50 Fresh Berry Desserts For Every Summer Occasion

Mixed Berry Slab Pie
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

On long summer days, there's no better activity than meandering around the local farmers' market. The alluring perfume of sweet Southern strawberries and juicy blueberries is a summer treat. But we all know the familiar, dreadful feeling of leaving those once-beautiful berries out on the counter a little too long, leaving them uneaten, soft, and spoiled.

While fresh berries are delicious all on their own, there are so many ways to transform these summer fruits to make sure they won't go to waste. Throw your extra berries into tarts, pies, cakes, or jams to create sweet treats or eloquent desserts for any occasion. Accidentally overloaded on farmers market strawberries? Turn any day into a summer celebration with a slice of Strawberry Dream Cake. New to the neighborhood? Bring new life to almost-overripe berries (and make instant friends) by gifting the neighbors a container full of thumbprint cookies.

From flaky blackberry galettes to simple yet elegant parfaits, any one of these berry desserts is sure to delight as the finale for your next summer dinner party.

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Black And Blue Buttermilk Tart

Black-and-Blue Buttermilk Tart
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Complement the sweet-and-salty cracker crust in this buttermilk tart with an assortment of berries. While the recipe calls for blackberries and blueberries, you can't go wrong with a touch of strawberries, too. This triumvirate of berries strikes the perfect balance in taste.

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Berry Sonker With Dip

Berry Sonker with Dip
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

The approach to sonker is decidedly casual, with the baker making little effort when tossing on the top crust. Noticeably absent from sonker are crimped edges, or any fancy adornment on the crust. What else is special to this dessert from North Carolina? It is a tradition to use dip for your bites of this berry delight.

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Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Sometimes, you just can't beat the classics. Strawberry shortcake is not only light with an irresistible tart sweetness, it has broad appeal. Have this time-tested recipe on hand for summer dinner parties or spontaneous social gatherings.

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Blackberry Jam Cake

Blackberry Jam Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Topped with a slightly savory caramel cream cheese frosting, this jam cake packs a punch of harmonious flavors. Allspice, cloves, raisins and black walnuts deliver appeal in every bite. The inclusion of buttermilk in the batter lends moisture and richness.

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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
Southern Living

Tie a stack of these cute-as-a-button lemon and raspberry cookies in ribbon or twine to deliver as a thoughtful, homemade gift. The offering of sweet treats as a tasty present transcends all seasons and holidays. Don't forget that a gesture such as this would brighten anyone's day.

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Cornmeal Cookie Berry Shortcakes

Cornmeal Cookie Berry Shortcakes
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Imagine a bowl of cereal with strawberries... in cookie form. These cornmeal cookies are the perfect festive potluck treat, and will dominate the dessert table. Just try to leave the event without giving away the recipe!

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Raspberry Almond Crumble Bars

Raspberry-Almond Crumble Bars
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

The smooth texture of the raspberry in these delightful bars complement the crumbly crust, creating a dynamic on-the-go treat. If you are smart about it, you'll be sure and stash some of these for your own little coffee break delight. Breakfast has been served,

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Strawberry Lemonade Pie

Strawberry Lemonade Pie
Micah A. Leal

All the flavors of a pop-up lemonade stand are distilled into this sweet summertime indulgence. This pie is a no-bake delight, and is beautifully presented. Bringing together the flavors of strawberries and lemons is always a good choice,

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Strawberry Banana Pudding Icebox Cake

Strawberry-Banana Pudding Icebox Cake
Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Hadas Smirnoff

Remember craving the taste of cold pudding on a hot day? This icebox cake with a fruity twist will take you right back to your childhood. You will not miss the Nilla wafers, as the graham cracker crust stands in nicely.

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White Chocolate Covered Strawberries

White Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Micah A. Leal

These beautiful berries can be used to decorate cakes, cheesecakes, or dessert platters. But who's to say you can't make a batch just for yourself? These little bites of juicy delight are an indulgence that you deserve.

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Peach And Blackberry Crisp

Peach-and-Blackberry Crisp
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Katelyn Hardwick

No summer is complete without a perfectly crumbly fruit crisp, but the tandem flavors of blackberries and peaches are just too good to be true. Make the crumble topping ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, and by no means should you forget the vanilla ice cream.

