If you need a great dessert without a lot of fuss, I’ve got you covered with these quick and easy dessert recipes!
Quick and Easy Dessert Recipes
Any fellow procrastinators out there? I’ve always been really, really good at putting things off until the proverbial last minute. I wish I weren’t, but sadly it’s true.
If any of you find yourself in that position and need a quick and easy dessert, I’ve got you covered with these recipes. Even if you’re not a procrastinator, I think you’ll find this collection helpful. These recipes are great for unexpected company, an impromptu dinner, or a forgotten get-together. Or maybe you just have a craving for homemade baked goods without a lot of fuss!
I generally aim to share recipes with you that are uncomplicated. But these are particularly simple to make. Most of these are entirely from scratch, which is my favorite way to bake. But there are also a few shortcut ingredients to make things easy when you most need them to be. Perfect for those times you need dessert in a hurry or you just don’t want to invest a lot of time in the kitchen!
Tips for Quick, Efficient Baking
Generally speaking, baking itself can’t be rushed. But there are things you can do to streamline your prep time and make sure your baking goes as efficiently as possible.
- Read through the recipe. Don’t dive into baking without knowing what’s involved in the recipe. It takes a few minutes on the front end, but it will save you time (and stress!) in the end.
- Gather your ingredients. This will not only make your mixing quicker and more efficient, but it will also ensure that you have everything you need for the recipe.
- Pay attention to inactive time. It’s not uncommon for a baking recipe to need some hands-off time like chilling. Make sure you know how much total time is required.
- Don’t make substitutions. Tweaking recipes can be a lot of fun, but it’s less fun when the end result isn’t great because you made a substitution that didn’t quite work.
- Plan for storing. Know how you’ll store what you’re baking once it’s done. That can be for serving from your own kitchen, packaging for sharing, or storing for easy transport.
More Easy Recipes
If you bake frequently and stay well-stocked with baking ingredients, you can bake all sorts of treats with just what you have on hand. See my collection of more than 40 Pantry Staples Baking Recipes for some tasty ideas.
And if you share my love of baking from scratch but don’t want a long ingredient list, try some of these great Dessert Recipes with 8 or Fewer Ingredients. There are more than 50 to tempt you to get baking!
Quick and Easy Desserts
These homemade desserts are a cinch to make. Keep this collection in mind for those times you need a delicious dessert in a hurry and without a lot of fuss!
This Italian Jam Crostata is usually one of the first things that pops into my head when I need a pretty dessert with little fuss. There's a simple mixture for the crust and topping, plus your favorite fruit jam and some sliced almonds. It's beautiful, delicious, and so, so easy!
It really doesn't get much easier than these soft, chewy Coconut Macaroons. They're made in just one bowl and only take a few minutes to mix. If you've got a little extra time, dip them in melted chocolate to make them extra special!
Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake is an excellent choice for a simple dessert, a sweet snack, or a homemade gift. No fuss, just really good cake!
There's never been a better way to dress up a simple brownie than with this Caramel Pecan Brownie Cake! Use the brownie recipe here or your favorite. Then add a simple caramel topping, a little chocolate ganache, and some nuts.
Chocolate Chip Tiramisu is an easy, no-bake dessert made with your favorite pound cake (store-bought or homemade!). It certainly qualifies as quick to make, but be sure to allow for the chilling time.
With just the basics from your pantry, you can make these lovely Brown Sugar Shortbread. They're great for a homemade gift or just for sharing and enjoying.
Your guests will never have to know that this elegant, delicious Chocolate Mascarpone Tart is so very simple to make. It's wonderfully smooth and creamy. A lovely ending to a special meal!
With just 5 ingredients, these Pecan Pie Cupcakes come together in a flash. And they taste remarkably like pecan pie!
These Lemon Pound Cake Bars keep things simple by baking a citrus-flavored pound cake in a 9" x 13" pan. That makes them a breeze to make, serve, and transport!
These rich, dark, decadent Salted Fudge Brownies are also one of the easiest homemade brownies you'll ever make!
Just three ingredients and some chilling time will give you these buttery Shortbread Cookies! You can make them as cutout cookies, drop cookies, or bar cookies. Decorate them for the occasion or simply leave them as they are.
If you love all things chocolate and peanut butter, these no-bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars are not to be missed! They're so good that they'd be worth any effort, but luckily you'll just need six ingredients and about 10 minutes to get them chilling!
Bakery croissants and preserves star in this oh-so-easy Blueberry Croissant Bread Pudding. You can easily change the flavor of the preserves to suit this recipe to your tastes.
A friend passed along the recipe for this Chocolate Cobbler years ago, and it was love at first bite. Everything goes into one pan, and it forms cake and a sauce as it bakes. It's ridiculously good.
Cheesecake doesn't often come to mind for something quick and easy, but these Pecan Cheesecake Bars are a wonderful exception. They're a breeze to mix! You'll just need to factor in a short chilling time.
I generally prefer to bake from scratch, but I have a few exceptions. This Banana Pudding is made with a few shortcut ingredients to expedite its preparation. It is, without a doubt, the best banana pudding I've ever tasted!
One-bowl wonders like these Chocolate Toffee Bars are essential to every baker's repertoire. They're jam-packed with flavor and topped with the easiest ever chocolate topping.
This Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake makes the most of simple flavors in a no-fuss dessert. It's just the kind of versatile cake that works well for a casual gathering and also for an everyday treat.
