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19 Cheapest Dessert Recipes

You can't go wrong with these easy, affordable treats.
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Need a cheap dessert recipe for your next socially distanced gathering, or just craving something sweet to enjoy while you're quarantined at home? We've found plenty of cheap dessert recipes that can easily be whipped up with household staples you already have in your pantry or a quick trip to the grocery store for minimal and/or inexpensive ingredients.

Making a tasty treat doesn't have to be expensive or take all day. These healthy dessert recipes are easy to assemble and won't break the bank with any fancy, hard-to-find ingredients. Get ready for some delicious quarantine baking projects!

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Molten chocolate cake

Molten chocolate cake
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Molten chocolate cake is easier (and cheaper) to make than you think, and you likely already have all the ingredients at home. This recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, and you can add some instant coffee or espresso if you like. The recipe yields four servings (best served in ramekins), perfect for a special family dessert.

Get our recipe for Molten Chocolate Cake

Apple crumble

Apple crumble
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This apple crumble hits the spot, with affordable ingredients such as roasted apples, rolled oats, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Top with whipped cream or crème fraîche, or serve it al la mode.

Get our recipe for Apple Crumble

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Banana bread

Banana bread
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When it comes to cheap dessert, you can't go wrong with banana bread. Try this healthy banana bread recipe, which calls for a half cup of Greek yogurt for added moisture and only four tablespoons of butter.

Get our recipe for Banana Bread

Banana Nutella crepe

Banana nutella crepe
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

It might be a while before you can get back to France for the real deal, but this banana Nutella crepe should satisfy your crepe craving in the meantime. Of course, you'll need to get some bananas and Nutella, but you probably already have the other ingredients (flour, egg, melted butter, salt, milk, and water). The confectioner's sugar is optional (but highly recommended).

Get our recipe for Banana Nutella Crepes

Fudgy brownies

Low-calorie fudgy brownies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sure, you could buy boxed brownies for a few bucks. But why bother when you probably already have the ingredients for these homemade, just-as-easy-to-make fudgy brownies?

Get our recipe for Fudgy Brownies

Chocolate chip cookies

pile of chocolate chip cookies

Nothing satisfies the sweet tooth like a warm chocolate chip cookie (or five). This tried-and-true chocolate chip cookie recipe uses dark chocolate chips and (optional) flaky sea salt. Yum!

Get our recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate pudding with olive oil and sea salt

Chocolate pudding with olive oil and sea salt
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Olive oil… in pudding? Yes. Once you combine your chocolate pudding with olive oil and crunchy sea salt flakes, your dessert game will never be the same.

Get our recipe for Chocolate Pudding with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Banana pudding

Low-calorie banana pudding
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Ripe bananas, vanilla wafers, and six household staples—sugar, flour, eggs, milk, salt, and vanilla extract—combine to create this light yet decadent dessert. Bonus: This inexpensive banana pudding doesn't take long to make.

Get our recipe for Banana Pudding

Crispy apple turnover

Low-calorie crispy apple turnover
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This turnover is everything we ever wanted in a cheap dessert—it's crumbly, flaky and gooey—and it's only 200 calories. Need we say more?

Get our recipe for a Crispy Apple Turnover

Grilled apricots

Vegetarian grilled apricots
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Grilled fruit is seriously underrated, considering how easy and affordable it is to make, not to mention how refreshing it is on a scorching-hot day. Try this delicious recipe with Greek yogurt, chopped walnuts, and real maple syrup. (If you don't have real maple syrup in your pantry, substitute honey to add a bit of sweetness.)

Get our recipe for Grilled Apricots

Blueberry peach cobbler

Healthy blueberry-peach cobbler
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Blueberries and peaches are baked amongst crispy biscuits in this cobbler recipe that's surprisingly healthy. This cheap dessert recipe also calls for Greek yogurt, and you should have most of the other ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and the like) in your pantry.

Get our recipe for Blueberry Peach Cobbler

Coca-Cola cake

biting into a slice of coca cola cake on a grey plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Have you ever heard of a Coca-Cola cake? This classic recipe, popularized in the South in the '60s and '70s, calls for a cup of Coke, buttermilk, and cocoa powder, plus standard staples such as flour, sugar, and butter. Pro tip: Pour the frosting on the cake while it's still warm for an ultra-moist finished product. Or let it cool a bit and then add the frosting.

Get our recipe for Coca-Cola Cake

Fudgy pumpkin brownie bites

Fudgy pumpkin brownie bites on a wooden cutting board
Blaine Moats

These are the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table, but they're just as delicious in the summer months. Canned pumpkin, canola oil, unsweetened cocoa powder, walnuts or pecans, and mini chocolate chips combine with flour, sugar, and other staples to create these perfect little sweet treats.

Get our recipe for Fudgy Pumpkin Brownie Bites

Cake cookies

finished chocolate and lemon cake cookies on a marble counter
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Grab a box of lemon or chocolate cake mix, a tub of Cool Whip, an egg, and powdered sugar. Mix the first three ingredients, roll into small balls, and dip into the powdered sugar. Bake on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes, and voila: You have a cheap and delicious dessert recipe for any occasion.

Get our recipe for Cake Cookies

Dark chocolate dipped bananas

Dark chocolate dipped bananas
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Take your chocolate-dipped bananas to the next level with shredded coconut, toasted almonds, and flaky sea salt.

Get our recipe for Dark Chocolate Dipped Bananas

Copycat Cheesecake Factory cheesecake

slice of copycat cheesecake factory cheesecake with strawberry and whipped cream
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Not only is this Copycat Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake surprisingly easy to prepare, but it's super affordable, too. It requires nine ingredients total: cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, three eggs, water, fresh berries, and for the crust, graham crackers and melted butter. Skip the 21-page menu and enjoy your cheesecake at home!

Get our recipe for Copycat Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

Coffee cake

coffee cake squares
Courtesy of Lil Luna

Need to whip up a cheap dessert on the fly? This easy coffee cake recipe takes 30 minutes to make from start to finish, and with common pantry staples such as brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon, it shouldn't require a trip to the grocery store, either.

Get the recipe from Lil' Luna

Peanut butter chocolate chip bars

stack of peanut butter chocolate chip dessert bars
Courtesy of Averie Cooks

What's better than a chocolate and peanut butter dessert? Nothing. And lucky for all of us, these bars only require seven ingredients: unsalted butter, peanut butter (Jif or Skippy is best), brown sugar, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and an egg. When combined and baked, they make the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth dessert.

Get the recipe from Averie Cooks

Cinnamon roll microwave mug cake

cinnamon roll mug cake
Courtesy of Kim's Cravings

When it comes to cheap and easy desserts, nothing compares to mug cakes. This fluffy cake is delicious for dessert or even breakfast and requires very few ingredients. You can substitute flour for Kodiak Cakes pancake mix for a dose of protein and a better texture overall, and any oil or butter you have in the pantry will do.

Get the recipe from Kim's Cravings

And for more ways to up your game, don't miss these 52 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That'll Make You Enjoy Cooking Again.

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Amanda Norcross
Amanda Norcross is a freelance journalist, with bylines in FamilyVacationist, Family Vacation Critic, Health, SmarterTravel, USA Today and more. Read more about Amanda