For me, the end of May symbolizes the start of summer, and nothing gets me more excited than a table full of Memorial Day desserts.
Now, I know that Memorial Day is not the official start of summer, but it’s when my house gets the BBQ going, and we almost always eat outside.
I know you’re planning something fun to celebrate, so you’ll need one (or two) amazing desserts to help mark the occasion.
Maybe you’re looking for something simple that people can wander around with? Or perhaps you want something easy, no-bake, and fruity?
No matter what you’re in the mood for, I know you’ll find it on this list of 30 marvelous Memorial Day desserts!
1. Fried Ice Cream
Summer means BBQs and county fairs, and what’s more fun than a batch of fried ice cream?
If that seems a little much for a crowd, don’t worry! This is a short-cut recipe with all the same amazing taste and texture.
The trick is to sautè the coating – cornflakes and cinnamon sugar – until crunchy and golden. Then, just roll your ice cream right in the mix! No frying necessary.
2. Philadelphia No-Bake Cheesecake
Cheesecake is always a hit, and when you make a simple vanilla recipe, it’s so easy to dress it up!
This no-bake version is the perfect BBQ dessert. There’s no need to worry about a water bath or losing your oven for a few hours.
And when it’s set, why not try setting up a mini-cheesecake bar, with different flavored sauces and toppings?
3. Blueberry Cobbler
When I’m in a rush, cobbler is always a favorite to feed a crowd. It’s best served warm, but it’s just as tasty if you let it go cold.
Plus, when you don’t have to fuss over pie crust, you can spend longer with your guests and family! Win-win.
You can use fresh or frozen berries for this, but be sure to thaw and drain the frozen ones if you use them.
4. Cherry Clafoutis
Clafoutis is a French dish made from fresh fruit and a crepe-like batter that needs to be made ahead – preferably the night before.
It’s simple, light, and can be made with any kind of berries you might have on hand. I love this as a quick and (somewhat) healthy dessert option!
If you’re serving a crowd, bake in a big dish. But I think this looks so cute in individual cast-iron pans!
Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and maybe a dollop of whipped cream.
5. Bisquick Strawberry Shortcake
My favorite thing about strawberry shortcake is that you can lay out the ingredients, and people can so easily make up their own plate.
Using Bisquick will speed up your prep and give you super fluffy biscuits, and you can use store-bought jam (in any flavor, really).
But I do prefer fresh fruit for mine – so make sure to put out plenty of sliced berries.
6. 5-Ingredient Frozen Yogurt Bites
You’ll need Greek yogurt, fruit, honey, and your favorite granola for this recipe.
They can be thrown together in about 10 minutes and are super easy, using cupcake liners to make things neat and tidy.
You’ll flavor the yogurt with fruit and honey, and when it freezes, it tastes just like frozen yogurt!
Plus, you’ll get a lovely crunch from the granola on the bottom.
These can also be made in a baking dish and sliced to serve if that’s easier.
7. Strawberry Cobbler Recipe
I’m already seeing strawberries on the shelves, and it’s making me even more excited for Memorial Day and summer.
As much as I like a good old-fashioned peach cobbler, there’s something so special about a dish full of juicy strawberries.
I like to add orange juice to my fruit and some zest to the cobbler topping for a nice change.
8. No-Bake Banana Split Lasagna
Just when you thought banana splits were perfect, this recipe takes the classic sundae to a whole new level of yummy!
It’s like a banana split-pineapple cheesecake hybrid, and it’s impossible to resist.
The base is a traditional graham cracker crust that gets topped with fresh strawberries and banana.
But it gets really fun when you add a layer of no-bake pineapple cheesecake.
9. All-American Banana Split
For the banana-split purest, I had to include a classic recipe!
Did you know that a pharmacist in Pennsylvania invented the banana split? It’s true, and it’s been around for over 100 years.
Some things are too good to change, and this chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry sundae is at the top of the list.
10. Hershey’s Chocolate Cake
In my house, nothing is a show-stopper like a big chocolate cake!
