The microwave is one of those humble kitchen tools that gets very little glory relative to its aptitude. It just hangs out on the counter (or tucked away behind a cabinet door), low maintenance and low drama, quietly waiting for your time of need. And when that time comes—movie theater popcorn, anyone?—it cracks its knuckles and springs to action, making magic happen before you know it.
But most importantly, to us anyway, you can use a microwave to make dessert from start to finish with a minimal time commitment and virtually no mess. Check out our favorite go-tos in microwave-only dessert land:
These three-ingredient Oreo balls are exactly as good as they sound, and about twice as easy to make. Use your microwave to melt the chocolate for dipping, and get creative with toppings—no one ever said no to sprinkles.
White Chocolate & Raspberry Mug Cake
This white chocolate raspberry mug cake wants you to know that decadent, sophisticated dessert-on-the-fly can be a part of your life in under 10 minutes. Cue the Netflix!
Following this two-ingredient blueprint for magic shell—a chocolatey pour-over syrup that hardens upon contact with your bowl of ice cream—will let you see your microwave for the dessert-sorcerer it really is. Add a pinch of salt, and never look back.
Chocolate Olive Oil Mug Cake With Sumac & White Chocolate Chunks
This mug cake had us at "chocolate," kept us with "olive oil," and earned a permanent spot in our rotation with "sumac." Oh, and it comes together in less than two minutes.
Nutella Popcorn Puppy Chow
You'll call on your microwave two times for this Nutella-centric puppy chow: Once for the popcorn, and then again to melt the chocolatey topping. Be sure to thank it twice!
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What's your go-to microwave dessert move? Let us know in the comments.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Ella Quittner is a a writer at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.