Save on Pinterest

55 Budget-Friendly Dessert Recipes

Serve up something sweet without breaking the bank with these tasty cheap desserts. Each recipe is made with 6 ingredients or less, and you probably already have them in your pantry!

1 / 55
Exps27612 Bhd153762b07 09 1b

Almond Cherry Fudge

Cooked in the microwave, this fast fudge is a sweet addition to any holiday gathering. I make it when I need a quick treat for a school party or to take to a neighbor. —Shellie Tucker, Hendersonvlle, Tennessee
2 / 55
Exps35015 Bhd153762c07 10 4b 3

Potato Chip Clusters

Just three offbeat ingredients add up to one unique, delectable, no-bake treat. These super easy, sweet-and-salty candy clusters make for merry munching during holiday trips or parties. They travel well in containers without melting or getting soft. —Donna Brockett, Kingfisher, Oklahoma
3 / 55
Berries With Vanilla Custard Exps Sscbz18 38253 B09 13 1b 2

Berries with Vanilla Custard

What a simple, delectable way to enjoy fresh raspberries. For a change, also try the custard with strawberries or peaches. —Sarah C. Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
4 / 55
Exps140919 Sd143203d10  24 6bc Rms 5

Easy Cake Mix Bars

I take this dessert to work for Friday pick-me-ups. It's one of my favorite yellow cake bar recipes. I love to share them because they're so easy to eat, easy to make and easy on the wallet. —Amy Rose, Ballwin, Missouri
5 / 55
Crunchy Chocolate Mint Balls Exps125412 Th2236620a06 02 7bc Rms 2

Crunchy Chocolate Mint Balls

Get a jump on the holidays by making these four-ingredient truffles and tucking them away in the freezer to save for gift-giving. Present them in mini cupcake holders for an extra-special touch. —Amanda Triff, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
6 / 55

Grossmutter's Peppernuts

Before Christmas, my grandmother would bake peppernuts and store them until the big day. When we came home from school, the whole house would smell like anise and we knew the holiday season was about to begin. —Marilyn Kutzli, Clinton, Iowa
7 / 55
Mexican Wedding Cakes Exps16765 Sddj17 3616 D08 05 9b

Mexican Wedding Cakes

As part of a Mexican tradition, I tucked these tender cookies into small gift boxes for the guests at my sister's wedding a few years ago. Most folks gobbled them up before they ever got home! —Sarita Johnston, San Antonio, Texas
8 / 55

Easy Ice Cream Sundae Dessert

In summer, nothing's better than ice cream sundaes. We kids couldn't wait to dig into this tempting dessert. It's cool and smooth with a ribbon of fudge inside. Whenever I make it for my family, I think of Mom. —Anne Heinonen, Howell, Michigan
9 / 55
Cranberry Pecan Cookies Exps Hccbz18 37302 D05 07 1b 4

Cranberry Pecan Cookies

These are so tasty and simple to prepare! Each delightful little cookie is loaded with cranberries, nuts and vanilla, giving them the taste of a treat that’s been slaved over. —Louise Hawkins, Lubbock, Texas
10 / 55
Maine Potato Candy Exps Hccbz18 12054 B05 29 7b 1

Maine Potato Candy

Years ago, folks in Maine ate potatoes daily and used leftovers in bread, doughnuts and other dishes. This potato candy recipe captures all of the old-school flavors. —Barbara Allen, Chelmsford, Massachusetts
11 / 55

Dipped Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

You’ll love to give tins of these chocolate-coated cookies to your lucky friends. The shortcut holiday recipe is almost too simple to believe! Here's how to make peanut butter cookies without eggs. —Jackie Howell, Gordo, Alabama
12 / 55

Macaroon Ice Cream Torte

My family loves frozen treats. With chocolate four ways, this one is so beautiful, people think it came from an ice cream shop. —Barbara Carlucci, Orange Park, Florida
13 / 55
Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

