32 No-Bake Desserts to Add to Your Summer Lineup
Summer in the South can be described in two words: hot and humid. How many times have we heard the saying, “It’s not the heat that gets you. It’s the humidity,” and nodded in agreement, hand fan flapping? Enough times to know that the last thing we want to do on a hot summer’s day is turn on the oven, especially when the AC is already working on overdrive as it is. (Not to mention, our cakes and candies don’t always cooperate when the humidity level is high.)
That’s where these easy no-bake desserts come in handy. Since giving up sweets just isn’t an option, we’d rather combat the dog days of summer with icebox cakes, ice cream pies, and homemade sundaes. We’re making use of all the freshest fruits that summer has to offer, and we’re recreating old-fashioned treats with a no-cook twist. Check out these 30 best no-bake desserts to add to your summer lineup.
No-Bake Key Lime Icebox Cake
Recipe: Key Lime Icebox Cake
If you’re searching for the perfect summertime dessert to enjoy by the beach, look no further! This Key Lime Ice Box Cake is sure to be a cool and satisfying treat for all of your party guests; it’s complete with a lusciously tart key lime curd, a buttery graham cracker crust, and a rich whipped cream topping. Dessert lovers everywhere will appreciate the layers of tangy-sweet flavors. Want to know best part? This Key lime delight packs just enough pucker to offset the heat of summer. Garnish the cake with anything your heart desires. Lime zest, shaved coconut, and freshly sliced key limes are all fantastic options. It’s a great time of year to make this tasty treat because Key limes are in season, and what’s better than a cake complete with fresh citrus fruit? Plus, this dessert is so easy to make; no baking necessary! So, grab your sunglasses and swimsuit and get ready to experience the satisfying moment when you taste this impressive Key Lime Ice Box Cake while lounging by the pool.
To begin, simply mix the sugar, cornstarch, and kosher salt in a heavy saucepan, while separately whisking your eggs and hand-and-half in another bowl. Next, gradually pour your egg mixture into your sugar mixture, and bring it all to a boil over a medium heat while stirring constantly. Boil for about one minute, and then remove the mixture from the heat. After that’s complete, be sure to stir in your butter and Key lime zest until it’s all blended. Then, slowly whisk in the Key lime juice until it’s all combined nicely. Pour all of your mixed ingredients into a metal bowl, and then place it on ice. Lastly, just let your fixings stand for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened. No one will ever know how little time you spent on this glorious Southern treat.
Strawberry-Banana Pudding Icebox Cake
We combined two Southern favorites—strawberry cake and banana pudding—into a cool and creamy icebox cake that's perfect for hot summer days.
No-Bake Peanut Butter-Fudge Ice-Cream Pie
Say hello to your new favorite no-bake dessert. From the creamy filling to the crunchy crust, this mile-high peanut butter pie is nothing to be messed with.
Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice-Cream Pie
A slice of this fruity pie is the perfect treat for summer in the South.
Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Milkshake
You might think you already know how to make a chocolate milkshake (and, chances are, you do) but ours takes a special combination of classic ingredients and blends them to perfection.
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
Recipe: Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
Be prepared for sugar-crazed hysteria when the kids see this fun summertime treat.
Strawberry Lemonade Pie
Recipe: Strawberry Lemonade Pie
Even better: We made this recipe using store-bought ingredients. Because sometimes, it's too hot to bake or make from scratch. The end result is bright, sweet, and relentlessly refreshing.
Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie
Recipe: Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie
We'd cool off with this classic fruity pie any day.
Fresh Strawberry Milkshake
Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Milkshake
We love to put strawberries in pies, cakes, and jam, but sometimes we just want that fresh, sweet flavor without the wait.
Peanut Butter Pie Milk Shake
Recipe: Peanut Butter Pie Milk Shake
We all love peanut butter pie, but have you ever met its cooler cousin? This peanut butter pie milkshake is to-die-for. Drizzle the sides of the glass with chocolate syrup for some flair.
Recipe: Millionaire Pie
If you haven't heard of this slightly gelatinous Southern pie, please let us introduce you.
