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8 Quick and Light Summer Dessert Recipes

8 Quick and Light Summer Dessert Recipes

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There’s no reason not to have your beach-bod-worthy cake and eat it too

Make the most out of summer’s bounty of fresh fruit and incorporate them into light and sweet desserts.

As we prepare to move into the summer season and dig out our swimsuits and skin-baring clothing, it’s time to shift to lighter and healthier food options — specifically in the calorie-laden dessert category. With summer’s bounty of fresh fruits and all the myriad ways to incorporate them into sweet desserts, there’s no reason to not have your beach-bod-worthy cake and eat it too.

Click here to see the 8 Quick and Light Summer Dessert Recipes (Slideshow)

With so many recipes for easy and light summer desserts making the rounds this season, we decided it would be the ideal theme for this week’s SWAT (Sharing With A Theme). We put the Culinary Content Network and our staff to the test to come up with quick and light summer dessert recipes, and here are some of the highlights:

  • Lori Yates of Foxes Love Lemons shared her recipe for chocolate-covered bananas. These are not only the simplest to prepare, but the tasty treats are even better with sprinkles and eaten on a stick.
  • Christina Lakey of Food Apparel made a fruit cake that’s actually made entirely of fruit. Use a large round piece of watermelon as the base and decorate with your other favorite fruits.
  • The winner this week is Elizabeth Brunetti of The Bare Midriff Blog and her recipe for blueberry-peach cobbler that is made healthy with almond milk and granola. Not only will you be able to bare you midriff, but this sweet dish makes the most of summer’s best fruits.

All of the recipes featured can be made at home for about $30 or less, excluding the cost of small amounts of basic ingredients such as butter, oil, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and other dried herbs and spices.

Fresh Fruit Cake Recipe

This fresh fruit cake is far from the classic fruit cake and is made entirely of real fruit. Use a large round piece of watermelon as the base and decorate with your other favorite fruits.

Banana, Strawberry, and Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

This fruit and chia seed pudding is not only healthy, but nutty and will satisfy any sweet tooth on a hot summer day.

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

18 Luscious Lime Desserts to Try This Summer

Sink your teeth into one of these tart yet refreshing treats.

If you're tired of your typical go-to desserts, enjoy a bit of lime in your sweets. We guarantee it will soon become one of your new favorites!

Bake a batch of these fluffy and flavorful doughnuts in 30 minutes or less.

Get the recipe at Baker by Nature.

A summer trifle never fails to please a crowd, and this sweet recipe includes flavors of everyone favorite's pie.

Get the recipe at Belle of the Kitchen.

What better way to beat the heat than these frozen treats?

Get the recipe at Saving Room for Dessert.

This six-minute dessert is full of fruity flavor. After mixing lime curd and sour cream, simply spoon it into the graham cracker pie crust and top it off with whipped topping and lime slices.

These pies are portable, place the lids on the jars and bring them wherever the party takes you.

This simple lime pie has a fresh, tart citrus flavor that makes it a refreshing end to any meal.

Add something tropical to the Christmas cookie spread this year with these easy lime and coconut coins.

You'll never serve plain cheesecake again after tasting this version. Smooth and slightly tangy, the recipe takes dessert to the next level with a shortbread-cookie crust, lime zest&ndashinfused filling and sweet blueberry topping.

These bars taste just like vacation, with flavors like lemon, lime and coconut. Pour the refreshing topping over the sugar cookie to create a palate-pleasing dessert.

Easy desserts recipes

Whip up our smart, authentic version of this classic Italian dessert, made with mascarpone, marsala and savoiardi biscuits soaked in coffee and Tia Maria. It only takes 30 minutes, plus chilling time.

Quick and easy chocolate mousse

If you're hosting a dinner party and looking for an indulgent dessert that can easily be made ahead, try these creamy, gluten-free puds – ready in 15 minutes.

Easy treacle tart

This simple yet moreish recipe for the classic treacle tart is perfect for Sunday lunch with family and friends. It only requires five ingredients, most of which are store cupboard staples.

Easy chocolate no-bake cheesecake

Check out our chocolaty, no-bake cheesecake recipe with a quick passion fruit coulis. This decadent dessert is really impressive and only takes 40 minutes to make.

Easy cheesecake pots with salted caramel

These mini cheesecakes are simple to make and perfect for a quick and easy dessert to end your dinner party.

