53 Easy Desserts to Make with What’s in Your Pantry

Updated: Apr. 25, 2024

Raid your kitchen and make something sweet! Each of these pantry desserts are made with basic ingredients and come together in a snap.

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Brown Sugar Icebox Cookies

My daughters and I have been fairly successful competitors at county fairs and baking contests for years. This is one of our winning recipes. —Eilene Bogar, Minier, Illinois. Here’s the list of desserts that’ll disappear from the counter fast.
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Chocolate Chip Brownies

People love these rich chocolate chip brownies so much that I never take them anywhere without bringing along several copies of the recipe to hand out. The treats are wonderful to take on a picnic because you don't have to worry about melted frosting. —Brenda Kelly, Ashburn, Virginia
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Marshmallow Puffs

With peanut butter, chocolate and marshmallows, these treats were very popular with our three kids as they were growing up—and now I make them for our two grandchildren. They're perfect for the holidays when time is so precious. —Dody Cagenello, Simsbury, Connecticut
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Scottish Shortbread

My mother, who is of Scottish heritage, passed this shortbread recipe, along with other favorite recipes, on to me. When I entered this treat at our local fair, it won a red ribbon. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba

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Grandma's Rice Pudding

My sisters and I always loved the recipe for rice pudding our grandma made. After she passed away, I took it upon myself to try and find the secret to her rice pudding. It took quite a bit of experimentation, but I finally got it right! And I'm glad to share this easy recipe here. —Margaret DeChant, Newberry, Michigan
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No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

I have to be super careful when cooking for my daughter because of food sensitivities, so I make these no-bake peanut butter oatmeal bars with certified gluten-free oats. Everyone loves these bars when we go to picnics or potlucks, and I know there will be a dessert for my daughter! —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Peanut Butter Fudge Cups

My husband often travels during the week, and this fast-to-fix microwave peanut butter fudge recipe is perfect for just my 2-year-old and me. —Lori Brow, Manhattan, Illinois.
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Raspberry Almond Strips

Get ready to pour yourself a cup of tea, because you won’t be able to resist sampling one of these cookies. Almonds add taste and texture to the simple strips that are dressed up with raspberry pie filling. —Taste of HomeTest Kitchen
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Old-Fashioned Tapioca

My family loves traditional tapioca, but I don’t always have time to make it. So I came up with this simple recipe that lets us enjoy one of our favorites without all the hands-on time. —Ruth Peters, Bel Air, Maryland
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Cashew Clusters

I make this recipe for many bake sales at the local community college where I work. They are always the first to sell out.—Betsy Grantier, Charlottesville, Virginia
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Chocolate Bread Pudding

This is a fun recipe because the chocolate makes it different from traditional bread pudding. It's a rich, comforting dessert. —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
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Crisp Sugar Cookies

My grandmother always had sugar cookies in her pantry, and we grandchildren would empty that big jar quickly because they were the best! I now regularly bake these wonderful cookies to share with friends. —Evelyn Poteet, Hancock, Maryland
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Chocolate Fudge Brownies

My children always looked forward to these fudge brownies as an after-school snack. They're so fudgy they don't need icing. —Hazel Fritchie, Palestine, Illinois
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Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

This comforting dessert is a wonderful way to end any meal. As a girl, I always waited eagerly for the first heavenly bite. Today, my husband likes to top his with a scoop of ice cream. —Sandra Melnychenko, Grandview, Manitoba
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Saltine Cracker Candy with Toasted Pecans

My kids and grandchildren love this saltine cracker candy recipe. The neighbor kids rush right over when they find out I have them. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

When my mother (who's now a great-grandmother) gave me this no-flour , gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe about 15 years ago, I was skeptical, because it calls for only three ingredients (and no flour?!). But since then I've never had a failure. For these gluten-free peanut butter cookies—3 ingredients are all you need! —Maggie Schimmel, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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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
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Russian Tea Cakes

I like to present my favorite holiday cookies in a special way. I pile this fresh-baked Russian tea cakes recipe on pretty plates that I buy throughout the year, then wrap them with colored cellophane to give friends. —Valerie Hudson, Mason City, Iowa
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Chewy Pecan Pie Bars

This treat is one of my husband's favorites. I've been making these bars for many years, and we still can't get enough. I never mind making this recipe—it's about as easy as baking can be! —Judy Taylor, Shreveport, Louisiana
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Double Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Anyone who's fond of chocolate will like this smooth, nutty fudge twice as much. I enjoy making several batches when Christmas rolls around. It doesn't last long at our house during the December festivities! —Florence Hasty, Louisiana, Missouri
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Creamy Rice Pudding

I was fortunate to grow up around fabulous cooks. My mother and grandmother taught me to experiment with recipes, and we tried a lot of variations on this one. No matter how we chose to embellish it, it was always tasty. When I make this, it brings fond memories to mind. —Laura German, North Brookfield, Massachusetts
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Orange Crispies

Add a splash of little sunshine to your cookie jar with this recipe. When I want to spread some cheer, I'll bake up a double batch to share. —Ruth Gladstone, Brunswick, Maryland
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Cinnamon Apple Pan Betty

I found this recipe soon after I was married decades ago. You'll need just a few ingredients that you probably have on hand. It's super quick to put together and a favorite of ours during fall and winter, when apples are at their best. —Shirley Leister, West Chester, Pennsylvania
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Flourless Peanut Butter Thumbprints

