5 EASY Desserts

Lauren Salisbury, Staff Writer

It’s just a fact that everybody loves a sweet treat. What’s also factual is people want quick and easy recipes that don’t require a ton of work. We’ve all gone to Pinterest and had to scroll through some lady’s life story in order to get to what we really want, and that gets old REAL QUICK. We’ve also looked at the recipes and looked at what we made and said YIKES. If you want to bake well, you have to start with a good basic recipe, but if you want to elevate your baked goods, you need a little extra something special, so here are 5 to-the-point recipes with the little extra something that make you feel like Betty Crocker. (And you won’t have to read my life story to get to it—you’re welcome!)


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes 





  • ½ cup  unsalted butter, partially melted 
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 overly-ripened bananas
  • 1 ½ cups plain all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Cream together the butter and the sugar 
  2. Crush the bananas then add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  3. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix well.
  5. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for an hour. 

THE LAUREN WAY: Is it a great recipe? Of course! Could you make it better with these tips and tricks? Obviously!

  • Add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, a pinch of pumpkin pie spice, and a teaspoon of nutmeg. It makes it taste warm and inviting without taking away the banana flavor.
  • Use butter aerosol spray. It’s WAYYY less flour-y than the Pam baking spray and adds more flavor.
  • Throw in a cup of chocolate chips or chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans to add just an extra texture to balance out the bread.


Prep Time: 20 minutes 

Chill Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes 






  • 1 3.4 oz package instant vanilla
  • 1 3.4 oz package instant chocolate pudding
  • 30 oreo cookies divided (20 for recipe, 10 for garnish)
  • A stick of salted butter, melted 
  • 3 cups cold whole milk
  • 8 ozs room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • I cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar 


  1. Lightly butter or spray an 8×8 inch baking dish and set aside
  2. In a large mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to blend together the vanilla pudding mix, the chocolate pudding mix, and cold milk until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Crush 20 of the cookies into small pieces and add to a large mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter over the cookies and use a fork to mix until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish to form a crust. 
  4. In another medium mixing bowl add the cream cheese and granulated sugar. Use a hand-held mixer to combine. spread the mixture evenly over the crust 
  5. Spread the pudding mixture evenly over the cream cheese layer
  6. In another medium mixing bowl, add the whipping cream and confectioners sugar. Use a hand held mixer to beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream mixture over the pudding layer. 
  7. Crush the remaining 10 oreos and sprinkle them over the top of the dessert. Chill or freeze for 3 hours before cutting and serving. (wait 15 minutes to cut before serving if you freeze the dessert)

THE LAUREN WAY: Again, another solid recipe. The Lauren Way, however, lets you cheat a little with the time while also elevating the fun. 

  • BIG TIP- If you’re impatient and don’t want to wait 3 hours, freeze the dessert for an hour before starting. Just don’t leave it out too long 🙂
  • *If you want this recipe to be even better, add in toppings such as M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, and gummy worms – you’ll thank me later.


Prep time: 15

Cook time: 10

Total time: 25 minutes 








  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup of butter, barely melted 
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Pinch of sea salt 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, the baking soda and salt and set aside
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, vanilla extract and the vinegar until smooth. Beat in the egg just until combined.
  4. Mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture just until combined. Stir in the chips.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop (about 2 rounded tablespoons) drop about 3 inches apart onto the cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, they will look light brown around the edges and will look underdone in the center. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle each cookie with a little sea salt. Allow to sit on the sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a rack to cool.


  • Be sure to experiment with different flavor chips besides chocolate. Think butterscotch, peanut butter, white chocolate. This recipe is fairly flexible to fit personal preferences feel free to do what makes you happy.
  • Let the cookies ‘rest’ (cool down so they form and hold their shape) or else you’ll get chocolate chip cookie stew – and that’s just gross.


Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time: 40 minutes 

Total time: 50 minutes 






For the cake:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar 
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups of milk
  • 1 stick salted butter, melted

For the cinnamon filling:

  • 1 ½ sticks salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon 

For the glaze 

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

For the cake:

  1. Preheat  oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), combine 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup white granulated sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 1/2 cups milk.
  2. While your mixer is running, slowly add 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted. Mix just until combined.
  3. Spread this batter evenly into your prepared baking dish.

For the filling:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour and 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon. Stir until combined well.
  2. Drop the cinnamon filling by spoonfuls onto the cake batter.
  3. Take a butter knife and make swirly, marble-effect patterns all around the cake. Drag the knife through both the cinnamon and cake batter.
  4. Bake the cake for about 35-40 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the glaze:

  1. Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 5 Tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl. If you want it thicker, add more powdered sugar and if you want it thinner, add more milk.
  2. Pour the glaze over the warm cake. This cake can be served warm or at room temperature but I think it’s easier to slice if you allow it to cool first.

THE LAUREN WAY: Serve it warm. Eating it warm is definitely the best, but waiting a few minutes is recommended so you don’t burn yourself– it will NOT feel good if you jump the gun on this one 🙂


Prep Time: 15 minutes 

Additional Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes 





  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  • 1 cup yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon of salt 
  • 3-4 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles 


  • 16 oz (2 cups) of white melting chocolate
  • Sprinkles 
  • Pop sticks (for dipping)


  1. For the truffles: Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer until combined. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add 3–4 tbsp. of milk (I used 3) if needed to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand.
  2. Roll dough into one-inch balls and place on parchment or wax paper on a cookie sheet. Chill balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.
  3. For the coating: While dough balls are chilling, melt almond bark in the microwave in 30-second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals.
  4. Using a pop stick, dip truffles into melted almond bark and gently twirl around to remove excess coating. Place truffle back on a cookie sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining balls until finished.
  5. Chill truffles in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  6. Makes approximately 24–30 truffles.

THE LAUREN WAY: The biggest tip for cake batter recipes is to ALWAYS add more sprinkles than is listed. It’s just better that way. Why? Cause I said so!