40 no-bake desserts to keep you cool

The warm temperatures that we wish for all winter long are right around the corner. That means pool parties, hot dogs at the ballpark, outdoor grilling and most importantly, renouncing the use of the oven. This is the season for getting by on stovetop meals and dishes that can be served cold. The same goes for dessert. ‘Tis the season for no-bake cheesecake, icebox cakes and all of the ice cream you can get your hands on. Luckily, we have you covered with our best no-bake dessert recipes to whip up all summer long.

You don’t have to crank up the oven for any of these recipes. This unintentionally makes most of them even easier than their baked counterparts (a fact that we recognize and applaud). This lineup is filled with no-bake desserts like creamy cheesecakes (crust and all) that come together entirely in the refrigerator. Icebox pies of the berry, lemon and chocolate varieties do the same — they maintain the luscious textures that we’re accustomed to without spending any time in the oven. We’re also sharing five no-churn ice cream recipes, which take the ease of no-bake desserts one step further. That same ice cream can be transformed into other frozen desserts, such as creamy milkshakes and icy popsicles.

Some of these recipes are just enough to treat the family to a little something sweet after dinner, while others are meant to serve a crowd and are ideal for summer entertaining. Whether you’re craving something with citrus or something loaded with decadent chocolate, there’s a sweet treat here for everyone.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies by Sheela Prakash

Soft, buttery cookies without even turning on the oven? Say less. When your sweet tooth strikes, all you need are a handful of pantry ingredients such as rolled oats, peanut butter and sugar to make a batch of these no-bake cookies.

No-Churn Peach Ice Cream by Jesse Szewczyk

We see no-bake desserts and raise you a smooth and luscious no-churn ice cream. For this recipe, some of the fresh peaches are puréed and whisked into the custard, while the remainder are chopped and folded in before freezing.

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake by Carrie Parente

This pumpkin cheesecake is a great substitute for pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but it’s so simple that you can easily enjoy it year-round. Everything from the graham cracker crust to the lightly spiced pumpkin filling sets in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving time.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars by Carrie Parente

Homemade peanut butter cups are a lot easier to make than you might think. A hefty layer of graham cracker-studded and maple-sweetened peanut butter fudge is topped with decadent chocolate ganache (and a sprinkle of flaky salt for good measure).

No-Bake Cheesecake Bars by Kayla Hoang

These cheesecake bars have a traditional graham cracker crust and sweet lemon-kissed filling, but what makes them special is the quick stovetop raspberry sauce. All the bars need is a spoonful of the bright, tangy sauce to balance the sweet cheesecake.

Key Lime Pie Bark by Joy Bauer

When you’re craving Key lime pie but don’t want the fuss of making one from scratch, try this refreshing frozen bark. Broken graham crackers form the base for a tangy lime yogurt topping. Pop it in the freezer and break it into bite-sized pieces to enjoy.

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake by Kayla Hoang

Instead of using eggs to create texture, this recipe uses whipped heavy cream and cream cheese. The result is a creamy, light-as-air cheesecake filling. Since you’re not spending time baking this lemon cheesecake, you’ll have the opportunity to work on your decorating skills with swirls of whipped cream and thin lemon slices around the edge.

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake by Carrie Parente

Not only do these cheesecakes require no oven time, but they are assembled in individual graham cracker crusts (hello, easy clean up!). Strawberries are macerated in some sugar and incorporated into a lemony whipped cream cheese filling. Garnish each cheesecake with more strawberry slices for a pretty pink finishing touch.

No-Bake Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares by Lucinda Scala Quinn

As if Rice Krispies treats couldn’t get any better, this recipe adds peanut butter, dark chocolate and salty crushed pretzels to the mix. The result is a heavenly cereal treat reminiscent of a peanut butter cup.

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cake by Melissa Knific

Icebox cakes are always a go-to dessert because they’re simple, foolproof and can be set in the refrigerator or freezer. This icebox dessert is made by layering cinnamon graham crackers with spicy Mexican chocolate whipped cream and more chocolate chips. If you don’t like a little bit of heat, feel free to omit the cayenne — you’ll still be left with a decadent chocolate dessert.

No-Bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake by Jesse Szewczyk

Peanut butter and jelly is the ultimate classic combo. Here, a smooth peanut butter-cream cheese filling is swirled with grape jelly (or strawberry if you prefer) inside of a simple buttery graham cracker crust. Drive home the nostalgic flavor by sprinkling some chopped peanuts over the top before serving.

