Cookout season has officially arrived. While burgers and hot dogs always taste good, the desserts are really what people love. But turning on the oven in warm weather isn’t really that appealing. That doesn’t mean you have to resort to plain scoops of ice cream or packaged cookies, though. There’s a whole world of decadent treats you can make that don’t require heating up your kitchen. We’ve found eight of the most impressive no bake dessert recipes out there to impress any party crowd. You won’t even break a sweat.
1. Topless Blueberry Pie
Whoever came up with the saying “easy as pie” has clearly never baked one of the fruit-filled desserts before, because they can be quite challenging. Often, the underside of the crust turns out soggy, and the filling is either way too thick or completely runny. This blueberry version from Allrecipes.com solves both problems by separating the two components, which yields better results and an easier preparation. Purchasing a baked pastry shell means you can avoid all the difficulty of rolling and transferring dough to a pie plate, and risk the dreaded shrunken crust.
To make the filling, just thicken some sweetened blueberries over the stove with a little bit of cornstarch. Pour it into the crust, and let it cool. If you’d like a topping on your pie, sprinkle on some almond granola for a sweet crunch. Vanilla ice cream also makes a nice addition.
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 (9-inc) prebaked pie crust
Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water and 1 cup blueberries. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat, until thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Add butter, and stir to combine. Cool for about 5 minutes, then add remaining berries.
Pour filling into crust, and chill for 2 to 4 hours. Serve.
2. No Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake
While delicious, strawberry shortcake is kind of a predictable dessert when the little red fruits arrive at the market. Impress your friends with Cakescottage’s towering icebox cake filled with berries, graham crackers, plenty of whipped cream, and some sliced banana. It’s no more work than whipping some cream with a little bit of powdered sugar, and then layering everything together. The secret to icebox cake is time. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours so the crackers have time to soften and absorb all of the great flavors. To really send this dessert over the top, drizzle with a bit of chocolate sauce.
- 19 ounces graham crackers
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries, plus more
- 3½ cups heavy cream
- 1 banana, thinly sliced
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions: Whip cream with powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl of s stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until mixture just holds stiff peaks. Spread a thin layer of cream into bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan. Layer in 7 graham crackers in bottom, breaking as needed.
Spread a relatively thick layer of cream on top of crackers, then top with a layer of strawberries. Add another layer of crackers, then cream, followed by bananas. Repeat another layer of crackers, then strawberries, then cream. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight, until crackers have softened. Garnish with additional strawberries. Serve.
3. Easy No Bake Key Lime Pie
Citrus lovers know that many desserts starring these mouth-puckering fruits call for making a curd. Though those custards taste great, they can be hard to get right. Skip the frustration and make this no-frills lime pie from Heart Love Always. A simple filling made with cream cheese, lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk goes right into a purchased graham cracker crust. While any variety of the green citrus will do, go for key limes if you can find them. They pack a seriously sour punch that the standard grocery store ones just can’t match.
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces key lime juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 premade graham cracker pie crust
- Lime zest
- Whipped cream
Directions: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with sweetened condensed milk using a hand mixer. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Add lime juice, and mix on lowest speed to incorporate. Beat until creamy.
Pour filling into crust, and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and lime zest. Serve.
4. No Bake Lemon Raspberry Meltaways
In the world of flavor combinations, lemon and raspberry is definitely a standout for desserts. It’s unlikely you’ll find too many people who don’t love this sweet-tart combo, so these buttery bars from Lemon Tree Dwelling are a great choice for summer barbecues or potlucks. And with so much flavor, no one will guess just how easy they are to make.
Grind up some lemon sandwich cookies with butter, then press the mixture into a pan. The filling is basically a frosting that’s filled with fresh berries, plus a little bit of jam to drive the flavor home. Spread it onto the chilled crust, then send it back to the fridge to chill out.
- 20 packaged lemon sandwich cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened, divided
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup fresh raspberries
- 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves or jam
- Zest of 2 lemons
Directions: Using a food processor, grind cookies into fine crumbs. Add ¼ cup butter, and blend to combine. Press mixture into an 8-by-8-inch pan. Refrigerate until firm.
In large mixing bowl, combine remaining butter, powdered sugar, berries, preserves, and lemon zest using a hand mixer. Beat on high speed until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Spread over chilled crust. Chill until set. Slice and serve.
5. Peanut Butter Pie Parfaits
When you’re looking for the perfect dessert to serve at your next dinner party, look no further than these creamy peanut butter parfaits from Inside BruCrew Life. The creamy mousse is nothing more than cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and some whipped topping. Layer it in glasses with cookie crumbs, peanut butter cups, and an easy ganache. Top off each glass with a dollop of whipped topping and a final sprinkle of chopped peanut butter cups. Even friends who insist they’re too full for dessert will change their minds once they get a look.
