Baking is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby that allows you to create delicious homemade treats. While elaborate cakes and pastries take skill and practice, there are many simple desserts that are easy enough for even novice bakers. Mastering basic recipes will give you the confidence to experiment with more advanced baking. Here are some foolproof desserts to get you started.
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are a baking staple that is simple enough for beginners. The shortbread-style dough comes together quickly and bakes into a classic treat. Look for a recipe that uses common pantry ingredients like all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Letting the dough chill for at least 30 minutes allows the ingredients to fully incorporate so the cookies hold their shape. Scoop rounded tablespoon-size balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet before baking. This formula yields a crispy outside with a soft, chewy middle.
Skip turning on the oven with this easy no-bake cheesecake recipe. Graham cracker crumbs provide the base which you press firmly into the bottom of a pie plate. Allow the crust to set in the fridge while mixing cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice or citrus zest in a large bowl. Once smooth, fold in cold whipped cream then pour into the chilled crust. Refrigerate again for at least 2 hours until firm. Garnish your finished cheesecake with fresh berries. You can also try swirling in fruit preserves or melted chocolate before chilling for extra flavor.
Fudgy homemade brownies are a crowd pleaser that comes together in just one bowl. Melt butter and chocolate together either on the stove or in the microwave. Whisk in sugar and vanilla until smooth before adding eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add flour last, then transfer the batter to a greased baking pan. Bake until the center is just set, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Drizzle with melted chocolate or top with whipped cream for over-the-top brownies.
Sheet Pan Fruit Crisp
Whip up this easy fruit crisp by tossing fresh berries and sliced stone fruit with sugar, lemon, cinnamon, and flour on a baking sheet. In a separate bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and melted butter to make the crispy topping. Sprinkle the crisp mixture over the fruit and bake until bubbly. You can customize the fruit combination based on what’s in season. Peaches and raspberries are a great summer pairing while apples and pears are perfect in the fall. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Freezer-Friendly Cookie Dough
Make cookie baking a breeze by preparing freezer-friendly dough in advance. Allow ingredients like softened butter and sugars to fully cream before mixing in dry ingredients like flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Form scoops of dough into a log shape, wrap tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months. Whenever a sweet craving strikes, simply slice off discs of frozen dough and bake as usual for fresh, homemade cookies available anytime.
3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge
This easy fudge comes together by melting sweetened condensed milk with peanut butter and vanilla in the microwave or on the stove. Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined baking dish and allow to set at room temperature or in the fridge before cutting into squares. You can switch up the flavor by using almond butter or different nut butters in place of peanut butter. Drizzle melted chocolate over the set fudge for extra decadence. This no-bake fudge couldn’t be simpler.
5-Minute Mug Cakes
For the fastest homemade cake, try making mug cakes individually portioned in microwave-safe mugs. Basic batters come together with just a few pantry ingredients like flour, sugar, cocoa powder or baking mix, milk or oil, and vanilla. Mix in the mug, then microwave for about a minute, allowing the center to cook through. Mug cakes are highly adaptable, so mix in chocolate chips, peanut butter, fruit preserves, or other favorite flavors. The single-serving size makes it easy to customize each mug. Enjoy the warm, molten cakes straight from the mug.
Easy Fruit Pizza
An oven-baked crust topped with sweetened cream cheese and fresh fruit slices makes a fun dessert with a colorful twist. Start with a ready-made sugar cookie dough and press it evenly into a round pizza pan. Bake slightly underdone, then spread flavored cream cheese over the warm crust. Arrange sliced fruit like kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, and mandarin oranges artfully over the top. Chill briefly to set the cream cheese before slicing into wedges for a fruity dessert that looks impressive but requires little effort.
Single-Serving Ice Cream Cakes
Ice cream sandwiches get an upgrade when transformed into an individual ice cream cake. Place a store-bought ice cream sandwich in the bottom of a small bowl or ramekin and allow to soften slightly. Next, layer softened ice cream over the top, adding chopped nuts, sprinkles, fudge sauce, or other toppings. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Invert onto a plate and the ice cream sandwich becomes the “cake” topping with your added ice cream flavors and toppings encased. Grab a fork and dig into these cute cakes for an ice cream lover’s dream dessert.
Frozen Banana Pops
Make healthy homemade popsicles with this incredibly easy recipe requiring just two ingredients – bananas and chocolate chips. Peel and slice bananas into chunks. Insert sticks or small wood skewers into the slices then arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Once frozen, dip each banana pop into melted chocolate or chocolate hazelnut spread. Immediately sprinkle with desired toppings like chopped nuts, crushed cookies, or sprinkles. Return to the freezer until the chocolate sets. Enjoy as a nutritious frozen treat on a warm day for kids and adults alike.
For lemony sweet-tart bars with a shortbread crust, turn to this classic lemon bar recipe. The buttery base bakes in the oven until golden brown before you top it with smooth, tangy lemon curd. Whisk together condensed lemon juice and zest, eggs, sugar, and cornstarch. Pour over the pre-baked crust and return to the oven just until set, about 15 minutes. Chilling firms up the bars so you can cut into petite squares perfect for serving with afternoon tea or dessert. Cut some sugar and fat by swapping out half the butter in the crust for heart-healthy avocado oil.
With practice, every baker can master these 10 simple desserts that yield sweet homemade results. Start small with quick mug cakes and no-bake options before working your way up to baking cookies, bars, and fruit crisps. In no time, you’ll gain the skills and confidence to whip up a variety of sweet treats from scratch. So preheat that oven and get ready to become a pro baker!