Summer Dessert Recipes

It’s officially SUMMER.

School’s been out for two weeks already for my kids, so technically summer vacation started in spring. “Spring” vacation doesn’t quite have the same ring though.

This summer’s a little different for us. We’ve just moved to our new house on my parents’ property, about 40 minutes away from our old house in Frederick. It’s a little more rural, and unlike the past decade…we’re no longer part of a neighborhood with a community pool.

Believe me when I say you get used to having pools at your fingertips over the summer, especially when kids are part of the equation. It’s wonderful.

But, with acreage at our fingertips now, I don’t think we’re going to miss those pools TOO much. There are forts to build. Veggies, berries and eggs to gather. New neighborhood kids to meet. Fireflies to catch!

Another great thing about this time of year are all the summer dessert recipes. I can’t get enough of the berry cobblers, pies, ice cream…. Oh my!

And speaking of summer dessert recipes, here are a few of my favorites from the blog over the years:

 

Summer Dessert Recipes

1. Lemon Curd Tartlettes

These little mini tarts are bursting with lemon flavor, and they’re so incredibly easy to prepare for a crowd. Bonus: the lemon curd will keep for about two weeks in the fridge, so use any leftovers for topping pancakes, over ice cream…or simply by the spoonful!

2. Homemade Key Lime Pie

I talk about this pie a lot. A LOT. It’s a family favorite, so much so that my sister requested three pies for her birthday one year – one to eat now, and two to freeze later. Another easy recipe, you’ll make it time and time again!

3. Raspberry Crumble Bars

After the my blueberry crumble bars went viral on Pinterest, I quickly decided a raspberry version was in order. I mean, who doesn’t love raspberries? (Now’s the perfect time to make these!)

4. Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

This twist on the original summer favorite is perfect for a birthday party, or just because. The whipped cream frosting really sets it off (although I suspect cream cheese frosting would also be delicious)!

5. Homemade Frozen Fudge Pops

Why bother buying frozen fudge pops when it’s ridiculously easy to make them from scratch at home? This particular recipe sweetens with real maple syrup instead of sugar, so they’re better for you too (but taste just as good).

6. Blueberry Crumble Bars

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and in the case of this recipe – it’s SO true. One look and you’ll want to lick the screen. Or rush into your kitchen to make a batch.

7. Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Bake the cookies from scratch, make your own ice cream (or buy your favorite), and then look at crazy easy it is to make your own ice cream sandwiches. I dare you to buy them from the store after this. Dare you!

8. Lazy Cook’s Banana Pudding

Disclaimer: This recipe is a couple years old and uses things like “instant pudding” and “whipped topping” that I’d probably not use today. (Although my in-laws enjoy this version, so I make it for them now and then.) If I were to do it today for our family, I’d make homemade whipped cream and pudding from scratch. It really wouldn’t be that hard….

Homemade Frozen Fudge Pops

Homemade Frozen Fudge Pops

Who doesn’t love a frozen fudge pop?

Many of my childhood summer memories include sprinklers, bike rides, hide-and-go-seek,  ice cream trucks and Fudgsicles galore!

Mmmm…. Fudgsicles….

My neighbors have been following the 100 Days of Real Food guidelines for over year now. They make their own sandwich bread, mozzarella cheese, granola, and….

Frozen fudge pops.

When I saw their kids happily licking away at the chocolaty goodness frozen on a stick, I had to know where they found a recipe to mimic that childhood favorite. No surprises! It was the 100 Days of Real Food recipe for Homemade Fudge Pops.

Lisa’s recipe from 100 Days of Real Food is ridiculously easy, uses no granulated sugar, and tastes a lot like the real deal. It takes less than 5 minutes to whip the liquid together, pour it into ice pop molds and toss them in the freezer.

When I made my batch, I halved her recipe since I only have one small tray of ice pop molds, and I substituted sour cream for the plain yogurt because it’s what I had in my fridge today. I figured the sour cream would give the needed tartness that the plain yogurt adds.

I’d love to try coffee flavored Greek yogurt as the add-in next time….

Homemade Frozen Fudge Pops

We’ve made these homemade frozen fudge pops twice now, and my kids are fans. And as any parent knows, they’re the best (and most honest) judges of all!

