12 Great Frozen Desserts, No Ice Cream Maker Required

Yogurt pops, frozen granitas, and semifreddo to keep you cool—without breaking a sweat over the heavy machinery

Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Pops

These refreshing frozen treats come from pastry chef Jen Yee at New York City’s Lafayette. Get the recipe Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Pops »
Anna Watson Carl relies on sweetened condensed milk to add richness to this frozen dessert flavored with coconut milk, lime zest, and toasty pistachios. Simply macerated peaches provide a fresh, fruity counterpart. Get the recipe for Coconut and Pistachio Semifreddo with Fresh Peaches »

White Wine Granita with Apple

A slightly fruity white wine works best in this light, apple-sweetened, boozy granita—we use Chardonnay, but any full-bodied white will do, including Champagne. Get the recipe for White Wine Granita with Apple »

Boston Cooler

Our favorite milkshakes don’t involve any milk; after proud Midwesterner Amanda Arnold showed us this vanilla shake made with spicy ginger ale, we’re whizzing one up for happy hour (bourbon optional but recommended). Get the recipe for Boston Cooler »

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

In these minty ice cream sandwiches, the chocolate mousse “ice cream” and cake are both sweetened with bittersweet chocolate, letting the chocolate’s richness—brightened by fresh spearmint—be the main flavor. Get the recipe for Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches »

Concord Grape Granita

This slushy frozen treat is a throwback to days of snow cones past, in the best way possible. Super-grapey Concord grapes, plus a splash of verjus (a tart vinegar-like grape juice), lend a sweet, tart, fresh, grown-up spin on the childhood favorite. Get the recipe for Concord Grape Granita »

Cactus Ice Granita

Like okra, cactus leaves have a gelatinous interior that lends a creamy mouthfeel to this lightly spicy, sweet-tart granita. Get the recipe for Cactus Ice Granita »


Made in flavors like saffron, pistachio, cardamom, and rose water, kulfi has a dense, creamy texture and a rich taste that come from the traditional way of preparing it. What makes kulfi so thick and luscious, and what makes it slower to melt than most styles of ice cream, is that it isn’t churned to incorporate air; instead, milk is slowly simmered until it reduces to become as thick as heavy cream. Get the recipe for Kulfi »

Almond Granita

Nutty, sweet almonds are used four ways in this super-simple frozen dessert. Get the recipe for Almond Granita »

Mango Ice

A Mexican favorite, this recipe uses fresh mango juice, but you can just as easily use bottled for equally refreshing results. Get the recipe for Mango Ice »

Coffee Granita

This refreshing Italian dessert is made with nothing more than brewed espresso and sugar. Get the recipe for Coffee Granita »

Lemon Granita

Like a frozen lemonade, this refreshing dessert is achieved with little more than lemon juice, sugar, and time. Get the recipe for Lemon Granita »