What’s the first thing you think of when you hear fancy desserts? Is it crème brûlée or mille-feuille?
How about something like a chocolate souffle that takes a bit of baking magic to get right?
The truth is, it’s so easy to make a fancy dessert these days, and most of the time, they’re made up of super simple components. It’s how you plate them that matters!
Yes, some can be complex and full of difficult techniques and exotic ingredients. But that’s not what these recipes are about.
I’ve pulled together a list of 25 fabulous desserts that anyone can make at home.
Dust off your best apron and get your camera ready because these fancy treats will need a serious photoshoot when you’re done!
1. No-Bake Cheesecake with a Surprise Inside
I’ve tried many no-bake cheesecakes, and unless you eat it right away, the best recipes will have gelatin.
Unfortunately, without it, it’s not unusual to see it start to sag and melt, even at room temperature.
The beauty of no-bake cheesecake is that you can add in all kinds of fun stuff that you wouldn’t be able to if it were baked, such as a giant chocolate-covered strawberry!
Your guests’ eyes will light up when they cut into this creamy dessert and find it full of sweet, juicy fruit!.
2. Cheesecake Brownies
Brownies will always be a hit, and everyone will devour them in seconds.
If you’re looking for a way to jazz things up a bit, how about adding some creamy cheesecake swirls to the mix?
I love the color contrast from the swirls on top, and the cheesecake flavors really compliment the deep, decadent brownies.
3. Dark Chocolate Tart
If you can get the pastry case nice and neat, the chocolate filling will do all the heavy lifting here.
You’ll be making a chocolate ganache, using a bit more chocolate than cream, so it sets nice and firm.
All you’ll have to do is pour it in, and it will settle beautifully flat and clean.
It’s such an easy dessert to make, but you can’t deny how fancy it looks with a sprinkling of sea salt.
4. No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake
One of the easiest ways to elevate a simple cheesecake is to add a topping. What’s better than a vibrant layer of sweet blueberries?
You can use store-bought blueberry filling if you’re in a rush or make your own if you have the fruit on hand.
I like to make my own because I prefer it a little less sweet. I also prefer the blueberries to be mostly whole for better texture.
5. Berries and Cream Crepes
Crepes are lovely, thin, sweet, or savory pancakes that most people associate with the French – so they’re definitely fancy!
This recipe will be filled with cream cheese and whipped cream filling along with a thick berry sauce.
The colors and flavors are gorgeous, and these are perfect for a light dessert or even for breakfast!
6. How To Make Palmiers
Palmier cookies are super light and insanely buttery. They need just two ingredients and a bit of love, but they’ll look like you spent hours in the kitchen.
To make these tasty treats, you’ll need puff pastry and sugar – that’s it! Sometimes I add a bit of cinnamon to the mix, but they’re just as good without.
After 12 minutes in the oven, they will be golden brown and beautifully flaky.
I’ve been a beignet lover since that first bite. I can still picture the sunshine, the music, and the intoxicating beauty that is New Orleans and Café Du Monde.
These pillowy donuts are super light and extra sweet, thanks to the powdered sugar on the top.
If you don’t have a fryer at home, you can easily use a Dutch oven instead. Just be sure to use a thermometer and oven mitts!
8. Crepe Cake Recipe
I have to preface this with a warning – this cake takes a while to put together.
Unless you have multiple pans that are the same size, you can only make one crepe at a time, and it is time-consuming because you need so many!
That being said, this cake looks stunning once it’s finished. The layers are impossibly distinct and thin, leaving you with the perfect ratio of sweet cream to pancake.
You can even change up the filling to make it a little more decadent if you want. Chocolate or strawberry – or a mix of the two – would look fantastic!
9. French Apple Cake
If one thing is for sure, it’s this: French desserts are simply to die for!
This light and fruity cake is no exception. Adding big chunks of apple to the batter will infuse it with great flavor and plenty of moisture.
10. Easy Eton Mess
I think most people see meringue as a fancy dessert, but it’s not always easy to get it looking perfect.
That’s why I love this recipe. The key is in the title!
With an Eton mess, you’ll break up your meringue, so there’s no need to worry about any little cracks.
11. Death By Chocolate Recipe
The layering in this is what gets me! You just can’t beat the deep, dark chocolate against the gorgeous white cream.
This would look sensational in a larger trifle dish. But if you don’t have one, the individual portions are super cute and much easier to put together.
If you want it to look even more chef-y, try adding some dark chocolate shards to the top!
