100 Crowd-Pleasing Desserts That Are Perfect for a Cookout

Pies, cookies, shortcakes and more—these sweet treats are so delicious you'll forget all about the burgers and hot dogs!

April 27, 2023

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Our Best Cookout Desserts

The warm weather is here so we’re breaking out the grill for a summer full of backyard barbecues and weekend get-togethers. And, that means it’s time to treat ourselves to all the delicious sweets that come after the burgers, hot dogs and ribs! We’re talking homemade ice creams and fun frozen desserts, no-fuss icebox cakes, seasonal fruit crisps, gooey s’mores-inspired bites—and so much more. Whether you’re hosting a small group of family and friends or inviting the whole neighborhood, you’ll find that these desserts fit right in. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser? Lemon meringue pie bars. You can skip rolling out pie dough with this easy-to-make, press-in version (win!) and the perfectly toasted topping is a breeze with a little help from your broiler.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Meringue Bars

Blueberry and Nectarine Cobbler

When adding juicy summer fruit (like blueberries) to pies and cobblers, you generally need something to help the fruit coalesce into a sauce. Food Network Kitchen chefs love instant tapioca, as it thickens while fading into the background, letting the fruit shine.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry and Nectarine Cobbler

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

Ina's towering cake can be made a day in advance. Layer store-bought cookies with mocha whipped cream until there are five layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Get the Recipe: Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

Strawberry Kiwi "Watermelon" Cookie Wedges

This giant cookie is topped with fresh strawberries and sliced kiwi so that it looks like a cross-section of watermelon—complete with chocolate chip “seeds.” Instead of rolling out the dough into a round, it is simply spread with damp hands—a great way for kids to help. Ice pop sticks are baked into the sides of the extra-thick cookie so that it can be sliced into an on-the-go treat.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Kiwi "Watermelon" Cookie Wedges

No-Bake Chocolate-Pretzel-Peanut Butter Squares

Trisha's chocolatey no-bake dessert squares are easy to transport and perfect on the go. The sweet and salty combination will please kids and adults alike.

Get the Recipe: No-Bake Chocolate-Pretzel-Peanut Butter Squares

Ice Cream Cone Slice-and-Bake Cookies

Not all ice cream cones melt in the blazing summer sun. Have fun shaping and rolling the colorful cookie dough so that every slice is super cute.

Get the Recipe: Ice Cream Cone Slice-and-Bake Cookies

Boozy Piña Colada Bundt Cake

When a pineapple upside-down cake meets a piña colada, the drunken cake of your dreams becomes a reality. (You're welcome.)

Get the Recipe: Boozy Piña Colada Bundt Cake

Blueberry-Lemon Whoopie Pies

Sandwich fluffy, blueberry-filled cookies around a cream cheese and lemon filling.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry-Lemon Whoopie Pies

Peanut S'mores Magic Bars

These gooey treats bring the campfire indoors. Toasted marshmallows are the perfect pillowy topper for the ultimate bar packed with chocolate and peanuts.

Get the Recipe: Peanut S'mores Magic Bars

Strawberry Pie Cake

This best-of-both-worlds dessert combines the looks of pie with the portability of cake. For extra transport ease, bake it in an aluminum pie tin so there's nothing to bring home afterward.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Pie Cake

Grilled Pineapple with Nutella

This dessert couldn't be simpler, or more decadent: Grill pineapple till it's caramelized, then top it with mascarpone cheese, chocolate-hazelnut spread and hazelnuts.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Pineapple with Nutella

Blackberry Cobbler

Trisha's double-decker cobbler layers a blackberry-and-sugar mixture with strips of biscuit-like pastry. "The last time I made this, I didn't have time to make homemade pastry, so I tried store-bought refrigerated roll-out pastry shells and cut them into strips. It worked great!" says Trisha.

Get the Recipe: Blackberry Cobbler

Angel Food Cake and Berry Trifle

Chunks of angel food cake absorb the juices of fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries plus creamy Greek yogurt.

