Outdoor parties are so much fun, but how do you make sure that the summer desserts ideas that you choose are those that melt IN your mouth and not on the table?
Keep these handy tips in mind for a fun outdoor summer dessert table that can take the heat.
Outdoor entertaining is a fun way to gather with friends during the summer months. No party would be complete without a dessert table with all your favorite sweet treats.
It is summer and that means entertaining. Make sure your sweet treats will take the heat with these summer desserts ideas. It's time for a heat-proof outdoor dessert table for your summer party! 🥧🍰🍡🍭🍪 Click To Tweet
Summer desserts ideas
Just because the temperatures are high does not mean that your desserts have to be served inside. There are lots of party desserts for hot weather that won’t melt in the heat and will hold up for a summer party in a satisfying way.
Instead of your standard fare of frosted cupcakes, ice cream cakes and cheesecake recipes, think more in terms of the heat tolerant sweet treats that follow.
Serving desserts outside just needs a bit of preparation and keeping a few cooking tips in mind when you decide what to serve.
Use summer desserts with fruit!
Fruit is fresh in the summer and the selection is amazing. Easy summer desserts with fruit like slices, bars and fruit pies hold up well to the heat and taste right in season, too.
Fruit platters, slices of watermelon and other fruit desserts are the perfect choice to end the meal and be light enough for a hot summer day. Try one of the amazing summer desserts with fruit shown below.
This blueberry cobbler has a home made buttery crumble topping and fresh blueberries for a tasty and tart summer dessert. I love blueberry season!
One of the best desserts for hot weather at any summer party is my mom’s summery strawberry short cake. Just bake the biscuit layers and make the filling ahead of time and allow guests to assemble when it’s time to eat.
A home made short cake made with your own biscuit layers is SO WORTH IT for the flavor! You can also assemble it and bring it out when the guests start enjoying the other desserts if you want to serve it whole.
Any fruit on a platter is great for a summer dessert table, but this fun patriotic flag platter is perfect for Memorial Day or the 4th of July when you are looking for cold desserts for a summer party.
Just thread raspberries, mini marshmallows and blueberries into bamboo skewers for a fun dessert is very easy to serve.
Not only is this dessert not great in the heat, it is patriotic, too!
Another easy to serve summer dessert is an apple and pear crumble. It’s tart and sweet and has a super crunchy topping.
Crumbles like this are desserts that travel well in the heat, too!
Easy to eat desserts like energy bites won’t get messy
I love to serve energy bites on any dessert table, but they are particularly good for a summer table. They are easy to make, bite sized and super tasty.
The are miniature sized desserts for parties that all guests love. They keep their shape well and aren’t messy.
Plus, most energy bite recipes are very healthy and the kids won’t even know that they are eating something good for them.
These almond butter energy bites fit into a Paleo or Whole30 diet plan. They are made with dates and have the most amazing coconut butter drizzle.
These balls are perfect desserts for an outdoor summer party. They are gone in one bite, easy to serve and hold up well in the heat.
Do you love coconut? These no bake energy balls are flavored with peanut butter, chocolate and coconut. Since the chocolate is incorporated in the mixture for the bites, they can stand the heat.
Using mini chocolate chips is the key!
The crowd will love to get their Reese’s fix without the mess that a chocolate coated energy bite produces.
Keep away the flies with covered containers
If you are serving sweet drinks and fruit desserts, covered containers will keep them intact and also keep away the flies. Mason jars are perfect for this use!
Other ideas for keeping away the flies are mesh food covers and cake trays with clear domed lids. Both mesh and glass allow you to see what is under the cover, but keeps insects away from the food.
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Don’t frost the cupcakes
Frosting is yummy and makes the perfect topping for cakes, cupcakes and some bars. But if you put those cupcakes out on the table with the sun shining down, those fluffy mounds will turn into a soft and gushy mess by the end of the party.
Instead, choose desserts that have rich filling ingredients that give a tasty dessert without the need for extra icing. How about one of these ideas, instead of frosted cupcakes?
This sweet corn and coconut pudding has a creamy texture made from sweetened condensed milk, fresh coconut and summer fresh corn kernels.
Make it in a big bowl or place on the table in individual plastic containers for an easy to eat and creamy dessert that won’t mind the heat.
These delicious strawberry oatmeal bars have a yummy fresh strawberry filling and crumble and crust made from brown sugar, oats and whole wheat flour.
They hold up well in the heat and have a summer fresh taste.
These jumbo peanut butter sandwich cookies takes the frosting from the outside where it might melt easily and puts it inside two jumbo cookies.
This makes it an easy to eat and satisfying dessert for those with a real sweet tooth.
Summer cookies keep well in the heat
Most cookies make great desserts for outdoor parties. Their crispy outside makes them perfect for the hot weather.
Unless your cookie dough is over loaded with chocolate, most cookies will stand up well to the heat. They are also easy to eat and everyone loves them!
Lay out a big platter of cookies and just have some napkins nearby so that people can serve themselves and you won’t need to worry about plates and silverware.
Summer cookie ideas
If you are looking for some ideas, try one of these cookie recipes.
Your gluten free eating guests will love that these orange macadamia nut cookies have no added wheat flour but are still super tasty.
Even your party guests on a normal diet will love the flavor of these easy to make cookies.
In spite of the name, these melting moments cookies have a shortbread style dryness to them that makes them perfect for outdoor summer dessert tables. The crispness of the shortbread is perfect for the hot weather.
