Whether you forgot to plan ahead for dessert, you have unexpected company, or are throwing together a last-minute dinner party, there are many occasions when you need quick dessert ideas that don’t skimp on deliciousness. That’s why we’ve created this collection of decadent dessert ideas that don’t take much time at all, such as:
- Lemon raspberry tarts
- Apple cake with fresh berries
- Dessert charcuterie boards
- Quick desserts you can make with refrigerated biscuits
- Yogurt parfaits
- Platters filled with chocolate dipped fruits and other desserts
- Chocolate mousse
- Fruit salad
- Baked peaches
- …and more!
What are the Best Quick Dessert Ideas?
If you need a last-minute dessert idea, the good news is there are plenty of options that don’t skimp on deliciousness. For example, you can put a party platter together filled with fresh-baked cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and more, or you can buy a done-for-you dessert platter or charcuterie board from Edible Arrangements®. Choose from platters filled with decadent chocolate dipped fruits, an assortment of chocolate covered treats and mini cheesecakes, fresh-baked cookies and chocolate dipped strawberries, and more.
If you’re attending a dinner party hosted by someone else, choose from our extensive collection of hostess gift ideas that are perfect for sharing, from arrangements filled with an assortment of fresh fruit favorites and chocolate dipped fruits to platters filled with an assortment of delectable treats. You can even find amazing desserts available for seven-minute pickup from your local Edible® Store to solve all your quick dessert needs.
If you have a day or two to prepare but simply don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing a tasty dessert, choose from our next day delivery and same day delivery desserts to have a delicious, done-for-you dessert delivered straight to your doorstep.
Favorite Quick Dessert Ideas
For more delicious quick dessert ideas you might want to try, we put out a call for ideas and curated responses below. (Note: Edible Arrangements® is not endorsing any of the companies or ideas discussed below, but we asked for suggestions to get some different perspectives.) Keep reading to find out what the contributors who responded to our query had to say about their favorite quick dessert ideas for when you need a tasty dessert, fast.
Marta Rivera Diaz is the chef and author behind Sense and Edibility®, a food site created to teach home cooks everything they need to know about cooking, baking, and cocktail-making. Marta uses her multi-cultural upbringing and experiences traveling the world to bring eclectic, creative, and unpretentious recipes to her readers.
“A quick dessert that has been a favorite of mine, and everyone I know, is my Lemon Raspberry Tart, which takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. I prepare a basic graham cracker crust, or cheat with one from the baking aisle, press it into a tart pan, and add lemon curd to it. I pop that into a 350°F (177°C) oven for 10 minutes before removing it and allowing it to cool. I then top the curd with fresh whipped cream and raspberries. I love this tart because you can swap the lemon curd for any fruit curd and the berries are interchangeable as well. It’s a fantastic last-minute dessert if you have unexpected guests, too!”
Millie is the owner of the blog Millie Pham where she mostly
writes about food and kitchen appliances.
“I love quick desserts that are easy to make and don’t require a lot of ingredients.
One of my favorite quick dessert ideas is a simple chocolate pudding cake. It’s a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without making much work.
Another quick dessert idea I love is a baked berry supreme. It’s so easy to make, and I can use any berries that I have on hand! All I have to do is just toss them in a bowl, top them with my favorite ice cream, and drizzle them with some chocolate syrup, that’s it!”
Anna is a registered dietitian at DiabTrend.
“My absolute favorite quick dessert idea is a healthy apple cake with some high protein yogurt and fresh berries.
It’s easy to prepare, rich in fibers, and mostly uses the sweetness of the fruits. The additional high-protein yogurt further lowers its glycemic index, keeping the blood sugar levels in check.
My foolproof recipe for the apple cake:
- 230 g wholemeal flour (2 cups)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. gingerbread spice mix
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 400 g apple (4 pieces)
- 55 g oil (1/3 cup)
- 230 g apple sauce (1 cup)
- 2 eggs
- 50 g date powder (or other sweetener of your choice such as honey, maple syrup, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Cut the apple into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients.
- In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients, and pour the mixture over the dry ingredients.