Get the Recipe: Angel Food Cake and Berry Trifle

Individual Key Lime Pies

Ree's adorable Key lime pies round out a filling barbecue and, best of all, come together in three easy layers. Simply spread homemade lime curd atop buttery graham cracker crust, then add a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Lime zest is the perfect garnish.

Get the Recipe: Individual Key Lime Pies

Grilled Crispy Treat S’Mores

Take the favorite fireside treat to the next level — instead of sandwiching your s’mores between graham crackers, use gooey marshmallow cereal treats. These are on the larger side for easier grilling. The best part is you can make them ahead and unpack them at your campsite when your fire is ready to go. And if the weather isn’t cooperating, these can also be made indoors, with a grill pan.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Crispy Treat S’Mores

Cin-ful Peach Cobbler

Guy's easy cobbler requires only fifteen minutes' prep time. Make a quick crumb topping for sugary peaches and bake until golden and bubbling.

Get the Recipe: Cin-ful Peach Cobbler

Chocolate Cream Pie

This creamy chocolatey pie couldn't be easier to make: Just spread chocolate-cream cheese filling into a store-bought cookie crust and dessert is ready in 10 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cream Pie

White Claw Black Cherry Cupcakes

You can have your favorite drink and eat it too with these fun, party-ready cupcakes. We took boxed red velvet cake mix and added a hefty dose of White Claw Black Cherry Hard Seltzer. Each baked cupcake is then stuffed with oozy, boozy jam to bump up the cherry taste, swirled with fluffy vanilla frosting and finished with a cocktail cherry on top!

Get the Recipe: White Claw Black Cherry Cupcakes

Alton's Shortcake

Alton makes simple, classic shortcake biscuits, perfect with whipped cream and your favorite fresh berries.

Get the Recipe: Shortcake

Campfire Cookies

What kind of cookie can top a s'more at a cookout? One that is topped with an adorable candy campfire, complete with tiny toasted marshmallows on sticks. Bring a batch of these to your next campout — whether deep in the woods or just in your backyard — and watch the smiles break out among your troop.

Get the Recipe: Campfire Cookies

Strawberry Cheesecake Galette

This light and springy dessert satisfies the cheesecake lover, but it is a bit easier to make. It's also a great way to use the first strawberries of the season.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake Galette

S'mores Icebox Cake

The only baking you'll need to do for this icebox cake is a quick broil of the marshmallow topping.


Get the Recipe: S'mores Icebox Cake

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

Box white cake mix is Giada's shortcut to quick summer cupcakes. After cutting off the tops of each cupcake, mash fresh raspberries into homemade whipped cream and spoon atop the cupcake bottoms.

Get the Recipe: Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

Nutella-Stuffed Cookies

Chocolate-hazelnut spread is cleverly chilled, making it easier to use as a filling for these gooey, molten-center treats. Eat them warm or even cooled — there won't be any left for the cookie jar.

Get the Recipe: Nutella-Stuffed Cookies

Blueberry Buckle

A buckle is like a cobbler, but it's made with rich white cake and topped with streusel. Alton fills his classic dessert with fresh blueberries.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Buckle

Brownie Pudding 

Ina's 5-star dessert is the perfect combination of crisp brownie edges and a gooey pudding filling.

Get the Recipe: Brownie Pudding

Lemon Curd Trifle with Fresh Berries

Layer pound cake, berries, lemon curd and whipped cream into a trifle bowl for a cool summer dessert with a pretty presentation.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Curd Trifle with Fresh Berries

S'mores Blossom Cookies

Peanut butter-chocolate blossom cookies are great, but they're even better paired with toasted, gooey marshmallows. Serve these at your next summer get-together, no bonfire required.

Get the Recipe: S'mores Blossom Cookies

Blueberry Fools

Make fresh blueberry sauce with in-season fruit and fold it into whipped cream for a simple treat. Top the cream with shortbread or wafer cookies.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Fools

Summer Cheesecake Mousse

Your favorite sweet and tangy dessert just got scoopable. We layered this creamy mousse with crushed graham crackers and berry jam in glass jars. As an alternative, spread the mousse on graham crackers and top with fresh berries or your favorite berry jam.


