1 minute desserts for lazy cooks
February 2, 2012 7:44 PM   Subscribe

Give me your best easy, quick desserts for one person made with stuff I already have in my kitchen.

I like to have dessert after dinner sometimes, but I don't like to keep stuff like cakes, cookies, and ice cream around the house because of a lack of dietary willpower. What sorts of quick desserts can I make? I've got things like chocolate syrup, regular syrup, peanut butter, jelly, mini marshmallows, and all the basic baking needs. I'm just not very creative about what to do. Ideas?
posted by treehorn+bunny to Food & Drink (48 answers total) 124 users marked this as a favorite
crepes! and stuff 'em with all that stuff you've got. or just simply, pancakes!
posted by Sassyfras at 7:49 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

I like cold rice with milk and sugar (brown is best), a touch of vanilla and/or rosemary. 30 second rice pudding.
posted by jb at 7:50 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eggs, flour, milk (or water, but milk is better), oil. Fillings - whatever strikes your fancy at the time. I like nutella, bananas, and alcohol (amaretto, rum, etc) but peanut butter and chocolate syrup would be basically a knock-off nutella. You can add coconut flakes, walnuts, apples, whatever you find around your pantry!
posted by vegartanipla at 7:50 PM on February 2, 2012

Shortbread! Very basic recipe:
Whip 1 cup butter well, add 1/2 cup powder suger, cream together.
Flavor butter/sugar combo with any ingredient you like and have lying around. Nuts, chocolate chips, anise, etc. Also add a teaspoon of vanilla/lemon flavor/almond extract.

In separate bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 3/4 tsp salt. Add to egg mixture, and mix until JUST mixed. Roll dough into cylinder, wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate about 1 hr till firm.

Preheat oven to 325, slice dough into cookies, cook apx 15 minutes.

This usually give around 15 cookies, which are great with coffee etc and aren't too sweet.
posted by nasayre at 7:51 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

milk + sugar + cornstarch + (chocolate or maple) syrup will give you plenty of pudding from scratch in 20 minutes.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:52 PM on February 2, 2012

***sorry. Add to BUTTER mixture. No eggs in shortbread.
posted by nasayre at 7:53 PM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: I also like cinnimon toast - bread, butter, cinnimon, sugar. Mmmm.
posted by jb at 7:53 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

My Mom bought a microwave in 1979 or something that included a cookbook with a recipe for microwave bread pudding that's very much like this one online, which I make whenever I want something sweet in not very much time.
posted by xingcat at 7:57 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ooh. or just make hot chocolate from scratch. Adding a little bit of whiskey at the end is great too, if you are into that sort of thing.
posted by nasayre at 7:58 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Rice pudding! It's quick (thirty minutes or so), and it's pretty much just rice, milk, sugar, and maybe some vanilla extract, cinnamon, raisins, whatever.

There are a thousand recipes and ways to make it, but I make it with almond milk on the stove. Make 3/4 cup rice, mix in four cups of your milk (or milk substitute), add 1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar depending on how sweet you want your pudding to be, and stir continuously on medium heat until it becomes gloopy pudding goodness. I add vanilla extract after I take the pot off the burner, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, and then I eat it far too much of it standing over the stove.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 8:00 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Definitely shortbread. That's what I make when I'm craving a quick dessert, and the nice thing is you don't have to keep eggs or milk on hand, both of which I rarely have. Most recipes are so easy you can pretty much just memorize them, and I don't think they're too messy or troublesome. Mmm shortbread. The one given above requires the hour of refrigeration, but many of the ones I've tried (quite tasty, too) do not require that step.
posted by Arethusa at 8:05 PM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: microwave mug brownie:

4 TBS flour
4 TBS sugar
2 TBS oil
2 TBS cocoa
1 TBS water

mix in a mug and nuke ~1 minute.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:07 PM on February 2, 2012 [49 favorites]

Best answer: Spoonful of cream cheese with some dark chocolate chips stuck in it. It's like one bite of cheesecake. (I have sugar free chocolate chips and like to pretend I'm being all low carb.)
posted by artychoke at 8:14 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

Here are the two things I make when I want quick homemade dessert: Banana pancake-fritter-things with golden syrup and Strawberry Crumble.

