Summer is here, and that means it's time to keep things simple — but just because we're down to enjoy the lazy days of the season, that doesn't mean our sweet tooth magically disappears. We've just got to get a little creative with some easy two-ingredient desserts.

These simple recipes are perfect for those nights when you really, really want something sweet and homemade but are not in the mood to pull a zillion things out of the cupboard or clean up a huge mess in the kitchen.

1. Two-ingredient lemon cake bars recipe

Image: Brandy O'Neill/SheKnows

Lemon bars are a classic citrus dessert. These bars take on the best of both worlds — cake and lemon bars. They have an intense lemon flavor with a slight cake bite. You're going to love these powdered sugar-topped bars.

Yields 9 x 13-inch pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 box angel food cake mix
  • 1 (22-ounce) can lemon pie filling
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the angel food cake mix and lemon pie filling.
  3. Once fully mixed, add to the prepared pan, and bake for about 35 minutes, until fully cooked and the top is lightly browned.
  4. Let the cake cool, cut it into bars, and if desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
More: 21 Easy, No-bake Chocolate Desserts That Will Have You at 'Hello'

2. Two-ingredient doughnut recipe

Image: Brandy O'Neill/SheKnows

Doughnuts are a delicious way to start your day. Don't worry if you have a fear of baking with yeast or just don't have the time. This recipe will save you time but still give you decadent homemade flavor. We glazed our doughnuts, but they are perfect with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar as well.

Yields 8 doughnuts plus 8 doughnut holes

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 (8-count) can jumbo buttermilk biscuits
  • Doughnut glaze (optional recipe follows)

Directions:

  1. To a medium pot, add about 3 – 4 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 360 degrees F.
  2. While the oil is heating, open the biscuits, and cut out the middles using a small, 1-1/2-inch cookie cutter (or doughnut cutter).
  3. Fry the doughnuts and holes in the hot oil for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown on each side. Fry the doughnuts in batches so you don't crowd the pan.
  4. Dip the doughnuts in glaze if desired.

Doughnut glaze recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and heavy cream.
  2. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more heavy cream. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
More: 5 Ridiculously Easy Desserts You Can Make With a Tub of Cool Whip

3. Two-ingredient strawberry fudge recipe

Image: Brandy O'Neill/SheKnows

Strawberry fudge is simple and easy to throw together with this two-ingredient recipe. This dish is sweet and full of strawberry flavor. We cut our fudge into heart shapes, but you can easily cut it into squares as well.

Yields 8 x 8-inch dish

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • 1 container whipped strawberry frosting
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, and set it aside.
  2. To a medium mixing bowl, add the melted white chocolate and whipped strawberry frosting. Stir until completely combined.
  3. Stir a few sprinkles into the chocolate-frosting mixture, if desired.
  4. Add the mixture to the prepared pan, and refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting.
Image: Yvonna Groom/SheKnows


Originally published February 2014. Updated June 2017.