Healthy apple crumble

A healthier take on classic apple crumble, this easy dessert recipe tops soft cinnamon apples with a butter-free granola (which also makes a brilliant breakfast).


This super simple raspberry dessert is the perfect light end to a meal. Made with just a handful of ingredients, you can whip up glasses of cranachan for a crowd in just fifteen minutes.

Easy knickerbocker glory

Nothing says summer quite like our boozy knickerbocker glory with Pimm's jelly. This will be a hit with adults! Dip the wafer in icing or melted chocolate, then in sprinkles, if you like.

Mini trifles with blood orange

Our individual trifles make a quick and easy dinner party dessert using seasonal blood oranges, and they're ready in just 15 minutes.

Quick Eton mess

A classic English dessert that makes the most out of succulent, sweet British strawberries by combining them with meringue and cream. This heavenly pud is ready in just 10 minutes.

All-in-one easy chocolate cake

This moist chocolate cake is a super simple dessert for all those chocolate lovers out there. Serve with a dollop of cream for ultra indulgence.

Lemon self-saucing pudding

This zesty pudding is easy to whip up and can be ready in an hour. Make one simple mixture and as it cooks it separates into a light sponge on top and zesty lemon curd beneath.

Easy chocolate pots with orange and sea salt

These olive oil chocolate pots are seriously creamy and indulgent but easy to put together. A decadent dessert requiring only seven ingredients.

Blueberry and mascarpone slice

Use ready-made puff pastry and make the blueberry compote ahead for a speedy assembly job here. This dessert is ready in just 35 minutes and is ideal for your next summer dinner party.

Easy ginger cake with salted caramel

Transform simple ginger loaf into this boozy cake in just 25 minutes by soaking in rum and caramel then layering with boozy caramel cream.

All-in-one chocolate brownies

Spoon these melting, turkish-delight-spiked brownies straight from the pan and serve with generous dollops of ice cream for the perfect indulgent dessert for friends.

Easy honeycomb rocky road

These salted peanut and honeycomb rocky road squares are a great twist on a classic and will please everyone. Plus, they're really easy and only take 15 minutes of work.

Quick panna cotta

Check out our recipe for silky smooth espresso panna cotta. This dessert is an ideal way to end a dinner party – it's gluten-free, looks impressive and is ready in no time!

Chocolate tahini and baharat pots

The woody spices in baharat (a Middle Eastern spice blend) work beautifully with dark chocolate and nutty tahini in this rich and super-simple dessert.

24 Short and Sweet Shot-Glass Desserts

Once you've baked a masterpiece, it can be so hard not to gobble down a slice. or two. or three. These pre-portioned, perfect-for-parties treats will satisfy your sweet tooth &mdash without tempting you to overindulge.

Get your dessert and drink fix in one. The top of these babies is whipped cream with vodka, the base is chocolate pudding with Kahlua &mdash so you can take your shots while looking like a grown-up.

Get the recipe at Lemons for Lulu.

All you need to do to make this decadent dessert is form the two-ingredient crust, then fill it to the brim with an easy-to-make peanut butter cheesecake filling &mdash no baking required.

Get the recipe at Crafty Morning.

Is there anything tastier than a mint-chocolate combo? This sweet mix involves whipped cream, chocolate pudding, and lots of crumbled chocolate cookies.

Get the recipe at Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt.

Fans of lemon meringue pie need to try these smaller shooters that are just as perfect for get-togethers as they are for an after-dinner indulgence.

Get the recipe at Mama's Gotta Bake.

These are so easy to make, and you'll look like a total baking pro. Just whip up the key lime filling, then layer it in a shot glass with graham crackers crumbs. Voilà! Instagram-ready.

Get the recipe at Domestic Superhero.

Double the dessert with a shot glass you can eat! The chocolate chip cookie shell is the most decadent way to serve up a healthy (ha) dose of chocolate mousse.

Get the recipe at Wilton.

Doesn't birthday cake taste better when you don't have to bake it? These single-serving cake batter shots cram every you'd want for your birthday &mdash sprinkles, cheesecake, whipped cream &mdash in one little glass. Yum.

Get the recipe at Sugar Spun Run.

Sweet chocolate-brownie bits, fresh tart berries, and zesty mint come together to create the ultimate dessert parfait. An added bonus: Leftover brownies can be frozen and saved for later, taken to the new neighbors' house, or scarfed down as an after-dinner snack.