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Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam
Jennifer Causey

Make strawberries carry on their tasty appeal with this classic recipe that can be refrigerated for up to two months. Once you use this recipe to make your summer flavors last longer, you will be tempted to try and capture the freshness in other ways. Consider making a syrup for cocktails or a shrub with those fresh berries.

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Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Jennifer Davick

The addition of strawberries makes this pound cake healthy… right? We would love to think so! But this is truly a great representation of why we all love pound cake so much. It's rich, it's moist, and it's a crowd pleaser. This cake is not delicate, and is the perfect candidate to be transported to a potluck.

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Peach Raspberry Buckle

Peach-Raspberry Buckle
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

What exactly is buckle? More crumb cake-like and not syrupy like a crisp or crumble, a buckle is still all about the tasty produce. As the cake bakes, the batter puffs up, then collapses, or "buckles," around jammy pockets of fruit. Once tried and served, it will be in your dessert rotation indefinitely.

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Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Strawberry-Lemonade Cake
Jen Causey

Layer cakes take a little more effort, but the presentation is so worth it. With this beautiful example, strawberry lovers can rejoice. It doesn't get much better than layer after layer of lemony cake and tangy Strawberry-Lemonade Jam.

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Strawberry Shortcake Sheet Cake

Strawberry Shortcake Sheet Cake
Johnny Autry; Food and Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Strawberry shortcake gets an inventive makeover with this easy sheet cake recipe. This is a crowd pleaser, and the no frills presentation makes serving so simple. If you want to win the last course at your neighborhood BBQ, show up with this tasty number.

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Red, White, And Blue Cheesecake Bars

Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Bars
Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

The swirled top of these cheesecake bars are so fetching, it makes it hard to ruin the artful way they come together. At the same time, you would be a fool not to take more than one serving! These are actually cookie bars, and the taste is addicting.

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Any Berry Muffins With Cornmeal Streusel

Any-Berry Muffins with Cornmeal Streusel
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling; Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

We love this recipe because you can put to use any berries you have on hand. The crunchy cornmeal crumble adds so much texture and sweetness to these muffins, yet they are not overly sweet - just sweet enough to curb an early morning or midday craving, and perfect with afternoon tea or coffee.

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Blueberry Honey Upside Down Cake

Blueberry-Honey Upside Down Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

This is our latest upside down cake discovery, and we will be making it all summer long. A buttery, dense cake is the perfect companion for  blueberries, which burst in the honey to create a thick, jammy crown for the cake. As it turns out, plenty of other fruits can benefit from the upside-down treatment.

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Raspberry Rhubarb Bars

Raspberry-Rhubarb Bars
Cedric Angeles; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Raspberries and rhubarb are a match made in heaven. Rhubarb is at its peak in the spring. If sourcing this tart stalk of goodness is too much of a challenge, substituting fresh or frozen strawberries also work. Raspberries pair well with both options.

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Red, White, And Blue Poke Cake

Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake
Jennifer Causey

Fillings made with fresh berries replace the usual gelatin filling found in poke cakes with this marvelous blend of fresh ingredients. The red, white and blue presentation makes this an easy choice for Independence Day festivities. On the other hand, why wait for a special occasion to offer this enticing dish?

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Strawberry Fields Cocktail

Strawberry Fields Cocktail
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Who's to say that your berry dessert can't be liquid? For a cool and refreshing end to a meal, serve this effervescent gin cocktail. The strawberry base is made from scratch, and will inspire you to create a refrigerated stock of shrubs or cocktail syrups.

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Blueberry Lemon Crunch Bars

Blueberry-Lemon Crunch Bars
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Although these look like bar cookies, you'll need a fork to enjoy these fruity treats. A crunch sandwiches jammy flavors between two buttery layers, and the dense treat will satisfy. Consider offering this dessert as a pairing with morning coffee, and skip time at the stove prepping breakfast.

