Summer holidays deserve desserts that are knee-weakening delicious. Pull out all the stops for Memorial Day by making these indulgent dessert recipes, including black bottom candy bar pie, mini chocolate molten cakes and a strawberry ice cream cake.
Mini chocolate molten cakes
Image: Carolyn Stalnaker
Mmmmm, warm chocolate sauce oozing out of a tender chocolate cake, served with a cool scoop of premium ice cream — this is the epitome of knee-weakening desserts.
- 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened baking chocolate), chopped, divided
- 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups premium vanilla bean ice cream
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and grease six (6 ounce) ramekins.
- To make chocolate sauce, stir together 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until chocolates are melted and smooth.
- Whisk in hot water, corn syrup and vanilla until mixture is smooth.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool while you prepare the cakes.
- To make the cake batter, in a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the remaining 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and the butter until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and egg yolks until well blended. Whisk in sugar, then the chocolate-butter mixture and flour, until blended.
- Pour cake batter into prepared ramekins until they are equally filled.
- Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until the top and sides of cakes are set. These are slightly underbaked to allow the insides to ooze out.
- Run small knife around cakes to loosen from ramekins. Immediately turn cakes out onto plates.
- To serve, spoon the chocolate sauce around the cakes and partner each with a scoop of ice cream.
Black bottom candy bar pie
Image: Carolyn Stalnaker
This is one of the most indulgent Memorial Day desserts you can serve. Chocolate wafers and dark chocolate create the black bottom, which is generously loaded with a rich and creamy peanut butter filling that is heavily topped with chopped candy bars of your choice. Plan a few hours ahead to make this decadent treat, since it needs some chill time in the freezer before serving.
- 1-1/2 cups crushed chocolate wafers
- 1/2 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
- 6 tablespoons (1/3 stick) butter, melted
- 2 cups chilled whipping cream, divided
- 1 cup peanut butter chips
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups chopped candy bars of your choice
- Chocolate sauce of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine crushed chocolate wafers, chocolate chips and butter.
- Pour wafer mixture into prepared pie plate and, using your fingers, press the crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of the plate in an even layer.
- Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. Set pie plate on a wire rack to cool.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup whipping cream and the peanut butter chips. Cook, stirring often, until peanut butter chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whip remaining 1 cup whipping cream and vanilla with a hand mixer until firm peaks form. Use a spatula to gently and gradually fold the cooled peanut butter mixture into whipped cream.
- Pour peanut butter mixture into the prepared cookie crust, spreading it out evenly.
- Scatter with chopped candy bars.
- Place pie in the refrigerator overnight or place in the freezer until peanut butter mixture is firm.
- To serve, cut into wedges and drizzle with chocolate sauce.
Strawberry ice cream cake
Image: Carolyn Stalnaker
A lemon-kissed cake layered and covered with strawberry ice cream and garnished with fresh strawberries is an impressive holiday dessert that you'll want to serve all summer long. For a tasty change, substitute other berry-flavored ice creams and fresh berries in season.
- 1-1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup milk
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 2 lemons, divided
- 8 cups premium strawberry ice cream, softened enough to spread
- 2 cups small fresh strawberries, trimmed
- Shaved chocolate, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and cover the bottom of the cake pan with a round piece of wax paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat egg yolks one at a time into the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk into the butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Add lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice and blend until just combined.
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites using a hand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Beat in remaining sugar.
- Fold egg whites into the batter until combined. Pour bake batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes then invert on the wire rack and continue to cool.
- Using a long serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Put the bottom half, cut side up, in a 9-inch springform pan.
- Brush 1-1/2 tablespoons of the remaining lemon juice over the cake layer and top with 1/3 of the ice cream, spreading evenly and leaving a 1/4-inch border.
- Put remaining cake half, cut side up, on top of ice cream and brush with remaining lemon juice.
- Spread half of the remaining ice cream evenly over cake layer. Place springform pan in the freezer and freeze overnight. (Freeze the remaining ice cream until ready to serve.)
- Remove sides of the springform pan and "frost" cake with remaining ice cream. Place cake back in the freezer and let freeze until ice cream has firmed but not hardened.
- Serve cake garnished with fresh strawberries and shaved chocolate, if using.
Cook's note: This ice cream cake can be frozen, covered, for up to one week. Let soften at room temperature for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before you slice and serve.
More mouthwatering Memorial Day recipes
Healthy Memorial Day menu on the grill
Backyard BBQ Memorial Day recipes
American flag cake