26 Fancy Desserts That Are Easy To Make

When hosting a dinner party or gathering, most people will focus on the main meal. Sure, that’s an important part of the dinner, but what about the dessert? Sometimes, it feels almost lazy to give your guests some shop-bought ice cream or cake because you didn’t know what else to make for dessert. 

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The fancy dessert recipes below are for the most part easy dessert recipes though not exactly peanut butter and whipped cream.

If you’re one to shy away from the thought of making a “fancy” dessert, fear not - “fancy” desserts aren’t all that difficult to make! In most cases, it’s all about the presentation, because the making of the actual dessert is fairly straightforward. 

Here are 26 fancy desserts that are easy to make, that are sure to impress your guests! 

  1. Fancy Chocolate Covered Strawberries - Seduction in the Kitchen

Chocolate covered strawberries are both effortlessly easy to make and taste so darn good. Sure, you can simply melt some chocolate and dip the strawberries in, but now is your chance to get creative with the visuals. Create patterns, write different letters in chocolate, use various toppings! 

This is a great fancy dessert for after a huge meal. Sometimes, not everyone will have enough room for a dessert, but they might want to simply round off the night with something sweet. 

  1. Classic Tiramisu - allrecipes

You know how some people like to finish a meal with either a coffee or a dessert? Satisfy both of their desires with this classic tiramisu recipe! Not too sweet, not too strong. Tiramisu is surprisingly easy to make and always looks effortlessly fancy. You can also get creative with the placement of the yummy ladyfingers. 

If you want to go the extra mile - instead of making one large tiramisu, you can split the recipe into separate glasses so your guests can see the different layers. 

  1. Poires Belle Henne (The French Pear Dessert) - The Spruce Eats

Poached pears are a delightful dessert option after a heavy meal. The delicate mixture of the fruit with the chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream makes this an effortlessly easy and satisfying dessert. 

This is definitely one of those desserts that you wouldn’t expect to see at a dinner party, which is why we think it’s a great recipe to follow. Why not surprise your guests without something they’re not expecting to see, and then blow them away with the flavors? 

  1. Crème Brûlée - IzzyCooking

You didn’t think you would get through this list without seeing a recipe for crème brûlée, did you? The popular French dessert is a staple in almost every fancy restaurant, which can be easily replicated at home to impress your guests. 

Plus, there’s always something fun about tapping the back of your spoon on the caramelized sugar topping. Part of the excitement around this dessert is breaking through this topping to get to the creamy insides, after all. 

  1. No-Bake Mini Spiced Cheesecakes - PureWow

Baking a cheesecake can be a hit or miss situation. Fortunately, this recipe doesn’t involve any baking, so you can’t go wrong! These adorable cheesecakes are presented in mini mason jars to make possibly the cutest dessert ever. This is the best dessert for the winter festive season because of the gorgeous spiced flavors - from cinnamon to ground nutmeg. Delicious!

  1. Cannoli - Delish

Say you’ve just served a filling pasta dinner, and you’re wanting to continue the Italian theme. Cannolis are a staple in Italian bakeries, and they look effortlessly fancy. This yummy dessert can be altered in a variety of ways as there are so many fillings on offer - from chopped pistachios to melted chocolate. Plus, they only take around 20 minutes to prepare and make. 

  1. Decadent Truffles - allrecipes

What? It’s easy to make truffles that look AND taste good? Yes - it’s possible. This recipe literally only uses four ingredients. The rest is up to your creativity! 

Truffles are an ideal fancy dessert for the chocolate lovers who want a sweet treat after a heavy meal. Plus, you can get so creative with the toppings. Melted white chocolate is one of the best ways of decorating truffles. Why not surprise your guests with truffles that spell out their initials? 

  1. Lavender Ice Cream - Everything Lavender

There’s just something about homemade ice cream. It tastes so much better than shop-bought ice cream. Lavender ice cream is a rare flavor, but one that needs to be celebrated. Lavender is a delightful scent used for its calming properties, so why not experiment with the scent and flavor in ice cream form? 

This ice cream can be colored with fresh lavender to get the distinctive lilac shade. You can serve this ice cream in mason jars, martini glasses, or even on top of a Belgian waffle. 

  1. French Macarons - Martha Stewart

The French are just the best at making desserts, aren’t they? Macarons are the epitome of fancy and easy desserts. The hallmark of patisserie goodness, macarons are surprisingly simple to make. Plus, they look gorgeous. You can either leave them in their normal form, or you can get creative with toppings. 

  1. Strawberry and Elderflower Sorbet - delicious

If you’re worried about filling your guests up with a starter and main to the point where they won’t want a dessert, a sorbet is the perfect way to finish an evening. This particular strawberry and elderflower sorbet recipe is the perfect mixture between sweet and tart flavors, and a great way to cool down in the summer warmth. 

Serve a scoop or two of the sorbet in a mason jar or martini glass with a sprig of mint for garnishing. 

  1. Black Forest Cake - recipetineats

On the complete other end of the spectrum, just because your guests might be full from the starter and main doesn’t mean they won’t want to get extra full from a dessert. Black Forest cakes are gorgeous and oh-so tasty, and pretty easy to make! You can also get creative with your cake decorating skills and pretend you’re on a baking show as you throw cherries everywhere. 

  1. French Apple Rose Tart - Style Sweet

This tart tastes as decadent as it looks. A French dessert, this is an apple tart shaped to look like a rose flower. Sure, it takes a lot of patience to get the apple to look like rose petals, but the results are definitely worth it. Keeping the “petals” together is a light almond frangipane that complements the apple beautifully, making this a delicate dessert. 

