At functions, a well made apple pie or chocolate cake are the first things to disappear. Oh, and that no bake desert with whipped cream, graham crackers and pudding seems to be ubiquitous and well received.
I live in New Zealand and a pavlova always goes down a treat. A lot of families will have a "pav" for Christmas pudding. It's a meringue cake with a crisp crust, but soft and very light inside, and topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.