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Easy Dessert Recipes: Sauces

Updated on August 19, 2012
Dessert Sauces are versatile.
Dessert Sauces are versatile. | Source

Easy Desserts

Who likes easy desserts and easy dessert recipes? Just about every cook I know appreciates such tasty tidbits. I don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods, but here in the Deep South, we always feel that we have to offer guests a bite to eat when they come calling. If their arrival coincides with mealtime, we make them a plate. Any other time, we offer them a dessert. Call it “Southern hospitality,” if you wish. My mom always kept a layer cake, a pound cake, a pecan pie, or some type of cobbler on hand to serve unexpected visitors. I don’t bake cakes and pies as often as my mother did, but I do like to serve easy desserts sometimes, and I often accomplish this task with dessert sauces. I try to keep one or two dessert sauces in the refrigerator so that they can be warmed up in the microwave and put to good use. I usually serve the homemade sauces on store-bought cakes or ice cream, or both. They can also be used in smoothies and milkshakes. If this idea appeals to you, check out the easy dessert recipes I’m sharing here.

Fresh fruit is great for easy dessert recipes!
Fresh fruit is great for easy dessert recipes! | Source

Easy Dessert Recipes

There are plenty of easy dessert recipes around, and they’re pretty easy to find. Of course, some are better than others. Puddings and ice creams are quick desserts, but they can be pretty boring on their own. A lot of easy dessert recipes, however, are made with puddings and ice creams, and they can be very good. Here, I’m thinking of easy dessert recipes like trifles, ice cream cakes, and cream pies made with puddings. One of my favorite easy dessert recipes is actually none of those I’ve mentioned. Instead, it’s for an ice box cake that made with ginger snaps. I create a spicy pumpkin filling and spread it between the cookies, then I cover the entire thing with whipped topping and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Yum!

Quick Desserts might include trifles.
Quick Desserts might include trifles. | Source

Quick Desserts

What do you think about quick desserts – you know, things you can throw together in an instant? I’m not a huge dessert fan, so I don’t often want to invest a lot of time and effort into creating masterpieces. I’m not saying I never do, but I’d most often prefer to use my cooking time on entrees. My husband and my grandchildren, on the other hand, love all kinds of sweets, so I usually keep some quick desserts on hand.

You can create lots of quick desserts with frozen pound cake, brownies, ice cream, angel food cake, and those little sponge cake cups you find in grocery stores. All you need to add is some sort of topping. This could be canned fruit, canned pie filling, fresh fruit, or dessert sauces. To make the desserts even more appealing, add a little (or a lot of) whipped cream on top.

Dessert Sauces are great with ice cream.
Dessert Sauces are great with ice cream. | Source

Dessert Sauces

I often make dessert sauces. In fact, I’m good with sauces of all kinds. I can often taste a sauce served in a restaurant that I like and go home and come up with an almost identical taste myself. I guess what I really like about so-called dessert sauces is that they’re so versatile. Take my peach bourbon sauce below, for example. Heck, the stuff is great on pork loin and grilled chicken, too! And even for dessert sauces that are only good for desserts, just think of all the quick desserts you can make from a single sauce! Dessert sauces can be spooned over fresh fruit, pound cake, sponge cake, angel food cake, ice cream, or bread puddings. Believe me, these sauces are better than the ones you buy in the store. Most of them can be kept in the fridge for several days and heated in the microwave, so in just a few minutes, you can have (almost) homemade desserts!

Cook the bourbon sauce over medium-high heat.
Cook the bourbon sauce over medium-high heat. | Source
Peach Bourbon Sauce over pound cake
Peach Bourbon Sauce over pound cake | Source

Bourbon Sauce with Peaches

This peach bourbon sauce includes peaches and pecans, and it’s a great topping for a plain cake like pound cake, angel food cake, or sponge cake. The cake soaks up the wonderful liquid, making it incredibly delicious. The sauce also makes a tasty topping for vanilla ice cream.

Rate my bourbon sauce! Thanks!