No-Bake Chai Cheesecake by Reema Patel

Tea lovers — this one’s for you. A whole medley of warming spices — cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom — flavor the cheesecake filling, creating an intoxicating aroma. The crust is similar to classic graham cracker but uses crumbly speculoos cookies instead.

Carrot Halwa Bars by Samah Dada

These halwa bars take the traditional Indian dessert and give it a plant-based twist. Cardamom, ginger and cinnamon give the filling a carrot cake-like flavor, and the whole thing is topped off with a luscious coconut-cashew frosting. The bars need to set in the freezer, so this is a great make-ahead dessert.

5-Ingredient No-Bake Chocolate Coffee Icebox Cheesecake by Grace Parisi

There’s something very appealing about a dessert that uses minimal ingredients and very little hands-on time. Just whip together cream cheese, hot fudge sauce and softened coffee ice cream and layer it in a springform pan with chocolate wafer cookies. As it sets in the freezer, the cookies soften slightly and develop a cakey texture.

Chocolate Rice Cakes by Samah Dada

Nut butter-coated rice cakes are a sensible snack — and they’re even more delicious when sweetened with chocolate. In this recipe, the rice cakes are crumbled and mixed with melted chocolate, almond butter and any add-ins you like (shredded coconut, toasted nuts and freeze-dried fruit are popular additions) to make a crunchy bark.

No-Bake Nutella Oat Cookies by Carrie Parente

Ooey-gooey chocolate-hazelnut spread binds together the other ingredients in these decadent no-bake cookies. Combine the spread with quick-cooking oats and scoop them into mounds. They’ll firm up nicely at room temperature, but you can prolong their life by storing them in the refrigerator.

No-Bake Berry Cream Pie by Padma Lakshmi

With a dessert this easy, it’s nice to take a few steps to make it party-ready. The filling is just one ingredient — vanilla ice cream — so if you’re up for it, you can make a quick homemade graham cracker crust. Pile as many fresh berries as you can on top for decoration.

No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream by Jesse Szewczyk

Even if you’re team vanilla, this chocolate ice cream is sure to convert you. The custard has a rich, creamy texture even without taking a spin in an ice cream maker, thanks to a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Boozy Creamsicle Milkshake by Katie Stilo

Embrace the nostalgia of an icy creamsicle bar while getting your grown-up kicks too. Both vodka and orange liqueur are blended with orange concentrate and vanilla ice cream to mimic the classic creamsicle flavor with a boozy twist.

Cookies-and-Cream Icebox Cake by Elena Besser

From flavor and appearance, it’s undeniable that this icebox cake tastes like everyone’s favorite chocolate cream sandwich cookie. The filling is sweetened with just enough powdered sugar to balance the tanginess of the sour cream. Be sure to arrange a few whole cookies on top before the cake goes into the freezer.

No-Bake Grasshopper Pie by Jessie Sheehan

This no-bake pie is synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, but if mint chocolate chip is America’s favorite ice cream flavor, we say it’s a great choice any time of year. Mint chocolate sandwich cookies form the crust of the pie, which is filled with a creamy chocolate-studded peppermint filling. Food coloring is optional, but it does give the pie its iconic pale green hue.

Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge by Samah Dada

This four-ingredient fudge is no-bake and vegan-friendly. The peanut butter is made extra creamy with coconut milk and sweetened with a touch of maple syrup. You can make it even more decadent by stirring in some roasted peanuts or drizzling the top with melted chocolate.

Salted Caramel Cookie Dough Bars by Samah Dada

No shame to the raw cookie dough fans out there — we see you. This cookie dough doesn’t contain eggs, so it’s safe to eat. If the cookie manages to last long enough to finish the recipe, add a layer of peanut butter “caramel” and a chocolate glaze.

Dairy-Free Banana Cream Cheesecake by Samah Dada

You can feel great about diving into this no-bake cheesecake. The filling is made with heart-healthy cashews that blend up into the creamiest texture. The crust is made with finely ground almonds and is naturally sweetened with fresh dates.

Martha Stewart's No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups by Martha Stewart

These chocolate peanut butter cups have something that the store-bought version doesn’t — a whimsical, decorative peanut butter swirl. The peanut butter layer has the texture you’d expect from a peanut butter cup, and even more peanut butter is swirled into the chocolate shell before it goes into the refrigerator.

