Memorial Day is the unofficial official start of summer. And while we love a kitschy red, white and blue cake as much as the next person, we’d like to take this opportunity to celebrate all the in-season fruit and warm weather treats that make the season spectacular. With that in mind, here are 45 Memorial Day desserts that delve way beyond the classic flag cake, from cherry slab pie to grilled pineapple split sundaes.

RELATED: 90 Easy Summer Dinner Ideas That Everyone Will Love

1. No-Churn Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream

  • Time Commitment: 12 hours (includes freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly
While we love the nostalgia of strawberries and cookie crumbles, any fruit will work here, from bananas to blueberries to peaches and cream.

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2. Strawberry Upside-Down Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser
Frosting? In this heat? No way—we’re decorating our cake the easiest (and prettiest) way we know, with fresh berries.

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3. Banana Pudding Cups

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser
They’re crowd-pleasing, easy to assemble and kids can’t resist them. Just keep them in the fridge until ready to devour.

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4. Cheater’s Mini Strawberry-Vanilla Galettes

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients
If you want to feel fancy but put in very little effort, this is the recipe for you.

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5. Coffee and Brown Sugar Granita with Whipped Cream

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours (includes chilling time)
  • Why We Love It: less than 500 calories, <10 ingredients, no cook
A sugar rush and a caffeine boost in one dish, aka the ultimate pick-me-up.

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6. Oven-Baked S’mores Bars

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients, one pan
Roasting marshmallows on a stick one at a time is fun and all, but we’re in it for the end game: digging in and getting chocolate all over our hands.

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7. Lemon Berry Sheet Pan Trifle

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
Ripe summer berries don’t need much, but a bit of fluffy meringue and whipped cream never hurt.

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8. Grilled Angel Food Cake with Blueberry Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
Want to know a secret? The cake is store-bought. (What? We’re not turning on the oven until September.)

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9. Mini Strawberry Ice-Cream Pies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly
Roasting the strawberries really concentrates their flavor, so don’t skip that step. The rest is as easy as scooping a pint of vanilla ice cream.

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10. No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours (includes freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly
If you can make whipped cream, you’re already halfway there. And you can use store-bought chips if you want, but the homemade ones are *chef’s kiss*.

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11. 3-Ingredient Strawberry Ice-Cream Shell

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, ready in <15 minutes, no cook, kid-friendly
Psst: It’s ready in ten minutes. The rainbow sprinkles are nonnegotiable, if you ask us.

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12. Cherry Slab Pie

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, sheet pan recipe, special occasion–worthy
A fancy lattice pie is nice, but we’re all about the higher crust-to-filling ratio of a slab pie. (Plus, there’s more leftover for breakfast the next day.)

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13. Red, White and Blue Ice-Cream Cake

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours (includes freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
Alright, you caught us. We couldn’t resist a little patriotic flair. The best part? All you need to do is assemble.

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14. No-Bake Cheesecake with Raspberry Compote

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: no cook, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser
Most cheesecakes fall under the “delicious but fussy” category. Not this beauty. There’s no water bath and you don’t even have to turn on the oven.

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15. Strawberry Pie with Strawberry Crust

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
The trick to a pretty pink crust is to add freeze-dried strawberries. Pick them up at Trader Joe’s or order some online.

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16. Lemon Pie with Blueberry Meringue

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser
Whatever you do, don’t forget to snap a picture before you slice in. (You know, for your Instagram followers.)

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17. Fresh Fruit Ice Pops

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: less than 500 calories, no cook, low sugar
Our motto? You’re never too old to enjoy an ice pop. These are made with real fruit (and no dye), so they’re a little more grown up.

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18. Glazed Blueberry Cake

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser
Skip the obligatory fruit salad and head straight for the fruit cake. The base is versatile, so you could use another berry if your heart desires.

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19. No-Bake Key Lime Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours, 30 minutes (includes chilling time)
  • Why We Love It: no cook, make ahead, crowd-pleaser
With a press-in crust and easy filling, you’ll hardly have to lift a finger to reach this level of dessert bliss.

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20. Berry Galette

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
The hardest part is choosing whether to eat this freeform pie with ice cream or whipped cream (or both).

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21. Grilled Pineapple Split Sundae with Cherry Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
You likely already fired up the grill for dinner, so why not keep the flames burning? The cherry sauce can be made ahead, if you’re savvy like that.

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22. Raspberry Prosecco Ice Pops

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead
Sorry, kids. These babies are for adults only. (We’ll take any excuse not to share dessert.)

