40 Quick & Easy Desserts for Any Baking Emergency
Forgot about that bake sale? Unexpected company? An impromptu celebration? We know the feeling, and we're here to help with these shortcut recipes that get you to treat time in a hurry.
This fluffy no-bake pie is full of old-fashioned flavor, with only a fraction of the work. Because it uses instant pudding , it’s ready in just minutes. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington
This frosty orange pie is so easy to make. I have tried lemonade, mango and pineapple juice concentrates instead of orange, and my family loves each one. —Marie Przepierski, Erie, Pennsylvania
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
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
Creamy Pineapple Pie is a light and refreshing dessert that's quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
Refrigerated crescent rolls let you make these fruit-filled pastries in a hurry. My family loves these turnovers for breakfast, but they’re so delicious, they’d be welcome any time of the day. Feel free to experiment with other pie fillings as well. —Elleen Oberrueter, Danbury, Iowa
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
This creamy pie is perfect for any autumn celebration. A store-bought graham cracker crust makes it such a cinch to whip up. —Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
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
My granddaughter helped create these cookie cups for the first time by using ingredients from my pantry and fridge. We used trail mix to jazz them up. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
I add root beer to both the cake batter and fluffy frosting of this summery dessert to get that great root beer float taste. Serve this moist cake to a bunch of hungry kids and watch it disappear! —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon
My grandchildren love these cream-filled cupcakes. They're a special treat yet easy to make. And they keep nicely in the refrigerator. —Dorothy Bahlmann, Clarksville, Iowa
These easy cookies use only five ingredients and taste very similar to a store-bought cookie. Of course, everything's better from your own kitchen! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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
You’ll need just four items to whip up these delightful cookies. Confectioners’ sugar highlights the cracked tops to give them their snowflake appearance. —Linda Barry, Dianna, Texas
This simple pie is so refreshing that it never lasts long on warm summer days. Watermelon and a few convenience items make it a delightful dessert that doesn't take much effort. —Velma Beck, Carlinville, Illinois
Every time someone drops in for coffee, I bake up a batch of these fruit and nut pastries—I always keep the ingredients in my pantry. The recipe's a cinch to double, too, so it's good for parties and potlucks. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
Everyone loves a brownie. This one has a buttery crust with a sweet finish, thanks to the touch of candy on top. —Angela Kamakana Baptista , Hilo, Hawaii
This recipe is a busy mom's twist on one of my favorite desserts—tiramisu. The dish is simple to assemble and great to make the day before you want to serve it. The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for it to chill so you can eat it! —Cheryl Snavely, Hagerstown, Maryland
These moist, bite-size muffins from Linda Terrell of Palatka, Florida are melt-in-your-mouth good. "With their appealing look, they really dress up a party table," she notes. The recipe makes a big batch, so there's plenty to please a crowd.
My family and I always try new desserts during the holidays. This one was a clear winner, so we now make it for all occasions! —Patricia Ness, La Mesa, California
You’ll love the classic cinnamon-sugar flavor of these crispy bite-size treats. Even more, you’ll love that they call for just three ingredients and are so simple to assemble. —Bob Rose, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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.
When my wonderful friend Kelly brought me a pint of strawberries, I didn’t want to just eat them straight (tempting as it was). I decided to make strawberry shortcake with my own pretty, elegant spin. These light and airy puff pastry stacks let the fruit shine. —Jenny Dubinsky, Inwood, West Virginia
Even though this dessert is quick to fix, it has a creamy pumpkin taste and golden harvest look...just like traditional pumpkin pie. It's a great dessert for both everyday dinners and special-occasion suppers.—Linda Clapp, Stow, Ohio
After a big meal, folks really go for this light lemon treat. The shortbread crust is the perfect base for the fluffy top layers. I've prepared this sunny dessert for church suppers for years and I always get recipe requests.
—Muriel DeWitt, Maynard, Massachusetts
—Muriel DeWitt, Maynard, Massachusetts
You can prepare this delectable dessert in no time. To change this cake to your family's liking, try different flavors of instant pudding or different ice cream toppings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
No one will guess that these sweet treats with the candy bar center start with store-bought dough. Roll them in colored sugar or just dip the tops for even faster assembly. Instead of using miniature candy bars, slice regular-size Snickers candy bars into 1-inch pieces for the centers. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen