A Month of Summer Dessert Recipes
Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream
The perfect summer cookout treat, grilling brings out the sweetness in peaches. If you can't find them, feel free to use apricots or nectarines instead of peaches. Garnish with mint to serve.
Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie
Melted chocolate binds cookie crumbs for the crust—and makes it extra delicious. Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the rum.
Green Tomato and Fig Cupcakes
Tomatoes and fig come together to create an unusual, yet oh-so-decadent dessert that everyone in the family will love.
No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake with Mixed Berries
Taste the berries for tartness beforehand; and adjust with sugar or lemon if needed.
Lemon Curd with Berries
In this custard, citrus juice stands in for milk as the base liquid, thickened by egg yolks. Butter gives the curd a glorious sheen. Garnish with mint leaves for a spot of green color.
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream with Bourbon-Caramel Sauce
Fresh tart cherries can be hard to find, which is why we add some dried ones to boost the flavor of this crisp. If you have access to fresh tart cherries, use 3 pounds and omit the dried fruit. Serve with vanilla low-fat ice cream, if desired; a small (1/4-cup) scoop will add 55 calories and 0.5 grams of saturated fat to each serving.
Raspberry-Mint Ice Pops
Fresh and tart, these pops are the best way to up your fruit intake in the summertime.
Mint Julep Granita
The classic cocktail provides relief from the heat of a Southern summer, so why not freeze and serve it for dessert? Mint-infused simple syrup and smoky-sweet bourbon combine in a slushy delight that's definitely not for kids.
A sprinkling of fresh, fragrant thyme leaves over ripe apricots helps bring this flat cake to staff favorite status. Food Editor Ann Taylor Pittman agrees: "The addition of thyme is an absolutely ingenious, delicious touch."
Bittersweet Chocolate-Cherry Sorbet
Tart-sweet cherry and strong dark chocolate flavors meld beautifully in this surprisingly rich sorbet crowned with juicy fresh cherries. Use a high-quality jam for the sorbet, and be sure to start the process a day ahead for the best flavor and texture.
Easy Peach Crisp
Choose peaches that are ripe but still slightly firm to the touch.
Margarita Ice-Cream Sandwiches
Fresh lime zest and coarse sea salt mimic the flavors of a margarita in this treat that kids and adults will love.
Lemon-Earl Grey Squares
Lemon squares are a tried and true summer classic, but you know we've got to mix it up. Try these decidedly different sweet treats and you won't look back.
Double-Cherry Upside-Down Cake
Juices released from the fruit make for a moist cake. The batter comes to the top of the pan and threatens to spill over. It shouldn't, but just in case, bake on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Lemon Verbena Ice Cream
"I remember discovering lemon verbena one summer at the greenmarket in New York," says Chef Hatfield (Hatfield's, Los Angeles). "The smell is intoxicating, and it stays with you forever."
Watermelon-Jalapeño Ice Pops
The ice pop gets a decidedly grown-up spin: It’s made from fresh melon, chile, and lime—both juice and rind. A bit of pectin helps keep all the ingredients incorporated evenly; without it, they tend to separate.
Peach and Basil Shortcake
This company-worthy shortcake is both beautiful and delicious. We love the unexpected flavor that basil brings to the table.
Cool off with this adult sherbet, made with fresh cantaloupe, heavy cream, and vodka.
Blackberry Merlot Granita
"This reminds me of summer after catching lightning bugs," says Chef Myers (Comme Ça, Los Angeles). "My family would eat fresh-picked blackberries like candy after dinner as the sun was going down."
Bourbon Candied Cherries
Rustic Huckleberry-Blackberry Tart
If you can't find huckleberries, use blueberries.
Limoncello-Mint Sorbet with Fresh Blackberries
Limoncello is an Italian liqueur that can be mixed in a refreshing spritzer, but it truly stands out in this sorbet when paired with aromatic mint and fresh blackberries.
Seared Figs and White Peaches with Balsamic Reduction
Ripe figs and peaches have naturally high levels of sugar, which means they'll caramelize beautifully without additional sugar or copious amounts of fat. This simple yet elegant dessert is a great way to maintain the texture and floral flavors of these delicate fruits. Toasted whole black peppercorns add an interesting savory flavor to this dish.
Peach, Plum, and Apricot Crisp
Stone fruits work their magic with this dessert. Serve warm with vanilla low-fat ice cream.
Piña Colada Sorbet
Three kinds of coconut products—coconut water and milk and cream of coconut—offer the best flavor and texture. Look for coconut water by the fruit juices. For an adult treat, drizzle rum over your serving.
Fresh Cherry Galette
The galette looks and sounds fancy, but with its free-form shape, it's ridiculously easy. Rainier cherries have pale, creamy flesh and are larger and sweeter than Bing cherries. If you opt for another variety, add an extra tablespoon of sugar.
Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops
Juicy-tangy watermelon ice pops somehow taste more of melon than the fruit itself.
Gingered Blueberry Shortcake
Blueberries signal the arrival of summer's sweetest days, and this dessert highlights them perfectly. Crumbly shortbread and homemade whipped cream elevate a simple berry to a memorably indulgent treat. The components of this dish can be made in advance, then assembled just before serving.
You'll love these Chocolate-Mint Bars if you're a big fan of the thin chocolate-mint Girl Scout cookies or Andes candies. Refrigerating the bars allows the mint layer and glaze to set properly. For a more grown-up taste, you can substitute dark chocolate chips for some or all of the semisweet chocolate chips in the glaze.
Chocolate Cookie Ice-Cream Sandwiches
If you've ever bitten into an ice-cream sandwich only to feel cheated of cookie, these little rounds deliver what you've been missing.