Sure, you could take a dip in the pool or hang out on a hammock in the shade. But our favorite way to stay cool? Food. Whether ice cream is your kryptonite or you’re a sucker for a frosty cocktail, these recipes will keep you chill all season long. Here are 35 frozen desserts to cool off with this summer.
1. Honey-Peach Semifreddo
This Italian treat is guaranteed to impress at your next cookout. It might look fancy, but the silky custard only needs ten ingredients and a night in the freezer—no churning required.
2. Ombré Ice-Cream Cake
We can hear the oohs and ahhs already. It’s as easy as layering five types of sorbet, fro-yo and ice cream in a springform pan and letting it get firm in the freezer. We went for a pink gradient with lots of raspberry and strawberry, but it’ll work with any ice cream your heart desires.
3. Mini Strawberry Ice Cream Pies
Roasted strawberries put this easy-breezy dish over the top. The homemade graham-cracker crust is ridiculously simple too, so you can dish it up and impress the hell out of everyone in 40 minutes.
4. Ice Cream Cupcakes
Your kids’ two favorite things, together at last. They’ll keep for two weeks in the freezer, so prep ahead for the next time you get a midnight craving for something sweet. (Did we mention the Oreo crust?)
5. Ricotta-Honey Ice Cream
This is just the ticket for your next book club meeting. With only five ingredients, you can make a sophisticated no-churn ice cream sweetened with honey and vanilla right before your guests arrive.
6. One-Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet
When the temperature rises, you like to chill as much as possible. Enter this deceptively delicious sorbet, made with nothing but twice-frozen watermelon. You’re welcome.
7. 3-Ingredient Blood Orange Granita
This is just as refreshing as shaved ice, but with the fluffiness and sweetness of sorbet. Not only is it mind-blowingly easy to make, but it also looks so sophisticated.
8. Churro Milkshakes with Dulce de Leche
Make your own churros or opt for store-bought. If you’re drinking alone, feel free to add a dash of coconut rum for a grown-up spin.
9. Raspberry Prosecco Ice Pops
These are destined for Sunday brunch. Sugar, fruit and prosecco go a long way after a few hours in the freezer. We’re letting them melt right into our wine.
10. Frozen Chocolate Soufflé
Don’t let the name intimidate you. You’re only five ingredients away from dessert (and two away from the simple homemade chocolate sauce it’s topped with).
11. Peanut-Butter Freezer Pie
We’ll eat peanut butter anytime, anywhere (even out of the jar). But we’re really psyched to dig into this nine-ingredient masterpiece. We might even finish it off with some chocolate curls.
12. Chocolate Waffle Ice-Cream Sandwiches
Have ‘em for breakfast, dessert or any meal in between. The kids will love decorating them with everything from caramel to sprinkles to nuts.
13. Peaches-and-Cream Ice Pops
We can picture it now: You with your feet up in a lawn chair, cooling off in the shade with a pop in hand. The secret to all that flavor? Roast the peaches in brown sugar, cinnamon and salt before mashing and combining with sweetened Greek yogurt.
14. Mocha Milkshakes
This is the sweetest caffeine boost you’ll ever drink. Instant espresso powder gives a jolt to coffee ice cream, dark cocoa powder and milk. We’ll take extra whipped cream, please.
15. Fresh Fruit Ice Pops
You’re never too old for ice pops. But you are too old for all those artificial flavors and dyes. Substitute fresh fruit like raspberries or peaches instead. Add lemon juice and agave, then pop them in the freezer until solid. Ta-da.
16. 3-Ingredient Vegan Coconut Ice Cream
Honey, vanilla extract and coconut cream make for the easiest sweet of the summer. It tastes just like that tropical vacation you’ve been craving. (Bonus points for serving it in a pineapple.)
17. Mint Chocolate Chip Yogurt Ice Pops
All the refreshing creaminess of mint chip ice cream with the lighter-than-air texture of vanilla Greek yogurt. But don’t worry, it’s not too healthy. (Hello, dark-chocolate dip.)