- Mix well, and pour the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake it in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Serve with high-protein yogurt and fresh berries.
This recipe makes 12 portions.
Nutritional information for 1 portion, without the yoghurt or berries: 150 kcal, 3.5 g protein, 6 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate (from which 7 g sugars), 5 g fiber”
Mallory and Marissa are the founders of The Curly Spoon Blog. They are culinary experts that specialize in cooking and baking with an emphasis in dessert and brunch recipes. Their recipes have been featured by Food Gawker, Blendtec, Pillsbury, and more.
“Our favorite quick dessert is glazed donuts made using Pillsbury Grands!™ biscuit dough.
This super easy donut hack allows you to make any flavor of donuts in just 30 minutes.
For the Donuts:
- 1 can Pillsbury Grands!™ Big Biscuits
- 2 cups oil for frying
For the Glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- ¼ cup whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or desired flavoring
- In a deep fryer or large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat to 350°F.
- With a small round cookie cutter, cut holes in the center of each biscuit.
- Place 3-4 biscuits in the heated oil. Let one side cook until golden brown (about 1 minute).
- Flip over and let the other side cook until golden brown.
- Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla on low heat until warm. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until fully combined.
- Dip the donuts into the glaze and place them back on the cooling rack to set up for 2-3 minutes.
- When the first layer of glaze has set up, dip the donuts a second time and add desired sprinkles/toppings before serving.”
Rachel Reid is the founder and CEO of Subtl Beauty, a stackable makeup brand with the mission to simplify and streamline the daily routine for busy people on-the-go. Rachel founded Subtl Beauty in 2019, after discovering a need for a beauty system that people could easily carry with them.
“If you’ve got a hand mixer, one of my favorite desserts takes just 15 minutes to make.
All you need to make a delicious white chocolate mousse is: whipping cream, white chocolate chips, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
To make it, you beat 1/2 cup of whipping cream at a high speed until stiff peaks form. Next, melt 1/2 cup of white chocolate in a small bowl in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring frequently. Then, beat in 4 oz of cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar.
Once the mixture is fluffy, beat in the white chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Finally, fold in the whipped cream, and you’re done. You can serve it immediately or chill it in the fridge before.”
Maria Shriver is a mother of four, an Emmy and Peabody award-winning journalist, a seven-time New York Times bestselling author, an NBC News special anchor, and founder of the nonprofit The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and the new brain wellness company Mosh Life.
“Buttermilk puddings with mixed berries are a creamy and elegant dessert you can make in a pinch.
With just a handful of ingredients, including cornstarch, sugar, heavy cream, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla bean, you whisk, simmer, and then chill the pudding to a satisfying custard-like texture. Then topped with berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries, makes it a healthier sweet treat. These puddings are also excellent with macerated peaches or a fig sauce. And because they’re a no-bake dessert, buttermilk puddings are terrific for dinner parties.”
Dayna Jackson is the CEO of Wholesale Sparkle, which is a jewelry site that is dedicated to bringing its buyers the best possible wholesale prices on quality jewelry. They focus on customer experience by providing a wide selection plus the convenience of shopping online. Dayna is a successful business woman who dedicated her time to ensuring her customers leave with the best deal possible.
“My absolute favorite quick dessert is a yogurt parfait!
All you need is Greek vanilla yogurt, any fruit of your choice, whipped cream, and melted
chocolate. You begin by placing a whole yogurt cup into a bowl and then top it with your fresh fruit. You then add on the shipped cream and melt as many chocolate chips as you like in your microwave and drizzle it on top.
This dessert is decadent but easy and also can accommodate a lot of different allergies and dietary restrictions. You can add any fruit you like and can even use plant-based yogurt or whipped cream for those who might not eat dairy products.
You can also add nuts for some flavor and crunch or pumpkin seeds for a different texture. These are perfect for one person or fun to bring to a party and have people customize their own parfaits.”
Trista Best is a Registered Dietitian at Balance One Supplements, Environmental Health Specialist, and Adjunct Nutrition Professor.
“Frozen desserts can be a help and a hindrance to a healthy diet pattern, but it is important to recognize certain ingredients and nutrients to make the best decision on whether or not to partake.
