72 Easy Summer Desserts to Devour from Now Until Labor Day
Hot days, long nights, all the barbecues and the year’s sweetest produce. These are a few of our favorite things, and they call for one more: dessert. Whether you’re having family lunch on the patio, hosting a block party or sneaking around the kitchen at midnight, these 72 easy summer desserts are guaranteed to hit the spot.
1. Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Whipped Cream
Charred fruit is a prime summer dessert and healthy to boot. That means you can go for double the homemade whip with zero guilt. You’re welcome.
2. Campfire Grilled S’more Calzones
The kids will love stuffing these little pockets of deliciousness with their favorite fillings before they get melty on the barbecue. Wow them with homemade vanilla marshmallows.
3. Ombré Ice-Cream Cake
We love an impressive no-bake dessert. This one has five layers of ice cream and sorbet separated by fluffy whipped topping. We went with raspberry, strawberry and vanilla for a decidedly pink effect, but you can choose any color scheme.
4. Peanut-Butter Freezer Pie
Graham-cracker crust, meet easy PB filling, made with chunky peanut butter, sugar, cinnamon and heavy cream. Want to work in some chocolate? Top with chocolate syrup or curls.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge
Meet your new favorite dessert. Homemade cookie dough gets mixed into a decadent fudge batter of brown sugar, butter and half-and-half. After a few hours in the fridge, it’s ready to cut and devour.
6. No-Bake Cheesecake with Raspberry Compote
Guess what? You don’t need an oven to reach ultimate cheesecake nirvana. Plus, it’s super easy, thanks to a press-in graham cracker crust and two-ingredient raspberry sauce.
7. Fresh Fruit Ice Pops
You’re never too old for an ice pop on a hot summer day. You are, however, too old for ice pop-stained lips. Skip the fake stuff, substitute real fruit and freeze until solid.
8. Lemon Meringue Cookies
These cookies are softer and cakier than most and bursting with tons of lemony brightness. How do we do it? By rubbing lemon zest into the sugar at the very start.
9. Vanilla Bourbon Cherry-Blueberry Pie
You can never have too much seasonal fruit. Cherry and blueberries are peeking through the cutest star-studded crust that screams July 4th. Dig in while you and your family watch fireworks.
10. Easy Cherry Skillet Cake
Your cast-iron skillet is a secret weapon when it comes to dessert. We love cherries, but strawberries or blueberries will work beautifully too. Extra whipped cream, please.
11. Chocolate Waffle Ice-Cream Sandwiches
We’re pretty sure serving these at breakfast will win you the number-one mom award. Skip the store-bought waffles and bring on the sprinkles.
12. Broiler S’mores
You don’t need to build a fire in the yard to indulge in this campout classic. Layer graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows in a cast-iron skillet and pop that bad boy under the broiler for a few minutes. The marshmallows will be toasted and the chocolate melted just enough, without all the fuss.
13. Cheater’s Mini Rhubarb Galettes
In the world of baked goods, the galette is pie’s cool cousin who always shows up rocking seasonal fruit and an effortless golden-brown crust. Just roll out premade dough, pile rhubarb slices in the middle and fold up the edges to hold it all together. Ta-da.
14. Strawberry Pie with Strawberry Crust
Food coloring is so ten years ago. That’s why this gorgeous strawberry pie with strawberry crust gets its vibrant pink hue from freeze-dried strawberries (which you can pick up at Trader Joe’s) instead.
15. Neapolitan Pie
The hardest decision we’ve ever had to make: chocolate, strawberry or vanilla? Thankfully, this number makes it easy on us. Three layers of custard and a whole lot of whipped cream = the ultimate nostalgic dessert.
16. Puff-Pastry Plum and Thyme Galette
This galette can’t get any simpler. You don’t have to make pie dough; just crinkle store-bought puff pastry into a skillet, pile on the fresh fruit and your dessert will be ready in less than an hour.
17. Vegan and Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Ginger Tart
Vegan and gluten-free can sometimes taste a little too healthy, if you get our drift. But not this dessert, thanks to its fudgy consistency and irresistible combination of dark chocolate and ginger.
18. Ultimate PB&J S’mores
Quintessential lunch sandwich, meet camping’s official mascot. Gooey marshmallows and blueberry jelly layered between peanut butter-graham cracker sandwiches are a match made in dessert heaven.
19. Sweet Corn Doughnut Holes
If you want everyone to tilt their head back in bliss and say “wow,” make these sweet corn doughnut holes. Fresh corn kernels are whipped up into a light-as-clouds pastry cream that makes our mouth water just thinking about it.
21. Blackberry Panna Cotta Tartlets
This Italian gelatin dessert is as easy as it is beautiful. Whip up a quick shortbread crust, make the blackberry filling and wait for it to set in the fridge.
22. No-Bake Berry Tiramisu
A treat that has “Fourth of July” written all over it, thanks to vibrant fruit, raspberry jam and ricotta-cream cheese filling. These lady fingers won’t miss the coffee (and neither will you).
