Dessert Ideas That Look Expensive (But Aren’t!)


Have you ever thought about impressing your guests with baked Alaska? How about with homemade macarons?

Desserts like those might be divine, but it’s probably a good idea to leave them to the professionals. They’re far too difficult for the average chef or baker to make.

If you’re on the hunt for something simpler that doesn’t skimp on decadence, know that there are a ton of elegant desserts that won’t have you laboring away in the kitchen for hours. And it so happens that we’ve compiled a list of such desserts here.

Interested? Keep reading to learn about some simple yet elegant desserts that are sure to be crowd favorites.

Hazlenut Brownies

Brownies are always a classic option, but if you’re after something a bit more elegant, try making hazelnut brownies. To make them, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 8 oz of unsalted butter
  • 9 1/2 oz of dark chocolate
  • 14 oz of caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 7 oz of baking flour
  • 3 oz of hazelnuts

Start by preheating your oven to 350 F and greasing the inside of a square brownie pan. Melt the chocolate and butter in a pot, add in the vanilla and sugar, then take it off the heat and allow it to cool.

Mix in the eggs, flour, hazelnuts, and salt. Bake it for around 25 minutes, and serve!

Hazlenut brownies pair nicely with ice cream and caramel. If you really want an elegant touch, you can even think about adding an edible gold leaf on top.

Microwavable Chocolate Pots

When most people think of decadent and rich homemade chocolate desserts, they don’t think of something that comes out of a microwave. But that’s exactly what this recipe is!

To make microwavable chocolate pots, you’ll need the following:

  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons of whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons of Nutella

For this super simple recipe, all you need to do is mix your dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix them a bit more, then put a spoonful of the mixture in the bottom of two individual baking bowls.

After adding that, add a teaspoon of Nutella into the center of the bowls. Then, pour the rest of the mixture on top, and bake it for around 45 seconds.

Once it’s finished rising, top it with some strawberries for an elegant finish!

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Anything with chocolate is a yes, and anything with dark chocolate is always a yes. That’s why these truffles are sure to be such a hit. Aside from being delicious, they’ll also let everyone enjoy the health benefits of dark chocolate.

To make this simple treat, you’ll need:

  • A 180g dark chocolate bar
  • 150g of light brown sugar
  • 300ml of cream
  • A shot of alcohol (we prefer sherry or rum)
  • Cocoa powder

Start by either chopping the chocolate bar into tiny pieces or using a food processor to grate it. While doing that, heat the cream and sugar on the stove until it’s just about to boil. Then, take it off the stove and mix in the alcohol.

Mix in the chocolate, then pour the entire mixture into a container lined with plastic wrap. Let it solidify in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, take the container out of the fridge and cut the chocolate into pieces. Toss it in the cocoa, then dig in!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cups

If you have 20 minutes, then you have enough time to make this gourmet dessert. The richness of the peanut butter and the chocolate in this recipe combine to create a mouth-watering dish you won’t soon forget.

To make it, you’ll need:

  • 150g of chopped milk chocolate
  • 150g of chopped dark chocolate
  • 100g of peanut butter
  • 50g of sugar icing
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 50g of softened butter
  • 25g of chopped salted peanuts

Start by putting paper coverings in a muffin tray. Then, put the milk and dark chocolate in a bowl, and microwave it in short bursts. You want it to soften and melt, but not turn to complete liquid.

Spoon a glob into each of the muffin holders, then set it to the side.

Mix the peanut butter, icing, vanilla, and butter, then add that on top of the globs of chocolate. Finish it off by adding another spoonful of melted chocolate on top, then garnish it with the chopped peanuts.

Let it chill in the fridge, and you’re good to go!

Strawberry Cheesecake

The perfect summer dish, this strawberry cheesecake will be the highlight of any get-together or soirée.

For the cheesecake base, you’ll need:

  • 175g of crushed biscuits
  • 75g of melted butter

The filling needs:

  • 225g of strawberries
  • 75g of sugar
  • 300g of cream cheese
  • 150ml of Greek yogurt
  • 150ml of whipped cream

All you need to do for the base is mix the butter and biscuits, then press them into the bottom of a tin. Set it in the fridge while making the rest of the cheesecake.

Put the strawberries and sugar into a pan and let them cook until everything is soft. Take it off the heat, mix it in a blender, then pour it back into the pan. Set it to the side.

Mix the cream cheese, yogurt, and whipped cream, then combine with the strawberry mixture. Pour it on top of the cheesecake base, then let it chill overnight.

The next day, top it with some strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries, then dig in!

Elegant Desserts Don’t Have to Be Complicated

There’s a misconception that elegant desserts take hours and hours to make, but that isn’t true. There are plenty of creative dessert ideas that look great but aren’t as challenging to make as baked Alaska.

Try out some of the desserts mentioned in this guide, but don’t be surprised when people go up for more!

Which of these fancy dessert ideas is your favorite? Before you head to the kitchen, make sure to check out some of our other posts for more delicious recipes.