7 Sublime Deep Dish Desserts for a Sweet Ending to Your Day

Poached pears and delicate lace cookies certainly have their place in the dessert world, but sometimes all you want is to sink your teeth into something with a little more heft. Everything from strawberry cake to fudgy brownies can benefit from the deep-dish treatment, and we’ve rounded up some of the best recipes in the category. These desserts are great for entertaining, but you might find it hard to share them.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. Deep Dish Cinnamon Streusel Dessert Pizza

If your head started to spin when you heard about chocolate pizza, just wait until you get a taste of this Deep Dish Cinnamon Streusel Dessert Pizza from Pinch of Yum. Filled with crispy, crumbly bits of cinnamon flecked topping and drizzled with a sweet glaze, this dessert is as easy as it is delicious.

Start with homemade or store-bought pizza dough, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and streusel, then bake it in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven. After adding a bit of glaze, this goody is ready for eating. Though not necessary, a little bit of orange zest in the glaze adds a burst of fresh flavor that pairs beautifully with the cinnamon.

Ingredients:

Pizza

  • Half a batch of this dough, or any other pizza dough
  • Cinnamon sugar, to taste
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously oil a round cake pan. Place the ball of dough in the cake pan and press outwards until the edges of the dough are creeping up the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the dough lightly with cinnamon sugar.

Pulse the flour and sugars in a food processor with the butter and oil. Pulse just until crumbs form and sprinkle over the pizza on top of the unbaked crust. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. When the crust and topping are golden brown, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Whisk the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and cream together. Adjust consistency with a little extra water or milk. Drizzle over the warm pizza. Cut into wedges and serve.

chocolate chip cookie, skillet

Source: iStock

2. Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Stuffed with Nutella

The best part about making cookies might actually be eating the dough. Baking up a thick layer of batter in a skillet is a dough-lover’s dream because the insides will stay perfectly gooey while the edges get just a little bit crisp. Little Spice Jar’s Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Stuffed with Nutella takes things even further with a slick of chocolate hazelnut spread in the middle.

Make a simple batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and pat half of it into a deep skillet. Spread on a thin layer of Nutella and then pat the rest of the dough on top. After 30 minutes in the oven, this beauty will be ready to go. This is a rich dessert as is, but we think you might as well go for it and top it off with some ice cream and a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons salted butter, cold
  • 1¼ cups light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • ½ cup Nutella

Directions: Place a rack near the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cast iron skillet with parchment paper. Spray the sides and parchment paper with cooking spray, set aside.

Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 15-second intervals until the butter is half liquid and half semi-solid. Let sit for 5 minutes at room temperature. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until the previous one is completely mixed in before adding the next. Add the flour mixture to the bowl in 3 batches, waiting until the previous one is completely mixed before adding more. This takes about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold in the chocolate chips.

Dump half of the cookie dough onto the parchment-lined cast iron skillet. Using your fingers, or a rubber spatula, pat down the cookie dough into an even layer. Spread Nutella on top of the cookie dough, leaving a ½-to 1-inch border around the sides. Spread the rest of the cookie dough on top and gently pat down to even it out on all sides.

Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, then cover with a piece of aluminum foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes for a gooey center, 20 if you prefer a firmer texture. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least one hour. Serve

chocolate souffle, ramekins

Source: iStock

3. Gluten-Free Deep Dish Hot Fudge Brownies for Two

There’s no reason gluten-free eaters should have to miss out on the the deep dish fun, and they don’t have to with Cupcakes & Kale Chips’ Gluten-Free Deep Dish Hot Fudge Brownies for Two, adapted from Chocolate Moosey. With a molten center and a crackly top, even wheat eaters will go nuts for this treat.

Melt together the butter and chocolate chips and add to an egg and sugar mixture. Fold in a hint of brown rice flour and almond meal, then send it off to a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven. For a little crunch, feel free to stir in a few tablespoons of walnuts.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup plus 2 teaspoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour or meal
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice flour
  • ice cream or whipped cream, optional, for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and place two 6-ounce ramekins on a baking sheet. Melt the butter and ⅔ cup chocolate chips in a medium bowl over simmering water and stir until smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and let it cool. Combine the egg and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until thick and lighter in color.

While whisking, gradually add the melted chocolate, then whisk in the salt, vanilla, almond meal, and rice flour. Divide the batter between the two ramekins and place 1 teaspoon chocolate chips in the center of each ramekin, pressing down lightly.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until not quite set and the tops crackle. Let cool slightly before serving. Top with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

grated coconut, grater

Source: iStock

4. Deep Dish German Chocolate Cake Cookie Skillet

German chocolate cake might not actually be a German dessert, but it sure is tasty. This Deep Dish German Chocolate Cake Cookie Skillet from Carlsbad Cravings might be even better, though. And it’s way easier.

