Our oven broke down just a few weeks before lockdown — and honestly, I can’t tell whether I should consider this a blessing or a curse. While I missed out on the opportunity to bake my own delicious treats at home, I also saved myself from consuming tons of calories. What’s more, not having a working oven inspired me and my family to put our thinking caps on and get a little more creative. And hey, who knew there were so many no-bake desserts worth trying out?
From cakes that simply require you to refrigerate them overnight to bread you can cook on a frying pan over heat, there are actually quite a great number of desserts that don’t require you to use an oven. For example, I had no idea that tiramisu required zero baking time — amazing!
So, for those of you who’ve found themselves in a similar situation (or are just generally lazy to fire up your ovens), here are some no-bake desserts that are definitely worth trying out.
No-bake desserts you should definitely try at home
It all started with a craving. My sister is a huge tiramisu lover, and she was disappointed that her favourite place wasn’t delivering. So, she turned to Google for a recipe — and we were pleasantly surprised to discover that it was actually quite simple. Even better, we didn’t need an oven to make it, either! The following tiramisu recipe by The Cooking Foodie is one we’ve tried and enjoyed.
- 5 large egg yolks (optional)
- ½ cup and 2 tbsp (125g) sugar (optional)
- 1 ⅔ cups (400mL) heavy cream, cold
- 14 oz (425g) Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1½ cups brewed espresso
- 36-40 ladyfingers
- 2-3 tablespoons coffee liqueur/marsala/brandy
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- Mix hot coffee with the liqueur, pour into a large dish, and set aside to cool.
- Combine the mascarpone and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whip cold heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold ⅓ of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Then, add the remaining whipped cream. Set aside.
- Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture for one to two seconds.
- Place each ladyfinger in the bottom of a 9 x 13” dish. If needed, break a few ladyfingers to fit them in the dish.
- Spread half of the cream over the soaked ladyfingers. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers and spread the remaining cream on top.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours.
- Just before serving, dust with cocoa powder.
Optional after step 1 (filling):
- Place egg yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl and set over a pot with simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Start whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the custard thickens. The temperature of the egg yolk should reach 68-70ºC.
- Remove the bowl from heat and let cool.
- When cool, add the mascarpone and vanilla extract into the mixture and whisk until smooth.
Note: You can also use four egg whites in place of heavy cream. Just beat them to stiff peaks, then fold into the mascarpone mixture. This is actually the Italian traditional way!
Honestly, since they’ve got such a fancy name, it’s quite surprising how easy it is to make beignets at home! For anyone who hasn’t heard of this delectable pastry, beignets are basically fried dough topped with powdered sugar; they’re particularly famous in New Orleans as a breakfast snack.
Beignets have a bit of a crunch on the outside, and are doughy yet light and airy on the inside. We recommend this recipe by Allrecipes. Plus, a tip: Pair your beignets with a side of hot chocolate sauce. This combination is absolutely to die for!
- 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- ½ white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
- ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
- Add sugar, salt, eggs, evaporated milk, and blend well.
- Mix in four cups of the flour and beat until smooth.
- Add the shortening, and then the remaining three cups of flour.
- Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.
- Roll out dough ⅛-inch thick. Cut into 2 ½-inch squares. Fry in 180°C-hot oil. (Note: If beignets do not pop up, oil is not hot enough.) Drain onto paper towels.
- Shake confectioners’ sugar on hot beignets. Serve warm and enjoy!
How could this list of no-bake desserts not include this Pinoy classic? This one takes me back to my childhood, when my mom would make it in the morning and I would impatiently wait to enjoy it after dinner. It’s such a delicious way to end the night! For mango float, you can’t go wrong with this recipe by the Food Network.
Mango float ingredients
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 ¾ cups sweetened condensed milk
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 ripe mangoes, diced
Mango float recipe
- Combine the cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until it doubles in volume, for about four minutes.
- Spread a scant two cups of cream in an 8-inch square baking dish, followed by ½ cup of graham cracker crumbs and ⅓ of the mangoes.
- Continue alternating layers for a total of nine layers, ending with mangoes.
- Chill for at least eight hours or overnight.
Chocolate peanut butter cups
I was today (as of writing) years old when I discovered that I could actually make my own chocolate-covered peanut butter cups at home. Seriously — I can’t help but look back on all those times I could’ve satisfied my cravings without having to splurge on expensive little packets of these sweets!
If you’re a big fan of peanut butter cups like I am, then let this simple recipe make you wonder why you’ve wasted so much money on those famous chocolates instead of just making your own at home. Check out the following recipe by Fifteen Spatulas!
Chocolate peanut butter cups ingredients
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- ¼ cup and 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
Chocolate peanut butter cups recipe
- Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
- Melt half the chocolate either in a double boiler or the microwave.
- Distribute the melted chocolate into the muffin tins, only barely filling the bottom of each cup. If the chocolate does not lie flat, drop the pan repeatedly on the counter, and it will flatten and smooth itself out. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Whip the peanut butter, butter, and confectioner’s sugar together with a hand mixer until mixed and light. Taste it and make sure the sweetness is to your liking. Place small tablespoons of peanut butter into each cup, then drop the pan repeatedly on the counter again, so the peanut butter layer is flattened out. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Melt the rest of the chocolate and portion small spoonfuls of chocolate into the cups one cup at a time, immediately dropping the pan repeatedly on the counter to flatten each cup. (Note: The chill from the peanut butter will harden up that top layer of chocolate very quickly, so you must flatten out the tops immediately after you pour the chocolate into each cup.)
