Desserts To Sweeten Up Your Super Bowl Party

If you're hosting a Super Bowl watch party, whether it's for the entire neighborhood or for a somewhat smaller gathering consisting of you and your pets, you know how important it is to have the right game-day menu. For one thing, it must be well-balanced, meaning it covers all of the cheesy, crunchy, spicy, and meaty food groups. For another, though, there needs to be a little contrast, which means that yes, you should definitely plan on having a few desserts, as well.

What makes for a great game-day dessert? Something that's not too messy, for starters, since it's best if you can eat it with both eyes glued to the screen. Needless to say, elaborate creations will just go to waste, and anything en flambé is right out. Ice cream can be tricky, too, although we've managed to sneak it into a few recipes here and there. For the most part, though, simple cookies, cakes, and bars will be just perfect, especially since not too many of these recipes are particularly time-consuming to prepare. If you do want to put in a little extra effort, though, you can always dress them with colored sprinkles and frostings in team colors.

1. Sweet Dessert Nachos

Nachos are an indispensable part of any Super Bowl smorgasbord, so why not go all-in and have nachos for dessert as well as a main course? The base of these dessert nachos is made from pita chips, although flour tortillas would work, as well. For toppings, here we're going with ice cream, whipped cream, candy, and two kinds of sauces – chocolate and raspberry. As this dish does have the potential to be somewhat messy, you may want to save it for halftime when the on-screen action is less compelling.

Recipe: Sweet Dessert Nachos

2. Chocolate Cupcakes

If you want your Super Bowl party desserts to fit in with a football theme, perhaps the easiest way to go is by baking a batch of cupcakes. The ones in this recipe are made from scratch, yet they're simple enough to put together, as is the chocolate buttercream frosting. Instead of piping great big swirls of the latter all over the cupcakes, however, you could instead use a thin, flat layer as the base for some green-tinted sugar or coconut and then top each cupcake with a football-shaped pick.

Recipe: Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes

3. Basic Homemade Brownies

Brownies are a simple, yet satisfying, dessert. They are rich, chocolaty, and sweet but not too sweet, and they are also something you can eat without the need for a plate, fork, or napkin. The brownies in this recipe have the added benefit of being fairly economical, as they are made with cocoa powder instead of baking chocolate and use oil in place of butter. If they're a bit plain for your tastes, though, you can feel free to stir in some chopped nuts or chocolate chips for an extra layer of flavor.

Recipe: Basic Homemade Brownies

4. Copycat Costco Sheet Cake

If you're hosting a large get-together for any reason, you may think of a Costco sheet cake as the perfect dessert, but have you checked the prices on these lately? Plus, it's not the kind of thing that's worth the price of admission if you're not already a paid-up Costco member. Instead, you can make your own Costco-style sheet cake at home. Sure, it will take a certain amount of time and effort to put together, but is something that can be done days in advance of your Super Bowl party.

Recipe: Copycat Costco Sheet Cake

5. Simple Mug Cake

Should your Super Bowl party be on the small side – like, maybe a party for one – there's no reason you can't still have cake. Mug cakes were created for solo diners, after all, and they're perfectly sized for a single serving. If you want seconds, though, you can always throw together another mug cake in less than 5 minutes so you won't miss more than a few commercials (and you know they release most of the Super Bowl ones early these days, anyway).

Recipe: Simple Mug Cake

6. Red Velvet Brownies

While the first February Super Bowl didn't take place until 2002, in recent years the big game seems to fall later and later on the calendar to the point where it sometimes comes right before Valentine's Day. In such a case, how about a two-for-one dessert that could work for both occasions? These red velvet brownies are well-suited to both celebrations, so bake a double batch for the Super Bowl and save the leftovers for V-Day.

Recipe: Red Velvet Brownies

7. Easy Oreo Cake

If you have your heart set on a chocolate layer cake for your watch party, this super-simple Oreo cake is something that will give you maximum output for minimum effort. The cake itself starts with a box mix made richer and more flavorful with the addition of pudding mix and sour cream, but the frosting is what really makes the cake stand out. It's just a basic buttercream, easy enough to make, but enhanced with crushed Oreos to give it a cookies-and-cream flavor.