Homemade Frozen Fudge Pops
 
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Homemade frozen fudge pops taste just like the real "Fudgsicle" deal!
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. Whisk the syrup, cocoa powder and vanilla together in a medium mixing bowl until it's smooth and glossy, without any lumps.
  2. Pour the milk and the sour cream into the syrup mixture, and whisk until it's combined.
  3. Pour the fudge pop liquid into your popsicle molds, leaving ¼" of space at the top. Freeze the fudge pops for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Makes 6 small fudge pops.
  4. TIP: Pass the frozen fudge pop under warm water for a second or two to make it easier to pull apart before eating.

 

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Disclosure: As a Stonyfield Organic™ ambassador, I am being compensated. All opinions are always my own!

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

My daughter just turned 9 years old, and one of her presents from us was an inexpensive desktop printer for her computer. She was crazy excited when she saw it, and immediately started printing out pages from the interwebs. (With warnings, of course, that the INK for her new printer doesn’t magically grow on trees.)

One of those printouts included a beautiful and lengthy two-page recipe for chocolate cake. MARTHA STEWART’S chocolate cake, no less.

The girl has taste, what can I say?

Her point of printing it out was to show me exactly the cake she wants for her birthday party. Because, you know, her mother who has never claimed to be a baker can certainly whip up Martha Stewart’s chocolate cake to a sweet, cocoa-y perfection.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Ahem.

Clearly a trial run was in order. And obviously I couldn’t just try to make Martha’s exact recipe. No, no. I had to tweak it, of course!

And so with a little Stonyfield Greek vanilla yogurt and a splash of brewed hazelnut coffee, I made my version of Martha Stewart’s chocolate cake in the form of mini chocolate cupcakes this past weekend.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

I didn’t have buttermilk on hand AND I was out of vanilla extract (a travesty!), so I hoped that the yogurt would satisfy both of those missing ingredients.

The cake turned out moist, and the mini chocolate cupcakes are perfect little desserts for my kids, and will also pack well (unfrosted!) for my daughter’s school lunch.

Looks like I’ll be giving this another go ’round for the party! The birthday girl is pleased.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes
 
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Adapted from Martha Stewart's Chocolate Cake Recipe
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup Stonyfield Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups hot water
  • ¼ cup brewed hazelnut coffee
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a non-stick mini muffin pan.
  2. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar into the bowl of a stand-up mixer. With the mixer set on low and fit with a paddle attachment, add the oil, followed by the milk, yogurt, eggs, water and coffee - one at a time, in that order. Increase the speed to medium-low and continue mixing until the batter is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan, filling each about ¾ of the way. Bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the tops bounce back when gently pressed.
  4. Let the mini muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then use a knife to loosen the mini chocolate cupcakes around the edges and then lift them out. Cool them completely on a wire rack. Frost them with your favorite chocolate icing.
  5. Makes 48 mini cupcakes.

Disclosure: As a Stonyfield Organic™ ambassador, I am being compensated. All opinions are always my own!

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

More and more I’m trying to cook things from scratch, with ingredients that are pronounceable and simple. Also organic and local, if and when it’s possible.

I’ve made Italian bread, French bread, pizza dough and biscuits from scratch (easier than you’d think!), and this year I plan to make mozzarella and ricotta cheeses too!

Note: I don’t make ALL our bread, but I’ve made some of it. You know, to clarify.

One thing I’ve stopped doing is buying cookies from the grocery store. My kids get to pick a small dessert after dinner (one cookie, one little piece of chocolate, a small bowl of ice cream, etc.), and my 8-year old gets a treat in her lunchbox. Now those cookies I used to buy are baked from scratch on the weekends.

Which also means I get to lick we get to lick the cookie dough bowl, something that’s definitely missed when you buy the cookies from the supermarket.

Snickerdoodles

It’s hard to stray away from chocolate chip cookies. They’re a classic, and I love them. But this week I thought we’d try something different: Snickerdoodles!

Snickerdoodles

Cinnamon sugar, buttery cookie – what’s not to love (especially warm right out of the oven)?

Snickerdoodles
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose/whole wheat blend flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cream the butter, ¾ cup sugar and egg together with a mixer for 2 minutes. Sift the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together in separate medium bowl.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and continue mixing for 1 more minute, or until the ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Mix the 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll the cookie dough into 1-1/2" balls, then coat them in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place them on an ungreased baking sheet about 2" apart.
  5. Bake the Snickerdoodles for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges look golden and the tops aren't shiny. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool for 1 minute before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. (Tip: eat a cookie while it's still warm!)
  6. Makes 20 cookies.

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