Our Best Labor Day Desserts
Perfect Strawberry Pie
Fact: There is no better celebration of just-ripe summer strawberries than this classic berry pie; that’s why we called it perfect. The just-sweet-enough strawberry filling retains an admirable level of juiciness, thickening just enough to allow for a clean slice, thanks to a combination of cornstarch and tapioca. This duo of thickening agents stabilizes the pie filling without erring into goopy territory, as can often happen with all-purpose flour in cooked, fruit fillings. While lemon is the traditional citrus of choice for summer berry pies, we found lime to be an exceptional complement to the sugary-bright strawberries.
Puff Pastry Summer Fruit Slab Pie
This show-stopper is easy to assemble, but so impressive. The only component of this effortlessly elegant tart that needs to bake is the puff pastry base itself. Once it’s baked and cooled, you’ll top it with a creamy, fluffy spread of sweetened mascarpone cheese mixed with marzipan (i.e. almond paste), vanilla, freshly whipped cream. You’ll want to wait until right before serving time to assemble your dessert. All of those glorious summer fruit juices are going to start seeping into your puff pastry and will lead to sogginess if prepared too far in advance.
Red, White, and Blue Cake
Blueberry-Lavender Pie With Almond Streusel
Few dishes say summer like a classic blueberry pie. And for anyone seeking a foolproof formula for the beloved bubbling berry dessert, this is the recipe to put in your arsenal. Although lavender may seem like an unnecessary frill on what should be an inherently simple delight, rest assured, fresh blueberries are undoubtedly the star here, with a subtle hint of the floral sweetness to play a supporting role. However, the culinary buds are easily eliminated from the pie should you wish to ditch ‘em. Because blueberries and almonds are a natural dream team, this gracefully demure nut was an obvious choice for the crunchy streusel topping. Besides providing a delightfully sugary contrast to the juicy and not-too-sweet berry filling, the golden crumble saves you the trouble of having to roll out and arrange a top crust—which means a little less stands between you and a warm slice of blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream melting over its steaming innards. And that’s what’s important, after all.
Mason Jar Cherry Pies
These adorable personal-sized cherry pies will be the star of your Labor Day gathering.
Grilled Pound Cake with Brandied Red Plums
When plums are at their juiciest best, they're great in a quick dessert. If you don't already have the grill going, just broil or toast the pound cake until golden.
All-Star Berry Tart
Fill a tart shell with a rich pastry cream and arrange fresh berries on the top in a star shape for a dessert that's perfect for patriotic holidays.
These dainty little tarts have an unusual depth of character, thanks to their graham-cracker-like crusts.
Our Most Popular Cookies Ever
These 6-ingredient, flourless cookies are a dream! It doesn't get any easier, and according to our reviewers, any more delicious.
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcakes
Grandma had it right all along. Make this classic dessert for a refreshing treat when strawberries are in season.
Vegan Coconut Cream Tart with White Peaches and Blueberries
This nutrient-rich twist on coconut cream pie is lusciously smooth and decadent… it’s also vegan, paleo, gluten-fee, and raw. In other words, you’re looking at a tart with a stacked resume. Perfect for a special occasion, especially if you’re looking to clean up your diet a bit, this show-stopping vegan dessert offers rich, toasty flavor and sweet tooth satisfaction—without adding refined sugar. And since there’s no need to crank up the oven to make it, this treat especially ideal for summer. Keep in mind, whipping coconut cream can sometimes be tricky. If you forget to refrigerate your cans overnight or if too much of the liquid gets mixed in, it will most likely separate. But not to worry—mixing in a bit of tapioca flour (arrowroot would also work) can bring the mixture back together in a snap. To save yourself time, go ahead and place your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the fridge to chill as soon as you are ready to start prepping your tart.
Easy Berry Tart
This vibrant and impressive dessert literally couldn’t get any easier.
Chocolate Crème-Filled Sandwich Cookies
Whip up your favorite chocolate sandwich cookies for your Labor Day dessert spread.
Double Apple Pie With Cornmeal Crust
Berry Cream Tart
Fill a tart crust with a sweet cream cheese mixture and top with fresh berries for an easy and impressive dessert that's perfect for summer entertaining.
Choose firm apples with sweet-tart flavor, such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp; in our tests, Fuji and Granny Smith fell apart.
Blueberry-Lemon Zest Ice Cream
If you like creamy, fruity ice cream with a little bit of zing, you'll love this ice cream dish.
