11+ really easy dessert recipes (6 ingredients or less)

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Stuck at home? Need an ’emergency’ treat? Something to bake with the kids? A gift for a friend? These top rated easy dessert recipes contain just a few ingredients, most take 30 minutes or less, and some are healthier than you’d think!

a collage of 11 really easy dessert recipes with post title on it: 11 really easy dessert recipes with 6 ingredients or less

Would you like to have some quick and easy and tried and tested dessert recipes up your sleeve? I’ve made most of these 11+ recipes so many times that I could make them with my eyes closed.

They hit the spot again and again, which is why I decided to share them with you!

A few hints to help you make your choice:

  • NO FLOUR? Skip the first 4 recipes.
  • NO EGGS OR NEED EGG FREE? Make magic lemon pudding. In fact, only 2 of these recipes contain eggs!
  • GLUTEN FREE? Make Swedish chocolate cake with almond flour, peanut butter mug cake, Cheerio bars, chocolate pots or healthy ice cream.
  • PREFER REFINED SUGAR FREE? Make the banana bread, mug cake or ‘nice cream’.
  • WANT RESTAURANT QUALITY? Give Wagamama’s cheesecake a go.
  • SPOTTY BANANAS TO USE UP? You’re spoilt for choice with classic banana bread, gooey mug cake or ice cream.

There’s something here for all of you – enjoy!

P.S. No apologies for the amount of chocolate featured here.

1 Gooey Swedish chocolate cake (Kladdkaka)

A close-up of a piece of 6-ingredient gooey Swedish chocolate cake (kladdkaka)

This chocolate cake is pretty epic. It’s consistently one of my top recipes.

I’ve made it so many times when I have guests coming over, or for a special family dinner. It’s what I call minimum effort for maximum impressiveness. It literally takes me 5 minutes to throw the batter together. Once you’ve perfected the time it needs in your particular oven, this very simple and yet gooey and addictive chocolate cake is a winner every time.

Ingredients you’ll need: butter, cocoa powder, sugar, plain (or almond) flour, vanilla, eggs

Get the chocolate cake recipe here.

2 Mini banana bread

Someone picking up a slice of mini banana bread with other slices in the background

This is a pretty classic banana bread recipe that happens to get mostly rave reviews. Except that it’s a cute loaf for a mini treat that you won’t be tempted to scoff all week. Bake it in just half an hour (so half the time of a bigger banana loaf) in either your oven… or your air fryer!

It’s also a very adaptable recipe, and I’ve listed several ways to make substitutions according to what you have and like. It’s very easy to ‘healthify’ with different oils, sweeteners, flours and milks!

Ingredients you’ll need: a banana, an egg, brown sugar, oil, milk, flour (mixed with a bit of baking soda)

Get the banana bread recipe here.

3 ‘Magic’ lemon pudding (no eggs needed)

An easy \'magic\' lemon pudding from above with lemons and a blue tea towel in the background

This is another stunner of a recipe. Incredibly easy. Just 5 ingredients. Very rich and lemony, sticky and gooey and addictive. A crowd pleaser that’s perfect to complete a family dinner.

It’s also one of the most controversial recipes on the blog. I’ve consistently failed to make this recipe NOT work, but the comments show that most love it, but a few hate it. It’s one of those you just have to try for yourself.

Why is it a ‘magic pudding’? Pour in the ingredients, then watch it separate into 2 distinct layers after about half an hour in the oven – cake and delicious lemon curd-like sauce.

Ingredients you’ll need: self-raising flour (or make your own from plain flour), sugar, 2 or 3 lemons, milk, butter, boiling water

Get the lemon pudding recipe here.

4 2-minute healthy peanut butter mug cake

An overhead image of someone eating a 2-minute peanut butter healthy mug cake with a spoon

I went through a phase of making this peanut butter mug cake EVERY EVENING after dinner. It’s a peanut butter chocolate and gooey cake lover’s dream.

Whoops. Except it’s OK because it’s a HEALTHY mug cake! Really. No bad anything, except a few chocolate chips and a tiny scoop of ice cream on the top if you like 😉 If you want to keep this a strictly healthy dessert, you could top it with a scoop of this amazing homemade healthy ice cream (aka nice cream).

My recipe is vegan, dairy free, gluten free and egg free, but there’s plenty of room to substitute some of the ingredients with what you have.

Ingredients you’ll need: coconut flour, peanut butter, maple syrup (or another sweetener), non dairy milk, a few dark chocolate chips

Get the mug cake recipe here.

5 Magic chocolate pecan bars

A close up of a chocolate pecan bar with others in the background

Another ‘magic’ recipe! Because when you’re desperate for dessert, don’t you want to just throw it all into a pan and then the oven, skipping the mixing bowl part?

You can make this with all those odds and ends of nuts, chocolate, dried fruit, cereal, biscuits/cookies you have lying around your pantry. You can make it with your kids, or even while holding your kids (trust me, I’ve tried it).

Trust me too when I say they’re incredibly delicious. Chewy, chocolaty, crunchy, cheesecake-y, buttery, and completely addictive.

Ingredients you’ll need: melted butter, biscuit/cookie crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips, nuts, a can of sweetened condensed milk

Get the pecan bar recipe here.

