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Our Top 20 Treasured Hand-Me-Down Recipes

Let's have a huge round of applause for the cooks who've generously shared their family secrets over 20 years with our Allrecipes community. It's fitting that we salute the tradition of handing down recipes through the generations because that was the underlying mission of the site from the get-go when founder Tim Hunt dreamed up a way to digitally store his beloved grandmother's cookie recipes two decades ago. All together now: Awwwwww! Here's the list of the most popular, best reviewed, most shared recipes with a sweet family connection.

1. Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

This beauty has been officially baked more than 12,000 times and favorably reviewed by more than 7,400 pie fans. Typical rave from Layla: "Kudos to this recipe! Thank you for sharing, Rebecca! Your little grandmother is smiling from above!"

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

Photo by Holiday Baker

2. Grandma Minnie's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Gretchen sings the praises of the cookie's creator: "Thank you Grandma Minnie! Finally a good recipe where the cookies turn out soft and yummy."

Decorating Sugar Cookies

Photo by Meredith

3. Fresh Rhubarb Pie

Carol's mom used to grow rhubarb and make this top-rated treat every spring. It's gone on to inspire hundreds of bakers, who dish up compliments, like this from bubba: "One word says it all! EXCELLENT!"

fresh rhubarb pie

Photo by Jody

4. Judy's Pretzel Salad

A crowd-pleasing dish, this layered, sweet-salty creation has been made more than 2,000 times, and has racked up loads of five star reviews, as well as some solid tips on making minor adjustments. (That's the kind of advice that makes our AR community so special!) We're especially amused by reviews that point out the obvious, like this one from MamaBakes: "Never had to change a thing, and it's a hit. Definitely NOT a salad, but a scrumptious dessert."

Judy's Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Photo by abapplez

5. Grandma Johnson's Scones

Rob shared his grandmother's scone recipe, with this stamp of approval: "Tried and tested through 3 generations of kids. Simply the best." More than 2,000 cooks agreed, rating it five stars.

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Scones | Photo by Meredith

6. Grandma Nena's Lumpia and Pancit

When LANIBIRD's grandmother arrived for a visit, the house was over-run by his friends looking for a plate full of pancit, the Filipino noodle dish that's a little like Pad Thai. One reviewer added to the authentic cred: "I absolutely love this recipe! My family is from the Philippines also, holidays and birthdays are the best! By the way, if I could rate your Grandma's recipe six stars, I would!" wrote jeannette sigala.

650 x 465 1119338_original grandma nenas pancit and lumpia

Photo by rjagsunga

7. Lolah's Chicken Adobo

Lolah means grandmother in the Phillipines, and, if you wanna start a fight, try saying: "My Lolah's Chicken Adobo is better than your Lolah's." Make this recipe and there's likely to be much agreement. It's 4.5 star fantastic.

Lolah's Chicken Adobo

Photo by Vanessa Greaves

8. Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread

With more than 4,700 5-star reviews, this superstar is on the sweeter side of the cornbread spectrum. But that seems to have fueled glowing comments like this from : "This is my first attempt at making homemade cornbread and I must say it is the best I have ever had! This recipe is amazing :)"

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Cornbread | Photo by Meredith

9. Russian Tea Cakes I

All the way from Lithuania, this Bubba's cookie recipe has become a holiday tradition for so many fans, earning it an average of 4.5 stars from nearly 1,000 reviewers. That praise bandwagon includes MommyFromSeattle, who gushes: "These are THE BEST Russian Tea cookies I have ever tried, baked and eaten!!"

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Russian Tea Cakes. Photo by Philly Ry

10. Grandma VanDoren's White Bread

Is there any better kitchen fragrance than bread baking? This beloved family heirloom was captured in a written format when Grandma turned 90. Reviewers appreciated how easy it was to follow, even for beginning bakers like Jeff Sykes: "Wonderful recipe! I'm a novice baker, however, this recipe was easy and tastes great."

