Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Local Lifestyle.
In the oncoming heat, the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven and get to baking. Each day feels warmer than the last, so the very last thing on our list should be spending more time with our stoves.
The remedy? No-bake desserts!
Below are 10 of our favorite no-bake desserts that let you enjoy a sweet treat without breaking a sweat.
1. Cake Batter Lush Dessert
This combination of french vanilla pudding and birthday-cake Oreos tastes just as good as it sounds. You’ll have to leave time for the cake to be refrigerated before sharing with your closest friends, but this is one of the no-bake desserts guaranteed to be a hit with everyone.
- 36 Birthday Cake Golden Oreos
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 box (3.4 oz) French Vanilla pudding mix
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup dry Funfetti cake mix (just the dry powder)
- 4 cups Cool Whip (about 2 8-oz pkgs), divided
- About ½ cup sprinkles
- Place 20 cookies in a gallon-sized, resealable bag and begin crushing the cookies with a rolling pin or meat mallet until the cookies become coarse crumbs. Pour the cookie crumbs into a large bowl with the melted butter and toss to combine. Press into a greased 8 or 9-inch square baking dish, compacting them loosely in there. Set aside.
- Wipe out the bowl and add in the pudding mix, dry Funfetti mix, and milk, whisking until combined and letting it sit for 2 minutes. Add in one package (2 cups) of the Cool Whip and ¼ cup sprinkles, folding it in until combined. Carefully spread this mixture over the cookies in the pan.
- Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top of the cake batter pudding layer.
- Crush the remaining cookies in another plastic bag until coarse crumbs have formed. Sprinkle the cookies over the top with the remaining sprinkles. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before cutting slices to serve.
Recipe: The Domestic Rebel.
2. Chocolate No-Bake Cookies
Made with cocoa powder, peanut butter, and oats, these cookies are likely the simplest of no-bake desserts you’re ever going to find.
There are several versions of this recipe that you can find on Pinterest, but this was our favorite after trying out a few (too many) of the options.
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 8 tablespoons butter, cut into large pieces
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups quick cooking oats
- Add sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa powder to a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil for about three minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, vanilla, salt and oats. Drop large scoops of no-bake cookies onto parchment paper. Allow to dry for about 10-15 minutes until they have become firm.
Recipe: Add a Pinch
3. No-Bake Cheesecake
Yes. You did read that correctly. We have a no-bake CHEESECAKE ready for your summer picnics and get-togethers. After following the simple directions to make both the crust and filling from scratch, we recommend tossing some fresh berries or sliced fruit on the top for extra (no-bake) brownie points.
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (7.25 ounces, about 13 rectangle graham crackers)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature (but not warm)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- For the crust, in a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the melted butter until well-combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1- or 2-inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan or into the bottom and sides of a 9.5-inch pie plate (a regular 9-inch pie plate might work but the crust and filling will be extra thick). Refrigerate until the filling is ready.
- In a large bowl with an electric handheld mixer (or using an electric stand mixer), mix the cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth and light, 2-3 minutes. Add the sour cream and whipping cream and mix until very thick and creamy, 4-5 minutes.
- Spread the filling evenly into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Serve plain, with fresh fruit or a fruit sauce.
Recipe: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
4. No-Bake Reese’s Bars
Peanut butter and chocolatey goodness in an easy-to-make form. These are melt in your mouth good and remind us perfectly of a healthier, MUCH larger Reese’s cup. Is it a dream? No, not at all. But it is a dream-worthy delicacy to share… if you don’t finish it first.
- 10 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups peanut butter
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 ¾ cup powdered sugar
- In one of the microwaveable safe bowls, carefully melt 5 tablespoons of coconut oil. Stir in the brown sugar, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. Combine well. (I ended up digging in with my hands to combine it fully. A messy strategy, but it worked out well.)
- Cover your pan in aluminum foil and press the mixture you just created evenly into the pan.
- To make the topping, combine the 5 remaining tablespoons of coconut oil with your milk chocolate chips in the second bowl. Melt by putting into the microwave, then stirring consistently. Repeat microwaving and stirring until the mixture is completely smooth. (Stir more than you think you should between microwaving times. I ended up having to microwave three 30 second sessions.)
- Pour evenly over the peanut butter concoction you previously created. I spread a little bit more with a spatula to make sure every inch of the peanut butter mixture was covered.
- Put in the freezer to harden for at least three hours, but overnight is preferred. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy immediately after original serving.
Recipe: Semi-Sweet Tooth
5. Banana Oat Energy Bites
For those determined to stay healthy, this is one of the no-bake desserts you’ll love! (Primarily banana and oats, the honey, cinnamon, and chocolate chips fit our definition of dessert.)
Be sure to bring these on hikes and enjoy as an after workout snack, too. This little bit of sweetness will help you to stay on track!
- 2 ripe bananas
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ¼ cup almond butter (or peanut butter, or your favorite nut butter)
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Mash up the bananas in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir the rolled oats, almond butter, honey, miniature chocolate chips, and cinnamon.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a 1-inch ball. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours, allowing the oats enough time to soften.
- Store the energy bites in the refrigerator.
Recipe: Tip Hero
6. No-Bake S’mores Bars
With crushed cookies, melted chocolate, and toasted marshmallows being featured, this recipe must be delicious. But what’s even better is that you can toss this in the fridge for a cool, delicious treat on a hot, summery day!
- 2 cups (240g) digestive/graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup (175g) milk chocolate
- 1 cup (175g) dark chocolate
- 20-30 large white marshmallows
- Spray an 8×8 inch square pan with cooking spray and leave to one side.
- Pour your slightly cooled melted butter over the digestive crumbs and stir until all crumbs are coated in butter.
- Tip into your greased pan and press into an even layer with the back of a spoon/cup/your hand.
- Place milk and dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between until all the chocolate is melted. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Pour over your biscuit layer and smooth over until you have entirely covered the biscuits and have a smooth layer of chocolate.
- Press marshmallows into the melted chocolate in rows until chocolate layer is covered in marshmallows.
- Leave to cool for 30 minutes, before putting in the fridge until set, 3-4 hours.
- Once set, either place under the grill for 30 seconds to 1 minute or using a cook’s blow torch, torch until marshmallows are brown and crunchy on top.
- Slice into bars and store in an airtight container, in the fridge, for 4 days. You can serve chilled, at room temperature or slightly warmed in the microwave.
Recipe: Annie’s Noms
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