These easy dessert recipes will feed your sweet tooth at short notice. From perfect weeknight cookies or 5-ingredient cakes, there’s something here for everyone.
A good dessert recipe is a jewel in every home cook’s crown, so where better for beginner chefs to start? These easy-to-make treats are fun, quick and – most importantly – delicious. Whether you want something covered in chocolate or a last-minute baking option, these best easy dessert recipes are all perfect for all home chefs.
Chocolate Orange Cake
Everyone needs a cake in their repertoire, so why not make it one with a chocolate twist on the classic sponge? With a rich, moist center and sticky icing coating, there aren’t many desserts as decadent as this one.
Try This Recipe: This chocolate orange cake uses a simple chocolate sponge and infuses it with orange juice for a subtle note of flavor, before topping it with frosting and candied orange slices. With no special ingredients and only 30 minutes baking time, there’s no better place to start with cakes than with this recipe.
Peanut Butter Fudge
A vintage classic that has never gone out of style, peanut butter fudge only needs a handful of ingredients and can be batch-made to last for weeks.
Fudge is perfect for cooking novices because classic recipes are essentially just sugar, butter, and milk. Once you master it you’ll have the foundations to attempt much more ambitious desserts. Although, why would you want anything else?
Try This Recipe: This easy peanut butter fudge is smooth and creamy, and the best way to use peanut butter.
Carmelitas are sweet bars layered with oatmeal, chocolate, and caramel. They have a silky buttery caramel velvet sauce that gives them a sweet, gooey texture.
Try This Recipe: Our oatmeal carmelitas have a beautiful texture and crunch from the oats, while the inside has molten caramel.
Traditional tiramisu is made with coffee-soaked ladyfingers, liqueur, and mascarpone layers. It’s a classic no-bake Italian recipe and a great place to start for dessert fans who want something quick and simple.
Try This Recipe: Our easy chocolate tiramisu recipe is made with layered chocolate cake, a dash of heavy cream, and topped with mascarpone, coffee, and cocoa powder. Just chill for 30 minutes and it’s good to go!
American waffles are traditionally a breakfast food, but with an injection of chocolate into the mix we can transform this classic into a simple treat to round off the night. With a light and fluffy texture, they’re on the right side of sweet without being too rich or filling.
Try This Recipe: Where better to turn to than with America’s classic cookie? These Oreo waffles take traditional waffle batter and add chocolate Oreo cookies before topping with whipped cream. Best of all, it takes only ten minutes to make from scratch.
Chocolate Caramel Fudge
If you can’t decide between chocolate or caramel fudge, why not combine the best of both worlds? The two classic ingredients complement each other perfectly and can be layered to create a delicious homemade fudge.
Try This Recipe: This no-bake chocolate caramel fudge recipe is an excellent last-minute dessert that’s easy for home chefs of all skill levels. Made with only five ingredients, it only takes ten minutes to make from scratch before cooling in the refrigerator. The perfect beginner fudge recipe.
Pralines are perfect for baking beginners because they contain minimal ingredients and take no time to prepare. In their most basic form, they’re essentially a blend of nuts and sugar, giving them an addictive ‘snap’ as you eat them.
While praline recipes vary across Europe, North American pralines tend to contain syrup and pecans, giving them a soft and more fudge-like mouthfeel. They’re caramelly and nutty, and taste incredible. Pralines are one of our favorite Cajun desserts, and it’s easy to see why.
Try This Recipe: These candied pecan pralines are laced in brown sugar and closely resemble a basic fudge recipe. They take under an hour to make and are the perfect place to start with homemade candy.
Caramel Pecan Cake
Perfecting the art of a Victorian sponge is a fundamental skill for all dessert newcomers, but what’s the best way to decorate that sponge? While it can be tempting to cover it in chocolate frosting or lemon icing, using a caramel and pecan coating is a much more creative (and delicious!) way to round off your cake.
Try This Recipe: This caramel pecan cake features a classic Victorian sponge cake filled with a gooey pecan caramel filling for a unique twist on a centuries-old classic dessert.
Mini Apple Pies
Apple pie is a complex dessert, but this version lets you enjoy all of its flavors for a fraction of the effort. You even get to avoid making pie dough by using premade dough for the crust.
Just cut the dough into circles and press into a muffin tin. Mix apples, sugar, and cinnamon to create a filling and fill the crust. If you’re feeling fancy, you can use scraps from the pre-made dough to cover the mini pies. Once they bake, you will have individual servings of apple pie!