Sometimes I'll make crumble mix (one part caster sugar to two parts plain flour, with a pinch of salt and bunch of cold unsalted butter rubbed in) ahead of time and keep it in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When I want crumble, I just chop some fruit into a pie dish and top with a couple of handfuls of the crumble mix. Any fruit will do, really: strawberries, apples, pears, plums, nectarines—whatever fresh fruit I have to hand, or frozen berries from the freezer. If I feel like it I'll also add crushed nuts or oats to the topping as I'm assembling it. With icecream or custard, it is so good.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:18 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Another option is a 50:50 mixture of cream cheese and marshmallow fluff, mixed well together. Perfect for dipping fruit in, topping cookies, or just eating straight out of the bowl like a champion.
posted by nasayre at 8:30 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I realize I should have been more explicit about what I consider 'quick'. I'm specifically looking for "1 minute" desserts as noted in the title...

This means basically it should involve adding ingredients together and possibly microwaving them for a minute or two. Anything with rice is going to be tough to make that fast unless I happen to have leftover rice in the fridge. I appreciate all of the suggestions though, thank you and keep them coming.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:33 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here's what you do: you make a whole bunch of cookies but freeze them before you bake. Throw them right into the oven from the freezer, should only take a few extra minutes to bake. No instant gratification, but still freshly baked!
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 8:33 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Also: fruit.
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 8:34 PM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: The world's least healthy one-minute fake cheesecake: Put a quarter cup or more of cream cheese in a bowl. Add at least half a tablespoon sugar. More if you like it sweeter. Can replace with fake sweetener, but by this point, why bother? Add a few spoonfuls of plain yoghurt. Preferably Greek.

Stir thoroughly. Dump some berries or other fruit on it.


Probably you should really eat this as a bowl of berries with a small bit of the cheesecake mixture on top, rather than the other way around, but that's not how I do it.
posted by lollusc at 8:37 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: My recipe for improved cinnamon toast, if you have a toaster oven

- put bread in oven and toast it halfway.
- put butter on it and let the butter get melty
- add cinnamon sugar [keep some made up in your kitchen in case the mood strikes]
- put toast back in the toaster oven and toast the rest of the way
- eat with a glass of ice cold milk.

Danger: sugar is hot like lava
posted by jessamyn at 8:40 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I always keep frozen raspberries around for exactly this reason. Plus they're super healthy so I can have them more often.

My two favourite ways to have them are microwaved until hot with a little bit of sugar and cinnamon stirred in (Like pie filling kind of) maybe with a little bit of icecream if you have it around


throw some into a bowl still frozen and then pour over a bit of full fat coconut milk. It hardens immediately and becomes very decadent, sort of like gelato.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 8:42 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Okay a couple more:

Caramel sauce for dipping things in:
Equal parts condensed milk and golden syrup in a microwave proof mug. About a quarter of that amount of butter (you can skimp on the butter quite a lot if you prefer). Microwave until it bubbles and turns pale caramel. If you microwave too long either your mug will explode or the "sauce" will turn hard and crunchy.

I like to eat this by dipping apple slices in it. Or on ice cream. Or just by the spoonful. It keeps a day or two in the fridge.

Instant peanut butter fudge balls:
Equal parts peanut butter, honey, and twice that amount milk powder. Mix. Roll into balls or just eat by the spoonful/handful out of the bowl. If you put enough milk powder in, you shouldn't need to refrigerate them to get them solid balls, even though most 'recipes' for this says to.

Simple yogurt dip for fruit:
Greek yogurt, brown sugar/honey/maple syrup, cinnamon if you like it. Mix. Dip.

Microwave custard:
Read back of custard powder packet for instructions. It usually involves combining powder, sugar and milk and microwaving for two minutes.

Fake scones:
Use any type of bread product you have on hand. Bagels are good. Toast works at a pinch. Cut into small slices, spread with jam and put dollops of whipped cream or greek yoghurt on top. I swear this tastes exactly like eating a Devonshire tea, which proves it's all about the jam and cream rather than what's underneath it.

Chocolate things:
A 50/50 mixture of chocolate and cream, or just chocolate thinned with a tiny bit of milk in a mug. Microwave it, stirring every 20 seconds or so until the chocolate is melted. Probably takes about 50 seconds for a 1-person serve. Spread on cookies, bananas, or eat by inserting finger into cup.