This is one of the best peach dump cake recipes in the world. It's sweet, tender cake with a beautifully crisp cobbler topping. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, and dessert's golden. —Keri Sparks, Little Elm, Texas
14 / 55
Exps3728 Cc153599b01 14 6b

Kipplens

My Great-Aunt Hilda makes this recipe every Christmas, and everybody loves them! Kipplens taste a lot like Mexican wedding cakes, but I like my aunt's version better. —Susan Bohannon, Kokomo, Indiana
15 / 55

Chocolate Butterscotch Haystacks

My grandmother made these haystack cookies and gave them to my cousin Vonnie and me when our parents didn't want us to have any more sweets. —Christine Schwester, Divide, Colorado
16 / 55
Chocolate Toffee Crunchies Exps Sddj17 13967 D08 04 5b 1

Chocolate Toffee Crunchies

From the buttery crust to the golden toffee, melted chocolate and chopped pecans, these bars are filled with Noel flavor. —Joni Crans, Woodhull, New York
17 / 55
Exps27086 Hck153422a08 26 2b

Almond Pear Tart

I had never seen a "pie without a pan" until my daughter brought back this wonderful pear almond tart recipe from a Rotary Club exchange program in Belgium. It's still a family favorite after all these years. —Sherry LaMay, Capitan, New Mexico
18 / 55
Frosty Watermelon Ice Exps Hcka19 15091 D10 20 3b 1

Frosty Watermelon Ice

Here's a fun twist on watermelon. It's so refreshing on a summer day, and you don't have to worry about seeds while you're enjoying it. —Kaaren Jurack, Manassas, Virginia
19 / 55
Exps33783 Thca2916394b04 02 12b 1 Web

Caramel-Pecan Apple Slices

Here's a warm, decadent side dish for fall or winter brunches. Ready to eat in only 15 minutes, the apples are also good alongside a pork entree or spooned over vanilla ice cream. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
20 / 55
Exps155529 Hck153422c08 27 7b

Lemony Cream Cheese Bars

Anytime I can take a recipe that has been handed down two generations and lighten it up while keeping the delicious flavor memories intact, I’m a happy girl. —Patti Lavell, Islamorada, Florida
21 / 55
Exps193156  Sd163324d08 06 5b 5

Easy Pistachio Tube Cake

Mixes make this light cake easy, and a fluted tube pan gets it holiday party-ready. Go for the pistachios on top—the extra crunch is worth it. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, Virginia
22 / 55

Grandma Pruit's Vinegar Pie

This historic pie has been in our family for many generations and is always served at our get-togethers.—Suzette Pruit, Houston, Texas
23 / 55
Surefire Sugar Cookies Exps19197 Cc2860595b05 30 6bc Rms

Surefire Sugar Cookies

You can invite kids to help make these easy treats. Sometimes I melt white coating instead of chocolate chips because it can be tinted to match the season. —Victoria Zmarzley-Hahn, Northhampton, Pennsylvania.
24 / 55

Creme de Menthe Truffles

I found this in a box of recipe clippings and decided to give them a whirl. I'm so glad I did! The minty flavor is perfect for Christmas. —Joe Mattes, Amana, Iowa
25 / 55
Coffee Bean Bark Exps Cwdj18 43427 B08 18 9b 5

Coffee Bean Bark

Chopped coffee beans add a yummy crunch to this pretty two-toned bark. Coffee lovers won’t be able to resist pieces of the chocolaty candy treat. —Anne Addesso, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
26 / 55
Slow Cooker Baked Apples Exps Scbz18 84964 E06 26 6b 2

Slow-Cooker Baked Apples

Coming home to this irresistible dessert on a dreary day is just wonderful; it’s slow-cooker easy. — Evangeline Bradford, Erlanger, Kentucky
27 / 55
Berry Lemon And Doughnut Hole Trifle Exps Thls17 204890 D02 22 1b 2

