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5-Ingredient Desserts That Keep Life Simple and Sweet

Skip the long grocery list. You can make these easy desserts using five ingredients or less (plus staples like salt, pepper and oil). We've got 50 cakes, bars, truffles and more that guarantee extra room in the pantry and happy smiles around the table.

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Blueberry Lemon Trifle

A refreshing lemon filling and fresh blueberries give this sunny dessert sensation plenty of color. Don't worry about heating up the oven—this trifle doesn't require baking. —Ellen Peden, Houston, Texas
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Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

My sister shared the recipe for this unbelievably easy peanut butter fudge with marshmallow cream. I prefer using creamy peanut butter for this mouthwatering dessert, but the chunky style works just as well. —Mary Jane Rummel, Linglestown, Pennsylvania
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Chocolaty S'mores Bars

One night my husband had some friends over to play poker and he requested these s'mores bars. They polished off the pan and asked for more! I shared the recipe, and now their families make them, too. —Rebecca Shipp, Beebe, Arkansas
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Minister's Delight

A friend gave me this recipe several years ago. She said a local minister's wife fixed it every Sunday, so she named it accordingly —Mary Ann Potter, Blue Springs, Missouri
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First-Place Coconut Macaroons

These coconut macaroons are my husband's favorite and earned me a first-place ribbon at the county fair. I especially like the fact that this recipe makes a small enough batch for the two of us to nibble on without lots left over. —Penny Ann Habeck, Shawano, Wisconsin
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Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

Our family loves dessert, and this chocolaty, layered treat is one of Mom's most-requested recipes. It's so easy to prepare this Oreo ice cream cake! —Kimberly Laabs, Hartford, Wisconsin
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Black Forest Dump Cake

I make a Black Forest cake the easy way: Dump everything into a dish and let the magic happen. Give it a cherry topping by reserving two tablespoons of juice from the canned cherries and stir into whipped cream. —Meghan McDermott, Springfield, Missouri
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Buttery 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

With only a few ingredients, these butter shortbread cookies are so simple to prepare. —Pattie Prescott, Manchester, New Hampshire
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Crunchy Candy Clusters

These cereal and marshmallow clusters are so simple that I make them for the holidays each year, as my family looks forward to them. —Faye O'Bryan, Owensboro, Kentucky
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Fudgy Mint Cookies

Chocolate lovers will get a double dose when they bite into this cakelike cookie. The cookies are especially popular served alongside a big scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream! —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota
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Maple-Bacon White Chocolate Fudge

Maple-Bacon White Chocolate Fudge

Tired of the same old fudge? Try my recipe with white chips, maple flavoring and bacon. Then be prepared to share the recipe! —Mindie Hilton, Susanville, California
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Turtle Tart with Caramel Sauce

Between the creamy filling, crispy crust and gooey caramel sauce, there's a lot to love about this tart. Plus, you can make it two to three days in advance. One of my daughters even asks for this instead of cake on her birthday. —Leah Davis, Morrow, Ohio
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Butterscotch Toffee Cookies

With its big butterscotch and chocolate flavor, my cookie stands out. I like to enjoy it with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. It’s my fallback recipe when I’m short on time and need something delicious fast. —Allie Blinder, Norcross, Georgia
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5-Ingredient Fudge

You’re moments away from a pan of creamy fudge. Just microwave, stir and spread. This easy homemade fudge recipe is the best. —Sue Tucker, Edgemoor, South Carolina
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Strawberry-Hazelnut Meringue Shortcakes

In summer the strawberry farms are open for picking. I serve strawberries with a crunchy hazelnut meringue cookie. —Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
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Creamy Hazelnut Pie

I've always been a big fan of peanut butter. Then I found chocolaty Nutella hazelnut spread and I was hooked! I even changed one of my all-time favorite pie recipes by substituting that ingredient. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

Using just five ingredients makes this recipe so simple. You can add a little extra decoration with chocolate jimmies, too. —Chris Nelson, Decatur, Arkansas
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Saltine Toffee Bark

These salty-sweet treasures make delightful gifts, and their flavor is simply irresistible. The bark is like brittle, but better. Get ready for a new family favorite! —Laura Cox, Brewster, Massachusetts
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Flourless Chocolate Torte

Chocoholics—like me!—know that nothing says chocolate like a flourless torte. —Kayla Albrecht, Freeport, Illinois
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Strawberry-Rosemary Yogurt Pops

We planted strawberries a few years ago and these tangy-sweet frozen yogurt pops are my very favorite treats to make with them! The options are endless. Try using other yogurt flavors like lemon, raspberry or blueberry. You may also substitute your favorite herb for the rosemary—or simply omit it. —Carmell Childs, Ferron, Utah
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Easy Pistachio Tube Cake

Mixes make this light cake easy, and a fluted tube pan gets it holiday party-ready. Go for the pistachios on top—the extra crunch is worth it. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, Virginia
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Amaretto Butter Frosting

Put the crowning touch on cupcakes with this rich and buttery Amaretto topper. —Anette Stevens, Olds, Alberta
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Nutella-Stuffed Strawberries

Gourmet strawberries are pricey to order but easy to make. We serve strawberries with hazelnut spread as a crowd-pleasing appetizer or dessert. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Quick Cherry Turnovers

Refrigerated crescent rolls let you make these fruit-filled pastries in a hurry. My family loves these turnovers for breakfast, but they’re so delicious, they’d be welcome any time of the day. Feel free to experiment with other pie fillings as well. —Elleen Oberrueter, Danbury, Iowa
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Rainbow Sherbet Angel Food Cake

