5-Ingredient Summer Desserts

Craving a sweet treat on those sweltering summer afternoons?  These quick and easy dessert recipes require just 5 ingredients or less (excluding salt, pepper, and cooking spray) and are sure to hit the spot.

  • Ultimate Vanilla Pound Cake

    Ultimate Vanilla Pound Cake

    Yes, it's true - you really DO just need 5 ingredients (plus salt) for this classic vanilla pound cake. Plus, every ingredient is a common pantry staple, making pound cake the perfect go-to recipe when you need a last-minute dessert. You'll need about an hour and 15 minutes for the cake to bake, but you'll likely save a trip to the grocery.
  • Grilled Honey-Glazed Nectarines
    Photo: Kate Mathis; Styling: Paul Grimes

    Grilled Honey-Glazed Nectarines

    Grilled fruit is one of the best sweet treats of summer. This recipe works with any stone-fruit, but give nectarines a shot before you branch out. Simply brush nectarine havles with honey and grill until slightly softened, then serve with vanilla ice cream.
  • Raspberry Mousse

    Raspberry Mousse

    Unflavored gelatin, heavy cream, frozen raspberries, sugar, and fresh lemon juice are all you need for this delicious creamy mousse. Don't like raspberries? Simply substitute your favorite berry instead.
  • Ice Cream Bonbons
    Photo: Miki Duisterhof; Styling: Susan Vajaranant

    Ice Cream Bonbons

    These bite-sized, chocolate-covered ice cream balls are a sweet ending to summer cookouts. Plus, this recipe works with any flavor ice cream, so feel free to experiment with different kinds for your favorite flavor combination.
  • Nutella and Strawberry Crepes
    Photo: Alexandra Grablewski; Styling: Gerri Williams

    Nutella and Strawberry Crepes

    For these easy crepes, fill egg roll wrappers with Nutella, sprinkle with sugar, and lightly toast in a buttered skillet. Briefly cook the strawberries in sugar until softened, then spoon on to the crepes for a super quick dessert.
  • Watermelon-Limeade Slushie

    Watermelon-Limeade Slushie

    Turn fresh, sweet chunks of summmer watermelon into this refreshing slushy by freezing, then blending with a homemade simple syrup and fresh lime juice. Kids and adults alike will love this chilly treat!
  • Chocolate and Peanut Butter S'mores
    Photo: Leo Gong; Styling: Dan Becker

    Chocolate and Peanut Butter S'mores

    Bring the comforting flavors of campfire s'mores indoors with these quick treats. Just sandwich a toasted marshmallow between two crisp chocolate wafers spread with creamy peanut butter, and enjoy.
  • Blueberry Sorbet
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Randy Mon

    Blueberry Sorbet

    Break out that ice cream maker for this sweet blueberry sorbet. It's a wonderful way to use up freshly picked berries, although you can use frozen berries in the off season. Dried culinary lavender really makes the flavors pop; you can find it online and in health and gourmet food stores.
  • Layered Fruitsicles
    Photo: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Randy Mon

    Layered Fruitsicles

    Fresh fruit purées are what take these homemade fruitsicles from ordinary to extraordinary. You'll need to allow plenty of time for each layer to freeze before adding the next, but trust us - it's worth the wait.
  • Chocolate Coconut-Cream Fondue
    Photo: Jean Allsopp; Styling: Julia Dowling Rutland

    Chocolate Coconut-Cream Fondue

    What's more fun than fondue - gathering around a pot of melted chocolate to dip fruit and pound cake slices into the ooey-gooey goodness? This fondue recipe adds a little tropical flair with coconut cream and coconut extract, making it the perfect choice for easy summer entertaining.
  • Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding
    Van Chaplin

    Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding

    This super easy, single-serving banana pudding recipe satisfies your sweet tooth in a hurry! Simply layer slices of ripe banana with thawed nondairy whipped topping, prepared vanilla pudding, and vanilla wafers.
  • 3-Step Strawberry Dessert

    3-Step Strawberry Dessert

    Layer puff pastry, crème fraîche, and strawberries for this easy 4-ingredient strawberry dessert and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Lemon-Blueberry Layered Dessert

    Lemon-Blueberry Layered Dessert

    Make an super-easy dessert by layering frozen whipped topping with blueberry pie filling and crumbled cookies.
  • Ginger Shaved Ice with Apricots and Sweetened Condensed Milk
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey

    Ginger Shaved Ice with Apricots

    The idea for this frozen treat comes from a favorite Korean dessert--shaved ice with sweet syrup--and is similar to a fruit granita.
  • Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Heather Chadduck

    Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream

    This homemade ice cream with just four simple ingredients and a tangy citrus twist reinvents the classic Southern icebox pie.
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