Delish Desserts: 7 Recipes with 5 Ingredients or Fewer
Making desserts can get expensive, messy, overly complicated, or a combination of all the above. As ingredient lists grow unwieldily, the at-home-baker’s patience is tested — and let’s be honest, that is the opposite of what baking desserts should be. So whether you need a recipe that is short on ingredients and tall on flavor or are searching for something ridiculously easy and tasty, look no further. You’ll find the answer in the following seven recipes, all of which have five or fewer ingredients.
1. Pots de Crème
An entire website is devoted to pots de crème, explaining its origin and what the dish is. Translated from French, it means pot of cream; but don’t let that fool you, it is actually a custard dish, known for its richness. Try the Epicurious chocolate recipe and see for yourself.
- 2 cups whipping cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 large egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring cream and milk just to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot chocolate mixture. Strain mixture into another bowl. Cool 10 minutes, skimming any foam from surface.
Divide custard mixture among six ¾-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Cover each with foil. Place cups in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake until custards are set but centers still move slightly when gently shaken, about 55 minutes. Remove from water. Remove foil. Chill custards until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be made two days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)
The only bad thing about pots de crème is that it leaves you with an excessive of egg whites. Sure you could make egg white omelets, or something equally healthy — or you could try another dessert. Meringues are light and right solution, the ideal balance you’ll need after the heavy custard. Eating Well‘s recipe will have you using three of those excess egg whites, and only four ingredients total.
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Separate one egg at a time into a small bowl, letting the white fall into the bowl and discarding the yolk. If there’s any trace of yolk in the white, discard the white and start over. If it’s yolk-free, transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining two eggs.
Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Add vanilla and beat for 30 seconds more.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a small amount of the meringue under each corner of the paper to secure it to the pan. Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip) with the meringue. Seal the bag almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze. Snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, making a ¾-inch-wide opening. Fold the top of the bag over a few times, then gently push the meringue down to the snipped corner. Working with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the meringue into 1½-inch-diameter cookies, spacing them about ½ inch apart.
Bake the cookies until dry and crisp throughout, about 1½ hours. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Cookies can be held at room temperature in an airtight container for up to five days or in the freezer for up to one month. If stored meringues are chewy, bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes to restore their original crisp texture.
3. Cream Cheese Cookies
Crisp around the edges, chewy in the center, these simple cream cheese cookies from Food 52 are a buttery, sweet, and slightly tangy treat.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
Directions: Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a standing mixer or hand beaters, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in the flour and salt, just until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and give it a quick stir with a spoon to make sure everything is evenly mixed.
Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment, leaving about 1½ inches between each cookie (they will spread a little). Bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Do not over-bake, or the cookies won’t be chewy! Cool slight on the cookie sheet, and then remove the cookies with a spatula and let them finish cooling on a rack.
4. Oreo Cookies and Cream Trifle
Smell Good Kitchen has a dessert combination so simple and delicious, you’ll wonder how it ever escaped your attention. Oreos, Cool Whip, and chocolate pudding are layered together in a trifle perfect for any spring or summer party.
- 2 boxes chocolate instant pudding
- 4 cups of milk
- 1 container Cool Whip
- 1 package Oreo cookies (crushed)
Directions: Prepare the instant pudding as directed on package. In a large bowl, trifle dish, or other container start layering. Begin with ⅓ of the pudding, and cover that layer with crushed Oreos, and cover the Oreos with ⅓ of the Cool Whip. Do two more layers in the same style, and top with remaining Oreos. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a bowl combine pudding, cool whip and half of the crushed Oreos and mix very well until mixture is evenly colored.
5. Peanut Butter Mousse
Serve The Food Click‘s peanut butter mousse on its own or increase the recipe to fill a graham cracker pie crust. Either way, you’ll be under five ingredients. The original recipe makes two servings.
- ½ can coconut cream
- 3-4 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or sweetener of choice
Directions: Whip coconut cream in mixer or food processor for a couple minutes. Add other ingredients in food processor. Chill for several hours to let it set and firm up as a mousse.
6. Nutella Cookies
With a fudge-like consistency in the middle, Ambitious Kitchen‘s Nutella cookies will be fantastic when still slightly warm from your oven.
- 1 cup Nutella
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ cup flour + 1 tablespoon
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients besides salt in a large bowl with electric mixer until well combined. Place dough in freezer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes roll dough into approximately 1-inch balls, place on ungreased baking sheet at least two inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes until cookies are set, then very carefully transfer to a wire rack. Generously sprinkle with sea salt.
7. Chocolate Chip Blondies
Box mixes aren’t just for cakes. Food.com has taken your yellow cake mix and turned it into chocolate chip blondies that could not be easier to make.
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside 13 x 9 pan. Blend cake mix, eggs and melted butter with electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are moistened (about 1 minute). Scrape down sides and stir in chocolate chips, stirring until well incorporated. Mixture will be very thick.
Scrape mixture into 13 x 9 pan. Using fork or fingertips, press batter out evenly so that it reaches all the sides. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.