82 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, attending a Memorial Day cookout, hosting a 4th of July party or sneaking around the kitchen at midnight, these 82 easy summer desserts are guaranteed to hit the spot. There's something on this list for everyone, whether you're team berry galette or broiler s'mores.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 voilà.
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 striking, fluffy beauty. The light-as-air topping gets its lilac hue from—surprise—freeze-dried blueberries.
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-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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 raspberry 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.
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 and a few pantry staples, and boom: homemade “ice cream” in 15 minutes.
81. Mini Apricot Meringue Pies
Coconut shortbread crust. Simple sugared apricots. Toasty swoops of meringue. Are you drooling yet or is it just us?
82. 3-Ingredient Strawberry Ice-Cream Shell
For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.