12. Ischler Törtchen (Austrian Shortbread)
These fantastic little cookie sandwiches consist of a buttery, almond shortbread, sweet apricot filling, and a rich dark chocolate top.
Now, apricot and chocolate might not be the first combination you think of. I’m a big fan of raspberry and chocolate, myself, but it works so well with the nutty cookie.
Of course, you can use any jam filling you like here. In fact, a mix of a few would make for a tasty cookie platter!
13. Homemade Strawberry Cake
As much as I love a bright and colorful cake, you just can’t beat the beauty of a natural-looking frosting.
It’s pale and often pretty subtle, but it just looks so elegant! And the fragrant strawberries can really shine when they’re added to the frosting.
14. French Hot Chocolate
After dinner, hot chocolate is a favorite in my house during the winter. It’s sinfully rich and such a lovely sweet treat on a cold night.
But I’m not talking about a pack of sugary cocoa!
I’m talking about a cup of thick, silky smooth chocolate ganache made with dark chocolate and a bit of espresso powder for an extra kick!
15. Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
Strawberries are always going to look fancy. They’re just so bright and beautiful, and they don’t need much to be delicious.
I love this little recipe, and it’s an excellent option for BBQs and parties.
These bite-sized babies need to be washed a dried before you fill them with a light cheesecake filling.
The blueberries look adorable, or why not add a drizzle of chocolate?
16. Mini-Cheesecake Bites (+5 Flavors)
When making cheesecake, there are a few rules to make sure it’s perfect every time.
One: always use room temperature ingredients, so they blend flawlessly. The last thing you need is a lumpy cheesecake!
Two: always blend your cream cheese before adding anything else to the bowl.
This will ensure you won’t have any lumps of cream cheese in the mix and will help to avoid over-mixing once you add the eggs.
17. Chocolate Covered Strawberries Tuxedo-Style
I’ve made these so many times, and I can’t tell you how excited people get when they see them.
Full disclosure: they’re insanely easy! You’ll just need to dip your strawberries in white chocolate before letting it set and strategically dipping them in dark chocolate.
One key thing for this recipe is to get lovely, big strawberries. The bigger, the better!
It’s hard to double-dip with smaller berries, and you won’t get the same effect.
18. Cream Cheese Chocolate Truffles Recipe
Truffles are a quick and delicious fancy dessert that you can make last minute.
I usually use a simple ganache, but adding in cream cheese will give you a delightfully creamy texture and added tangy to the otherwise rich chocolate.
19. Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake
Like with the French apple cake from above, this cake relies on the fruit for added moisture. There’s no frosting needed.
As the strawberries cook, they will seep into the cake a little, giving lovely flavor and color when you cut a slice.
Plus, they will darken slightly on top for a gorgeous finish.
20. Classic French Madeleines
Madeleines are soft and lighter-than-air cookies you would usually see in the window of a Parisian boulangerie.
They’re billed as a cookie, but the spongy texture is more of a buttery cake.
Where it differs from other recipes is that the batter needs to be chilled before you bake it.
21. Berry Vanilla Cheesecake Parfaits
When you want something colorful for your fancy desserts, look no further than fresh fruit!
This recipe uses blueberries and strawberries for a lovely contrast to the simple cheesecake filling, but I think mango and raspberry would look incredible!
22. Blueberry Ice Cream
You might not think it, but if you pull out a batch of homemade ice cream, you’ll look extra fancy!
After all, who makes their own ice cream? Chefs! That’s who!
This recipe doesn’t need an ice cream machine, but it’s just as light and creamy.
23. French Lemon Tart
When life gives you lemons, forget the lemonade – make a lemon tart!
It’s sweet, zesty, a little tangy, and silky smooth. If you like it a little sweeter, add a touch more sugar and serve with some whipped cream.
24. Strawberry Panna Cotta
Vanilla panna cotta is dreamy and elegant. Strawberry panna cotta is its fancier cousin!
To ensure you still get that velvety finish, you have to strain your strawberry juice – twice if necessary.
I still recommend using vanilla paste if you have it because the flecks just make the whole thing pop.
25. Creamy Strawberry Semifreddo
Semifreddo is almost like an ice cream cake. It consists of whipped cream, yogurt, and fresh fruit.
It’s creamy, tangy, and ready in just a few hours! You won’t want this to sit in the freezer too long; that way, you can slice it with ease.
Unlike the recipe above, you want chunks of fruit in this for fabulous pops of sweet color.
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