30 Desserts for Memorial Day Weekend
Summer is finally here, and that's a perfect excuse to celebrate with one of these crowd-pleasing desserts. Whether you're looking to follow up your Memorial Day barbecue or cookout with cake, cobbler, pie, brownies, cookies, or ice cream, we've got the top-notch dessert recipes everyone will love.
Aperol Spritz Cake
The delicate blance of sweet, bitter and citrus that makes the cocktail so refreshing also makes for an unusual citrus cake.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Some would say you haven’t truly embraced spring until you’ve made our Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, and we’d be inclined to agree. It’s a simple dessert that relies on the inherent synergy of its ingredients: rhubarb’s bright tang matched with jammy strawberry sweetness, accented by a delicate touch of cardamom, ginger, and orange zest—all topped off with a forever-crunchy, addictively toasty oat and almond crumble. While 1/2 cup of cornstarch might be more than you’re used to seeing for a fruit crisp recipe, note that rhubarb releases a substantial amount of liquid during the baking process. Thus, you need a bit more of the thickening agent in order to yield a lush, syrupy filling rather than one that’s too loosey-juicy. Warm from the oven, this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp wants nothing more than a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Grilled Apple Pie a la Mode
Whether it’s in the backyard or around a campfire, this easy, on-the-spot recipe has all the elements of a perfect apple pie. Make sure to use apples that are the same size so they’ll cook at the same rate. The ice cream will melt quickly, so put it on the apples right as you serve them.
You know how some cocktails are so good they're basically dessert? This mudslide cake takes that even further, making the classic dessert cocktail into an actual dessert. The inclusion of both Irish and coffee liqueurs give the cake depth of flavor, and the chocolate glaze and cherries give a nod to the traditional mudslide garnishes. Eat it with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. No straw required.
Copycat Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies
Is this recipe an exact replica of Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies? No. These are better. Rather than thin cakes, we went for oatmeal cookies that pack an almost peanut-butter-like flavor without any nuts. The crème filling completely nails what we love about the prepackaged pies, but takes things further with an almost airy, marshmallow-based consistency. If that doesn’t convince you, preparing these at home is just as quick (if not faster) than a grocery run.
Easy Strawberry Cobbler
Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean this biscuit-topped strawberry cobbler won’t impress. In fact, bursting with vibrant berry flavor (regardless of how perfectly ripe your strawberries may or may not be), we can just about guarantee that it will. We keep this stunning berry dessert stunningly simple by using Bisquick baking mix for the topping. The bottoms of each fluffy biscuit soaks up luscious juices from the berries while the tops bake up golden-crisp. And sprinkling the cobbler’s Bisquick topping with a bit of turibinado sugar is a pro’s touch for adding visual and textural interest. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for the full cobbler experience.
A toasty twist on the traditional Millionaire’s Shortbread, these decadent layered cookie bars feature toasted sesame seeds in the shortbread, a luscious tahini caramel, and more sesame seeds sprinkled over top for good measure.
Fair warning: Our editors and test kitchen staff LOVED these gluten-free brownies. Words like "decadent" and "divine" were thrown around liberally.
Banana Pudding Cake
One of our testers called this "the ultimate banana pudding in cake form." Tender laters of cake, creamy vanilla custard, and bananas come together to create a mouthwatering dessert. Warning: There won't be leftovers.
Salted Grapefruit Pie
Tapioca flour does double duty in this gluten-free pie, making the crust super crispy and stabilizing the silky grapefruit custard filling. Whether or not you follow a strictly gluten-free diet, this is a downright impressive dessert that exists in a nexus of acidic, sweet, salty, and creamy. The combo of tapioca, eggs, and butter in the pie's filling work together to make for a clean slice without overtly emphasizing the presence of any one thickener.
Easy Berry Tart
This vibrant and impressive dessert literally couldn’t get any easier. Rather than making a stovetop custard from-scratch, we use boxed pudding mix combined with Cool Whip (trust us on this one) as a shortcut to the rich and luscious vanilla filling that makes this tart amazing. Once you pour this decadent filling into your simple almond and cookie crumb crust, all that’s left to do is let it chill, and then top it off with plenty of fresh fruit. We used various types of summer berries—strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries—for ours, but feel free to use your favorite fruits here… fresh, ripe peaches would make a great addition. To amp up the almond flavor, try adding 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to your filling. Or hey, if almonds really aren’t your thing, you can definitely substitute a different nut (like macadamias) or simply leave them out all together and increase the amount of cookie crumbs in your crust by about 1/3 cup.
Ultimate Coconut Cake
"Ultimate" is no exaggeration here—this cake features coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut sugar, coconut extract, and (of course) flaked coconut. Given this cake's incredibly moist layers, intense coconut flavor, and lighter-than-air filling, our test kitchen chefs fought over the leftovers.
Keto Salted Almond-Butter Brownies
Anyone on the keto diet looking to indulge needs to make these brownies, stat. These keto brownies are sugar-free yet decadent. The interior is fudgy and chocolatey, and the salted almond butter topping adds a toasty twist.
Chocolate-and-Peanut Butter Banana Pudding
Key Lime Pie Milkshake
Chick-fil-A’s Frosted Key Lime has nothing on this. This summery dessert is refreshingly tart and creamy, and the crunch and aroma from the graham cracker makes it taste just like Key lime pie. In other words, it’ll wow all your guests and is the perfect “light” way to round out barbecue or a backyard cookout. Look for Key lime juice in the juice aisle. If it’s not there, regular limes will do the trick.
