Easy Summer Desserts for Sunny Days at Home
I have a couple of rules I live by for my summer desserts. The first simply makes sense in warm weather: avoid the oven if at all possible and rely on your fridge or freezer to do most of the work.
Secondly: fruity and frozen is always a great summer dessert combination. Finally: try to make it as easy, nostalgic and low maintenance as possible so you can maximise the summer vibes outside.
Below are some classic summer treats that fit this brief and a couple of fun new ones to try at home, to share with friends and family…or not!
Three Ingredient No-Churn Ice Cream
I’ve been known to describe this three ingredient delight as the ultimate low maintenance ice cream, the dessert equivalent of a supermodel’s “I woke up like this” snap. You just cannot beat it for an easy, adaptable, yet ever so impressive summer treat.
Give the ultimate ice cream hack a whirl yourself with 500ml cold double cream, a 397g tin of sweetened condensed milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, with the full method and different flavour combination options to boot.
FYI: If you are dairy-free and still want no hassle homemade ice cream in your life, this easy trio of delicious DF ice creams from Chef Jeeny Maltese for My Nutrition Ireland will be your go-to again and again.
Cereal Milk Ice Cream Crunch Pie
From the above hassle free hack and an obsession with all things cereal milk flavoured came the inspiration for this frozen slice of nostalgia. My Cereal Milk Ice Cream Crunch Pie somehow tastes like a cross between a rice crispy bun and a 99, and makes me all kinds of crazy if I know it is sitting in the freezer.
Use the no churn method with the same quantities as above, but first mix 200g of cornflakes into the double cream and allow it to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the cream into your mixing bowl with a sieve and reserve a couple of spoonfuls of the soaked cereal.
Once you have whisked your cream with the condensed milk, you can add in a swirl of the soaked cornflakes, gently folding in, then place in a container to freeze for 6-8 hours or even overnight.
For the pie case, line an 8 inch pie tin with parchment. In a pan over a medium high heat, melt 100g of salted butter with 50g of brown sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add in 60g of milk chocolate and 60 grams of dark chocolate, chopped into pieces, stirring until melted fully.
Pour this mix over 200g of cornflakes (or honey nut corn flakes) and mix to combine before moulding into the pie tin with a spoon. Place in the fridge to set until your ice cream is ready.
Simply fill the pie base with ice cream when you are ready to serve.
Banana Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches
I’m borderline obsessed with ice cream cookie sandwiches and drool over them on Instagram regularly. Even if you’re avoiding the oven, your waffle iron is a different story and can quickly make the perfect vessel for an ice cream sandwich you won’t soon forget.
I dubbed these Banofflewiches (sorry) as they are nutty banana rye waffles encasing any ice cream of your choice. Any of the no churns would work a charm as a filling (may I recommend my Biscoff Crunch?) but you can also buy your favourite flavour or for smugness, blend frozen bananas into “nice cream”.
- 110g plain flour
- 50g rye flour
- 5g baking powder
- 30g brown sugar
- 30g walnuts or pecans, chopped
- 180ml milk
- 20g melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 large mashed banana (120g)
- 200g chocolate of choice
- 750ml ice cream of choice
Heat your waffle iron to the highest setting. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, excluding the nuts. Mix the wet ingredients including the banana in a separate bowl and add to the dry, mixing until combined. Stir in the nuts if using.
Ladle into the greased waffle iron and cook for 3 minutes. This mix makes 5-6 waffles.
Place one waffle on a chopping board and add 2 large scoops of ice-cream, smoothing out with a spatula, and top with a second waffle. If making square waffles, cut these down the middle to make long, iceberger style sandwiches.
Dip half of the sandwich in melted dark, milk or white chocolate and place on a lined tray and into the freezer for 20 minutes to firm back up and set the chocolate before serving.
NB: These will keep in the freezer but always allow a few minutes to thaw the waffle if they have been in there for a long period.
Iced Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie is tough to beat but I think Rachel Allen’s Iced Banoffee Pie recipe is the perfect summer upgrade for a dessert loved by most. Rachel swaps the traditional cream topping fora layer of vanilla ice cream and makes her own oozy toffee sauce and base. A good quality bourbon vanilla ice cream takes this to the next level, making it the ideal sunny day treat for those of us who can’t choose between banoffee and a big bowl of ice cream.
Cherry Pistachio & Lemon Semifreddo
Italian Semifreddo is a sophisticated dessert that sounds more high maintenance than it is. This Cherry Pistachio & Lemon Semifreddo Recipe by Chef Shane Smith is zingy, light and fresh and makes great use of an often overlooked summer fruit (and one of my favourites), cherries.
Strawberries and Cream Pannacotta
It just wouldn’t be summer without Irish strawberries. A big bowl with lashings of cream is always a treat but you can take that to the next level with this tangy and wobbly Strawberries & Cream Pannacotta Recipe by Valerie Kingston from Glenilen Farm using gorgeous Irish yoghurt. It is simple to whip up and will sit setting happily in the fridge until you’re ready to dig in.
Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries
If you feel like strawberries and chocolate are meant to be, you’ll love Chef Gareth Mullins‘ Dark Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries. Personally, I’m all for the extra effort of making the almond biscotti for dunking, but you could easily pick up some convincing cantuccini or even shortbread to keep it no-bake and oven-free.
Frozen Blueberry Cheesecake
Another one for lovers of all things fruity and fresh on a summer’s day, this Frozen Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe from The Tiny Vegan Kitchen is dairy-free and plant-based, using soaked cashew nuts blitzed to a silky cream. Frozen blueberries lend the prettiest purple hue to this vegan summer treat that will wow your guests.
Ok, ok, these are less like a dessert and more like an excuse to get your Aperol buzz on at any time of the day, but I think you’ll still want to try these boozy popsicles for yourself. All you need is an ice lolly mould (mine’s from IKEA) and the willpower to not drink the mix before freezing it.
In a jug, mix 2 measures of aperol with 4 measures of prosecco, 3 measures of soda water and (trust me, it adds a nice extra sweetness to the finished frozen pop) 1 measure of San Pellegrino Arranciata. Pop an orange slice in each mould, and top up with the spritz mix.
Freeze for 6-8 hours and serve, ideally on a sun lounger in the garden.
WRITTEN BY DARINA COFFEY