40+ No-Cook Desserts Too Easy Not To Try
Although Southern cooks love to bake beautiful layer cakes, tricky meringues, and flavorful bread pudding recipes to show off their skills, there’s not always time for an elaborate dessert. When you’re in a last-minute rush (or if it’s just too darn hot to cook during Southern summers!), turn to our favorite no-cook desserts. Not only are these delicious desserts no-bake, but they’re no-cook, which means you don’t even have to turn the stovetop on. From classic icebox pies to fun new milkshakes and multi-layer bars, there is a no-cook dessert for every event you can imagine. Give no-cook peanut brittle or bourbon balls as a Christmas hostess gift. End your child’s birthday party on a memorable note with an ice cream sandwich cake. Or show off fresh summer produce at the Fourth of July cookout with a peach icebox cake or watermelon popsicles. If you’re short on time, don’t preheat that oven—stick with our best no-cook desserts.
No-Bake Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice-Cream Pie
This recipe is so much easier than its mouthful of a name lets off. Before a cookout, family gathering, or dinner party, you’ve got tons of planning and cooking to do. Instead of spending hours baking a dessert from scratch, save time and effort with this no-bake dessert that both kids and adults will love. After assembling each layer of this pie, you need to put it in the freezer to allow time for it to set. In between adding your layers, you can focus on cooking and setting up for your guests. This blueberry-cheesecake ice-cream pie is so refreshing, and not to mention, it’s really pretty. Topped with whipped cream, fresh blueberries, fresh mint, and lemon twists, this ice-cream pie looks much more difficult to make than it is. With this cool, no-bake dessert, you get layers of blueberry goodness with every bite.
Start this recipe by making a simple piecrust with shortbread cookies and melted butter. If you don’t have a food processor to crumble the cookies, put them in a large zip-top bag and break them up with a rolling pin. Spread the piecrust into a lightly greased pan and put it in the freezer for half an hour to set. This no-bake pie’s filling starts with a thin layer of blueberry preserves. Once the bottom of the crust is covered, put the pan back in the freezer for 15 minutes. Now it’s time for the ice cream. Smooth out a layer of Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice Cream (don’t skimp!), and let the pie set in the freezer for another 15 minutes. Repeat adding a layer of blueberry preserves, freezing, adding a layer of Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice Cream, and freezing. Your piecrust should be filled to the brim with blueberry goodness, so it’s time to add the toppings. A lightly sweetened, whipped cream, fresh blueberries, and lemon twists make this pie company-ready.
Key Lime Icebox Cake
Recipe: Key Lime Icebox Cake
Layers of tangy-sweet Key lime custard and graham crackers stack up to make one quick and easy layer cake with just enough pucker to take the heat off summer. Add the lime juice once you've fully cooked the custard to let the cornstarch thicken the mixture properly.
Orange-and-Basil Macerated Cherries
Cloud-like ricotta is the perfect complement to juicy cherries infused with herbal-citrus zing.
Build Your Own Ice-Cream Pie
Recipe: Strawberry-Pretzel Ice-Cream Pie
Recipe: Key Lime Ice-Cream Pie
These simple pies are fit for any occasion. Try one of our combos below, or choose your own adventure by mixing and matching flavors. Simply pick a cookie crust, add a homemade ice cream and top with sweetened whipped cream and summer fruit or sundae toppings. Just be sure to freeze the pie after adding each layer to ensure easy assembly and a layered look.
Buttermilk Ice Cream
Master Recipe: Buttermilk Ice Cream
Variation 1: Avocado-Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Variation 2: Lemon Meringue Ice Cream
Variation 3: Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice Cream
Vartiation 4: Strawberry-Pretzel Ice Cream
A new freezer favorite has arrived. One genius (and easy!) master recipe and four over-the-top variations provide an endless array of sweet and creamy ideas. The secret to these dreamy treats? Soft-baked cookies from your bakery. Go large or small—just don't go with the crunchy kind.
No-Cook Peach Ice Cream
Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding
Recipe: Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding
This super easy banana pudding calls for just four ingredients: a banana, thawed whipping topping, prepared vanilla pudding, and vanilla wafers.
Recipe: Lemonade Pie
For a homemade look, freeze crust for five minutes, and then slip it into your favorite pie plate before adding filling.
No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream
Recipe: No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream
Velvety ice cream meets the sweet, juiciness of strawberries in this frozen summer treat. Serve it in ice cream sundae glasses for a parlor-perfect presentation.
No-Cook Fig-Mint Ice Cream
Recipe: No-Cook Fig-Mint Ice Cream
Combine seasonal fresh figs and chopped fresh mint in this unique, no-cook, egg-free homemade ice cream.
Easy Mocha Chip Ice-Cream Cake
Recipe: Easy Mocha Chip Ice-Cream Cake
This frozen dessert comes together quickly then just needs a little time to set in the freezer. Use premium-quality ice cream for rich, luscious results.