18. Boozy Lemonade Granita
Summer’s official drink is all grown up. Spike sweet-and-sour frozen lemonade with your favorite vodka or gin. If you have company, hollow out a few lemons to use as cups. If you’re drinking solo, a cup works fine.
19. Do-Si-Do Milkshake
Anything Girl Scout Cookie-related is right up our alley. So, when we first tried this seven-ingredient beauty rich with creamy peanut butter, peanut-butter shortbread cookies and vanilla ice cream, we were sold.
20. Fourth of July Ice-Cream Cake
Now *that’s* how you celebrate America’s birthday. Raspberry sorbet and vanilla and blueberry ice creams pull this patriotic cutie together. But our favorite part is the candles.
21. Strawberry-Mango Hawaiian Shave Ice
Get in, we’re going to Maui. One bite of this five-ingredient delicacy loaded with strawberries, mango juice and toasted coconut, and you’ll at least feel like you’re at the beach.
22. Cookies-and-Cream Ice Pops
White-chocolate pudding mix. Whole milk. A dozen Oreos. It doesn’t get simpler than that. We’re ready to double-fist these while floating around the pool.
23. White Sangria Ice Pops
Liquid sangria is so last summer. Meet our new frozen version, made with dry white wine, white grape juice, sugar and whatever fruit you snag at the farmers market.
24. Avocado Shake with Salted Chocolate Sauce
Avocado shakes are a big deal in Indonesia, and they usually include condensed milk and sugar. Here, Emily von Euw substitutes coconut milk and brown rice syrup to create a healthier spin. You can totally have this for breakfast, but it looks like dessert to us.
25. No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Store-bought mint chip ice cream is good. Homemade mint chip ice cream made with fresh mint, peppermint extract and finely-chopped dark chocolate is great. Homemade mint chip ice cream with no churning required? Amazing.
26. Fudgy Brownie and Raspberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
These rich, chocolatey brownies only need six ingredients. And the filling is store-bought raspberry sorbet, so it’s really easy to whip up. (Substitute any flavor of ice cream or sorbet if raspberry isn’t your thing.)
27. Boston Cream Icebox Cake
Think of this dessert as the lovechild of Boston cream pie and a French éclair. The kids will be obsessed with the cream filling. (Psst, it’s instant vanilla pudding, whipped topping and milk.)
28. Chocolate Chip Cookie Chocolate Lasagna
Does it get any easier than store-bought cookie dough, frozen whipped topping and instant chocolate pudding? We didn’t think so. Treat yourself by chopping up candy bars to toss in with the chocolate chips.
29. Tres Leches Coconut and Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Tacos with Banana Peanut Salsa
Remember those Choco Tacos you’d always get from the ice cream truck? These are just like that—only better. The ice cream uses full-fat coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. And those sugary, fried corn tortillas? Yeah, we’ll heat the oil now.
30. Salted Chocolate Dipped Banana Almond Pops with Malted Coconut Honey
These pops start out pretty healthy with almond-coconut milk, honey, almond butter and bananas. But with all that dark chocolate and malted coconut honey (!!!), they get indulgent real quick.
31. Vegan Espresso Dark Chocolate Sorbet
Who needs a cup of joe when you can have dessert? One batch boasts 1¼ cups of brewed espresso or dark roast, so you’ll get lots of rich coffee flavor alongside the cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips and coconut sugar.
32. Painkiller Cocktail Popsicles
This classic drink is even more fun when it’s frozen and infused with lots of coconut milk, orange juice and coconut flakes. We’ll meet you at the cabana.
33. Cinnamon Gelato
Let’s take a trip to Florence, shall we? You’ll need an ice cream machine to get that rich gelato consistency, but it’ll be so worth the churning.
34. Ultimate Snickers Ice Cream Pie
Your inner child is jumping for joy right now. Think Oreo crust, vanilla and chocolate ice creams, magic chocolate shell and all the caramel sauce. The recipe calls for Snickers bars, but you can use whatever candy your heart desires.
35. Frozen Margarita Ice Pops
Nothing screams summer like a pitcher of margaritas. But trust us, no one will have any complaints when these icy alternatives hit the table. Now, where are those nachos?