Get the recipe at Baking With Blondie.

From popcorn to hot chocolate, trendy salted caramel seems to pop up in every recipe these days, and it's no wonder &mdash the tasty combination of savory and sweet makes it a tantalizing topping for any dessert, including these cute, kid-friendly shooters that are perfect for birthday parties and baby showers alike.

Get the recipe at Sugar and Cloth.

Made with lemon curd, ladyfinger cookies, and a light whipped cream garnish, these bright beauties are quick and easy to make &mdash but everyone at your last big summer barbecue will think you spent hours in the kitchen.

Get the recipe at Rachel Cooks.

Even though they're made with ice cream &mdash usually a no-no for strict vegans &mdash these adorable cherry-topped shooters can easily be adapted with a soy-based ice cream to fit the diet. Drizzle with a luscious caramel sauce to impress even the pickiest dinner guests.

Get the recipe at Ode to Awe.

Attention, chocoholics: We may have just unlocked the secret to a blissed-out existence. These terrifically tiny desserts are surprisingly simple to make &mdash just whip up your favorite brownie recipe and pudding from an instant mix, and add a little whipped cream. No one will believe how easy it was to rustle up these double-chocolate delights.

Lemon Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Yes, cheesecake can help with weight loss if it's part of the keto eating plan. In fact, when you consider that the keto diet works, in part, because you're including a higher proportion of fat in your diet, keto cheesecake actually makes perfect sense. This recipe boasts a health-positive crust that combines the omega-rich goodness of macadamias and almonds. The dense filling, meanwhile, gets its tart creaminess from lots of cream cheese and a generous dollop of sour cream.

17 “Lighter” Desserts That Satisfy Cravings (Without Weighing You Down)

Rarely a night goes by that I don’t find myself searching the kitchen for a little something sweet after dinner. However, there’s nothing worse than getting into bed feeling like I’ve just consumed a dessert bomb—the older I get, the harder it is to get a good night’s sleep after I’ve had a lot of sugar. Thankfully, there are plenty of light desserts to choose from that satisfy my sweet tooth without weighing me down.

Many of these light desserts are fruit-based, and most of them skip the heavy cream for lighter dairy options.

That said, if you’re someone who loves a cake or a pie, we’ve got you covered with plenty of weighs to indulge, guilt-free.

While most of us tend to go for light desserts during the hot summer months—think popsicles, sorbet, and granita—these recipes will work beautifully all year long. Sometimes you just need something on the refreshing side, no matter the season. Be sure to bookmark these tasty treats, because each and every one of them is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, even if the crowd in question is simply you and a good book.

20 Irresistible Parfait Recipes

Cool off this season with these tasty layered treats.

Whether you're searching for a simple breakfast or an indulgent dessert, we have the perfect parfait for you to try.

Add sweet sophistication to classic lemon meringue pie with these parfaits piled high with fresh raspberries, creamy lemon custard and a lightly browned meringue topping.

Alternating layers of chewy chocolate cookie crumbles, whipped topping and rich chocolate pudding make these parfaits a decadent-tasting delicacy that's a cinch to prepare.

Create your own flavor of ice cream by folding blueberry purée into a basic store-bought vanilla. Once it sets, layer with a seedless raspberry purée, whole berries and whipped cream for a parfait with decidedly gourmet flair.

Easy Instant Pot Dessert Recipes

Think your Instant Pot is only good for hearty soups and stews? Think again. Keep the oven shut and make your favorite sweets on the countertop in your favorite multicooker.

Related To:

Instant Pot Monkey Bread

You'll never know this classic sweet bread came out of a multicooker instead of your oven. A couple of little tricks gives it that fresh-baked taste &mdash brown butter lends a nutty aroma and crunchy turbinado sugar melts into the dough and provides caramel-like flavor.

Instant Pot Vanilla Cheesecake

Yes, your Instant Pot ® can even take care of dessert. This creamy cheesecake comes together in a snap. Swap in 1 1/3 cups graham crackers or chocolate wafer cookie crumbs instead of using vanilla wafers for an easy variation.

Instant Pot Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

If you love the warm, soft and gooey center of a cinnamon roll best, then you have to make these rolls -- they are all center!

