A delicious dessert is the perfect way to end a meal, leaving diners satisfied and happy. While elaborate desserts have their place, sometimes you just want something sweet that comes together quickly with little fuss. The good news is there are many quick and easy dessert recipes that can be made in a flash but taste like you spent hours in the kitchen.
These sweet treats use ingredients you likely have on hand, require minimal active cooking time, and result in a decadent final course. Whether you need a last-minute dessert for a casual weeknight dinner or want to whip up something sweet without spending all day in the kitchen, these quick dessert recipes will satisfy your craving for something sweet in a hurry.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
These rich chocolate cookies are a classic and come together in just minutes. To make the dough, combine cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and add in vanilla extract. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients and then cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Once chilled, preheat the oven and grease two baking sheets. Scoop the dough into 1-inch balls, roll in powdered sugar to coat, and space 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set around the edges but slightly underbaked in the center. Cool on baking sheets briefly before transferring to a wire rack. For those who are new to baking or simply want a foolproof guide, check out this detailed chocolate crinkle cookies recipe. The rich, fudgy texture combined with the delicate sugar coating makes these cookies an absolute favorite for any chocolate lover.
Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
These sweet and tangy lemon bars have all the bright citrus flavor of lemon meringue pie without the fussy pie crust. Start by pressing graham cracker crumbs into a baking pan to form the crust. For the filling, whisk together lemon juice, eggs, sugar, and butter in a bowl until smooth. Pour this lemony curd over the crust and bake until set.
Let cool completely before topping with sweetened whipped cream. Use a kitchen torch to gently brown the tips of the whipped cream, mimicking a meringue topping without having to whip egg whites. Chill thoroughly before cutting into bars. The contrast of the crisp graham cracker crust and smooth, rich lemon curd topped with torched meringue-like whipped cream makes these bars a refreshing dessert.
Easy Chocolate Mousse
Creamy chocolate mousse can be on the table in just 5 minutes thanks to a simple shortcut. Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until just simmering. Remove from heat and add chopped semisweet chocolate, letting stand 1 minute for the chocolate to melt.
Whisk until completely smooth, then fold in chilled whipped cream and eggs. The melted chocolate and hot cream cook the eggs, resulting in a rich, airy mousse. Spoon into dishes and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving so the mousse can set. Garnish with fresh raspberries or shaved chocolate curls for an elegant presentation.
Vanilla Meringue Cookies
These sweet vanilla meringue cookies are made with just 3 main ingredients: egg whites, sugar, and vanilla. First, beat egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar in a bowl until stiff, glossy peaks form. Gently fold in the sugar and vanilla extract, being careful not to deflate the egg whites. The meringue will become thick and shiny.
Drop spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, forming little kisses or peaks. Bake at low temperature until the meringues are set and dry but still white. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before removing. These vanilla meringue cookies will be wonderfully light and crisp. For extra decadence, sandwich two together with freshly whipped cream.
Quick Mixed Berry Cobbler
This effortless berry cobbler comes together in under 30 minutes for a quick, fruity dessert. Start by tossing fresh or frozen berries with sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Pour the sweetened berries into a baking dish. Drop spoonfuls of refrigerated biscuit dough over the fruit. Brush the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. The biscuit dough soaks up the lovely berry juices as it bakes. Serve warm with ice cream for an easy, delicious summery treat.
Devil’s Food Cookies
These decadent devil’s food cookies come together in just 10 minutes for an easy chocolate fix. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. This will form the dry base for the cookies. In a separate large bowl, melt butter and whisk in granulated sugar and brown sugar until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla essence. The mixture will look glossy.
Gradually mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them apart. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes until set. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. These fudgy devil’s food cookies are perfectly chocolatey. For extra indulgence, drizzle with melted chocolate or sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Speedy Chocolate Pudding
This speedy stovetop chocolate pudding comes together in just 5 minutes for an almost instant chocolate fix. Whisk together milk and instant pudding mix in a saucepan. Heat over medium flame, stirring constantly, then whisk in chocolate cake mix until very thick.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until smooth and melted. The cake mix helps the pudding thicken quickly without requiring egg yolks. Pour into individual dishes and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and crushed candy canes or chocolate shavings. Despite being so fast, this chocolate pudding is rich and decadent. It’s a great emergency chocolate dessert.
While fancy plated desserts have their place, sometimes a simple treat is just what you need to satisfy a craving for something sweet after dinner. These 7 quick and easy dessert recipes prove that you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to make a delicious final course. From fast cookies to chocolate pudding, these desserts come together quickly but taste amazing. With the smart use of shortcuts like cake mix and refrigerated dough, you can cut down on active prep time. The next time you want to end a meal on a sweet note without all the fuss, turn to these quick dessert recipes for a fast, delicious finale.