Berry, Lemon and Doughnut Hole Trifle

I was able to whip up this quick, yet impressive dessert, in only a few minutes after my son called and said he was bringing home his college roommates. It's been a family favorite ever since. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
28 / 55
Exps125681 Thca173831b03 03 6b 2

Church Window Cookies

This is a hit with kids—the little ones just love the colored marshmallows! —Emmilie Gaston, Wabash, Indiana
29 / 55
Strawberry Pillows Exps Ucsbz17 79798 B05 24 1b 5

Strawberry Pillows

Make cookie trays extra special with these mini pie look-alikes stuffed with sweet strawberry preserves. Yum! —Amy Sauerwalt, Columbia, Maryland
30 / 55
Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares Exps Ucsbz17 166150 C05 17 3b 7

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

My secret to these rich no-bake bites? Pretzels in the crust. They add a salty crunch to the classic peanut butter and chocolate pairing. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
31 / 55
Exps33498 5sd153598b11 05 2b 3

Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

Our family loves dessert, and this chocolaty, layered treat is one of Mom's most-requested recipes. It's so easy to prepare this Oreo ice cream cake! —Kimberly Laabs, Hartford, Wisconsin
32 / 55
Layered Lemon Pie Exps Wrsm17 30948 D04 13 5b 4

Layered Lemon Pie

This is a great ending for almost any meal that kids and adults all enjoy. The creamy lemon filling is always a hit with my husband. —Elizabeth Yoder, Belcourt, North Dakota
33 / 55
Peanut Butter Cookie Cups Exps11654 5bs29733292b03 15 1bc Rms 4

Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

I'm a busy schoolteacher and pastor's wife. I wouldn't dare show my face at a church dinner or bake sale without these tempting peanut butter treats. They're quick, easy to make and always a hit. —Kristi Tackett, Banner, Kentucky
34 / 55

Mom's Fried Apples

Mom often made these fried apples for me while I was growing up. The recipe is very dear to me. —Margie Tappe, Prague, Oklahoma
35 / 55
Exps35600 Bhd153762b07 09 2b

Almond Crunch

Once you start eating this taste-tempting treat, you may not be able to stop! Matzo crackers are topped with buttery caramel, chocolate and slivered almonds...and then baked to perfection. —Sharalyn Zander, Jacksonville, Alabama
36 / 55
Icebox Cake Exps Bdsmz17 8761 B03 03 2b 1

Icebox Cake

You don't have to bake to serve a wonderful dessert! This "cake" is made from chocolate wafers and whipping cream. It is so delicious.—Cindy Hawkins, New York, New York
37 / 55
Pinwheel Mints Exps32223 Ck133085b06 18 4b Rms

Pinwheel Mints

Both my grandmother and my mom used to make these eye-catching confections as a replacement for ordinary mints. When I offer them at parties, guests tell me the candies are wonderful, and then ask how I created the pretty swirl pattern. —Marilou Roth, Milford, Nebraska
38 / 55
Chocolate Peanut Treats Exps9622 Nbc143387d01 14 2bc Rms

Chocolate Peanut Treats

When I was in high school, I took these sweet and crunchy squares to bake sales— and they were the first to sell out. I still make them for family and friends who love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter. —Christy Asher, Colorado Springs, Colorado
39 / 55
Exps137979 Sd153322d04 03 2b 2

Bite-Sized Apple Pies

These little bites are fun for kids to make. Simply wrap strips of pastry around apple wedges and shake on some cinnamon-sugar. Then just bake and watch them disappear! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
40 / 55

Creamy Peppermint Patties

These smooth chocolate candies fill the bill for folks who like a little sweetness after a meal but don't want a full serving of rich dessert. —Donna Gonda, North Canton, Ohio
41 / 55
Scottish Shortbread Exps Diyd20 1889 B09 17 3b 2