Grandma VanDoren's White Bread

Photo by TwinSoul_1111

11. Aunt Millie's Broccoli Casserole

If the description to this recipe is sure to cause a serious case of FOMO, with it being the center of attention at fun, family gatherings for years. One fan, fennbaby, writes that it's a fave: "I make this casserole every time I'm wanting comfort food."

12. Aunt Norma's Rhubarb Muffins

What a great way to start the day, these moist breakfast pastries have a whole bunch of followers, some claiming they've made them heroes of the bake sale circuit. "This is the way I most often use the rhubarb from my garden. The kids love it!"

650 x 465 aunt norma's rhubarb muffins IMG_36171-1024x1024 photo by vanessa greaves

Photo by Vanessa Greaves

13. Grandma's Polish Perogies

From a kitchen in the Old Country, these savory dumplings might make you weep with joy if it's a taste memory from childhood. Even if you're not familiar with this Eastern European comfort food, it has a universal appeal. missa writes: "NAILED IT!!!!!! Best perogie recipe out there. My family wants me to make them all the time."

pierogies

Photo by Sara Callaghan

14. Aunt Johnnie's Shortcake

Simple and spectacular, Aunt Johnnie earns high marks for a spot-on dessert that makes many nostalgic. "This recipe is just like one my mom would always make growing up. It has a beautiful, crunchy top and is moist and dense, just like a pound cake should be," raved holly_leigh82.

Aunt Johnnie's Pound Cake

Aunt Johnnie's Pound Cake | Photo by Gillian

15. My Mom's Raised Doughnuts

When Peggi Weaver Tebben was growing up, her mother made these pillow-y pastries and passed them out to the neighbor kids. So sweet! Some reviewers compare them to Krispy Kreme. Sweet times two.

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My Mom's Raised Doughnuts | Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

16. Ex-Girlfriend's Mom's Salsa Fresco (Pico de Gallo)

So fresh! This way popular salsa is a tribute to a relationship gone south, but what remains takes tacos to a very delicious place. This pico de gallo tilts to the tart scale, with loads of lime juice. A big hit for many: "My Mexican husband loved it and my son ate bowl after bowl after bowl. Nuff said! Thank you!"

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Ex-girlfriend's Mom's Salsa Fresca (Pico de Gallo) | Photo by naples34102

17. Ruth's Grandma's Pie Crust

This one's 100 years old! And it never gets tired of hearing praise like this review from alacove: "This is a crowd pleasing recipe. Every time I make it, people rave about it. I've used it for sweet and savory pies with equal effect."

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Photo by Meredith

18. Grandma's Onion Rings (Southern Style)

Because frying is practically a religion down South, these super snacks are extra light and crispy. At least, that's the word in a basket full of 5-star reviews like this one, from The Farmers Wife: "These are the BEST onion rings I have ever tried. ..so light and airy. My family LOVES these...just perfect. Don't change a thing."

Crispy Onion Rings

Photo by Hsiaomei

19. Husband's Grandmother's Shrimp Gumbo

This Southern staple was road tested at Cajun Festivals by the author's husband's grandmother. No shocker that it gets some heartfelt endorsements from folks in Louisiana, like nurselady77, who writes: "I live in south Louisiana and have been making gumbo for 40 years. Thsi is absolutely the best gumbo recipe I have made and actually the only time that I have used a recipe for years."

Gumbo

Photo by Meredith

20. Grandma's Five Cup Salad

Let's turn back the clock to the good old days when canned fruit and marshmallows were on the table of every family gathering. Wait, that's still a thing, conjuring warm memories of simpler times. Artsy20 captures the true Allrecipes spirit with this sweet comment: "I grew up eating this salad. I now make it for my kids and husband. Thank you for the exact recipe! Ours left when my granny passed away. So I am very grateful to you for sharing this recipe!!"

650 x 465 2312109_original grandma's five cup salad photo by Julia

Photo by Julia

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About Leslie Kelly

Always hungry to learn, never had my fill of oysters, Memphis dry rub ribs, wild salmon, chocolate chip cookies or a well-rolled lumpia. Washington state wine lover, bourbon fan. Totally obsessed with brunch!