The elegant little dessert that looked like it took you hours but, in fact, needed only a few well-considered tweaks to make it feel special—that’s the Holy Grail of entertaining. Because we’re slackers at heart—slackers who love throwing awesome dinner parties—we’ve gathered up these 9 easy hacks for sweets that only look complicated.
1. Chocolate Cake Baked In an Orange
With this recipe you don’t even need cake pans—each cake is baked individually in an orange, infusing the chocolate with citrus flavor. So grab your cake batter and tinfoil and start baking! Get our Chocolate Cake Baked In an Orange recipe.
2. White Chocolate Ramen Bark
Instant ramen noodles become an edible art installation with this dessert born out of scanning the cupboards for something crispy and sweet one late night. Spread the cooked noodles out on a baking sheet and crisp them in the oven, then drizzle with an easy white chocolate sauce. Get our White Chocolate Ramen Bark recipe.
3. Dough-nut Zeppole
A bag of store-bought pizza dough forms the basis of these elegant Italian-style donuts. A dusting with powdered sugar is the ultimate touch. Get our Dough-nut Zeppole recipe.
4. Slow Cooker Mango Tapioca Pudding
Comforting, old-fashioned tapioca pudding becomes even better with coconut milk and a little fresh pineapple, in this slow cooker recipe adapted from Cooking Light magazine. Get our Slow Cooker Mango Tapioca Pudding recipe.
5. Campfire Cherry Cobbler
With canned cherries, a box of Bisquick, and a crackling fire, you can have cobbler in 40 minutes. Serve with Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream or, if you’re more or less roughing it, a spritz of whip from the can. Get our Campfire Cherry Cobbler recipe.
6. Easy Mocha Fudge
Traditional fudge is tricky, but here, all you need to do is heat sweetened condensed milk, bittersweet chocolate, and espresso powder on the stovetop until the chocolate has melted, then stir in vanilla extract. Smooth the mixture into a pan and you’re done! Get our Easy Mocha Fudge recipe.
7. White Russian Cereal Treats
Add instant espresso powder to a standard crispy rice treats base, then glaze the top with a mixture of white chocolate, Kahlúa, and cream, for a sweet, coffee-infused dessert with grown-up appeal! Get our White Russian Cereal Treats recipe.
8. Apricots and Herbed Strawberries with Angel Food Cake
With a store-bought angel food cake and this simple compote of fruit with honey, orange juice, mint, and rosemary, you can have a restaurant-style dessert on the table in less than 45 minutes. Get our Apricots and Herbed Strawberries with Angel Food Cake recipe.
9. Peach Frozen Yogurt
Just put frozen peaches, a little honey, some vanilla, a pinch of salt, and your favorite kind of yogurt in a food processor, blend, and in a few minutes you’ll have thick, creamy homemade frozen yogurt in less than 5 minutes. Get our Peach Frozen Yogurt recipe.