Summers often call for celebrations, which deserve some kind of sweet treat — especially when they're small, socially-distant celebrations.

But if the heat has you giving your oven a much-needed summer vacation (after all, that trusty kitchen appliance got you through the sourdough craze of 2020) you can still wow those in your social bubble with one of our Features Department's trusted no-bake treats. Do plan ahead when making these, as most of the desserts require some cooling time to set before serving.



This is my favorite summer dessert, a creamier version of key lime pie with plenty of tang and it comes together in a snap. I love the vanilla flavor of the vanilla wafer crust for this pie, but a graham cracker crust would delicious too. If you're not a coconut fan, then skip it. Blueberries and lime are sublime, so sprinkle a handful on top of the whipped cream or simply garnish with thin slices of lime or a bit of mint.

— Robin Anish, Eagle food columnist


Vanilla Wafer crust:

1 1/2 cups fine vanilla wafer crumbs from about 30 to 35 wafers

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)


1 cup heavy whipping cream

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

8 ounces cream cheese, full fat, room temperature

1/2 cup bottled key lime juice, or fresh squeezed lime juice


1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar1 teaspoon lime zest

1/4 cup coconut, toasted*



Mix wafer crumbs, sugar and butter together with a fork. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Chill for 30 minutes.


Whip cream just until stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and mix until smooth scraping sides of bowl.

Add the juice and mix until combined. Fold in whipped cream. Pour filling into crust smooth and top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

Before serving, combine 1 cup cream, sugar and lime zest. Whip just until stiff peaks form. Spread over pie and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

*To toast coconut, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread coconut on baking sheet and bake 3 to 4 minutes or until light golden. Watch carefully so coconut doesn't burn. Cool.




Yields: 8 - 10

There is nothing like a frozen margarita on a hot steamy summer day. And this frozen Margarita Pie is just as good. Another bonus, other than the freezing time, it can be pulled together in under 15 minutes.

— Margaret Button, associate features editor


For the crust

2 1/2 cups pretzels

4 graham crackers

6 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the filling:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup tequila

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons triple sec

Pinch of salt

8 ounces Cool Whip, defrosted

Zest of 1 lime (plus more for garnish)

Small lime wedges for garnish


Make crust: In a food processor, combine pretzels and graham crackers and pulse to make fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl then stir in melted butter and sugar. The texture should be similar to wet sand.

Grease a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray then press the crust mixture into the dish.

Make filling: In a large bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, tequila, lime juice, triple sec and salt until evenly combined. Fold in the Cool Whip and lime zest until just combined.

Pour filling into the prepared crust. Sprinkle more lime zest on top and garnish with small lime wedges.

Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.



When a summer celebration calls for cake but I simply don't have the will power to turn on my oven and heat up my kitchen, this no-bake ice cream cake is the perfect compromise. The basic recipe calls for hot fudge and caramel sauce, but have fun with it. I've use hot fudge and Fluff with peanut butter sauce, and use whatever candies or sprinkles I have on hand for the topping instead of nuts most of the time. After some time in the freezer, the ice cream sandwiches meld together to form perfect ice cream layers that when sliced are always the hit of the party.

Lindsey Hollenbaugh, managing editor of features


24 vanilla ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped

Two 8-ounce containers of Cool Whip, thawed

One 12-ounce jar hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed

One 12-ounce jar caramel ice cream topping

1/4 cup chopped pecans, or to taste (can be made without)


Arrange a layer of ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch dish; top with a layer of whipped topping, hot fudge topping, and caramel topping. Repeat layering with remaining ice cream sandwiches, whipped topping, hot fudge topping, and caramel topping, ending with a top layer of whipped topping. Sprinkle with pecans. Cover dish with aluminum foil and freeze until set, at least 30 minutes.



(Courtesy Betty Crocker Kitchens)

Prep: 15 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 42

Here's a tasty no-bake cookie I made a lot while in college because it's easy and only requires only a few tools. Start timing when mixture reaches a full rolling boil; this is the trick to successful cookies. If you boil too long the cookies will be dry and crumbly. If you don't boil long enough, the cookies won't form properly.

— Becky Drees, features department designer


2 cups quick-cooking oats

2/3 cup peanut butter

One 3 1/2-ounce can flaked coconut

1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine


Line cookie sheets with waxed paper. In medium bowl, mix oats, peanut butter, coconut, cocoa and vanilla; set aside.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat sugar, milk and butter to boiling. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour over oat mixture; quickly stir to mix well.

Immediately drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets; cool. Carefully remove from waxed paper to serve.