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23. Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, make ahead
If it’s too warm to turn on the oven, no worries. This entire dish comes together in your slow cooker, and all you have to do is press a button.

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24. Berry-Coconut Rocket Pops

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser
Dare we say it? They’re even better than the ones from the ice cream truck.

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25. Raspberry Ice Cream

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours, 15 minutes (includes freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly
You don’t need a clunky ice cream maker to whip up a batch. You’re welcome.

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26. Ombré Ice Cream Cake

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours
  • Why We Love It: no cook, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
Buy five ice creams in various shades, wait for them to get a little melty and layer each in a pan to make a multicolored frozen masterpiece.

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27. Blueberry Crumble Pie

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser
You only have so many days to get your fill of this classic summer dessert, so why not get the ball rolling as early as possible?

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28. Peaches-and-Cream Ice Pops

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, make ahead, beginner-friendly
Peaches are really at their peak later in summer, but we love them so much we’re eating them now. Besides, a quick roast in the oven can make even ho-hum fruit taste delicious.

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29. Blackberry Jam Pie-Crust Straws

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser
You’re 35 minutes away from a chic, pie-like dessert. (Take that, double crust.)

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30. One-Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours (includes freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: no cook, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly
We didn’t think there could be a more refreshing way to enjoy watermelon than eating it freshly cut...and then we tried this beauty.

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31. 30-Minute Angel Food Cupcakes

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly
Typically, angel food cake is finicky to make at home, but when you scale it down to cupcake size, it’s surprisingly simple.

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32. Blueberry, Blackberry and Raspberry Soufflés

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
These soufflés are “choose your own adventure”—make raspberry, blueberry, blackberry or all three. You can use frozen fruit to keep things super simple.

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33. Strawberry Shortcake Skewers with Whipped Cream

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
They’re just as fun to make as they are to eat, and the biscuit dough is store-bought. (Don’t tell anyone.)

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34. Chocolate Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, make ahead, beginner-friendly
Skip the box from the freezer section and make your own—it’ll be so worth it. Save the leftover waffles for a breakfast treat in the morning.

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35. Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser
These are ready in less than an hour, so you can get on to more important things…like eating them.

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36. Strawberry-Mango Hawaiian Shave Ice

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, <10 ingredients, special occasion–worthy
Here’s that beach vacation you ordered. One bite of this Insta-worthy treat and you’ll be immediately transported to Maui. Better yet, you don’t even need a shave ice machine to make it.

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37. Lemon Meringue Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly
It’s the perfect mashup between lemon meringue pie and a sugar cookie. The key is rubbing lemon zest into the sugar before you start for extra citrus flavor.

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38. Peach Cobbler

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser
Summer’s most delicious stone fruit doesn’t need much help in the flavor department. So, we just coat the peaches in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, then top them with dollops of biscuit dough before baking.

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39. 3-Ingredient Blood Orange Granita

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 15 minutes (includes freezing time)
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly
All you need to pull this refresher off is a fork and a freezer.

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40. Oatmeal Cookie Cream Pies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser
Between the backyard barbecue and the kids playing in the sprinkler, MDW always makes us feel super nostalgic. Up the ante with this homemade take on the best lunchbox snack of all time.

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41. Cantaloupe-Mint Sorbet

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, less than 500 calories
So delicious, it’ll make you finally cave and buy an ice cream maker. Did we mention all the recipe calls for is the ripest cantaloupe you can find, fresh mint and a bit of sugar?

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42. Ice-Cream Cupcakes

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
We can hear the kids squealing over these handhelds already. Picture layers of vanilla and chocolate ice creams separated by homemade Oreo crust, all topped with fresh whipped cream.

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43. Mini Mason Jar Apple Pies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion–worthy
America’s most quintessential dessert is even more mouth-watering served in mini mason jars. How cute are those tiny crimped crusts?

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44. Coconut Popsicles

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours
  • Why We Love It: no cook, make ahead, kid-friendly
Go the extra mile by topping each popsicle mold off with fruit jam for a pretty finishing touch. Tart raspberry jam is a great contrast to the sweet coconut milk, but blueberry jam or orange marmalade would also taste divine.

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45. No-Bake Berry Tiramisu

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, one pan, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
The mélange of berries makes this dessert red, white and blue without it being too campy. Bonus, the recipe calls for store-bought ladyfingers and raspberry jam, so all you’ll have to do is assemble the ingredients.

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RELATED: 60 Memorial Day Recipes That Aren’t Hot Dogs and Watermelon

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