Stone Fruit Eton Mess
This fruit-filled yogurt dessert topped with cookie crumbs is a tasty and healthy treat.
Tahini-Blueberry Sheet Cake With Strawberry Buttercream
Perfect for a graduation party or summer cookout, this impressive dessert offers the ease and crowd-friendly factor that we associate with a sheet cake, as well as a delightful twist of creativity and surprising vibrancy with the incorporation of tahini and fresh berries. If you have a jar of the trendy sesame seed paste hanging out in your pantry, trust us—it’s high time to go beyond hummus and welcome it into your dessert life. Tahini lends a delicious toasty quality to the tender cake while fresh blueberries dotted throughout the batter balance this nutty depth with their bright, juicy sweetness. A simple strawberry buttercream ties everything together and makes for a low-effort, eye-catching presentation.
Caramel Apple Cake
Sweet Summer Strawberry Tart
After finding a fly in her bottle of Mouton Cadet Rouge, chef and cookbook author Joanne Weir, then 24, had the gumption to mail the insect to the wine's maker, Château Mouton Rothschild, one of the top wineries in the world. In response to her complaint, she received an invitation to lunch at the château. She booked a flight immediately. This recipe is her re-creation of the day's finale--a tart "topped with a silky smooth kirsch pastry cream and crowned with perfectly glazed, ripe red strawberries."
With a buttery, crunch-tastic oat and brown sugar topping partnered with the super simple filling that highlights the best of what ripe berries and stone fruit have to offer, this sweet and satisfying crisp is the ultimate in summer desserts.
Blackberry-Peach Slow Cooker Crumble
Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt, this simple summer dessert is a great way to satisfy the sweet tooth while reaping the nutritional benefits of summer fruit. Keep the peach slices no less than 1/2 inch thick; any smaller, and they may lose their shape when cooked.
Carrot-Zucchini Cake with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
Zucchini makes a brilliant addition to carrot cake, adding a verdant note to the sweet carrot.
Ice Cream-Only Ice Cream Cake
For some, a typical ice cream cake is a wonderful, frozen amalgamation of two of life’s great desserts: ice cream and cake (obviously). However, for others—those who truly prefer ice cream over cake—the fact that most ice cream cakes still contain layers of frozen cake is… a disappointment. And it is for these ice cream loving people that we created this “cake,” made purely of frozen dairy goodness. We use fresh whipped cream fortified with gelatin to “frost” the cake, holding the layered scoops together and coating the exterior, because a stabilized whipped cream holds its texture incredibly well (without becoming rock-hard) in the freezer. You can use any number and variety of flavors/colors to create your own take on this ice cream-only cake; we opted to go with a rainbow of colors to achieve a festive feel in every slice. Use any custom combination to create the perfect frozen cake for a birthday party, gender reveal party, college game day event, etc. You can even dress the concept up to create an adorable Ice Cream Princess Cake.
Maple-Peach Milk Shake
Blend maple syrup, peaches, low-fat frozen yogurt, and low-fat milk to make this flavorfull milkshake.
Mini Strawberry Tarts
These mini tarts are not only beautiful, but tasty as well. Top strawberry tarts with a variety of several other fresh berries like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries for a sensational summer treat.
Pumpkin-Honey-Beer Bread Pudding with Apple Brandy-Caramel Sauce
Use Pumpkin-Honey-Beer Bread to make this flavorfull fall dessert.
Blueberry-Peach Upside Down Cake
This stunning upside-down cake is the perfect, easy dessert to showcase your bounty of summer fruit. The cake is tender and moist, with just enough of a delightful toothy texture from the incorporation of cornmeal into the batter. You’ll want to use juicy, ripe blueberries and peaches for best results; however, you could use frozen fruit in a pinch—just be sure to thaw and dry throughly. A few more tips to ensure upside-down cake success: Finish incorporating the ingredients by hand, this will prevent over-mixing your way to a tough cake. Also, aim to arrange the fruit as tightly as you can in the cake pan; fruit shrinks as it cooks and you don’t want too much unadorned cake poking through. Finally, if you want to skip the cornmeal, simply swap it 1:1 with all-purpose flour (for a total of 1 1/3 cups).
The Best American Flag Cake Ever
Celebrate any Labor Day with this festive, fruit-covered chocolate cake. It's sure to stand out at even the most festive picnic.