3 Dessert Recipes For When It’s Too Hot to Bake

Last Update: February 17, 2023

You’ve got friends coming over for a backyard BBQ, and you need a dessert to serve…but it’s 90-plus degrees, and just the thought of turning on the oven makes you sweat.

Don’t touch that (oven) dial—we dreamed up three no-bake dessert recipes that will satisfy any sweet craving without overheating your kitchen. Read on for a plant-based, no-bake cookie recipe with chocolate and oats; a dairy-free and keto ice cream treat; and a classic chocolate mousse recipe with barely any added sugar…then add the ingredients to your next Thrive Market box.

No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Oat

No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Oat Cookies

This no-bake recipe keeps it simple by skipping the heavily processed ingredients in favor of cacao powder and coconut sugar. Coconut milk stands in beautifully for dairy while adding richness that complements the other flavors.

Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 40 cookies


2 cups quick-cooking oats
⅔ cup Thrive Market Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter
½ cup Thrive Market Organic Shredded Coconut
¼ cup Regeneratively Grown Organic Cacao Powder
1 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Vanilla Flavor, Alcohol-Free
1 ¾ cups Thrive Market Organic Coconut Sugar
½ cup Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk
¼ cup plant-based buttery spread or Thrive Market Organic Buttery Coconut Oil


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix oats, peanut butter, coconut, cacao and vanilla; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, coconut milk and vegan butter and heat on high, until boiling. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Quickly pour over oat mixture; stir to mix well.

Immediately drop mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet and allow to cool completely before carefully removing to serve.

Vegan, Dairy-Free & Keto Coconut-Lime Semifreddo

Your freezer does most of the work to make this tropical dairy-free treat. To trim down on prep time and make it even easier, use premade cashew butter, and feel free to reduce or swap the sweetener to suit your diet and tastes.

Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 4.5 hours, including boiling cashews and chilling
Yield: 10 servings


3 13.5-ounce cans Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk, refrigerated for 24 hours before using
½ cup Thrive Market Organic Raw Cashews (or use cashew butter)
¼ cup Lakanto Maple Flavored Sugar-Free Monkfruit Syrup
Zest and juice of one lime
1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Coconut Chips, toasted, to garnish


First, chill your equipment: line a loaf pan with parchment and place in the freezer. Place a metal mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk attachment in the freezer.

In a medium saucepan, combine cashews with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 1 hour (if too much water evaporates, add more), until cashews are very soft. Drain cashews (reserving the liquid), transfer to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth and creamy, adding reserved liquid as needed if the mixture gets too stiff. Remove cashew butter and set aside to cool completely.

Scoop out the solid separated portion of the coconut milk from all three cans and add to your chilled mixing bowl. Save the remaining coconut milk for another use. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, whip until creamy, stiff peaks form.

Fold in ½ cup of the cashew butter, your sweetener of choice, and the lime zest. Spoon mixture into the loaf pan and freeze for 3 hours.

To serve, remove the loaf pan from the freezer, invert onto a cutting board and cut 1” slices. Garnish with toasted coconut.

No-Bake Low Sugar Chocolate Mousse

Lower-Sugar Dark Chocolate Mousse

With minimal added sugar, this take on a classic no-bake recipe really lets the chocolate’s rich flavor shine.

Active time: 40 minutes
Total time: 2 hours + 40 minutes including chill time
Yield: 10 generous servings


7 ounces 65% dark chocolate
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
2 cups heavy cream
3 egg yolks (save the whites for another use)
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons Thrive Market Organic Cane Sugar or monkfruit sweetener
¼ cup white wine
¼ teaspoon salt


Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (you can use a small glass bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water).

In another small bowl, bloom gelatin by placing it in 2 teaspoons of water and letting it sit for 3 to 5 minutes, until dissolved.

Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the double boiler and set aside. Place a large, clean bowl on the double boiler. Add egg yolks, whole egg, wine, sugar, and salt and whisk vigorously to aerate. Continue whisking over the heat until the mixture increases in volume and shows the lines of a whisk.

Remove egg mixture from the heat, add the bloomed gelatin, and whisk until fully combined.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a bowl with an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Slowly fold the whipped cream into the chocolate-and-egg mixture.

Chill the mousse for two hours before serving, or spoon into serving dishes, then chill. Garnish as desired before serving.

Recipe credit: Becky Brown
Photo credit: Matthew Schulert

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Kirby Stirland

Kirby Stirland is a writer, editor, and New York transplant living in Los Angeles.

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