Cookies-and-Cream Stuffed Pound Cake
What’s better than pound cake? A stuffed pound cake, that’s what. A rich, cookies-and-cream filling takes a prepared pound cake to the next level. For this recipe, check the supermarket bakery for a pound cake on the larger side; alternatively, if you go with a smaller loaf cake (like a Sara Lee brand pound cake), go ahead and grab two—you’ll have enough filling to go around. For a different spin, swap the Oreo cookies for chopped peanut butter cups or sliced fresh strawberries.
Grilled Pound Cake with Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup
Pound cake chars up really nicely on the grill and gets even grill marks. Don’t skip the syrup, because it’s packed with flavor. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, regular lemons will work just fine. The simple syrup will hold up for two weeks, so you can definitely make it ahead of time—or make extra and save it for later.
Bisquick Topped Blueberry Cobbler
This biscuit topped blueberry cobbler recipe couldn’t be easier. Breaking out your trusty Bisquick baking mix keeps the recipe effortless, but you could also top the vibrant berry filling with a simple homemade drop biscuit dough as well. Using ripe, juicy blueberries gives this summertime favorite the perfect level of sweetness, while vanilla extract contributes a floral depth and a little bit of aromatic lemon zest lends a lovely balance of brightness. Served warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, this easy cobbler can’t be beat.
DIY Wendy’s Frosty
Our homemade Frosty tastes just like the real deal and is easier than going to a drive-thru. It’s soft and super creamy with the super small ice crystals that put the Frosty in an entirely different category than ice cream or milkshakes. Serve it to the kids for a treat or at your next backyard cookout.
Lemon Pound Cake with Fruit Compote
Grapefruit-Campari Bars with Shortbread Crust
This grown-up treat embraces the bitterness in both grapefruit and Campari, balancing the flavor with a rich, buttery shortbread crust.
Deep-Dish Strawberry Ice Dream Pie
The filling for our killer pie is somewhere between ice cream and mousse--a creamy concoction that's ridiculously easy to make.
Berry Lemonade Bars
Guests will swoon when you send them home with these pretty treats. The strawberry version is sweet and rosy pink; the raspberry version, deeper mauve and tart. The lemon variation is straight-up puckery perfection. We mix the filling together just before the crust comes out of the oven and then pour it onto the hot crust so that it sets quickly.
Sheet Pan Oatmeal Toffee-Orange Cream Bars
These toasty-sweet, sheet pan sandwich cookies are fantastic for potlucks or tailgates—heck, whip a batch up on the weekend and enjoy for after-school snacks or dessert throughout the week. Toffee bits and cinnamon kick up the flavor of a traditional oatmeal cookie, while adding fresh orange zest to the filling adds a special touch or bright flavor to these tasty bars. Be sure the cookie is completely cool (out of the pan) before cutting it, or it will crumble. And to ensure a smooth cut, you’ll want to chill the filled cookie really well before slicing into bars.
Grilled Banana Split
This is a fun mashup between banana pudding and a sundae. You could even get the kids involved with this. Grilling the banana adds a little flavor, while charring the vanilla wafers makes for an interesting texture—together, it’s delicious. Banana pudding ice cream pulls everything together, so it’s definitely worth buying.
Two-Step Pound Cake
You'll need a heavy-duty stand mixer with a 4-qt. bowl and paddle attachment for this recipe.
Best Fudgy Brownies
Meet your new go-to recipe for homemade brownies. These decadent treats are extra rich and fudgy, thanks to a double hit of baking chocolate and bittersweet chocolate morsels. They’re incredibly easy to make, plus you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. And while we’re definitely not above boxed brownie mixes, these homemade brownies would certainly steal the show at any party or get-together.
Millennial Pink Lemonade Pie
Love it, hate it, or over it, nobody can deny that the color, ubiquitously deemed millennial pink across the Internet, is quite eye-catching and completely appropriate for springtime. And in honor of what seems to be the shade of the moment, we created this all-pink-everything pie. One important thing to note when making this bright and cheery dessert, you will definitely want to go with gel food colorings—instead of the standard liquid dyes you’ll typically find on the baking aisle of supermarkets—as these are a higher quality, more concentrated product that allows you to achieve more intense color, using less. Not to mention, they add significantly less moisture to the food you’re mixing them in to (which is key in this pie scenario). We like to use Wilton’s icing colors, which are a concentrated gel paste that you can find at most craft stores or specialty kitchen shops.
Glazed Condensed Milk Cookies
Need to throw together a last minute treat? Make a batch of fluffy and buttery, cream cheese-glazed cookies using 1 whole (14-ounce) can of sweetened and just a handful of other staple ingredients you probably already have in the fridge and pantry. You will use 2/3 cup of the condensed milk in these melt-in-your-mouth cookies (which eliminates the need for additional sugar or eggs), then simply combine the rest of the can with softened cream cheese to create a tangy-sweet glaze. After you glaze the cookies and add sprinkles (if desired), leave them on the wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes so that the glaze can set so that you don't end up with a mess.
Easy Peach Cobbler
What could be a more perfect ending to a summertime meal than easy peach cobbler? Savor the flavors of summer with sliced fresh peaches cooking away with butter and spices. The topping can made from pantry ingredients you have on hand and peaches can easily be substituted with any fruit you have depending on the time of year. The tang of the lemon juice paired with the sweetness of the peaches is perfectly balanced with the crisp topping. Want to make dessert even better? A dollop of fresh whipped cream or cold vanilla ice cream truly makes it the perfect way to end a summer night.