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What Are the Different Types of No-Bake Desserts?

By Amber Eberle
Updated May 16, 2024
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No-bake desserts can usually be prepared quickly, and, as the name indicates, without using an oven, which makes them popular in the hot summer months or when a person is short on time. Many no-bake desserts are frozen or chilled in a refrigerator. Types of dishes that do not require baking include no-bake cheesecake, recipes using ice cream as the main ingredient, mousses, and parfaits. There are also a number of recipes for no-bake cookies or bars.

Cheesecake that does not require baking is typically made by combining softened cheese, usually cream cheese, with sugar and other ingredients, and then chilling it in a refrigerator until the cake is set. Most cheesecakes have crusts, which can be purchased pre-made or made by mixing graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and press it into a pie pan. A no-bake cheesecake can be made using a variety of flavors, or it can be topped with whipped cream, chocolate, or a fruit puree.

Ice cream is an easy-to-use ingredient when preparing no-bake desserts. It can be made from scratch or store-bought. Treats that can be made from ice cream include ice cream sundaes, banana splits, milk shakes, or ice cream floats. It can also be a simple dessert on its own.

A mousse is a light and airy dessert that can be made without the use of an oven. This dish is usually made by whipping the ingredients and then chilling until the mousse is set. One of the most popular types is chocolate mousse, but other flavors, such as lemon, strawberry, or raspberry, of these no-bake desserts can also be made.

A parfait is also a light dessert. It is typically made with either whipped cream, pudding, or yogurt. To make one, fruit is layered — between the cream, pudding, or yogurt — in a tall glass. Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, are commonly used. Additionally, some recipes for these no-bake desserts may call for layers of store-bought cookies or slices of cake.

Other types of no-bake desserts include cookies and bars. These varieties are often ready to eat more quickly than their baked counter parts. Most no-bake cookie recipes do require the use of the stove top or a microwave to heat and melt ingredients together. Then such a mixture is combined with items such as nuts, oatmeal, cereal, or granola. The entire batter is then rolled into round shapes to make cookies, or pressed into a baking dish to make bars. The cookies or bars will set and be ready to serve when they are fully cooled.

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Discussion Comments

By Lostnfound — On Jul 10, 2014

Anything with instant pudding can be a no-bake dessert. One of my favorites is this stuff called chocolate lasagna. You just melt butter, mix it with chocolate sandwich cookies into crumbs, and pat them into the bottom of a pan. You spread a cream-cheese, whipped topping, sugar mixture over that and chocolate pudding over that. Lordy, but it's good!

Also, lemon icebox pie is a no-bake dessert. Just make sure you put enough lemon juice and zest into the mixture to make your mouth pucker over all that sweetened condensed milk!

By Grivusangel — On Jul 09, 2014

Now, no-bake cookies do require the use of a stovetop, since they are basically candies masquerading as cookies. You use butter, sugar, cocoa, salt, vanilla and oatmeal. Cook the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt together until it boils. Allow to stay at a full, rolling boil for one minute.

Remove from heat and add vanilla and oatmeal. Drop by teaspoons on waxed paper to cool. If the batter won't come "set," add about a half cup of peanut butter.

My husband loves these things and will eat them by the pound. Needless to say, I don't make them that often. He doesn't need them.

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