Cool and Creamy Desserts

Warmer days call for desserts that are cool, creamy, and refreshing. From peppermint ice cream to lemon meringue pie, here are our favorite recipes.

Peach Melba

Bruno Neveu — former pastry chef at the Ritz-Escoffier cooking school in Paris — helped us decipher Escoffier’s bare-bones recipe.

Paw Paw Ice Cream

This custardy ice cream gets its tropical flavor from paw paws, a musky-sweet fruit native to the American Midwest that tastes somewhere between a banana and a mango, with a plush, creamy texture. Get the recipe for Paw Paw Ice Cream »

Lavender Honey Ice Cream

True miel de lavande, the honey from Provence produced by bees that feed primarily on lavender blossoms, imparts a creamy texture and distinctive flavor and scent to a simple ice cream. Get the recipe for Lavender Honey Ice Cream »

Raspberry Ice Cream

Raspberry Ice Cream

Sea Salt Ice Cream

If you’re tired of wintery cakes and cookies by March, it might be time to break out the ice cream.

Blackberry Cream Pie with Toasted Oat and Sesame Crumb Crust

Phoebe Lawless of Scratch Bakery in Durham, North Carolina makes cream pies all summer long that incorporate different fruits as they become available. This recipe works just as well with strawberries, peaches, cherries, or whatever is in peak season. It’s also a great way to use fruit that is just beyond its usability, whether bruised or overly ripe.

Blackberry Flummery

This sweet pudding-like dessert from Sickles Market in Little Silver, New Jersey, gained popularity in the United Kingdom during the 17th century. You can discard the solids after straining the berries, but we love eating them on top of it along with freshly whipped cream.

Pistachio Gelato

This delectable Italian specialty is cool, creamy, lightly nutty, and especially delicious when paired with our Chocolate Gelato.

Pastry Puffs

Don’t let the appearance of these cream puffs intimidate you — this dessert is both fun and easy to make at home. Even though this is the classic recipe, let your imagination run wild and stuff these little puff dandies with coffee, chocolate, or peanut butter ice cream, if you like.
See the recipe for Pastry Puffs »

Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

For added decadence, top this ultra-peanutty ice cream with chocolate sauce or hot fudge.

Sauternes Custard with Armagnac-Soaked Prunes

Sauternes Custard with Armagnac-Soaked Prunes

Syllabub

Oloroso sherry and cognac add a little zing to a classic whipped dessert–try adding a little raspberry purée or a few chopped white peaches. See the recipe for Syllabub »

Banana Split

There’s no denying the appeal of a classic banana split—ice cream, bananas, whipped cream, plenty of flavored syrups, and maraschino cherries.
Sprinkled on top of these delicate meringues—which float in a vanilla custard—are praline roses, caramel-coated almonds dyed a bright pink. The color’s a bit shocking, but they’re a staple of Lyonnaise pâtisseries and lend a nice crunch and color to this white-on-white backdrop. Get the recipe for Meringue Floating in Crème Anglaise »

Lemon Curd

This thick, tangy spread is great spooned on toast and as a filling for tarts and cakes. Get the recipe for Lemon Curd »

Rice Pudding with Raspberry Coulis

Lighter than most rice puddings, and not as sweet, this Swedish specialty is eaten both as a dessert and as a breakfast food. Short-grain rice, such as arborio, is essential for creating a deliciously creamy consistency. Get the recipe for Rice Pudding with Raspberry Coulis »

Peanut Butter Bourbon Milkshake

Maple syrup and a healthy dose of bourbon add a delectable kick to this grown-up take on a peanut butter milkshake, served at Seattle’s Skillet Diner.

Black-Bottom Pie

Creamy, chocolaty, and with a touch of rum is how we would describe this popular dessert. The buttery chocolate-cookie crust used for this pie is our favorite of the options offered by Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery (Fawcett Publication, Inc. 1965). See the recipe for Black-Bottom Pie »

Raspberry Trifle

This classic dessert is moistened with the sweetened, wine-spiked cream known as syllabub. See the recipe for Raspberry Trifle »

Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Sweet, pale orange ice cream flavored with ripe, juicy peaches simply screams summer. Get the recipe for Peach Ice Cream »

Lavender Honey Ice Cream

True miel de lavande, the honey from Provence produced by bees that feed primarily on lavender blossoms, imparts a creamy texture and distinctive flavor and scent to a simple ice cream. Get the recipe for Lavender Honey Ice Cream »

Pavlova

Few desserts are as pretty and as easy to make as this meringue-and-fruit confection, named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.

