7 Sweet Tips for Summertime Slow Cooking

Looking for ways to keep your cool this summer?

It can be a whole lot easier – and sweeter – than you think. In fact, you can use your slow cooker to make all kinds of divine desserts without heating up the kitchen.

Here are a few fun tips and hints to help make it simple!

7 Hints & Hacks for Slow Cooker Desserts

  1. For easy clean-up, use liners or parchment paper. Forget about soaking your slow cooker crock in the sink overnight! While disposable liners are ideal, parchment paper can be used for baking dishes up to 400°F; – making it perfect in a pinch. No need to worry about scrubbing, plus your batter edges will bake more evenly, too.

    7 Sweet Tips for Summertime Slow Cooking - Prep 1

    And you can lift cakes and brownies right out of the slow cooker!

  2. Pie filling + pound cake = yum. Pour 2 cans of cherry pie filling into a greased slow cooker, and top with either Classy Chocolate Pound Cake batter or Absolutely Almond Pound Cake™ batter. Heat on low 3 hours, and … voila!

    7 Sweet Tips for Summertime Slow Cooking - Prep 2

    Serve topped with ice cream or whipped cream for a sublime summertime dessert. You can mix and match different types of pie filling, too. Try the one shown above with peach or blueberry pie filling. Or try the chocolate version (Slow Cooked Chocolate Cherry Cake) with raspberry or strawberry pie filling!

  3. Make homemade dulce de leche. Simply place a couple of sealed cans of sweetened condensed milk on their side in your slow cooker. Add water until the cans are just barely covered, and cook on low 8 hours. You'll have the most incredible, silky smooth sauce for drizzling onto ice cream, cake, you name it!

  4. Place 5-6 paper towels beneath your slow cooker lid. When baking with a slow cooker, typically condensation will build up. Placing paper towels underneath the lid will help absorb all that liquid and protect your cakes, cobblers and crisps.

    7 Sweet Tips for Summertime Slow Cooking - Prep 3

  5. Make perfect pudding cakes. Dump cakes. Ugly cakes. Honestly they go by a lot of different (and sometimes not the most flattering) names, but they are all delicious. Best of all, you just "dump" in a few ingredients, and a few hours later, you have a wonderfully warm, ooey-gooey dessert.

    Need more convincing? Try this rich recipe with strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream: Chocolate Nirvana Slow Cooker Pudding Cake

    7 Sweet Tips for Summertime Slow Cooking - Prep 4

  6. Keep in mind that slow cooker temps vary. Because there can be a surprising degree of difference among slow cookers, check for doneness a little early, starting with the low end of the baking time. Some recipes will need more time, some less. But it's always a good rule of thumb to check early, just in case yours runs a bit hot.

    Likewise, if your batter doesn't seem to be cooking through in the middle, take off the lid and let it cook an additional 30 minutes that way. That often does the trick!

  7. Give boxed brownies a boost. Spoon brownie batter into a greased or lined slow cooker. Then top with ¾ cup chocolate syrup mixed with ¾ cup water (and don't stir). Cook on high for 2 hours, and you’ll have luscious brownies loaded with ribbons of hot fudge. Serve with ice cream for amazing sundaes.

What are YOUR favorite slow cooker desserts? Tell us on Facebook, or share your comments right here. We'd love to hear your best tips and how you're beating the heat all summer long!

Happy baking, friends!

- Jen

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