11 No-Bake Dessert Recipes for Ice Cream Cakes, Granitas, Shakes and More



I’m a baker all year round, that’s undeniable. Even in the summer, I turn up my oven to 475 degrees to bake sourdough bread (but more often at night, when it’s theoretically cooler). August and September are also the perfect season to try out the recipes for our annual Holiday Cookie issue. Luckily, I’m blessed with an air conditioner that can handle most of my projects, but even I can enjoy the joys of a no-bake dessert.

Recipes that don’t call for heat are also welcome when I want something light and refreshing. Or when I don’t have the energy for a complicated dish. These sweet treats from our recipe finder are ideal when you feel the same way. None require the oven or stovetop, and one uses a microwave.

Black Forest Icebox Cake. Between turning on the oven to bake and worrying about the frosting melting, layer cakes can be a less than ideal option in the heat. So writer Aaron Hutcherson found a delicious way to turn this retro dessert into an ice cream cake. I did it and I can testify to its greatness. McVities Mess cooler is another variation of the genre.

Rainbow Sprinkle Ice Cream Cake. Likewise, if you have a summer birthday to celebrate, allow me to suggest this festive and fun centerpiece from Jessie Sheehan. It’s like Funfetti, but in chilled form. For more dusting possibilities, check out a favorite from my youth (that my mom just made for us the other week!): This Whipped Cream Cheese Pie.

How to make an ice cream cake, the coolest no-bake dessert (literally!)

Peaches with rosemary and mascarpone whipped cream. You’ll have to plan ahead to cold dip the rosemary in the whipping cream, but otherwise there’s very little effort to make this Italian-inspired dessert that includes store-bought pizzelles (thin waffle cookies ).

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Raspberry Strawberry Fool. Frozen berries, sugar and cream form the basis of this convenient and affordable dessert.

7 dessert recipes with whipped cream, including cream puffs, pie and custard

Granita Pina Colada. This option distinguishes between dessert and drink. It’s refreshing either way you look at it, though.

Do you have a fork and a freezer? Here are 6 recipes for granita, the easiest summer refreshment.

Rum Balls. It’s a shame that people only think of these confections during the holidays, because they’re a great option for a cookie-adjacent treat that doesn’t require any baking.

Browse our recipe finder for over 9,800 post-tested recipes.

Chai Floats. These creamy floats use coffee ice cream and a chai latte mix for a slightly more grown-up version of a childhood staple.

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Good Stuff Eatery’s Milky Way Malt. Here’s a decadent and eye-catching milkshake inspired by malted milk balls.

Cocoa Chia Pudding. While many puddings should be cooked on the stovetop, this vegan recipe uses a food processor or high-speed blender.

monster cookie dough. Personalize your own edible cookie dough for the kids or kids at heart in your life. Because the flour is not safe to eat raw, you must purchase heat-treated flour or make it yourself in the microwave, which takes about 2 minutes according to the recipe instructions.

No-Bake Hemp Brownie Bites. These raw, vegan, and gluten-free bites taste like a brownie. Dates give a lot of moisture and a tender chew. In the same way, Date and Coconut Energy Balls rely on fruits, nuts and seeds.


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