I have dinner parties down pat. But when it comes to hosting a big brunch party, that's when things in my kitchen can go awry.

I always mean to wake at dawn, to give myself the time to execute whatever elaborate menu I've planned with the precision and efficiency of a brain surgeon. But bed is the best — and when coupled with a gentle breeze drifting in through open windows, and the light of a weekend morning flickering across my comforter? Early rising stands no chance.

The first brunch–menu victim is always, always dessert. When it's almost noon and I've only just put a pork shoulder in the oven, you can bet I'm scrapping the triple-decker pavlova I'd ambitiously sketched on the back of a bar napkin days earlier. This is where my most-trusted shortcut desserts come into play.

I'm talking about cookies that require little more than stirring and scooping, or cakes that bake up in a flash (seemingly through sheer force of will). Each is as impressive and delicious as something from the fancy bakery below my apartment — but comes together with ease and speed, right at home.

1. Greek yogurt chocolate "pudding"

(Julia Gartland/Courtesy Food52)

This tangy, chocolatey "pudding" takes five minutes to make, and about one minute to devour. It scales like a dream, so you don't have to stress about proportions when making it for a big crowd. Dress it up with whatever garnishes you like — berries, crumbled cookies, chocolate shavings, and maple-sweetened Greek yogurt all make for an impressive flourish.

2. 5-ingredient molasses cookies

(Rocky Luten/Courtesy Food52)

Meet the dead-simple molasses cookies that are somehow simultaneously cozy and refreshing. Add your favorite spice (like cinnamon) for extra depth, or let the buttery molasses flavor reign supreme — either will be perfect.

3. Swedish gooey chocolate cake

(Rocky Luten/Courtesy Food52)

This extra-fudgy chocolate cake comes together in just 20 minutes, and requires only that you know how to stir. And lift a fork to your mouth.

4. Cream cheese cookies

(Courtesy Food52)

Good luck keeping your guests away from these slightly tangy, perfectly chewy cream cheese cookies while they cool. Perhaps you can distract them with this bombshell: They require only four ingredients (butter, cream cheese, sugar, flour), plus a big pinch of salt.

5. Affogato

(Courtesy Food52)

Amanda Hesser writes that this is "the dessert that you want in your back pocket, ready for guests at a moment's notice." Hear, hear.

6. Clementine chocolate lava cake

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

These molten chocolate cakes have a surprise twist: just the right amount of clementine zest. They bake for just 10 minutes, and taste like something you'd buy a plane ticket to try in Paris. (For bigger groups, double — or triple — the recipe and ramekin count.)

7. Chocolate chunk cookies with maple and olive oil

(Ty Mecham/Courtesy Food52)

Olive oil and maple syrup join forces in these chubby, tender, crackly-edged chocolate chip cookies. You wouldn't regret making a double batch.

8. Broiled bananas with brown sugar and cream

(Julia Gartland/Courtesy Food52)

How could something so deeply simple — broiled bananas, brown sugar, cream, and salt — taste so decadent? (That was rhetorical. Pass me the skillet and a spoon, please.)

9. Chocolate-peanut butter mousse

(Julia Gartland/Courtesy Food52)

Fair warning: If you make your guests this swirly peanut-butter chocolate mousse, they may never want to leave.

10. Nutella brownie cookies

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

These cookies are basically magic. The only thing they could possibly need, for serving? A glass of milk. Kisses fingers.

This story was originally published on Food52.com: 10-crowd pleasing desserts that take 30 minutes or less.