Easy Dessert Recipes You Can Make in One Bowl

Even the most enthusiastic baker in the world will face waning motivation when reading through a recipe that reveals it’ll dirty every piece of kitchen equipment. Such desserts might be delicious, but they take a lot of time and require washing a ton of dishes. We find it hard to believe a cake is worth this much effort, which is why we love one-bowl desserts. They give you all the deliciousness of something fussy without, well, the fuss. Try these seven easy dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth sans frustration.

1. My Favorite Brownies

stack of rich, chocolate brownies
Fudgy chocolate brownies | iStock.com

Why so many brownie recipes call for a mixer is a mystery to us. Whipping the eggs introduces a lot of air into the batter, which doesn’t really make sense when you realize all the appeal in this baked good is the fudge-like texture. Thankfully, Smitten Kitchen has come to the rescue with this decadent recipe — we bet they’re both better tasting and easier than any version you’ve made before.


  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, plus more
  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt or ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to extend past two sides to make removal easy later on. Butter parchment or grease with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium, heatproof bowl, melt chocolate and butter over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Make sure bottom of bowl does not touch chocolate. When almost melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Alternatively, melt in microwave, using 30-second intervals, stirring each time. Whisk in sugar. One at a time, whisk in eggs. Add vanilla and salt and whisk to combine. Stir in flour until just combined, then transfer to prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until set.

Let cool, then cut into bars.

2. Easy One-Bowl Oatmeal Cookies

pile of oatmeal raisin cookies with two mugs of milk
Oatmeal cookies with raisins served with milk | iStock.com

Since baking cookies is often a response to a craving, it’s kind of a bummer that so many call for softened butter. No one should have to wait hours for a few sticks to achieve the perfect texture, so try these oatmeal cookies from Serious Eats. The recipe uses melted butter, so you can zap it in the microwave, then get on with baking.

Though this one-bowl recipe calls for dried cranberries or cherries, you can absolutely use raisins. A combination of dried fruit and chocolate is also really nice. For something really fun, try white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.


  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon regular salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups dried cranberries or cherries

Directions: Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine butter, vanilla, egg, both sugars, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir until combined. Fold in oats. Add flour and fruit and stir just to combine. Divide into 30 (1-ounce) portions using a 2-tablespoon scoop. Arrange on baking sheets. Let stand for 25 to 75 minutes.

Transfer to oven and bake until golden around edges and centers appear puffed, about 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets. Serve.

3. Breton Butter Cake

yellow cake with a slice missing
Yellow cake with a slice missing | iStock.com

Cakes don’t have to be complicated to be impressive. If you need convincing, just take a look at this buttery baked good from Martha Stewart Living. With just six ingredients, and a simple method, it might be the easiest cake on the planet. And because it’s just as good warm as it is cold, you’ll be chowing down in no time.

If you don’t feel like taking the time to make compote, simply serve the cake with some whole berries or even a dollop of your favorite jam. Whipped cream is also a nice touch.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Strawberry compote

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Once light and fluffy, beat in yolks one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour and salt. Beat just to combine.

Transfer batter to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Spread batter into a smooth, even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Brush top with beaten egg, then use the tines of a fork to create a criss-cross pattern. Brush with egg once more. Bake until deeply golden and edges pull away from sides, about 50 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, then remove from pan. Serve with compote.

4. One-Bowl Banana Bread

loaf of fresh banana bread being sliced
Slicing a loaf of banana bread | iStock.com

Let’s be honest, banana bread is dessert disguised as breakfast. This is even more true if you toss chocolate chips into the batter. That being said, we’re more than happy to eat a slice or two for a really delicious start to the day. For the easiest route to this beloved baked good, try this one-bowl recipe from Farmgirl Gourmet. The only tricky part is waiting patiently for the loaf to bake.


  • 4 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Transfer to oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted near the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool for 20 minutes, then remove from pan. Let cool on a wire rack.

5. Lemon Lemonies

overhead shot of lemon bars with powdered sugar
Overhead image of lemon bars | iStock.com

There’s a pretty substantial group of people who are absolutely crazy about lemon desserts. If you have a one of these folks in your life, make these treats from Averie Cooks. Though they’re not quite like a traditional lemon bar, they’re just as delicious.



  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice, plus more
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, more to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment, then spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine white chocolate and butter. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted and smooth. Be careful not to overheat. Let cool briefly.

Add eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Add flour and salt, then stir just to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish, then smooth top. Bake for 27 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool.

In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Stir until smooth. Add more lemon juice, if needed, to achieve a relatively thin consistency. Pour over bars, spreading with a spatula to cover surface. Sprinkle lemon zest over top. Let cool for 2 to 3 hours, then slice.

6. Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Bars

Freshly baked chocolate chip blondies | iStock.com

Like regular blondies with a boost, these tasty bars from Just a Little Bit of Bacon, inspired by a recipe in The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, will satisfy any cookie lover. They’re brimming with both butterscotch and semisweet chocolate chips, giving them just the right balance of sweetness. Because they come together so quickly, these bars are perfect for occasions when you need to throw something together at the last minute. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you have a seriously impressive dessert for hardly any effort.


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving enough room to create an overhang on both sides. Grease parchment with nonstick cooking spray or butter.

Melt butter in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Alternatively, melt in a medium, microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Add brown sugar and mix until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add vanilla and salt. Stir well to combine. Add flour and baking powder, then stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate and butterscotch chips.

Transfer batter to prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top appears shiny and edges are golden and pulling away from sides of pan. Do not overbake.

Let bars cool until just warm. Run a paring knife around edge of pan to loosen, then use parchment overhang to remove. Cut into bars and serve.

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