Get the Recipe: Summer Cheesecake Mousse

Stone Fruit Pouches

Wrap apricots and plums in foil with gingersnap cookies and grill them directly over hot coals or a fire pit.

Get the Recipe: Stone Fruit Pouches

Berry Dessert Lasagna

This chilled berry trifle is an easy, crowd-pleasing dessert. No one will be able to resist the cake "noodles."

Get the Recipe: Berry Dessert Lasagna

Blueberry Crumble with Cornmeal-Almond Topping

A cornmeal and almond topping gives this crumble an unexpectedly flavorful crunch, and it pairs perfectly with the simple, summery blueberry filling.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Crumble With Cornmeal-Almond Topping

Grilled Rhubarb Brown Betty

Rhubarb, the delicious spring and summer treat, shines in this brown betty cooked right on the grill.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Rhubarb Brown Betty

Individual Strawberry Trifles

Giada's individual trifles are made with amaretto liquor; for a kid-friendly version, substitute fruit juice.

Get the Recipe: Individual Strawberry Trifles

School-of-Fish Cupcake Cake

Need a treat for a school (wink) or summer gathering? This cake-and-cupcake combo, which comes together easily with the aid of colorful chocolate candies, will go over swimmingly.

Get the Recipe: School-of-Fish Cupcake Cake

Peanut Butter Pie

Rich and creamy peanut butter pie is a cinch to pull together quickly, but plan ahead before dessert; it should be refrigerated for at least an hour before serving.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Pie

Fruit Salad with Limoncello

Ina serves fresh summer berries alongside a quick homemade topping of yogurt, lemon curd, honey and vanilla.

Get the Recipe: Fruit Salad with Limoncello

S'mores Cookie Crumble Bars

Bring s'mores inside with this bonfire-inspired treat.

Get the Recipe: S'mores Cookie Crumble Bars

Berry Trifle

Heighten the flavor of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries with a bit of lemon and sugar for Tyler's trifle.

Get the Recipe: Berry Trifle

Classic S'mores

For the perfect classic s'more, you have to have melty chocolate, gooey toasty marshmallow and crisp graham cracker. There are a million ways to personalize a s'more using flavored chocolates, nuts, dried fruits or jams. Explore — you have all summer to find the perfect combo that works for you.

Get the Recipe: Classic S'mores

Diner-Style Strawberry Shortcake

Make a retro, diner-style classic at home for your next summer party.

Get the Recipe: Diner-Style Strawberry Shortcake

Blackberry-White Chocolate Fool with Toasted Hazelnuts

As in the traditional English recipe, Bobby uses a mixture of pureed blackberries and whipped heavy cream as the base for his "fool," but he adds white chocolate and crème de cassis, a liqueur made with blackcurrants, to deliver even more decadence.

Get the Recipe: Blackberry-White Chocolate Fool with Toasted Hazelnuts

Stars and Stripes Piñata Cookies

Give these patriotic cookies a shake to see the tiny red, white and blue stars inside the candy windows.

Get the Recipe: Stars and Stripes Piñata Cookies

Crab Cupcakes

Make a splash with these crab cupcakes that are secretly a cinch to pull together thanks to store-bought cookies and colorful gummies.

Get the Recipe: Crab Cupcakes

Mini Taco S'mores

Brush flour tortillas with a buttery cinnamon-sugar mixture and prepare to wow guests. These little taco s'mores are super easy to make, thanks to a muffin tin, but they taste just like you went the campfire route.

Get the Recipe: Mini Taco S'mores

Red, White and Blue Cheesecake

The marbled effect in this Americana-inspired dessert is easier to achieve than it looks — simply alternate scoops of colored cheesecake batter and let a wooden skewer do the rest!

Get the Recipe: Red, White and Blue Cheesecake

Muffin Tin Strawberry Pies

Muffin tins are so versatile — you can even use one to make mini fruit pies. Cute fluted rounds of baked pie dough stand in for a traditional double crust.