23. Four-Ingredient Ice Cream Pie with Peanut Butter Krispie Crust
We know, it sounds impossible, but your favorite ice cream *can* get even better. Spruced up on a layer of peanut-butter crisped rice and all of your favorite toppings, it’s a ridiculously easy win.
24. Honey-Peach Semifreddo
We only ever see it on fancy dessert menus, but it’s easy to pull off the luscious Italian treat at home—no churning required. Combine diced peaches, peach jam, egg yolks, sugar and almond extract in a loaf pan, pop it in the freezer overnight and blow everyone at the picnic away.
25. Coconut Cookies
What do you get when you combine sugar cookies and macaroons? You’ll find out in just about 30 minutes.
26. Snickers Dip
Aside from using Snickers candy bars as a garnish, this dip incorporates everything you love about them—salty peanuts, gooey caramel and sweet milk chocolate—into one party-ready dip. Sign us up.
27. Vegan Spelt Plum Galette
Vegan butter holds this hearty crust together. Go all-out with a sweet glaze made from non-dairy milk, agave and demerara sugar.
28. Lemon-Berry Sheet Pan Trifle
Looking for a red, white and blue dessert for your Memorial Day cookout? Meet our modern take on an old-school British dessert, served on a single baking sheet instead of a fancy crystal-cut bowl.
29. Botanical Shortbread Cookies
Hello, garden party. Violets, pansies, roses and lavender are all edible and easy to find, but if you’re looking for a fancier selection, order from a specialty store like Gourmet Sweet Botanicals. There’s no need to dry and press the flowers, either; just glue them to the cookies with egg wash and they’ll flatten in the oven.
30. Berry Galette
Load up on fresh berries at the farmers market and this treat practically makes itself. Just pile the fruit in the center, fold the crust over and bake. Honestly, the hardest part is choosing whether to eat it with ice cream or whipped cream. (Go for both.)
31. Nectarine Blueberry Pie
Blame it on the juice, baby. This goodie is loaded with tangy nectarines and plump blueberries. The stars of golden-brown pie crust are a flag-inspired topper too.
32. Churro Bites with Chocolate Sauce
These cuties can be summed up in one word: irresistible. And the fried doughy deliciousness is even more amazing when it’s bite-sized—and served with warm chocolate sauce for dipping. The best part? You’ll go from zero to OMG in 40 minutes.
33. Peach Cobbler
Since stone fruit doesn’t need much help in the flavor department, we coat sliced peaches with just the essentials: a little butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Then we layer mounds of scrumptious biscuit dough over the peaches to form a crust. All you need now is vanilla ice cream.
34. Peaches-and-Cream Ice Pops
When the weather goes above 70 degrees, you can pretty much guarantee we’re craving (or eating) an ice pop. And while you could wait around for the ice cream truck, making your own is way more fun. This one stars roasted peaches and Greek yogurt.
35. Mini Mason Jar Apple Pies
It doesn’t get more American than apple pie. The individual portions are just the right amount, and the whole mason jar thing is way more impressive than a boring pie dish. Plus, they’re super easy to make, thanks to store-bought dough.
36. Glazed Doughnut Cookies
You love doughnuts. But heating up a giant vat of oil? Not so much. That’s why we’ve transformed the treat’s sweet icing and cinnamon-sugar flavors into a simple cookie that bakes in 15 minutes. Genius.
37. Red, White and Blue Ice Cream Floats
Root beer who? This is a festive take on a vintage drink everyone can get behind. Combine fresh berries with strawberry and lemon-lime sodas. Finish it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and voila.
38. Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake
This cake has a confession. Wanna know? It’s actually not a cake at all. Graham crackers and whipped cream make this a breeze to put together, but homemade blueberry sauce makes it deceptively simple. It’ll be our little secret.
39. Dessert Nachos
Introducing dessert nachos. We repeat: dessert nachos. You already love starting a meal with the savory kind, so why not end one with a plateful of this sweet version, made with cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips and lots of toppings?
40. Strawberry-Mango Hawaiian Shave Ice
Cool off with a cup of Hawaii’s signature treat. This DIY version doesn’t even require a shave ice machine.
42. Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Dip
Fact: Sometimes, our bowl of cookie dough never makes it into the oven. (Just us?) So we embraced it and turned our favorite guilty pleasure into its own party-friendly dessert.
43. Lemon Pie with Blueberry Meringue
You’re looking for a baking project that’s impressive but attainable. Enter this light and fluffy beauty. The light-as-air topping gets its lilac hue from—surprise—freeze-dried blueberries.
44. Cake Batter Dip
Once the kids try this, they’ll be asking for it for every year for their birthdays. That’s because it’s made with Funfetti cake mix, heavy cream, sour cream and confectioners’ sugar. Don’t be shy with the rainbow sprinkles.
45. Easy Key Lime Bars
One bite and you’ll be transported to a sunny Florida beach. Think homemade graham-cracker crust and condensed milk and lime filling, with thin-sliced limes on top.
