In the midst of a summer heat wave, the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven to bake. But a sweet tooth knows no season, and all those picnics and barbecues you're bound to attend this summer call for shareable treats. If you're looking for something that goes beyond a melty tub of Breyer's, try putting together one of these no-bake desserts—all of them delicious, simple, and sweat-free.
No-Bake Chocolate-Nutella 'Cheesecake' Verrines
These cute no-bake cheesecakes are a chocoholic's dream come true: an intense dark-chocolate filling, spooned on top of a crumbly Oreo crust and finished with a rich Nutella topping and whipped cream. They don't really look like traditional cheesecake, but when they taste this good, who cares?
Easy Icebox Strawberry Shortcake
Quite possibly the easiest strawberry shortcake ever: all you need are the freshest strawberries you can find, a bit of orange juice, graham crackers, and homemade whipped cream for this subtly sweet treat.
Easy Indoor No-Bake S'more Bars
Bring the campfire inside with these toasty marshmallow bars that are almost as easy as the real thing. A graham cracker crust is topped with a bittersweet ganache for a slightly more sophisticated flavor, and finished off with mini marshmallows. If you have one, a handheld blowtorch will turn the marshmallows into a melty-gooey topping.
No-Bake Blood Orange Pie
This creamy, rich pie is screaming for some acidic fruit to balance it, and here blood oranges are the perfect topping. Tangy orange wedges set off the cream cheese filling just right, and make for a pretty presentation.
Mango Icebox Cake
This airy dessert brings a burst of tropical freshness to a hot summer day. Start with an Italian meringue, mixed with pureed and diced mango, and add mascarpone cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Cardamom gives it an unexpected twist, and lime juice lends a bit of acidity.
A portable version of an old-fashioned favorite, these squares are chocolatey, minty, and don't require a ton of time in the kitchen. Chocolate graham crackers are layered with a fluffy mint pudding and topped with a dark-chocolate frosting for a refreshing warm-weather dessert.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie
The salty-and-sweet craze may have already hit its peak, but the pretzel-crumb crust on this pie—combined with the vanilla ice cream and peanut butter of the filling—makes it the ultimate in sweet-salty contrast.
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
This classic cheesecake requires a decidedly un-classic amount of work—just 20 minutes of active prep time—and the bright red berries on top and tangy hint of lemon within make it taste like a celebration of summer.
Creamy Chocolate Raspberry Summer Pudding
If you're hankering for bread pudding but can't bring yourself to turn on the oven, get your fix with this luscious chocolate raspberry pudding. Soft white bread is layered in individual cups with a homemade chocolate sauce and crushed raspberries. Let them sit overnight, and you'll be rewarded with the texture of a super-moist layer cake.
Light and Easy 5-Minute Fruit Mousse
Yes, with just three ingredients and a food processor, you can pull together this light, tasty, and pretty dessert in literally five minutes. The egg white is what transforms frozen fruit and sugar into a lovely, airy mousse that looks like a lot more work than it is.
Crunchy Peanut Butter Cereal Bars
Captain Crunch is an obvious (some would say superior) alternative to Rice Krispies in homemade cereal bars. Following the same format as for Rice Krispie treats, simply melt the butter and marshmallows, stir in the cereal, and press the mixture into the pan. A few tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, a sprinkle of salt, and honey-roasted peanuts give the bars a peanut-y pop of flavor.
No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
Compared to their baked counterparts, no-bake cheesecakes require a modest investment of time: whip together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar, spoon it into an unbaked cookie crumb crust, and chill it for an hour or so to firm it up. The addition of chocolate pushes an already rich dessert completely over the top. And, because it's no-bake, there's no stressing about when it's done or whether it'll sink in the middle.
No-Bake Chewy Cranberry Chocolate Treats
A surprising number of contrasts—rich dark chocolate and bright cranberry, sweet honey tempered with salt, and crispy cereal paired with creamy nut butter—are contained within these ridiculously easy-to-make treats. They're also healthier than a typical cookie or bar, but no one would guess that.