It’s late at night and you’re tired, but your sweet tooth is still wide awake and waiting to be satisfied. Sound familiar? Nobody’s in the mood to go kitchen-crazy just minutes before bedtime, but sometimes those powerful sugar cravings necessitate indulging in a quick snack before calling it a day. Thankfully, just the right recipes exist to make this a possibility. Try these six quick, simple, and altogether tasty dessert recipes to quell your sweet late-night cravings.
1. Bananas Foster
A classic bananas foster combines bananas and vanilla ice cream, gaining additional depth of character through the addition of brown sugar, cinnamon, rum, and banana liqueur. Emeril Lagasse’s recipe is no different — and is a remarkably easy version of the famous New Orleans dessert dish. This recipe from Food Network takes 15 minutes to complete and yields 4 servings.
- 4 ripe bananas, peeled
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup banana liqueur
- ½ cup dark rum
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
Directions: Cut the bananas in half across and then lengthwise. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add the bananas and, turning, cook on both sides until the bananas start to soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the banana liqueur and stir to blend into the caramel sauce. Carefully add the rum and shake the pan back and forth to warm the rum and flame the pan. (Or, off the heat, carefully ignite the pan with a match and return to the heat.) Shake the pan back and forth, basting the bananas, until the flame dies.
Divide the ice cream among 4 dessert plates. Gently lift the bananas from the pan and place 4 pieces on each scoop of ice cream. Spoon the sauce over the ice cream and bananas, and serve immediately.
2. Salted Caramel Covered Strawberries
Sticky, sweet caramel is offset by the mild and refreshingly fruity flavor of strawberry in this dish. Steamy Kitchen’s easy recipe for salted caramel covered strawberries is a cinch to complete in 15 minutes, leaving you with a sweet — and slightly salty — finish to your day. Recipe serves 2 people.
- 10 large fresh strawberries
- 20 caramels
- 1½ tablespoons whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup coarsely chopped mixed nuts (peanuts and almond slivers)
Directions: Soak strawberries in a ice bath for 5 minutes to restore their perky leaves. Pat strawberries completely dry with paper towels. Microwave caramels, whipping cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 1-minute intervals.
Dip each strawberry halfway into caramel mixture. Roll in nuts and place on lightly greased wax paper. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.
3. Instant Chocolate Cake
Some of the best dessert recipes also happen to be the simplest ones — after all, there’s nothing better than an instantly gratifying indulgence! For just 171 calories, you can indulge in a cocoa-packed microwave treat before bedtime. My Happy Dessert’s recipe for a chocolate cake-brownie hybrid in a mug takes just 5 minutes to complete and serves 1 person.
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons milk, fat-free
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: In a small ball, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. The batter should be smooth, without limps in it. Transfer mixture to a mug. Microwave on high for 40 to 60 seconds until puffed. Serve and enjoy.
4. Chocolate Fondue
For optimal results, serve your chocolate fondue dip while still warm — a warm, melted chocolate is the best consistency for dipping, and the chocolate will stiffen as it gets colder. You can dip anything in this deliciously rich fondue — from fresh fruits, to pretzels, to marshmallows. Health-conscious dessert seekers may wish to substitute nonfat yogurt or low-fat soy milk for a less fattening dish. Eating Well‘s chocolate fondue recipe takes 15 minutes to complete and yields 2 servings.
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon brewed espresso
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 banana, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
- 8 1-inch chunks fresh pineapple
- 4 strawberries
Directions: Place chocolate, cream, espresso, vanilla, and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave on medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted (about 1-2 minutes). Pour the chocolate mixture into a serving bowl. Serve with fruit.
5. Blackberry Fools
We’re not sure what this treat did to deserve such a disparaging nickname. Consisting of homemade whipped cream topped with the tantalizingly tangy and sweet flavors of blackberry, it sounds anything but foolish! Opting for a seedless blackberry jam will save hungry dessert-lovers time by eliminating the first step of this recipe from Martha Stewart. The recipe takes 10 minutes to complete and serves 4 people.
- 1 jar (12 ounces) blackberry jam
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cup mixed fresh berries
Directions: Pass jam through a fine sieve; discard solids. With a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Gently fold jam into cream to form swirls. Divide mixture among 4 cups, garnish with berries, and serve immediately.
6. Peanut Butter Cookies
Three ingredients are all it takes to make a batch of warm, melt-in-your-mouth cookies full of rich and peanut buttery goodness. It’s a great way to satisfy that pesky sweet tooth after a long day. These are best served alongside an ice cold cup of milk. This recipe from Allrecipes.com takes 15 minutes to complete and yields a dozen cookies.
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the peanut butter, white sugar, and egg. Mix until smooth. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 to 8 minutes. Cookies are best when they are still soft and just barely brown on the bottoms.