Ah, the mighty Crock-Pot (or whichever slow cooker brand you prefer). Maker of delicious breakfasts, paleo stews, savory meals that will last all week, and crowd-pleasing cocktails. Is there anything it can’t do?

This list of incredibly simple yet tasty desserts proves the answer is no. From lava cakes and bread pudding to lemon bars and cobblers, these recipes use lots of nutrient-dense ingredients and take less than 20 minutes to prep. And most are lighter or more nutritious than what you might normally be noshing on to satisfy your sweet tooth.

There are a few exceptions, but at first glance, you’ll understand why leaving them off this list was out of the question.

1. Baked apples

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Photo: The Magical Slow Cooker

This recipe is so simple — just five ingredients, including optional (or is it?) ice cream. Use a homemade or store-bought granola that is high in fiber and protein and low in added sugars. Feel free to spice it up with some cinnamon and cloves.

Bonus: You can eat these baked apples for breakfast as well!

Get cookin’ here.

2. Chai spiced poached pears

Sweetened with maple syrup and flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger, this dessert is packed with fruit, flavor, and nutrition. Plus, it’s vegan, gluten-free, and paleo!

Work the recipe magic here.

3. Winter fruit compote

This may have been created to go over oatmeal in the morning, but why not scoop it over ice cream for dessert?

We love that you can opt to use less sugar without sacrificing taste. You’ll not only keep it a bit healthier but also get a touch more tartness from the dried fruit.

Add it to your meal plan with this recipe.

4. Classic bananas Foster

If you have extra bananas lying around the house, this dessert is a great way to use them. It also doesn’t hurt that this classic takes just 10 minutes to prep. Serve it over ice cream or a slice of pound cake.

You can leave out the rum, but we love the extra dimension it adds to the flavor.

Snag the recipe.

5. Slow cooker applesauce

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Photo: Bijoux & Bits

Use up your bag o’ leftover apples in this easy applesauce that will make your house smell like cinnamon spice magic for hours. Plus, apple nutrition rocks, especially with the skin. You can make this in a slow cooker OR an Instant Pot.

Grab the recipe here.

6. Pumpkin pecan bread pudding

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Photo: The Gunny Sack

A delicious way to get rid of day-old bread, this slow cooker combo will make your whole house smell like pumpkin spice (i.e., dreamy). (Tip: If you don’t have old bread, just cut fresh bread into cubes and toss ’em in the oven for a few minutes to dry out a bit.)

Get the recipe here.

7. Chocolate fondue

Talk about quick: This chocolaty goodness takes 5 minutes to whip up and throw in the slow cooker! It may not be the most nutritious dessert on the list, but it’s an incredibly scrumptious way to enjoy seasonal fruit.

Plus, it’s a perfect recipe for large get-togethers. Grab some strawberries and bananas and get dipping!

Get to making it here.

8. Orange and almond steamed pudding with toffee sauce

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Photo: Supergolden Bakes

This pudding is slightly more time-intensive than the rest, but the end result is absolutely stunning (just look at that picture) and oh-so-good. The mixture of orange and ginger delivers a delightful zing in every bite.

If you can’t find golden caster sugar, white works too! (Crunched for time? Just omit the orange slices.)

Learn the steps to make it here.

9. Chocolate and Nutella bread pudding

Who doesn’t love Nutella? If you’re watching calories, fear not — this recipe keeps the hazelnut chocolate spread to a minimum without sacrificing flavor. Put this indulgence on the calendar: Valentine’s Day and your birthday are both fair game.

Grab the recipe for your meal plan here.

10. Cranberry walnut bread pudding with caramel sauce

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Photo: Savory Nothings

When it comes to bread pudding, this recipe is on the healthier side, especially if you use whole-wheat bread. The maple syrup, walnuts, and dried cranberries provide a nice wintry flavor that will make you want to curl up in front of a fire.

Snag the recipe here.

11. Pumpkin pie cake

We love how simple this recipe is, and cooking it in a Crock-Pot makes it extra moist and delicious. Just be sure to line the slow cooker so the cake is easy to remove.

Don’t forget to use pure pumpkin (which is chock-full of nutrients and vitamins like vitamin A, potassium, and fiber) rather than premade pumpkin pie filling.

Learn how to make it.

12. Molten lava cake

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Photo: My Natural Family

This cake is every chocolate lover’s dream — and well worth the 2 hours it takes to whip up in your slow cooker. Calling all gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate fiends: This recipe can be adapted just for you.

Get started on this dish here.

13. Hot fudge peanut butter pudding cake

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Photo: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

All the things we love most — peanut butter, chocolate, and a Crock-Pot — in one perfect recipe. Sublimely decadent and simple to make, this dessert is the stuff of sweet dreams.

Work the recipe magic here.

14. Raspberry cake

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Photo: 365 Days of Slow + Pressure Cooking

If you’re not a big chocolate fan (it happens, people) but still want to dig into a gooey, lava-textured cake, this recipe is for you. Use fresh raspberries and top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Get cookin’ here.

15. Apple pudding cake

When it comes to apple desserts, this recipe takes the cake. The blend of apples and citrus is incredible and adds a nice twist to the traditional apple dish. The recipe feeds 10, so it’s ideal for a medium-size dinner party.

Add it to your meal plan with this recipe.

16. Paleo chocolate chip cookie bars

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Photo: Food Faith Fitness

These gluten-free, paleo cookies take just 5 minutes to prep and are incredibly tasty.

You’ll start wondering if there’s any reason to ever make regular cookies again when you can just throw these in the slow cooker and go about finishing some chores (or that latest Netflix show you’re watching).

Snag the recipe.

17. Lemon cookie bars

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Photo: Slow Cooker Gourmet

Have you ever made lemon bars in a Crock-Pot? You’ll never go back. These are pretty rich, thanks to the butter content, but the recipe makes 12 bars.

Solidify your friendships by giving some away, or store them in the freezer and pull one out when you want a summery treat.

Learn the recipe here.

18. Quinoa energy bars

Sure, you can have them for breakfast or a snack, but don’t deny that these bars — packed with apples, almond butter, and maple syrup, oh my — are just as able to satisfy sweet cravings.

Get to making it here.

19. Apple fritter bread

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Photo: The Gourmet RD

This bread has the mouthwatering apple-cinnamon flavor of the doughnut it’s named for. But with honey as its sweetener and whole-wheat flour and flaxseed (which is full of protein and fiber) in the mix, it’s about as nutritious as a doughnut-like dessert can get.

Learn the steps to make it here.

20. Gingerbread

This lower-carb recipe keeps gingerbread on the sweet and spicy side with cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and more.

Snag the recipe here.

21. Banana bread

Our pandemic-induced habit of making banana bread just got way easier. Toss these simple ingredients together, throw it all in a slow cooker, and 4 hours later you’ll have a delicious treat.

Plus, it’s a great way to use up overripe bananas and add a little extra potassium and fiber to your diet.

Learn how to make it.

22. Lemon poppy seed bread

Equally tasty on a winter or summer day, this lemon poppy seed bread has the perfect pop of citrus (and is a welcome shake-up from other breads you’ve been making all season). Opt for Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to add some extra protein.

Get started on this dish here.

23. Chocolate chip zucchini bread

This zucchini bread is so fast and easy to mix up that you’ll make it all the time. Plus, it helps fill you with a little green goodness while you’re enjoying dessert. If you prefer a little less sugar, you can leave the chocolate chips out. It’ll still taste like heaven.

Work the recipe magic here.