20+ Pantry Desserts, dessert recipes you can make with just a handful of pantry staples.
I’ve been meaning to write a post on this topic for a while, and since so many of us are at home stress baking from our cupboards anyway, now seemed like the perfect time to finally sit down and do it.
Let’s talk about all the things you can bake with pantry staples.
The amazing thing about baking is how many things you can make with just a handful of ingredients. When it comes down to it, most baking recipes are just different ratios of the same pantry staples.
This means that if you keep a basic stocked baking pantry, you can always make something delicious.
Baking Pantry Staples
Everyone’s baking pantry staples are going to be different, but I’ve assembled a list of the bare minimum essentials you’ll need to get started and a level 2 list with a few extra ingredients that will give you even more dessert options.
If you have the ingredients on these lists, you’ll be amazed at just how many different things you can make.
Basic Baking Pantry Staples Level 1 (The Essentials)
- All-purpose flour
- Sugars (granulated, brown, and powdered)
- Cocoa powder
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Large eggs
- Vanilla extract
- Peanut butter (not natural-style)
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
* Recipes will typically specify either salted or unsalted butter. If you have salted butter and unsalted is called for, reduce the salt in the recipe by 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of butter in the recipe. If you have unsalted and the recipe calls for salted butter, increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 cup.
Basic Baking Pantry Staples Level 2
- Vegetable oil
- Oatmeal (quick-cook or old-fashioned)
- Ground cinnamon
- Cream of tartar
These are the Baking Mischief recipes you can make with a basic stocked pantry. I’ve divided the recipes into 3 sections:
- Level 1 – If you have everything on the “Basic Baking Pantry Staples Level 1” list, you can make everything from this section.
- Level 2 – If you have everything on both lists, you can make everything from levels 1 and 2.
- Level 3 – You’ll (potentially) need ingredients from both lists and the extra ingredients bolded in the notes below each recipe.
Make sense? Hopefully that’s a yes, and happy baking.
Level 1 Pantry Staples Recipes
Small-batch Shortbread Cookies – Shortbread cookies are as simple as it gets and made with just four ingredients. If you have white chocolate and sprinkles, you can add them, but toppings are totally optional.
Small-batch Sugar Cookies (3 Ways) – You’ll need a couple additional ingredients to make the glazed or sprinkled versions of these cookies, but the base perfect sugar recipe? That one can be all yours right now.
No-chill Small-batch Chocolate Chip Cookies – This is one of the recipes I get the most happy comments from readers about, and for good reason. They’re pretty fantastic cookies. 🙂 If six is too many, try the Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie for Two version.
One-bowl Small-batch Brownies – This is the most dangerous recipe on the site because you can throw these brownies together so quickly and scarf them down even faster.
Easy Hot Chocolate for One – Okay, this isn’t a baking recipe, but it is one of the recipes I make most often with baking staples, and I love it, so I’m sharing it.
Level 2 Pantry Staples Recipes
Small-batch Oatmeal Cookies with Icing – Totally perfect oatmeal cookies without a raisin in sight. Technically these also call for nutmeg in the cookie dough, but if you don’t have it, you can skip it.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – These are currently my favorite cookies, and I absolutely did just stress bake a batch of them on Thursday. Add chocolate chips (milk chocolate is especially good) or make a small batch if you don’t trust yourself with 24 cookies.
Small-batch Chocolate Cupcakes With Chocolate Buttercream – Use chocolate chips where the recipe calls for “chopped semi-sweet chocolate,” and you’re about to have yourself one excellent little batch of cupcakes.
Level 3 A Couple Extra Ingredients
Small Lemon Pound Cake – Possibly the most addicting recipe on this list. Try not to eat both little cakes all by yourself. 😉 Extra Ingredient: 1 to 2 lemons and cream cheese (if you want a cream cheese glaze)
One Banana, One Bowl Small-batch Banana Muffins – These muffins are another Baking Mischief reader favorite. Extra Ingredient: 1 overripe banana
Small-batch Chocolate Banana Muffins (One-banana, One-bowl) – One of my personal faves. The texture of these muffins is just total perfection. Extra Ingredient: 1 overripe banana
Easy Homemade Kettle Corn – Kettle corn has a bit of a learning curve when making at home, but once you figure it out, it is just about the quickest, simplest sweet snack you can make. Extra Ingredient: Popcorn kernels
Small-batch Cream Scones – Why yes, these scones are perfect. Thanks for noticing. <3 Extra Ingredients: Heavy cream & jam (for topping)