3 Ideas for Easy No-Bake Desserts

From Rice Krispie treats with M&Ms to chocolate mousse, no-bake desserts come in handy because they are usually quick and easy to make. Whether you need a spur-of-the-moment sweet treat or can’t bear to turn on the oven in the summertime, consider the following ideas for no-bake desserts:

1) Ice Box Cake

It doesn’t take much to make this old-fashioned no-bake cake that puts your refrigerator to good use. Start off with 1 ¾ cups chilled heavy cream, ¼ cup sugar, ¾ teaspoon mint extract, one 9-ounce package chocolate wafers, and 1 cup miniature chocolate chips.

To make an easy ice box cake, use an electric mixer to make mint cream – beating the heavy cream, sugar, and mint extract until stiff peaks form. Place two sheets of wax paper side by side as a liner for a serving platter. To assemble the cake, spread each chocolate wafer with around ½ tablespoon mint cream to form stacks. Lay the stacks horizontally along seam of paper. Press gently to form a log. Use a small spatula or knife to cover the log with remaining mint cream.

Refrigerate the cake for at least four hours or up to two days. When serving, gently remove the wax paper from underneath cake. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Use a serrated knife to diagonally slice the cake.

2) No-Bake Cheesecake

You don’t have to pay a visit to Cheesecake Factory to enjoy the deliciousness of your favorite dessert. There is a simplified, traditional way to enjoy this classic sweet treat with many different variations. A sample list of ingredients for a basic recipe may include two packages of graham crackers, unsalted butter, sugar, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla extract.

Place graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to crush into very fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl and stir in sugar. Add butter and stir until ingredients are well combined. Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, making sure to spread it about 2 inches up the side of pan. Press flat and allow the crust to chill in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.

To make the filling, set an electric mixer on medium-high speed, and beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it becomes smooth. Gradually add and beat in small amounts of the condensed milk – scrape the sides of the bowl when needed. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Transfer the filling into the crust and use a rubber spatula to smooth over the top. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator until firm (about 2 ½ to 3 hours).

3) Banana Pudding

The layered effect of banana pudding is a traditional favorite of families across the United States. Different variations exist, which could use sweet vanilla custard, instant vanilla pudding, instant banana pudding, Vanilla Wafers, freshly sliced bananas, ladyfingers, whipped cream, and meringue. The pudding can be baked, but many choose the refrigerated version to save time and energy. Also, while some people enjoy making banana pudding from scratch, there is also an easier, quicker method that involves a box of instant pudding. A basic recipe uses:

1 box instant Jello vanilla pudding
2 small containers Cool Whip
1 box Vanilla Wafers
3-5 bananas

Prepare the banana pudding according to the directions on the box. Chill the pudding and add in one container of Cool Whip. Layer the wafers, pudding, and thinly sliced bananas. Continue to layer until all of the ingredients are gone. Pudding should make up the last layer. Top with extra Cool Whip. You may also decorate with a drizzle of crushed cookie crumbs, almond slivers or chocolate sauce. Keep chilled in the refrigerator before serving.