- Place the peanut butter cups in the freezer for 15 minutes to set the top layer of chocolate.
- You can either refrigerate them for a peanut butter cup with more bite, or leave them at room temperature for a softer, creamier bite. Just peel the wrapper off and enjoy!
Did you know that chocolate mousse is actually really easy to make? Since I’ve always thought it to be such a sophisticated dessert, this discovery truly surprised me. A lot of the special people in my life happen to love chocolate mousse, so I’m extra pleased that it’s found its way to this list of easy no-bake desserts. This recipe from Once Upon a Chef is perfect for special occasions!
Chocolate mousse ingredients
For the chocolate mousse
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate
- 3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
- ½ tsp cream of tartar*
- ¼ cup and 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream, cold
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
*You may substitute cream of tartar with baking powder, lemon juice, or white vinegar; you also have the option to just leave it out.
- ½ cup heavy cream, cold
- 2 tsp sugar
- Chocolate shavings
Chocolate mousse recipe
- Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces directly into the bowl. Microwave it in 20-second intervals, stirring between each bout of heat, until the chocolate is about 75% melted. Stir, allowing the residual heat in the bowl to melt the chocolate completely. (Alternatively, you can place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan containing about one inch of barely simmering water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.)
- Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy.
- Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form (the peaks should be just starting to hold, and will melt back into themselves after a second).
- Gradually beat in ¼ cup of the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the peaks will stand straight up when the beaters are lifted from the mixture).
- Using a large rubber spatula, fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture until uniform. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken up.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla, and continue beating until the cream holds medium peaks. (When you lift the beaters or whisk out of the bowl, the peaks will slightly droop down, but they won’t lose their shape entirely).
- Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Be sure it is fully incorporated but don’t mix any more than necessary.
- Divide the mousse between six individual glasses. Cover and chill for at least two hours.
- Up to a few hours before serving, whip the cream until it begins to thicken up.
- Add the sugar and whip to medium peaks.
- Dollop the whipped cream over the mousse and top with chocolate shavings.
Note: Chocolate mousse can be made up to one day ahead of time. Cover with plastic wrap and keep chilled in the refrigerator. Add whipped cream topping and chocolate shavings up to a few hours before serving.
Without a doubt, Oreo cheesecake would have to be one of our favourite no-bake desserts. Give your usual cheesecake a level up by adding a generous amount of Oreos to the mix! This recipe from Live Well, Bake Often is an excellent choice for those who always find themselves looking for chocolate after having something cheesy, or vice versa. (Yup, I’m definitely one of those people.)
Oreo cheesecake ingredients
For the crust
- 24 Oreos
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
For the cheesecake
- 2 cups cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
- 15 Oreos, chopped
- 6 Oreos, chopped
Oreo cheesecake recipe
For the crust
- Add the Oreos to a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs.
- Scoop the crumbs and the melted butter into a mixing bowl and mix until all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, scoop the mixture into the pan, and firmly press it down into one even layer. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill while you make the cheesecake filling.
To make the cheesecake:
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
- Pour the heavy whipping cream in a separate bowl. Start mixing on low speed, then increase the speed to medium-high until the mixture thickens and stiff peaks form.
- Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold it in or mix it in on low speed with your mixer until just combined. Then, fold in the chopped Oreos.
- Remove the springform pan from the refrigerator, scoop the cheesecake filling onto the crust, and carefully spread it around into one even layer.
- If using the topping, add the extra chopped Oreos on top and gently press them down a little.
- Cover tightly and transfer back to the refrigerator to chill for at least four to five hours or overnight. Remove from the pan, slice, and enjoy!
While we can’t quite travel to Spain anytime soon, we can treat our palates to the Spanish cuisine. Churros are certainly among my favourite sweet endings, and I love that these no-bake desserts aren’t as complicated to make as you’d think. This recipe by Just a Taste is simple and easy to follow. We added an additional final step of our own: Sprinkle yours with some confectioner’s sugar, and enjoy them with a decadent cup of hot chocolate!
- 1 ½ tsp white sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the water, sugar, salt and vegetable oil. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat.
- Stir in the flour, mixing until it forms a smooth ball.
- Heat three to four inches of vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot set over medium-high heat until it reaches 190ºC. (There should be a minimum of three inches above the oil to prevent it from bubbling over.) Line a plate with paper towels.
- Transfer the dough to a cloth pastry bag or heavy-duty plastic bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Pipe the dough over the pot of oil to a length of about four inches, then using scissors or a sharp knife, cut it so it releases into the oil. (Stand back to avoid any splatters.) Pipe two to three churros into the oil at a time, frying them until they’re golden brown and cooked through.
- Transfer the churros to the paper towel-lined plate to drain for two minutes. Then while they are still hot, roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat the frying and coating process with the remaining dough.
- Enjoy them Spanish-style by dusting your sugar with confectioner’s sugar, and having them with a side of chocolate sauce!
Have you tried making any of these no-bake desserts? Don’t forget to post photos and tag us on Instagram at @tripzillaph!