8 Easy Dessert Recipes That Taste Complicated

Sometimes the most successful dessert isn’t the one you devoted all day to, but the one you made in 30 minutes using 3 ingredients. Complexity isn’t always the result of time and elbow grease—it can also be a matter of leaving well enough alone. Here are 8 examples.

1. Strawberry-Blood Orange Pavlovas


We came up with this recipe to make the best of imperfect strawberries: vanilla-scented pavlovas, topped with a lovely compote of firm, tangy strawberries and peeled, chopped blood oranges. A bit of balsamic vinegar deepens the color and adds complex sweetness. Get our Strawberry-Blood Orange Pavlovas recipe.

2. Easy Peach Crisp


This easy alternative to pie (and pie dough) has a straightforward filling of brown sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, and fresh peaches. Dump it into a baking dish and top with crunchy streusel. Get our Easy Peach Crisp recipe.

3. Chocolate Fondue


Textbook easy: just melt chocolate and cream together and stir in a pat of butter for a smoother texture. Serve with store-bought pound cake, fresh fruit, or biscotti. Get our Chocolate Fondue recipe.

4. Cake Pops


Part lollipop, part cupcake, these are a great way to use up leftover cake scraps and frosting. Mix into a soft dough and mold into balls. Place on sticks, dip into an easy-to-make candy coating, and cover in sugar. Get our Cake Pops recipe.

5. Grilled Fig and Orange Blossom Sundaes


Just brush fresh figs with a mixture of honey and fragrant orange blossom water and grill until caramelized. Arrange over store-bought ice cream and sprinkle with toasted pistachios and a drizzle of additional honey. Get our Grilled Fig and Orange Blossom Sundaes recipe.

6. Peach and Hazelnut Mascarpone Bruschetta


We borrowed the classic Sicilian combination of peaches and creamy mascarpone cheese to create this nontraditional take on bruschetta. It makes a fast and easy summer dessert. Get our Peach and Hazelnut Mascarpone Bruschetta recipe.

7. Sweet Panzanella


Stale bread gets a sweet new life (and a fancy name) by toasting it in a butter-sugar mixture. Then toss it with some juicy raspberries in this twist on a traditional bread salad. Get our Sweet Panzanella recipe.

8. Drunken Prunes


Just stew dried plums in port and red wine and serve with mascarpone, heavy cream, whipped cream, ricotta cheese, crème fraîche, or ice cream—even store-bought pound cake. Get our Drunken Prunes recipe.

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