Baking

Recipe: Cherry Pie Bars — Recipes from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I firmly believe that summer is a time for uncomplicated desserts meant for celebrating all the sweet fruit at our fingertips. This year I'm swapping my pie dish for a trusty 9x13-inch pan and this easy bar dessert reminiscent of a classic cherry pie. Sweet cherries are unmistakably the star of this dessert, although I have no doubt you'll love the almond-scented, buttery crust just as much.

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Recipe: Towering Strawberry Shortcake — Stylish Layer Cakes from Tessa Huff

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Strawberry shortcake is the ambassador of summer, showing off juicy berries like jewels. It's usually a humble dessert built on a biscuit, but here we turn it into a towering showstopper of cake, whipped cream, and fresh strawberries. Yet it brings drama without fuss; this is layer cake the easy way.

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Recipe: Very Berry 4th of July Cupcakes — Recipes from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Ever since I started baking in my awkward tween years, I declared that every Fourth of July barbecue my family hosted needed a red, white, and blue dessert in order to be at its most festive. I scoured cookbooks and the internet to churn out things like flag cakes, berry pies, star-shaped fruit tarts, and layered fruit salads. Years later, I haven't strayed from my declaration. This is my contribution this year.

These cupcakes are as celebratory as ever: Red raspberries, white cake and buttercream, and blueberries ensure the color scheme is taken care of. Seeing as we are in the heart of berry season, the fruit lends the cupcakes the sweet juiciness that only feels right this time of year. Plus, the spike of lemon in the buttercream gives the baked treats an extra zip for good measure.

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Recipe: The Ultimate Fresh Blueberry Cobbler — Easy Dessert Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I grew up close enough to Maine to know that summer wasn't summer unless there were heaps of blueberries involved. That meant not only spending at least a few Saturdays at U-pick farms, but also drives up the coast that involved stopping on the side of the road whenever we saw a glimmer of wild berries. Blueberry muffins, pies, and cobblers were soon to follow. I still can't go a summer without churning these three things out of my kitchen.

This is the cobbler I am making this year. It's the ultimate because it's exactly what a good blueberry cobbler should be: It's sweet and juicy, bound to stain your teeth a little, and just asking for the biggest scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's also got a tiny secret that makes it the "blueberriest" of blueberry cobblers — and it's not just adding more blueberries.

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Recipe: Skillet Ratatouille Cobbler — Quick and Easy Weeknight Sides

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Ratatouille, the humble French vegetable stew, just begs for some crusty bread to sop up all its tasty juices. But let's take it one step further and make it even easier. Throw that perfect trifecta of summer vegetables — tomatoes, eggplant, and summer squash — into a hot skillet without cooking them, then add a scoop of thyme-scented biscuit dough right on top. After an hour in the oven, you're digging into a savory vegetarian cobbler. It's the perfect summer dish next to grilled meats or a crisp green salad.

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Recipe: Flag Cake — Easy Dessert Recipes

One of my favorite annual traditions is making this super-simple flag cake with my daughter. Yes, turning a cake into an American flag is somewhat cliché, but if you consider this the best way to dress up berry shortcake then it's as fun to make as it is to share.

This charming, whipped cream-frosted cake has a colorful surprise inside. It's what makes this vanilla-cake-meets-berry-shortcake recipe stand out from the rest.

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