Cool Summer Dessert Recipes | Midwest Living

Cool Summer Dessert Recipes

Our 36 recipes for summertime sweets offer ideas for ice cream desserts, refreshing pies, frozen drinks, summer-inspired cakes, fruity bar cookies and more.

Rhubarb Bars

Cooks in the Midwest's Red River Valley learned early to take advantage of rhubarb. The tangy, celerylike ingredient grows well in a region where strawberries seldom thrive. This recipe comes from RBJ's Restaurant in Crookston, Minnesota.

Rhubarb Bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Biggies

Our chewy, saucer-size cookie is delicious by itself, but for a warm-weather treat, it makes generous ice cream sandwiches when filled with tiny scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Biggies

Chocolatey Frozen-Mint Dessert

This refreshing make-ahead dish from a Witten, South Dakota, reader combines a chocolate graham cracker crust with chocolate chip mint ice cream and a homemade chocolate sauce. Try different combinations of ice cream and crust for your own dessert invention.

Chocolatey Frozen-Mint Dessert

Choose-a-Fruit Fools

No one knows how fools (a centuries-old blend of whipped cream and fruit) got their playful name. Maybe it's because, with just 4 ingredients, you'd be foolish not to make one!

Choose-a-Fruit Fools 

Berries Romanoff

This easy recipe makes a refreshing dessert-- perfect for a brunch or light dinner. It's also a good make-ahead recipe for entertaining; prepare the sour-cream sauce the day before your party, and then just layer the sauce and fruit in parfait glasses before serving.

Berries Romanoff

Black Forest Freezer Pie

This layered dessert combines cream cheese, powdered sugar and whipped dessert topping over vanilla ice cream in a graham cracker crust. When you're ready to serve the pie, spoon on cherry pie filling, and drizzle with fudge topping. The recipe is from Friske's Farm Market near Ellsworth, Michigan.

Black Forest Freezer Pie

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Hopkins, Minnesota, calls itself America's Raspberry Capital and hosts an annual Raspberry Festival -- including a cooking contest. One entry was this recipe for Raspberry Cheesecake Bars, which combines layers of cheesecake and raspberry filling in an almond crust.

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

60-Second Video: Summer Cupcakes

Create simple summer-inspired cupcakes using fresh seasonal produce and icing. If you want to go that extra mile, grab some graham crackers, cookies, Fruit Roll-Ups and icing to fashion a unique beach scene.

S'more Pie a la Marshmallow Creme

Cream cheese brings body and richness to so-chocolatey mousse filling. More wow comes from the blend of marshmallow creme and creme de cacao draped over the top.

S'more Pie a la Marshmallow Creme

Ice Cream Cookie Cake

We created Ice Cream Cookie Cake in honor of Indiana, the top ice cream-producing state in the Midwest. You can mix and match cookies and ice cream to make this frosty, no-bake treat that's also an easy make-ahead dessert.

Ice Cream Cookie Cake

Peanut Butter-Fudge Pie

This make-ahead dessert is an ice cream/peanut butter/fudge delight created by a Waukesha, Wisconsin, reader, who likes to take it to potlucks. You can double the recipe to fill a 13x9pan and cut into squares to feed a crowd.

Peanut Butter-Fudge Pie

Peach Upside-Down Cake

The family behind Illinois' Rendleman Orchards has amassed some great peach recipes in 135 years of growing peaches. This cake is no exception. Peach slices and brown sugar form a moist base for the tender, square cake -- and when flipped over, that base becomes the topping.

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Mocha Floats

The coffee-chocolate blend in this drink is refreshingly cool, especially when topped with scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Jana Beykirch of Pittsburg, Kansas, doubles this recipe to make a summer punch. The amounts we give will make about 10 individual floats.

Mocha Floats

Double Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate chips and cookie crumbs layer with chocolate and vanilla ice creams in this make-ahead dessert from Lynda Slowey of Dubuque, Iowa. Whipped topping is an easy last-minute frosting.

Double Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Lemon-Cream Cheese Pie

This creamy lemon pie is a signature dessert at Al's Oasis, a family restaurant along the east bank of the Missouri River in Chamberlain, South Dakota (135 miles east of Rapid City).

Lemon-Cream Cheese Pie

Pistachio Pavlova with Fresh Berries

Mildly nutty meringue cradles fresh berries in this classic dessert named for a ballerina. Use your favorite nut to flavor the meringue. Our Test Kitchen recommends pistachios, almonds or pecans. Any fruit works: blueberries, kiwi, bananas.

Pistachio Pavlova with Fresh Berries

Rhubarb Crunch

Similar to an apple brown betty or fruit crisp, this dessert has a cinnamon topping that blends graham cracker crumbs and pecans with sugar, butter and bread crumbs.