Try This Recipe: These delicious apple pie bites boast a latticed crust casing with a gooey apple and cinnamon filling. Made with coconut flour, they’re lower in gluten and sugar than most other desserts but are still perfect for baking beginners.
Caramel Pecan Buns
While baked dough buns can be enjoyed at breakfast or throughout the day, we love them as a dessert topped with ice cream. The combination of caramel and cinnamon with a light cream is incredible, and sweet buns are often the perfect entry-point for baking novices.
Try This Recipe: These caramel pecan sticky buns feature a buttery dough and salted caramel and chopped pecan topping. Indulgent and simple in equal measure.
This recipe is the best way to get the creamy flavors of cheesecake without agonizing over baking times. All you have to do is assemble the cake and let it chill, which even beginners can do. No-bake cheesecake also allows you to express your creativity because you can add whatever ingredients and flavorings you want!
To make no-bake cheesecake, you don’t even need to make a traditional cake base. All you need are graham cracker crumbles, butter, and sugar for the crust. Then combine heavy cream, cream cheese, sugar, and any flavors that you want to make the filling. After letting it all chill overnight, you will have a perfect cheesecake without ever turning on your oven!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Peanut butter is the star of many easy dessert recipes. It helps sweeten food and combine different ingredients. These bars come together thanks to peanut butter and you don’t even need to bake them.
All you need to do is heat peanut butter and honey together until they melt and combine. Then, stir in the oats, press the mixture into a tray, and bake. You’ll have a sweet treat that’s still healthy because it uses natural ingredients with very little effort.
Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
Instead of dividing cookie dough into individual cookies, you can make one big one with this skillet chocolate chip cookie recipe. Cut it into slices to share or eat it all yourself (we won’t tell).
To make a skillet chocolate chip cookie, just make a normal chocolate chip cookie dough by combining butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Once you have the dough, press it into a skillet and bake. You get to skip the step of rolling out individual cookies while still enjoying this delicious dessert.
Nutella Mug Cake
To make this dessert, you don’t even need an oven or a baking tray. All you need is a mug, a few simple ingredients, and a microwave. This recipe is very simple and because you don’t need a lot of equipment, it is also perfect for dorm cooking.
To make Nutella mug cake, just whisk together Nutella, flour, and an egg in a microwavable mug. Then, pop the mug into the microwave for about a minute, until the top is set. This is the perfect treat for when you need a quick pick-me-up or are craving something sweet after dinner but don’t have anything more elaborate on hand.
Chocolate Chip Blondies
Tray bakes are some of the easiest recipes to make as a beginner because all you need to do is mix the ingredients together and pour the mixture into a loaf pan or tray. This recipe for blondies, which are just brownies without the cocoa powder, is no different.
To make this dessert, mix brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips together. Then, pour it into a pan and bake. You’ll have delicious blondies with gooey pockets of melted chocolate chips with very little effort!
No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
No-churn vanilla ice cream proves that you can make your own ice cream without buying special equipment—not even an ice cream maker.
All the ingredients you need for this recipe are condensed milk, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and a pinch of salt. Whip the ingredients together, then put the mixture in a loaf pan to chill in the fridge. You’ll have homemade ice cream, and all it took was four ingredients and some patience.
Strawberry Shortcake Fudge
This recipe helps you enjoy all of the flavors of strawberry shortcake in easy candy form. Once you have the basics of fudge down, then you can customize it with whatever ingredients and flavors that you want.
To make the fudge, you will need strawberry pudding mix, evaporated milk, sugar, and butter. Boil the ingredients together to make fudge, then pour half into a pan to set. Cover the fudge with Nilla wafer cookies, then pour the rest of the fudge over it and let it set. This mimics the layered appearance and flavors of strawberry fudge for a fraction of the effort.
Peach cobbler is a classic American dessert, but despite its storied reputation it is quite easy to make. It has two components: the batter and fruit filling.
To make the batter, you just combine the usual ingredients such as flour, sugar, and butter. Then, boil sliced peaches with sugar and lemon juice. Pour the peaches over the batter and bake. Cobbler is the perfect no-fuss dessert to serve in the summer.
Gooey Chocolate Caramel Bars
This recipe proves that bar desserts are easy and delicious. If you buy caramel ice cream topping or syrup, then you don’t even need to make your own caramel.
To make these bars, make the batter using the usual ingredients such as flour, sugar, and oats if you want a more robust dough. Bake half the batter for 15 minutes, then add chocolate chips, caramel, and the rest of the batter to make a bar with a pleasant surprise in the middle.