Bake it, stack it, and cover it with ganache, frosting, cream, and fresh fruit. You just can’t go wrong!
If you’re looking for a chocolate cake to impress, this Hershey’s recipe is for you.
It’s insanely soft, rich, intensely flavored, and is the only chocolate recipe you’ll ever need. It’s also super easy to make into cupcakes.
11. Strawberry Jello Fruit Salad
I’ve been making a version of this for years, and we’re big fans of milky Jello in my house.
It’s as easy as replacing the water with milk (any kind) and letting it set.
For this version, you’ll make Jello and mix in Cool Whip for a creamy, light texture that is perfect with all that fresh fruit!
You can make this with any kind of Jello. I’ve even used multiple flavors and layered them in a dish for a fun rainbow dessert.
12. Moist Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
I don’t think I’ve ever hosted a Memorial Day BBQ and not had cupcakes out.
Every good home-baker needs a simple vanilla cupcake recipe on hand, and this is one of the best.
The key to getting the best flavor out there is butter and good quality vanilla.
I get that oil keeps cakes moist, but you can’t substitute the rich flavor you get from the real stuff!
As for the vanilla, I like to use paste (and lots of it), but you can use a good extract. Just avoid vanilla essence if you can!
13. No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake
Similar to the recipe above, I love this no-bake cheesecake. It’s just so easy and creamy and much faster to put together.
Not only does this have an Oreo crust, but it also has cookie chunks right in the mix. I like to serve it with some hot fudge sauce.
14. Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake
Ice cream cake was the dream as a kid, right? It’s what I wanted every year, and I thought of it as a real treat.
But it’s actually crazy easy to make at home!
You can use store-bought ice cream and just layer it up in a spring-form pan.
I like to cover mine with whipped cream, so it looks like a real cake, but it’s just as tasty without.
15. Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches
Making ice cream sandwiches can be a bit time-consuming when making individual portions. But this clever recipe makes it a breeze!
Instead of making cookies, bake your cookie dough on a sheet tray. Top with ice cream and another layer of cookie and just slice into portions. It’s so easy!
16. Heaven on Earth Cake
With a mix of angel food cake, custard, cherry pie, and whipped cream, this is one heavenly dessert.
As it sits in the fridge, the cake will absorb all that fantastic flavor and moisture, leaving you with a plate that is sweet and creamy.
It’s usually made with cherry pie filling, but you can so easily swap that out. I’m thinking I’ll try a lemon cake and blueberry filling next time!
17. Red Velvet Cupcakes
Red velvet is just as popular now as ever, and when you see it paired with silky cream cheese topping, nothing can compare.
What makes this recipe better than all the rest? It uses butter and oil, ensuring it’s rich and full of flavor while still being melt-in-your-mouth-moist.
Another great thing about this is that it uses whipped egg white to ensure the batter is as fluffy as can be!
18. Rice Krispie Treats
Looking for a finger-friendly Memorial Day dessert that the kids can help with? How about a batch of Rice Krispie treats?
Let’s face it, we all eat more of the mix than we should when making these, and there’s nothing better than sticky hands and happy smiles.
To make these special for Memorial Day, try adding some red, white, and blue M&Ms to the top.
19. Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
I happen to think that everything is better when it’s mini.
Mini-donuts are adorable, mini-cookies are superior (because you can have double), and mini-cheesecake cupcakes might just be the cream of the crop!
Not only will these be easier to make and serve for the big day, but they’ll be easier for your guests to grab and go. No forks required!
20. Red Velvet Fudge
Fudge is a fabulous sweet treat to curb those cravings after a big meal. With all that fabulous food, we don’t always have a ton of space for dessert.
That’s where this fantastic little fudge recipe comes in. It’s colorful and creamy and just what you need after a big plate of burgers and salad.
Did I mention the red fudge is topped with cream cheese frosting? It makes it slightly tangy and a little lighter in texture.