Recipe: Easy Oreo Cake

8. Cake Pops

Cake pops might seem like the sort of kid's snack that moms buy at Starbucks, but they're actually kind of a genius thing to make at home because they're just about the best way we know of to repurpose leftover cake and frosting. While the recipe given here calls for a scratch-made cake and frosting, feel free to make use of whatever you've got on hand, as well as any flavors you happen to prefer. If you really want to get cute, you can even try molding the pops into little football shapes, in which case we suggest a chocolate cake-slash-frosting combo to better simulate that pigskin look.

Recipe: Cake Pops

9. Easy Dirt Cake

Dirt cake is another dessert that's generally thought of as "kid stuff," but again, we like it because it's basically a super-simple parfait made with creamy pudding and crumbled cookies. In this recipe, the pudding is made even richer with the addition of cream cheese, giving it a slightly cheesecakey flavor that will appeal to adults. While the photos show the parfaits adorned with gummy worms, these candies are completely optional. If you can find some candy footballs, though, those would be great for a Super Bowl party.

Recipe: Easy Dirt Cake

10. Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches

While ice cream can be a tricky TV snack since it tends to get melty, these bite-sized ice cream sandwiches are something you can pull out of the freezer at halftime and they'll be gobbled up before there's any hint of a mess. As this recipe makes use of refrigerated cookie dough as well as store-bought ice cream (surely you didn't think we'd make you churn your own?), these ice cream sandwiches are something you can put together in just minutes. The best part is, though, that you can make them a week in advance of your Super Bowl party and just keep them frozen until needed

Recipe: Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches

11. Best Brookies

Brookies are the perfect dessert for people who are fans of brownies, cookies, and portmanteau words. Yep, you guessed it, brookies = brownies + cookies. While the cookie layer can vary from recipe to recipe, these particular brookies are made by combining brownie batter with chocolate chip cookie dough (a popular pairing). Like most bar cookies, they can be prepared well in advance, then just piled on a plate for people to serve themselves as they watch the game.

Recipe: Best Brookies

12. Chocolate Chip Cookie In A Mug

Even if you're watching the Super Bowl solo, or perhaps with a friend who's not too into desserts (or a dog who can't eat chocolate), you can still have a single-serving dessert buffet of your own. We've already featured a recipe for a chocolate mug cake, but what do you know, it turns out you can bake a sort-of cookie in a mug, too. This chocolate chip cookie cake takes just minutes to make and will come out of the microwave all hot and gooey and delicious

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie In A Mug

13. Classic Chocolate Cake

If you know only an old-school chocolate-frosted chocolate cake will do for your Super Bowl celebration, this recipe may be just what you're looking for. It's made with basic pantry ingredients like cocoa powder, so there's no need to go track down some hard-to-find 77.782% cacao single-bean baking chocolate. While the recipe does call for buttermilk, you can DIY this from regular milk plus vinegar or lemon juice pretty easily. You can also, if necessary, substitute instant coffee for the brewed kind since the coffee in this recipe is just meant to enhance the chocolate instead of giving the cake a mocha flavor.

Recipe: Classic Chocolate Cake

14. Gooey Brownies

Some like their brownies on the cakey side, while some prefer a more fudgy type. As you can probably guess from the name, this brownie recipe is of the latter sort. To maximize the gooeyness, you may want to make the brownie batter in advance, but not bake the brownies until right before game time. One note on the ingredients: No, the cacao powder called for here is not a typo, but even if you'd prefer to use the cocoa powder that's already in your pantry, your brownies will be fudgy and delicious.

Recipe: Gooey Brownies

15. 3-Ingredient Fudge

When you're preparing for a party where you'll be serving an entire buffet's worth of food, you don't want to get too bogged down with any one recipe, so anything with the magic words "3-ingredient" is always worth a look. When the ingredients in question are chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract, and the final product is fudge, then the recipe goes from hot prospect to definite keeper.

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Fudge

16. Guinness Brownies

Quick, name the official drink of the Super Bowl! Chances are, you guessed beer, right? Pretty much any kind of beer will do, but football games are no occasion for breaking out fine wines and craft cocktails. Since beer is the beverage of choice, brownies made with beer seem like a natural choice for the dessert table, as well. The beer used here is Guinness, which means that if these brownies go over well with your Super Bowl guests, you may want to reuse the recipe for St. Patrick's Day.

Recipe: Guinness Brownies

17. Mini Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake Bites

These chocolate-dipped cheesecake bites might take a little more effort than most other items on this list, but of course, you can prepare them hours or even days in advance of your Super Bowl party. In addition to combining cheesecake and chocolate, two things that are sure to be a hit with most of your guests, these dessert squares are also pretty easy to decorate with a football motif should you feel so inspired. What we really like about them, though, is that while they taste just fine at room temperature, they're even better when they're straight out of the freezer.

