29 Easy Dessert Recipes For Your Next Party

Breakfast and dinner are normally the realms of the easy weeknight recipe, but in our mind, easy dessert recipes are just as essential. Sure, you may not need a plate of brownies to grab after dinner, but you definitely want one, and a little sweet snack at the end of a long day is always a good thing. If anything, easy dessert recipes may be even more useful than other quick meals, because you probably have even less time to dedicate to dessert than the main course. Dessert is supposed to be enjoyable and relaxing, the last thing you want it to do is add more stress to your evening by spending an hour whipping up a cake.

The great thing about easy dessert recipes is that you can still make almost anything. Cookies are an obvious option, and we have plenty of good ones for you, but with just a little effort you can produce delicious cakes, pies, and puddings too. It doesn't matter if you want the comforting luxury of chocolate, or something bright, tart, and summery, there are enough options here that you can have it all and get it on your table in no time. Master just a few of these recipes and you'll be able to quickly turn any meal into a feast, and any free moment into a treat. Just don't forget to share.

1. Easy Dirt Pudding

Some of the magic of quick dessert recipes is how they can turn boxed ingredients into something special. This dirt pudding is the epitome of that, using just a couple pre-made items to produce a light and creamy chocolate treat. After making boxed chocolate pudding, folding in whipped topping transforms it into something like mousse. A little extra cocoa powder and vanilla give it more flavor than your standard boxed recipe too. Of course, everything is layered with crushed Oreos, which are good enough on their own to require no extra effort.

Recipe: Easy Dirt Pudding

2. Lemon Mug Cake

Mug cakes, like this citrusy variation, are the fastest route to tasty cake and are pretty cute to boot. Mixing a single serving's size of cake batter in a mug allows it to be cooked in the microwave in under two minutes, but beyond that, this is everything you'd expect from a delicious lemon cake. Melted butter, sugar, milk, and lemon juice provide the liquid base before the dry mixture of flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest is mixed in. Lemon juice and confectioners sugar produce a sharp glaze to finish it.

Recipe: Lemon Mug Cake

3. Easy Sopapilla

Sopapillas, a staple of New Mexico for both dinners and desserts, are a golden brown blank slate for simple fillings and toppings. Essentially a fried tortilla, this recipe ingeniously forgoes any mixing by using premade flour tortillas, which makes an already quick dessert even faster. All you need to do is fry them in oil until they puff up and brown and then they're ready for action. You can drizzle them with melted chocolate or dulce de leche, but the simplicity of powdered sugar or good local honey is traditional.

Recipe: Easy Sopapilla

4. Easy Raspberry Pie

Making your own pie crust is always a worthy endeavor, but it's time-consuming and not always necessary when you just want to let some flavorful raspberries shine. You only need cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon juice to make a fresh fruit filling, and since those things are probably in your kitchen a pre-made, frozen crust means you can have a warm slice of pie ready with just a few minutes of mixing. When you have something as powerful as tart raspberries, it's sometimes best to let them do all the work.

Recipe: Easy Raspberry Pie

5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

This is a peanut butter and chocolate lover's dream, and so satisfying that it's shocking how easy it comes together. These bars are made in two parts, a chocolate cookie base and a peanut butter cheesecake topping. Cream cheese, eggs, and sugar are all it takes to make the cheesecake, which is layered over an uncomplicated chocolate cookie base that's been cooked a bit to solidify it. Combined, these two simple components become an irresistibly creamy and crunchy dessert, and that's before you top them with some Reese's favorites.

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

6. Simple Classic Vanilla Pudding

Often subsumed into a supporting role, this classic pudding recipe puts vanilla front and center. Some careful technique is all you need to worry about here, as warm milk needs to be slowly whisked into beaten eggs to prevent them from accidentally curdling. After that, you just mix in a separate cornstarch and milk slurry and slowly thicken it over low heat while whisking. Finished with just vanilla and butter, it is still a rich, delightful dessert thanks to the inherent complexity and deep flavor of vanilla.

Recipe: Simple Classic Vanilla Pudding

7. Light And Fluffy Angel Food Cake

This classic angel food cake is airy and heavenly soft, thanks to the unique method of using whipped egg whites instead of fats or leaveners. Light cake flour is essential to prevent this recipe from collapsing, but other than that, the ingredient list is short and simple. Sugar, cream of tartar, and vanilla get whipped with the egg whites before the flour and salt are folded in. Be gentle, as the air in the eggs is key to giving angel food cake its lovely texture.

Recipe: Light And Fluffy Angel Food Cake

8. Baked Rice Pudding

You've heard of one-pan dinners, but now it's time for one-pan desserts. This creamy rice pudding comes together in the oven, needing only a baking dish for both mixing and cooking. Milk, evaporated milk, salt, and sugar get flavored with vanilla and mixed with short-grain white rice for the easiest dessert prep ever. The mix gets topped with cinnamon for an extra pop of warm flavor before going in the oven for an extended bake. Served warm, it's great by itself or topped with fresh fruit.

