When we’re talking about dessert, gooey treats fresh from the oven tend to steal all the thunder. But in August, no one can dispute the fact that dessert is a dish best served cold. Plus, if you’re entertaining a health-conscious crowd, it’s much easier to put a healthy spin on a chilled dessert (like lemon ice) than a double-decker cake smothered in buttercream. Savor the end of summer with these lighter sweets, from pudding and pops to parfaits and pies.
Banana Cream Pie (pictured at top)
Velvety vanilla pudding and sliced bananas in a light graham cracker crust make for a special dessert with only 215 calories per serving. Spoon the prepared pudding into the crust just before serving, then top the pie with some fresh whipped cream for a decorative touch.
Chocolate-Covered Banana Pops
They’re a classic for a reason — the flavor combination of chocolate, banana and peanuts is simply one of the best. For Ellie Krieger’s easy recipe, freeze banana halves until solid (a couple of hours), dip in melted chocolate chips, then roll in crushed peanuts. Refreeze for up to two weeks.
Lemon Icebox Bars
In the realm of summer desserts, icebox cakes reign supreme for their ease, their versatility and the wonderfully chilly reprieve they offer on even the hottest days. Ellie simplifies them further with her individual icebox bars, perfect for slicing and packing for a picnic. The best part? These hand-held treats have only 155 calories a square. With their crisp graham cracker crust and chilled, creamy topping, they still pack in a ton of flavor.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
This grown-up chocolate pudding is a far cry from the cloying pudding cups you’d expect in your childhood lunchbox. Food Network Kitchen introduces an element of surprise by adding chia seeds into this mix, which give this super-chocolatey pudding a satisfyingly rich texture.
Almost-Famous Frozen Yogurt
A combination of whole-milk yogurt and reduced-fat Greek yogurt creates a light, airy and tangy homemade fro-yo that’s far better than the stuff you’d have at a big chain.
Bobby’s Lighter Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie
By the look of this indulgent chocolate mousse pie, no one will believe you when you say there are fewer than 250 calories per serving. Speed up the preparation process by folding the rich mousse into a premade pie crust.
If you’re hosting a summer dinner party, consider this easy, make-ahead lemon ice. Prepare the refreshing ice in advance, then serve generous spoonfuls in hollowed-out lemons. You can top each with a fresh basil leaf for crowd-wowing presentation.
For more chilled desserts, check out these recipes from our friends:
The Hungry Traveler Blog: Banana Coconut Paletas
The Lemon Bowl: Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Shell
Creative Culinary: Strawberry, Lemon and Basil Sherbet
The Heritage Cook: Grilled Plums and Port Parfaits (Gluten-Free)
TasteBook: Triple Chocolate Mousse Pie
Dishin & Dishes: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Homemade Delish: Jalapeno and Peach Gelato
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Healthy Chocolate & Greens Fudgsicles
Red or Green: Ice Cream Sandwiches with Frozen Yogurt
The Mom 100: Easy Chocolate Mousse
Weelicious: Fruity Lemonade Ice Pops
Taste with the Eyes: Figs and Sabayon à la Julia Child
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Seven Sensational Frozen Treats
FN Dish: 8 Desserts to Check Off Your Frozen-Treat Bucket List