Get the Recipe: Muffin Tin Strawberry Pies

Campfire Skillet Cookie

Bring the great outdoors inside and let everyone relax around this skillet cookie.

Get the Recipe: Campfire Skillet Cookie

Open-Faced Plum Tart

"This pie is so easy," Sunny Anderson says, "but it looks so classy." Try it when you're in the mood for a freeform base rather than a pie crust.

Get the Recipe: Open-Faced Plum Tart

Classic Lemon Bars

These refreshing hand-held treats have a double dose of lemon: They're made with zest and juice for extra pucker-up flavor.

Get the Recipe: Classic Lemon Bars

Four-Flavor Sheet Pan Upside-Down Cake

Enjoy a slice of the classic pineapple upside-down cake or pick one of the other fun fruits — or go ahead and try them all. We know we wouldn't be able to resist!

Get the Recipe: Four-Flavor Sheet Pan Upside-Down Cake

Doughnut Grills

This is the ultimate edible craft project for a barbecue: Chocolate doughnuts and piped chocolate turn into adorable mini grills decorated with all the usual cook-out fare — only made from candy!

Get the Recipe: Doughnut Grills

Peach and Raspberry Cobbler

Dessert tonight: skillet cobbler. Stir raspberries and peaches into a skillet, then arrange biscuits on top. Brush the biscuits with cream and sugar, then bake until bubbly.

Get the Recipe: Peach and Raspberry Cobbler

Marcela's Strawberry Meringue Cake (Mostachon)

Marcela's summery dessert starts with a meringue-cake base, then moves up to a cream cheese frosting and is eventually crowned by fresh, plump strawberries.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Meringue Cake (Mostachon)

Fireworks Cheesecake

Boom! A chocolate cake-bottomed no-bake cheesecake gets a splashy treatment thanks to some seriously clever (and easy) decorating tricks.

Get the Recipe: Fireworks Cheesecake


Say good-bye to graham crackers and make your s'mores with a new kid in town: the chocolate sandwich cookie! It's the perfect place to house a toasted, gooey marshmallow and melted chocolate. And thanks to your broiler, you can say farewell to the campfire too.

Get the Recipe: S'moreos

Banana Bread Ice Cream Layer Cake

Bored of banana bread? Give your classic recipe a refresh with a layer of peanut butter and chocolate ice cream – just in time for summer!

Get the Recipe: Banana Bread Ice Cream Layer Cake

White Claw Lime Cupcakes

These boozy, semi-scratch cupcakes are loaded with citrus flavor, thanks to a generous pour of White Claw Natural Lime Hard Seltzer. We upped the ante by adding a spiked lemon curd filling, and topped each cupcake with a dollop of vanilla frosting for a grown-up treat.

Get the Recipe: White Claw Lime Cupcakes

Deep Dish Peach Pie

This pie slices beautifully and has a delicious peach filling, but the real star is the crust: crisp, crunchy and perfectly sweet.

Get the Recipe: Deep Dish Peach Pie

Pull-Apart Pool Cupcake Cake

It's everybody into the pool for this fun summer dessert that requires little more than box cake mix, frosting and colorful supermarket candy.

Get the Recipe: Pull-Apart Pool Cupcake Cake

Jiggly Aquarium Pops

Make a splash at your next summer cookout with these pushable jelly treats filled with gummy fish, licorice seaweed and crunchy candy gravel.

Get the Recipe: Jiggly Aquarium Pops

Doughnut Hole Crabs

Combine your favorite red candies and leftover doughnut holes to create fun treat that's almost too cute to eat!

Get the Recipe: Doughnut Hole Crabs

Seashore Cheesecake

Make a splash at your next cookout with this adorable beach-scene cheesecake.

Get the Recipe: Seashore Cheesecake

Beach Day Cookies

Reminiscing about a wonderful day in the sun? Come inside and build these scenic sandcastle cookies to celebrate beach days all summer long.

Get the Recipe: Beach Day Cookies

Mini Watermelon Cake Cups

Frozen pound cake, vanilla frosting and melted white chocolate team up to make an adorable summer treat for a barbecue or pool party. No baking necessary!

