NFL Party Essentials: 8 Desserts You Can Bake During the 4th Quarter

Dessert. When your team wins, it is part of the celebration; if they lose, it is the best consolation for your disappointment. Plus, do you really need an excuse to bakes something for family and friends? Pop your sweet treat in the oven during the 4th quarter, and you’ll have a freshly baked good waiting for you when the game is done. There may only be 15 minutes on the clock, but the 4th quarter will easily last longer than that, giving you plenty of time to bake a mouthwatering morsel, and any of the following 8 recipes are a perfect way to cap off game day.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. Self-Frosting Nutella Cupcakes

You won’t need to worry about having enough time for the cupcakes from Baking Bites to cool before frosting them because Nutella is swirled on top of the batter, resulting in a rich element right at the top of the cupcake where frosting would go. They also only need 20 minutes to bake, so by the time they are out of the oven and slightly cooled, the game will be over.


  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¾ cups sifted all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Nutella, about ⅓ cup

Directions:  Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. Cream together butter and sugar until light, 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t look smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner with batter. They should be ¾ full. Top each cake with 1½ teaspoons Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the Nutella. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Boozy Bourbon Chocolate Chippers

Dessert isn’t the only way to celebrate or console losses for the over 21 crowd who have alcohol at their disposal. The Washington Post combined the best of both worlds in Boozy Bourbon Chocolate Chippers. The dough is refrigerated for 12 to 24 hours, so prepare it the day before the game.


  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons bourbon
  • ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup chopped nuts

Directions: Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low, then medium speed for 1 or 2 minutes, until well-blended. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the egg and beat on low speed to incorporate; stop to scrape down the bowl. On low speed, add the bourbon 1 tablespoon at a time, beating for about 20 seconds after each addition. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until well-incorporated, then add the chocolate chips and nuts, if using. The dough should dense and somewhat pliable. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop generous tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheets, spacing the dough at least 2 inches apart. Bake on the upper and lower racks for 6 to 8 minutes, then rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 7 minutes or so; the cookies should be browned on the edges and a lighter color at the center.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely before serving or storing.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. Peanut Butter Cake

Right after taking The Pioneer Woman‘s cake out of the oven, you’ll pour the chocolate icing overtop, smoothing it across the peanut butter base. Have the icing ready to go if you do not want to make it during the game and rewarm slightly if you need to make it easier to spread.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¾ stick butter
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 1¾ stick butter
  • 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt 1¾ sticks butter. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Add boiling water, let the mixture bubble up for about 10 seconds, then remove from heat. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the flour/sugar mixture and stir until halfway combined. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir gently until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into a sheet pan or jelly roll pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven.

To make the icing, melt 1¾ sticks butter. Stir in the cocoa powder, then the milk. Remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Add more powdered sugar if you want it a little thicker. Pour the icing over the warm cake right out of the oven and smooth the surface. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving warm.

pumpkin cookies

Image Credit: Colleen Casey

4. Pumpkin Cookies

Perfect for fall and football are the pumpkin cookies from Very Best Baking. Make the dough before the game starts and store it in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature before baking. It yields about 36 pillowy pumpkin cookies.



  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease baking sheets. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well-blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle glaze over cookies. To make the glaze, combine all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Chunky Chocolate Gobs

The cookie dough for Oxmoor House‘s Chunky Chocolate Gobs needs to chill for at least 30 minutes; if you’re quick in the kitchen, you could potentially prep everything during halftime, but if not, a little extra time in the fridge won’t hurt the cookies.


  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped (16 cookies)
  • 3 (1.75 ounce) Mounds bars, chilled and chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels

Directions: Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in cookies, candy bars, and desired amount of chocolate morsels. Chill dough 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drop dough by ¼ cupfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until barely set. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

6. Apple Crisp

Apple-flavored treats are another fall favorite, and with this Food Network recipe, you can whip up a post-game apple crisp in no time. Put everything together during half time, and slide the baking dish into the oven during the 4th quarter. It yields 4 to 6 servings.


  • 6 McIntosh apples, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup flour or fine graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 9 by 12-inch baking dish, combine apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. In a small bowl, mix flour or graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter together using the tines of a fork and your fingers, working until even, small crumbles form. Sprinkle topping evenly over apples and bake 15 to 20 minutes until apples are just tender and topping is golden brown. Top dishes of apple crisp with small scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Scott Olson/Getty Images

7. Mini S’mores Hand Pies 

Fill a pastry with all the taste of a s’more by following Betty Crocker’s recipe. Not only will they be ready and waiting for you after the game, but the pie method removes a bit of the mess of making and eating a s’more. If you find you miss the gooey nature of s’more snacking, you can always make indoor s’mores instead.


  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs (8 graham cracker squares, finely crushed)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  • ½ cup marshmallow creme
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Directions: Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. Unroll pie crusts. With 3-inch round cutter, cut 10 rounds from each crust. In small shallow bowl, mix cracker crumbs and ¼ cup sugar. Brush both sides of pie crust rounds with butter; dip into crumb mixture to coat.

Place 10 coated pie crust rounds on cookie sheet. Stir together filling ingredients. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of each of the 10 rounds. Place remaining pie crust rounds on top of the filling on each. Pinch edges to seal. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store covered in refrigerator.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

8. Brownie Cupcakes

You won’t have to wait for the brownies to cool or deal with trying to cleanly slice your dessert if you make Taste of Home‘s brownie cupcakes. Serve with a side of ice cream or drizzle a chocolate or caramel topping over the brownies if desired.


  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a small bowl, beat egg and sugar. Stir in vanilla and chocolate mixture. Gradually add flour; fold in pecans.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops begin to crack. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

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