Serve slices of this tart alongside double cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

  1. Dark Chocolate Tart - Liv for Cake 

You don’t get more elegant than a slice of decadent dark chocolate tart. The best part? The recipe for this dark chocolate tart is ridiculously easy to follow. Minimal effort for a delicious and fancy-looking dessert? Ideal!

As with all desserts, you can go wild with the toppings. Drizzle over some salted caramel or melted white chocolate, decorate the top with some edible gold flakes, or leave the tart in its sleek and simple form for a classy dessert. 

  1. Eton Mess - Chocolate Cherry Kisses

The clue is in the name with an Eton Mess. This classic English dessert isn’t the fanciest dessert when it comes to presentation, but it’s the most practical when it comes to dealing with homemade meringue. Making meringue from scratch can be tricky when the meringues come out looking like an explosion. An Eton Mess uses the disastrous meringue to its benefit in a chaotic, yet completely delicious, dessert. 

Serve this dessert in a mason jar, glass, or a cocktail glass and enjoy!

  1. Panna Cotta - Recipes from Italy

You can’t go wrong with a simple panna cotta. An Italian dessert, panna cotta can be served in a jar or small glass to make the simple appearance seem slightly more fancy. This recipe is surprisingly simple to follow, with only five ingredients for the actual panna cotta. You can get creative with toppings, but seasonal fruits are usually our go-to. 

  1. Chocolate Pavlova - eat, little bird

A chocolate pavlova is a nice twist on a standard fruit-based pavlova. Not too light and not too heavy, this recipe features a chestnut purée to add a nutty flavor to the dessert. Serve this big dessert on a large plate in the middle of the table and allow your guests to take a slice of whatever size they like. And, of course, sprinkle a lot of chocolate shaving over it. 

  1. Lemon and Lavender Possets - delicious

Talk about fancy! These delicate lemon and lavender possets are an ideal dessert to impress your guests with. Serve them in little tea cups and you’ve got yourself a super-decadent dessert. The best part? These possets only take five minutes to prepare. What a great dessert option for hosts who spend most of their time on the main meal!

  1. Cherry Bombs - Taste of Home

If you want to seriously impress your guests, you’ve got to come up with a dessert with a twist. These cherry bombs are as surprising as the name suggests. As soon as a spoon enters the center of these bombs, the dessert “explodes” with a jam surprise in the middle. Plus, this dessert is ridiculously easy to make. 

  1. Red Velvet Chocolate-Swirled Brownie Bars - Averie Cooks

You can’t go wrong with a classic brownie, can you? Brownies are a go-to dessert option for many households in the country, but if you want to impress your guests, you might want to consider making some unique brownies. These red velvet brownie bars look as good as they taste, and they’re really easy to make. Plus, the texture is almost literally like velvet. 

Serve these brownie bars either on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a plain white plate. The brownies look stunning by themselves, so don’t bother with toppings!

  1. Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes - Sprinkle Baby

Cupcakes might seem like a cheat option for a fancy dessert, but hear us out. If you’re hosting a dinner party that includes some youngsters, they probably won’t be interested in panna cotta or tiramisu. Cupcakes, however, have no age limit. 

These triple salted caramel cupcakes are absolutely delicious, look stunning, and don’t take too much effort to make. The flavor is a nice change to the standard vanilla cupcake recipe, and you can get creative with the toppings. Even if you’re not a baker, you can try your hand at candied sugar sculptures to impress your guests. Ideal for a birthday party!

  1. Chocolate Mousse - The Spruce Eats

You can never go wrong with a chocolate mousse. Who doesn’t love it? While you might not consider chocolate mousse to be the fanciest of desserts, it’s all in the presentation. You can serve chocolate mousse in virtually anything to make it appear fancier than it actually is - from a martini glass to a tea cup. Even better, chocolate mousse is very easy to make. 

  1. Classic French Opera Cake - The Spruce Eats

The French really know how to make desserts, don’t they? Similar to a tiramisu, Opera cake is made of six layers of an almond sponge cake, dark chocolate ganache, and coffee buttercream. The standout part of an Opera cake is the iconic chocolate lettering at the top of the cake that delicately spells out “Opera”. What a way to impress your guests with your gentle decorating skills!

  1. White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake - Bake to the Roots

Not everyone is looking to make an overwhelmingly fancy dessert that you would only usually find in a restaurant. Truth is - you don’t have to go all out for a dessert to be and look fancy. Sometimes, simplicity is fancy enough as it is. 

This white chocolate raspberry cheesecake is simple, elegant, and delicious. The standout feature of this dessert is the heart-shaped topping, which looks far more complex than it actually is to make. 

  1. Island Affogato - allrecipes

Affogatos are a popular dessert for the coffee lovers who want a sweet caffeine kick after a big meal. This affogato variation, however, features a tropical-flavored sorbet complete with a rum-based coffee liqueur. Serve this affogato in a cocktail glass, and you’ll be instantly transported to the Caribbean. 

  1. Grilled Peaches - delish

Grilled peaches might seem like an odd dessert option, but trust us, this is a seriously yummy dessert. Sometimes, the last thing you want after a heavy meal is a heavy dessert. Grilled peaches provide the perfect balance of sweetness and lightness - plus you can fool your guests into thinking they’re eating something healthy because it’s fruit. Just ignore the vanilla ice cream. 

  1. White Chocolate Fondue - allrecipes

Last but not least is this gorgeous white chocolate fondue recipe. Fancy desserts don’t always mean complex desserts - sometimes, you just have to stick to delicious simplicity. This creamy, rich white chocolate fondue recipe is ridiculously easy to follow. Serve with various fruits, marshmallows, cookies, pretzels, and just about anything that your guests want to dip into the fondue. Either give your guests a separate bowl of the fondue each, or just make a large bowl of fondue that everyone can dip into!

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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