Instant Pot Caramel Apple-Pear Clafoutis

This Instant Pot® dessert brings out the best sweet, seasonal flavors in a fraction of time it would normally take.

Instant Pot Cookies-and-Cream Cheesecake

The most magical thing about this luscious cheesecake is its cooking time! If you are tired of your favorite cheesecakes hogging your oven for hours, this is the one for you. The cookie crust and bits of cookie throughout make it a cheesecake you won't soon forget.

Instant Pot Bread Pudding

Pressure cooking ups the creamy, custardy nature of this classic brunch staple. If you prefer a crispy crust for contrast, just pop the baking dish under the broiler with some sugar on top.

Instant Pot Confetti Birthday Cake

This 'set it and forget it' cake is perfect for the summer months when you don't want to turn the oven on. And if you forget it in the Instant Pot®, it won't burn!

Instant Pot Dulce de Leche

A super-fast way to make dulce de leche in a multi-cooker. And no stirring necessary.

Instant Pot Rice Pudding

A pressure cooker makes easy work of this creamy, comforting dessert. It's great both warm or cold, and since the flavors develop overnight, it tastes even better the next day.

Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake

A food processor and an Instant Pot ® make quick work of this creamy, spice-laced dessert. The result is a perfectly creamy cheesecake.

Instant Pot Sticky Toffee Pudding

This is the perfect dessert to cook in the Instant Pot® - a sticky, rich pudding cake baked in an adorable, small bundt pan. Flavored with seasonal spices and dates, this will be your new go-to winter dessert. We used alternative flours for the best result with this steaming technique, and the happy side effect is that this dessert is also gluten-free.

Instant Pot Creme Brulee

Creme brulee made the old-fashioned way using the stove-top and oven seems like such a chore when you can make it more quickly and easily (but with equally delicious results!) in an Instant Pot®. No need to worry about curdled eggs here either because cooking on low pressure for just eight minutes yields a perfectly set custard every time.

Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cakes

There is no shortage of Instant Pot® chocolate lava cake recipes out there, but this one is different because we used a mix of brown sugar and cornstarch in the batter instead of the often-used confectioner's sugar. It adds a touch of caramel flavor to the cakes that is missing because they are pressure-cooked rather than baked in the oven.

Healthy No-Bake Desserts

Keep the oven (and the calories) off with these guiltless, no-bake desserts from Food Network Kitchen.

Related To:

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

No Bake, No Guilt

Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Healthy Blueberry-Ricotta Tartlets

No-Bake Healthy Strawberry-Almond Cereal Bars

The flavors of summer and strawberry shortcake have found their way into your favorite crunchy childhood treat. Try decreasing the amount of marshmallows (aka sugar) and stir in some almond butter and freeze-dried strawberries. Each sweet-tart bar is a generous size.

Healthy Red, White and Blue Frozen Pops

These healthy frozen pops are salute-worthy since they are packed with vitamin C and have even a little fiber (2 grams per pop) thanks to the fresh berries. And the best part is that you can get your red, white and blue fix without using artificial food coloring.

75+ Best Summer Dessert Ideas That Make the Most of the Season's Produce

Summer is the season for sweet treats on the back porch.

Summer means outdoor eating time! While every backyard barbecue should have its fair share of potato salad and iced tea, it's just not complete until you've loaded the paper plates up with dessert. And summer desserts are the best! There are all the seasonal fruity desserts, like crisps and tarts. And the cold desserts, like ice cream, fro-yo, and milkshakes. Then there are the summer pies! To help you choose, we've rounded up our favorite summer treats.

Many of these are easy homemade ice creams, frozen yogurts, and other no-bake desserts, so you can avoid turning the oven on and warming up your kitchen. There's a delicious, fruity semifreddo&mdashessentially a frozen, custardy mousse&mdashas well as pies and tarts, an ice cream bombe that layers four different types of your favorite flavors, and a salty peanut banana pudding that is sure to be devoured.

If you're looking for desserts that will travel well, try making the strawberry hand pies or the banana split kebabs. (And here are some other picnic food ideas if you're looking to pack a destination lunch.) While you can always make a classic fruit salad, you'll want to include some of these more creative desserts both to have a wider variety of options, and because they're both easy and impressive. Of course, there are several treats you can make for a simple weeknight desserts, such as chewy brownie ice cream sandwiches or strawberry icebox cake your kids will love.


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