Pistachio Icebox Cake by Katie Stilo

Who would think a handful of pre-made ingredients could create such a showstopping dessert? A combination of Cool Whip and store-bought pistachio pudding is layered over Italian wafer cookies, which soften as they absorb the pudding mixture. Drive home the pistachio flavor by sprinkling a handful of the bright green nuts over the top.

No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream by Maya Warren

This ice cream is just the thing when you need a little afternoon pick-me-up. The coffee flavor is robust enough to perk you up, but don’t worry — it won’t keep you up all night. Top your scoops with anything you like such as chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles or a drizzle of decadent hot fudge sauce.

The Pioneer Woman's Blackberry Icebox Cake by Ree Drummond

Make use of an abundance of fresh summer berries by making this refreshingly light icebox cake. Start with a store-bought pound cake and slice off the mounded part to turn it into sweet, toasted “breadcrumbs.” Then layer slices of the cake with whipped cream, fresh blackberries and jam.

Carrot Cake Bites by Samah Dada

All of the flavors of carrot cake with minimal effort? Yes, please. Grated carrots, coconut, raw cashews and sweet Medjool dates are blended with warming spices and rolled into nutritious and delicious balls. These two-biters can be enjoyed as is, or you can roll them in some finely chopped pistachios, cocoa nibs or more coconut.

No-Bake Lemon Icebox Pie by Jessie Sheehan

If you’re a fan of lemon meringue pie, you’ll swoon for this simple icebox dessert. The shortbread crust has a buttery, sandy texture, and the lemon filling is as creamy as can be. Balance out the tart lemon flavor by spreading some whipped cream over the top.

Miso-Almond Date Bites by Samah Dada

Miso probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about dessert, but the fermented soybean paste adds a subtle umami flavor to these bite-sized treats. They are held together with a purée of dates and creamy almond butter, and a drizzle of smooth chocolate makes them slightly decadent.

No-Churn Grasshopper Ice Cream by Kayla Hoang

Grasshopper pie makes such a seamless transition into a frozen dessert that we’re surprised we didn’t think of it before. When layering the minty ice cream base, drizzle in some streaks of melted chocolate and chunks of sandwich cookies to mimic the pie’s chocolate crust.

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake by Carrie Parente

The secret to the perfect no-bake cheesecake lies in the ingredients. All you really need is cream cheese and a can of sweetened condensed milk to make the filling. From there, you can add whatever flavors you like — for this simple recipe, we use a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.

Chocolate-Mint Icebox Cake by Andrea Lynn

This cake is inspired by one of the most popular ice cream flavors out there. Chocolate wafer cookies are stacked between layers of pillowy peppermint-infused whipped cream and left to set in the refrigerator. Finish each slice with a flourish of hand-carved chocolate curls.

No-Churn Miso Caramel Ice Cream by Crystelle Pereira

Two kinds of miso paste can be found in this savory no-churn ice cream. A small spoonful of white miso paste (which is the most mild in flavor) is melted into the ice cream base, while red miso paste (which is much more robust and complex) is used in the sticky caramel sauce that you’ll find weaving its way through the custard.

Gluten-Free Cookies and Cream Pie by Dylan Dreyer

This dessert pulls double duty — it’s both no-bake and gluten-free. Gluten-free chocolate wafer cookies are readily available these days, which makes this dessert so much easier. The smooth filling is made with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream, giving it the look and feel of ice cream cake.

Ultimate Rice Krispie Treats by Katie Stilo

These beloved cereal treats are the OG no-bake treat. They are a staple when it comes to last-minute bake sales and time-sensitive sugar cravings. What makes these the best of the best is that we use three different forms of marshmallows — regular, mini and spreadable fluff.

Mango Margarita Pops with Lime Salt by Alejandra Ramos

These ice pops will have you thinking thoughts of warm days spent with a margarita in hand. Blend ripe mangoes with lime juice, simple syrup and tequila (of course). Once the pops are completely frozen, dip the edges in lime salt to bring the margarita vibes home.

Salted Almond Butter Cups by Samah Dada

These tasty bite-sized treats taste just like a peanut butter cup, but are a bit more nutritious. They’re also great for people with peanut allergies or dairy intolerance. The cups are made with almond butter, maple syrup and coconut oil and are enrobed in a thick layer of chocolate.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frozen Banana Bites by Siri Daly

These frozen banana bites are delicious and sure to give you a boost of energy. Sandwich some peanut butter (or a nut butter of your choice) between two banana slices and dip them into melted chocolate.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com