When the temperatures outside are reaching 100+ degrees, the last thing most of us want to do is turn on the oven. Because of our long, hot summers, Southerners have perfected the art of no-bake, frozen desserts that will satisfy without causing you to ever break a sweat.
From icebox pies to homemade popsicles, here are 10 of our favorite chilled, frozen and totally ice-cold desserts.
The next time you’re craving ice cream, might we suggest a slurpable, shaken twist? We’ve created a number of milkshakes, but some of our favorites include a vibrantly pink, chock-full-of-fruit strawberry milkshake and an adults-only, ultra-rich boozy chocolate milkshake. Sipping these shakes sound like the perfect poolside activity.
Get the recipe for strawberry milkshakes
Get the recipe for boozy chocolate milkshakesButterfinger Lush
Turn a classic candy bar into a candy icebox cake with this recipe. Layers of Oreo cookies, peanut butter and chocolate pudding compliment the flavors of the candy bar to create the ultimate chilled dessert. To make sure the layers don’t blend together, pop the dessert back in the fridge in between each layer. Make sure to serve it cold and your guests will have nothing but smiles on their faces.
Get the recipeRaspberry Mint Popsicles
These homemade popsicles are easy to make, require no actual cooking and taste purely of fresh raspberries with a hint of refreshing mint. Even better: the brightly-colored Popsicles take just 10 minutes to put together. Whip up a batch of these pops the night before a party, and after chilling in the freezer overnight they’ll be ready as soon as your guests arrive.
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Buttermilk Panna Cotta
This Italian chilled dessert takes on a Southern accent with the addition of buttermilk. It's elegant and refined, yet incredibly easy to make; the perfect foil for whatever fruits are in season. We recommend serving it with slices of fresh peaches and blueberries.
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Lemon Ice Box Dessert
This pretty dessert tastes like a lemon meringue pie. The directions sound a bit complicated, but they're really not — you're just folding whipped egg whites and cream into a cooked pudding and then layering it in a mold with cookie crumbs. For the prettiest presentation, do not let the dessert sit at room temperature for more than an hour or so before serving. If necessary, chill it at your destination before slicing.
Get the recipeKey Lime Mousse with Blackberry Compote
We typically enjoy light, refreshing mousse made with chocolate, but we’re not going to complain about this fruity, Southern twist. This tart and refreshing mousse pairs wonderfully with the sweet blackberry compote. Both components can be prepared and well in advance, making this an ideal dessert to serve for a crowd.Fans of key lime pie, take note: This is a great way to get your fix without having to make an entire pie.
Get the recipeSpiked Banana Pudding
A cool, creamy marriage of bright yellow pudding, banana slices and Nilla Wafers, banana pudding is the perfect ending to a diner counter lunch or a Sunday dinner with family. Give the dish a grown-up twist by adding a splash of rum (or bourbon!) to the pudding.
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Peanut Butter Icebox Pie
This frozen dessert comes from Southern Kitchen reader, Joan Demer. She simplified the dessert by swapping out real whipped cream for frozen whipped topping and melted chocolate spread over a graham cracker crust instead of a chocolate pie crust. We love that you can throw this dessert together in 20 minutes, pop it in the fridge and have it ready to go when guests arrive a few hours later.
Get the recipeHomemade Southern Ice Cream
If you have the time and access to an ice cream maker (or two), we encourage you to try your hand at making homemade ice cream. Our recipe for old-fashioned Southern vanilla ice cream is a deliciously simple base for ice cream; serve it as is, or churn in just about any mix-in you can think of to customize. For those who like a fruitier ice cream base, we suggest churning out a batch of buttermilk blueberry swirl ice cream. And for a twist on classic chocolate ice cream, we’ve added a few mix-ins that turn a standard chocolate ice cream into a beloved twist — rocky road.
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Peach Ice Cream Pie
There's something about this frozen dessert that's truly addictive. Maybe it's the way the partially cooked peaches taste tart and mellow at the same time. Or how the vanilla cookie crust stays crisp even as the ice cream softens on your plate. Or the way, as each forkful of ice cream melts in your mouth, the bits of peach remain icily al dente. Whatever it is, you'll have trouble putting the leftovers back in your freezer — you'll want to eat it all at once.
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Photo (popsicles and ice cream cones): Ramona King
Photo (key lime mousse): Maura Friedman