4 stars from 3 ratings of Bourbon Sauce with Peaches

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 10 servings


  • 2 cans sliced peaches in heavy syrup, (15.25-ounce cans)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup broken pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch salt


  1. Drain one can of peaches, pouring liquid into a small saucepot. Drain other can of peaches and discard liquid. Set drained peaches aside.
  2. To pot, add brown sugar, bourbon, pecans, butter, cornstarch, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in peaches.
  3. Bring pot to a full boil over medium-high, while stirring. Continue boiling and stirring until sauce thickens. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Hot Fudge Sauce
Hot Fudge Sauce | Source

Hot Fudge Sauce

Hot fudge sauce is one of my all time favorite toppings for ice cream. I like to take a brownie, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, and spoon on plenty of hot fudge sauce. To make this dessert complete, add a cherry or strawberry.


1 cup sugar

1 cup half and half

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons plain flour

2 tablespoons butter

Pinch salt

Directions: Add all ingredients to a heavy saucepan on medium heat. While stirring, bring pot to slow boil. When hot fudge sauce thickens, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Strawberry Sauce
Strawberry Sauce | Source

Strawberry Sauce

We used to grow our own strawberries, so I was always working on fresh strawberry recipes. This is how I began making this fresh strawberry sauce. It’s so much better than store-bought, and it’s easy to make. Use it for strawberry shortcake, or serve it over ice cream or pound cake. It’s also perfect for spooning over fresh berries, especially when the berries aren’t quite sweet enough.


1 ½ cups strawberries

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions: Wash strawberries. Slice or dice berries and combine with sugar and water. Heat mixture in a pan over medium heat while stirring. When berries are soft, stir in cornstarch and reduce heat to simmer. Stir until sauce thickens.

Pecan Pralines Sauce
Pecan Pralines Sauce | Source

Pecan Pralines Sauce

In case you don’t know, pecan pralines is an incredible southern concoction of butter, sugar, cream, vanilla, and, of course, pecans. This pecan pralines sauce is decadent! Serve it as a topping for ice cream, cake, bread pudding, or even cheesecake.


1 cup dark corn syrup

4 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch salt

2/3 cup broken pecans

Directions: Add corn syrup, cornstarch, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, while stirring. When sauce thickens, add pecans and stir. Continue cooking for one more minute.

Hot Caramel Sauce for Ice Cream
Hot Caramel Sauce for Ice Cream | Source

Hot Caramel Sauce

This is an awesome caramel sauce for ice cream! Hot caramel sauce is also good on bread pudding, apple pie, sliced apples, pears, and bananas. You can probably think of some other great uses for caramel sauce, too!


1 ½ cups sugar

¼ cup water

1 cup whipping cream

½ stick butter, sliced

Pinch salt

Directions: In a skillet, combine sugar and water. Set burner temperature on medium-high. Bring to a boil, while stirring. Continue boiling until caramel sauce is a rich goldish-brown. This should take about six or seven minutes. Remove pan from heat and immediately stir in cream, butter, and salt.

Caramel Rum Sauce
Caramel Rum Sauce | Source

Caramel Rum Sauce

To make a delicious caramel rum sauce, use the above recipe for hot caramel sauce, but substitute rum for most of the water. Combine the sugar with one tablespoon water. After removing the sauce from the heat, stir in three tablespoons rum with the cream and butter.

For super easy dessert recipes, I sometimes cheat. If you feel the same way, you can make a yummy caramel rum sauce with store-bought caramel sauce and your microwave oven. Combine a cup of caramel sauce, three tablespoons light or dark rum, two tablespoons cream, and one tablespoon butter in a glass bowl. Microwave on high until mixture is smooth when stirred. This should take less than one minute. Serve this sauce or the other sauces I’ve described here on cheesecake, pies, cakes, ice cream, cinnamon rolls, bread puddings, or cobblers. Dessert sauces can really liven up otherwise boring desserts, and they can add a lot of pizzazz to leftover cakes. You’re sure to come up with all sorts of easy dessert recipes with these sauces!


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