21. Chocolate Icebox Cookies
When I make a batch of cookies, somehow, they always seem to disappear. I don’t know what happens – they’re there one minute and gone the next!
So, if you’re like me and happen to have those cookie cravings a lot, you need to make these icebox cookies.
Instead of making and baking all your cookies at once, why not freeze the dough so you can have freshly baked cookies whenever you want?
22. Red White and Blue Strawberries
What better Memorial Day dessert than red, white, and blue strawberries? Festive and super pretty, they’ll be a sure-fire hit.
The trick is to only dip about two-thirds of the fruit so the top stays red.
Then, when you dip the end in the blue sugar, be sure to leave a clean middle layer for the ‘white’ part.
I like the texture you get from the blue sugar, but you could easily use white chocolate white a bit of gel food coloring instead.
23. Punch Bowl Cake Recipe
Punch bowl cake is the US version of a classic British trifle.
It has layers of sponge, custard, fruit, and whipped topping, all stacked up in a big glass bowl for the ultimate Instagram-worthy dessert.
This recipe keeps it nice and simple, using boxed cake mix, instant pudding, and Cool Whip for the top.
I love the tropical flavors you get from the bananas, pineapple, and coconut, but you can easily use a mixed berry filling or cherries if it’s what you have.
24. Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle
Speaking of trifle: this red, white, and blue beauty is going to be the talk of your next Memorial Day BBQ.
I like the lightness you get from using angel food cake, but pound cake would also work (or any cake, to be honest).
The key to this is to have clean layers of red berries, creamy white cheesecake pudding, and plenty of blueberries on top.
25. Easy Patriotic Bark
Variety is the spice of life, and when it comes to Memorial Day, I like to offer my guests a few different options to satisfy their sweet tooth.
But, I don’t always have the time to go all-out.
This bark is the perfect fast recipe to add to the mix. It’s so quick to make and look incredible when you layer it on a platter.
26. Millionaire Pie
Pie will always be a BBQ favorite, but not everyone likes a big slice of fruit and pastry.
So, why not mix things up with this super sinful, creamy millionaire pie?
It’s no-bake – using pre-made graham cracker crusts – and full to the brim with a faux cheesecake made using condensed milk and cream cheese.
You’ll be mixing in Cool Whip to lighten it up, along with pineapple, chopped cherries, and pecans for some amazing flavor and texture.
27. Mini-Blueberry Pies
Remember what I said about mini-desserts? Did you think I hadn’t thought of mini-pies??
I mean, how adorable do these look?
Just keep in mind that you’ll probably eat a few for yourself before the guests arrive, so make extra to be sure you have enough!
You can easily make these by cutting out ready-made pie dough or using frozen mini-pie crusts to speed things up.
28. Duncan Hines Pineapple Upside Down Cake
It’s retro, it’s sweet, and it’s super delicious; pineapple upside-down cake will never go out of style in my house.
It won’t come as a surprise to hear that this recipe calls for Duncan Hines Signature Pineapple Supreme Cake Mix.
It’s in the name, after all, and it adds wonderful pineapple flavor to every bite (feel free to use whatever yellow cake you have).
Of course, there are also pineapple slices right on top (or on the bottom depending on how you look at it).
They’ll caramelize and infuse juices into the cake, making it moist and bursting with tropical flavor.
29. Pineapple Angel Food Cake
You won’t believe it, but this cake calls for just angel food cake mix and a can of crushed pineapples.
Seriously, that’s it!
Mix them together and bake for the lightest, fruitiest cake around. Oh, and the topping is just Cool Whip, so this might be the most guilt-free cake you’ll ever eat.
30. Paula Deen’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
This is called butter cake, but it’s more like a butter traybake. It’s so soft; you can’t really stack and decorate.
But that’s not a bad thing!
In fact, it’s what makes this so good. It’s gooey, moist, rich, buttery, and impossible to resist.
And yes, you read it right – there really is that much butter in this cake. Would you expect anything less of Queen Paula?