No-bake desserts require little time and minimal ingredients

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By Norm Harding, Reporter

If you’re like me and really aren’t into baking, no-bake desserts usually come to mind. Many pies, cakes and cookies are made with ingredients that don’t require any baking. And best of all, the traditional no-bake types don’t use very many ingredients, but may require freezing or refrigeration.

There are many other desserts that don’t need baking, such as ice cream or desserts made with fruits and cake. These types of creations allow you to treat yourself to some relatively easy-to-make and great tasting desserts that don’t require hours of measuring, mixing and baking in the kitchen!

The No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie and the No-Bake Chocolate Custard are two examples of how easy it is to create a fabulous dessert with minimal ingredients and time. Many of the no bake pies include a good helping of either whipped cream or crème fraiche, which is usually found in specialty food stores and is ridiculously expensive!

In both of theses recipes, I have used Devonshire cream instead, which is easy to make and tastes sweet and creamy. It’s made with sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. We usually make it two cups at a time and it can be stored in the fridge for weeks. Traditionally used with scones, I like it as a dip for fruits, especially strawberries.

There are hundreds of no-bake recipes and I’m sure most of you have your personal favorites. Maybe you’ll try one of these or think about making a no-bake dessert that you used to make but haven’t had for a while. Either way, you’ll be in for a tasty treat!


No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie

The filling is a mix of fresh raspberries, lemon juice and grated lemon peel, condensed milk and some Devonshire cream, all poured into a pre-made chocolate cookie piecrust.

1 pre-made 9-inch chocolate cookie piecrust

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup Devonshire cream (see recipe below)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel

2-1/2 cups fresh raspberries (two 6-oz. containers)

Shaved chocolate for garnish

Using a large bowl, whisk condensed milk, Devonshire cream, lemon juice and lemon peel until blended. Add about half of the raspberries. Stir, pressing gently on some raspberries, until raspberries begin to break apart and filling turns pink. Transfer filling to crust. Chill until filling is set, about 2 hours.

Scatter remaining raspberries over pie and top with some shaved chocolate for garnish. Cut into wedges and serve.


No-Bake Chocolate Custard

1/2 cup milk

4 Tbsps. sugar

2 large egg yolks

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Pinch of salt

4 Tbsps. unsalted butter, softened

2 cups Devonshire cream (see recipe below)

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Shaved chocolate for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine the milk and sugar and heat until steaming and the sugar is dissolved. Put the egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the hot milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Off the heat, add the chopped chocolate and salt and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter. Pour the custard into 4 shallow bowls and refrigerate briefly, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the Devonshire cream and cinnamon; stir until mixed well. Add a dollop of the cream on top of the custards and sprinkle with some chocolate shavings. Makes 4 servings.


Devonshire cream

This is my version of Devonshire cream, which is a great substitute for crème fraîche and costs much less! It’s really easy to make, tastes fantastic and is low in fat. This recipe makes about two cups.

2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream (or fat-free)

2 Tbsps. powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and then refrigerate. Serve with scones or as a dip for fresh fruit.


No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

4 oz. cream cheese

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup milk

8 oz. whipped topping

Chocolate syrup

1 deep-dish chocolate flavored crust

In a large mixer bowl, combine cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar; mix well. Add peanut butter and mix. Slowly add milk and mix well. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into pie shell and cover. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Drizzle each serving with chocolate syrup.


No-Bake Orange Dream Cheesecake

For those on a non-fat and/or sugar-free diet, this cheesecake should brighten up your day.

1 pre-made graham cracker piecrust

2/3 cup boiling water

1-4-serving size pkg. sugar-free orange flavored gelatin

1 cup low fat cottage cheese

8 oz. fat-free cream cheese, cubed

2 cups non-fat whipped topping

In large bowl, stir boiling water into gelatin at least 2 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved; cool for five minutes. Pour into blender container. Add cheeses; cover. Blend on medium speed until well blended, occasionally scraping down side of blender container; pour into large bowl. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into piecrust; smooth top with spatula. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Makes 8 servings.

Note: Optional garnishing with orange slices will add calories and carbs


Smorz No-Bake Bars

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1/2 cup milk

1 stick butter or margarine, melted

1 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)

3 cups Kellogg’s Smorz Cereal

1/2 cup peanut butter

1-1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, milk and butter. Stir and boil for 2-3 minutes; remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spray non-stick spray on a medium cookie sheet and spread mixture out. Let set in refrigerator, and then cut into squares.



Norm Harding is a cooking columnist for the Beacon. To send him recipes, email him at nharding@brunswickbeacon.com.