Get the Recipe: Mini Watermelon Cake Cups

Strawberry-Blackberry Summer Trifle

Trifles are a classic British summer dessert; they're light, sweet and full of juicy fruit. If you can't find elderflower syrup — with its sweetly floral taste — substitute the juice from canned lychees.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry-Blackberry Summer Trifle

Blackberry Summer Pudding

Summer pudding is a classic British dessert that showcases the bright flavors of fresh summer fruit. Make it the day before (or the morning of) your picnic, and then transport it in its container. Unmold it at the party, top with whipped cream and enjoy.

Get the Recipe: Blackberry Summer Pudding

Sweet and Crispy Spiced Bread and Berries

If you love bruschetta as an appetizer, you'll flip for this sweet dessert version.

Get the Recipe: Sweet and Crispy Spiced Bread and Berries

Grilled S'mores Cake

Premade shortcake shells are good for more than just strawberry shortcake — they make the perfect little cup for nestling marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers in for warm, gooey grilled s'mores.

Get the Recipe: Grilled S'mores Cakes

Peach and Strawberry Crumble

This sweet crumble is made from two quintessential summer fruits you've waited all year for: strawberries and peaches.

Get the Recipe: Peach and Strawberry Crumble

Blueberry Delight

Virginia's Blueberry Delight is nothing short of delightful. It starts with a pecan crust and works its way up to a creamy cheesecake filling topped with a sweet sauce made from fresh blueberries. 

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Delight

Brown Sugar Strawberry Shortcakes

These individual shortcakes look beautifully crystallized when you sprinkle them with raw brown sugar. Best of all, they can be stored for up to two days, so they're the perfect make-ahead solution for a dinner-party dessert.

Get the Recipe: Brown Sugar Strawberry Shortcakes

Individual No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecakes

Thanks to store-bought mini graham cracker crusts, it takes only 10 minutes to whip up Rachael's no-bake cheesecakes with fresh strawberries.

Get the Recipe: Individual No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecakes

Apple-Raspberry Crumble with Oat-Walnut Topping

Tart raspberries and tender apples are flavored with aromatic nutmeg and cinnamon in this comforting crumble.

Get the Recipe: Apple-Raspberry Crumble with Oat-Walnut Topping

Plum-Nectarine-Blackberry Crumble With Cornmeal-Pistachio Topping

Tart and sweet summer fruits shine in this simple crumble. Baking them up in cute single-serving ramekins makes for a special, personal presentation.

Get the Recipe: Plum-Nectarine-Blackberry Crumble With Cornmeal-Pistachio Topping

Caramel Apple Grilled Mini Monkey Breads

Monkey bread couldn't be easier with store-bought biscuit dough. We made this recipe so you can take it on the go to your next backyard cookout or tailgate party and then pop it on the grill while everyone is eating. By the time they're ready for a sweet treat, it will be done!

Get the Recipe: Caramel Apple Grilled Mini Monkey Breads

Blueberry Crumb Pie

Food Network Magazine's summer pie is packed with sweet berries and topped with a buttery, crumbly, nutty topping. Serve it on its own or with a big scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Crumb Pie

Fruit Pizza

Top premade pizza shells with wine-soaked fruit and ricotta for an easy, adults-only dessert.

Get the Recipe: Fruit Pizza

Cheeseburger Cake

Get the whole family involved with building a cake that looks just like a burger, and serve it after a meal of, well, what else? Burgers and hot dogs.

Get the Recipe: Cheeseburger Cake

Berried Treasure

This portable treat comes together with alternating layers of smooth chocolate hazelnut spread and sweet cream studded with fresh raspberries.

Get the Recipe: Berried Treasure

Instant Parfait

Fill a wine glass with orange marmalade and freshly whipped cream for an easy dessert in minutes.