- 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups whipped topping, divided
- 2 cups chopped peanut butter cups
Directions: Divide cookie crumbs among 4 large serving glasses. Set aside. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and add chocolate chips. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter with cream cheese to combine. Add powdered sugar, and beat until combined. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping using a rubber spatula.
Layer peanut butter filing, chocolate sauce, and peanut butter cups in glasses two times each. Top with additional whipped topping and peanut butter cups. Chill. Serve cold.
6. Berry Trifle
Something about a bowl brimming with layers of cream, berries, and cake just seems so festive. This decadent trifle from Tyler Florence, featured on Food Network, shows just how simple making a showstopping dessert can be. It uses purchased pound cake and jarred lemon curd to deliver incredible flavor with hardly any work. Most of the work comes from slicing the strawberries and whipping some cream. And this recipe can easily adapt to the seasons. Just use whatever fruit is in season, and feel free to play with different varieties of curd. We love a combination of diced mango and kiwi with lime curd and a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes.
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled, and sliced
- 2 pints raspberries
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 quart whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 (11-ounce) jar lemon curd
- 1 purchased pound cake, sliced ½-inch thick
Directions: Place berries into a large bowl, and sprinkle with half of lemon juice. Toss lightly. Add to a saucepan with sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Set over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook just until berries begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool
In a large bowl, whip cream with sugar and vanilla until mixture holds soft peaks. Put lemon curd into a second bowl, lighten with a bit of whipped cream. Fold in all remaining whipped cream.
Spoon a layer of lemon cream into bottom of large glass bowl. Add a layer of pound cake, breaking slices to fit. Soak cake with layer of berries and juices. Repeat 3 or 4 more times, finishing with cream. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Serve.
7. Chocolate Pecan Ice Cream Torte
People might not actually scream for ice cream, but they definitely love it. According to The Daily Beast, the average Americans puts away a whopping 48 pints of the frozen confection every year. With numbers like that, you can nearly guarantee smiling faces when you serve up this chocolate and caramel creation from Taste of Home. Press a cookie crust into the bottom of a pan, layer in two kinds of ice cream, a chocolate caramel sauce, and some toasted pecans. After spending a day in the freezer, it’ll be ready to eat. To make serving as easy as possible, run a knife under hot water before slicing.
- 1 (14-ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping
- 2 (1.55-ounce) milk chocolate bars, chopped
- 12 pecan shortbread cookies, crushed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup pecan halves, toasted, divided
- ½ gallon butter pecan ice cream, slightly softened
- ½ gallon chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
Directions: Heat caramel stopping and chocolate bars in a microwave on high 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of a greased 10-inch springform pan. Chop ½ cup pecans.
Spread half of butter pecan ice cream over crust, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce, and sprinkle with ¼ cup chopped pecans. Spread half of chocolate ice cream on top. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons sauce, and sprinkle with remaining chopped pecans.
Spoon remaining butter pecan ice cream around edge of pan, spread remaining chocolate ice cream in center. Cover and freeze overnight. Store remaining sauce in refrigerator.
To remove from pan, run knife around edge to loosen before removing rim. Warm sauce until thin enough to drizzle. Garnish tort with remaining pecans, and drizzle with sauce. Serve, passing additional sauce on side.
8. Peach Tarts with Ginger and Coconut
If the thought of a vegan dessert makes you shudder, then you’ve never seen these delicious peach tarts from The Kitchn, adapted from a recipe in Amber Shea Crawley’s Practically Raw Desserts. While there are a few different components, the preparation is still really easy. The crust comes together after just a few minutes in the food processor. Press into tart pans, and let them chill. Whisk together a filling made from coconut butter, non-dairy milk, and a little bit of ginger juice. Slice up some peaches, drizzle with lemon juice, and arrange on top of the tarts. Though a flower-like design is gorgeous, feel free to arrange the fruit however you’d like.
- ⅔ cup sunflower seeds
- ⅓ cup ground flax seeds
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup chopped pitted dates
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- ¼ cup coconut butter
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon ginger juice
- 3 to 4 ripe peaches
- Lemon juice
Directions: In a food processor, pulse sunflower seeds, flax seeds, coconut, and salt until finely ground. Add dates and ginger, and process until combined and sticky. Press mixture into 4 miniature tart pans. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or freeze for 2 hours. Remove shells from pans.
Combine coconut butter, milk, and ginger juice in a small bowl, and whisk until smooth. Divide cream among shells, spreading evenly.
Thinly slice peaches, and drizzle with lemon juice. Arrange peaches on top of tarts. Serve. Store tightly wrapped in refrigerator.