40 Fresh Berry Desserts for Every Summer Occasion
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 Mason jar full of Raspberry Jam 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.
Black-and-Blue Buttermilk Tart
Recipe: Black-and-Blue Buttermilk Tart
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.
Corn Custards with Berry Compote
Recipe: Corn Custards with Berry Compote
This creative dessert proves corn isn’t just for summertime grilling.
Berry Sonker with Dip
Recipe: Berry Sonker with Dip
What is a sonker, you ask? Let us introduce you to this North Carolina specialty.
Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
Sometimes, you just can’t beat the classics. Have this time-tested recipe on hand for summer dinner parties or spontaneous social gatherings.
Blackberry Jam Cake
Recipe: Blackberry Jam Cake
Topped with a savory caramel cream cheese frosting, this jam cake packs a punch of harmonious flavors.
Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
Recipe: Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
Tie a stack of these cute-as-a-button lemon and raspberry cookies in ribbon or twine to deliver as a thoughtful, homemade gift.
Blackberry Trifles with Pecan Feuilletage and Mascarpone-Cane Syrup Mousse
This refreshing and unique dessert is guaranteed to impress at your next dinner party.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp with Sweet-and-Savory Granola
Sweet strawberry and sour rhubarb are a match made in heaven.
Fresh Strawberry Milkshake
Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Milkshake
There’s nothing more comforting than salty diner fries and a sweet strawberry milkshake. Now you can make your own at home.
Red, White, and Blueberry-Filled Cupcakes
These patriotic cupcakes will bring some star-spangled sparkle to any Fourth of July celebration.
Lemon Blueberry Cake
Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Cake
Zesty, fruity, and light, this cake would win grandma's stamp of approval.
Zesty Blackberry Shortcake
Recipe: Zesty Blackberry Shortcake
A classic, with a twist. Fresh blackberries reimagine the shortcake with deep levels of tart sweetness.
Petite Blueberry Cheesecakes
Recipe: Petite Blueberry Cheesecakes
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.
Recipe: Blueberry-Thyme Pie
Thyme adds a fresh, savory brightness to this summertime picnic pie.
Cornmeal Cookie Berry Shortcakes
Imagine a bowl of cereal with strawberries... in dessert form. These cornmeal cookies are the perfect festive potluck treat.
Recipe: Strawberry-Blueberry Jam
The flavors of strawberry and blueberry mingle together in your new favorite jam recipe.
Raspberry-Almond Crumble Bars
Recipe: Raspberry-Almond Crumble Bars
The smooth texture of the raspberry complements the crumbly crust to create a dynamic on-the-go dessert.
Strawberry Lemonade Pie
Recipe: Strawberry Lemonade Pie
All the flavors of a pop-up lemonade stand distilled into a sweet summertime pie.
Blackberry-Peach Cobbler Bars
Recipe: Blackberry-Peach Cobbler Bars
This recipe transforms messy, drippy cobbler into a neat on-the-go snack.
Strawberry Dream Cake
Recipe: Strawberry Dream Cake
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.
Raspberry Truffle Shortcake
Recipe: Raspberry Truffle Shortcake
This raspberry and chocolate combination may seem like an unconventional shortcake, but it's the perfect dessert for any party (or just to treat yourself).
Recipe: Strawberry-Blueberry Cupcakes
A perfect bake sale treat, these cupcakes are chock full of fresh fruit.
Meringue Pillows with Blueberry-Mint Compote
These crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside meringues are a labor of love, but they’re definitely worth it.
Strawberry Crunch Cake
Recipe: Strawberry Crunch Cake
Strawberries and cornflakes? Trust us on this one. These nostalgic flavors will take you right back to your childhood.
Strawberry-Banana Pudding Icebox Cake
This icebox cake with a fruity twist will take you right back to your childhood.
Blackberry, Browned Butter, and Almond Tart
Browned butter and almond bring a savory nuttiness to this delectable summer tart.
Mini Strawberry Tarts
Recipe: Mini Strawberry Tarts
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.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Recipe: Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Use these beautiful berries to decorate cakes, cheesecakes, or dessert platters.
Strawberry-Apricot Hand Pies
Recipe: Strawberry-Apricot Hand Pies
Flaky, tart, fruity, and tangy all at once, these playful hand pies will become an instant favorite.
Recipe: Strawberry-Mango Semifreddo
Vibrant, colorful, and tasty, this unique recipe is a Test Kitchen favorite.
Strawberry Gelato with Almond Shortbread and Elderflower Crème
Courtesy of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards Executive Chef Ian Rynecki, this gelato recipe will transport you straight to Italy.
Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake
Bring a little bit of England to the South with this crowd-pleasing summertime sheet cake.
Recipe: Peach-and-Blackberry Crisp
No summer is complete without a perfectly crumbly fruit crisp.
Recipe: Strawberry Jam
Make strawberries last longer than ever before in this classic recipe that can be refrigereated for up to two months.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Strawberry-Nectarine Compote
Pistachios add a nice crunch to this silky-smooth rice pudding.
Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake
The addition of strawberries makes this pound cake healthy… right?
Recipe: Peach-Raspberry Buckle
Pound cake meets fruit crumble in this unique Southern recipe.
Star Spangled Blackberry Pie
Recipe: Star Spangled Blackberry Pie
Believe it or not, this centerpiece-worthy pie gets even better. Just add a scoop of ice cream on top.
Recipe: Strawberry-Lemonade Cake
Strawberry lovers rejoice. It doesn't get much better than layer after layer of lemony cake and tangy Strawberry-Lemonade Jam.