For those who enjoy a dessert on occasion, but not often, frozen desserts are handy to have around because they last for a long time, and there is little pressure to eat them before they expire.
Frozen desserts can easily be packed with nutrient-rich ingredients that still satisfy a sweet tooth and even cool you off on a hot day. Adding Greek yogurt, fruit, and even frozen vegetables to a homemade frozen dessert recipe is a quick way to boost its nutrients while keeping it relatively low in calories and fat.”
Brittany is the digital media producer at Butternut Mountain Farm.
“A maple affogato is a quick dessert that hits all the sweet spots whether you’re craving dessert before dinner or long after.
The most time-consuming part is pulling the shot of espresso or brewing strong coffee. And the beauty of this recipe is that it’s not much of a recipe at all. Ratios are completely adjustable. Do you prefer more sweetness to cut through the strength of espresso? Add more maple! And when it comes to the gelato, scoop what you wish into a small glass dish. We top the dessert with crushed maple cookies and roasted strawberries to add a little more texture to each bite. Our version of the maple affogato is merely a drawing board for your culinary creativity to blossom.”
Lisa Richards is a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet. She has been featured on Today, US News, Women’s Health magazine, Huffington Post, Healthline, the San Francisco Chronicle, Reader’s Digest, Lifehack, Insider, and Well+Good, among others. Through her website, she explains the benefits of a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet.
“My favorite quick dessert idea is Quick-and-Easy Avocado Mousse. My Avocado Mousse recipe is not only nutrient-dense but quick and easy as well. It contains a simple assortment of ingredients, including avocado, plain yogurt, blueberries, sliced almonds, and coconut milk, to name a few. This recipe is not only easy, but it is also delicious and full of healthy fats for a balanced diet. Dessert doesn’t have to sidetrack you from your health goals.
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, plain yogurt
- 4 Tbsp. canned, full-fat coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lime or lemon zest (organic lime or lemon if possible)
- Stevia to taste
- Fresh blueberries
- Toasted sliced almonds
- Hulled pumpkin seeds
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add avocado, unsweetened plain yogurt, unsweetened canned full-fat coconut milk, and lime or lemon juice and zest. Pulse the ingredients until smooth, and sweeten with stevia to taste.
- Place mousse in a serving dish or glass. Garnish with fresh blueberries, toasted sliced almonds, hulled pumpkin seeds, and unsweetened coconut. Enjoy breakfast or an afternoon snack. Avocado Mousse also makes a nice, light dessert.”
Jennifer Mayne is the Product Manager for Dorothy Lane Market.
“My favorite quick dessert is Killer Brownies.
They are so decadent, and there are so many ways to use them in super easy desserts. I like to cut them up into bites and serve them with ice cream or add them to a sundae board or dessert grazing board. They also make a great ice cream sandwich. Most people just eat them by themselves as they are so rich.”
Jason Panzer is the President of HexClad. He holds an MBA from Columbia University, a JD from Fordham Law school, and is a CFA charter holder. Before joining HexClad in May of 2020, Jason served as a COO for a leading tech-focused boutique investment banking firm and was a Corporate Finance lawyer at Skadden, Arps in NYC.
“One of my favorite seasonal desserts to cook this time of year is baked peaches topped with ice cream.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and gathering brown sugar, cinnamon, peaches, honey, and optional granola.
Cut your peaches in half, remove pits, and put them aside. Take a few small scoops of brown sugar on a baking pan and mix each with butter until mixed. Place peaches face down on each sugar patty and throw them in the oven for about 15 minutes.
In just 10 to 20 minutes total, you will have prepared a quick, moderately healthy dessert using ingredients of your choosing. Just top your peaches with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of honey, and optional granola or shaved nuts for texture.”
Dee is a busy mom to 5 and the creator and author of Meatloaf and Melodrama, where she shares easy and delicious recipes.
“I love whipping up a quick dessert dip like Chocolate Chip Dip.
You only need 6 simple ingredients, and it takes minutes to make. Serve with fresh fruit, crackers, pretzels, or cookies.”
