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10 Easy Make-Ahead Summer Desserts for Parties



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Summertime means long sunny days filled with beach trips, time at the pool, backyard barbecues, and summer desserts for parties. It means watching your kids run through the sprinkler and spending time sitting on the back deck with friends and the beverage of your choice. No one wants to miss out on all of those things while they spend hours in the kitchen baking summer desserts for parties. Spend more time enjoying the best things about summer and less time slaving away over the stove with these 10 easy make-ahead summer desserts for parties.

Table of Contents

1. Frozen S’mores

daily mom parent portal Summer Desserts for Parties

Everyone loves an ooey, gooey s’more that you make by the campfire. You do not have to wait for your next camping trip to enjoy the delicious marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers of this yummy dessert. At the top of the list of make-ahead summer desserts for parties is this easy Frozen S’mores recipe from The Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis. Start by toasting mini marshmallows under the broiler in your oven for about three minutes. Combine your marshmallows with softened vanilla ice cream and chocolate chips. Scoop the ice cream mixture onto half of a graham cracker and top with the other graham cracker half. Then place your s’mores in the freezer to harden for about two hours.

They take only around 15 to 20 minutes to assemble, are perfect for summer, and can be made more than two hours ahead of any summer get-together. Just take them out of the freezer 15 minutes or so before serving so the ice cream can soften just a bit. Get the full recipe from Food Network.


2. Watermelon Popsicles

daily mom parent portal Summer Desserts for Parties

Summer and watermelon go together like peanut butter and jelly. Maybe that is because there is nothing more refreshing than a juicy slice of watermelon on a hot summer day. So what could be more perfect as summer desserts for parties than Watermelon Popsicles? These popsicles only need three ingredients – watermelon, sugar, and lime juice. To make the popsicles, blend cubes of watermelon with the sugar and lime juice before pouring the mixture into popsicle molds and freezing.

This also makes a great base for other variations. Add strawberries, mint, or a little vanilla yogurt for something a bit different. You could also add a splash of rum or vodka to the mix and make a sort of adult Italian ice! However you decide to make them, these easy popsicles not only jazz up the way you serve watermelon, but they are super simple and can be made way ahead of time so you are not having to rush around ahead of your summer soiree to prepare them. Get the full recipe from New York Times Cooking.

3. Fluffy Key Lime Pie

daily mom parent portal summer desserts for parties

If you like key lime pie but want to try something a little different, this Fluffy Key Lime pie should go in your recipe box under summer desserts for parties. This version of key lime pie is light and very fluffy while being easy to make. It is made with sugar-free lime gelatin, key lime yogurt, and whipped topping that is set in a graham cracker crust. It is so easy that it takes no more than five minutes to put together. Then leave it in the fridge to set for at least two hours.

If you love the tartness of key lime pie, give this recipe a try. It can be made the day before and no one will know you threw it together in just minutes. Get the full recipe from Taste of Home.

4. Boston Cream Pie Cookie Cups

daily mom parent portal summer desserts for parties

Vanilla cake, pastry cream, and chocolate ganache typically make up a Boston Cream Pie (yes, Boston Cream Pie is actually a cake and not a pie). This Boston Cream Pie Cookie Cups variation takes the original flavors of a Boston Cream Pie and puts it in cookie cups to make sweet little summer desserts for parties that can easily be picked up and popped into your mouth during a backyard get-together. The recipe has three components – the cookie cup base, the pastry cream filling, and the chocolate ganache topping. There are a lot of ingredients, but the recipe is pretty simple.

The cookie cups are the only thing that needs to bake and they are only in the oven for about 10 minutes. You can bake the cookie cups a day ahead of time and finish up the other parts the day of your party, or you can make and assemble the entire cookie cups the day before if you prefer and store them in an airtight container. Either way, these bite-sized morsels will delight everyone. Check out Life, Love and Sugar for the ingredients list and the full recipe.


5. Blackberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

daily mom parent portal summer desserts for parties

One of the delicious parts of summer is all the berries that are in season. These Blackberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Cups pair white chocolate and blackberries to make a simple make-ahead dessert that takes no time to put together and can sit in the fridge until you are ready to serve them. Layers of pretzel crumbs that you make by pulsing pretzels in a food processor, white chocolate chip cheesecake, and blackberry puree are topped with whipped cream and blackberries to make a sweet and salty summer dessert. Sprinkle the top with extra white chocolate chips and some chopped nuts for a little extra crunch.

