7 No-Bake Desserts for Your Memorial Day Barbecue
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, which means it’s also the start of barbecue season. If you’re planning on celebrating by grilling out, you’re going to want a dessert to finish off the meal. But who wants to spend a holiday weekend laboring over a hot oven? Enter no-bake desserts, which let you satisfy your sweet tooth without heating up your kitchen.
From grilled peaches and ice cream to a chocolaty icebox cake, here are seven recipes for no-bake desserts you and your guests will love.
1. Grilled Peach Melba
You cooked the burgers and brats on the grill, so why not dessert? Try this four-ingredient dessert recipe, which is easy to make and delicious. Just throw some halved peaches on the grill, mash some raspberries, and serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream. This recipe from Delish serves four.
- 2 large ripe peaches, sliced in half
- ½ pint raspberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ cups vanilla ice cream
Directions: Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling on medium.
Place peach halves on hot grill grate and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly charred and tender, turning over once.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce: In bowl, with fork, mash half the raspberries with sugar. Stir in remaining raspberries.
To serve, place a peach half in each of 4 dessert bowls; top with ice cream and raspberry sauce.
2. Homemade Ice Cream in a Can
You don’t need a special appliance — or a lot of ingredients — to make homemade ice cream, just a couple of empty coffee cans or other containers that can nest inside each other. To churn, all you need to do is roll the can back and forth, making this a fun recipe for kids, who will enjoy making this sweet treat as much as they do eating it. Recipe from Home Cooking Memories.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup whipping cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Optional add-ins: chopped nuts, crushed Heath bars or other candies, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, chopped berries or fruits, etc.
- Rock Salt
- 1 (12- to 16-ounce) coffee can with lid
- 1 (2- to 3-pound) coffee can with lid
- Duct Tape
Directions: Add the milk, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla to the smaller coffee can and mix to combine. Add any additional ingredients, like chocolate chips or chopped nuts, and stir. (If using fruit, add it later.) Wipe the outside of the can dry, then secure the lid with duct tape.
Place the smaller can inside the larger can. Fill most of the remaining space in the large can with crushed ice. When the can is nearly full, sprinkle in ¾ cup of rock salt. Place the lid on the can, wipe off any moisture from the sides, and secure the lid with duct tape.
Roll the can back and forth on the floor for 15 minutes. Open the large can and remove the smaller can. Open the second can and scrape any ice cream that’s started to form down the sides. Add in fruit, if using. Cover the can, dry the outside, and re-secure the lid with duct tape. (You may need to wrap the tape entirely around the can to get it to stick.)
Drain the water from the large can. Place the small can inside the large can and fill again with ice and rock salt. Secure the lid and roll back and forth on the floor for another 15 minutes.
Remove the small can from the large can. Scrape the ice cream down the sides. Serve the ice cream right away (it will be soft) or freeze to eat later.
3. Triple Berry No-Bake Cheesecake
Preparing a homemade cheesecake doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You only need 20 minutes to prep this berry-filled no-bake dessert recipe from Taste of Home. The cheesecake does need to be refrigerated overnight, though, so be sure to plan ahead so it’s ready to serve come barbecue time.
For the crust:
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
For the filling:
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
For the topping:
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Directions: In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Gradually add cream; beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer to prepared crust. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
In a bowl, gently toss berries with sugar. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes or until juices are released from berries.
With a knife, loosen sides of cheesecake from pan; remove rim. Serve cheesecake with berry topping.
4. Chocolate-Covered Bananas
Kids and adults will love this fun dessert, which is easy to make and easy to eat. Plus, bananas are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and B-6, so you don’t need to feel quite so guilty when you reach for a second one. Recipe from the Food Network’s Ellie Krieger.
- 4 medium ripe but firm bananas
- 8 wooden craft sticks
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped lightly salted peanuts
- 6 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60% to 70% cocoa solids), chopped
Directions: Peel, then cut each banana in half crosswise and insert a craft stick into each half. Place on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until frozen, about 3 hours.
Place the peanuts in a shallow dish or on a plate. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over slightly simmering water, over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently. Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the top pan. Pour the melted chocolate into a tall glass. Dip each frozen banana into the chocolate, turning it to coat, and immediately roll in the peanuts. Place on a tray covered in waxed paper. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap or waxed paper and freeze for up to 2 weeks.
5. Icebox Cake
Making a delicious cake for your Memorial Day barbecue doesn’t have to be complicated. This no-bake dessert recipe from Smitten Kitchen (adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook) has just five ingredients. Simply layer chocolate wafers with homemade whipped cream and let set overnight. The next day, you’ll have a pretty dessert to serve to your guests without ever having to turn on the oven.
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies
- Unsweetened cocoa or chocolate shavings for garnish
Directions: Add cream, sugar, and vanilla to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
Arrange 7 chocolate wafer cookies in a circle on a flat plate, keeping 1 cookie in the center. The edges of the cookies should touch each other, but they shouldn’t overlap.
Spread cookies with ½ cup whipped cream, making a 7-inch circle. Continue to create layers of cookies and cream until you have 11 layers of cookies (you will probably have some cookies leftover). Top with a final layer of cream. Cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving, lightly dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.
6. Easy Key Lime Pie
A slice of light and refreshing key lime pie is the perfect way to cap off your Memorial Day barbecue. You only need five ingredients to create this tasty no-bake dessert. Using a store-bought pie crust and frozen limeade concentrate (rather than squeezing all those little key limes yourself) makes preparing this dish a breeze. Recipe from Real Simple.
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate (not thawed)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 (6-ounce) graham cracker piecrust
- Zest of 1 lime
Directions: Place the condensed milk, limeade concentrate, and cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until fluffy and soft peaks form.
Pour the filling into the piecrust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until chilled and loosely set, at least 4 hours (and up to overnight).
Sprinkle the pie with the zest before serving.
7. No-Bake Fudgy Brownies
Yes, you can have yummy, fudgy brownies for dessert without having to turn on your oven. This flourless recipe from Eggless Cooking produces a dense, ultra-rich brownie that chocolate lovers (and pretty much everyone else) will love. And with only five ingredients and minimal prep work required, you’ll be able to spend less time cooking and more time enjoying your holiday weekend.
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 (1-ounce) squares chopped unsweetened chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons chocolate cookie crumbs, such as Oreo baking crumbs
- ¼ cup small M&Ms or nuts for topping (optional)
Directions: Grease 8-inch square baking pan or line with wax paper, parchment paper, or lightly greased aluminum foil.
Add the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate to a medium saucepan. Turn heat to low and cook and stir mixture is just boiling. Reduce heat and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla.
Add 2 cups of cookie crumbs to the chocolate and milk mixture. Poor into prepared pan, forming an even layer. Sprinkle brownies with remaining cookie crumbs, as well as the M&Ms or nuts. Gently press down on the batter with a spatula.
Cover the brownies and transfer pan to refrigerator. Chill for 4 hours or until firm. Cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to eat. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.