Jessica Randhawa is the head chef, recipe creator, photographer, and writer behind The Forked Spoon.
“This quick Fruit Salad Recipe is made with fresh, ripe fruit and drizzled with a light orange juice dressing. Ready in under 20 minutes and made with no added sugars, learn all my tips and tricks for making the best fruit salad and enjoy all summer long for a quick dessert recipe!”
Julia Moroz is the recipe developer for the HitMeal app.
“For a quick dessert, a fruit parfait is perfect!
You will need fruits and berries to your taste, muesli, and Greek yogurt. Layer everything to fill the entire glass or bowl in which you are preparing the dessert.
You can lay the layers in any order. I usually make the following sequence: yogurt, granola, fruit, and repeat. It turns out quickly, simply, and beautifully in a summer way! And what, in my opinion, is especially important, the dessert turns out to be healthy.
Instead of granola, whole wheat flour cookies are also suitable.
Cookies can be ground with a little halva if you want to add interesting notes.”
Rachel is the Co-Founder and Medical Practitioner of National TASC LLC.
“My favorite quick dessert is Coconut Matcha cake.
I first tasted it when I visited South Korea five years ago. So when the pandemic started and we had to stay at home, I got more chances to watch Korean dramas. With that, I remembered that I loved this and tried to recreate it at home. I just followed the recipe from this site, and I successfully recreated my favorite dessert.”
Kevin Hwang is the Manager of Ultimate Kilimanjaro.
“There are many desserts that are actually really great for fitness, surprisingly.
A personal favorite of mine is Rice Krispie treats, using peanut butter and dark chocolate.
While many may not consider it to be a big dessert, they’re great because they’re quick to make, quick to eat, and you can carry them around all day. The dark chocolate can be great for your bones, and peanut butter is too, with the additional benefit of keeping your heart healthy.
The portability of Rice Krispie treats make them stand out for me, but another favorite of mine is vegan blueberry ice cream. This is great when accompanied with a drier treat so you get different textures. It tastes phenomenal and is great when you want to just take it easy for a little while.”
James Peterson has been working as a Marketing Manager at NitrousWhip since 2019. NitrousWhip is an Australian-based Company that offers its customers the best cream whipped dispenser and cream charger with the cheapest prices.
“My favorite quick dessert idea is coleslaw. Besides being so fast to prepare, it affords my body the best nutrition I can have in vitamins and essential minerals. I don’t even need to cook anything or wait long hours for my oven to beep.
All I need to do is select my vegetables (fresh cabbage, beetroot, and cucumbers). I make sure to wash thoroughly. Then I get my chopping board and knife ready. Next, I make sure to cut them into smaller bits. Then I apply mayonnaise cream. My coleslaw is just ready to be served. I will then keep the rest in the refrigerator for another time. Coleslaw helps me relax so well. It has always given me that calming effect.”
Bree is a blogger, recipe developer, and certified nutritionist. She creates healthy and delicious smoothie recipes on her blog, Your Smoothie Guide.
“One of my favorite quick dessert ideas is a cookie dough smoothie bowl.
It’s great because it is somewhat healthy and also delicious! It is simply some chocolate banana nice cream with peanut butter cookie dough bits mixed in. This is a super simple single-serving dessert that you can make quickly if you already have some frozen bananas stashed in your freezer!”
Jane is a professional chef with over 7 years of experience. She worked in various restaurants in New York, and now (for the last couple of years), she turned to blogging. On Butterypan.com, Jane simplifies cooking and answers the most basic questions people have!
“One of my favorite quick desserts requires only 5 ingredients, and it will be done in 20 minutes.
I am talking about peanut butter kiss cookies – so simple, yet so delicious, almost addictive!
To make this dessert, you will need:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30 milk chocolate kisses
- 1 large egg that was sitting at room temperature for at least 1 hour
Once you gathered the ingredients, turn on your oven and let it preheat to 350 degrees F.
While the oven heats:
- Combine peanut butter and sugar and whisk until you get a fluffy mixture.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat them until you get a homogenous mixture.
- Divide the mixture into approximately 30 balls.
