Food

23 summer desserts to bring the sweetest end to your cookout

Some people live for burgers, some people live for sides — and some people just tolerate it all for the reward of dessert. Don’t forget about these people! Whether you’re hosting or contributing to the next cookout, serve or bring one of these decadent desserts. We’ve got something for every sweet tooth!

No-Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
No churn blueberry ice cream
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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You don't need an ice cream machine to make this decadent blueberry cheesecake ice cream! This is definitely a project anyone can take on.

Blueberry Crumble Bars
No churn blueberry ice cream
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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12
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To get the most out of summer berries in her blueberry crumble bars, Jocelyn Delk Adams uses lime juice to brighten their flavor. Feel free to use any berry you love in place of the blueberries. These are SO delicious, it'll be tough to stop at just one!

Easy 5-Ingredient Blueberry Crisp
Easy 5-Ingredient Blueberry Crisp
Grace Parisi / TODAY
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6
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The key to a super successful 5-ingredient recipe is to choose ingredients that do double or triple duty. In addition to toasty oats, the granola adds sweet spices and nuts. Serve this piping hot with vanilla ice cream.

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These light, bright, lemony cheesecake bars are perfect for when it's too hot to turn on the oven.

Almost-Instant Strawberry Soft Serve Ice Cream
Justin Chapple shares a cooking hack for making almost-instant strawberry ice cream
Rebekah Lowin / TODAY
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You definitely don't need an ice-cream maker to make this refreshing 4-ingredient ice cream.

Mixed Berry Ice Pops
Berry ice pops
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Enjoy one of these refreshing mixed berry ice pops to keep cool as you tend to the grill!

5-Ingredient Peach Shortcake Parfaits
Easy dessert: 5-ingredient peach shortcake parfaits
Grace Parisi / TODAY
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4
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Juicy, super–ripe peaches (aside from being delicious!) are so easy to peel without having to dip them in boiling water. Simply make a small cut and use your fingers to peel off the skin.

Skillet Peach Crisp
Skillet Peach Crisp
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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6-8
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You can use any sweet, summer fruit for wonderfully nutty crisp, which is easily baked in a skillet. Or use some combination of blueberries, raspberries, apricots, cherries, plums and strawberries, as long as the fruit is ripe and juicy. This dessert is best baked within a few hours of serving. But don’t serve it hot from the oven. The juices need to cool to room temperature to thicken properly.

Peach Blueberry Skillet Cobbler
Peach Blueberry Skillet Cobbler
Lucy Schaeffer Photography
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See above point. But also make sure to serve with a heaping scoop of ice cream.

Peach-Blueberry Slab Pie with Sweet Almond Crust
Peach-Blueberry Slab Pie with Sweet Almond Crust
Yossy Arefi / Courtesy of Modern Potluck, Clarkson Potter
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A classic slab pie is also known as a crust-lover's pie because the filling is fairly thin — it's like a giant Pop-Tart. To make this pie for an afternoon party, prepare and possibly even roll out the pie crust the night before. This way, you'll have enough time for your pie to cool.

Watermelon Rosé Granita
Watermelon rose slushie
Frances Largeman-Roth / TODAY
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Rosé is THE drink of the summer, so why not cool your heels in the evening while you get your daily glass? If you want to make a kid-friendly version of this, just replace the wine with lemonade or any 100 percent fruit juice.

3-Ingredient Citrus Pucker Gummy Popsicles
Gummy bear popsicles
Brandi Milloy/TODAY
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6
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While these were initially crafted for kids, adults are huge fans too! While the popsicles are tart from the grapefruit soda, the candies provide a nice little sweetness. And they're super fun to eat, with those little gummy surprises inside.

Key Lime Pie
Katie Lee makes a delicious key lime pie.
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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Key lime pie originated in the Florida Key Islands where the citrus grows in abundance. Sweeter than their tart cousins, Key limes have a gentle tangy flavor that enhances the creamy filling of the pie and is a perfect foil to a classic graham cracker pie crust.

5-Ingredient Fruit Cobbler
Dinner and dessert in five minutes with five ingredients: Elizabeth Chambers' recipes for pasta for sausage, feta and capers, and easy peach cobbler
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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This easy dessert is a winner any time of year thanks to your favorite fresh, frozen or canned fruit. Here, Bird Bakery's Elizabeth Chambers, uses frozen peaches to create a delicious peach cobbler.

Foolproof Extra Lemony Meringue Pie
Foolproof Extra Lemony Meringue Pie
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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3 9-inch pie doughs (use 1 for recipe, 2 for future use)
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5-6
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The secret to this amazingly easy lemon meringue pie is to use sour cream to make a forgiving pie dough that bakes into a flaky pie crust.

Lidia Bastianich's Easy Free-Form Plum Tart
Delicious and easy plum tart
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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6
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Skip the fussy pie crust and go rogue with Lidia Bastianich's easy free-form plum tart, called crostata di prugne fresche in Italian.

Martha Stewart's Toasted S'mores Pie
Martha Stewart's Toasted S'mores Pie
Martha Stewart Living
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One 9-inch pie
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This pie can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated. When you're ready to serve, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and if desired, garnish with toasted marshmallows.

S'mores Dip
Smores dip
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Newsflash: Dips can be sweet! Turn this summertime campfire staple into a dip you won't be able to stop eating.

S'mores Bites
S'mores Bites recipe
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18
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S'mores are, of course, best when you roast your own marshmallows over a campfire, but these mini sweets are ideal for parties and can be thrown together in minutes (without the sticky mess).

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You’re super-human if you can look at gorgeous cake without wanting to take a bite.

Coconut Mousse (Mousse de Coco)
Coconut Mousse
Brandon Goodwin / TODAY
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8
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Get a taste of Brazil with this light-as-a-cloud coconut mousse.

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16
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The ingenious thing about this recipe (beside it being a mashup of two childhood favorites) is that the Rice Krispies treats mimic the texture of waffle cones. Be sure to use premium quality ice cream because it's churned with less air, which makes it melt more slowly.

Pavlova
Pavlova with berries
Gesine Bullock-Prado
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This light and airy dessert — encased by a crunchy, golden shell — is the perfect summer treat. With only a few ingredients and steps, it won't keep you inside from the warm weather for too long. Plus, "it's gluten-free!" says Bullock-Prado. If only it were calorie-free, too.

This article was originally published Sept. 2, 2016.

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