Remember the days when your ice cream cake yearnings could be realized with only a trip to the freezer section? Yeah, those days are long gone. It turns out that you don’t need to coax a store-bought ice cream cake from a cardboard box for all of the “Whoa, is that an ice cream cake?!” pandemonium to ensue. With just a few store-bought ingredients (or homemade ingredients, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious), you can make a showstopping centerpiece for your next birthday party or special occasion, stacked with ice-cold layers of cake, ice cream and all kinds of goodies. Here’s how:
No matter if you’re hosting a weekend cookout or you simply have a sweets craving that needs curbing, you shouldn’t have to turn on your oven on already sticky, scorching days to turn out a winning dessert. In these dog days of summer, stick with no-bake treats that come together quickly and rely on the freezer instead of the oven. From chilled pies and ice cream on a stick to bite-size peanut butter treats, there’s no shortage of both kid-friendly and party-worthy ideas to help you cool off all season long. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five beat-the-heat recipes from The Pioneer Woman, Tyler Florence, the Neelys and more chefs.
5. Chocolate-Banana Ice Cream Pie — Both kids and kids at heart will appreciate the tried-and-true flavor combination of chocolate and fresh bananas, here made into an easy-to-prepare pie with a vanilla wafer crust, a duo of ice creams in the center and a toasted coconut topping.
4. Ice Cream Freezer Pops — Perhaps the best part about The Pioneer Woman’s treats is that you don’t need fancy molds to make them; just fill throw-away paper cups with layers of candy and rich vanilla ice cream.
Golden-brown pies with fresh, seasonal produce are some of summer’s top treats, but when a chocolate craving strikes, brownies are the ultimate way to satisfy that sweet tooth once and for all. Just like cookies, brownies are quick to prepare and easy to pack, which means that they’re a go-to pick for picnics and potlucks alike. Master a classic recipe, like Alton’s Cocoa Brownies listed below, then experiment with such sweet and salty additions as marshmallows, caramel and peanut butter. Read on below to get Food Network’s top-five traditional and creative brownie recipes from Bobby, Alton, Giada and more.
5. Cheesecake Brownies — Surprisingly light and simple to make, these moist brownies boast a buttermilk-laced batter and a smooth sweetened-cream cheese topping. Mix the two together to create an impressive swirled effect.
4. S’more Brownies — Turn the campfire favorite into an everyday treat by using classic s’more ingredients — graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows — to create layers of flavor in brownies.
For a cooling summer sweet treat that will blow your friends away, look no further than Bobby Flay‘s Milk Chocolate Banana Pudding recipe. Bobby mixes three types of chocolate with crunchy wafer cookies and creamy banana to create a diverse mix of textures and flavors. The best part? This recipe can be created a day in advance so that the layers can really mesh together, creating a dessert that deserves its mention as this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week.
For more summer holiday recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Milk Chocolate Banana Pudding
The grill isn’t the only kitchen tool that has your back this summer. When the weather’s steamy, the air conditioner is humming and flip-flop tan lines stud the sidewalks, there’s another device you simply can’t live without: your kitchen’s freezer. With all its ice-cold power, the freezer transforms simple ingredient combinations into delectable, cooling summer treats. Food Network’s roster of fun frozen desserts, from treats scooped into a cone to those licked on a stick or taken by the frosty slice, is as integral to summer as hot dogs and summer camp.
1. Easy Ice-Cold Sandwiches: If what’s on your grill is getting all of the attention, don’t let your last course fall by the wayside. Involving only some light assembly, Food Network Magazine’s Praline Ice Cream Sandwiches (top left) are a safe bet.
2. Juicy Popsicles: Grab those coolers! Giada’s adults-only Spiked Watermelon Pops (top right) aren’t just hit with vodka, they’re also infused with a little fresh mint, meaning you’ll feel nice and fresh at your next beach barbecue.
For a frozen summer treat that isn’t ice-cream or frozen yogurt, try these no-cook Frozen Peanut Butter Bites by Patrick and Gina Neely. By adding vanilla extract, chocolate and sugar to creamy peanut butter, the result is a velvety and crunchy dessert in minutes. No wonder this recipe is this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week.
For more outdoor summer recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Grill board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Frozen Peanut Butter Bites
Leave it to Jeff Mauro to transform a common outdoor treat, which is also this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, into an indoor recipe fans can make year-round. He reimagines the summertime treat by layering crunchy walnuts, warm melted chocolate and gooey marshmallows in a pan, then serving graham crackers for dipping.
For more recipes featured on TV, visit Food Network’s Let’s Watch board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Skillet S’mores
Brownies: Whether cakey or fudgy, milk or dark chocolate (or blondies), they’re a treat even the pickiest of eaters can get behind. The next time you whip up a batch, think outside the box. Use your favorite brownie recipe (or try one of Food Network‘s) and check out these five ways to keep brownies the main event at the dessert table.
It’s not too soon to start planning for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. And this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week will help you prepare a sure-hit dessert. Aarón’s brownies get their kick from Mexican cinnamon and pequin chile powder. If you can’t find pequin, just substitute cayenne pepper.
For more spring-season recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate Spring board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Aarón’s Mexican Brownies
I am so grateful that spring is finally here. I live in Philadelphia, which is in that part of the country that was viciously walloped by this winter’s polar vortex, and so I was starting to wonder if the cold weather was here to stay. Fortunately in the last couple weeks, the weather has warmed, there’s a bit more sunlight each day, and I can feel hopefulness radiating off of everyone I pass.
To my mind, there’s no better way to celebrate the return of this more-hopeful weather than with a homemade treat. If you feel the same way, let me suggest Trisha Yearwood’s Chocolate Pound Cake. It’s indulgent, but the texture is lighter than you find with other pound cakes, which makes it both celebratory and perfect for this time of year.
Whether you’re baking for an Easter celebration or just in need of something sweet with which to welcome the warmer weather, this cake is an ideal Weekender project.