In the winter, we love warming desserts like pie and chocolate cake but in the summer, when the weather turns warmer, we want something light and refreshing.
Especially as most of us will be looking to spend some more time outdoors this year – at a garden party or going for a picnic – and dessert is a HUGE part of that, as everyone from the smallest toddler to the oldest adult loves a sweet treat after a BBQ or light lunch.
So now the summer fruits are back in season, it’s a great time to brush up on your pastry chef skills and explore the possibilities of summer desserts. Berries like strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are all available in abundance at the moment, and you can use them to complement light and fluffy meringues or delicate pastry creations.
We’ve got options for exciting cakes and cupcakes, ice cream, tarts and ice lollies – so there’s sure to be a treat to take everyone’s fancy.
Fruity desserts are a favourite during the summer as they tend to be quick and easy to make, so you don’t have to spend ages in the kitchen – and they appeal to all tastes. This summer dessert recipe collection pulls together some of our most summery ideas that are also seriously impressive.
Enjoy these light, summery desserts outside at a picnic or barbecue and if the weather doesn’t allow that, they’ll taste just as good indoors!
Summer is also about those fab tropical flavours that transport us to really exotic locations! Pineapple, coconut and mango are such refreshing flavours that can be enjoyed in a super tasty sorbet, for example, or on top of a pavlova.
Click through for more of our favourite summer desserts…
With a fresh, zingy flavoured base and a sweet, sticky meringue topping, what's not to love about this lemon meringue pie?! This is one of those summer classics that's the perfect combination of tangy and sweet, plus it looks really sophisticated so friends and family will be suitably impressed when they see it.
Super easy to make, these cookie ice cream sandwiches will put a smile on any child's face (and adults too!). To make these delicious treats, you'll need to bake the cookies but this recipe uses shop-bought ice cream, which means you can have them ready to be devoured in less than 30 mins!
Former GBBO winner Candice has turned the traditional creamy summer pudding into these impressive and indulgent rhubarb syllabub doughnuts, which no one will be able to resist. Even though they take a little effort, these are definitely worth it and Candice herself says you can't eat a whole one of these without licking your lips!
If you're a fan of the quintessentially French treat, you are going to love this macaron cake. With layers of fresh strawberries and Greek yoghurt, this light and summery dessert requires a little time and effort but is the perfect way to impress your friends and family.
Gin and tonic sorbet is a really grown-up summer dessert that's fat-free and a really clever light way to finish off a meal if you're entertaining friends in the garden!
This white chocolate and raspberry gateau really has the wow-factor. Coated on the outside with toasted crushed hazelnuts and topped with fresh raspberries, it's the perfect pud served on a summer's afternoon or evening! This lovely gateau goes great with a cocktail in hand and is best enjoyed with friends.
You don't get more summery than an elderflower drizzle cake topped with edible flowers. Elderflower season is very short but it's such a summery flavour that we think it's best to make the most of it while it lasts, and by the most we mean put it in a cake. This light, pretty and elegant bake is so much easier to make than it might look!
This perfect pavlova recipe is the ideal way to use up all the berries that are in season in a really lovely homemade dessert. If you get the meringue right, it should be perfectly crunchy on the inside and still a bit squidgy on the inside.
Kids and grown-ups alike will love these strawberry ice lollies. Yogurt, white chocolate and strawberries come together to make these lollies that taste a lot like a cross between a frozen milkshake and a smoothie. We love them!
This classic summer pudding is full of delicious fruit like raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants encased in a juicy sponge. Serve with cream and you've got yourself a really delightful pud!
Eton mess is a classic summer dessert that everyone can make. If you're making your own meringue, you don't have to worry about it being perfect as it'll be crushed up and mixed in with the cream and fruit. If you're short on time, then this is a great cheat's pud, as you can use shop-bought meringues to create a dessert in minutes - it's a real doddle!
Everyone's favourite summer drink in an ice lolly! We love these Pimm's lollies - they've got fruit frozen in them too, which makes them look really pretty and you can eat the frozen strawberries once you get to them.
This tropical pavlova can be topped with any of your favourite tropical fruits, from mangoes and kiwis to pineapple and pomegranate. Eating it will transport you somewhere hot, with plenty of palm trees, probably...
If you can't decide what to make for pudding, try whipping up this beautiful summer fruit ice cream trifle cake - it's part cake, part trifle, and part ice cream, so you'll have three desserts in one! And the best part? This impressive pud is actually easier to make than it looks, and you can even get the kids to help you out.
Rustle up an elderflower trifle in under 30 minutes for a real crowd-pleaser. This recipe uses elderflower cordial which you can find in most supermarkets, and mixed seasonal fruits for a really effortless dessert.