Strawberry Short Stacks. Photo Credit: womansday.com

I miss having an oven.

I grew up in a house where my grandparents baked chocolate cake and sans rival on a regular basis. I remember waking up from a (mandatory) after-lunch nap to find my grandma bent over a mixer and the kitchen table would be a mess of flour, egg shells, and cocoa powder. My grandpa would hover and supervise while blasting AM radio. The best part was the smell of baking chocolate wafting from the oven. Actually no, the best part was when my grandma would hand me the mixer bowl after pouring the contents into a baking pan and I polished off the ooey-gooey batter with my fingers. Or when she gives me a plateful of warm chocolate morsels that she scraped off the cake pan. Oh, boy.

Unfortunately, living in a studio apartment means having a miniature toaster oven that can’t do much. Recently, I’ve been looking at no-bake dessert recipes to get me by. Here are my top 5 no-oven-necessary picks for the summer–so simple, so quick, so gooooood!

No Oven? No Problem! My Top 5 (ridiculously easy-to-make) Summer Desserts

*In Minutes refers to prep time. Some desserts require hours of refrigeration before serving.

1. Watergate Salad

In minutes: 10

A cool mix of pineapples, pecans, pistachio jell-o mix, marshmallows, and cool whip (or try yogurt for a low fat version). Perfect for last-minute potluck parties.

2. Strawberry Short Stacks

In minutes: 25

Strawberries, cake, and cream–stack ’em up. Done!

3. Cream Cheese and Marshmallow Cream Fruit Dip

In minutes: 5

I swear by this recipe. Best with strawberries but it also works with mangoes, bananas, honey dew, and apples. Be warned: It’s addictive!

4. Chocolate-Dipped Oreo Pops

In minutes: 15

Here’s something fun to do for (and with) the kids. I say anything chocolate-covered is always a winner and the decorating factor lets you bust out your art skills.

5. Grilled Peaches and Cream

In minutes: 25

Nothing says summer more than barbecue so while you’re grilling burgers, steaks, and hotdogs one hot June day, throw in some peaches for a refreshing dessert. For an all-out indulgence, top with ice cream instead of soft cream cheese.

Nothing you fancy? Check out this Food Network video for no-bake cookies:
Show Me: No-bake Amaretto Cookies by Michael Chiarello

Happy No-Baking!

– Kris Alcantara

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