Savory cooking for one requires some creativity, but it’s generally not too daunting. Foods such as pasta and rice are easy to cook in single servings (just look at the instructions on the packages they come in), and a good butcher or fishmonger will happily portion out meat/seafood in quantities perfect for one person. But what about when you want something sweet?
Sure, you could scoop some ice cream (or eat it out of the carton, if you’re so inclined), or pour a bowl of sugary cereal. You could walk to your favorite bakery and pick out a pastry, or crack open a box of Oreos and take out as many as you can eat. But homemade dessert typically requires making things in batches — batches which are often too big for one person, thereby requiring you to either commit to eating dessert all week long (not the worst thing in the world, but not something everyone wants to do), or bringing your leftovers to work the next day to pawn off on your co-workers.
The solution? These easy desserts for one. They’re quick to make, don’t require crazy, hard-to-source ingredients, and their cleanup is minimal. They’re also easy to scale up, so if you’re having a friend or two over, you can serve dessert without having to make a whole pan of something. And the best part of all: None of these require use of an oven or stovetop, which makes them great for dorm rooms, offices, and hotel rooms, too.
Note: These recipes have not been tested by The Washington Post.
Microwave Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding
Combine 1 cup leftover rice (any kind will work, but short-grain is preferable), ½ cup coconut milk, 1/8 cup sugar, a pinch of salt and a pinch of cinnamon in a mug or bowl. Stir well to combine. Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds on high, until creamy, stirring halfway through cooking. Serve topped with toasted coconut and fresh mint.
Flourless Chocolate Cake in a Mug
Melt ¼ cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a mug in the microwave on high (about 30 seconds). Whisk well. Add 1 egg, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla (use rum or bourbon if you don’t have vanilla), and 1 tablespoon sugar. Whisk nonstop for 30 seconds, then stir in 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds. Test doneness with a toothpick, and if the cake is still gooey, either serve it as is (call it “molten chocolate cake”) or cook for another 15 seconds, until firm. Serve topped with powdered sugar or whipped cream, if desired.
Strawberry Fro-Yo for One
Combine 1 ½ cups frozen strawberries with ½ cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (you can also use regular yogurt, but Greek yogurt is extra thick and creamy), and ½ tablespoon honey or sugar in a food processor or blender. Puree until mostly smooth (some strawberry chunks are fine). Serve immediately, or transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. Scoop and serve.
One-Ingredient Banana Soft Serve
Slice 2 bananas into coins and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet or plate. Freeze until hard, about 2 hours. Puree in a food processor or blender and serve (peanut butter and chocolate syrup make great toppings). Alternately, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm. Scoop and serve.
Did you try any of these recipes? Let me know in the comments, or Tweet with the hashtag #soloish!