9 Crowd-Pleasing Desserts for Your Memorial Day Party

Let's kick the summer off right! Here are nine of our favorite crowd-pleasing desserts, any of which would look great on a picnic table. From Blueberry Cake to S'mores Cookies, take your pick!

When it comes to warm weather desserts, there are a few very key considerations:

1. You don’t want something that’s going to get gooey or wilt in some way—it can be surprisingly warm on Memorial Day weekend!

2. You want something that’s easily portable, so fancy things that are perishable, delicate or have elaborate toppings are probably out of the question, too.

3. All that, and it’s got to be delicious and eye-catching, too — right?!

Several of the recipes below make the best use of fresh seasonal fruits, such as the Summer Berry Tart and the Blueberry Cake.

Two others, Fudgy Chocolate Brownies and Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, will satisfy the chocolate lovers in every crowd without making a big melty mess.

And there are of course some options for cakes that serve a crowd, such a bright, citrusy bundt cake and a banana sheet cake, if summer fruits haven’t quite made it to your neck of the woods yet. Cake is hard to refuse any time of year, am I right?

Berry Tart

There’s something so appealing about the jewel-like appearance of berries nestled in a pastry crust. This one is all about the fruit.

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Another classic winning combo—and you don’t even have to turn on the oven, either! Make them ahead of time and refrigerate.

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Blueberry Cake

Two whole cups of blueberries fill this cake with their sweet goodness and give the dessert a lovely rustic presentation.

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Chocolate Chip and Marshmallow S'mores Cookies

Just add campfire! No, but seriously, these cookies give you the taste of s’mores but with a lot less mess—no hot fire or oozy marshmallow to contend with here!

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Crumble Bars with Rhubarb and Strawberry

Take two of the best offerings from late spring and early summer -- strawberry and rhubarb – layer them over a rich pastry dough and top with crumbles. Bake, slice, and share.

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How to Make Dump Cake from Scratch

Despite the unfortunate name—you know you’re thinking it too—this cake is delicious. Flour, butter, fruit, and that’s it. Use whatever fruit you have on hand.

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Fudgy Brownies

Brownies are an obvious choice, right? Easy to transport: Check. Crowd pleaser: Check. Chocolate, but won't melt in the sun: check.

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Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake

Between the swirly pan and the swirls from the glaze, this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake is a real show stopper—regardless of the shape of your bundt pan.

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Banana Cake (Banana Sheet Cake)

I can see potential for dressing this baby up—such as sprinkling mini chocolate chips or fresh blueberries on top of the cream cheese frosting!

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Carrie Havranek

Carrie Havranek is a former Associate Editor of Simply Recipes and the author of the cookbook Tasting Pennsylvania (2019). She lives in Easton, Pennsylvania and goes out of her way for farmers' markets, new ingredients, yoga, and walks in nature.

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No Image9 Crowd-Pleasing Desserts for Your Memorial Day Party

  1. Loann

    You ROCK girl!

  2. Steve

    These desserts are making me hungry!