Get the Recipe: Instant Parfait

Blueberry Pie

Alex's classic pie is one of her favorite recipes from childhood. If you can't wait for the pie to cool, serve it with ice cream while it's still warm.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Pie

Banana Cream Pudding

Tyler flavors his decadent pudding with vanilla, bourbon and creme de banana. Top with homemade whipped cream for a stunning picnic table centerpiece. 

Get the Recipe: Banana Cream Pudding

Bourbon Peach Cobbler

Tyler's peach cobbler gets a grownup kick thanks to a little bourbon, which adds a mellow flavor that perfectly suits the sweet peaches and buttery biscuit topping.

Get the Recipe: Bourbon Peach Cobbler

Red, White and Blue Meringues

These red, white and blue meringues are easy to make and use a clever decorating trick: Paint lines of food coloring gel up the sides of a pastry bag before filling it with meringue, and each cookie comes out striped as you pipe it. You can use this same trick with frosting for cupcakes.

Get the Recipe: Red, White and Blue Meringues

Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pops

Kids will love these super-cool bite-sized pops. Don't surprised if they ask for more than one!


Get the Recipe: Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pops

Grandma Monette's Cherry Jam Tart

This elegant tart is Melissa's Ten Dollar Dinners-style take on a recipe from her husband's French grandmother. Instead of using fresh cherries, which can be pricey, Melissa uses good-quality jam.

Get the Recipe: Grandma Monette's Cherry Jam Tart

New York Cheesecake Cupcakes

A combination of gluten-free cookie crumbs and baking mix is the star of these cheesecake-style cupcakes, which are topped with vanilla-cream cheese frosting and some in-season raspberry coulis.

Get the Recipe: New York Cheesecake Cupcakes

Warm Plums with Gelato

Simply grilled plums, brushed with melted butter and cinnamon, become soft and caramelized after just a few minutes. Creamy hazelnut gelato and chopped toasted hazelnuts are a great nutty complement.

Get the Recipe: Warm Plums With Gelato

Almond Shortcakes

Use flour and almond meal to make shortcakes, then fill them with whipped cream and fresh blackberries.

Get the Recipe: Almond Shortcakes

Old-Fashioned Cherry Clafoutis

Switch up your usual summer baking routine with this classic French dessert that highlights one of summer's stars — cherries. The orange zest and Angostura bitters are key to creating an aromatic kick that perfectly complements the sweet fruit.

Get the Recipe: Old-Fashioned Cherry Clafoutis

Tiki Cocktail Cake

This fun cocktail look-alike cake is surprisingly easy to make and sure to be the hit of your next party.

Get the Recipe: Tiki Cocktail Cake

Cherry and Peach Galette

This rustic, open-faced tart is easy to make, thanks to prepared puff pastry.

Get the Recipe: Cherry and Peach Galette

Marshmallow S'mores Pops

Toast the marshmallows in this recipe to add campfire flavor to the finished pop. But if you're short on time, they are still adorable and delicious using an untoasted marshmallow.

Get the Recipe: Marshmallow S'mores Pops

Lemon Raspberry S'mores

These s'mores are so tangy and tasty, like a bite of lemon meringue pie with fresh raspberries, you won't even miss the chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Raspberry S'mores

Cherry Clafoutis

Clafoutis is a baked French custard usually filled with summer fruit. It's perfect for parties and, once baked and cooled, is sturdy enough to hit the road. Wrap it well and garnish with powdered sugar at the table.

Get the Recipe: Cherry Clafoutis

Root Beer Tiramisu

Here's everyone's favorite Italian dessert reimagined with a flavor profile that's purely American. Like a root beer float sent to finishing school, this sweet will completely delight.

Get the Recipe: Root Beer Tiramisu

No-Bake Summer Pie Minis

When it’s too hot to use the oven but don’t want to miss out on dessert? Try these mini no-bake fruit pies – held together by a nut-based crust.

Get the Recipe: No-Bake Summer Pie Minis

Peanut Butter No-Bake Cheesecake

Save time with a store-bought graham cracker crust for this creamy dessert. Finish your creation with a chocolate whipped cream and a sprinkle of peanut butter chips and chocolate sprinkles.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter No-Bake Cheesecake

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