Because at this point, the last thing I want to do is layer anything.

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel
Updated May 25, 2017
Credit: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kay Clark

I'm gearing up for the weekend which, for me, means packing for a getaway to a lake house. I promised to bring dessert, because she who brings dessert always gets the raves, but the last thing I want to do is spend the next few hours baking, cooling, layering, filling, and frosting. Instead, I'm going for one of my favorite last-minute cake recipes.

If you need a dessert for this weekend, skip the mad dash to the grocery store and whip up an easy one at home. Be that person—the one who, despite the struggles of every day life, shows up with the homemade dessert that comforts every other tired soul around the table. You are that person, here are 7 recipes to help you embrace it!

Mississippi Mud Deep-Dish Skillet Cookie

Credit: Alison Miksch

Preheat, mix, spread, bake, cut, serve, enjoy. It doesn't get much easier than that.

Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake

Credit: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Perfect for warmer weather months, this pretty-in-pink sheet cake ticks all my boxes. Fresh fruit (so it tastes complicated), pantry ingredients (meaning it's not complicated), and a 13x9-inch pan, which is super easy to transport. Done.

Vanilla Buttermilk Poke Cake with Buttermint Frosting

Vanilla Buttermint Poke Cake with Buttercream Frosting image
| Credit: Daniel Agee

Vanilla Buttermint Poke Cake with Buttercream Frosting image Photo: Daniel Agee

You won't believe how easy this is. Bake a boxed cake mix, poke holes in it, then pour this amazing minty buttercream over the top. Finally, a cake that no one can tell I tested for doneness fifteen times.

Dutch Oven Double Chocolate Cake

Credit: Thomas J. Story

This cake is meant to be baked over an open fire, which already ups its "must make" factor, but the fact that I can prep and freeze the batter up to 3 months in advance just makes me have to try it. Plus, double chocolate.

Horchata Icebox Cake with Spiced Mango

Credit: Greg Dupree; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Serve this cake when you need a break from super-heavy foods and instead want a real palate cleanser. There is slight layering, but it's with graham crackers, which I can handle, and my kiddos can help.

Texas Sheet Cake with Fudge Icing

Credit: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kay Clark

I've never met a single person who turned this cake down at a potluck, church supper, or family gathering. In fact, they're normally offering to help with the dishes so they can lick the pan clean. No dishes for me? And everyone's happy? That's a win-win.

Chocolate Tiramisu Poke Cake

Chocolate Tiramisu Poke Cake image
| Credit: Daniel Agee

Chocolate Tiramisu Poke Cake image Photo: Daniel Agee

Poke cake is my new favorite thing. Again, start with a cooked box cake mix, poke holes in it, pour deliciousnes over top, and serve. The possibilities are endless.