5 Fresh and Easy Springtime Dessert Ideas

You might not know it from the weather, but spring is officially here! Nothing reminds me more of springtime than flowers, sunshine and fresh fruit, of course. Being away from home and back in classes probably isn’t your ideal springtime activity, but these fresh and easy dessert ideas might just be the pick-me-up you need to make it through spring quarter.

From fresh peaches to ripe strawberries and apples, there are so many healthy and delicious dessert options available during springtime. But, with so many classes and extracurriculars, it may seem like whipping up your own fresh dessert is nearly impossible — especially if you live in a dorm with a shared kitchen. Not to worry, though! With just a few, pre-made ingredients and half an hour of your time, you could have a bunch of tasty desserts to enjoy all quarter long.

So, whether the sun is out or Evanston’s spontaneous rain showers have returned, these easy springtime desserts will definitely put a smile on your face. 

1. Raspberry Palmiers (3 ingredients)

What You’ll Need: 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (thawed), 4 oz (100 – 150 g) raspberries, Brown sugar to taste, 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional) Cook Time: 45 minutes (30 in fridge) Serves: 20

As long as you have a baking sheet and a fridge, your raspberry palmiers will turn out amazing. Once your puff pastry is on your baking sheet, spread your pureed raspberry and sugar mixture over the top. To make sure your palmiers look their best, wrap the dough in foil once it’s been rolled and let it sit in the fridge for half an hour before slicing and baking.

2. Fruit Pizza (5 ingredients)

What You’ll Need: 1 (18 oz.) package refrigerated cookie dough, 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, fruit of your choice Cook Time: 30 minutes (1 hour in fridge) Serves: 10

In a 12-inch, greased pizza pan or medium cookie tray, press down your cookie dough. Be sure to poke holes in the dough with a fork for more even baking. After baking for 10-15 minutes, allow the cookie crust to cool before spreading on a mixture of cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Layer your fruit in neat patterns on top of the cream before chilling for one hour and enjoy!

3. Homemade Sorbet (2 ingredients)

What You’ll Need: 15-20 medium strawberries (frozen), 4 large bananas (frozen) Cook Time: 10 minutes (2 hours in fridge) Serves: 6

Puree your frozen strawberries and bananas in a food processor or strong blender until creamy and smooth. This may take a while — so add a 1/4 cup of milk, water or juice to the mixture to smooth it out as necessary. Once the mixture is fully pureed, place it in a loaf pan and freeze for one more hour for perfect scooping consistency.  

4. Strawberry Tart with Lemon Whipped Cream (6 ingredients)

What You’ll Need: 1 (12x12-inch) sheet puff pastry (thawed), 16 oz. fresh strawberries (sliced), 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 cup chilled heavy cream, 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar, Zest and juice from 1/2 lemon Cook Time: 30 minutes (4 hours in fridge) Serves: 6

While you may have to be a little patient with letting this one sit in the fridge, it’s worth it for that zest lemon whipped cream. Just layer your puff pastry with strawberries and bake for 18-20 minutes before sprinkling with sugar. Top it with your homemade lemon whipped cream and your taste buds will be sure to thank you. Try substituting strawberries and sugar with peach and honey for a different but equally delicious tart.

5. Coconut Banana Pudding (5 ingredients)

What You’ll Need: 3 cups cold milk, 2 pkgs. (3.4 oz. each) vanilla instant pudding, 30 NILLA Wafers, 3 medium bananas (sliced), 1 tub (8 oz.) frozen whipped cream (thawed) Cook Time:  20 minutes (3 hours in fridge) Serves: 14

Nothing could be easier than layering some Nilla wafers, sliced bananas and instant banana pudding for a simple and quick dessert with fresh, springtime flavors. Add some shredded coconut for an extra, tropical twist.

And, when all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a frozen waffle topped with some Nutella and fresh fruit. But if you are willing to give these recipes a try, you might just find that spring can taste just as nice as it feels. So pick up a few ingredients, borrow a cookie tray and get ready to put together a delicious dessert for you and your friends — or to keep all to yourself.