5 Dessert Recipes to Indulge in Before Summer Ends

Everyone's baking and cooking styles are different. Some pretty simple, while others are pretty strange. An example of strange for me is in my research process. I've found that I prefer certain dishes from specific chefs, magazines, websites, and blogs, while completely disliking other dishes from them. When I'm researching new dinner dishes to experiment with, I rely primarily on Martha Stewart and Food Network geniuses like Giada. If I'm looking for simple appetizer or beginning course platters though, I turn to none other than the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. Even Jennifer Garner's "Fake Cooking Show" on her Instagram has provided some pretty fantastic inspiration for cooking hacks.

However, when it comes to desserts, I always turn to Food & Wine. It's basically become second nature to depend on them to deliver a new, decadent dessert recipe for me. Whether I'm short on time and am looking to whip up something quick, or I'm prepped to dedicate an entire day to cultivating kitchen masterpieces, they somehow always manage to know exactly what I need and want—even if I don't know it yet myself. And before you ask, this is not an ad, I just genuinely love Food & Wine's culinary work. And my recipe book and search history can prove that.

With summer soon ending and fall in sight, I decided to round up a few of my favorite summer dessert recipes from this past season. These dishes are affordable, super simple to make, and best of all—some are actually pretty healthy too. Bonus, right? With that, here are 5 dessert recipes that you totally need to indulge in before summer ends:

5. Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits

I feel like this dessert needs no introduction or context, because the name is really enticing enough. But alas, I'll formally introduce the Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Parfait. Full disclosure: I am not someone who typically likes blueberries. But this dessert is so unbelievably refreshing and decadent all at once, that the blueberries, lemon twist and, tangy, cheesecake custard combine to perfectly form this versatile dessert.

The recipe comes from renowned pastry chef, Maggie Leung. While I love the mix of blueberries and lemon, you’re also able to substitute with any fruit you’d like, making it a super versatile treat to top off an afternoon, summer dinner party.

Ingredients:

Shortbread

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blueberry Compote

  • 2 cups blueberries (12 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Cheesecake Custard

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus extra strips for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the full recipe, visit the Food & Wine official website.

4. Minted Watermelon Popsicles

Summer signifies warm weather and endless pool days—at least in my book. And hey, the more hours of sunlight, the more fun, right? Well, this next recipe for Minted Watermelon Popsicles is a lighter fare dessert that's easy to make, and super satisfying after spending so much time out in the sun.

I personally love these because they are also convenient to take anywhere. You can munch on these treats while you’re relaxing in the pool, or you could grab one to-go before you embark on an evening bike ride. And the best part about this particular recipe is that they are fat-free! Summer can be prime time for weight gain with calorie-ridden summer desserts and undisciplined vacation days. With these fruity pops, you can enjoy the taste of summer without feeling guilty. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon without the rind, cut into 1-inch dice (about 4 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, minced

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

  • Pinch of salt

For the full recipe, visit the Food & Wine official website.

3. Butter Pecan Cookie & Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches

I never knew that a dessert could collectively combine everything that I love into one perfect dish, until I stumbled upon this recipe for Butter Pecan Cookie and Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches. This is truly the most heavenly dessert, and I'm so obsessed with it, that I'm tempted just to keep making it through all of my fall dinners and even into the upcoming Christmas party season. So, beware to all of my friends, because I'll totally be breaking food protocol in serving ice cream sandwiches in the middle of winter.

My favorite part about these sandwiches is that they are fantastic, snackable size. Okay, enough about me gushing over this addicting treat. Just make sure you have your recipe book on-hand, because you’ll need to write this one in immediately.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • Pinch of baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 pints peach ice cream, softened slightly

For the full recipe, visit the Food & Wine official website.

2. Honey-Roasted Apricots with Amaretti Cookies

This is quite possibly the easiest, sweetest and most unexpectedly wonderful dessert that I've ever made. Forget all of your go-to summer recipes like coconut cakes and strawberry shortbread cookies. This needs to be your sweet dish of the summer. Not only is it ridiculously easy and quick to make, but it also only requires a handful of ingredients, thus making it super affordable too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound apricots, halved and pitted

  • 1 tablespoon honey, heated

  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

  • Pinch of ground cardamom

  • 1/2 cup crushed amaretti cookies

  • 2 tablespoons chilled heavy cream

For the full recipe, visit the Food & Wine official website. 

1. Berry-Yogurt Pavlovas with Chamomile-Lavender Syrup

So, I'll be the first to admit: sometimes I only experiment with recipes so long as they have long, complicated and fancy-sounding names. Yes, I know that's super silly and ridiculous. However, it's such a thrill hosting dinner parties, and then bringing out really complex dishes that wow your guests. Cooking and baking are two hobbies that I really pride myself in, and I have so much fun treating my friends to new recipes that I've found.

The only thing that might be better than impressing your friends with your dishes is baking complicated-sounding dishes that are actually ridiculously easy and manageable. My current favorite? The Berry-Yogurt Pavlovas with Chamomile-Lavender Syrup. This dessert is refreshing, healthy, and mouth-watering from the moment that you combine the ingredients, to the moment that you present it to your guests to devour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound apricots, halved and pitted

  • 1 tablespoon honey, heated

  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

  • Pinch of ground cardamom

  • 1/2 cup crushed amaretti cookies

  • 2 tablespoons chilled heavy cream

For the full recipe, visit the Food & Wine official website.