6 Scrumptious Summer Desserts You Can Make with 5 Ingredients (Or Less!)

summer desserts

Craving a sweet treat on those sweltering summer afternoons? Let summer berries, melon, peaches, cherries, and more shine with these easy dessert recipes. They all call for just 5 ingredients or less (excluding salt, pepper, and cooking spray), minimal prep, no appliances, and a spatula, and are sure to hit the spot.

Ultimate Vanilla Pound Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (½ lb.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups of sugar
  • 5 large eggs

Yes, it’s true – you just need 5 ingredients (plus salt) for this classic vanilla pound cake. Plus, every ingredient is a common pantry staple, making pound cake the perfect go-to recipe when you need a last-minute dessert. You’ll need about an hour and 15 minutes for the cake to bake, but you’ll likely save a trip to the grocery.

Grilled Honey-Glazed Nectarines


  • 4 firm, ripe nectarines, halved and pitted
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1-pint vanilla ice cream

Grilled fruit is one of the best sweet treats of summer. This recipe works with any stone-fruit, but give nectarines a shot before you branch out. Simply brush nectarine halves with honey and grill until slightly softened, then serve with vanilla ice-cream.

Raspberry Mousse


  • 1 (¼ oz.) packet unflavored gelatin
  • 2 (12 oz.) bags of frozen raspberries, thawed
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups of heavy cream

Unflavored gelatin, heavy cream, frozen raspberries, sugar, and fresh lemon juice are all you need for this delicious creamy mousse. Don’t like raspberries? Simply substitute your favorite berry instead.

Refreshing Melon-Sorbet Float


  • Honeydew or cantaloupe
  • Lemon or coconut sorbet
  • Mint leaves
  • Seltzer or club soda

Is this melon sorbet float a drink or a dessert? With something this cool and delicious, it doesn’t matter what you call it or when you serve it. Put a healthy dairy-free twist on an ice cream float by combining frozen melon balls, lemon or coconut sorbet, and fresh mint, then topping it with seltzer or club soda.

Ice Cream Bonbons


  • 1-pint ice cream, any flavor
  • ¼ cup sprinkles
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening

These bite-sized, chocolate-covered ice cream balls are a sweet ending to summer cookouts. Plus, this recipe works with any flavor ice cream, so feel free to experiment with different kinds for your favorite flavor combination.

Nutella and Strawberry Crepes


  • ½ cup Nutella
  • 8 egg roll wrappers
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed and halved

For these easy crepes, fill egg roll wrappers with Nutella, sprinkle with sugar, and lightly toast in a buttered skillet. Briefly cook the strawberries in sugar until it’s softened, then spoon onto the crepes for a super quick dessert.