The little pillow shapes hold up well to the heat and are big crowd pleasers.
Make your own candy jar holders
Candy is great for a summer dessert table. The key is steering clear of the chocolate covered type. Most fruity choices, like licorice and candy coated bites do well at outdoor parties and are popular with guests.
These candy holders are perfect for holding individual portions of plastic wrapped Twizzlers, which also keep the candy from getting sticky.
If you are having a summer party for Memorial Day or the 4th of July, the kids will adore these DIY candy jars. They are easy to make and come together in just 15 minutes. See the tutorial here.
Stay away from ice cream based desserts
Ice cream, by its very nature, melts in time. In the heat of summer parties held outdoors, this melting happens before you get to enjoy the sensation in your mouth!
Unless your summer temperatures are on the very mild side, there are a few foods that probably won’t make the cut when you are deciding what to put on your summer dessert table.
Ice cream is a definite no no unless you are planning on serving it as the guests are ready to eat it. A chocolate candy station might be off limits because of the heat which could melt the chocolate.
Other types of less melting types of desserts will stand up better.
Bars and slices are great summer desserts ideas
These snickerdoodle blondie bars have a firm topping and crust that holds up well in the summer sun. They are very easy to make and your guests will love them.
These white chocolate peanut butter brownies have a compact and firm shape that holds up well in the heat and is easy to eat.
Blondies like this are lighter than chocolate based brownies. Your party guests will love them!
Wait to set up your summer dessert table
At an outdoor party, you will likely be serving other types of food before the dessert. I like to wait on the dessert table until closer to serving time.
You can set up an area for the desserts ahead of time, but don’t be in a hurry to get the desserts on the table.
There is usually a lot of time in the early hours of the party when the main course is being prepared and served.
If you load your dessert table early, kids will be in it and won’t eat the main meal as much and it will give your sweet treats a chance to be ruined by the sun.
Keep them inside and then load the table closer to the time for the actual dessert course.
Use individual serving containers for summer desserts
Small plastic serving dishes with individual desserts in them, complete with silverware will make the heat factor less of an issue.
This will make them easy for your guests to eat and enjoy.
This idea works great for puddings, iced desserts and other soft ideas.
Mason jars also work well for parfaits and other layered desserts and small condiment cups are great for light bites of bigger desserts.
Slice some fresh summer berries, add a small fork and have some whip cream sitting in ice handy to top the fruit as guests help themselves!
Mini serving sizes will also give you some leeway when choosing summer desserts ideas. If you have small plastic containers, you can serve things that might melt a little and still not have a mess.
Mini parfaits and other desserts with yogurt or cream cheese come to mind.
Place your dessert table in the shade, if you can
If your dessert table is sitting in the middle of the lawn with the sun shining on it, you are just asking for a table full of melted desserts. Now is the time to use that patio table and umbrella or the shade of nearby trees.
The shade will keep the food cooler and it will be less likely to melt and will also make it cooler when guests serve themselves.
Use dry ice and ice Cubes for cold summer desserts
Even though we have talked about steering clear of ice cream, uou can still serve frozen dessert at a summer party. You will just need to be prepared ahead about the way you plan to serve them.
Use a large bucket of ice cubes or even dry ice to hold frozen desserts until they are eaten.
You can position ice cream sandwiches, popsicles and other frozen sweets in the ice. The ice will keep them cold and should last long enough for the dessert session.
Just put out a few treats at a time and replenish as the guest eat them. Be sure to check out my article for making popsicles at home. It gives lots of great tips.
Cold summer dessert ideas
One of these cold dessert ideas will wow your party guests!
Set the whole container of these yogurt parfait popsicles in the dry ice and refill as the guests gobble them up.
This recipe uses fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, along with Greek yogurt for a cooling summer snack.
You would need to wrap these nutella frozen banana pops with plastic wraps to make sure the bugs didn’t get them but the ice would keep them frozen as long as they last.
More summer desserts ideas
Still need some more inspiration? Try one of these tasty desserts that will take the heat.
- Irresistible Lemon bars
- Rhubarb puff pastry tart
- Root beer float popsicles
- Caramel pecan bars
- Raspberry ice box bars
- Pistachio and Almond cake
- Watermelon cake in mason jars
- Easy Pina Colada Popsicles
- Peach Shortcake
- Watermelon Pizza Dessert
- Strawberry Banana Popsicles
- Cherry Pie Bars
- Strawberry Basil Margarita Popsicles
Do you have some ideas that will help to make your summer dessert table a hit with your guests and will make sure that the desserts can stand the heat? Please share them in the comments below.
Pin these summer desserts ideas for later
Would you like a reminder of this post for the best summer desserts for hot weather? Just pin this image to one of your recipe boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later when you host your outdoor party.
Admin Note: This post for summer dessert table tips first appeared on the blog in July of 2017. I’ve updated it to add a video, a printable check list and planning sheet, new tips and new photos.
- Serving dishes
- Party food
- Printer paper
- Set your dessert table in the shade.
- Don't add the desserts until serving time.
- Use dry ice or ice cubes for frozen desserts.
- Individually wrapped candy works best.
- Plan fruit desserts. They take the heat well.
- Energy bites are easy to eat and mess-free.
- Mess food covers keep away the flies.
- Use bars and slices instead of frosted cupcakes.
- Cookies do well in the heat.
- Individual serving dishes are less messy.
- Print out the summer dessert planning sheet below to help with planning.