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Top Secret Dude Ranch Dessert Recipes

Do you dream about a dessert you had at one of our dude ranches? We sure do! Some of our ranches have been perfecting their recipes for decades. A lot of ranches guard their favorite desserts with their life. However, we asked some of them to share their most requested dessert recipes and they did not disappoint! Here are some top-secret dude ranch recipes that will surely satisfy any sweet tooth and tie you over until you can experience the real thing again at your favorite ranch!

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch’s Amaretto Cheesecake

Dessert Recipes

What You’ll Need:

o 1 1⁄2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs 

o 3 tablespoons sugar

o 1/3 cup butter, melted

o 4-8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened 

o 1 cup sugar

o 1 teaspoon vanilla 

o 4 eggs

o 1⁄2 cup Amaretto

1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar and press into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan.

2. Beat cream cheese with sugar and vanilla until blended.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.

4. Mix in Amaretto.

5. Pour over crust.

6. Wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil to prevent water seepage.

7. Place in a hot water bath in 325° oven. Bake for 40 minutes, then turn off the oven.

8. Do not open the door. Allow to sit in the oven for 50 minutes.

9. Remove from oven, cool completely.

10. Slice into 12 pieces, then brush with Amaretto and garnish with toasted, sliced almonds.

Upper Canyon Outfitters & Guest Ranch’s Tres Leches Cake

Dessert Recipes

What You’ll Need:

o 1 cup all-purpose flour

o 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

o 1/4 teaspoon salt

o 5 large eggs, separated

o 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

o 1/3 cup whole milk

o 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

o 12 ounce can evaporated milk

o 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

o 1/4 cup whole milk

For the whipped topping:

o 1 pint heavy whipping cream, for Whipping

o 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar or powdered sugar

o 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

o Ground cinnamon, for topping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13” pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate the eggs into two separate bowls.

3. Add 3/4 cup sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks and mix on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Add the 1/3 cup milk and vanilla and stir to combine.

4. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently just until combined (don’t over-mix).

5. Use electric beaters to beat the egg whites on high speed. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar as you mix and continue beating until stiff peaks.

6. Fold egg whites into the batter gently, just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Make sure to smooth it into an even layer so your baked cake doesn’t have divots in it.

7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow cake to cool completely.

8. Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk in a small bowl. Once the cake has cooled use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake.

9. Slowly pour the milk mixture over the top of the cake, making sure to pour near the edges and all around.

10. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour or overnight, to allow it to soak up the milk.

11. In the meantime, whip the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks. Smooth over the top of the cake. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Serve with fresh sliced strawberries, if desired. Enjoy!

Vista Verde Ranch’s Famous S’mores Bars

Dessert Recipes

What You’ll Need:

o 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)

o 2 eggs (3 eggs for more cake-like, 2 for more fudge-like)

o 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

o 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

o ½ tsp salt

o ¾ cup all-purpose flour

o ½ tsp baking powder

o 5 graham crackers, broken in bite-size pieces

o 1 cup mini marshmallows

o 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

o 2 Hershey’s bars, broken in pieces

1. Heat oven to 350, see note about pizza stone.

2. Line a 8×8 inch pan with aluminum foil with foil overhanging the edges, spray well.

3. Measure out the brown sugar, vanilla & salt into a small mixer bowl.

4. Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove, pour over the brown sugar and mix with the paddle until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.

5. Add eggs and continue to mix.

6. Whisk together the flour and baking powder, add to mixer and mix just until combined.

7. Fold in the s’mores ingredients by hand with a large rubber spatula until uniformly mixed. The batter will be stiff! Spread out in the prepared pan.

8. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and set.

(Note: I have found that baking directly on a pizza stone works the best, if you have one. Pre-heat the stone in the oven at least 30 minutes.)

I recommend making these a day ahead and refrigerating in order to cut nice clean slices– or serve them warm with a spoon and some vanilla ice cream!

