Slow Cooking Surprises! 10 Warm, Gooey, Wonderful Desserts in a Pot

Rocky Road Chocolate Cake, MyRecipes.comRocky Road Chocolate Cake, MyRecipes.comWhen you think of your slow cooker, these foods most likely immediately come to mind: roasts, chilis, soups, stews, dips, and fall-off-the-bone meat. A slow cooker is a foodie's dream come true, as you can infuse a medley of flavors and deliciousness into a meal just by leaving the Crock-Pot on all day while you're at work or chasing after the kids.

Then when you're getting ready for dinner, all you have to do is open the lid, stir in a couple more fresh ingredients, and serve. Imagine enjoying a meal that was able to simmer for eight full hours, bringing out all the flavors and/or tenderizing the meat so you don't even need a knife to cut it.

But there's one thing you probably would never even consider using your slow cooker for.

Desserts.

Stop gagging. It can be done deliciously. Here are 10 of our favorite slow-cooked desserts. As your mom always used to tell you: Try it! You'll like it! Click on the name of the recipe to find out how to make it.

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Rocky Road Chocolate Cake: Heaven on a plate. Mark my words, people will be begging you for this Southern Living recipe. It's perfect for those long winter nights when you need your chocolate fix. Moist and gooey, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you'll be a slow-cooked dessert convert in no time.

Pumpkin pie puddingPumpkin pie pudding

Pumpkin Pie Pudding: Whip up this slow-cooked version of a pumpkin pie; you definitely won't be disappointed. All the sweet flavors of fall will be pouring out of your slow cooker with this recipe from AllRecipes.com. You could make this for dessert for your Thanksgiving meal, letting it cook in the Crock-Pot while you get everything else ready. You'll love not having to use your oven to cook your dessert!

Slow Cooked Winter Bread Pudding With Dried Pears: This dessert from the Food Network is a mouthwatering twist on classic bread pudding. It's so good because it's got whiskey in it. Indulging in some warm bread pudding straight out of the slow cooker topped with yogurt or ice cream sounds perfect for the cooler months.

Slow-Cooker Berry Cobbler: Check out this amazing cobbler recipe from Taste of Home. With raspberries, blueberries, fat-free milk, and frozen yogurt, this delicious yet healthy dessert is also incredibly easy to make. If you want to indulge, scoop on some ice cream instead of frozen yogurt.

Walnut-Stuffed Slow-Cooked Apples: This one is also pretty healthy for you and the kids. Okay, so there's some brown sugar, but Granny Smith apples and walnuts are a scrumptious, delectable combo. Everyone in the family will enjoy this recipe courtesy of Cooking Light. Imagine sweet, tender apples topped with a cinnamon-sugar sauce. Sold.

Slow Cooker Maple-Sauced Pears: Not a fan of apples but still looking for a fruity dessert? Your guests will be impressed when they're served a gorgeous, maple sauced-soaked pear on a pretty dessert plate. The recipe comes from Betty Crocker, and they also recommend spooning the sauce around the pear, sprinkling it with nuts or coconut, spooning some whipped cream next to the pear, and garnishing with a twisted orange slice. So easy, classy, and sophisticated!

Slow-Cooker Sour Cream Cheesecake: You can't go wrong with sour cream and cheesecake. Bet you never imagined you could cook a cheesecake in a slow-cooker, but Food & Wine has found a way. They say it's especially delicious since the machine steams the cake, giving you a super-silky texture. Garnish with some fresh fruit and you've got a classic dessert that you didn't even need to turn on your oven for.

Cardamom and Lemon Rice Pudding: Got a bunch of leftover rice from ... rice night? Another easy recipe, this one from Epicurious requires you to just pour everything in, stir, and cook. With all the sugar you'll use, this is definitely a sweet dessert, while the lemon zest and spices keep the dish interesting.

Slow Cooker Tapioca Pudding: This easy recipe only has four ingredients, and you don't have to soak/constantly stir the tapioca. The commenters at AllRecipes.com said this is the creamiest, easiest tapioca pudding they've ever made. However, they cautioned that theirs cooked faster than the 3 hours (on medium) or 6 hours (on low) the recipe says you need, so it may take some trial and error.

Bananas Foster: So there's no exciting flambe when you make this dessert in a slow cooker, but this recipe from Crock-Pot.com is super-easy and only cooks for an hour or two. The lemon zest and coconut flavors combined with the sweet bananas and served over a slice of delicious pound cake with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream will make this dish an instant slow-cooker classic. And there's rum of course! Captain Jack Sparrow would be most pleased.

How often do you use a slow cooker? Would you ever try making your dessert in one?

Pumpkin pie image via AllRecipes.com; cobbler image via jeffreyw/Flickr; tapioca pudding image via AllRecipes.com

Written by Jill Baughman for CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

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