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Desserts

You lucky devil. You just found copycat recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host, Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. See if Todd has hacked your favorite desserts here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 3.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Our specialty! French Vanilla ice cream with a crunchy, crispy cinnamon coating. Served with your choice of honey, chocolate or strawberry topping."

    Cooks at Chi-Chi's chain of Mexican restaurants are instructed to not memorize recipes for the dishes they make. Management says each chef is required to consult the company cookbooks every time they whip up a meal, so that each dish tastes exactly the same in every Chi-Chi's any time of the day. Perhaps it's that practice that has made Chi-Chi's the largest Mexican restaurant chain in the country. 

    This crispy-coated ice cream sundae is not exactly fried as you may expect by the name. The scoop of vanilla ice cream is actually rolled in cornflake crumbs that have been flavored with sugar and cinnamon, giving it the appearance and texture of being fried. It's a simple idea that tastes just great, and is well worth the try. Chi-Chi's calls this their "specialty" and claims it's the most requested dessert item on the menu.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Chocolate & vanilla marbled cheesecake on a chocolate cookie crust, topped w/fudge & Reese's Peanut Butter Cup pieces."

    A great dessert for anyone who likes cheesecake...and peanut butter cups. Use an 8-inch springform pan for this recipe if you have one. If not, you can also use two 9-inch pie pans and make two smaller cheesecakes. For the Oreo cookie crumbs, you can crumble three Oreo cookies (after removing the filling) or you can find packaged Oreo crumbs in the baking section of your supermarket near the graham cracker crumbs.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Graham crackers, milk chocolate and toasted marshmallows, streaked with chocolate sauce."

    Large screens inside each Dive! display videos of underwater scenes filmed in the waters of Micronesia, Bermuda, San Salvador, and Florida. Diners eat gourmet submarine sandwiches as giant sea turtles and sharks swim by coral reefs and underwater caves. When the alarm sounds and lights flash, it's time for the restaurant to take its simulated hourly dive. Video in the portholes and on the giant projection screens change to comedy footage from vintage movies and clips of unlikely locales for a huge submarine such as a backyard swimming pool. 

    Along with two doxen or so gourmet sandwiches and other tasty entrees, Dive! features a delectable selection of desserts. One of them is Dive! S'mores, a creation inspired by the traditional treat that's prepared around campfires with marshmallows toasted on sticks. This version assembled with graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows is broiled in a hot oven just long enough to brown the tops of the marshmallows. If you've got a craving for S'mores and are nowhere near a campfire and/or don't have sticks, here's your quick fix.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Vanilla ice cream between two pieces of devil's food cake. Served with hot fudge, creamy topping and a cherry."

    One of Shoney's signature dessert items is this Hot Fudge Cake, a dessert worshipped by all who taste it. To make construction of this treat simple, the recipe calls for a prepackaged devil's food cake mix found in any supermarket baking aisle. Try to find vanilla ice cream in a box, so that the ice cream can be more easily sliced to fit on the cake. Leftovers can be frozen and served up to several weeks later.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    Mastro’s signature dessert is sinfully good. How can it not be? It’s buttery pound cake with a warm cream cheese filling, crowned with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of homemade raspberry sauce. This formula makes 3 cakes when you bake them in 5-inch ramekins, which gives you cakes that are the same size as those served in the restaurant. And each one will easily serve two people. You can make this dessert the day before you plan to serve it just as the chefs at the restaurant do. When each butter cake order comes into the Mastro’s kitchen, a cake is microwaved until hot, the sugar topping is melted with a chef’s torch (the kind used for crème brulee), then the cake is topped with ice cream and raspberry sauce. If you don’t have a torch to melt the sugar crystals, you can just skip that step and serve the cake with the raw sugar un-torched. It still tastes great.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: “An extra generous pecan brownie is crowned with rich vanilla ice cream, drizzled with our classic warm chocolate sauce and finished with chocolate shavings and whipped cream. A chocolate lover’s dream.”