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Berry Chantilly Cake

Berry Chantilly Cake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Melissa Gray Prop Stylist: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Mix fresh berries into the frosting of this cake for a masterful presentation. Cream cheese gives it a slight tang, and mascarpone cheese makes it buttery, smooth, and rich. For a finishing touch, top the cake off with pretty whole fresh berries and a few sprigs of fresh mint just before serving.

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Blueberry Lemon Cake

Blueberry-Lemon Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

This layer cake will steal the show at any summer function. The flavor combo of blueberries and lemon cannot be beat, and the presentation is a knockout. The question isn't who will like it, the question instead is how many times can you make it in one season?

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Blackberry Apple Butter Pie Bars

Blackberry-Apple Butter Pie Bars
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

If you can't decide between cookies or pie, try this bar recipe that's bursting with fresh blueberries. Not only that, but you get the opportunity to make your own slow cooker apple butter. It's one of those sheet pan recipes that you'll want to make again.

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Mascarpone Cheesecake

Mascarpone Cheesecake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Melissa Gray Prop Stylist: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

The use of mascarpone cheese makes this gorgeous dessert ultra creamy. Don't let the long freeze time put you off. It comes out of the springform pan with ease and is still melt in your mouth good.

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Deep-Dish Berry Cobbler

Deep-Dish Berry Cobbler
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Be sure the fruit filling is bubbling before taking this cobbler out of the oven. We love the rich, jammy flavor that comes from raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, but you can use whatever type or combination of fresh berries you have on hand.

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Blueberry-Ginger Crumb Cake

Blueberry-Ginger Crumb Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Crystallized ginger gives this cake just a smidge of spice that is balanced by bright blueberries. The cake itself is tender and moist, and makes this an excellent candidate for brunch. Call us crazy, but we believe a sparkling wine pairing would take these flavors over the top.

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Mixed Berry Slab Pie

Mixed Berry Slab Pie
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

The colors of fresh berries speak for themselves in this beautiful and eye-catching pie. We love that the crust plays such a beautiful part in this composition. For the neatest braids, keep the dough as cold as possible when twisting the strips.

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Blueberry Chiffon Mini Pies

Blueberry Chiffon Mini Pies
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

We don't know about you, but personalized sizes for dining are a charming option. These mini pies are perfect for your next dinner party. The beautiful purple filling will pop on any table.

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Blueberry Galette

Blueberry Galette
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ali Ramee, Prop Stylist Heather Chadduck

The rustic galette always comes across beautifully, even without the aid of a pie pan. This galette should be your latest go-to, especially if you're a blueberry fan. It's easier to make than a pie and doesn't even require homemade dough.

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Strawberries And Cream Sheet Cake

Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Bring a little bit of England to the South with this crowd pleasing summertime sheet cake. The garnish of fresh strawberries brings it to life, and using just a bit of fresh basil to dress it up further is even better. Be sure to bookmark theStrawberry Frosting recipe used here, which deserves a special place in your rotation for the best birthday cake ever.

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Strawberry Kuchen

Strawberry Kuchen
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

This kuchen has a fluffy crumb and is sprinkled with strawberries and almonds. It's the perfect light cake for brunch, and after all the praise you get for making it, it will land in your dessert rotation.

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Cakey Strawberry Cobbler

Cakey Strawberry Cobbler
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Torie Cox

This cakey dessert is also known as a batter cobbler, and the ten minute prep time is a miracle. The roasted berries are enveloped in the light and airy cake batter, and the golden top rises as the cobbler bakes. You can swap out any berry or stone fruit for this recipe, and still win delectable results.

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Petite Blueberry Cheesecakes

Petite Blueberry Cheesecake
Jennifer Davick

As pretty as petits fours, these luscious little two bite gems can be finished with any kind of berry or preserves. Get ahead, and bake the cheesecakes in advance. After baking, they'll freeze up to one month. Thaw and top with preserves and fruit before serving.

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Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake
Photo: Greg Dupree

You'll fall in love with this too-good-to-be-true strawberry cake. Fluffy whipped frosting made with marscapone cheese, sugar, whipping cream, and vanilla and almond extracts is the perfect finishing touch. We love the presentation of cake slices with upright strawberries between the layers. When it comes down to the details, this sweet confection takes the cake.