Four ingredients. Four! That's all you need for these Chocolate Chip Pecan No-Bake Cookies. They're made with cookie crumbs, chocolate chips, nuts, and a little condensed milk to hold them together. SO good!
These crunchy, sweet bars are made with just 5 ingredients and a little stovetop time. They need to chill afterward, so that makes them a great choice for making the night before you'll serve them.
Fresh peaches and a simple topping combine to make one of the easiest, tastiest desserts around! Just add ice cream!
These easy, one-bowl Brownie Cupcakes are part brownie, part cake, and entirely delicious! They're great for sharing with your favorite chocolate lovers!
Almond Gâteau Breton certainly doesn't look or taste like it's quick and easy, but it absolutely is! If you've got almonds in your pantry, then you likely have everything you need to make this lovely cake. Serve it with a simple dusting of confectioners' sugar or add a fruity topping.
I'll take any excuse to make a batch of these Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Not only are they incredibly delicious, but they're a cinch to make. You can easily customize these with your favorite add-ins for just the perfect treat!
Puff pastry is one of my favorite shortcut ingredients, and it works so very well in this Cream Cheese-Filled Pear Tart. It forms the crust for the sweetened cream cheese and spiced pear filling. A perfect example of an elegant but easy dessert!
These little Peanut Butter Fudge Tartlets combine a peanut butter cookie crust with a fudgy chocolate filling. They come together surprisingly quickly and are likely disappear just as fast!
Cookie bars are a great way to expedite your baking, and these M&M Sugar Cookie Bars do so in a happy, colorful way! For a holiday or special occasion, you can easily change the colors of the candies to make them a perfect fit.
These little Chocolate Chip Cupcakes mix quickly and easily. And they're just adorable, too! Think of them as a cookie-cupcake hybrid!
This Skillet Berry Crumble combines your favorite berries with a simple oat topping. It's just the kind of recipe to turn to when you've got an assortment of berries that need to get turned into something delicious!
Bread puddings are often a great choice for something quick and easy, as they're usually a simple mixture of bread, add-ins, and a liquid mixture. This Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding keeps with that theme with an easy combination of croissants and chocolate. Bonus points that this one works well on your brunch menu, too!
Cinnamon Sugar Pound Cake Bites can be easy to make or super easy to make. Your choice! It all starts with pound cake, either homemade or store-bought. Then you're just 3 ingredients and some stove-top time away from deliciousness!
Yes, just THREE ingredients! This cookie recipe is the epitome of quick and easy. Even better, they're delicious, too!
Not only are these Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Squares wonderfully fuss-free, they also make a big batch for sharing. They're a bit like Snickerdoodles in bar form and always a hit!
Cookies like these Hazelnut Crescent Cookies go by many names - Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowdrops, and many more. No matter what you call them, these sweet, soft cookies couldn't be easier to make. And I confess they're one of my cookie weaknesses!
This 4-ingredient Chocolate Mousse is as delicious as it is easy. Dress it up with some whipped cream and a little extra chocolate for an elegant dessert.
Fruit desserts like this Cranberry Apple Crumble are always top of mind for something quick to make. Plus, a warm serving of this topped with a scoop of ice cream is 100% irresistible!
These bars go by many names - Magic Bars, 7-Layer Bars, Hello Dollys. But no matter what you call them, they're just the kind of recipe to keep in mind for something quick to make with ingredients you're likely to have on-hand.
You don't like rich, fudgy, chocolate desserts, do you? Of course you do! And you'll love this easy Chocolate Torte maybe best of all because of its simplicity. It's just the kind of dessert you make again and again for every conceivable reason!
This Cinnamon Crown Cake looks far more complicated than it is. It's a fantastic one-bowl recipe that works for everything from brunch to snack time to dessert!
This wonderfully fuss-free Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread combines an easy peanut butter shortbread with an even easier chocolate-peanut butter topping. A sprinkle of chopped peanuts on top completes the look and adds some crunch to these fantastic bars.
Homemade pie may be an unexpected recipe on this list, but this classic Chess Pie is amazingly easy to make. If you're like me and like to stash extra pie crust in the freezer, you're well on your way to having this pie ready to bake. Or if you prefer, use a store-bought crust for a shortcut.
Don't let this Cocoa Cake deceive you. It may look like an unassuming chocolate cake, but it's amazingly delicious. Its simplicity is what makes it so very good!
Cupcakes rarely fall into the "quick and easy desserts" category, but these Biscoff Cupcakes are a winning exception. With a swirl of cookie butter in these tasty cakes, there's no need for a fancy frosting!
If you love apple desserts with warm, cozy spices, then you'll love this simple Apple Crisp. You'll also love how quickly you'll have it assembled and in the oven!
I may be a little biased, but I think this Fudgy Nut Tart is such a pretty dessert! All those nuts on top of that dark, fudgy filling just makes me want to grab a fork and dig in! And the best part? It's made with a 3-ingredient crust and a 2-ingredient filling plus your favorite nuts.
4 Comments on “Best Quick and Easy Desserts”
Awesome list! The chocolate chip tiramisu sounds divine 🙂
Do you ever have sugar free or sugar substitute desserts in any form? Thank you.
Hi, Evelyn. I don’t have a lot of experience using sugar substitutes. If you’d like to make any substitutions, I’d recommend using the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Such a great woman! Love your foods