Chocolate Cream Pie

A crunchy crust and pudding-like filling make this pie a standout.

Pistachio Ice Cream

Sweetened whole milk flavored with crushed cardamom, saffron, and pistachio is frozen in molds to create these impressive, sculptural desserts.

Coeur à la Crème with Caramelized Strawberries

Pepper, cloves and cinnamon give the bright strawberry sauce in this dessert a spicy kick, offsetting the rich creaminess of sweet cheese. Get the recipe for Coeur à la Crème with Caramelized Strawberries »

Tricolored Bavarian Cream

In this classic Swiss dessert, gelatin is used in a creamy custard that’s set between two layers of tart raspberry and strawberry cream.

Raspberries in Pink Champagne Gelée

These simple gelled fruit desserts made with rosé champagne are an elegant way to serve summer berries.

David Lebovitz’s Mocha Sherbet

This chocolate and espresso delight from David Lebovitz is a rich fudgy combination of favorite flavors that is surprisingly light and refreshing.

Nutmeg Ice Cream

Serve this spiced ice cream on its own or scooped on top of warm fruit crisps, cobblers, or pies, particularly apple.

Banana Pudding

Custard, vanilla wafers, and bananas are layered and topped with whipped cream in our version of the classic Southern dessert. Get the recipe for Banana Pudding »

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar form a crumbly base for this pudding pie.

Peach-Raspberry Trifle

Layers of coconut sponge cake, raspberries, tapioca, and bourbon-stewed peaches in easily portable mason jars make this trifle perfect for summer picnics. The compote and the cake can be made up to two days ahead; store them in airtight containers in the fridge. Get the recipe for Peach-Raspberry Trifle »

Lemon Curd-Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream

This elegant ice cream recipe is a frozen riff on a pavlova. Get the recipe for Lemon Curd-Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream »

Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry Ice Cream

This recipe combines the silky flavor of corn with the tartness of black raspberries.

Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest, and Poppy Seeds

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, OH has some of the most amazing flavors around. In this recipe, the addition of roasted beets and poppy seeds lends the end product a festive hue and a bit of crunch. ‪
This Middle-Eastern-influenced tart heaps white chocolate-orange ganache accented with rose water into a pistachio shortbread crust. Pomegranate meringue shaped to form rose petals makes for a show-stopping finish.

Mango Ice (Raspado de Mango)

This refreshing frozen treat, made from bottled or fresh mango juice, is a Mexican version of granita.

Chocolate Mousse

This simple yet sophisticated, airy yet intense concoction has been a hit with home cooks in America at least since the New York Times published its first recipe for the dessert in 1955. Get the recipe for Chocolate Mousse »

White Chocolate-Cardamom Panna Cotta

Sweetened with white chocolate only, this rich, Middle Eastern-inspired panna cotta gets its distinctive floral aroma from an infusion of blistered cardamom.

White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Mousse

In this updated take on a classic French dessert, cream cheese adds stability and a pleasing tang, which balances the sweet white chocolate without overpowering it.

Vanilla Banana Black & White Milkshake

This recipe for a chocolate and banana layered shake is based on one in Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes (Norton, 2009) by Adam Ried. Get the recipe for Vanilla Banana Black & White Milkshake »

Strawberry Milk Shake

This recipe is based on one in Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes by Adam Ried.

Rhubarb Mousse

This sweet-tart creamy dessert can be eaten chilled or frozen in ramekins. Get the recipe for Rhubarb Mousse »

Strawberry Mousse

This pretty pink strawberry dessert should be chilled before enjoying—make it a day ahead and freeze for an especially refreshing treat. Get the recipe for Strawberry Mousse »