We’re right in the middle of strawberry season and that means the sweet, juicy berries are taking over gardens across the country. They’re lovely eaten fresh from the patch, but if you’ve got a big haul, you might need to find some other ways to use them. Unsurprisingly, our favorite way to take advantage of fresh strawberries is in desserts. Pie and strawberry shortcake are the most obvious choices, but strawberries are wonderful for adding bright, vibrant flavor to frostings and popsicles, too. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find the sweetest use for your harvest in these 19 strawberry dessert recipes.
The stovetop and microwave might be the most common ways to make oatmeal, but you can’t beat the oven if you’re looking for something hands-off. All you have to do is scatter the oats and mix-ins (in this case quartered strawberries and sliced almonds) in a dish; pour in a mixture of brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg, milk, and melted butter; and bake until just set.
Once you get past the name (which comes from the way the cake collapses over the filling), a buckle is essentially a fruity coffee cake. This version is made with a simple coffee cake batter that we mix strawberries into and sprinkle with a gingery crumb. The fruit floats above the batter in the oven, giving the cake three distinct layers.
Our rhubarb crisp is delicious, but might be a little tart for some. In this recipe we replace some of the rhubarb with strawberries to give the crisp a sweeter, more complex flavor. The streusel topping starts simply with brown sugar, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, and lots of butter, but we add anise and Chinese five-spice powder to give it extra depth.
Here we turn the combination of strawberry and rhubarb into an anise-spiked compote, cooking the fruit down until it’s luxuriously soft. This compote is super versatile—by adjusting the amount of sugar you can make it appropriate for dessert or for more savory applications.
These strawberry shortcakes are amazingly quick and easy and they require just five ingredients and 25 minutes. The biscuits are nothing more than self-rising flour, sugar, and cream, and we top them with macerated strawberries and fresh whipped cream. No one will guess you made this comforting dessert in less than half an hour.
Looking for a bigger project? This deconstructed strawberry shortcake is an all-day affair, but the result is a total show-stopper. We replace the biscuits with ginger- and lemongrass-flavored choux puffs filled with strawberry pudding and serve them with macerated strawberries and buttermilk granita.
Strawberry ice cream is often disappointingly bland and icy. We give ours tons of fresh flavor by using a mild, eggless base and adding in raw puréed strawberries; we tackle the iciness problem by adding half a cup of corn syrup. To complete the ice cream we mix in chopped strawberries macerated in sugar and booze.
Frozen yogurt is one of the easiest desserts around—at its simplest it’s just made of yogurt and sugar. For this recipe we flavor that base with strawberries that are simmered with lemon zest and sugar until sweet and tender. We use Greek yogurt because it has less moisture than regular yogurt, and it helps balance out the juicy strawberries.
It’s just not summer without strawberry pie, and this one sticks to the basics with a filling made of strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch or tapioca starch for thickening. Make sure to taste your strawberries before adding in the sugar—some strawberries are much sweeter than others.
In the dead of summer, the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven. Fortunately, this no-bake pie is perfect for the hottest days of the year. We make it with a graham cracker crust that we fill with macerated strawberries, strawberry purée, and gelatin. Leaving the strawberries uncooked keeps your house cool, but it also preserves the fruit’s fresh flavor.
A classic British fool is made with stewed fruit and custard, which is delicious but just a little heavy. Our lighter version replaces the custard with a mixture of whipped cream and Greek yogurt and incorporates the fruit two ways: reduced into a jammy compote and macerated with sugar.
Pavlova is one of our go-to summer desserts because the baked meringue can be layered with just about any fruit that looks good at the market. This recipe uses strawberries, which we layer with whipped cream between perfectly cooked meringue fortified with ground almonds.
Popsicles are a refreshing treat on a hot summer day, and these strawberry ones are bursting with bright flavors. We incorporated fresh strawberries, strawberry jam, and freeze-dried strawberry powder to intensify the berry taste. Though the freeze-dried strawberry powder is optional, we love the extra complexity it offers. The result is a popsicle that requires minimal effort while offering maximum summer strawberry flavor.
This strawberry sorbet is as easy as it is delicious. The best results are all in the ratios—for every cup of puréed strawberries you churn out, you’ll want to add ¼ cup sugar to achieve a velvety texture. Lemon and salt are added for taste, and the amounts really depend on the sweetness and quality of your strawberries—we recommend hitting the farmer’s market to grab the sweetest ones you can find.
We’ll never say no to strawberry shortcake, especially when it’s in ice cream form. Instead of using actual ice cream, our recipe incorporates fluffy Swiss meringue cut with milk and cream for a light and soft texture. The mixture is flavored with vanilla and freeze-dried strawberries, and the finished product is coated with more freeze-dried strawberries and crispy puffed rice. It’s a childhood favorite that tastes even better when made at home.
Strawberry in two forms come together to give this cake an all-natural flavor and color. The tang and acidity of strawberry purée keeps the cake moist and tender, while freeze-dried strawberries boost flavor and color without adding extra moisture. Though there are a number of ways to finish the cake, we love topping it with tangy cream cheese frosting to highlight the tart strawberries.
If you’ve got a serious strawberry patch, you might not be able to eat all the berries even with the help of our recipes. If that’s the case, then try preserving them for the rest of the year by making them into this simple strawberry jam. Though we keep the recipe pretty basic, it’s easy to spice things up with additions like freshly ground black pepper or minced tarragon.
Freeze-dried strawberries come to the rescue once again to give this Swiss buttercream an intense flavor and vibrant pink color. To amplify the strawberry aroma, we add just enough Chinese five-spice powder to give the frosting a boost without contributing too much of a “spiced” note. It’s the perfect frosting to add a pop of color and a fruity taste to even the simplest cakes.
Perhaps you’ve picked your summer strawberries too soon, and now you’re left with a batch of bland berries. This recipe is a quick fix to breathe new life into those berries and amplify their flavor. Simply roast the strawberries with lemon, sugar, and salt, then mix them with vanilla and rose water. You can use them as a jammy topping for pancakes and waffles, or serve them warm over a bowl of ice cream.
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