Scottish Shortbread

Scottish settlers first came to this area over 150 years ago. My mother herself was Scottish, and—as with most of my favorite recipes—she passed this shortbread recipe on to me. I make a triple batch of it each year at Christmas, to enjoy and as gifts. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
42 / 55
Fruity Cereal Bars Exps Hcka19 32978 D10 20 6b

Fruity Cereal Bars

With dried apples and cranberries, these crispy cereal bars are perfect for snacks or brown-bag lunches. —Giovanna Kranenberg, Cambridge, Minnesota
43 / 55
Fluffy Key Lime Pie Exps Dsbz17 36450 D01 13 6b 7

Fluffy Key Lime Pie

For a taste of paradise, try this no-bake Key lime pie recipe. It's low in fat, sugar and fuss. It truly is the best Key lime pie recipe ever! —Frances VanFossan, Warren, Michigan
44 / 55
Semisweet Chocolate Mousse Exps Cf2bz20 20300 B11 22 4b

Semisweet Chocolate Mousse

A friend shared this rich velvety chocolate mousse recipe with me. I love to cook and have tons of recipes, but this one is a favorite. Best of all, it's easy to make. —Judy Spencer, San Diego, California
45 / 55

Marshmallow Pops

Making these pops is a fun activity for a children's party because any age can participate. Customize them for holidays or special occasions by rolling them in coordinating colored sprinkles. —Marcia Porch, Winter Park, Florida
46 / 55
Cranberry Bog Bars Exps Sdon18 28176 B06 12 2b

Cranberry Bog Bars

Sweet and chewy, these fun bars combine the flavors of oats, cranberries, brown sugar and pecans. I like to sprinkle the squares with confectioners’ sugar before serving. —Sally Wakefield, Gans, Pennsylvania
47 / 55
Crispy Pretzel Bars Exps14431 Nbc143387d01 14 4bc Rms

Crispy Pretzel Bars

I often make a big batch of these peanut butter-flavored cereal bars on days that I don't want to heat up the kitchen. Kids especially love them, so they're great for picnics, potlucks and school bake sales. —Jane Thompson, Eureka, Illinois
48 / 55

Angel Food Christmas Candy

It was my dad who inspired me to first try making this candy. He remembered it from when he was a boy. The ultimate compliment was when he told me my version tasted even better! My husband is a driver with a parcel service, so he works long hours around the holidays—which gives me time to make treats! —Shelly Matthys, New Richmond, Wisconsin
49 / 55

Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
50 / 55
Apple Yogurt Parfaits Exps Hrbz17 44944 C08 30 3b

Apple Yogurt Parfaits

Get the morning started right with this super simple four-ingredient parfait. Try chunky or flavored applesauce for easy variations. —Rebekah Radewahn, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
51 / 55

Gooey Chocolate-Peanut Bars

These are so easy to make and take no time at all. They’re great to package up for those college kids looking for something from home. Everyone will want this recipe. —Elaine Grimme, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
52 / 55

Cream Cheese Cookie Cups

Need a quick dessert? Try these yummy cookie bites. For a pretty look, use an icing bag to pipe the filling into the cups, then top each with mini M&M's. —Rachel Blackston, Mauk, Georgia
53 / 55
Exps37379 Thca153054a10 21 3b 2

Coconut-Layered Pound Cake

If you love chocolate, almonds and coconut, this cake is for you. It comes together in a flash and tastes just like an Almond Joy candy bar! —Linda L. Nichols, Steubenville, Ohio
54 / 55

No-Bake Cereal Bars

With two kinds of cereal and peanut butter, these bars taste almost like candy. —Pauline Christiansen, Columbus, Kansas
55 / 55

Grasshopper Pie

I only need six ingredients to whip up this fluffy and refreshing grasshopper pie. I usually make two of the minty treats for our family, since we're never satisfied with just one slice. —LouCinda Zacharias, Spooner, Wisconsin

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
cover
Subscribe & SAVE Save Up To 80%!