I had been searching for a dessert to make for my brother's girlfriend (who is gluten intolerant), and I came across a naturally gluten-free dessert—a flourless peanut butter cookie. After tweaking the recipe a bit and adding Nutella and a sprinkling of sea salt, I finally found the perfect cookie for her. —Dana Hinck, Pensacola, Florida
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Nut Fruit Bark

Here's a sophisticated version of fruit bark. Dark chocolate turns into a rich mocha flavor with the espresso powder. If you're a fan of sweet-salty tidbits, make sure to use the sea salt. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Peanut Butter Whipped Cream Frosting

A luscious peanut butter whipped cream frosting is just a few ingredients away. Try it piped over your favorite chocolate cupcakes or dolloped onto hot chocolate. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Scottish Shortbread Cookies

This simple three-ingredient shortbread cookie recipe makes wonderfully rich, tender cookies. Serve them with fresh berries of the season for a nice, light dessert. You'll get miles of smiles when friends see these at an afternoon tea or a bridal shower. —Marlene Hellickson, Big Bear City, California
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Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

My sister shared the recipe for this unbelievably easy peanut butter fudge with marshmallow cream. I prefer using creamy peanut butter for this mouthwatering dessert, but the chunky style works just as well. —Mary Jane Rummel, Linglestown, Pennsylvania
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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
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Brownie Batter Dip

I’m all about the sweeter side of dips, and this brownie-batter variety fits in with my life’s philosophy: Chocolate makes anything better. Grab some fruit, cookies or salty snacks and start dunking. —Mel Gunnell, Boise, Idaho
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Peanut Butter, Apple and Raisin Sandwich

Tart, sweet and crunchy, these open-faced sammies are a perfect after-school (or after-work) snack. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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Microwave Fudge

You’re moments away from a pan of creamy fudge. Just microwave, stir and spread. This easy homemade fudge recipe is the best. —Sue Tucker, Edgemoor, South Carolina
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Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Everyone who tries these beloved gems is amazed that they use only five ingredients. Baking cookies doesn't get much easier than this. —Dee Davis, Sun City, Arizona
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Chocolaty Chips

My two little guys can't get enough of this sweet and salty snack that uses just three ingredients and is ready to eat in 15 minutes. The boys like to drizzle on the melted chocolate. Sometimes we replace the potato chips with apple slices. —Jami Geittmann, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Sugar N Spice Popcorn

Our family can't get enough of this light, cinnamon-sweet popcorn. The baked kernels are wonderfully crunchy and coated just right. Try mixing some to have on hand as an anytime nibble.
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Slice & Bake Coconut Shortbread Cookies

Light and buttery, these delicate shortbread cookies are melt-in-your-mouth good. The coconut flavor makes them extra special. —Roberta Otto, Duluth, Minnesota
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Fudge Pops

This chocolate frozen dessert is the perfect summer treat! Invite your kids into the kitchen to help you stir the pudding. —Ruth Ann Stelfox, Raymond, Alberta
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Lemon Pudding Cake

My husband, Lloyd, loves this cake because it tastes like lemon meringue pie. The cake is no-fuss and makes just enough for the two of us.—Dawn Fagerstrom, Warren, Minnesota
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Rolled Oat Cookies

I like to keep some of this dough in the freezer at all times since it's so handy to slice, bake and serve at a moment's notice. These wholesome cookies are super with a cup of coffee - in fact, we occasionally grab a few for breakfast when we're in a hurry. -Kathi Peters, Chilliwack, British Columbia
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Easy Puppy Chow

This easy puppy chow recipe uses a whole package of cereal, so there's less messy measuring. And it makes enough to feed a hungry crowd. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Peanut Butter, Krispies and Chocolate Sandwich

This crispy, chocolaty sandwich is like a Saturday-morning cartoon cereal without the bowl. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

It is amazing how much flavor is in these simple 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies without brown sugar. I make them very often because I always have the ingredients on hand. —Maggie Schimmel, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Frozen Blueberry Muffins

Ardyce Piehl of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin relates, "These moist muffins are chock-full of blueberries. I keep frozen berries on hand-it's so convenient to be able to fold them frozen into the muffin batter."
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One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Bread

My family hops out of bed on Valentine’s Day because they know I’m baking this quick bread for breakfast. They’re major chocoholics, and the easy bread always hits the spot. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Almond Sandies

Buttery, rich and delicious, these classic almond sandies are my husband's favorite cookie and very popular wherever I take them. —Joyce Pierce, Caledonia, Michigan
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Dutch Oven Chocolate Dump Cake

Looking for a quick dessert that will make people think you spent all day in the kitchen? This Dutch oven dump cake will wow your guests. Feel free to use your favorite pie filling in place of cherry. — Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Quick Double Chocolate Biscotti

Refrigerated cookie dough gives you a head start on making biscotti from scratch. For true chocolate lovers, substitute chocolate chips for the vanilla. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Deep-Fried Cookies

My kids love this delicious, indulgent treat. I like to give the batter a kick by adding a pinch of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. — Margarita Torres, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
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Peanut Butter S'Mores Sandwich

Favorite flavors from s'mores come together in this tasty peanut butter sandwich—no campfire required. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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Sinterklaas Cookies

After opening our gifts on Christmas Eve as children, we would make these cookies for Santa Claus to snack on with his glass of milk. The crisp spice cookies are delicious dipped in that milk—or in your coffee on Christmas morning. —Charli Fontana, Pella, Iowa