The combination of flavors and textures make these easy-to-make parfaits perfect mini summer desserts for parties that will be gone in a flash. Get the full recipe from Taste of Home.

6. Blueberry Dump Cake

daily mom parent portal summer desserts for parties

Blueberry Dump Cake might top the list of make-ahead summer desserts for parties because it only takes three ingredients, has about three steps, and is ready in an hour. Dump cakes are great because they are exactly what they sound like. You dump all the ingredients into the pan, bake it, and call it a day. The recipe calls for blueberry pie filling but also includes directions for using fresh blueberries if you would prefer to use some delicious seasonal berries instead.

This cake can be made a day or two ahead of time. When you are ready to serve your dump cake, top it with vanilla ice cream and some fresh berries. It will be delicious. Get the full recipe at Lil’ Luna.


7. No-Bake Lemon Icebox Pie

daily mom parent portal summer desserts for parties

No-Bake Lemon Icebox Pies are such lovely summer desserts for parties because they are tart and refreshing. It also helps that this pie is super simple to make and a great choice when you want to make something ahead of time. Make a simple graham cracker crust (or buy a pre-made crust if you do not have the time) and fill it with a simple mixture of cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and grated lemon peel. Then let it set in the fridge for six hours (hence, the reason it is great for a make-ahead dessert).

This lemon icebox pie will be the perfect end to your summer backyard barbecue. Get the recipe from Betty Crocker.

8. Easy Summer Peach Cake

daily mom parent portal desserts for summer parties

Another delicious summer fruit that you should take advantage of for your summer desserts for parties is peaches. You can use canned or fresh peaches in this Easy Summer Peach Cake, but you will love it more if you use fresh peaches. It takes only about 15 minutes to put together and bakes for a little more than 30 minutes. Once cooled, it can be stored overnight if it is well covered at room temperature, or it will last four to five days in the fridge.

You will end up with a delicious moist cake that everyone will love. Check out An Italian In My Kitchen for the full recipe.


9. Pavlova

daily mom parent portal summer desserts for parties

If you have never had pavlova, it is made from egg whites that are slowly baked in a cool oven. It has a soft marshmallowy texture on the inside and a crunchy crisp texture around the edges. The ingredients are simple – egg whites, sugar, an acid, cornstarch, and vanilla extract – and making it is easy. All you really have to do is watch the ingredients beat together in a stand mixer and then keep an eye on it once it is in the oven. Pavlovas make great summer desserts for parties because you can make one large pavlova or individual mini pavlovas for each of your guests.

When the pavlova is finished baking, it cools in the oven, so you can make it earlier and leave it to rest in the oven until it is time for dessert, or store it tightly covered at room temperature for up to two days. When you are ready to serve the pavlova, top it with loads of fresh fruit, a dollop of whipped cream, and a drizzle of honey. Pavlova can be topped with nearly any kind of fresh fruit, so serve yours with your favorite fruit, whatever is in season, or a mix of whatever fruit you have on hand. For a well-explained pavlova recipe, visit Sally’s Baking Addiction.

10. Strawberry Panna Cotta

daily mom parent portal summer desserts for parties

Strawberry Panna Cotta makes the perfect dessert for a fancy dinner or a simple summer meal. It takes just 30 minutes to put together and only uses a handful of ingredients. It is the perfect make-ahead dessert because it needs time afterward to set in the fridge (it is best if it has had the chance to sit overnight). It is a great party dessert because everyone gets their own jiggly little panna cotta and there is something about them that seems fancy and sophisticated.

This is one of those perfect summer desserts for parties because the strawberry flavor is amazing and the smooth, creamy texture is just right for ending a meal enjoyed outside in the summer heat. If you are scared to unmold them, they are just as delicious served inside the ramekins. Just top them with a few fresh strawberries and everyone will love them. Get the full recipe and all the details at Baked By An Introvert.


Who does not love a popsicle or a dessert topped with fresh summer fruit? Hopefully, these 10 easy summer desserts for parties have inspired your next summer get-together and have you dreaming of long summer days and backyard gatherings. With any luck, you will love each and every one of these make-ahead recipes and wish you made a double batch of whichever ones you choose to whip up!

Check out this article on 10 Tips For Your Summer Picnics.

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daily mom parent portal Summer Desserts For Parties

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I am a father of three and my wife is a registered nurse specialized in children.

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