Shortcut Desserts

Homemade desserts on a weeknight? Yes! These fast recipes have a touch of sophistication—the perfect punctuation to any speedy meal.

Quick Sweets

Photo: Johnny Autry

Quick Sweets

Speedy cooks may occasionally give side dishes short shrift, but nobody forgets about dessert. We've streamlined classic desserts so that making them is speedier, more efficient, and healthier.  Plus, many have steps that can be done ahead sometime during the day.

Our first tasty treat is this Easy Peach Crisp.

For this dessert, be sure to choose peaches that are ripe but still slightly firm to the touch. If you have a large toaster oven, use it to broil the granola for the topping.

View Recipe: Easy Peach Crisp

Sparkling Raspberry Parfaits

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Sparkling Raspberry Parfaits

Raspberry sparkling wine has a pretty pink color and lightly sweet flavor; you can use regular sparkling wine for a less sweet dessert. Or you can skip the alcohol and use raspberry-flavored seltzer water instead.

View Recipe: Sparkling Raspberry Parfaits

Cinnamon Crisps with Blackberries and Yogurt

Photo: Johnny Autry

Cinnamon Crisps with Blackberries and Yogurt

This recipe is just as tasty with fresh blueberries or strawberries. If you can't find wonton wrappers, egg roll wrappers work equally well—just cut them into 3 1/2-inch squares.

View Recipe: Cinnamon Crisps with Blackberries and Yogurt

Last-Minute Tropical Sherbet

Photo: Nigel Cox

Last-Minute Tropical Sherbet

Frozen fruit and yogurt get whirred together to make a tangy sherbet that's the texture of soft-serve. You can make it ahead, but don't freeze overnight; the mixture will become icy.

View Recipe: Last-Minute Tropical Sherbet

Raspberry Chocolate Parfaits

Photo: Johnny Autry

Raspberry Chocolate Parfaits

These parfaits come together in less than 20 minutes and only require five ingredients— a perfect addition to any weeknight dinner.

View Recipe: Raspberry Chocolate Parfaits

Balsamic Strawberries over Angel Food Cake

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Balsamic Strawberries over Angel Food Cake

The fruit topping in this recipe can also be served over low-fat pound cake, frozen yogurt, or even by itself.

View Recipe: Balsamic Strawberries over Angel Food Cake

Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream with Banana and Peanuts

Photo: Nigel Cox

Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream with Banana and Peanuts

Substitute strong brewed coffee for the espresso, or use instant coffee/espresso granules to make the coffee. A vegetable peeler is a great tool to make chocolate curls from a bar of chocolate.

View Recipe: Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream with Banana and Peanuts

Broiled Pineapple with Bourbon Caramel over Vanilla Ice Cream

Photo: Quentin Bacon

Broiled Pineapple with Bourbon Caramel over Vanilla Ice Cream

Sugar-coated fruit caramelizes beautifully under the broiler, deepening and intensifying its flavor. Toasted coconut has a sweet nuttiness and a texture that is both crispy and chewy.

View Recipe: Broiled Pineapple with Bourbon Caramel over Vanilla Ice Cream

Mango-Ginger Parfaits

Photo: Nigel Cox

Mango-Ginger Parfaits

End dinner on a tropical note with this sweet and refreshing parfait.

View Recipe: Mango-Ginger Parfaits

Dark Cherry Merlot Sauce over Yogurt

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Dark Cherry Merlot Sauce over Yogurt

We love the flavor of a tangy fro-yo with this sweet sauce, but ice cream works just as well.

View Recipe: Dark Cherry Merlot Sauce over Yogurt

Maple-Pecan Sundaes with Cinnamon Crisps

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Maple-Pecan Sundaes with Cinnamon Crisps

Though the recipe calls for pecans, you can vary the nuts to your kids' preferences. Walnuts or almonds would be equally tasty.

View Recipe: Maple-Pecan Sundaes with Cinnamon Crisps

Mocha Banana Split

Photo: Oxmoor House

Mocha Banana Split

On a hot summer day, there's nothing better than a creamy, and deliciously sweet mocha banana split. Make sure you love a kick of coffee flavor!

View Recipe: Mocha Banana Split

Greek Yogurt with Warm Black and Blueberry Sauce

Photo: Johnny Autry

Greek Yogurt with Warm Black and Blueberry Sauce

When making this dessert in the summer, substitute fresh berries for frozen. This sauce also pairs well with biscuits or as a stand-in for syrup on pancakes.

View Recipe: Greek Yogurt with Warm Black and Blueberry Sauce

Granola Cookie Wedges

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Granola Cookie Wedges

Instead of taking the time to scoop individual cookies, bake a superfast cookie “pie,” and then cut it into wedges.

View Recipe: Granola Cookie Wedges

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