My childhood home had a huge garden, but one fruit overshadowed almost all of the many other fruits and vegetables my mother grew there: raspberries. An entire side of our yard was one long raspberry bush, and each summer, we'd find ourselves with more of the tart-and-sweet berries than we knew what to do with. Nearly every day, I'd run out back and eat berries straight from the bush until I was stuffed, and I'd hardly make a dent.
Now that I'm grown and know my way around a kitchen, I'm happy to report that there are many more ways to enjoy these beauties. Of course, they're wonderful in fruity desserts—a five-minute fruit mousse or a Raspberry-Campari Frozen Yogurt is just the kind of sweet treat I'm looking for when it's hot out. We also love them in beverages, whether nonalcoholic (like this kefir smoothie) or strictly for adults (like a bittersweet Raspberry Spritz, made with Cocchi Americano and sparkling wine). If you're drowning in your garden's berries or if you've just picked up a few pints from the farmers market, read on for 12 of our favorite recipes for raspberry desserts and drinks.
Chocolate Meringue Cake With Whipped Cream and Raspberries
Make this gorgeous raspberry-topped cake for your next dinner party, and the compliments are guaranteed to pour in. Though the topping that bookends the cake layers may resemble frosting, it's actually airy French meringue. Cocoa powder, enhanced with just a pinch of instant coffee, flavors the cake itself, and dollops of homemade whipped cream and tangy-sweet fresh raspberry sauce sit in the middle.
Raspberry-Campari Frozen Yogurt
Good raspberries are complex things—tart, citrusy, and just a smidge bitter—and making frozen yogurt out of them seems like an obvious way to infuse that nuance into a tasty summer dessert. Unfortunately, the volume of dairy involved tends to dominate and drown out raspberries' subtleties. To bring back some of that depth of flavor, we add bittersweet Campari and aromatic orange zest to this pretty pink yogurt.
Want to try a refreshing, dairy-free sorbet instead of fro-yo? This time, it's the sugar that stands in the way, dulling the fruit's natural complexity. Luckily, the same trick of incorporating astringent Campari and a bit of orange zest works just as well for sorbet. As an added benefit, the booze makes the sorbet freeze up a little softer and more scoopable.
Light and Easy 5-Minute Fruit Mousse
Hard to believe it, but as lovely as this dessert is, it'll take just five minutes of your precious time. Toss frozen fruit, sugar, and egg white in a food processor and purée it all into a light, airy mousse. After that, there's nothing to do but layer it with whipped cream in your most presentable glasses and top with a few fresh berries. We've used raspberries for the mousse shown here, but just about any fruit you'd like will work.
Raspberry Mousse Pie
The mousse in this chilled pie is constructed somewhat differently, relying on whipped cream and gelatin for thickening a mixture of frozen berries and sugar. The result is a stable pie filling that's perfectly suitable for scooping into a flaky crust. Make the pie look as good as it tastes by finishing it with little dollops of whipped cream, piped with a star tip.
Chocolate Raspberry Pistachio Clafoutis
For those who aren't familiar with it, a clafoutis is a French dessert that's traditionally made by baking cherries in a thick, flan-like custard. It's usually rustic, simple, and subtle. Not this clafoutis, though, which throws tradition to the wind by replacing the cherries with raspberries and adding pistachios and bittersweet chocolate. Serve it warm or at room temperature to keep the chocolate good and melty.
Raspberry, Mint, and Kefir Smoothie
In this eye-opening breakfast drink, bright raspberries and cooling mint meet tangy kefir, a drinkable yogurt that we love for the richness it adds to smoothies. A light dose of honey adds a mild sweetness that allows the tart berries and kefir to shine. For a drink that's cold but not watered down, freeze the kefir into ice cubes.
The Californian Smoothie (Avocado-Berry Smoothie)
Dates are a classic addition to California smoothies for good reason—their caramelly sweetness is much more interesting than that of plain sugar. Here, we blend them with another very California ingredient: avocado, which turns the drink rich and creamy, though the sweet-tart flavors of raspberries and strawberries prevail.
Raspberry, Ginger, and Coconut Shake
The body of this thick vegan shake comes from coconut milk ice cream, which we blend with fresh raspberries. Ginger provides a little heat to balance out those sweet components. Despite the fact that it's based on "ice cream," the shake comes out remarkably light, not to mention beautiful to look at.
In a nod to the Raspberry Lime Rickey, this recipe adds raspberries to a simple limeade—and that's it, although a splash of gin or vodka definitely wouldn't be out of place if you're serving grown-ups. Make sure to strain the mixture after blending to remove all seeds.
Using a raspberry syrup in a cocktail instead of fresh berries, as we do here, solves two problems—it eliminates seeds (streamlining the procedure and making the drink easier to enjoy), and it allows you to use the fruit beyond the season's end. This brunch-friendly take on an Aperol Spritz combines a homemade raspberry-mint syrup with dry sparkling wine, club soda, and lightly bitter Cocchi Americano.
This highball proves that fruity doesn't have to mean overly sweet—made from a mix of white rum, raspberries, and lemon juice, it skews decidedly tart, with just a touch of agave syrup to soften the impact. We top it off with spicy, effervescent ginger beer.