August is here, and I'm welcoming it with open arms. For many, this month is a final opportunity to enjoy hot sultry days, beach vacations, and flip-flops. But for me, it’s the last chance to fully embrace the delicious recipes that shine especially bright this time of year. The ones on this list caught my attention for their sheer beauty, seasonality (I see you, zucchini!), or summer-worthy simplicity. I hope you’ll join me this month as I bake through mouthwatering recipes that celebrate this season at its best.
1) Strawberry Cream Shortbread
Light as air and served chilled, this beautiful mousse cake with a shortbread crust is just the ticket for a post-meal treat on a warm summer day. For an extra dimension of flavor, I’m going to infuse the two cups of cream in the filling with fresh basil from my herb garden before making the strawberry mousse.
2) Mango Sorbet
Even if you don’t have a mango tree outside your house currently dropping 20 plus mangos a day like me (a perk of living in South Florida), I encourage you to try this recipe. Mangos are high in natural sugar, so you don’t have to use a lot of added sweeteners, and this sorbet is incredibly refreshing for these dog days of summer. You can also use frozen mangos (simply thaw them to make the purée!) or canned mango purée to make this a budget-friendly summer treat.
3) Iced Coffee Icebox Cake
Since this recipe was featured as one of our recent Bakes of the Week, I’ve been eager to try it. First, it has two of my favorite ingredients: chocolate and espresso powder. Second, your refrigerator does most of the work, transforming cookies and cream into a sliceable cake, no oven required.
4) Midsummer Berry Tart
This recipe makes me think of my mom — a fruit tart was always her go-to for picnics when I was a little girl. That’s precisely why I want to make it when I visit her this month. I’ll impress her with the delicate crust while adding some of her favorite seasonal fruits on top for a fuss-free presentation.
5) Chocolate Cheesecake
This is one of about 10 chocolate recipes I want to try, but it takes the (cheese)cake for a few reasons: It’s quick, uber chocolatey, and is a sight to behold for any chocolate lover. I’m going to use mint Oreos for the crust for a subtle nod to one of my favorite recipes: grasshopper pie. (Check out our Grasshopper Cupcakes if you’re a fan too!)
6) Sourdough Zucchini Bread
If you have zucchini coming out of your ears right now, this is the perfect place to use it — in a soft, moist, whole grain bread. I love that you can use ripe or fed sourdough discard, too, so you can make it at a moment's notice no matter the status of your starter.
7) Zucchini Cheese Pancakes
Breakfasts are pretty basic in my house, so I’m looking forward to mixing it up with these zucchini-packed pancakes. I’m planning on adding a dollop of sour cream and fresh chives on top to fully embrace the savory flavors of these latke-like pancakes.
8) Fresh Blueberry Pie
Have a bucket of freshly picked blueberries? This pie is their dream destination. The no-bake filling cuts down on your oven time, making it a great choice for a warm-day dessert.
9) Blueberry Breakfast Cake
This berry-packed cake was recommended to me by a fellow employee-owner who said, and I quote, “This is perhaps my favorite blueberry recipe, ever.” Sold. It’s light, custardy, and brimming with bright blueberries — what else could you ask for?
10) Morning Glory Breakfast Cookies
A bit of a mashup between a cookie and a muffin, these grab-and-go cookies are packed with a plethora of goodies: carrots, apples, oats, nuts, and more. I’m planning on making a double batch of these for my busiest days — if you have kids heading back to school later this month, these are especially handy to have around.
11) No-Knead Cheese and Garlic Tomato Bread
Sun-dried tomatoes have had a resurgence as of late, and this tomato-speckled, cheesy bread caught my eye. Although I’m in love with my Ankarsrum mixer, it gets a much-deserved break with this simple no-knead recipe.
12) Fresh Fruit Cobbler
Baking with an abundance of fresh, seasonal fruit doesn’t have to break the bank. That’s because the fruit you use for this easy cobbler won’t need to be in pristine condition: Ask for the seconds at the farmers’ market and turn the bruised fruit that’s on its last legs into a hearty cake-topped cobbler.
13) Summertime Peach Pie
There's a small window for peaches, but if you can catch it, it's a glimpse into heaven. Surrounded by an excess of flaky, golden crust, this pie showcases fresh, sweet peaches in all their glory. Don't skip the beautiful finishing touch: coarse sparkling sugar.
14) Grilled Pizza
Don’t put the grill away just yet: It’s time for pizza. If you haven’t tried it, grilled pizza is downright delicious, and an excellent excuse to be outdoors. Whether using charcoal or gas, the smoke from the grill gives your pizza wonderful flavor that you simply can’t get from a regular oven.
Looking to bake with as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can? See more summer-ready bakes in our previous post: 8 recipes to show off all your stunning summer produce.
Cover photo (Fresh Fruit Cobbler) by Kristin Teig.