Talk about a dessert that pops. Sometimes I make this easy cake even more eye-catching by coloring the whipped cream too. Use whatever sherbet flavor combination you like. —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Banana Bundles

Banana and chocolate is such an irresistible combo that I make this quick dessert often. You can also top these tasty bundles with the butter and brown sugar mixture left over from coating the bananas, or sprinkle on a dash of sea salt. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Coconut Creme Chocolates

I'm a proud wife, mom of three and grandma of many. I've cooked many things over the years, including these marshmallowy chocolates. —Dolores Wilder, Texas City, Texas
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Easy Cake Mix Bars

I take this dessert to work for Friday pick-me-ups. It's one of my favorite yellow cake bar recipes. I love to share them because they're so easy to eat, easy to make and easy on the wallet. —Amy Rose, Ballwin, Missouri
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Gooey Chocolate-Peanut Bars

These are so easy to make and take no time at all. They’re great to package up for those college kids looking for something from home. Everyone will want this recipe. —Elaine Grimme, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Apple-Spice Angel Food Cake

I dressed up an angel food cake mix with some nuts, spice and applesauce to make an easy and light dessert. I serve it with a dollop of whipped topping mixed with a half cup of sour cream. —Joan Buehnerkemper, Teutopolis, Illinois
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Country Fair Cherry Pie

A homemade cherry filling peeks out from a star-shaped pastry top. You can try different shapes for other occasions and also add almond extract for another flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Maple Ricotta Mousse with Candied Pecans

Try not to sneak too many of the maple-y nuts while you make dessert. With the mousse, they're even better. —Kathleen Gill, Pahrump, Nevada
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Macadamia-Coffee Bean Cookies

Nearly anyone who loves coffee will perk up for this java-infused cookie. What hot beverage would you pair these treats with? There’s only one answer! —Kathleen Specht, Clinton, Montana
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Peanut Butter Cup Napoleons

Top layers of puff pastry and peanut butter ice cream with a warm, sweet drizzle the whole family will love! It’s a terrific last-minute dessert, or you can freeze the cooled pastry and scooped ice cream separately in an airtight container the day before you serve it. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Macadamia-Coconut Candy Clusters

These are super easy to make. They are great to make for bake sales,teacher gifts or on candy platters. They are a nice change from milk or dark chocolate clusters. —Lori Bondurant, Paducah, Kentucky
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Pine Nut Snowballs

My great aunt Commie’s Russian tea cakes, along with pine nuts and amaretto, inspired this recipe. —Christianna Gozzi, Astoria, New York
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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses

Eat these pretty treats as is or crush them into a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream. Readers of my blog, utry.it, went nuts when I posted that idea.—Amy Tong, Anaheim, California
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Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Sweet and simple, this arroz con leche recipe is real comfort food in any language. You’ll love the warm raisin and cinnamon flavors. It’s great served cold, too. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Chocolate Amaretti

These classic almond paste cookies are like ones you'd find in an Italian bakery. My husband and children are always excited when I include these goodies in my holiday baking lineup. —Kathy Long, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
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Lemon Creme Brulee

Here’s a refreshing, tangy twist on a classic. Don’t have the kitchen torch traditionally used for creme brulee? Simply pop the ramekins under the broiler.—Sara Scheler, Helenville, Wisconsin
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Lemon-Berry Ice Cream Pie

I love the combination of fresh strawberries and lemon curd. It's so refreshing, especially in an easy make-ahead dessert like this ice cream pie. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Frozen Chocolate Monkey Treats

Everyone needs a fun, friendly way for kids to play with food. These rich bites are nutty and yummy. Just coat bananas in chocolate and dip them into peanuts, sprinkles or coconut. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin
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S'mOreos

My son introduced us to this twist on classic s'mores when we were camping. Have a jar of Nutella around? Slather on the inside of the graham cracker halves before you build this one-of-a-kind treat. —Christina Smith, Santa Rosa, California
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Layered Mint Candies

These incredible melt-in-your-mouth candies have the perfect amount of mint nestled between layers of mild chocolate. Even when I make a double batch for everyone to enjoy, the supply never lasts long at Christmas! —Rhonda Vauble, Sac City, Iowa
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Elegant White Chocolate Mousse

Simply elegant is a fitting description for this smooth treat. Whipped cream teams up with white chocolate to make this easy recipe extra special. —Laurinda Johnston, Belchertown, Massachusetts
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Tiger Butter Bark Candy

Fans of tiger butter fudge will revel in this version that's very similar to bark candy. The chocolate swirls are pleasing to the eye, and the creamy peanut flavor is a treat for the taste buds.—Philip Jones, Lubbock, Texas
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Apple Pie a la Mode

This pie a la mode is a family favorite that combines apple pie filling and butter pecan ice cream with caramel topping and chopped nuts. I created it when trying to think up a rich dessert to complete a dinner party menu. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Nuts-About-You Cookie Sticks

These cookies make a fancy meal finale that couldn’t be quicker to whip up. Start with purchased Pirouette cookies, dip in a rich creamy chocolate and peanut-butter coating, and dust with nuts or sprinkles. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Grilled Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

One night I goofed, accidentally using the balsamic butter I save for grilling chicken on my pound cake. What a delicious mistake that my entire family loved! For a patriotic look, add a drizzle of blueberry syrup. —Tammy Hathaway, Freeman Twp, Maine
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Puffed Apple Pastries

For a little extra indulgence, serve these oven-fresh pastries with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Cherry pie filling can be substituted for the apple. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Dana Meredith
Dana is an editor and writer who shares her passion for travel, food and the beauty of American landscapes. When she's not wielding her red pen, she can be found tending her flower gardens, remodeling her house, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry or dancing to "Uptown Funk."

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