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Blackberry Peach Cobbler Bars

Blackberry-Peach Cobbler Bars
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck

This recipe transforms messy, drippy cobbler into a neat on-the-go snack. You will love the ease with which this serves, making it one of those desserts to share at your Sunday social. Don't be surprised if a guest or two sneaks a piece home.

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Mini Strawberry Tarts

Mini Strawberry Tarts
Greg Dupree

These sweet treats start with a pistachio crust. A dreamy mixture of cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, and whipped cream are folded together before filling the individual tarts. Toss the fresh strawberries in sugar, just before topping the tarts, to give them just a hint of added sweetness.

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Raspberry Limeade Granitas

Raspberry Limeade Granita
Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

These fresh and fruity shaved ice desserts are a breeze to make. Throwing a party? Add your favorite spirit for slushy cocktails.

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Strawberry Vanilla Cake

Strawberry Vanilla Cake
Sarah Epperson

This pink layer cake is packed with fresh strawberries. The layered interior is an alluring pink, and the rich and creamy vanilla buttercream strikes a harmonious balance on the palate. Ripe strawberries are primed to perform as the best topping for this cake.

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Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

Chocolate-Raspberry Truffles
Joy Howard

A box of berry truffles make for the perfect gift, and once you've mastered the prep for these treats, your friend may start to expect them. If you are unable to find the freeze-dried raspberries that are needed, go on the hunt instead for freeze-dried strawberries. Check your local natural grocer for either one.

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Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

chocolate raspberry cheesecake
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christine Kelly; Food Stylist: Ali Ramee

A raspberry topping is the perfect addition to this chocolate cheesecake. May we suggest a special occasion that absolutely requires this recipe? Your Valentines Day will be one of the most memorable when you place this on the table,

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No Churn Rhubarb Raspberry Ice Cream

No-Churn Rhubarb-Raspberry Ice Cream
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Rhubarb and raspberry make for one tasty scoop of ice cream, and this presentation is picture perfect for summer. Take the refreshing taste up a notch and use sparkling water for a float. You don't need an ice cream maker for this recipe, but you do need time. It must freeze for several hours before serving.

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Skillet Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp With Salted Almond Streusel

Skillet Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp with Salted-Almond Streusel
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Rhubarb is a brief but glorious spring crop, and we are always looking for delightful ways to enjoy it. A skillet crisp topped with a scoop of ice cream is a classic way to celebrate rhubarb season. Take it one step further and make your own batch of ice cream for an even more satisfying dessert course.

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No Bake Strawberry Pie

No-Bake Strawberry Pie
Joy Howard

A little lemon zest in this no bake strawberry pie makes all the difference in fresh flavor. Many of the ingredients are more than likely already in your pantry, making this an easy approach. Feel free to make it one day ahead, and be ready for it to be devoured.

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Blueberry Plum Pops

Blueberry-Plum Pops
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

These homemade frozen treats make you feel good about using fruit in such a refreshing way, and brings a healthier approach to frozen dessert options for kids. These pops are so rich and beautiful in color, they might just be perfect for the adults in your life, too.

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Blueberry Orange Blossom Honey Slab Pie

Blueberry-Orange Blossom Honey Slab Pie
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

This slab pie is pure fun, with the pie crust shapes bringing whimsy and extra texture. Have the kids give a little help with the dough cut-outs, and they will want to taste their handiwork immediately.

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Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake

Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Melissa Gray Prop Stylist: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

This made in heaven flavor combo will give you just one more reliable cheesecake recipe to add to your arsenal. With a touch of tartness layered alongside the creamy texture, this recipe stands out. Baking in a water bath will keep the top crack-free.

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Raspberry Snack Cake With Salted Milk Chocolate Frosting

Raspberry Snack Cake with Salted Milk Chocolate Frosting
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

The salted chocolate frosting is the perfect topping for this easy, raspberry-filled snack cake. Keep in mind that the term snack cake means you should be eating this bite of delight at any time of the day. We are certain the frosting will surface again on cupcakes and birthday cakes.

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