These take about 30 seconds in the microwave, and I don't think you need a recipe.
posted by lollusc at 8:46 PM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]

Add a bit of water and half a teaspoon of turbinado sugar, and cinnamon to a small skillet. Once it starts to boil, add some broken raw nuts - almonds, cashews, peanuts and walnuts; swish them around until they become candied nuts. It might be 1.5-2 minutes or so.
posted by rainy at 9:02 PM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: One-ingredient world's easiest ice cream, or as it is known in our house, Banana Surprise.
posted by Lieber Frau at 9:03 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Take a clean strawberry, dip it in sour cream, then in brown sugar. Eat.

It's basically an excuse to eat sugar but it has fruit so it's obviously good for you. Takes no time.
posted by marylynn at 9:03 PM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]

A spicy fruit salad is my go-to:
1. Whatever fruits I have on hand
2. Honey or syrup or tamarind boiled down with sugar and water
3. Pinches of paprika, cayenne, and salt.
Mix them all together, adjust seasoning to taste.

Another go-to is berries and cream. Any type of berries with half&half or cream.
posted by 2ghouls at 9:08 PM on February 2, 2012

Oh god, I can't stop thinking about this. My other go-to is a sort of fake egg nog. You have to be okay with raw egg yolks, though.

Take as much buttermilk as you plan on drinking. I think two cups works well for this. Add some yogurt - up to the same amount as buttermilk, but I prefer much less, like about a quarter cup. Add an egg yolk, a couple of tablespoons of sugar, some vanilla essence, and grate the rind of a lemon into it through the finest bit of your grater. The easiest way to mix it all up is by putting it in something with a lid and shaking it until frothy, or you can use an egg beater. Drink like a milkshake. Or as the Danes do, put it in a bowl and sprinkle tiny cookies on top and eat it with a spoon.

You can make it thicker by beating the egg white until thick and then mixing it into the rest of the liquid, if you prefer. You can also leave eggs out entirely, but it's not such a pretty yellow :)
posted by lollusc at 9:16 PM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: I love oatmeal with chocolate chips on top. It's almost like eating a warm chocolate chip cookie. Throw in some strawberries and I'm in single-lady dessert heaven.
posted by myselfasme at 9:24 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Like fingersandtoes' recipe, but even simpler: gooey chocolate mug cake, which I found on the Family Kitchen blog. As the recipe says: three ingredients (cocoa powder, icing/powdered sugar, and an egg), sixty seconds. The results are far cakier than I would ever have expected, given the absence of flour.

Also, for really good, quick hot chocolate: heat a mug of milk in the microwave; add equal quantities of milk and plain chocolate chips (15-20g of each, depending on how full the mug is and how much you like chocolate); stir vigorously until the chocolate has all melted in.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 10:57 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I make this one thing I like to call Nommy Delight -- it's chocolate syrup + fluff OR whipped cream OR cool whip OR yogurt + frozen fruit. It's in a bowl.
posted by spunweb at 1:22 AM on February 3, 2012

Some frozen waffles, toasted in a toaster, covered with good maple syrup or Nutella.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 2:19 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

For instant gratification, I always have a jar of homemade jam in the fridge.
posted by leigh1 at 2:48 AM on February 3, 2012

Best answer: Apple Flat Tire (as we used to call it) - better known as Microwave Apple Crisp.

It's an ugly looking desert, but so, so tasty, and super easy and quick to make.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:00 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Make toast, spread peanut butter and chocolate chips (mini ones melt best) on top while still warm. (I usually fold it half to better incorporate the chocolate. Eat.
posted by ejaned8 at 5:36 AM on February 3, 2012

More info on the cookie freezing thing as mentioned above:

Not one minute but seriously perfect as a) fresh baked cookies are the best and b) your house smells like fresh baked cookies and yes it takes 10 minutes but your house smells like fresh baked cookies. Plus, if you do a big enough batch the first time around you have an emergency dessert for when friends pop by.

Here's my freezing tutorial:

1. Make your cookie dough.
2. Use a melon baller (or a spoon and your hands, if you aren't squeamish) to create balls of the size listed in the original recipe. You do want balls here -- don't flatten
3. Pop as many balls as you can fit WITHOUT TOUCHING EACH OTHER on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap (but do press the edges of the wrap around the pan -- we don't want freezer burn on our cookies.
5. Freeze for a few hours.
6. Once the balls are relatively solid, toss in a ziploc bag, label (unless you want mystery cookies, like me....) and leave in the freezer till you need them.
7. Repeat until all dough is gone.
8. When you want cookies, start the oven preheating (sometimes I even use my toaster oven when I only need one or two) and put the number you want on a baking sheet. Put the cookies in the oven (even if it isn't preheated fully. Remember, these guys are frozen -- they do need to thaw).
9. Keep your eye on them. When they look done, they're done! Yay!