46. Summer Fruit Plate
No one’s turning down ice-cold fruit on a hot day. Substitute the pesto-rolled mozzarella for a sweet yogurt dip if you like to keep dessert strictly sweet.
47. Vegan Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake
Coconut-buttermilk whipped cream. Almond flour shortcake. Hulled strawberries. Yeah, we’re gonna need more napkins.
48. Raspberry Lemonade Cookies
The prettiest drink of the season just got sweeter. Freeze-dried raspberries turn the cookies pink. And don’t get us started on the lemon glaze. (Oh, and for the pièce de résistance, homemade candied lemon slices.)
49. No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie
Tell your oven to take a seat. The fridge and freezer are all you need to pull this baby off. (Well, plus a can of cream of coconut, heavy cream and lots of sugar and toasted coconut shreds.)
50. Grapefruit Panna Cotta
This dish only takes six ingredients. It’s a great light option after you’ve spent all day eating hot dogs and hamburgers. Buon appetito.
51. Skillet Peach Cobbler
Skip all that kneading and rolling. With skillet peach cobbler, you can satisfy your craving in under an hour, minus all the heavy lifting. Pass the whipped cream.
52. Blueberry, Blackberry and Raspberry Soufflés
When it comes to this light and airy dessert, intimidating is an understatement. But don’t worry: This version is quick, easy and foolproof, not to mention ridiculously impressive.
53. Gluten-Free Pistachio Apricot Tart
Why should gluten eaters have all the fun? This GF pistachio apricot tart is just as sweet, tangy and satisfying as the real deal. (It’s pretty darn photogenic too.)
54. French Silk Pie with Hazelnut Oreo Cookie Crust
Calling all chocoholics: This is one decadent dessert you’ll never forget. Raw hazelnuts, Oreos and melted butter create the crust, which is filled with dark chocolate and whipped cream. Yum.
55. Red White and Blue Icebox Cake
You’re only six ingredients away from the best dessert at the barbecue. Think graham crackers, homemade whipped cream, seasonal fruit and lots of powdered sugar.
56. Mini Strawberry Ice-Cream Pies
Crumbly graham cracker crust, warm roasted strawberries, a cold scoop of vanilla. Sold yet? Good. Sprinkle on some blueberries for a patriotic flourish.
57. Bite-Size Almond Raspberry Spoon Cakes
Lightly sweet and bursting with almond flavor, these cake bites can be whipped up by hand using just a whisk and a single bowl. Go ahead, have one (or five).
58. Cookies-and-Cream Shortbread Cookies
Don’t tell anyone, but Oreos are our secret obsession. Cookies-and-cream shortbread cookies have a classier vibe, but with that same addictive flavor, snap and creaminess. Plus, they’re ready in just 40 minutes.
59. Grapefruit Meringue Stacks
This looker is part pavlova, part meringue pie. Start by making five-ingredient meringue cookies, then stack them between layers of grapefruit curd.
60. Homemade Milano Cookies
That 16-cookie bag disappears pretty quickly in our house. With this recipe in your back pocket, you’ll never run out again.
62. Itty-Bitty Sandwich Cookies
These are so tiny you can eat them by the handful. And that’s exactly what we intend to do. A glass of milk is optional, but encouraged.
63. Oreo-Stuffed Brownies
An impossible choice: cookies or brownies? Well, let us fill you in on a secret. You don't have to choose. These nine-ingredient brownies are truly the best of both worlds.
64. Coconut Popsicles
Finding ways to keep cool is your top priority in the summertime. Luckily, you can have these jam-coconut milk masterpieces in the freezer in just a few minutes. No molds on hand? Go old-school by using ice-cube trays or paper cups.
65. Chocolate Kiss Powder Puff Cookies
Think Russian teacakes, except they’re mind-blowingly easy to make. Like, three ingredients easy. Shake things up with peanut butter cups or caramels instead of Kisses.
66. No-Bake Chocolate Peanut-Butter Pretzel Bars
Pretzels. Peanut butter. Chocolate. Need we say more? We think not, but we will reiterate that these don’t spend a single second in the oven.
67. One-Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet
Have you met the easiest dessert on the face of the earth yet? She’s pleased to make your acquaintance. Cool off with this genius treat made from twice-frozen watermelon puree. No one will ever guess that it’s pure fruit.
68. Dairy-Free Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping
You won’t believe how creamy this dessert is without any dairy. In fact, it’s—gasp—totally vegan.
69. Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter
This dessert board has everything from fresh fruit to ice cream sandwiches. We’ll bring the wine.
70. Peaches and Meringue
The broiler transforms these brown sugar-coated peaches into a real-deal treat. Even the kids will be all over them.
71. No-Bake, Gluten-Free Rose Petal Brownies
Normally, we don’t like to play favorites. But we’re pretty obsessed with these gorgeous fudgy brownies. Buried under all that chocolate are macadamia nuts and dried cherries. Did we mention they’re sugar-free? Yeah, have another.
72. Vegan Mint Chip Nice Cream
Just combine cashews, coconut milk, coconut cream, sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract, and boom: homemade “ice cream” in 15 minutes.