostalgic no-bake dessert a 10-choice makeover, so you can keep things interesting year round. Chocolate fans will adore the Oreo, Trail Mix, and Mounds renditions, while kids (and kids at heart) will enjoy the Birthday Cake, PB&J, and Lemonade versions.

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Peach Crumble Bars

Peach Crumble Bars
Jason Donnelly

Fully loaded with 6 cups of fresh peaches, this is one of the best 9x13-inch desserts to make after a summer visit to the farmers market. To up the decadent ante, the fruit filling is sandwiched between a buttery, shortbread-like crust and a coconut-hazelnut crumble topping. It's even better served warm and crowned with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Caramel Coconut Cookie Bars

Caramel Coconut Cookie Bars
Carson Downing

Part candy bar, part Girl Scout Cookie, this recipe is sure to fly off the table at potlucks and parties—or sell out at a bakesale. Inspired by Samoas/Caramel deLites, these are a breeze to make, since they're baked in a single 9x13-inch pan and sliced into sticks (instead of rolled into rounds and punched with a whole in the middle). But they still deliver all the familiar cookie flavors you remember from childhood, including dulce de leche, coconut flakes, melted chocolate, and a buttery cookie crust.

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Quick Chocolate Cake

Quick Chocolate Cake
Scott Little

Maybe you're craving cake, but you're short on staple ingredients, like milk, butter, and eggs. Turn to this dessert made with pantry staples. It calls for just five minutes of prep, thanks to the batter being mixed in a single bowl. Baking soda and vinegar create a chocolate cake that's remarkably light and tender, while cocoa powder delivers the chocolate.

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Frosty S'mores Bars

Frosty S'mores Bars
Andy Lyons

On those scorching summer days when you're craving a s'mores bar, but not the heat of the campfire, turn to this s'mores-inspired no-bake casserole. Chocolate ice cream in the filling will help you keep your cool, and you can easily toast the marshmallow topping in your broiler or with a crème brûlée torch. All of that deliciousness is built on a foundation of (you guessed it) crumbled graham crackers.

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Chocolate-Hazelnut Swirl Coffee Cake

Chocolate Swirl Coffee Cake
Jason Donnelly

With this decadent pan dessert, you can have chocolate for breakfast or brunch. It's called coffee cake, so it's supposed to be had early in the day, right? Chocolate-hazelnut spread swirls through the batter, as does a warmly-spiced chocolate chip streusel. The only challenging part about this dessert? Saving enough for everyone else.

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Pineapple Upside-Down Coffee Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Coffee Cake
Andy Lyons

Make the most of a can of pineapple rings in this tropical-flavored casserole dessert. Crown the tempting caramelized fruit topping in whipped cream, and you'll impress everyone with the amount of fruit flavor. That's because we call for mixing a half cup of the canned fruit juice right into the nutmeg-seasoned cake batter.

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