Here are the best summer desserts to end a meal! These treats feature the best ripe fruits of the season, from strawberry shortcake to peach pie.
Need to end your summer meal on a sweet note? You’ve come to the right place. Here are our top summer desserts that end a meal in style, featuring all the best fruits the summer has to offer! There are the classics like strawberry shortcake, with tender flaky biscuits and sweet red berries. Then there are unique treats like grilled apples, tender from the grill and topped with melty vanilla ice cream. Really, there’s something for everyone, with every type of sweet summer fruit. Ready to give them a taste?
And now…the best summer desserts to try!
Even more summer desserts
Those were our top tier summer desserts: but we’ve got lots more to choose from! Here are a few more that stand out in our favorites:
- Easy Apple Crumble This easy recipe fills a 9 x 13 inch pan with crunchy topping and a gingery apple filling.
- Chewy Cookie Cake This chewy chocolate chip cookie cake recipe is a serious crowd pleaser: the perfect treat for pitch ins!
- Easy Applesauce Cake Perfectly moist, scented with cinnamon and brown sugar. And you mix the entire dough in the cake pan! No mixing bowls required.
- Blueberry Banana Ice Cream Bananas and berries blended into a healthy spin on ice cream! Sometimes called “banana nice cream,” it’s oh so good
Here’s how to make the best strawberry shortcake: the classic way! Tender, biscuit-like shortcakes meet sweet berries and fluffy homemade whipped cream.
For the strawberries
- 1 pound ripe strawberries
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
For the shortcakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or 1 tablespoon orange zest*)
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Slice strawberries. Zest and juice the lemon, reserving the zest for the shortcakes. Mix the berries with the 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour or more, which lets them macerate and release their juices. (Or, do up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate: bring to room temperature before serving.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and use a pastry cutter it into the flour mixture.
- Add the 3/4 cup buttermilk to the flour and stir until all the buttermilk has just absorbed. Do not overstir. Use your hands to form the dough into a rough ball. Add the 1 tablespoon more buttermilk to help the dough come together.
- Turn onto a lightly floured counter. Gently pat the dough out into a rectangle about 8” x 10” and about 3/4” thick (you may need to wash, dry and flour your hands to help pat it out).
- Use a 3” biscuit cutter to cut the biscuits, pushing straight down (without turning the cutter) and transferring to a parchment lined baking sheet (you can also use a cookie cutter or use a knife to cut out a 3-inch circle). Ensure the edges of each biscuit are touching on the baking sheet to improve rise. You should get 6 biscuits out of the first cutting, then re-roll the dough scraps for final 2 biscuits.
- Brush tops with buttermilk. Sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake 15 to 17 minutes until lightly golden brown on top. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Store leftovers frozen for up to 3 months or refrigerated for a few days (reheat in a 350 degree oven until warm).
- Make the Homemade Whipped Cream (or try Infused Whipped Cream for a treat).
- To serve, cut the shortcakes in half. Top with strawberries and whipped cream, then the top of the shortcake and more whipped cream and strawberries.
*Our favorite twist is to use orange zest for the biscuits (in that case you can use orange juice for the strawberries).
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Summer desserts, Strawberry shortcake
More summer resources
Looking for more summer recipes? We’ve got you covered. Here are a few more summer collections:
- 30 Best Summer Cocktails Need a drink with that? Our top refreshing drinks for the season.
- 15 Summer Side Dishes You Need Side dishes to accessorize with any meal.
- 12 Summer Salads You Need Now All the salads perfect for summer.
- 15 Easy Grilled Dinner Ideas Fire up your grill and make a meal…stat!
- 20 Best Grilled Vegetables Try them all!
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.