7 Quick and Easy Dessert Ideas

People love desserts for the sweet taste and the memories and emotions they evoke. Baking cookies with grandma, celebrating with a birthday cake, enjoying a hot fudge sundae on vacation – desserts are part of traditions and create lasting memories. In a 2019 survey, 92% of Americans said they enjoy dessert after a meal, with pie, ice cream, and cookies topping the favorites list.

However, with hectic schedules, people want desserts that are simple to make. This is where quick and easy recipes come in handy. Whipping up a sweet treat doesn’t have to take hours. You can assemble desserts in 30 minutes or less with the right ingredients and technique.

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Here are some fast and simple desserts to satisfy your cravings. From speedy microwaved mug cakes to no-bake refrigerator desserts, these quick recipes will allow you to indulge your sweet tooth without spending all day in the kitchen.

1. Easy Magic Bars

Magic bars, also known as 7-layer bars, are an easy, crowd-pleasing dessert. With just 15 minutes of prep time, this no-bake treat comes together in 30 minutes. The buttery graham cracker crust is layered with chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, and sweetened condensed milk for finger-licking goodness.

If you’re wondering how to make “7 layer bars” aka magic bars, the process is very straightforward. Press a graham cracker crust into a baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top and bake until golden.

Let cool completely before cutting into bars. Try different nut varieties or swap in butterscotch chips for a fun twist. You’ll find that making these bars is as easy as eating them.

2. Microwave Mug Cakes

Mug cakes have exploded in popularity due to their simplicity. These individual-sized cakes are made in a coffee mug and cooked in the microwave for a minute or two. The small quantities allow you to customize each mug with your favorite flavors.

Nutritionally, mug cakes provide a quick hit of carbohydrates and chocolate flavor but lack protein and fiber. Enjoy them occasionally as a solo treat, or add fruit and whipped cream to add more nutrition.

To make a basic chocolate mug cake, mix two tablespoons flour, two tablespoons sugar, two tablespoons cocoa powder, a dash of baking powder, and salt together in a mug. Then mix in two tablespoons of milk, two tablespoons of vegetable oil, and a few drops of vanilla. Microwave for about a minute, then let it cool before enjoying.

3. No-Bake Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a dessert lover’s dream. But traditional cheesecakes require oven time and cooling before you can dive in. No-bake cheesecake is the perfect shortcut. With just a few ingredients and some chilling time, you can have this silky dessert ready in an hour.

Cheesecakes made from cream cheese offer protein, calcium, and some vitamin A but are high in saturated fat. Using low-fat cream cheese and topping it with fruit can make this treat more balanced.

For a simple no-bake cheesecake, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in some whipped cream for extra richness. Pour into a graham cracker crust and refrigerate until set, about an hour. Top with your favorite fruit sauce or fresh berries.

4. Simple Homemade Ice Cream

What’s better on a hot day than a scoop of ice cream? Skip the store-bought pints and make your tasty frozen treat right at home. You only need simple ingredients like heavy cream, condensed milk, and vanilla.

Quick ice cream recipes don’t require any special equipment. Simply whip the ingredients together and pour them into a freezer-safe container. Let freeze for 1-2 hours until you reach the desired consistency. Mix in berries, chocolate chips, or other goodies for extra flavor and texture.

5. Five-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

This easy peanut butter cookie recipe has your back when a cookie craving strikes. With just five pantry staples, you can whip up a batch of these classic cookies in 30 minutes flat.

Peanut butter packs a nutritional punch, providing plant-based protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and more. Paired with the quick carbs from sugar and flour, these cookies offer an energy boost. But be mindful of portion sizes, as the calorie count can add up fast.

Simply cream together peanut butter, sugar, and egg to make the cookies. Stir in flour and baking soda, then roll into balls and flatten before baking for 8-10 minutes.

6. Fruit Crisps

Crisps and cobblers are easy desserts perfect for showcasing summer’s bounty of fresh fruit. Compared to pie, they don’t require finicky dough prep or a long bake time. You just need fruit, a quick topping, and about 30 minutes from start to finish.

To make an apple crisp, for example, toss sliced apples with cinnamon, lemon juice, and a bit of flour. Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, and butter for the topping. Spread the apples in a baking dish and top with the mixture. Bake until golden, then serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

7. Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Avocados add creaminess and nutrition to this lighter take on chocolate mousse. You can make this rich, decadent-tasting dessert in just 10 minutes with just a few ingredients.

Avocados provide heart-healthy fats, fiber, vitamin K, folate, and more. Cocoa powder offers antioxidants, and dates add natural sweetness. This mousse has a healthier nutrition profile than traditional recipes made with heavy cream.

Simply blend avocado, cocoa powder, dates, and milk or cream until smooth. For variations, add peanut butter or berries. Chill for at least an hour before enjoying this tasty chocolate treat.


Satisfying your sweet tooth doesn’t mean spending hours in the kitchen. These quick and easy dessert recipes prove you can whip up something delicious in 30 minutes or less. From mug cakes to ice cream and more, you’ll find the perfect solution for any dessert craving.

So don’t head to the store the next time dessert cravings strike. Instead, try one of these easy ideas you can make instantly in your kitchen.