20 Cool Summer Dessert Recipes

Beat the Heat With These No-Bake Sweet Treats

chocolate cheesecake no-bake

Diana Rattray / The Spruce

Let's face it—the last thing you want to do on a hot summer day is to cook anything in the oven. That doesn't mean you need to sacrifice delicious desserts. There are plenty of ways to make cool desserts, from using purchased cakes and toppings to cooking on the stovetop or in the microwave. For a quick chocolate craving, make a batch of no-bake cookies, which needs only one minute on the stovetop. Or make a sinfully sweet cheesecake or pie that needs no cooking at all.

If you are planning on entertaining, let your guests build their own shortcakes with purchased sponge cake, whipped topping and a variety of fresh sliced fruits and berries. Or bake biscuits on a cool day and keep some in the freezer for those quick shortcakes. Keep frozen fruit juice pops on hand for the kids, along with instant puddings and flavored gelatin for a dessert that can be put together without a sweat.

If you're short on time, soften a carton of store-bought vanilla or chocolate ice cream and add funfetti, chocolate chips, crumbled cookies, or bits of edible cookie dough. Mix your chosen ingredients into the softened ice cream and refreeze.

  • 01 of 20

    Frozen Blueberry Lemonade Pie

    Frozen Blueberry Lemonade Pie

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    Fresh blueberries give this frozen lemonade pie extra color and flavor. The pie takes just a few minutes to mix in a blender. Just freeze and eat! Blueberry lemonade pie is an ideal dessert for a hot summer day. 

  • 02 of 20

    Cookie Dough Pops

    cookie dough pops

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    The kids will love these no-bake cookie dough pops. Keep some cookie dough pops in the fridge for hot days or make them for a summer birthday party. 

  • 03 of 20

    Maple Walnut Ice Cream

    Maple Walnut Ice Cream With Maple Flakes

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    Pure maple syrup is the star ingredient in this rich walnut ice cream, and chopped nuts and maple sugar flakes add a bit of crunch. You will need to plan ahead for this recipe as the mixture needs to be refrigerated for 3 to 4 hours before it goes into the ice cream maker.

  • 04 of 20

    Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Pie

    Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Pie

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    This incredible frozen peanut butter cup pie is the perfect dessert or weekend treat for a hot summer day. The classic graham cracker pie shell and simple cream cheese and peanut butter filling take no more than 10 to 15 minutes to prepare—just mix, freeze and enjoy!

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Frozen Lemonade Pie

    Lemonade Pie

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    This easy lemonade pie is made with a three-ingredient filling. Use a purchased graham cracker crust to make assembly even quicker. This recipe is made with sweetened condensed milk but you can also make it with softened vanilla ice cream.

  • 06 of 20

    Peanut Butter Silk Pie

    Peanut Butter Silk Pie

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    This creamy peanut butter pie is a snap to throw together with a graham cracker crust, a thin layer of fudge and a cream cheese and peanut butter filling. Make this special and delicious dessert for any occasion.

  • 07 of 20

    Dole Whip

    Dole Whip

    Leah Maroney 

    This Hawaiian dessert just tastes like summer. Pineapple is blended with coconut milk and vanilla ice cream to create a refreshing, thick and creamy frozen treat. The recipe calls for frozen pineapple but feel free to use fresh if you have on hand.

  • 08 of 20

    Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

    Homemade Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (stracciatella)

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    This recipe for the popular chocolate chip ice cream is enhanced with vanilla bean paste and sugar cane syrup. You can use chocolate chips, but if you include shaved chocolate instead it will become more like stracciatella, the Italian gelato.

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  • 09 of 20

    Semifreddo

    Semifreddo

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    Semifreddo is an Italian ice cream recipe that doesn't require a special machine, so anyone can make it. Instead of churning, this Italian dessert is mixed and molded in a loaf pan then allowed to freeze. Finish it up with sliced almonds and serve it in slices.

  • 10 of 20

    Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars

    strawberry shortcake bars

     Leah Maroney

    Strawberry shortcake ice cream bars only take a few ingredients to make and a few hours of chill time. Adults and kids alike will love eating these festive, fruity popsicles.

  • 11 of 20

    Dirt Dessert

    Dirt Dessert Recipe

    Stephanie Gallagher / The Spruce

    Surprise the kids with this popular novelty dessert. Layered with whipped topping, pudding and chocolate cookie crumbs, these adorable dirt desserts are perfect for a summer birthday party or family gathering.

  • 12 of 20

    Mint Ice Cream

    mint ice cream

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni 

    Mint ice cream is a fun make-ahead dessert. Churn it in your ice cream maker, freeze it for a couple of hours, and it will be ready whenever you need it. Mint extract gives it a refreshing, cool flavor, while green food coloring produces its beautiful color. Add mini chocolate chips for extra flavor or a mint leaf garnish to dress up the bowl if you like.

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  • 13 of 20

    Chocolate Delight Dessert

    Chocolate Delight Layered Pudding Dessert

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    By using a store-bought graham cracker crust, you can assemble a chocolate delight dessert in no time without turning on the oven. Feel free to make your own variation by swapping the chocolate pudding for your favorite flavor, or add chopped candy bars or banana slices to the top.

  • 14 of 20

    Easy No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

    chocolate cheesecake no-bake

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    This simple chocolate cheesecake requires no oven time whatsoever. The filling includes melted chocolate chips, sugar, cream cheese, and butter, mixed with whipped topping and chilled in a graham cracker crust. 

  • 15 of 20

    Red, White and Blue Ice Cream

    Red White and Blue Ice Cream With Raspberry and Blueberry Jam

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    Don't wait for the Fourth of July to enjoy this fabulous ice cream. The vanilla ice cream is accented by swirls of raspberry sauce and blueberry jam to create a delicious and beautiful frozen treat.

  • 16 of 20

    Creamy Southern Buttermilk Ice Cream

    Buttermilk Ice Cream

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    Buttermilk might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of ice cream, but you'll be pleasantly surprised when you taste it. The tang of the buttermilk in the sweet, creamy ice cream is pure heaven. 

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  • 17 of 20

    10-Minute No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

    10 Minute No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    Just because it is summertime doesn't mean you can't have pumpkin! Treat your guests to this impressive but easy pumpkin pie. And it really takes only 10 minutes to prepare, especially if you use a store-bought graham cracker crust.

  • 18 of 20

    Nutella Pie

    Nutella Pie

    The Spruce Eats / Jessie Sheehan

    Nutella pie is a summertime dream. An impressive, chocolatey dessert that's worthy of potlucks and gatherings, it only takes a few moments to throw together. You don't even have to turn on the oven.

  • 19 of 20

    Easy Chocolate Bourbon Truffles

    chocolate truffles

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    Chocolate bourbon truffles are a breeze to fix with melted chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Feel free to leave the bourbon out or replace it with a liqueur fruit syrup.

  • 20 of 20

    No-Bake Cherry Cream Cheese Dessert

    no bake cherry dessert

    Diana Rattray / The Spruce

    It's hard to believe this delicious cream cheese dessert requires no cooking. The graham cracker crust is chilled, and then the cream cheese filling is added. Use purchased or homemade cherry pie filling in the recipe.