Sunday, July 5, 2015

10 potluck-worthy summer desserts

Blueberry slab pie. (Parade)
Blueberry slab pie. (Parade)

(Rachel Rappaport)

Summer to me means picnics and lots of outdoor eating. It is easy to throw a few sandwiches together or fire up the grill, but what about dessert? A picnic is just not a picnic without something sweet. Here are some portable, delectable summery treats (most of the recipes use fruit that is in season right now!) that anyone would be happy to share.

Simply click on the name of the dish to be taken to the recipe:

1. Blueberry Slab Pie by Syrup and Biscuits is the perfect thing to make with all those blueberries you hauled home from the pick-your-own farm. It is made in a cake pan, not a pie tin, so it feeds a crowd and is a bit easier to make than traditional pie.

2. Gooseberry and Ginger Nut Cheesecake by The British Larder comes from across the pond but is just as tasty made with America gooseberries. If you’ve never had a gooseberry before, this cheesecake is an excellent first recipe. I’d try using shortbread cookies or gingersnaps if you cannot find ginger nut cookies.

3. Halo Halo Cupcakes by Chelsweets. Halo Halo, a Filipino shaved ice dessert that features a huge range of toppings, including but not limited to kidney beans, chickpeas, sugar palm fruit, macapuno, jackfruit, tapioca pearls, nata de coco, sweetened condensed milk, sweet potato, and ube (purple yam) ice cream, can be tricky to come by in the US, and it melts quickly. Luckily, you can make it at home, in easy-to-share cupcake form, with this recipe.

4. Blackberry Pie Pops by Real the Kitchen and Beyond takes an old-fashioned blackberry pie and transforms it into a new-fashioned pie on a stick. She suggests arranging them in a mason jar so everyone can pick their own pop.

5. Strawberry Sour Cream Bundt Cake by Chocolate Suze makes the most of sweet strawberries and lush sour cream. Bundt cakes always travel well and can be sliced at your destination–just remember to bring your cake knife!

6. Peach Brandy Blondies by Cocoa Bean, the Vegetable is a fun way to turn perishable peaches into a packable treat. I bet you could substitute nectarines for the peaches if, like me, peach fuzz makes you itch.

7. Huckleberry Cream Cheese Mini Pies by Haley’s Daily Blog only take 12 minutes of baking time (for the crust) and the rest of the work is done by the refrigerator. Pack them in a cupcake carrier to take them to your potluck. They can be served chilled or at room temperature.

8. Dark Chocolate Fresh Cherrie Brownies by The Wright Recipes. Think of this as a non-melting, fresh version of those chocolate-covered cherries that are so popular at Christmas time. Pro-tip: use a cherry pitter. You can pit them by hand, but why torture yourself?

9. Lemonade Rice Krispie Treats by Betsylife combines a summer favorite with the ultimate make-ahead, non-melting, gluten-free, kid-pleasing dessert: Rice Krispie Treats! The fresh lemon flavor is provided by a huge amount of lemon zest.

10. Nutella Peanut Butter Bars by Sugarlaws doesn’t feature seasonal fruit but it does feature two of the biggest names in desserts: Nutella and peanut butter. You might want to keep these out of direct sun, but once they’re served, don’t expect them to last long.


Rachel Rappaport’s favorite summer dessert is her blueberry ginger ice box pie. Rachel is a recipe developer and cookbook author who lives in the currently sweltering city of  Baltimore. She has been sharing her original recipes on her blog, Coconut & Lime, since 2004.

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Rachel Rappaport
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