17 Cake and Cookie Recipes That Don't Require a Mixer

chocolate chip skillet cookie served with ice cream
Photo: The Ingalls

Next time you want to bake but there's no stand mixer or hand mixer around, no problem! Give one of these sweet recipes a try.

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chocolate chip skillet cookie served with ice cream
The Ingalls

There are all kind of occasions when you might need or want to bake sans mixer. Whether you're on vacation in a rental, at a friend's place (and they don't have a well-equipped kitchen), just getting starting with baking, or looking for a fuss-free recipe that delivers, these 15 cake and cookie recipes are delicious and don't require a stand or a hand mixer. Old-fashioned kitchen essentials like a wire whisk, rubber spatula, pastry blender, and rolling pin are all the tools you need.

No mixer doesn't mean a less than impressive baked good. The Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie that's pictured here is simpler than making a batch of chocolate chip cookies—you only need a wooden spoon to mix the dough. And Citrus Cornmeal Cake with Wine-Roasted Strawberries has an incredible, aromatic flavor, it tastes as good as its name suggests. To make things even easier for you, we made sure these cakes and cookie recipes were all-around accessible: Spiced Orange Palmiers don't require making batter or dough since they're made with store-bought puff pastry. And our Five-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies are gluten-free. Almond butter brings the recipe together but you could substitute your favorite nut butter.)

Treats like S'mores Bars, Butter Pecan Blondies, and Big-Batch Triple-Chocolate Brownie Bars aren't exactly cookies or a cake, the texture and flavor of these bar cookies falls somewhere in between which means their ripe for inclusion in this collection of ideas. They come together easily with just a few turns of a spatula, and are a great recipes for kids to help out with.

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Lamington Thumbprint Cookies

three variations of lamington thumbprint cookies
Chris Simpson

These sunny thumbprint cookies are a riff on the classic Australian Lamingtons: small cubes of sponge cake layered with jam, dipped in chocolate, and coated with coconut flakes. Our bites feature the same jazzy flavor trio, but replace the cake with a soft, chewy dough.

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Roasted-Grape Shortcakes

grape shortcake martha bakes
Mike Krautter

No mixer or food processor is needed to make the dough for these oat shortcakes. A pastry blender, two knives, or your hands will take care of the dough.

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S'mores Bars

smores bars in heart and square shapes
Kana Okada

A kid-friendly dessert that doesn't require you to pitch a tent, light a fire, or skewer anything. These updated puffed cereal bars incorporate toasted mini marshmallows, broken graham cracker pieces, and chopped chocolate for a casual backyard twist on a classic treat.

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Butter-Pecan Blondies

butter pecan blondies
Ren Fuller

Blondies rely on brown sugar for their signature caramel notes and golden-brown color. A tablespoon of dark rum enhances their rich molasses flavor. The key to getting moist, chewy blondies is not overmixing the batter before baking.

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Grasshopper Dome Ice Cream Cake

grasshopper dome ice cream cake

An old-fashioned whisk, pastry brush, and rubber spatula are the only tools needed for this luscious chocolate ice cream cake. A silky chocolate coating seals the deal. While we chose mint chocolate chip ice cream for the center but any flavor of ice cream will be delicious.

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Macaroon Sandwich Cookies

macaroon sandwich cookies

Coconut macaroons and French macarons are two totally different, but fan-favorite cookies. When put together the result is perhaps the ultimate cookie; fruit jam is spread between two miniature coconut macaroon cookies then sandwiched à la macaron.

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Rhubarb Crumb Cake

rhubarb crumb cake recipe circle plate
Sidney Bensimon

Just a few folds with a spatula to incorporate the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and the result is a lightweight cake with a fine crumble that absorbs the tart juices from cooked rhubarb.

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Spiced Orange Palmiers

Aaron Dyer

A traditional French pastry, palmiers are made with puff pastryand can be a sweet or savory treat. Here, store-bought puff pastry gets sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest. There's hardly any prep work, no fancy equipment needed, and the end result is these crisp, buttery cookies.

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Five-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Aaron Dyer

We think these are the easiest chocolate chip cookies ever. And they just happen to be gluten-free. The cookies get their body from almond butter and the dough comes together in a snap.

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Citrus Cornmeal Cake With Wine-Roasted Strawberries

citrus cornmeal cake
The Ingalls

Extra-virgin olive oil is a healthy substitute for butter or other vegetable oils in this cake and it also adds incredible moistness. And those wine-roasted strawberries? They're just as luxurious as they sound. They take on an intense flavor when cooked with orange and lemon juice and zest, plus maple syrup, white or rosé wine, and star anise.

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Moroccan Fruitcake

sliced fruit tea cake on golden platter
Mike Krautter

This wonderfully warm spicy loaf cake get its rich aroma and flavor from a mix of dried fruits, hot black tea, and ras el hanout, a traditional Moroccan spice blend. The batter can be made in one bowl and only requires a wooden spoon or spatula to gently incorporate the ingredients together, resulting in one moist cake.

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Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

neapolitan ice cream cake
Anson Smart

A bit of prep work but no mixing is required for this colorful ice cream cake. You'll need to make vanilla ice cream from scratch. It's layered with other ice cream in the rainbow of flavors. Once you slice in, you'll know it was worth the effort.

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Big-Batch Triple-Chocolate Brownie Bars

big-batch triple-chocolate brownie bars
Marcus Nilsson

A great make-ahead dessert for bake sales, parties, or an after-school or work treat. This recipe will give your arms a workout when you mix the batter for the white and bittersweet chocolate bar cookies, but it's worth it as it yields 54 fudgy fruit-and-nut packed bars.

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Welsh Cakes

welsh bakestone cookies
Mike Krautter

Like a combination of pancake and baking powder biscuit, Welsh cakes originated in Wales and are delicious for breakfast or with a cup of tea.

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Lemony Brown-Butter Crinkle Cookies

Stephen Kent Johnson

Intense, rich brown butter is a pronounced flavor in these delectable crinkled cookies. They get their distinctive appearance when they're baked.

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Snickerdoodle Crumb Bars

snickerdoodle crumb bars
Alpha Smoot

When snickerdoodles and coffee cake combine forces in these super moist bars, the sweet spicy flavor is out of this world. A crumbly, buttery cinnamon streusel gets layered in the middle of the bars, then sprinkled on top of the batter along with a cinnamon-sugar blend.

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