summertime dessert spread
Add some fruit to these decadent desserts. (Illustration by Julie Chow, University of California, Berkeley)

Crave a Fruity Dessert? Try These 6 Recipes This Summer

Incorporate the sweet treats you know and love with the delightful taste of fresh, in-season fruit for the upcoming warmer months.

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summertime dessert spread

Incorporate the sweet treats you know and love with the delightful taste of fresh, in-season fruit for the upcoming warmer months.

Everyone loves a good dessert –– but nothing beats the summertime desserts that incorporate fresh fruit into the mix. As the warmer months approach, many fruits are coming into season. Whether you prefer chocolatey desserts hot out of the oven or cool and refreshing frozen treats for a hot summer’s day, there’s a fruity dessert perfect for you.

1. Homemade Ice Cream with Fruit Toppings

There’s just something about thick, creamy vanilla ice cream topped with slices of peach, strawberry, or blueberries and a touch of whipped cream, isn’t there? Thanks to Cuisinart’s quick and easy ice cream maker, the days of complicated homemade ice cream makers, boxes of ice cream salt and hours of waiting are long gone. With just a handful of ingredients, you can have homemade ice cream ready to serve within 15 minutes. You can also mix other ingredients such as heath bar toffee bits, mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts into the ice cream to add a crunch to every bite. You can substitute these toppings for your favorite kinds of fruit if you’d rather have your fruit mixed into the ice cream than on top. Check out this article to discover what fruits work best in ice cream.

2. Sherbet & Sorbet

Prefer something other than milk-based ice cream? Experiment with sherbet and sorbet, which have little to no dairy products. Don’t be afraid to test out a lesser-known flavor like watermelon sherbet. There are excellent recipes out there that take as little as five minutes to make. If you don’t want to be too wild with the flavor, there are also some more popular fruity sorbet recipes like mango, strawberry and raspberry that you are sure to love. You can even make orange sherbet push-up pops from your childhood.

3. Fruit-Based Popsicles

Need something to use all of those hand-picked strawberries you have sitting in your fridge? Try making homemade strawberry popsicles. They aren’t hard to make — you only need a few ingredients: strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to a popsicle that’s loaded with sugar, consider a recipe that consists solely of strawberry puree. All you have to do is buy a few popsicle containers online or at the grocery store, follow the recipe, pour the mix into the containers with a popsicle stick and pop it in the freezer.

4. Chocolate-Covered Fruit

Milk chocolate-covered strawberries are always a classic, but you’ll be surprised to find that other fruits taste delicious coated in chocolate as well. For instance, dark chocolate-coated pineapple slices and frozen chocolate-dipped bananas often accompany the strawberries as a huge hit as well.

There are dozens of scrumptious fruit and chocolate pairings out there, from melons with dark chocolate to oranges with white chocolate to kiwis with milk chocolate. Don’t want to bother dipping the fruit yourself? You can order a fruit arrangement from Edible Arrangements with same-day delivery. You can check your local grocery store for other chocolate-covered fruit trays as well, although they are less likely to have as wide a variety. Some companies like Harry & David will even ship your order to you. If you’re wanting an alternative to chocolate or you’re feeling adventurous, have a crack at cheesecake-stuffed strawberries or caramel-cheesecake stuffed apples.

5. Fondue Fountain

If you’re feeling extra fancy, experiment with a fondue fountain. Not only are they cheap, they’re also an easy way to serve a large crowd. The options are almost endless with what you can do with a chocolate fountain to step up your dessert game to the next level. Whether you serve only fruit, add other sweets like marshmallows to the table or if you decide to expand your guests’ options to more creative alternatives like cheese cubes and veggies, there’s no “wrong” way to do it. Moreover, you have the freedom to pick your favorite kind of chocolate to use in the fountain — so if you’re feeling dark chocolate, do it. After all, everything always tastes better dipped in chocolate … and the fruit makes it healthy, right?

6. Fruity Brownies, Cookies, Cakes & More

Put a spin on your average rich and fudgy brownie recipe by incorporating fruits like oranges to add zest to the entire dessert. Brownies aren’t the only baked goods you can add fruit to — in fact, brownies are only the beginning. Try Melt-in-Your-Mouth Orange Vanilla Cookies or No-Bake Strawberry Pie for starters. There’s a cookie recipe for every kind of fruit out there — some taking a basic fruit-filled cookie like raspberry chocolate chip to a new level with fruit pillow cookies that have a gooey fruit filling in each cookie’s center.

Additionally, there are recipes readily available on Pinterest for cakes with varying numbers of layers and difficulty, each brimming with all kinds of fruits. So whether you prefer your cake fruit-flavored or you lean toward a vanilla base iced in a fruity frosting, there are plenty of options out there for you to test out. Not to mention the hundreds of fruit pie recipes and cobblers that will light up your taste buds and leave you wanting more at every bite. Blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, peach … the list goes on and on for the kinds of delectable cobblers you can make with fresh fruit.

Want more dessert ideas? This list only scratches the surface; there are hundreds of articles out there with ideas as elaborate as passion fruit macarons and as simple as blueberry compote. You can scroll on Pinterest for hours without running out of new recipes or creative ideas.

And who said you have to stop with dessert? Try incorporating fruit-based items into every meal, whether it be a jam, jelly or even just a fruit cup. After all, the American Heart Association recommends 4-5 servings of fruit daily. Something as easy as fruit salad can also make a great addition to a meal as an appetizer. But let’s be real — there’s just something about fresh fruit in the summertime and there’s no better place to have it than in these luscious desserts. So grab an apron, pick up some in-season fruit and start baking away.

Writer Profile

Julianna Steen

Auburn University
English Literature, minoring in History

A few of my favorite things include reading romance novels, watching action movies, baking (and consuming) anything chocolate, creating for my business, He is Simply Goodness, and going on adventures with friends and family!

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