- Place the balls onto the ungreased baking sheet, making sure there is 2 inches of free space between each ball.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are slightly cracked.
- While the cookies are still hot, press 1 chocolate kiss into each cookie.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the baking sheet.
You can eat these cookies alone, or you can top them with whipped cream, chopped bananas, and chocolate crumbs. Enjoy!”
Yester Banuchyan is the chef, CEO and Founder of Cook on Monday, where we help people improve their cooking skills, find cooking tips and learn everything else about food.
“Be it a baking emergency or a quick fix for my sugar cravings – Betty Crocker Brownies are my go-to.
You can never go wrong with these gooey mini squares. I can change the instant brownie batter with just a couple of ingredients. However, it depends on my mood. Sometimes, I throw in chocolate; other times, cream cheese. No matter the occasion, this recipe has never failed me. I eat it with french vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream and nuts. Cream cheese swirl brownies are decadent, bringing a salty taste to the rich chocolate brownie.”
Since 2011, Jocelyn has worked as a pastry professional in restaurants and test kitchens across the country. Now, on her blog, MINT + MALLOW Kitchen, she creates classic dessert recipes and baking tutorials to help her community learn to bake everything better and live their best lives through baking.
“My favorite quick and easy dessert is definitely quick mix cookies.
They’re ready in under an hour, take only a few ingredients I always have on hand, and who doesn’t love a freshly baked cookie right out of the oven?! Not to mention, if you want to have an even quicker dessert in the future, just keep a few frozen dough balls on hand to bake straight from the freezer for a delicious homemade dessert on demand!”
Dorothy Kern is your go-to baking expert! The Crazy for Crust blogger has been baking for years and just launched her cookbook, Crazy for Cookies, Brownies, and Bars. Dorothy will guide you in taking your cookie skills in new directions into the delectable world of brownies, blondies, shortbreads, cookie cups, cookie cakes, and no-bake cookies.
“My favorite is 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies. That’s right, they have just 3 ingredients: peanut butter, sugar, and egg. They’re easy to make, naturally gluten-free, can be made sugar-free (Keto), and kids can make them too! These will last in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or you can freeze them for up to a month. These are our favorite cookies, and I hope you love them too!”
Sedi Djentuh is a Journalist and Content Manager at Cocoaness.
“Following are some of the best quick dessert ideas for all those who are dessert lovers:
- Honey Caramel Crème Brulee: It is one of the most delicious desserts you will ever have. It begins with custard that is infused with caramel and honey and contains a topping of sweet cinnamon sugar.
- No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake: This delicious dessert is made up of classic graham cracker crust and a creamy and layered cheese filling along with blueberries that are sweet and fluffy.
- Lemon Pudding Cake: It is another of the best dessert ideas. It is a light and tasty dessert. This dessert is a unique combination of sweet and lip-puckering lemon and cake crust.
- White Chocolate Raspberry Mousse: It combines vanilla beans, white chocolate, and a delicious sauce made up of raspberry.
- Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles: It is made up of avocado and dark chocolate instead of heavy and fluffy creams. This dessert helps you to make your beloved ones happy and satisfied.”
Jenna Moran is the CEO of Whimsy and Spice, an online culinary hub dedicated to providing a wealth of knowledge and information for any and all aspiring amateur chefs and home cooks.
“My ultimate favorite quick dessert idea is a salty-fudge Affogato!
The original Affogato recipe is the easiest dessert to create because it is simply an espresso shot poured over ice cream (typically vanilla). However, I love to sprinkle some chopped-up fudge pieces and a couple of grains of rock salt over the classic Italian dessert, which helps to add an extra contrast of sweet and salty – the perfect palette cleanser after dinner.”
Next time you find yourself in need of a delicious dessert fast, give one of these quick dessert ideas a try, such as no-bake cheesecake, fresh-baked cookies that require just a few ingredients, brownies, fruit parfaits, and more. Or, shop with Edible Arrangements® to choose from our extensive collection of done-for-you desserts, such as caramel desserts, brownies, cheesecakes, cookies, cupcakes, and of course, all the chocolate dipped fruit desserts you can dream of.