Make-Ahead Desserts That Scream Summer

Father and son have fun baking in the kitchen together.

When you want a sweet, summery dessert that won’t keep you in a hot kitchen all day, these recipes should be your go-to! They’re easy, delicious, and require minimal time in the oven – win-win!

Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars

Turn your favorite summery beverage into an equally tasty dessert with this recipe! You’ll use sugar cookie dough to make the cheesecake crust, and cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, raspberries, lemon juice, and a few other staples come together for the tangy, bright filling. Between the creaminess of the cheesecake, the tang from its flavors, and the sweetness of the sugar cookies, you’re looking at an absolutely irresistible summer dessert. These cheesecake bars can keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Banana Split Icebox Cake

Dig into some retro nostalgia with this icebox cake! Icebox cakes, named for the icebox kitchen appliance (a precursor to today’s refrigerators), gained popularity in the 1920s through much of the 20th century as an easy, cool dessert. In an icebox cake, you’ll have layers of cookies or wafers stacked between layers of whipped cream and other fillings. As the cake sits in the refrigerator for a few hours, the whipped cream softens the cookies into a cake-like consistency. This icebox cake uses layers of sugar cookies, chocolate whipped cream, strawberry whipped cream, and slices of bananas to recreate the iconic banana split.

Key Lime Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies don’t have to be reserved for Christmas! Their lightly-sweet, buttery flavor is the perfect base for many summery fillings, like key lime. This recipe is also the perfect mix of kitchen shortcuts and classic methods. You’ll make an easy key lime curd by heating condensed milk, egg yolks, and lime juice on the stove, but the cookies themselves are made with pre-made sugar cookie dough from the grocery store. If you want to take these cookies up a notch, add some fresh thyme to the cookie dough or the curd!

You might also like: Top Tips For Indoor Grilling

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