Key Lime Ice-Cream Pie
Recipe: Key Lime Ice-Cream Pie
If it's possible to make classic Key lime pie even more summer-worthy, we did it. This frozen ice-cream pie tastes like vacation.
Recipe: Strawberry-Mango Semifreddo
This six-ingredient recipe couldn’t be prettier or easier. It's a little dressier than a plain bowl of ice cream and bursting with the flavors and colors of the season.
Lemon Meringue Ice-Cream Pie
Recipe: Lemon Meringue Ice-Cream Pie
Homemade lemon curd and fluffy meringue make a heavenly duo, don't you think?
Rebecca's Black Bottom Icebox Pie
By "black bottom," we mean a decadent chocolate wafer crust. That's enough to sell us on this no-bake chocolate dessert.
Recipe: Raspberry-Limeade Granita
Think raspberry limeade—but in slushie form. Tip: Add your favorite alcohol for a slushy, spirited treat.
Banana Pudding Milk Shake
Recipe: Banana Pudding Milk Shake
If you have bananas, vanilla bean ice cream, and vanilla wafers, you're in business. Create this summer treat in just 10 minutes.
Peach Icebox Cake
Recipe: Peach Icebox Cake
We'll take any reason to use up our fresh summer peaches, but especially one that’s also no-bake, like this beauty.
Putt’s Butter Pecan Sundae
Recipe: Putt’s Butter Pecan Sundae
There's nothing like a family recipe for rich, creamy butter pecan ice cream sundaes. You're welcome.
Key Lime Icebox Cake
Recipe: Key Lime Icebox Cake
This layered, limey dream makes a fitting dessert for the summer cookout.
Bourbon Ice Cream Float
Recipe: Bourbon Ice Cream Float
Give your classic Coke float an adult-friendly party twist. Leave out the bourbon to make the old-fashioned treat friendly for kids, too.
Strawberry Gelato with Almond Shortbread and Elderflower Crème
This homemade strawberry gelato will make you forget all about your oven. To make it totally no-bake, skip the shortbread.
Recipe: Coconut-Banana Pudding
This recipe puts the slightest twist on a Southern classic—and it makes such a difference. Just a pinch of coconut extract makes your favorite old-fashioned dessert more exciting for summer.
Strawberry-Ginger Lemonade Floats
This fresh and fruity take on an ice cream float beats the summer heat.
No-Bake Cookies and Cream Bars
Recipe: No-Bake Cookies and Cream Bars
Get all the flavor of cookies-and-cream ice cream without the mess. This bar recipe is kid-friendly and portable.
Red, White, and Blue Popsicles
Recipe: Red, White, and Blue Popsicles
If you remember chasing after the ice cream truck to snag one of these festive pops, it's time to make your own.
Blueberry Swirl Semifreddo
Recipe: Blueberry Swirl Semifreddo
Make use of your farmers' market haul with this swirled blueberry-studded beauty. Semifreddo, which means "half cold" in Italian, is delightfully smooth and creamy.
Recipe: Chocolate Parfaits
Whip up this quick kid-favorite treat in just minutes using store-bought ingredients.
Recipe: Blackberry Gelato
Make this recipe in the height of summer, when berries are at their best and a cold, creamy treat is most appreciated. This gelato is made with vanilla gelato and swirls of homemade blackberry puree.
Watermelon-Lime Pops with Chile Dipping Salt
Nothing says summer like a cool slice of watermelon. Turn it into a zingy watermelon pop? Even better.
Salted Caramel-Pecan Milk Shake
Recipe: Salted Caramel-Pecan Milk Shake
We made this one almost too easy with store-bought ingredients: Stop by the grocery store for jarred caramel topping and your favorite brands of vanilla and butter pecan ice creams.
Orange-and-Basil Macerated Cherries
We'll happily spoon this basil-studded mix of bursting cherries over more than just creamy ricotta. Cottage cheese and ice cream are two other favorites.
Buttermilk-Plum Ice Cream
Recipe: Buttermilk-Plum Ice Cream
Complete with swirled plums, rich buttermilk, and fresh lemon juice, this ice cream isn't your basic vanilla.