Cool Summer Desserts

Make any of these five refreshing recipes with your child for a fun-filled retreat from the heat.



Need a break from the summer sun? Head inside to create fabulous frozen treats with your child. "Stock up on your favorite flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet, and let your kids show off their creativity," says Child food editor Laurie Goldrich-Wolf. These easy recipes can be made ahead and stored in the freezer until serving time, an ideal way to let kids help when you entertain. Let them serve the treats -- and savor the compliments!

Where to Find Fun Ice Pop Molds

Treat molds come in many clever shapes and sizes. These stores and Web sites carry a variety of fabulous options.

      Fruity Ice Cream Sandwiches


      Our homemade version of this summertime favorite includes a layer of sliced strawberries. If you're in a rush, you can use store-bought sugar cookies (we like Dancing Deer's Sugar Cane Lime or Pepperidge Farm Soft-Baked Sugar Cookies), or use the recipe below.


      Prep Time:
      10 minutes, plus 15 minutes for cookies

      Cooking Time:
      30 minutes for cookies


      • 1 pint vanilla or strawberry ice cream
      • 16 2 1/2" to 3" round sugar cookies
      • 1 cup fresh strawberries, thinly sliced


        Step 1: Fill a 2-oz. scoop with ice cream, and place it on the bottom of one cookie. Gently press ice cream with the back of a spoon.

        Step 2: Arrange a single layer of strawberry slices on top of the flattened ice cream.

        Step 3: Place a second cookie on top of the strawberry slices. Serve immediately, or store in the freezer for up to a month.

          Sugar Cookies

          5 dozen


          • 1 cup granulated sugar
          • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
          • 1 cup canola oil
          • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
          • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
          • 1 tsp. salt
          • 1 tsp. baking soda
          • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
          • 4 cups all-purpose flour
          • White and hot pink sparkling sugar (optional)


            Preheat oven to 375?F.

            Step 1: In a large bowl, combine the first two sugars. Stir in the oil, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

            Step 2: Add the flour and stir, forming a dough that will be crumbly and somewhat dry. Form balls out of heaping tablespoons of the dough, and place them 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press the cookies down with the bottom of a glass to flatten. (If cookie dough sticks, dip the glass in granulated sugar first.) Sprinkle with sparkling sugars before baking, if desired.

            Step 3: Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before making ice cream sandwiches. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to a month.

              Super Star Pops


              Perfect for a Fourth of July party, these festive ice cream pops look especially pretty with red sugar sprinkled on top.


              Prep Time:
              10 minutes, plus 2 hours in the freezer

              Cooking Time:
              0 minutes


              • 1 qt. vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
              • Plastic pop molds and sticks (we used star shape molds available from
              • Colored sugar and assorted sprinkles (optional)


                Step 1: Remove ice cream from freezer, and let it soften until it can be spooned easily from carton. Fill each mold with ice cream.

                Step 2: Place stick into slot in each mold, then freeze the pops for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, slide a knife around edges to help remove pop from mold. Sprinkle ice cream with colored sugar or sprinkles before serving, if desired.

                  Creamy Raspberry Pie


                  Kids will love to help crush the cookies for this pie's homemade crust and mix fruit into softened ice cream for a sweet, delicious filling. Slice and serve at your next backyard barbecue.


                  Prep Time:
                  20 minutes, plus 2 hours in the freezer

                  Cooking Time:
                  8 minutes


                  • Canola oil spray
                  • 45 vanilla wafers, finely crushed
                  • 5 Tbs. butter, melted
                  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
                  • 1 3/4 qt. vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
                  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, plus extra for garnish


                    Preheat oven to 350?F.

                    Step 1: Spray an 8" or 9" pie pan with oil; set aside. Combine cookie crumbs, butter, and vanilla; press evenly into bottom and sides of pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden. Let cool completely.

                    Step 2: Meanwhile, remove ice cream from freezer and let it soften. Stir in raspberries. Fill cooled pie shell with ice cream mixture; freeze for at least 2 hours. Garnish with extra raspberries.

                      Juicy Fruit Pops


                      Mix and match your favorite flavors of juice to make these colorful pops, a fun way to keep kids hydrated on a hot day.


                      Prep Time:
                      3 hours (including time for freezing multiple layers)

                      Cooking Time:
                      0 minutes


                      • 1 qt. each of three 100% fruit juices, such as cranberry, orange, and apple
                      • 8 juice pop molds and sticks (we used Progressive International molds from Broadway Panhandler)


                        Step 1: Fill each mold one-third full with one kind of juice, then place in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. Repeat with another color of juice. Place sticks into molds when adding the third color, and let pops freeze for 2 hours before serving.

                          Sorbet Structures


                          Before a beach outing, kids can fill a few sand molds with sorbet and put them in the freezer. Back home at the end of the day, unmold the sorbet pyramids or castles, slice, and enjoy.


                          Prep Time:
                          2 hours (including time for freezing)

                          Cooking Time:
                          0 minutes


                          • 1 3/4 qt. sorbet in assorted flavors
                          • Molds in assorted sizes and shapes


                            Step 1: Let sorbet soften, then spoon into molds. If using two or more colors, freeze one color for about 20 minutes before adding another color. When mold is full, freeze for 2 hours.

                            Step 2: To serve, turn mold upside down and run hot water over it for 20 seconds. If necessary, run a knife under the edge of the mold to help the structure slide out.

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                              Copyright © 2005. Reprinted with permission from the June/July 2005 issue of Child Magazine.