Your sweet tooth doesn’t go away just because it’s a weeknight, but it can be hard to find the time and muster the energy to whip up a delectable dessert on a hectic Monday evening. Rather than go without one entirely, why not create a tantalizing treat that requires minimal prep time? These 6 shortcut recipes use angel food cake, pound cake, puff pastry, and ice cream to create heavenly sweets that will taste as though you’ve spent all day preparing them. You may even decide to skip dinner and head right to dessert!
1. Shortcut Strawberry-Vanilla Dessert Recipe
Fresh strawberries, a heavenly pudding topping, and a pound cake create a decadent and fresh-tasting sandwich-style dessert. Taste of Home’s recipe only takes 15 minutes to make and yields 7 servings.
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1½ cups cold 2 percent milk
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 cups whipped topping, divided
- 1 loaf (10¾ ounces) frozen pound cake, thawed
Directions: In a small bowl, combine strawberries and sugar; let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping; set aside. Cut cake into 14 slices. Layer seven cake slices with 2 tablespoons strawberries, ⅓ cup pudding mixture, and another cake slice. Top with remaining strawberries and whipped topping.
2. Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream With Banana and Peanuts
Thanks to Cooking Light‘s recipe, you can enjoy an indulgent five-ingredient ice cream delight any night of the week. Feel free to use strongly brewed coffee instead of espresso. This dish yields 4 servings.
- 2 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream
- 2 medium bananas, sliced
- ½ cup hot brewed espresso
- 2 tablespoons chopped, dry-roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons chocolate curls (about ½ ounce)
Directions: Spoon ½ cup ice cream into each of 4 bowls. Top each serving with half of banana, 2 tablespoons espresso, 1½ teaspoons peanuts, and 1½ teaspoons chocolate. Enjoy!
3. Boston Cream Pie Cake
Transform a plain angel food cake into a layered cool-whip- and pudding-filled dream come true. You won’t believe how easy it is to prepare Unsophisticook.com‘s recipe, which yields 8 servings.
- 1 package (3.4-ounce) vanilla flavor instant pudding
- 1½ cups cold milk
- 1½ cups thawed whipped topping, divided
- 1 package (10-ounce) prepared angel food cake, cut horizontally into three layers
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
Directions: Beat pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl with whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in ½ cup cool whip. Stack cake layers on a plate, spreading pudding mixture between layers. Microwave chocolate and remaining cool whip in a microwaveable bowl on high for 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well-blended. Spoon over cake. Refrigerate 1 hour.
4. Orange Creamsicle Cake
Here’s another recipe that lets you transform a store-bought angel food cake into a dazzling dessert. This Woman’s Day recipe uses orange sherbet, whipped cream, and candied orange peel to create a sweet and citrusy cake. It yields 12 servings.
- 1 (8 inch) store-bought angel food cake
- 2 cups orange sherbet
- 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed, or fresh whipped cream
- Garnish: candied orange peel, optional
Directions: Invert cake onto serving plate. Fill center hole with sherbet, packing in. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight. Once the cake is frozen, it can be wrapped and stored in freezer up to 2 weeks. To serve, unwrap and transfer frozen cake to a serving plate. Frost sides and top with thawed whipped topping or whipped cream. Sprinkle candied orange peel on top, if using.
To make the candied orange peel, use a citrus zester and remove the peel from 1 orange in strips, or use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from the orange in vertical strips, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible; cut into smaller strips. Bring 2 cups cold water and the peel to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan; drain. In the same saucepan, whisk 1 cup water with 2 cups sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the peel and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer the peel 10 to 15 minutes until tender and translucent. Drain; let cool.
5. Peach Tart with Honey and Thyme
Thanks to the frozen puff pastry, this tasty tart is unbelievably easy to put together. Food Network’s recipe calls for peaches, honey, thyme, and fresh ricotta, which give this dessert a fresh-tasting and fruity flavor.
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
- 12 ounces ripe, but not mushy, peaches (about 2 peaches)
- 1 tablespoon honey, plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- Heaping ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
Directions: Put an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the puff pastry between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out a bit to make a 9-by-10-inch rectangle. Remove the top piece of paper. Use the tip of a sharp knife to gently score the dough, without cutting all the way through, 1 inch from the edges all the way around. Transfer to a sheet pan and store in the freezer while you prepare the peaches.
Cut the peaches into 1-inch wedges. Toss them with 1 tablespoon honey. Remove the dough from the freezer, sprinkle on the thyme, and arrange the peaches in a single layer on top, leaving the border clear. Bake the tart until the crust is deep golden-brown and the peaches are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and cool slightly before serving. Cut into squares, top each with a dollop of ricotta, and drizzle some honey over the cheese.
6. Angel Food Cake with Nutella Drizzle, Fresh Strawberries, and Mascarpone Cream
Whether you’re pulling together a last-minute party or you want to surprise your family with an after-dinner treat, Cooking Classy‘s recipe quickly creates a fabulous and elegant cake. It takes 15 minutes to make, and yields 10 servings.
- 1 (15 ounce) angel food cake, store bought
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
- ¾ cup chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nutella
- 4 to 6 tablespoons milk, to thin as desired
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon corn syrup, optional
Directions: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together hazelnut spread and milk until well combined and smooth; set aside. In a separate small mixing bowl, fold together mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. In a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on high speed, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form, then add in optional corn syrup and whip until stiff peaks form.
Fold half of the whipped cream mixture into mascarpone cheese mixture, then add remaining whipped cream mixture and fold until combined. Whip mixture with blender to fluff if necessary. To assemble, slice angel food cake into individual servings. Drizzle each serving with Nutella drizzle. Top with sliced strawberries and mascarpone cream. Garnish with mint leaves if desired. Serve immediately.