Recipe: Baked Rice Pudding

9. Strawberry Sorbet

Ice cream gets all the glory, but sorbet is just as good on a summer day, and as this recipe shows, it's easy to make at home. Sorbet doesn't use dairy, it's normally just fruit, ice, and sugar, and our version even cuts out ice by using frozen fruit as a shortcut. Frozen strawberries are blitzed in a blender before the mixture gets a second whir with sugar and lemon juice. Once it has a soft, uniform texture it's time for the hardest part: waiting two hours for it to set in the freezer.

Recipe: Strawberry Sorbet

10. Flourless Chocolate Torte

Stop here if you want all your rich and gooey chocolate dreams fulfilled in half an hour. Melting butter and chocolate in the microwave is fast and effective, and then everything gets combined with a beaten mixture of eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Almond flour gives the torte some added stability without the flour, as well as some nice, nutty depth of flavor, and a final mix of cocoa powder makes this dessert extra chocolaty. Topped with powdered sugar after a short stint in the oven, this should satisfy even the strongest chocolate craving.

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Torte

11. Classic Banana Pudding

The creamy texture of pudding has a fabulous partner in banana, and together they make a crave-worthy dessert. This recipe is as easy as slicing and layering because everything is built around instant pudding mix. Some extra vanilla adds more flavor to the pudding, and then it gets portioned out into individual cups. Layered with bananas and vanilla wafer cookers, then topped with whipped cream, the pudding gets some nice textural contrast and ends up unbelievably flavorful.

Recipe: Classic Banana Pudding

12. Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

These peanut butter cookies know what you want, and don't make the mistake of messing with perfection. This recipe produces the ideal texture of crispy exterior and chewy interior, with that classic, plate-clearing sweet, salty, and nutty taste. To get that ideal texture, you'll want to beat the butter with sugar until it's fluffy, and then once everything else is mixed, it takes a short trip to the fridge to chill. Keeping things classic doesn't just mean comforting flavors, it also means they go batter to baked in twenty minutes.

Recipe: Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

13. Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are already as good as it gets, but subtle changes like this brown butter recipe can add a little something extra while retaining all their normal appeal. These cookies use all the normal chocolate chip ingredients, with only the extra step of browning the butter before mixing, which adds tons of complexity with toasty, caramel flavors. Some cornstarch in the batter also aids in finding that balance between crunchy and soft textures, so no chocolate chip cookie lover is left disappointed.

Recipe: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

14. Banana Pudding Pie

One great way to get a pie with less effort is a graham cracker crust, which this pie uses to great effect. Every layer of this scrumptious pie is low-effort, from the banana pudding mix base to the slices of fresh banana on top. The crust is just blitzed grahams or digestive biscuits mixed with melted butter and pressed into a pan. The whipped cream is homemade, but it's so simple and so much better than the canned stuff, so it's worth the extra effort.

Recipe: Banana Pudding Pie

15. Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Sliced bars of cream and custard feel fancy, but they are no trouble at all. This fruity strawberry cheesecake recipe is no-bake top to bottom, it just needs a rest in the fridge to firm up once it's been made. The base is graham cracker pulsed in a food processor with sugar and butter. The cheesecake topping is made by beating cream cheese and sugar with fresh strawberries and vanilla until it's mostly uniform. After the chilling process, they can be sliced and served with a topping of whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

16. Simple Spiced Apple Cake

This apple cake is the best kind of easy recipe: one that looks and tastes like it took a lot of work to make. Crisp, tart apples are sliced and mixed with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice for classic apple pie flavors with a little extra kick. Then it is just a matter of layering the apples on top of a basic cake batter, which gets some tartness from sour cream. The fluffy, simple cake keeps the attention on the fresh apple flavor while complementing their meaty texture.

Recipe: Simple Spiced Apple Cake

17. Buttery Sugar Cookies

You can whip up these cookies anytime a craving hits because it's as simple as creaming butter and sugar together, then mixing in eggs, vanilla, flour, and salt. Cornstarch helps add structure that prevents the cookies from spreading out and getting too thin while they cook. Then they are ready for a nice layer of powdered sugar icing and sprinkles for a charming finish.

Recipe: Buttery Sugar Cookies

18. Classic Pound Cake

There isn't a more streamlined cake than pound cake, which only utilizes flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla to produce a moist, soft, and versatile dessert. Our recipe adds one thing to the equation, sour cream, which adds a little tang, and helps make it even more tender. This pound cake is plenty good as is, but is best with toppings to plus it up. You can use ice cream, melted chocolate, or bananas and nuts, but the classic fresh berries and whipped cream are hard to beat.

Recipe: Classic Pound Cake

19. No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Cookies go from quick to effortless with this no bake method using rolled oats. Butter, milk, and sugar are heated in a pan with cocoa powder until it all melts together, then it's mixed with vanilla and oats. There are also a few healthy dollops of peanut butter added for some extra salt, flavor, and stability. After everything is combined, all you need to do is scoop out big spoonfuls and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment to chill and set.

