During the hottest months of summer the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven, but your sweet tooth shouldn’t have to suffer just because of the heat. We’ve rounded up 32 of our favorite no-bake dessert recipes using just the stovetop or no heat at all.
Mousse is a light, airy dessert that’s perfect for summer. Fortunately, it can be made with a minimum of heat. Our classic chocolate mousse only requires chocolate be melted. For two interesting variations, try our sweet and tangy white chocolate-cream cheese mousse and elegant coffee and ricotta mousse.
Few things are as refreshing on a hot day than an ice pop. Our Mexican paletas—traditional ice pops—can be made in all sorts of flavors, from rice pudding and strawberries and cream to tamarind-chile and pineapple.
Ice cream is another beloved frozen treat. Our Vietnamese coffee ice cream is spiced with cardamom and cinnamon and sweetened with condensed milk. Olive oil might seem like an unusual dessert ingredient, but it makes for an elegant gelato that is smooth, grassy, and slightly savory. If you already have ice cream on hand, then a sundae is a great easy dessert. One of our favorites is vanilla ice cream topped with Grand Marnier-macerated strawberries.
To make granita, an airy ice treat, you have to use a fork to aerate the base as it freezes—it’s a great excuse to stand in front of an open freezer. Try our boozy mint julep granita or zest wasabi-mint version.
Find all of these treats and more in our collection of 32 no-bake dessert recipes.
Ruby Red grapefruit juice and Campari are a refreshingly bittersweet combination.
Get the recipe for Grapefruit and Campari Granita »
The addition of buttermilk in this ultra-retro dessert keeps it from being too cloying and renders cookie salad totally appropriate for the adult palate.
Get the recipe for Buttermilk Cookie Salad »
Cajeta, a homemade caramel used in traditional Mexican desserts, is a terrific sauce to have on hand for drizzling over ice cream or baked treats.
Get the recipe for Crepes Cajeta »
A luscious take on the bellini, the Rossini swaps strawberries in for white peaches and prosecco in for champagne.
Get the recipe for Rossini »
Boozy, macerated strawberries top vanilla ice cream in this simple sundae.
Get the recipe for Grand Marnier Strawberry Sundaes »
This delicately sweet, icy treat is a mix of spiced black tea and bright sherry.
Get the recipe for Sherry and Cardamom Granita »
This recipe takes the crushed ice classic a step further—bourbon, mint simple syrup, and just a touch of Creme de Menthe make a perfect Derby Day dessert.
Get the recipe for Mint Julep Granita »
Throughout India, creamy, chilled lassis are the go-to beverage for cooling off during the warmer months. To make them, milk or water-thinned yogurt is blended with ingredients such as strawberries or ripe mangoes. In the South India city of Hyderabad, the most popular lassi is made with Rooh Afza, a rose-scented syrup made with botanicals and sugar.
Throughout India, creamy, chilled lassis are the go-to beverage for cooling off during the warmer months. To make them, milk or water-thinned yogurt is blended with ingredients such as Rooh Afza, a scarlet-colored syrup tasting of rose petals and pine, or—for this recipe—ripe mangoes, resulting in a refreshing drink that’s as thick as a milkshake.
Throughout India, creamy, chilled lassis are the go-to beverage for cooling off during the warmer months. To make them, milk or water-thinned yogurt is blended with ingredients such as ripe mangoes or, as in this recipe, rose water and strawberries.
Get the recipe for Strawberry Lassi »
Adapted from Patty Piner’s soul food cookbook
Sweets, these chewy chocolate cookies are made entirely on the stovetop. Get the recipe for No-Bake Chocolate Oat Cookies »
This refreshing gelée gets its light, fruity flavor from ripe peaches and semisweet fizzy moscato wine.
Made with only 4 ingredients, this summery treat is full of bright strawberry flavor.
Sweetened with white chocolate only, this rich, Middle Eastern-inspired panna cotta gets its distinctive floral aroma from an infusion of blistered cardamom.
The recipe for this elegant, easy-to-make dessert is based on one prepared at Ristorante Dattilo in Calabria.
Get the recipe for Ricotta and Coffee 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.
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 »
We love the combination of spicy ancho chile powder with sweet-sour tamarind.
Get the recipe for Tamarind-Chile Ice Pops (Paletas de Tamarindo y Chile) »
Smooth, grassy, and slightly savory, this rich olive oil gelato makes for an elegant dessert—we love it topped with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Super-thick, strained yogurt becomes a tempting dessert with the addition of a little sugar and fragrant saffron.
Get the recipe for Sweet Yogurt with Saffron and Pistachios (Shrikhand) »
Sweetened condensed milk and a touch of spice set this caffeinated treat apart from other coffee ice creams.
Get the recipe for Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream »
Rice Pudding Ice Pops (Paletas de Arroz con Leche)
Inspired by the Argentine pairing, this intense cola and bitter amaro-flavored granita is a perfect palate cleanser.
Get the recipe for Fernet and Coke Granita »
An irresistible British dessert, banoffee pie has its share of fanatics on this side of the pond, too. Banana slices, sticky toffee, and whipped cream are arranged in layers over a cookie-like crust, resulting in a dense, cool treat.
Get the recipe for Banoffee Pie »
These refreshing frozen treats come from pastry chef Jen Yee at New York City’s
Lafayette. Get the recipe Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Pops »
With just two ingredients—puréed pineapple and sugar—these paletas are unbelievably simple to assemble.
Get the recipe for Pineapple Ice Pops (Paletas de Piña) »
Make sure to keep all your materials cold while you’re mixing and shaping the truffles so that the candies keep their shape.
Get the recipe for Cardamom-Laced Milk Chocolate Truffles »
When making these truffles, use supermarket-quality white chocolate, which has more stabilizers than expensive brands and sets up better.
This curious dessert hails from Boston.
Get the recipe for Coffee Gelatin with Whipped Cream »
Berries are transformed into a thick, silky pudding in this simple Danish dish.
Get the recipe for Danish Red Berry Pudding with Cream (Rødgrød med Fløde) »