6 Ginger and white chocolate cheesecake

Someone eating a slice of ginger and white chocolate cheesecake with a fork

This is a little gem of a cheesecake recipe. And perfect if you’re a Wagamama fan because this is a Wagamama copycat cheesecake!

I’m a big fan of this cheesecake because it somehow manages to look and taste like it’s taken a lot of time and skill to make. But in actual fact all you do is make the base and whisk a few ingredients together for the no bake cheesecake part.

Bonus: It isn’t overly sweet because you don’t add any extra sugar apart from what’s already in the biscuit/cookie base and the white chocolate.

Ingredients you’ll need to make it: ginger biscuits/cookies, butter, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, white chocolate, candied ginger (+ some sneaky caramel sauce to serve)

Get the cheesecake recipe here.

7 Peanut butter cheerio bars

Addictive peanut butter Cheerio bars stacked - image from above

If you’ve ever tried British Toffee Crisp bars, that’s what these taste like. You need just 5 simple ingredients and a few spare minutes to make them. They’re also another perfect option for making with your kids.

Don’t ask me why, but these are especially delicious straight from the freezer! Don’t have Cheerios? No worries – just use Rice Krispies, Cornflakes or another cereal instead.

Ingredients you’ll need to make them: butter, peanut butter, marshmallows, Cheerios, chocolate

Get the Cheerio bar recipe here.

8 Chocolate pots

overhead shot of a chocolate pot with cream on top

You’re only 5 minutes and 4 ingredients away from impressing your guests (and yourself!) with these chocolate pots every single time. No guests? Why not make them as a treat for your family midweek?

The best thing about them is that you can make them ahead, pop them in the fridge and completely forget about them while you prepare your main course. The result is rich and decadent tasting – like a very luxurious chocolate mousse.

Ingredients you’ll need to make them: good quality chocolate, boiling water, cream, vanilla (and the vanilla’s optional!)

Get the dark/milk chocolate version of the recipe here.

Get the white chocolate version of the recipe here.

9 Eton Mess fridge cake

A pyramid of Eton Mess fridge cake on a patterned plate

This recipe is a bit of a wild card addition to this list. It’s probably the sweetest of all the recipes here, but I make no excuses for this – just cut it into small squares and you’ll be fine.

This is a fusion of 2 British classics: no bake fridge cake made of crushed biscuits/cookies, butter and other goodies, and meringue and red berry laden Eton Mess.

It’s kind of hard to describe, so you’re just going to have to trust me that it’s yummy and give it a try.

Ingredients you’ll need to make it: biscuits/cookies, butter, golden syrup, store bought meringue, dried fruit, white chocolate

Get the fridge cake recipe here.

10 Thick Italian hot chocolate

Someone pouring some thick Italian hot chocolate into a brown tea cup with a donut in the background

I know what you’re thinking. Not another chocolate dessert in the list. But it would be criminal not to share this one with you. And since when did anyone apologise for hot chocolate?

This is another 5 minute recipe. Perfect for doughnut or churro dunking, or even use as an easy chocolate sauce to pour over cake or ice cream. Basically, it’s hot chocolate like you’ve never known it before, and if you haven’t already you just HAVE to try it. It’s rich, but when you’ve had enough just pop it into the fridge until later when it’ll taste like a smooth and silky chocolate mousse.

Ingredients you’ll need to make it: chocolate, sugar (optional), milk, cornflour/corn starch

Get the hot chocolate recipe here.

11 Homemade healthy ice cream (nice cream)

Somone eating 5-minute chocolate banana ice cream with a spoon - there\'s an ice cream scoop and a banana in the background

If you’ve never made banana ‘nice cream’ before, your life is about to be changed forever. Before I made this for the first time I was very skeptical that it would taste anything like normal ‘unhealthy’ ice cream, but you know what? It does. Not exactly, but it isn’t a bad copy.

You also feel extremely smug feeling like you can eat as much of this as you like without a scrap of guilt. It would go particularly well with the Swedish chocolate cake and peanut butter mug cake listed above. You’re just a food processor, a few minutes and a few ingredients away from smug ice cream heaven!

Ingredients you’ll need to make it: a banana or two, peanut or other nut butter, cacao or cocoa, maybe a bit of milk

Get the nice cream recipe here.

12 6-ingredient chocolate self saucing pudding (low sugar, no eggs)

A close-up of a chocolate self saucing pudding with a decorative spoon in it

It took me a long time to post this ‘little brother’ of my ‘magic’ lemon pudding (no 3 above!) – because I wanted to get it just right!

Hopefully you think it’s been worth the wait.

It’s: super quick, contains only 5 ingredients if you don’t count the water, is surprisingly low in sugar, and contains no eggs, just like the popular lemon pudding.

Warning: the leftovers taste like super fudgy, gooey brownies. They won’t be in the fridge for long!

Ingredients you’ll need to make it: self raising flour, cocoa, sugar, milk, butter, boiling water

Get the chocolate pudding recipe here.

I hope you’re inspired to make one or two of these recipes in the coming days. And if you don’t mind a few more ingredients, you can get more quick and easy dessert recipes here.

About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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