Recipe: Mini Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake Bites

18. Cookie Cake

If you're thinking a cake of some sort might make a nice centerpiece for your Super Bowl spread, but you don't want to put in too much effort, take a tip from supermarket bakeries and opt for the easiest pseudo-cake of all: a giant-sized cookie with frosting on top. While the cookie in this recipe is a chocolate chip one made from scratch, you can actually sub in refrigerated cookie dough for an even simpler version. Shape it, bake it, then decorate it in your team's colors, since after all, it's the frosting that makes a cookie into a cake.

Recipe: Cookie Cake

19. Easy 3-Ingredient White Chocolate Truffles

Truffles may sound like they'd be too fancy-schmancy for a football game, but not if they're preceded by the words "easy 3-ingredient." No high-level chocolatier skills are required here since all you need to do to make these candies is to mix softened cream cheese with melted white chocolate. While the truffles in this recipe are coated with crushed pumpkin seeds, there's no reason you couldn't swap out that ingredient for nuts, coconut flakes, cookie crumbs, or melted almond bark if seeds don't appeal.

Recipe: Easy 3-Ingredient White Chocolate Truffles

20. Easy No-Bake Buckeye Cookies

Buckeye cookies might sound like something better suited to an Ohio State game than the Super Bowl, but NCAA football is long over by the time the NFL wraps up its season. No matter, even non-OSU fans will enjoy these cookies (or candies?) made from a peanut butter filling dipped in melted chocolate. Yes, these buckeyes do taste pretty much like homemade Reese's cups, and we don't see anything wrong with that.

Recipe: Easy No-Bake Buckeye Cookies

21. 3-Ingredient Strawberry Icebox Cake

If you're looking for a no-bake three-ingredient cake that's actually somewhat healthy, you couldn't do much better than this tasty strawberry icebox cake. Okay, so graham crackers and whipped topping aren't exactly what you'd call nutritious, but strawberries have vitamins and fiber and stuff so that should count for something. While a cake made with fresh berries may seem like more of a spring thing than a football food, strawberries can easily be found in just about any supermarket 365 days a year so why not make use of them for your Super Bowl dessert spread?

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Strawberry Icebox Cake

22. White Chocolate Fudge

Okay, we admit it, white chocolate isn't true chocolate due to the lack of cacao. Still, this two-ingredient fudge is sweet, creamy, and delicious, plus it has one more quality that's valuable for a party dessert: White chocolate, unlike the darker kinds, can easily be dyed with a few drops of food coloring. This means that you can tint it with your favorite team's colors, or at least a pastel approximation thereof. If that doesn't work for you, another option is to go with green dye and decorate the fudge to look like a football field instead.

Recipe: White Chocolate Fudge

23. Hot Fudge Cake

If your Super Bowl party is a large one, you're better off sticking with portable, non-messy types of desserts, but if you're hosting a smaller gathering of guests who can be trusted not to go flinging their spoons in the air, you may want to branch out into something like this simple hot fudge cake. It's not only easy but also kind of fun to bake, as it actually makes its own sauce right there in the pan.

Recipe: Hot Fudge Cake

24. Chocolate Cream Pie

If your Super Bowl party guest list includes any circus clowns, then definitely do not serve this chocolate cream pie since you don't want it hurled in anyone's face. If your gathering is limited to a select number of well-behaved friends, though, this chocolate pudding pie in a chocolate crumb crust could make for a tasty treat. Top it off with whipped cream and perhaps some slivered nuts or shaved chocolate if you want to be elegant, or else just go ahead and carry out that Super Bowl motif with any football-themed decorations you can find.

Recipe: Chocolate Cream Pie

25. Fruit Pizza

We started this list off with a recipe for dessert nachos, and we're going to wrap things up with a similar tweak on a standard Super Bowl food: dessert pizza. This one starts with a sugar cookie base and a recipe for from-scratch cookies is included, but refrigerated dough could be substituted as a time-saver. The cookie crust is then spread with sweetened cream cheese, while the fruit pizza is topped off with an assortment of fresh (or freshly flown in from California) berries. Strawberries will definitely be in season in wintertime in at least some states, while blueberries and blackberries shouldn't be too hard to find, either.

Recipe: Fruit Pizza