Making simple desserts is a good way to round out a meal without spending lots of extra time and energy in the kitchen. Some of the simplest desserts of all, such as cookies and ice cream, come pre-made and can simply be served to guests right out of the package. It is also possible to find easy-to-follow recipes for homemade desserts, such as cakes, pies, cookies, and custards. It's a good idea to look over a few recipes before deciding on one that doesn't take too long and that only requires a few steps. Follow all the directions carefully even when making a simple dessert.
One thing a cook can do when making simple desserts is to use pre-made components or mixes whenever possible. It isn't difficult to bake a cake from scratch, but it does require measuring out a number of different ingredients. Boxed mixes have all the dry ingredients combined in the correct proportions so that all the cook must do is to add oil, eggs, and any other required liquid to the mix. Pre-made pie crusts can make it extremely easy to make many different types of pies because in many cases the filling simply needs to be poured into the crust and then baked.
Another thing to keep in mind when making simple desserts is the amount of time a dessert takes to make. A simple dessert shouldn't take more than 20 or 30 minutes of active time in the kitchen, though there are some very simple desserts that will take only a matter of minutes. Cooks should, however, pay attention to the total time it takes to cook something compared to the time that it takes the cook to prepare the dish as a dessert with five minutes of preparation time that bakes for an hour is still easy to prepare.
Cooks who are looking to make simple desserts should also choose recipes that do not have many steps. A chocolate cake recipe could take a handful of steps or dozens depending on the complexity of the cake. One way to judge how simple a dessert is to make is to look at how many steps it takes to make it.
When making simple desserts, the cook should also take into account how easy it will be to serve the dessert. Crème brûlée may have relatively few ingredients and it may take only a few steps to prepare, but it must be burned with a torch just before it is served. Flan and panna cota are similar desserts with simpler serving requirements. When making simple desserts, it is a good idea to consider a few different variations of the same type of dessert to find one that is easier both to prepare and to serve.