Crock Pots Are for More Than Just Dinner
When it comes to using your crock pot, desserts may not be your first thought. Most of the time your slow cooker is filled with bubbling chili or simmering beef stew. Expanding your recipe book to include these easy crock pot desserts is a great way to utilize one of the hardest working appliances you have at your disposal.
Slow cookers are a cost-effective way to cook food slowly while you are at work or for large crowds. Desserts are the untapped gold mine your slow cooker can deliver. Here are a few creative ways to whip up a sweet treat from the comfort of your couch.
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Buns
These gooey indulgences only take a few steps to create and are everything a cinnamon bun should be. They are sweet, decadent and chewy.
Start by mixing self-rising flour, butter, salt and milk together to create soft dough. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle and spread on a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch.
Now roll up the dough and slice into medallions. Line your crock pot with parchment paper, lay in your dough medallions and cook on high for an hour and a half. If you find there is a lot of condensation building up on your lid, you can place a paper towel or tea towel inside the lid to collect any moisture, or leave the it open a bit to let the steam out.
Once the buns are cooked all the way through, mix icing sugar and milk to make a sweet glaze. Pull apart and enjoy.
Candy Bar Fondue
When Halloween or Easter is over and you have tons of mini chocolate bars lying around, why not melt them down and create a fondue. In your slow cooker, add chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, heavy cream and chocolate bars. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
Have things like fruit, graham crackers, pound cake and pretzels on hand to dip and enjoy this delicious no-fuss dessert.
Slow Cooker Apple Spice Cake
Yes, you read that right — you can make a cake in your slow cooker! This is a great dessert when you are short on time or aren’t much of a baker, and it’s only three ingredients.
You will need two cans of apple pie filling, one boxed spice cake mix and eight ounces of butter. Simply pour the apple pie filling into the bottom of the slow cooker, sprinkle the spice cake mix over top (dry, do not mix in the recommended recipe ingredients listed on the box), and top with the butter.
Cover and cook on high for about two and a half hours. This cake is moist and rich and couldn’t be simpler.
Dulce de Leche
Having a sweet sauce on hand that you can use in so many different ways is a great go-to for unexpected company, or just a quick treat. Making your own dulce de leche couldn’t be easier.
Fill mason jars with sweetened condensed milk and seal with ring lids. Place in your slow cooker and cover with water. Set on low for 10 hours and then dig in. Use it to top ice cream, pour over waffles, as a dip, or simply eat it with a spoon.
Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
Maybe having a sweet after dinner drink is more your thing. Slow cooker hot chocolate is sweet, rich and heavenly. Mixing milk, heavy cream, chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk for a few hours will result in a warm chocolate mixture everyone will love.
This is a great way to make a large amount of hot chocolate for a crowd, maybe for a family day skating or skiing. Nothing beats coming home to a warm cup of cocoa.
Slow Cooker Baked Apples
Baked apples seem so complicated, but coring the apples is the hardest part with this recipe. These apples take six hours to cook, so you will have plenty of time to make the rest of your meal.
Core your apples and place in your slow cooker. Make a mixture of oats, sugar, butter and spices. Divide the oat mixture into each apple and top with butter and apple juice to cook. After about 6 hours you will have delicate, delicious apples that will leave you coming back for more.
Slow Cooker Fruit Crisp
Making a crisp in the slow cooker seems counterintuitive; normally foods coming out of the slow cooker are anything but crisp. The key to this recipe is to cook the fruit filling, made up of apples, berries and sugar, first. Then add the crumb topping, made of oats, flour, butter and sugar on top and continue cook with the lid ajar on the slow cooker.
Leaving the lid open a bit allows the steam to escape, preventing the condensation build up that causes a soggy crisp. This is a lighter alternative to some of the heavier dessert recipes mentioned already, but just as satisfying.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Creating a warm, chewy, creamy bread pudding is easy when you have the help of your slow cooker. This recipe includes pumpkin purée, which adds an extra layer of fall flavor that takes it up a notch from other bread pudding recipes.
This is also a great way to avoid wasting food because it requires day-old bread that otherwise might end up in the garbage. Make sure you spray your slow cooker really well with cooking spray and add in a mixture of bread chunks, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, cream, nuts and spices.
The secret ingredient in this recipe is cinnamon chips; they will make little cinnamon pockets of goodness when you bite into them. Top this warm pudding with ice cream and enjoy.
Cinnamon Sugar Almonds
Having a sweet treat you can grab handfuls of throughout the day is a great way to feed your sweet tooth. These cinnamon sugar almonds can be eaten on their own or used to top ice cream or salad.
Beat egg whites until frothy with some vanilla. Add sugar, cinnamon and almonds and stir to coat. Cook in your slow cooker stirring occasionally for two hours. Top with a splash of water and cool on baking trays. Enjoy warm or room temperature.
Slow Cooker Fudge
Making fudge in the slow cooker is a bit of a surprise. It seems like the type of recipe you would have to make on the stove, stirring constantly so nothing burns. But sing your slow cooker allows everything to melt slowly, reducing the likelihood of burnt ingredients.
This recipe still requires some stirring, so you won’t be able to set it and forget it for long, but it’s totally worth the time commitment. Add chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, butter and vanilla to your crock pot. As it heats up, everything will melt together.
Stir occasionally and after a few hours your mixture will be ready. Pour it out into a baking pan lined with waxed paper and allow to cool in the fridge. Once it is set, you can slice and enjoy this melt-in-your-mouth dessert.
Your slow cooker is an amazing kitchen appliance that can yield such amazing results at the flick of a switch. Why eat up precious oven space when you can make a delicious dessert right on your counter top?