22 Easy Dessert Recipes that Make You Seem Like a Pro

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I recently ran into a friend of mine that said she loved my blog but that she could never make any of the desserts I put together because 1) they are hard/time consuming and 2) she doesn’t have any of the “random” ingredients on hand.  As someone who works full time and bakes and blogs any chance I get, I know how valuable quick and easy dessert recipes can be.  I also know that living in a small apartment with a tiny kitchen makes it hard to keep things as simple as brown sugar on hand.  As a result, I’ve compiled a couple lists of recipes that would be helpful for those of you who don’t have all of the basics or even a lot of time to bake.

To start with, I’ve got a handful of “cake mix” recipes (i.e. recipes that start with pre-made cookie dough or cake mix but turn into something more special):

black bottom ice cream cupcake


And if you have a few basic ingredients and tools on hand (I’ve listed some suggestions below), these recipes won’t require a massive shopping trip:



peanut butter cup ice cream pie

And for those of you who are putting together a kitchen and want to be able to make a few basic desserts, here are a few things I’d recommend to start:


  • Unsalted butter
  • Canola oil
  • Large eggs
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour

Baking Tools

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Long spoon for mixing batter
  • Spatula
  • Muffin tin
  • 13×9 baking pan
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper (or you could invest in a Slipat)

What is your favorite low-maintenance recipe? Share any links in the comment section!


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31 Responses to “22 Easy Dessert Recipes that Make You Seem Like a Pro”

  1. Erin December 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    This is a really great list! My friends tell me the same thing about most of the recipes I post. One actually said that they will only make a recipe if it’s 5 ingredients or less. And sometimes such recipes are much needed! Thanks for sharing all these great ideas.

    • KeepItSweet December 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      I feel like most people our age don’t want to stock up on anything so they will only make something easy with minimal ingredients. Go and figure!

  2. Maggie @ Kitchie Coo December 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Nice job on this list! What a great resource for quick and easy desserts or for people who don’t like complicated recipes. I also like that you gave a list of essentials to have on hand…I have all of those ingredients in bulk in my pantry right now. Guilty.

  3. Lindsay @ biking before bed December 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    I love this list! As someone who loves baking I often forget that some people get intimidated by long ingredient lists. I had a work cookie swap yesterday and one lady made cookies from scratch for the first time ever!

  4. lynn @ the actor's diet December 13, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post!

    • KeepItSweet December 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

      You are SO welcome:-)

  5. Kiri W. December 13, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    Great list! I definitely suffer from tiny half-kitchen in a one bedroom apartment! I’ll check out this list and drool now.

  6. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic December 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Love this round-up. My favorite low-maintenance recipe is Nutella Cake Balls! http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/chocolate/nutella-cake-balls

    • KeepItSweet December 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      Those are the perfect example of fancy but easy!

  7. Emily @ Life on Food December 13, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    That is a great list to have on hand. Thanks for sharing! Number one on my list is the peanut butter cup ice cream pie. Yummy!

  8. Liz @ Tip Top Shape December 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    Love this! Will definitely be making some of these soon :D

  9. raquel December 14, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    I don’t know what to choose….they are all great and would love to try, thanks for the list

  10. Sandra December 14, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    Gold Star, A+, and a BIG high 5 for this post Lauren. Super great reference. And now I want dessert!

    • KeepItSweet December 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

      Thanks, Sandra!

  11. joanne December 14, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    I never understand why people think baking/cooking are so time consuming and difficult. Sure, it takes a BIT of time but it doesn’t have to be a marathon affair! This is an awesome beginner’s guide…or just an awesome list of baked goods to try for those of us who are more experienced :P

  12. Samara @ Deconstruct the Girl December 14, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Love this list … I’m not so competent in the kitchen so easy dessert recipes are just my style :)

  13. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray December 14, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Great post Lauren!

  14. Madison Mayberry December 14, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Fabulous list, Lauren! I love to sit down and really commit some time to a baking project every now and again, but most of the time the recipes I love are those that are quick and easy!

  15. LeslieSarna.com December 14, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Great list Lauren!

  16. Nicole, RD December 14, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    I think pretzels in baked goods are so “in” this year…or maybe it’s just coincidence, but I’m loving it! Those Chewy Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bars…umm…wow! I want one NOOOOOWWW! :)

  17. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel December 14, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Fantastic list Lauren! Everyone needs some easy and impressive dishes :)

  18. Monica @ The Yummy Life December 14, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Great list of great recipes! I love your blueberry pretzel clusters. Easy and delicious!

    • KeepItSweet December 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      Thanks, Monica!

  19. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts December 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    what a great list! Everyone needs some go to quick and easy desserts!

  20. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen December 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    What a great easy dessert roundup! I am eyeing that Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Pie…looks incredible! :)

  21. Jessica @ Cajunlicious December 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    So happy I found you on another foodies blog, you’ve got yourself a new follower! xo Jessica @ Cajunlicious

    • KeepItSweet December 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

      Thanks, Jessica!

  22. Asmita December 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Great list! Would love to try all these recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Krissy's Creations December 15, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    Wonderful round-up Lauren! It’s great to have a list of yummy desserts, but ones that are easy are even better! Thanks for taking the time to put it together :)

  24. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite December 15, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    thanks for sharing this rundown! I also love baking from scratch, but sometimes, you just need something quick and easy that can be done in a flash!


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