Seasonal summer desserts can be yours

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Seasonal summer desserts are a delicious way to celebrate the warmest months of the year while offering a cool, refreshing and often fruity twist to the end of a meal. Whether you incorporate fresh fruit dishes, ice cream desserts or no-bake desserts, there’s an invigorating way to enjoy a sweet bite at the of a meal.

Magic Rhubarb Cake in a baking dish with a scoop out of it.
Magic rhubarb cake. Photo Credit: Little House Big Alaska

These desserts are designed to keep your house cool and use seasonal ingredients, all while providing sustenance for your table. Just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean you can’t provide summer desserts to guests.

No-bake desserts

When the temperature rises, the last thing many of us want to do is turn on the oven. No-bake desserts become especially appealing during this time. Options like ice cream cakes and chilled cookies are not only a relief to make but also provide a cool respite from the heat.

Ice cream cakes can be layered with fruits and crunchies like cookies or graham crackers, making them both a visual and flavorful treat. No-bake cookies, often made with oats, coconut, chocolate and more, are easy to prepare and perfect for serving at gatherings or as a quick snack. 

Fresh popsicles are one more way to enjoy cool summer treats. Make them juice-based or with fresh fruit and yogurt. Freeze until ready to serve. This one is particularly fun to make with kids.

“No-bake desserts are best in the summer because I can make a delicious treat without heating up my kitchen. My favorites are trifles and ice cream cakes.”

—Heidi Bruaw, Real Life of Lulu

Fruity summer desserts

Fresh fruits are undoubtedly the stars of summer desserts. Simple fruit-based desserts not only highlight the season’s bounty but are also lighter, which is ideal for hot days. 

Think of dishes like cobblers, fruit bars, crisps and more. These desserts feature fresh fruits and can be baked early in the morning to avoid heating up the house. Serve with a cooling side of ice cream or whipped cream. 

Two plates with blueberry crisp and ice cream.
Blueberry crisp. Photo Credit: Little House Big Alaska.

Easy dump cakes

For those who don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, dump cakes are the perfect solution. They involve minimal effort, typically just dumping ingredients into a pan and baking. 

Summer versions might include ingredients like fresh cherries or strawberries. They make sense when you need a delicious dessert without the fuss, perfect for impromptu backyard barbecues or family dinners. Again, bake these in the early morning and enjoy them later to keep your house cooler longer. 

Summer desserts

Anyone can get into making summer desserts, especially those looking for simplicity and seasonality in their cooking. They are ideal for home cooks who want to take advantage of fresh seasonal fruits, those hosting summer potlucks or anyone looking to minimize their time in a hot kitchen.

They are also great for parents looking for cooking activities that kids can participate in. Many summer desserts like no-bake cookies and fruit popsicles are kid-friendly in both making and eating.

A full cookie sheet of no bake chocolate cookies.
Old fashioned no bakes. Photo credit: Little House Big Alaska.

“I love making no-bake desserts during the hot summer months because baking just heats up the kitchen. My favorite no-bake desserts are layered and refrigerated with cream cheese or frozen ice cream desserts!”

— Gena Lazcano, Ginger Casa

Cooling thoughts

Seasonal summer desserts offer a delicious finale to your meals and an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen. Whether you opt for the simplicity of a dump cake or the ease of no-bake cookies, these desserts are sure to leave everyone smiling.

Moreover, embracing seasonal cooking through summer desserts is a delightful way to enhance your culinary repertoire and impress your guests. It’s about making the most of what the season offers, from the ripest fruits to the most leisurely evenings. Whatever your summer has in store, whether it be feeding family, packing picnics or hosting BBQs, you can be sure there is a summer dessert that will work.

Laura Sampson of Little House Big Alaska is on a mission to teach modern family-oriented home cooks how to make old-fashioned foods new again. She shares her passion for home cooking, backyard gardening and homesteading on her website and blog.

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