Raspberry Buckle

Photo: Jonny Valiant

A Buckle That's as Simple as 1, 2

Beginner bakers, rejoice: This delicious raspberry cake is totally foolproof, with just five ingredients and two (two!) steps. The surprise ingredients here are melted vanilla ice cream and self-rising flour; just stir those together with canola oil and salt, pour them into a baking pan and scatter raspberries over top. In a half-hour, you'll have a golden-brown cake that's terrific spooned into bowls or cut into wedges.

Get the recipe: Raspberry Buckle

Photo: Rachel Been

A Chocolaty, Buttery Throwback

Splurge on high-quality butter for this Heath bar-like creation, and you're pretty much set, since the dessert's center consists of just butter, sugar and salt (the chopped walnuts and milk chocolate on the outside are gravy). The recipe makes about 4 pounds, which is enough for 16 people. Try it on its own, or crumbled over ice cream.

Get the recipe: Roni-Sue's Best Buttercrunch Ever
Slab Pie

Photo: SixSistersStuff

The Biggest (and Lowest-Effort) Pie You'll Ever Make

The slab pie may have a clunky name, but it's a godsend when baking for a crowd. Aside from solving the issue of quantity, a slab's square or rectangular shape also addresses age-old round-pie hang-ups like ooziness, and its versatility can't be beat. Go ahead and swap in any fruit you'd like from cherry to strawberry to peach. The finished dessert serves 24.

Get the recipe: Slab Pie
Apricot, Cashew and Coconut Bars

Photo: iStock/Srisakorn

An Amazing Oat-and-Fruit Bar

These decadent layered bars consist of an oat-coconut-cashew base; a softened, lemon-scented apricot filling; and a topping of more coconut and cashews. A final drizzle of caramel pretty much guarantees these will be the first desserts to disappear. (If by some miracle there are any left over, they also make a delicious breakfast treat).

Get the recipe: Apricot, Cashew and Coconut Bars
Hip-to-Be Squares

Photo: Rachel Been

The Last-Minute Chocolate-Hazelnut Squares

The active work time required to make the Nutella-rich filling for these squares is about three minutes. That makes them the perfect eleventh-hour lifeline when it dawns on you that you forgot to make a dessert for tomorrow's potluck. Bonus: You can cut the squares as big or as small as you want, depending on the size of the party.

Get the recipe: Hip-to-Be Squares
Rustic Blueberry and Nectarine Tart

Photo: iStock/DebbiSmirnoff

A Summery Tart That's Meant to Be Imperfect
If you aren't much of a fan of rolling out dough, you'll love this low-maintenance take on a classic fruit dessert. Its very forgiving base is a mixture of flour, butter, sugar, heavy cream and eggs; if it begins to tear when you roll it out, simply press the pieces back together as you go. Pile in fresh blueberries and chunks of nectarines, then fold the outside edges of the dough in before baking (if the tart ends up being more square-, octagonal- or trapezoid-shaped, think of that as added character).

Get the recipe: Rustic Blueberry and Nectarine Tart
Strawberry Trifle

Photo: Johnny Miller

A Towering Masterpiece with a Store-Bought Secret
Place this gorgeous-looking trifle on the table at any gathering, and we promise it'll be the first thing guests dig into. It combines cubes of packaged pound cake; sweetened, Grand Marnier-spiked strawberries; and tons of whipped cream for a wonderfully over-the-top layered dessert that's easier to put together than it looks.

Get the recipe: Strawberry Trifle