Sweet Without the Heat

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 6:00 am

by Kelsey Hudson

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I love baking for myself and others, but when the summer heat rolls in, the last thing I want to do is crank up the oven and turn my apartment into a sauna. No sir, in the summer I like to keep my recipes oven-free and simple. I’ll save the rest for nastier weather when all I want to do is burrow away into my favorite blanket!

With that in mind, I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite simple, no-bake recipes to help tame your sweet tooth without heating your house this summer.

This first recipe is what I call an upgraded rice crispy treat. I’m pretty sure the rice crispy treat is the ultimate, no-bake dessert; everyone’s had one, and most people enjoy them. It was even the very first recipe I made by myself. I used way too much butter, and the kitchen was strewn with marshmallow goo, but they still tasted great! I’ve tweaked the recipe since then, and added a few new ingredients that make these the perfect summer treat:

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Lemon Blueberry Rice Crispy Treats

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 4 ½ cups crispy rice cereal
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup dried blueberries

Preparation:

Coat a 9×9 inch pan with cooking spray.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and marshmallows for 2 minutes on high.

Remove from microwave and stir.

Continue heating for 1 minute or until mixture is completely melted.

Add cereal, zest, and blueberries to the marshmallow mixture. Stir gently until well-coated.

Press mixture into the prepared pan. It’s easiest to do this using the paper from the stick of butter, but wax paper or a buttered spatula also work.

Let stand for 30 minutes then enjoy!


Summer is prime strawberry season in Spokane and I couldn’t be happier. I can, and probably will, eat them every day for the next couple months. I even tried a summer job picking strawberries once – I lasted exactly two weeks. It turns out you don’t get to eat the berries you pick and my sunburns were horrendous!

Sunburns aside, strawberries are perfect this time of year, and my mom liked to show them off with a simple cheesecake. Because it doesn’t use sweetened condensed milk like other no-bake cheesecakes, this one is super fluffy and not too sweet. And since it’s just me, I usually make them in small jars which can be popped into the freezer for up to a month. Just take one out about an hour before you want to eat it, top with fresh strawberries, and enjoy! The recipe will fill about 5-6 8-oz jars, but you could easily make it in a 9-inch pie pan as well.

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Chilled Strawberry Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • One 8-ounce block cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • ½ pound sliced strawberries

Preparation:

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl until well-combined.

Divide the mixture evenly into the jars and press lightly with the back of a spoon until flat.

Chill the crust in the freezer while you make the filling.

Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the sugar, extract and lemon juice.

Beat in the whipping cream a little at a time – be careful, if you add too much at once it will splash.

Divide the filling into the jars leaving room at top for the berries.

Cover jars with the lids and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Top with sliced strawberries (as many as will you like!) just before serving.


This final recipe is a big twist on a classic ice-cream float. When the weather gets really hot, sometimes all I want to do is lounge around with a great book and something really cold! Instead of the traditional root beer float, I’ve developed my own recipe with three of my favorite things: coffee, caramel, and ice cream! Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of caramel, you can easily switch up the flavor of ice cream or add other toppings to customize these to your preference. A little chocolate sauce and whipped cream would make this a decadent coffee sundae!

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Caramel Coffee Float

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup strong, chilled coffee
    I cold brew mine overnight so I don’t even have to heat up the coffee maker. This method leaves you with a concentrated coffee perfect for this recipe.
  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce
  • 1 scoop caramel ice cream
    Spokane’s Brain Freeze Creamery makes the best salted caramel ice cream which you can usually buy by the pint at their shop.

Preparation:

Pour coffee into a glass or large mug. Top with ice cream scoop and caramel sauce.

What are some of your favorite no-heat dessert recipes?

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  • Anastacia

    Holy cow–these all sound delicious! I can’t decide which one I should make first. :) As for my favorite recipes, no-bake cookies (the ones with oats, cocoa, and peanut butter) have always been a weakness of mine. Unfortunately, no one else in my family likes them…so I don’t make them very often.

    • Kelsey Hudson

      I love those no bake cookies; anything with peanut butter is a good thing in my book. Every so often, I make them with Nutella for something different as well. And I don’t know that the family disliking them is a bad thing – less to share that way!

      • Anastacia

        Well, now I have to try them with Nutella for sure. Thanks for the tip, Kelsey!