There are a TON of reasons you might want to make a dessert without having to turn on your oven. Maybe your oven isn’t working quite right, or is too full of other, more important things (like a Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham). Maybe you’re cooking with kids and don’t want them going in and out of a hot oven. Maybe it’s just too dang hot out (or inside your apartment, radiator heat’ll get ya!), and you want to avoid turning on the oven at all costs. Whatever the reason, these 70 no-bake desserts are for you.
Some dessert recipes are inherently no-bake, like truffles, ice cream, or fudge, and we’ve included a number of our favorites here. Others are easy shortcuts to more complicated desserts, and that’s where the meaning of no-bake really shines. Love cheesecake, but hate water baths? Yeah, us too. Make our no-bake blackberry cheesecake bars, our no-bake pumpkin cheesecake, or our lemon-blueberry mini cheesecakes, or our banana pudding cheesecake bars instead. More of a cake or pie fan? Try our éclair cake, our chocolate fluffernutter pie, our lemon icebox cake, or our mint chocolate chip pie. They’ll scratch that itch without having to roll out dough or deal with cake layers. We will say, while making these recipes themselves is a lot easier, there is often a bit more patience required—check to see if these need to set up for a few hours/overnight and plan accordingly. Your future self will thank you.
While these are no-bake, that doesn’t necessarily mean no-cook. We’ve included some recipes here that are cooked on the stove, or involve minor heating up of ingredients (more power to you to melt your chocolate in the microwave). Some, like our buckeyes, our no-bake oatmeal cookies, or our chocolate-covered strawberries, are still crazy easy to make. Others, like our peanut brittle, halva, or chocolate almond toffee take a little bit more finesse (and sometimes a candy thermometer). Even so, we think they’re the kind of recipes you should have in your dessert arsenal, and make a great addition to any dessert table, year-round. (Hot tip: They also make awesome holiday gifts!)
Banana pudding makes our heart sing—it's the world's perfect dessert: classy enough to serve at a wedding, trashy enough to bring in an aluminum baking sheet to a BBQ. We've turned it into just about any dessert you can imagine: cheesecake bars, poke cake, and now this cheesecake.
Get the Banana Pudding Cheesecake recipe.
Use the base of these impossible-to-mess-up cookies as your launchpad, then stir in some additions to make them your own. Unsweetened shredded coconut, almond extract, chocolate peanut butter or Nutella, and chopped nuts all add extra depth to these cookies. Use a crunchy peanut butter or almond butter if you like too.
Get the No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies recipe.
Homemade ice cream—is there anything better? Sure, you could buy it in a pint or trek to a scoop shop, but ice cream made in your own kitchen not only tastes better, it has a bit of magic to it. All this one requires is an electric mixer and a bowl, plus some time in the freezer to let the mixture set up.
Get the Cookies and Cream Ice Cream recipe.
If you’re looking for a boozy treat to get the party started, these bourbon balls are calling your name. Made with finely chopped pecans, crushed vanilla wafer cookies, and of course, bourbon, these no-bake cookie truffles highlight the flavor of the bourbon while taming its typical burn. Warning: You won’t be able to stop at one!
Get the Bourbon Balls recipe.
Traditional pate a choux, the French dough used to make classic eclairs and profiteroles, can be a difficult pastry to make, so for this cheater version we use graham crackers. They're not technically anything like an éclair, but they're still great for layering in this cake and become soft as the cake chills (sort of like in an icebox cake!).
Get the Éclair Cake recipe.
For all the chocolate peanut butter cup–obsessed, Fluffernutter-loving friends out there: We see you. This recipe is an upgrade of our no-bake peanut butter pie. Instead of topping it with traditional whipped cream (which would still be totally delicious), we made a very quick and easy marshmallow whipped cream. 😍
Get the Chocolate Fluffernutter Pie recipe.
Topped with fruit syrups, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry, few desserts are as recognizable as an ice cream sundae, and this recipe will help you make the ultimate version. The truly classic banana split features strawberry and pineapple syrup as well as chocolate sauce, so we've got it all for you here.
Get the Banana Split recipe.
Loaded with peanut butter and dipped in chocolate, these buckeyes are basically a homemade Reese’s peanut butter cup in truffle form. They’re easy to make and great for taking to parties—although if you do, you should probably attach a warning label to the plate. You won’t be able to have just one.
Get the Buckeyes recipe.
This recipe is really simple, but toffee in general can be a littttlllleee fussy. Our biggest piece of advice: WHISK CONSTANTLY! The moment you walk away from the saucepan, the butter and sugar will separate.
Get the Chocolate Toffee recipe.
If you need a quick and easy dessert idea, these peanut butter and chocolate confetti squares are the perfect thing. They are a breeze to put together and after a quick chill in the fridge, everyone will go crazy for them. Rainbow marshmallows make for an extra fun pop of color, so use them instead of boring 'ole white.
Get the Confetti Squares recipe.
Simple to make and easily modified, granita is perfect on its own as a light palate cleanser or dressed up with whipped cream and toppings. This pineapple version is big on tropical flavors, with heavy notes of vanilla and toffee thanks to a splash of rum and a scoop of dark brown sugar.
Get the Pineapple Granita recipe.
With lots of rich, creamy vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookie bits flecked throughout, there's something in this pie for everyone. And if the chocolate cookies aren't enough, there's a warm, rich, fudgy chocolate sauce in this recipe, too. What more could you ask for?!
No candy thermometer? Don't worry — this easy brittle can be made with or without one.
Get the Peanut Brittle recipe.
Halo-halo is a traditional Filipino shaved ice dessert that's topped with a rainbow of delicious ingredients. The beauty of halo-halo is how easy it is to assemble. You'll start by arranging the shaved ice in bowls or a tall glass, then go crazy with the toppings, from kaong (sugar palm fruit in syrup) to sweet chickpeas to ube ice cream.
Get the Halo-Halo recipe.
Mochi is a sweet, chewy rice pastry that hails from Japan. Traditionally made from cooked and pounded rice, mochi are also easily made with rice flour. Here, each ball is filled with a sweet red bean paste, but you're just as likely to see ice cream, a matcha green tea filling, or black sesame paste inside mochi.
Get the Mochi recipe.
Plant-based, dairy-free, vegan… no matter what you want to call it, this ice cream is as good as—if not better—than any dairy counterpart. Thanks to the no-churn method, this recipe is also easy to make without an ice cream maker. The only equipment needed is a blender to whip up the base, then the freezer does the rest!
If you love Almond Joy candy bars, these chocolate coconut balls are calling your name. Packed with toasted almonds (use store-bought to completely avoid your oven) and two kinds of coconut, they are chewy, nutty, and totally scrumptious. Oh... and did we mention they’re also covered in chocolate? 😋
Get the Chocolate Coconut Balls recipe.
Few desserts are as easy as an icebox cake. If you can whip cream, you're basically halfway there. Oreo Thins make a great cookie base because they can soften perfectly all the way through, but, honestly, a a regular Oreo will work just as well if you have those on hand.
Get the Easy Icebox Cake recipe.
Oreo lovers, meet your new favorite dessert. These cookie balls are essentially truffles. You simply crush up Oreos (we like using a food processor but the old Ziploc bag and rolling pin definitely works), mix them up with cream cheese, and then dunk those balls into melted chocolate. Be prepared to eat the entire batch in one sitting—they're dangerous.
Get the Oreo Cookie Balls recipe.