Recipe: Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet
Four fresh ingredients are all you need to make a refreshing frozen sherbet dessert tonight. In a pinch, substitute frozen strawberries for fresh.
Key Lime Frozen Yogurt
Recipe: Key Lime Frozen Yogurt
Serve with fresh raspberries or blackberries, pressed between graham crackers or gingersnaps, or on its own for a tangy treat.
Free-form Strawberry Cheesecake
Recipe: Free-form Strawberry Cheesecake
Powdered sugar dissolves almost instantly when stirred into berries, while granulated sugar needs stand time. We chose powdered for this quick-to-put-together recipe.
Recipe: Strawberry-Orange Trifle
Fresh fruit makes for a refreshing dessert recipe sure to satisfy everyone at your table.
Recipe: Chocolate Parfaits
We tried using both sugar-free instant and regular pudding mixes. To our surprise, we preferred the flavor of the sugar-free.
Recipe: Tomato-Watermelon Sorbet
While a bit unexpected, this duo creates a flavorful combination. Consisting of only five ingredients, this refreshing treat is also simple to make.
Raspberry Tiramisù Bites
Recipe: Raspberry Tiramisù Bites
There are crisp Italian cookies also called ladyfingers, but be sure to use soft ones in this recipe. Look for them in the bakery or produce section of your supermarket.
Classic Peanut Brittle
Recipe: Classic Peanut Brittle
No Southerner has ever been upset to see a candy tray full of homemade peanut brittle.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Recipe: Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate covered strawberries are a favorite but often overpriced treat, so make them at home with this easy method.
Recipe: Icebox Cheesecake
This dreamy dessert combines all the cheesecake flavor you love with the ease of an icebox pie.
Recipe: Rum Balls
This recipe, which we brought back from our December 1993 issue, has stood the test of time.
Banana Pudding Milk Shake
Recipe: Banana Pudding Milk Shake
Everything you love about classic banana pudding in one beautiful, no-cook package.
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
Recipe: Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
This showstopping dessert will be the star of every summer party.
No-Bake Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies
If chocolate and mint are your favorite combo, these sweet cookies are the easiest way to get it homemade.
Recipe: Clementine-Gingersnap Trifles
These pretty little trifles are the perfect way to finish a baby shower or luncheon.
Chewy Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars
You only need your microwave’s help to throw together these easy, delectable bars.
Bourbon Ice Cream Float
Recipe: Bourbon Ice Cream Float
Add a little pizazz to your dinner party with a boozy dessert as your nightcap.
No-Bake Almond Butter Thumbprints
You only need five ingredients and a few minutes to get a plate of these colorful cookies ready for company.
Peach Icebox Cake
Recipe: Peach Icebox Cake
Let fresh summer peaches be the star of this simple, delicious dessert.
Fresh Strawberry Milkshake
Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Milkshake
Let those market-fresh strawberries shine in a creamy, cool milkshake.
Chocolate Banana Puddings
Recipe: Chocolate Banana Puddings
If the kids are having last-minute company, these cute puddings are so easy to throw together.
No-Bake Peanut Butter-Fudge Ice-Cream Pie
There’s nothing better during a hot Southern summertime than a creamy, chilled pie.
Watermelon-Lime Pops with Chile Dipping Salt
Celebrate summer with fresh watermelon pops by the pool.
Recipe: Bourbon Balls
Every Southerner knows that sweet, boozy bourbon balls are a party must-have.
Recipe: Turtle Trifle
This decadent trifle has all the flavor you love from the classic turtle candy.
Salted Caramel-Pecan Milk Shake
Recipe: Salted Caramel-Pecan Milk Shake
This dreamy milkshake has the perfect amount of salt and plenty of sweet.
Recipe: Fruitcake Bark
Not everyone remembers Aunt Lucy’s fruitcake with fondness, but this chocolate bark twist on the vintage dessert will be a hit.
Recipe: Chocolate Lasagna
This vintage dessert was made to feed a crowd, so it’s perfect for potlucks and big family gatherings.
Recipe: Millionaire Pie
This tropical treat will make every guest feel like a million bucks.
Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Milkshake
For true chocolate lovers, only triple-chocolate shakes will do, and that’s fine by us.
Recipe: Strawberry-Mango Semifreddo
This colorful dessert, which combines creamy mango sorbet and classic strawberry ice cream, will be the prettiest centerpiece.
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Recipe: Chocolate Covered Pretzels
The perfect mix of sweet and salty, these chocolate-covered pretzels are the perfect gift for a neighbor or drop-by guest.
Red, White, and Blue Popsicles
Recipe: Red, White, and Blue Popsicles
Don’t chase the ice cream truck down—make these nostalgic treats at home!
Ambrosia Meringue Trifles
Recipe: Ambrosia Meringue Trifles
Old-school ambrosia was the inspiration for this cute dessert that’s perfect for last-minute dinners.
Milk Chocolate-Peppermint Bark
Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Bark
This festive treat will make adorable homemade stocking stuffers or teacher gifts around the holiday season.