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I don’t know about you, but I’m of the mind that a party isn’t really a party without dessert. It doesn’t matter whether the night ends with an artfully frosted cake, a rustic pie, a pile of cookies or just tubs of ice cream set out with bowls and spoons—what’s important is that there’s something sweet on offer after dinner. Here’s the thing, though: Even as someone who loves to cook, I don’t really love to bake, which is where these summer slow cooker desserts come in.
I mean, I’m happy to eat any and every dessert being offered to me, but I don’t get any real joy from actually being the one to prepare it. And sure, I know I could just get a grocery store sheet cake, pie or cobbler and call it a day, but there’s just something so much more satisfying about serving a dessert made from scratch. Basically, when it comes down to it, I’m lazy but still unwilling to compromise. The solution? Dessert you can make in a crock pot.
Maybe you’re thinking, That’s crazy! Slow cookers are for braised pork and chili, not blueberry pie! To which I’d reply, “I see where you’re coming from, but you’re totally wrong.” (Sorry!) See, the same slow cooker that can turn tough cuts of meat into dreamy stews can also be used to make great cakes, pies, cobblers and more. The slow, consistent heat is ideal for drawing flavor and sweetness out of in-season fruit and for baking cakes with a—cue Mary Berry Voice—“perfectly tender crumb.” If you’re looking for summery, party-ready sweet treats that are super low-maintenance, these 19 slow-cooker desserts fit the bill.
1. Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake
This is the perfect dessert for when you want a cozy night at home with restaurant-quality dessert. Get the recipe here.
2. Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler
The ultimate summer dessert tastes just as good out of a slow cooker as it does straight out of the oven. Get the recipe here.
3. Slow Cooker Cherry Dump Cake
All you need for this crowd-pleasing dump cake is butter, cake mix and a can of cherry pie filling. If you want to go a little more from-scratch, stir together pitted cherries and sugar and use that as the base instead of the canned filling. Get the recipe here.
4. Slow Cooker Banana Nut Cake
If you want a fruity dessert but are ready to take a break from summer berries, this banana nut cake is appropriate year-round. Get the recipe here.
5. Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Dump Cake
Remember the days of going to the fair and getting a delicious caramel apple? This is that, but in easy-to-make crock pot cake from. Get the recipe here.
6. Slow Cooker Blackberry Cobbler
Blackberry cobbler tastes great and has the bonus of a super-dramatic color that swirls with vanilla ice cream in the dreamiest way. Get the recipe here.
7. Crock Pot Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry shortcake is a summer classic, and this is a super easy way to whip it up in your crock pot. Get the recipe here.
8. Slow Cooker Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
If you’re someone who loves slightly underbaked cookies (everyone?), these cookie bars are definitely for you. They’re crusty on the edges and a little gooey in the center. Get the recipe here.
9. Slow Cooker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Plain cheesecake is pretty decadent. Add chocolate and peanut butter, and you’re really taking things to the next level. Get the recipe here.
10. Slow Cooker Classic Coffee Cake
This classic coffee cake recipe is perfect for when you have guests over for afternoon coffee and tea. Get the recipe here.
11. Slow Cooker Giant Chocolate Chip and Raisin Cookie
Who needs a pile of chocolate chip cookies when you can just have a single giant one instead? Top the whole thing with ice cream, or cut it into pieces and let guests add their own scoops. Get the recipe here.
12. Chocolate Peanut Clusters
These chocolate peanut clusters are the perfect sweet treat you can take on the go. Get the recipe here.
13. Slow Cooker Blueberry Peach Cobbler
If you have a bounty of different summer berries and stone fruits, you can totally make a multi-fruit cobbler! Throw ’em in the slow cooker with sugar and a loose cobbler dough, then wait for the magic to happen. Get the recipe here.
14. Slow Cooker Berry Pie
Let your slow cooker bake a surprisingly delicious crust by trying out this delicious berry pie. Get the recipe here.
15. Slow Cooker Brownie Pudding
Want to end your night with a bowl of gooey, batter-like pudding that’s about as chocolaty as anything can be? This one’s for you. Get the recipe here.
16. Boozy Slow Cooker Caramel Fudge
This fudge is made with salted caramel liqueur, so you know it will be a crowd favorite. Get the recipe here.
17. Slow Cooker Strawberry Bread Pudding
If you have bread that’s a little stale, kill two birds with one stone with this tasty berry dessert. You’ll get rid of your bread, and make party guests super happy with a not-too-sweet treat. Get the recipe here.
18. 4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Coconut Cake
This coconut cake is airy but rich and tastes great topped with fresh strawberries or blueberries. Get the recipe here.
19. Slow Cooker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
There’s no such thing as too much peanut butter or too much chocolate. Fair warning, this one is rich and may put your guests into a stupor, but it’ll be worth it. Get the recipe here.
A version of this article was originally published in November 2018.