Rhubarb Crunch

Ice Cream Waffle Sundaes

This treat, which starts with giant waffle ice cream cones, is easy to make but impressive to serve. It's a sweet ending for any special dinner.

Ice Cream Waffle Sundaes

Iced Cocoa

You don't have to set aside hot cocoa comfort in the summer just because the temperature climbs. We mixed up a cocoa concentrate, then added ice, flavorings and whipped topping or ice cream to create a comfort cooler.

Iced Cocoa

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Sundae Cake

Several states claim to be the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. Since the Buckeye State makes a good case, we created the Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Sundae Cake as a tribute to Ohio. Four layers of baked white cake get sandwiched in ice cream layers in favorite sundae flavors: strawberry, pineapple and chocolate-banana. A whipped topping frosting crowns the cherry-topped dessert.

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Sundae Cake

Summer Daiquiri Shortcakes

This elegant but simple dessert comes from Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mixing fresh berries with strawberry daiquiri mix is the secret to the flavorful sauce.

Summer Daiquiri Shortcakes

Summer Breeze Lime Pie

A combination of lime flavors (lime curd, lime zest and lime juice) plus a sweet-and-salty crust using pretzels gives this pie a perfect tang.

Summer Breeze Lime Pie

Raspberry Swirl Angel Food Cake

A subtle swirl of fresh raspberries infuses this homemade angel food cake with light fruit flavor. Like all angel food cakes, it has no fat or cholesterol.

Raspberry Swirl Angel Food Cake

Vanilla Cake Batter Ice Cream

You can choose from three variations on this mixture that goes in a 1 1/2 quart ice cream freezer: vanilla cake, birthday cake or chocolate cake. They all use only a handful of ingredients. Our picture (left) shows the vanilla cake batter ice cream between chocolate wafers, topped with curls of white chocolate.

Vanilla Cake Batter Ice Cream

Blueberry Almond Bars

At the Marshall County Fair's annual Blueberry Bake-A-Rama in Plymouth, Indiana, Lori Van Der Weele took home the Grand Champion award with this recipe that combines blueberries, butter, white baking pieces and almonds.

Blueberry Almond Bars

Ice Cream Chocolate Shell

This super-easy homemade ice cream topping doesn't harden quite as fast as that magical store-bought stuff, but it packs a lot more chocolate flavor. Plus, it's totally customizable with different flavors of chips! Store it in the pantry to zap in the microwave whenever you want to crack your spoon into something delicious.

Ice Cream Chocolate Shell

Caribbean Milk Shake

This super-easy recipe comes from Ferrin's Fruit Winery in Carmel, Indiana. Ferrin's uses its award-winning Tropical Breeze wine for the pina colada-like summer shake, but we substituted a wine cooler for those who can't stop at the winery.

Caribbean Milk Shake

Bananas a la Mexican

Purchased pound cake and canned whipped cream help this dessert go together fast. Bake the dessert topping in the oven instead of on the rangetop so you don't have to tend it as it cooks.

Bananas a la Mexican

To Each His Own Baked Alaska

This classic dessert goes together easily, but looks so impressive. Find the meringue powder in your supermarket's baking section or at stores carrying cake-decorating supplies.

To Each His Own Baked Alaska

Peach Crisp Parfait

Layer dessert parfaits with the best of the season: juicy, fresh peaches and ice cream topped with fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream.

Peach Crisp Parfait

Blueberry Ice Cream

Blueberry ice cream is just one of the attractions that draw people to the Blueberry/Art Festival held each year in Ely, Minnesota. Here's our version.

Blueberry Ice Cream

Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Whipped cream and raspberries crown easy Raspberry Upside-Down Cake, from a Hopkins, Minnesota, reader.

Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Blueberry Smoothies

Blueberries lend a purple tinge to this blender beverage based on vanilla yogurt. It's from Indiana's Marshall County Blueberry Festival.

Blueberry Smoothies

Tropical Fruit Freeze

This slushy ice tastes like a sweet snowball. Just freeze the ingredients together in a container. Then let it stand at room temperature 30 to 60 minutes before scraping off the icy mix.

Tropical Fruit Freeze

Rhubarb Bars

Cooks in the Midwest's Red River Valley learned early to take advantage of rhubarb. The tangy, celerylike ingredient grows well in a region where strawberries seldom thrive. This recipe comes from RBJ's Restaurant in Crookston, Minnesota.

Rhubarb Bars

Family Favorite Chocolate Sauce

Ice cream with warm, homemade chocolate sauce can be the ultimate dessert. This recipe is from the Warren family of Stanley, Kansas.

Family Favorite Chocolate Sauce

Chocolate Cherry Mini Cheesecakes

Vanilla wafers make instant crusts for these individual cheesecakes. Top with chocolate shavings or small whole or sliced strawberries, if you like.

Chocolate Cherry Mini Cheesecakes

Comments (0)

Loading comments...

Add Your Comment