Grocery shopping is complicated right now, but even when it isn't you don't always want to put on pants and go buy ingredients if you've run out. If you're in the mood for dessert but missing some key ingredients, it's time to learn about all of the
sweet treats you can make without flour. (Chances are you used up all your flour on bread.)
Some of my all-time favorite treats are made without flour. Buckeyes, no-bakes, and Cornflake crunchies among them. Now, that doesn't mean these are all gluten-free. In fact, quite a few of them require crushed cookies as a means of a binder. But plenty of them are totally grain-free, and ready to go if you're worried about that sort of thing.
Also, why are Jell-o salads no longer popular? Growing up in the Midwest, I can think of at least 15 different desserts where the two main ingredients are Jell-o and Cool Whip. They might not be the healthiest, but they are dang tasty, and extra refreshing in the summer. Let's bring back the Jell-o salad. Do you know what's not sold out everywhere? Jell-o. Also, I have no idea why we call sugar, marshmallows, and gelatin a "salad," but I assure you, it is in no way anything that could be considered remotely nutritious, and therefore it's a real treat.
1 Jell-o Marshmallow Candy
Jell-o marshmallow candy is a staple in Ohio where I grew up. It takes three ingredients: the Jell-o you forgot you had, the two half-full bags of stale marshmallows in your cocoa basket, and hot water. It sounds disgusting, but it is magic. 2 Buckeye Bars
If you've never had a buckeye bar, you are missing out. This
recipe from Bakerella is fast and delicious. They are made on the stovetop, which makes things even easier. No-bake recipes for the win during hot summer months. 3 Flan
Flan — my one true love always and forever. This version from
Averie Cooks makes one large flan, which is so much easier than individual flans. Also, those individual pots of flan make you want to eat three, but you don't, because, three flans, you know? This way, you can just take bites out of the fridge as you walk by. Every time you walk by. 4 Strawberry Pretzel Salad
I get it, it sounds disgusting, but I promise, strawberry pretzel salad is a gift from the gods. It's salty-sweet goodness, and a staple on Ohio picnic tables every summer for good reason. The combination works. I don't know which church lady thought "What the hell, let's throw this crap together and see if it works" but I salute them. Bonus points:
it looks really pretty all layered together. 5 Opera Fudge
If you've never made fudge, you might be worried that it's really hard, but
this recipe for opera fudge is actually pretty easy. Opera fudge has no flour, no chocolate, and yet it still has big flavor. Add maraschino cherries or walnuts for added flavor and texture if you're not a fan of vanilla fudge on its own. 6 Cheesecake Pudding
It's like cheesecake — but easier and requires no flour. This
for cheesecake pudding is always in my archives, ready to be popped up at a moment's notice because it's just that good. Pro tip: if you have an ice cream maker, eliminate the cornstarch and pour the hot pudding into it, and you'll have an out-of-body experience as you eat that cheesecake ice cream. (Lessons I learned when I ran out of cornstarch.) New York Times recipe 7 Root Beer Float Jell-o
I know what you're thinking: "What is your obsession with Jell-o?" Well, there are a few reasons. One: it's an underrated product. Two: the texture is fun and wiggly. Three: I don't like heating up my kitchen in the summer, and most of the time Jell-o desserts can be made in the microwave.
This recipe for
root beer float Jell-o from Pint Sized Baker has the added benefit of being pretty. 8 Strawberry Roll Ups
roll ups by The Messy Baker only contain three ingredients: honey, lemon, and strawberries. They're basically a health food, right? Of course right. 9 Gelato
I have made
this recipe for chocolate gelato more times than I should admit. It's dead simple, and works really well for add-ins like chocolate chips and peppermint candies. 10 Pineapple Orange Popsicles 11 Cookies and Cream
cookies and cream ice cream with chocolate ice cream. Thank you, Bakerella, for making a machine-free ice cream that speaks to my soul. 12 Chocolate Covered Cherries Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images
Chocolate covered cherries are perfect this time of year because they are in-season and ready for a little love. Dip them in white chocolate, dark chocolate, or milk chocolate. Heck, use all three.
Ever made a Snickers bar? Ever want to?
These bars from Brown Eyed Baker will punch you in the face with how good they are. You will get mad at them, they are that good. 14 Shave Ice
You need this machine in your life. Not only does it turn water into fun dessert, it makes the best ice for margaritas. You'll thank me for it later. Sure, your kids will want "blue raspberry," but you'll want, "I haven't had a babysitter for nine weeks, so add more tequila to mine, thanks."
Bonus: you can freeze coffee into the blocks for hot days. You're welcome.
15 Microwave Pudding
I make this recipe for
microwave chocolate pudding generally about 15 minutes after I take my Ambien. (And my husband has to take it from me.) If I can make it when sedated, I'm fairly sure I could've made it when I was a tired mom of a newborn. 17 Pina Coladas Sergio Amiti/Moment/Getty Images
Sure, make a virgin piña colada for your kids. For you, pour the rum with your heart. Use your shave ice machine for the
piña colada mix and you have an easier time already. 18 Ritz Peanut Butter Cups
Ritz crackers are good for so many reasons, but these
peanut butter cup Ritz really amp up the joy they bring. Bonus that they take all of five minutes to make. 19 Truffles
Truffles of all sorts are great for gluten-free treats, but these
mint chocolate truffles from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen are special because I love chocolate peppermint everything and anything, so I want it. 20 Honest To Goodness Ice Cream
Oh my goodness, can I tell you how much this machine has changed my life? I'm like, a serious ice cream expert now, and I've only had it since the beginning of March.
OK, maybe not an expert, but it's an outlet, and I need it. I'm not opening an artisanal ice cream business any time soon, but my chocolate stout and pretzel ice cream? Perfect.
21 Chocolate Bark
Simple, easy chocolate bark like this one from
Cookies and Kate is a classic for a reason. Plus, kids love dropping their nuts, M&Ms, and raisins into the bark as it cools. Big win. 22 Key Lime Coconut Patties Key lime coconut chocolate? Count me in. This recipe from perennial favorite Inside BruCrew Life is just begging me to get out my good dark chocolate stash. 23 Rolo Turtles
These are in every holiday cookie tray I make because not only are they the easiest to make, they are addictively good. And, you can make them in the toaster oven.
This version from DIY Candy has the steps laid out, ready for you to get cracking. 24 Banana Pudding
Just a few weeks ago,
The Magnolia Bakery's recipe for banana pudding was released, and we all found out that it was easier than we all thought, and we'd been waiting in block-long lines for nothing. OK, not nothing, we also love their cupcakes. 25 Semifreddo
Semifreddo is the frozen dessert equivalent of baking sourdough bread. It's not for the faint of heart, but the payoff is worth it.
This version from London Bakes is easier than most, but still not simple. 26 Oreo Balls
Where would we be without Oreos? We wouldn't have
Oreo balls, that's for sure. Wouldn't that be the saddest? Crushed Oreos, frosting, and chocolate come together to make everyone happy.