Recipe: No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

20. 3-Ingredient Nutella Cookies

It wouldn't be an easy dessert collection without one of the world's most beloved sweet products. All the flavor in these cookies comes from Nutella, which is all you need of course. To transform the chocolate hazelnut spread into cookies, all you need is flour and an egg. This makes a stiff dough that needs to be shaped by hand and pressed flat before going in the oven. You won't find a quicker cookie, and you won't find too many that taste better than these either.

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Nutella Cookies

21. Simple Honey Cake

With its popular use as a sweetener, it's easy to forget how much flavor honey has all by itself. But as this cake shows, honey is so tasty that it can single-handedly carry one of the best desserts out there. Some Greek yogurt helps to tenderize the cake, but otherwise, this uses all your common cake ingredients. Just be careful when mixing everything together, because simple cakes like this can get overly dense if overworked. Served warm with extra honey for drizzling, it's a showcase for one of nature's most beautiful flavors.

Recipe: Simple Honey Cake

22. Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding

You shouldn't need an excuse to serve a cinnamon roll any time of day, but if you want to transform that breakfast treat into a family sized dessert, this bread pudding does the trick. This recipe utilizes canned cinnamon rolls, which are baked before being chopped into pieces. Milk, cream, eggs, vanilla, and sugar get mixed with the baked rolls in a pan to form a pudding mixture, and chopped pecans add a nutty crunch. No cinnamon roll would be complete without icing after baking, and then it's slice and serve.

Recipe: Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding

23. S'mores Pie

Normal s'mores may be simple, but you can upgrade them into a truly magnificent pie without too much extra work. A graham cracker crust makes an easy base, and then it gets layered with chocolate ganache and a crunchy, complex amaretto toffee that pushes everything into luxury territory. The toughest part is the homemade marshmallow topping, but boy is the fluffy, creamy result worth it. Torching the top brings the signature s'mores char to an elevated pie that still evokes backyard eating with every bite.

Recipe: S'mores Pie

24. Oreo Mug Cake

Oreo pretty much nailed its cookie on the first attempt, and you can use the brand's success to your benefit by morphing them into a chocolatey mug cake. It might be hard to believe, but all you need are Oreos and milk and you can have a single-serving cake in minutes. Just blitz some Oreos in a food processor, mix the crumbled cookies with milk in a mug, and cook in the microwave for two minutes. The only extras you might want are toppings, like more crumbled Oreos, or some whipped cream.

Recipe: Oreo Mug Cake

25. Decadent Peanut Butter Pie

This is a surprisingly quick pie that marries the deliciousness of peanut butter with the creamy, smooth satisfaction of cheesecake. Some cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla are all that's needed to turn peanut butter into this silky pie filling that gets whipped and spooned into a graham cracker crust. The rich peanut butter gets some light, airy whipped cream to balance it out, and then some chocolate shavings top everything off.

Recipe: Decadent Peanut Butter Pie

26. Easy Mango Sorbet

Sorbet is a great way to showcase fresh fruit, and mango is so juicy and flavorful that it's an ideal choice for a frozen treat. Start with frozen mango, which you can buy or freeze yourself. Mango is sweet enough, so you only need a little sugar and some lime juice for a little tartness to kick up the taste even more. All three ingredients go in a blender for three minutes, and that's it. After hanging out in the freezer for a few hours, you'll have a tropical dessert that's as fresh as it is easy.

Recipe: Easy Mango Sorbet

27. Best Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are an old favorite with good reason, as they mix creamy, tart, and crunchy in a snack-sized package. A simple cookie base comes together quickly in a mixer and gets pressed into a parchment-lined pan. The lemon curd made of juice, zest, eggs, sugar, and flour gets layered on after the base is par-baked and cooks right in the oven to set, no stovetop thickening or extra pots required. A topping of dried lemon slices is both pretty and adds some extra lemon bite.

Recipe: Best Lemon Bars

28. Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake

Borrowing the crisp texture of sopapillas, this dessert combines the best of cheesecake with flaky pastry for a delightful mashup of textures. You can make this combo in minutes thanks to premade crescent rolls. You simply layer a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla between two rolled out layers of crust. Topping the pie (cake?) with melted butter and a cinnamon-sugar mixture gives it some extra flavor, and a beautiful caramelized finish that adds to the crispy texture. Even including cooling, this can all be done in less than an hour.

Recipe: Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake

29. Classic New York-Style Cheesecake

A New York-style cheesecake takes time, but it is blessedly straightforward and doesn't require much active effort to put together. The crust, which is graham crackers, butter, sugar, and salt, can be quickly mixed quickly and layered in a pan. The cheesecake portion has heavy cream, eggs, sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, and flour, but the extra-rich cake also just needs to be whipped together. The long part is a five-hour rest in the cooling oven, which is necessary to slowly bake the cake to the ideal, silky texture.

Recipe: Classic New York-Style Cheesecake