Grandma’s Favorite Summertime Desserts

Cool, creamy and oh so dreamy! Grandma knew how to use summer's freshest flavors in these irresistible dessert recipes.

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Old-Time Custard Ice Cream

I think my most memorable summertime dessert for get-togethers has always been homemade ice cream. This recipe is so rich and creamy and is the perfect splurge on a hot summer afternoon. —Martha Self, Montgomery, Texas

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Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake

My Grandma Gigi loved summer berry cakes. Almost any time I’d call her during the warmer months, she’d invite me over to taste her latest masterpiece. This cake is a tribute to her. —Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
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Spumoni Slices

My sweet rectangles get their name from the old-fashioned tri-colored ice cream. Our whole family prefers them. —Mary Chupp, Chattanooga, Tennessee
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Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia
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Raspberry Custard Kuchen

Back where I grew up in Wisconsin, people have been baking this German treat for generations. We love it for breakfast or as a special dessert. It's no fuss to fix and impressive to serve. —Virginia Arndt, Sequim, Washington
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Berries with Vanilla Custard

What a simple, delectable way to enjoy fresh raspberries. For a change, also try the custard with strawberries or peaches. —Sarah C. Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Homemade Lemon Bars

When these tangy bars were served in my husband's childhood, family meals were memorably complete. That's still true today for our family. The bars' sweetness rounds out the meal, but the lemony flavor keeps them light. Don't expect many leftovers once family and friends taste these treats! —Denise Baumert, Dalhart, Texas
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Creamy Pineapple Pie

Creamy pineapple pie is a light and refreshing dessert that's quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
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Grandma's Strawberry Shortcake

I can still taste the juicy berries piled over warm biscuits and topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. My father added even more indulgence to the dessert by first buttering his biscuits. —Shirley Joan Helfenbein, Lapeer, Michigan
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Heavenly Blueberry Tart

Mmm—this tart is bursting with the fresh flavor of blueberries! Not only do I bake berries with the crust, but I also top the tart with more just-picked fruit after I take it out of the oven. —Lyin Schramm, Berwick, Maine
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Lemon Supreme Pie

A friend and I often visit a local restaurant for pie and coffee. When they stopped carrying our favorite lemon supreme pie, I got busy in the kitchen and created this version, which we think tastes even better! The combination of the cream cheese and tart lemon is wonderful. —Jana Beckman, Wamego, Kansas
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Icebox Cake

You don't have to bake to serve a wonderful dessert! This icebox cake is made from chocolate wafers and whipping cream. It is so delicious.—Cindy Hawkins, New York, New York
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Root Beer Float Cake

I add root beer to both the cake batter and fluffy frosting of this summery dessert to get that great root beer float taste. Serve this moist cake to a bunch of hungry kids and watch it disappear! —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon
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Blueberry Graham Dessert

When you're short on time but long for cheesecake, try this fruity dessert. Ricotta and cream cheeses give every bit as much flavor as cheesecake without the effort. Instead of making individual servings, you could layer the ingredients in a glass serving bowl. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Sweet & Tart Lemon Jell-O

With its sunny lemon color, this gelatin mold brightens up any table. I usually make two molds for parties because it disappears so quickly. —Patricia Ryzow, Thousand Oaks, California
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Red, White and Blue Dessert

I changed a recipe I found and ended up with this rich, fresh-tasting dessert. Decorated to resemble a flag, it's perfect for the Fourth of July or any other patriotic occasion. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Cool Strawberry Cream

This fruity, luscious dessert makes a wonderful ending to a special dinner. When fresh strawberries are not available, substitute two packages frozen unsweetened strawberries, thawed and drained, for the fresh. —Joyce Cooper, Mount Forest, Ontario
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Blackberry Nectarine Pie

Blackberries are a big crop in my area, so I've prepared this pretty double-fruit pie many times. I can always tell when my husband wants me to make it because he brings home berries that he picked behind his office. —Linda Chinn, Enumclaw, Washington
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Jumbleberry Crumble

A friend brought this delicious, down-home dessert to church and was kind enough to give out the recipe. Everyone enjoyed it so much and just showered her with compliments! It’s especially wonderful served warm or with a dollop of creamy whipped topping. —Mary Ann Dell, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
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Fresh Blackberry Pie

I grew up on a farm, and we always picked fruits in early summer and used them to make desserts. This blackberry pie recipe is a real stunner. —Gladys Gibbs, Brush Creek, Tennessee
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Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Dessert

A neighbor shared this recipe with me, and I created my own variation using garden-fresh rhubarb and strawberries. The shortbread crust and creamy sweet-tart layers went over big at a family party—not a crumb was left! —Sara Zignego, Hartford, Wisconsin
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Contest-Winning Raspberry Cream Pie

This recipe is delicious with either fresh-picked or frozen raspberries. That means you can make it year-round. One bite of raspberry pie will instantly turn winter to summer. —Julie Price, Nashville, Tennessee
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Refrigerator Lime Cheesecake

I made this for a Father's Day party, and it was a hit! I guarantee compliments when you serve this fantastic dessert. —Cher Anjema, Kleinburg, Ontario
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Spiced Peach Cobbler

When you tuck into this warm and comforting fresh peach cobbler, you won’t miss the extra fat and calories a bit! —Mary E. Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Red, White 'n' Blue Torte

My guests see fireworks when I turn a frozen pound cake into a patriotic pleaser! Assemble this tempting torte early in the day and keep it in the refrigerator until it's time for dessert. —Margery Bryan, Moses Lake, Washington
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Homemade Cherry Crisp

Our family loves this pretty, tasty dessert. It uses convenient pie filling, so you can make it in no time—and it takes mere minutes to heat in the microwave. —Laurie Todd, Columbus, Mississippi
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Summer Blackberry Cobbler

My husband is from Alabama, so I like to treat him to classic Southern desserts. This cobbler is a must-have for us in the summer. —Kimberly Danek Pinkson, San Anselmo, California
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Peaches & Cream Jelly Roll

Cake rolls make a lovely presentation for a party, and they are simple to cut into even slices. My father taught me how to make them, and sometimes we get together and make them for family and friends. —Malena Coleman, Rockville, Indiana
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Banana Split Icebox Cake

One day a friend showed me how to make a traditional icebox cake with just cream and graham crackers. I make it extra special with the fruit. Now everyone at your potluck can have a banana split with no fuss! —Shelly Flye, Albion, Maine
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Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you’re tight on time, you can use store-bought cookies, but I highly recommend making these oatmeal chocolate cookies from scratch. The dessert sandwiches are pure fun. Sometimes I decorate the sides of the sandwiches with colorful jimmies, too. —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
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Skillet Blueberry Slump

My mother-in-law made a slump of wild blueberries with dumplings and served it warm with a pitcher of farm cream. We’ve been enjoying slump desserts for 60 years. —Eleanore Ebeling, Brewster, Minnesota
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Peach Cream Puffs

On a sizzling day, we crave something light, airy and cool. Nothing says summer like cream puffs stuffed with peaches and whipped cream. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia
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Charlotte's Green Tomato Pie

Green tomato pie makes an awesome conversation piece. I took it to a potluck and it was a delight to share. —Charlotte McDaniel, Jacksonville, Alabama
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Rhubarb Berry Upside-Down Cake

I had leftover rhubarb and wanted to create something fresh. With blueberries, strawberries and dried cranberries on hand, I discovered I had a berry upside-down cake. —June Paul, Portage, Wisconsin
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Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.