This recipe starts off with a standard cookie dough that gets an extra-rich touch of melted chocolate folded right in. Once the cookie comes out of the oven, let it cool and make a frosting by thickening up some egg yolks, evaporated milk, butter, and brown sugar over the stove. Add toasted coconut and pecans, then frost the cookie with the sticky filling. A final drizzle of chocolate completes the look.

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough

  • 4 ounces Baker’s Sweet German Chocolate, chopped
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Frosting

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Drizzle

  • 4 ounces Baker’s Sweet German Chocolate, chopped

Directions: Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter a 12-inch cast iron skillet, set aside. Melt 4 ounces German chocolate in the microwave at medium heat, stirring every 30 seconds until melted, about 1 to 1½ minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. With a stand or hand mixer, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla extract to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate. Gradually beat in flour mixture just until incorporated. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

Spread the dough into the prepared skillet and bake for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and continue to bake 10 to 20 minutes longer, or until the center is almost done. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare frosting by whisking egg yolks, evaporated milk, and brown sugar together in a large saucepan. Add butter and cook over medium heat, continuing to stir until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.

When oven is free, spread coconut and pecans evenly on a large baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 12 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until coconut is golden, watching closely towards the end of cooking so mixture doesn’t burn. Stir pecans and coconut into frosting and spread evely over cookie.

Melt 4 ounces German chocolate in the microwave at medium heat, stirring at 30 second intervals until melted. Add to a plastic food storage bag, cut corner, and drizzle over the cookie. Best served warm with ice cream.

Smore cake, marshmallows, chocolate

Source: iStock

5. Deep Dish Skillet S’mores

Nothing says summer fun like s’mores, and they’re perfect for making outside. What’s not perfect is the amount of time it takes to make enough to feed more than a couple of people. Streamline the process by whipping up this Deep Dish Skillet S’mores from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. Transforming the treat into a baked good makes it easy to take a tiny portion or serve up something more substantial for marshmallow fanatics.

The cookie base gets its signature flavor from a little bit of graham flour and crackers. Once baked, top the cookie crust with chocolate chips and marshmallows. Send it to the broiler until the top gets nice and toasty, then it’s ready to go. Be prepared to see jaws drop.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup graham flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 full graham cracker sheets
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2½ cups miniature marshmallows

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, cream together the white sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, graham flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir. Grind the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Stir into the dry ingredients.

Combine wet and dry ingredients and press into the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cast iron skillet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and immediately top with the chocolate chips. Spread the chocolate chips around to coat the surface. Add the marshmallows. Press them on to cover the chocolate chips.

Broil at 550 degrees for 30 to 45 seconds, or until the tops of the marshmallows are lightly browned.

Allow to cool and fully set before serving, about 30 to 45 minutes or serve hot after 10 minutes.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

6. Deep Dish Cherry Pie

For the fruit lovers, it doesn’t get much better than this Deep Dish Cherry Pie from Serious Eats, adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours. Taking the time to make crust, mix up a filling, bake, and cool might take a bit of time, but the results are definitely worth the wait. Though pitting cherries yourself is definitely an option, purchasing frozen, pitted ones from the store is a perfectly reasonable way to go. Just make sure to thaw them first.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 20 tablespoons very cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • ⅓ cup very cold vegetable shortening, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ⅓ cup ice water

Filling

  • 2 pounds cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes

Assembly

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions: In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, the ¼ cup sugar, and the 1½ teaspoons salt. Pulse three times to blend. Add the 20 tablespoons butter and shortening and pulse until the butter is the size of peas, about 20 pulses. Add water and pulse until dough comes together into a ball, about ten pulses. Add another tablespoon of water, if necessary. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together the 1 cup of sugar, cornstarch, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add cherries and stir to combine. Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Take dough out of fridge. On a well-floured surface, roll out the first ball into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to pie plate, letting edges hang over. Pour filling into crust. Dot filling with 2 tablespoons butter.

Roll out the second ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Cut circle into ¾-inch wide strips. Starting with the left side of the dough, transfer every other strip to the pie, placing them vertically and leaving ¾-inch space between each piece. Transfer the remaining strips to the pie, arranging them horizontally and weaving them over, then under the existing strips to create a lattice. Crimp overhanging dough around edges, trimming excess as needed.

Brush lattice crust with egg wash and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake pie for 15 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool.

strawberries, cut

Source: iStock

7. Simple Summer Strawberry Cake

Not everything baked in a skillet has to be rich and heavy. For something a little fresher, this Simple Summer Strawberry Cake from Once Upon a Chef, adapted from Martha Stewart Living, makes a dessert that’s satisfying without being gut-busting.

Begin by creaming butter and sugar, then mixing in the egg. Add flour and milk, spread into a deep dish pie pan, then stud the top with plenty of the juicy red fruit. Strawberry shortcake might have some competition.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or a 9-inch square cake pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with milk and beat on low speed until smooth. Batter will be thick.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down, so that they completely cover the batter. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the strawberries.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until the cake is lightly golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let the cake cook in the pan on a rack. Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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