12 Desserts For A Crowd

Banana Pudding | ZoeBakes by Zoë François

From Memorial Day to the Fourth of July to Labor Day, summer is all about weekend gatherings with friends and family. A good meal should always accompany a get-together, which means you’ll need some tasty desserts for a crowd. I put together a list of some of my favorite cookies, cupcakes, and bars that are sure to please everyone at your party.

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Vegan Mango Mousse

Vegan Mango Mousse | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I made the delicious Mango Pudding and Passion Fruit Caramel recipes from Hetty McKinnon’s newest book, To Asia, With Love! I layered them together and wanted a little something light and airy on top, like meringue or whipped cream, but her recipes are vegan, so I needed it to be plant-based. I have always read about whipping aquafaba into a frothy topping for desserts, but had never tried it myself, until now. What’s aquafaba, you ask? Well, I know this is going to sound odd to anyone who isn’t familiar with vegan baking, but it is made with the water from a can of garbanzo beans. Yep, you drain off the water from chickpeas and it whips into a frothy topping that looks just like whipped egg whites. I promise you, sweetened and folded into pureed mango, you will never know its origins are so humble. I fooled my husband and his reaction was “this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted! That’s a high bar too!” Then I told him what it was and he couldn’t take back what he’d said! Hahahahaha

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Strawberry Fool with Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd Fool with Strawberry Coulis and Fresh Strawberries

Fool! That’s the name of this creamy fruit-filled dessert. What is a fool? It’s a British dessert that includes fruit folded into a custard. The original version was most often made with gooseberries, but it evolved over the years to include different fruits, and some have simplified it by using whipped cream with the fruit. My strawberry fool recipe includes a lemon twist.

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Sour Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie zb 09

The key to success with this sweet, but not too sweet, cherry pie is to use sour cherries. Combined with just enough sugar and a pinch of black pepper, to mellow their pucker, the sour cherries add a tart balance that goes perfectly with the rich, buttery crust. If you don’t have access to fresh cherries the frozen variety work just as well in this sour cherry pie and are available all year round, just in case you get a craving for this ruby colored pie in the dead of winter.

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