Usually when I'm making a batch of cookies for guests (or, you know... me) I'll triple it and freeze the extra batches. I currently have at least four types of frozen cookie. They make me feel safe.
posted by AmandaA at 6:44 AM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Also: dulce de leche on toast. Or crackers. Or a spoon. I won't judge.
posted by AmandaA at 6:45 AM on February 3, 2012

Best answer: The combination of nutella and goat cheese tastes like a fabulous hazelnut cheesecake, even more so than if you used cream cheese. I make it as a grilled cheese (crusts cut off to make it seem more dessert-y) but you could just spread it on toast or crackers.
posted by tr0ubley at 8:11 AM on February 3, 2012

Best answer: Nutella and peanut butter on toast.
Sliced bananas with Nutella.
Strawberries with Nutella.
Nutella eaten with a spoon.

Also: crackers spread with cream cheese and jam (I like apple butter).
posted by yawper at 10:03 AM on February 3, 2012

Best answer: 1 mug.
1 pat butter.
Fill to 1/3 level with mini marshmallows.
Microwave (~60s??) until you see the marhsmallows swelling towards the top of the mug, then pull it out. Marshmallows deflate.
Fill to ~2/3 level with rice krispies or other cereal.
Chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, dried cranberries, etc. optional.
Eat warm with a spoon.
Run hot tap water in the mug before it turns to cement.
posted by aimedwander at 10:07 AM on February 3, 2012

Best answer: Powdered sugar + enough milk or cream to make a paste + splash of vanilla extract = buttercream frosting. Spread on a graham cracker. Repeat, if needed.
posted by mcgsa at 2:05 PM on February 3, 2012

Ice-cold applesauce + dark chocolate chips (Ghirardellis is best.)

posted by jschu at 4:41 PM on February 3, 2012

Best answer: Graham cracker. Spread with Nutella. Eat.
posted by waldo at 5:50 PM on February 3, 2012

RE microwave mug brownie: you may want to throw in a pinch of salt.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:32 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I make this stuff I sometimes just call snack. Peanut butter, butter, and honey, stirred together. Eat with a spoon, or on bread if you must. Crackers or whatever work too. It's sweet and salty, it's smooth and creamy, it's tasty and filling.
There's room for variation too: crunchy or creamy, other nut butters, different liquid sugars (maple syrup!). Proportions are to taste, I do about equal parts butter and peanut butter, and maybe half that amount of honey. Mmmm.
posted by attercoppe at 1:52 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Two banana recipes:

1. From Alton Brown: split a banana lengthwise. Sprinkle sugar generously on each half. Melt the sugar into a slightly caramel colored bubble with a blow torch. Let cool enjoy.

2. In a mug, microwave a few tablespoons of grade b maple syrup and a few tablespoons of butter until the butter is melted (a minute?). Stir, add a pinch of salt. Drizzle over a split banana and microwave for a minute (until the banana softens a little). If you have oranges hanging around grate a little rind over the top.
posted by plinth at 8:40 AM on February 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

Toast an eggo waffle from the freezer. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. They will fall into the holes. I personally find that about 25% of the squares filled with chocolate is good. Microwave for 10-15 seconds to help the chips melt.

If you're prone to making microwave mug cake or mug brownies, you can beat an egg in a tiny tupperware cup and pour about half of it into the mix, then save the other half in the fridge for a couple days for another serving of mug cake. It won't last nearly as long as an uncracked egg, but a few days is fine.

Since I also have very poor control when desserts are in the house, my other method is to close my eyes, cover my ears, and sing a song so my husband can retrieve some cookies or Dove promises from their hiding spot without me knowing where they are. YMMV.
posted by vytae at 7:58 PM on February 20, 2012

Is 10 minutes too long? I made these flourless peanut butter cookies today that are crazy delicious.

- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup sugar (or Truvia)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together. With wet hands, form small cookies on parchment paper on a cookie sheet (easy clean-up). Lightly sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sea salt. Bake 10 mins or until firm to the touch.

(Bonus - they're low carb. A yield of 8 cookies = 2g carbs/cookie.)
posted by Terheyden at 7:37 PM on October 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

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