    The gluten-free brownie under the ice cream and homemade whipped cream is a flourless chocolate pecan cake cut into squares. Once the brownie is baked, it is chilled and sliced, then each serving is nuked for about 45 seconds until gooey hot. The fun really starts when you load a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the hot brownie and then drizzle some warm fudge sauce over the top. Outback cooks make the sauce from scratch each day, but it tastes similar to Hershey’s Hot Fudge Topping that you can get in just about any market. The homemade whipped cream formula here is easy and better than anything that comes out of a can. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Roy’s chefs bake this signature “lava cake” dessert in parchment paper-lined metal cylindrical molds that are slipped off the soufflé when plating the dish. Fortunately we don’t have to locate a restaurant supply outlet to obtain similar molds when the tool we need is easily found in every supermarket. Save the 4-ounce cans that hold diced peppers or whatever you may find that comes in small cans with a 2 ½-inch diameter. Cut off the top and bottom, remove the labels, wash the cans, and you have the exact same size molds as those used at Roy’s. The recipe for the batter is simple with only 4 ingredients, but plan ahead for this dessert because the batter needs to chill in the molds before baking so that the centers stay gooey and uncooked like the original.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Oprah named this blended concoction from the New York City-based Serendipity 3 one of her “Favorite Things” in 2006 saying that it makes her want to “dance on the chandeliers.”  Started in a basement on East 58th Street in 1954, Serendipity 3 has been a top stop for many celebrities though the years. Tennessee Williams and Jackie Kennedy were regulars. Andy Warhol used to pay for his meals with original drawings. With locations now open in Boca Raton and Las Vegas, Serendipity 3 is more than just a sweet shop, and also serves omelettes, salads, pizza and ribs. But the joint is best known for its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, which is ordered by around 10,000 customers each month. In the restaurant each frosty creation is made by combining a secret dry mix with milk and ice in a blender on high speed until smooth. The dessert is poured into a huge goblet, topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, and served with spoons and straws. The chain claims the secret mix is a blend of many different chocolates, and then released a recipe to the Oprah Winfrey Show a while back (posted on the show’s website) which supposedly revealed the secret formula. But it appears to be way off. The recipe given to Oprah says to use 6 half-ounce pieces “of your favorite chocolate,” but the chocolate in the restaurant’s secret dry mix comes only from cocoa powders. Also the recipe doesn’t mention anything about nonfat dry milk which is a big part of the dry mix. All you have to do is look at the ingredient list on the package of mix to see “sugar, nonfat dry milk, dextrose, and cocoas.” That’s it. But you don’t need to order a 5-dollar package of mix to enjoy this dessert. I'll save you a little time and money with this original and top-secret Serendipity 3 Frrrozen hot chocolate recipe I've worked up which uses three popular brands of cocoa, plus dry milk and sugar. Blend this mix with whole milk and ice and you’ll have a delicious (and cheap!) clone of Oprah’s favorite drink that tastes better than any recipe out there.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

    Watch Todd make Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate in this video.

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    Score: 4.88. Votes: 16

    Menu Description: "Our famous Original cheesecake recipe! Creamy and light, baked in a graham cracker crust. Our most popular cheesecake!"

    Oscar and Evelyn Overton's wholesale cheesecake company was successful quickly after it first started selling creamy cheesecakes like this clone to restaurant chains in the early 1970's. When some restaurants balked at the prices the company was charging for high-end desserts, Oscar and Evelyn's son David decided it was time to open his own restaurant, offering a wide variety of quality meal choices in huge portions, and, of course, the famous cheesecakes for dessert. Today the chain has over 87 stores across the country, and consistently ranks number one on the list of highest grossing single stores for a U.S. restaurant chain.

    Baking your cheesecakes in a water bath is part of the secret to producing beautiful cheesecakes at home with a texture similar to those sold in the restaurant. The water surrounds your cheesecake to keep it moist as it cooks, and the moisture helps prevent ugly cracking. You'll start the oven very hot for just a short time, then crank it down to finish. I also suggest lining your cheesecake pan with parchment paper to help get the thing out of the pan when it's done without a hassle.

    This recipe is so easy, even a 2-year old can make it. Check out the video

    More amazing Cheesecake Factory copycat recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 4

    Menu Description: "We start with a warm, chewy bar layered with chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut. Topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with hot fudge and caramel."

    One thing that makes this dessert special is the way it comes to your table sizzling in a cast iron skillet—just like fajitas. The chocolate chip cookie and graham cracker crust "pie" sits in a hot skillet on top of bubbling cinnamon butter. It's topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and then finished with walnuts, chocolate and caramel syrup. If you're a cloning perfectionist and want to present this dessert exactly like they do at the restaurant, you'll need a small skillet for each serving. Small cast iron skillets are the best, but any 6- or 8-inch saute pan will do fine. Just be sure your pan is real hot to get that same Chili's "sizzle" when you lay in the goodies. If you've got a big crew to feed and don't have enough skillets for each serving, you can add the cinnamon butter to individual serving plates, microwave the plates until the butter melts, then build each serving on the warm plates. It may not have the sizzle of the real thing, but it'll still taste like paradise.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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