Mandatory Moderation: 6 Small-Batch Desserts That Only Feed a Few

Unless you’re feeding a crowd, baking can be dangerous. You make a batch of cookies, serve them warm out of the oven, and then have leftovers for days. Who can resist decadent chocolate chip cookies sitting on the counter? No one, and that’s why small-batch recipes are sometimes key. Small-batch recipes typically only yield between 2 to 6 servings. Instead of using your brain power to cut down traditional recipes, try the following six on for size.

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1. Chocolate Chip Cookies for Two

On those nights when only one chocolate chip cookie will do, make this recipe from The Biker Chick. Yielding 2 to 6 cookies, this recipe is perfect for you and a friend, and the total baking/prep time only takes 15 minutes in total.


  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and yolk, and whisk until smooth and creamy. Sprinkle the flour, baking soda, and salt over the wet ingredients; stir until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop the dough into 2 to 6 portions, depending on how many cookies you want. They will spread a lot, so leave at least 3 to 4 inches between each scoop of dough. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Do not overbake. They may look doughy on the inside, but they will continue to bake while they cool. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

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2. Small Batch Brownies

If you prefer brownies over cookies, you can make those in a reasonable quantity, too, thanks to Taste of Home. Use this recipe to feed you and five other eaters, and don’t worry about putting yourself into a chocolate coma.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup baking cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon confectioners’ sugar, optional

Directions: In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a small bowl, whisk egg and vanilla; gradually whisk in sugar. Stir in chocolate mixture. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture. Transfer to a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

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3. S’more Cupcakes

Next up are cupcakes — s’more cupcakes from Dessert for Two, to be exact. Yielding only 4 cupcakes, this recipe requires minimal ingredients and minimal cleanup, but it does promise to deliver maximum happiness.


  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 graham cracker sheet, broken into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 spoonfuls of marshmallow fluff

DirectionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line four cups of a muffin tin with paper liners. Pour the milk into a small bowl. Add the vinegar and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the canola oil, vanilla and brown sugar.

Add the dry ingredients to the oil and brown sugar mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk mixture. Finally, stir in the graham cracker chunks. Divide the batter between the 4 muffin cups and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before topping with marshmallow fluff and brûléeing with a kitchen torch to your desired level of doneness. Serve immediately: They do not store well after marshmallow fluff is toasted.

Source: iStock

4. Sugar Cookies for Two

Coming back to cookies, we arrive at this recipe from Like Mother, Like DaughterThis traditional sugar cookie recipe will remind you just how good the classics are but won’t send your sugar intake over the edge.


  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons flour


  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • food coloring, optional

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine butter and sugar in a small bowl. Add egg yolk and vanilla and stir well. Add salt, baking soda, and flour and stir to combine. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and cut with cookie cutters or scoop into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 8 minutes, then remove from oven. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing to cool additionally on cooling rack. Combine all ingredients for frosting (add more milk or more powdered sugar if too thick or too thin) and frost cookies once cool.

Source: iStock

5. Blueberry Cobbler

You won’t be overindulging in cobbler with this recipe from Pint Sized Baker (unless you steal the second serving from your guest).


  • 1 tablespoons butter, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place ½ tablespoon of butter in two 12-ounce ramekins or jars. Place jars on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Place in oven for 5 minutes to melt butter. Mix 1 tablespoon sugar and lemon zest and set aside. In another bowl, mash blueberries with a potato masher or fork. Add 1 teaspoon of the lemon sugar and stir in. Add sugar (not lemon sugar) to flour, baking powder, and salt.

Whisk in milk and melted butter. Remove jars from the oven and pour batter into jars. Add blueberry mixture over batter and sprinkle remaining lemon sugar over top. Bake cobbler in ramekins for 35 to 40 minutes; this may take longer if using a jar. Edges will be brown and crisp. Let cobbler cool for 15 minutes and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Source: Thinkstock

 6. Mini Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Saving one of the sweetest for last, we come to this cake offering from The Thoughtful PlateThe recipe for this decadent dessert makes either 4 small slices, 3 medium slices, or 2 large slices, and it promises that you won’t have extra cake sitting on your counter for days to come.



  • ⅓ cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 scant tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup hot water


  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

Directions: For cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat three ramekins with cooking spray, or grease with coconut oil, and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside. Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a medium-size mixing bowl, vigorously whisk the egg and the sugar together until well combined and slightly thickened. Whisk in the vanilla and olive oil, then whisk in the hot water.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no dry spots are left. Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared ramekins, 3 ounces in each. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 20- to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the ramekins and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

For frosting, whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until completely smooth. Use a sharp serrated knife to level the tops of each cake. Stack the layers with frosting in between. Frost the cake however you prefer. Sprinkle the top with a dusting of Demerara or raw sugar, slice, and serve.

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