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Need a dessert in a hurry? It’s quick to throw together a cake mix, but then what? It’s not quick to make frosting. Here are three alternatives.

Alternative #1: Drizzle it with Syrup

The cake above is drizzled with a lemon syrup.  The blueberries stained it that beautiful pink.  There are lots of syrups and syrup mixes you can top a dessert with, not just cakes, for an easy dessert.

Alternative #2: Pretty it up with a Dessert Sauce

Forget the frosting 2

That’s a brownie to the right, baked in a silicone springform pan.  It’s drizzled with a designer dessert sauce.  That’s another easy way to make a great dessert.

What’s the difference between a dessert syrup and sauce?

The sauce is much thicker. Pastry chefs use a sauce to make pretty designs on a plate on which to serve their desserts.

See our selection of desserts sauces.

In a pinch, you can get by with ice cream toppings.

Alternative #3: Add a Fancy Whipped Cream

And adding whipped cream always improves a dessert. Whipped cream can be flavored from lemon to caramel to chocolate.

With sauces, syrups, and whipped creams you can quickly “fancy-up” most desserts.

Recipes and Recipe Ideas

Vanilla Bean Cake with a Blueberry Lemon Sauce (pictured above)

Lemon and blueberry is a classic combination.  We liked the berries mixed right in the lemon sauce.  It made a beautiful pink and magenta sauce.

Lemon cloud whipped cream was really the only choice for this dessert.

Step 1:  Make the cake according to package instructions.
Step 2: Make the lemon sauce according to package instructions.
Step 3: Make the lemon whipped cream according to the recipe below.

Assemble the dessert.

Look here for more ways to use syrups and whipped creams on desserts.

Lemon Cloud Whipped Cream

2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon flavor
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Whip the cream to soft peaks.  Add the sugar, flavor, and zest and continue whipping.

Strawberry Cheesecake Whipped Cream

Forget the frosting 3

1/3 cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups whipping cream
1 drop red red Americolor food color gel or equal
1 teaspoon strawberry flavor

  1. Place the sugar and cream cheese in the bowl of your stand-type mixer.  Beat until the sugar is creamed through the cream cheese into a soft, consistent mixture.
  2. Add the cream, color, and flavor.  Beat until soft peaks form.
  3. Hold the whipped cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.  It can be rewhipped as long as you don’t over-beat it.

Caramel Nut Whipped Cream

This is an absolutely delightful whipped cream.  The contrast of the smooth whipped cream and crunchy nuts and the contrast of the salt and sweet are fantastic.

This whipped cream does not store well since the nuts become soggy in a few hours.

2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons caramel flavor
1 cup or to taste salted snack nuts, coarsely chopped

Whip the cream to soft peaks.  Add the sugar and flavor and continue whipping.  Fold in the nuts.

See ten recipes for flavored whipped creams. 


About the Author

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking   available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon.

Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and five beautiful granddaughters.