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52 Simple Refreshing Summer Dessert Ideas

Make one of these sweet treats and get in the hammock, y'all!

By Erin Cavoto and Beth Branch
summer dessertspinterest icon
Hector M. Sanchez

There are so many cool, creamy, and fruity desserts to enjoy in the summertime!

There's ice cream sandwiches and no-bake desserts. There's homemade popsicles and simple frozen sorbet. And don't even get us started on cooking with summer fruits. From pies to crumbles to cobblers—we could go on and on.

Whether you're looking for summer desserts for parties, something to put in a cup and eat by the pool, or a big layered summer dessert just for the heck of it, we've got the best ideas right here!


Blueberry-Lemon Loaf Cake

blueberry lemon loaf with lemon glaze and fresh blueberries and pansies on top for garnish
Becky Luigart-Stayner

This pretty loaf cake is easy to assemble, and cooks (and cools) largely on its own. But the real clincher is the floral topping, which takes it from an everyday snack to a summer treat worthy of any celebration, occasion, or get-together.

Get the recipe for Blueberry-Lemon Loaf Cake.


Brandied Cherry-and-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

three scoops of brandied cherry and chocolate chunk ice cream in two purple bowls with spoons
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Studded with fresh sweet cherries and chunks of chocolate, this ice cream will be on rotation all summer long! Leave out the brandy to make it kid-friendly!

Get the recipe for Brandied Cherry-and-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream.


Any Fruit Crisp

strawberry fruit crisp in a rectangle baking dish with a spoon for serving
Becky Luigart-Stayner

If you love all those delicious summer berries and fruits, you'll love this easy fruit crisp. This easy-peasy recipe works with whatever's in season—or in the fridge.

Get the recipe for Any Fruit Crisp.

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Strawberry-Lemonade Angel Pie

strawberry lemonade angel pie with a meringue shell and tipped with whipped cream sliced strawberries and lemon zest
Becky Luigart-Stayner

A delicious gluten-free option for summer parties, this refreshing and lemony pie starts with a light meringue shell and is topped with plenty of whipped cream and fresh berries.

Get the recipe for Strawberry-Lemonade Angel Pie.


Raspberry and Pistachio Semifreddo

raspberry and pistachio semifreddo on a white serving plate and topped with fresh raspberries and mint leaves
Brian Woodcock

This easy, creamy, fruity frozen-mousse dessert is like a more airy, lighter ice cream cake — and it's gluten-free!

Get the recipe for Raspberry and Pistachio Semifreddo.


Hot Chocolate Ice Box Pie

hot chocolate icebox pie topped with whipped cream chocolate curls and mini marshmallows
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Enjoy your favorite winter beverage as a cool and creamy pie that's perfect for summer! Don't forget to add plenty of mini marshmallows on top.

Get the recipe for Hot Chocolate Ice Box Pie.

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Blueberry Whoopie Pies

blueberry whoopie pies on a white plate on a table outside
Brian Woodcock

These soft, tender treats are filled with sweet fruit and mascarpone, for a kid-friendly sweet that adults will love too.

Get the recipe for Blueberry Whoopie Pies.


Raspberry Crumb Bars

raspberry crumb bars stacked on a plate decorated with ribbons
Brian Woodcock

These bake-sale blue-ribbon staples are perfect keep-around treats. Bake a big batch and leave them on the counter for summer afternoon snacks.

Get the recipe for Raspberry Crumb Bars.


Strawberry-Almond Crumble Pie

strawberry almond crumble pie in a white pie dish on a picnic table and topped with three scoops of vanilla ice cream
Hector M. Sanchez

Get your strawberry fix courtesy of this crowd-pleasing pie that features a jam-like filling. This is one recipe you'll be making all summer on repeat!

Get the recipe for Strawberry-Almond Crumble Pie.

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Campfire-Grilled Pineapple Upside Down Cake

campfire grilled pineapple upside down loaf cake on a sheet of crumpled foil
Becky Luigart-Stayner

This loaf cake just might be the easiest dessert of the summer! The secret is that it starts with store bought pound cake. Grilled pineapples and an easy-to-make glaze come together quickly—and then whole deal gets well caramelized, either over hot coals or on the grill.

Get the recipe for Campfire-Grilled Pineapple Upside Down Cake.


Rainbow Waffle Sandwiches

rainbow waffle ice cream sandwiches on a light blue dish in a container with ice
Brian Woodcock

Whip up these genius waffle sandwiches for your next summer party, or anytime you need a no-bake dessert. They keep well in the freezer!

Get the recipe for Rainbow Waffle Sandwiches.


Cucumber-Key Lime Pie

cucumber key lime pie topped with whipped cream and cucumber slices and lime zest
Brian Woodcock

A Key lime pie is the ultimate summer dessert, especially this one that uses cucumbers for a subtle and refreshing twist.

Get the recipe for Cucumber-Key Lime Pie.

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Brandied Strawberry Shortcakes with Malted Whipped Cream

brandied strawberry shortcakes with malted whipped cream on plates with forks
Becky Luigart-Stayner

This classic summer dessert is enhanced with brandy-marinated strawberries and malted milk powder in the whipped cream. They're a delicious treat for any summer gathering or cookout!

Get the recipe for Brandied Strawberry Shortcakes with Malted Whipped Cream.


Blackberry Tart

blackberry tart topped with blackberries and mint leaves for garnish
Brian Woodcock

For a refreshing summer night treat, try this blackberry tart that uses an extra-creamy mascarpone-based filling.

Get the recipe for Blackberry Tart.


Chamomile-Mascarpone Tart with Fresh Strawberries

mascarpone strawberry tart topped with fresh strawberries and chamomile flowers for garnish

Make this elegant tart with a heaping topping of fresh strawberries for a summer garden party.

Get the recipe for Chamomile-Mascarpone Tart.

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Rocky Road Pie

a slice of rocky road pie on a white plate and topped with whipped cream chopped peanuts and chocolate curls
Brian Woodcock

Chocolate lovers will adore this summer pie! Keep this cold chocolate delight in the fridge, and do your absolute best to make it last until after dinner.

Get the recipe for Rocky Road Pie.


Blackberry Coconut Tart

rectangle blackberry coconut tart topped with fresh blackberries and lime zest
Brian Woodcock

We've also made a coconut-y version of our popular blackberry tart. We can't decide which we like better!

Get the recipe for Blackberry Coconut Tart.


Peach Cobbler Ice Cream

and ice cream scoop filled with a scoop of peach cobbler ice cream
Jennifer Davick

Enjoy a creamy, ice-cold version of the classic Southern dessert.

Get the recipe for Peach Cobbler Ice Cream.

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Peach Upside-Down Cake

peach upside down cake on a white plate with a slice on a small plate next to it with a dollop of whipped cream
Emily Dorio

Almost magically simple to make, upside-down cakes make the most of caramel and fruit flavors. This bourbon-y peach version is full of Southern charm and great for outdoor gatherings, or simply as a weeknight summer dessert.

Get the recipe for Peach Upside-Down Cake.


Cherries Jubilee Ice Cream

a scoop of cherries jubilee ice cream in an ice cream scooper
Jennifer Davick

Take advantage of summer cherries! This sweet, fruity ice cream pairs perfectly with chocolate topping.

Get the recipe for Cherries Jubilee Ice Cream.

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