If you’ve ever planned a dinner party during the holiday season, you know how easy it is for the dessert course to fall by the wayside. Despite your best intentions, making a dessert that requires valuable oven space just isn’t practical sometimes, especially if you’re making multiple hot dishes for the main course. But never fear! These no-bake dessert recipes are super simple to put together and—best of all—don’t require any valuable oven real estate. Surprise your guests with these delightfully festive no-bake desserts and they’ll never suspect you opted for an intentional shortcut…
Mixed Berry Eton Mess
A traditional English dessert, this recipe for Eton mess uses freshly whipped cream, pre-made meringues, and macerated berries to create an elegant dessert that comes together with ease.
Active Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
- 4 cups of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and diced strawberries all work well)
- 1 Tbsp. white sugar
- 2 cups of whipping cream (keep chilled for best results)
- 4 meringue nests
- Medium-sized mixing bowl
- Large glass bowl
- Whisk OR hand mixer OR stand mixer
- 4 small dessert bowls or glasses
- Tumble the mixed berries into a medium-sized bowl, stirring in the sugar until combined.
- Use the flat side of a fork to gently mash the berries until they are just beginning to break apart. Allow the berries to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Pour the whipping cream into a large glass bowl and whip until soft peaks form using a whisk, hand mixer, or stand mixer.
- Crumble the meringue nests into the whipping cream, taking care to leave generous chunks of meringue for texture.
- Gently fold all but a scant cup of the macerated mixed berries and their juices into the whipped cream and meringue mixture.
- Divide the Eton mess into the small bowls or glasses and top with the remaining mixed berry mixture. Serve immediately.
Gingersnap and Dark Chocolate Gelato Sandwiches
Store-bought cookies and gelato make this elevated ice cream sandwich recipe a snap—a gingersnap, that is! These frosty but decidedly sophisticated treats are a cinch to make and can be wrapped in parchment paper and tied with ribbon for a festive presentation.
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
- 8 large store-bought gingersnap cookies
- 4 oz + 1 oz candied ginger, finely chopped
- 1 pint dark chocolate gelato
- 4 oz good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- Spatula and large glass bowl OR stand mixer with paddle attachment
- Ice cream scoop
- Remove the gelato from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 8 minutes.
- Transfer gelato into a large bowl or stand mixer. Working quickly, fold in 4 ounces of chopped candied ginger using a spatula OR stand mixer paddle attachment until evenly combined.
- Place gelato and candied ginger mixture back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
- Take the gelato out of the freezer 5 minutes before you’ll begin assembling the gingersnap sandwiches.
- Combine the dark chocolate and remaining ounce of candied ginger on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
- Using an ice cream scoop, top 4 gingersnap cookies with the gelato and ginger mixture. Being careful not to break the gingersnaps, place the second gingersnap on top and press down until the gelato has reached the edge of both gingersnaps.
- Roll the gelato edge in the dark chocolate and candied ginger mixture until covered.
- Freeze the gingersnap and gelato sandwiches for at least 1 hour before serving. This will help the gingersnaps soften up so they don’t break the instant someone takes their first bite.