Red Horse Mountain Ranch’s Strawberry Pie

Dessert Recipes

What You’ll Need:

Pie Crust:

o 1 cup, less 1 Tbsp Flour    

o ½ tsp Salt    

o ½ cup Butter    

o 2 ½ Tbsp Water   

Strawberry Filling:

o 4 Tbsp Cream cheese    

o about 12 Strawberries, halved    

o 1 ¼ cup (about 8) Strawberries, quartered    

o about ½ cup Water    

o ¾ cup Sugar    

o 3 Tbsp Cornstarch    

o ⅛ tsp Salt    

o 1 Tbsp Lemon juice    

Pie Crust:

1. Whisk together the flour and salt. Rub in the butter, keeping it about the size of hazelnuts. Add the water and mix just until the dough starts to come together. Wrap in plastic film and chill until firm, about half an hour.

2. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface, about ⅛ – ¼ -inch thick. Line the pie pan, crimp the edges, dock the bottom, and chill for at least 20 minutes.

3. Fill with pie weights and bake at 425°F for about 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and finish baking, about 5 minutes. Cool completely before filling.


1. Spread the bottom of the pie shell with the cream cheese and then line it with the strawberry halves, cut side down. Set aside.

2. Puree the quartered strawberries and strain into a measuring cup. Add enough water to bring the mixture up to the 1 ¼ cup line (about ½ cup of water, depending on the juiciness of the berries.) pour the strawberry-water mixture into a saucepan.

3. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk into the strawberry-water mixture.

4. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened and the cornstarch cooks out. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice.

5. Pour the filling over the halved strawberries in the pie shell, making sure all the berries are covered. Cover the surface of the pie filling with plastic film and chill for several hours.

6. Optional: Top with whipped cream.

White Stallion Ranch’s Famous Potato Chip Cookies

Dessert Recipes

What You’ll Need:

o 1 c. Crisco

o 1 c. white sugar

o 1 c. brown sugar

o 2 eggs

o 1 tsp. vanilla

o 1 6oz. pkg. white chocolate chips

o 2 1/2 c. flour

o 1 tsp. baking soda

o 2 c. coarsely crushed potato chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cream Crisco and sugars.

3. Add eggs, vanilla and beat well.

4. Add crushed potato chips and white chocolate chips.

5. Sift flour and soda.

6. Stir into creamed mixture.

7. Drop on greased cookie sheet.

8. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Covered Wagon Ranch: Roy’s Bat Cake (Chocolate Truffle Cake)

Dessert Recipes

What You’ll Need:

o 2 cups of sugar

o 2 cups flour

o 1 cup Ghirardelli Premium Baking Cocoa 100% Unsweetened

o 2 teaspoons baking powder

o 1 teaspoon baking soda

o 2 eggs

o 1 cup milk

o 1 cup coffee

o ½ cup oil

o 1 teaspoon vanilla

o Bake at 350


o 2 cups Barry Callebaut Bittersweet Chocolate 54% (shredded)

o 2 cups Heavy Cream

o 1 Tablespoon Karo Dark Corn Syrup

1. Place all ingredients in a medium stainless-steel mixing bowl.

2. Place bowl on a medium saucepan with 2 inches of cold water. Set to medium heat.

3. Mix with, a heatproof spatula slowly while the mixing bowl heats up. Mix till a smooth Ganache from.

Salted Chocolate Shards for Topping

o 2 cups Barry Callebaut Bittersweet Chocolate 54% (chunks)

o Celtic Grey Sea Salt Medium Grain

1. Melt chocolate on to a parchment paper. Spread to a thin layer.

2. Sprinkle salt high over melted chocolate.

3. Allow to cool before breaking into shards.

Allow cake to cool. The ganache should be warm yet not hot. Place cake onto a roasting rack in a sheet pan. Poor warm Ganache evenly around the cake. Place chocolate shards along sides.

WARNING: Consumption will cause an urgent trip to Covered Wagon Ranch.

Is your mouth watering yet? Ours sure are! Let us know which recipe you try by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram (@DudeRanchVacations) and don’t forget to tag the ranch as well! For more information on dude ranch vacations, contact a specialist today at or 307-587-2339.

Dessert RecipesDessert Recipes