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10 Cheesy Summer Desserts to Help Beat the Heat


As temperatures begin to rise, ice cream trucks are getting their final tune-ups as they prepare to deliver yummy treats to hot and hungry customers all across the nation. However, here at culture we believe there are ways to satisfy your summer sweet tooth that don’t involve lukewarm fruit salads or sweaty men in white trucks. Not only can you make these treats yourself, but you can make them with cheese. So grab a blanket, throw on your flip-flops, and sunscreen up, because we’ve got the ten best cheesy desserts to make every day this summer feel like a beach day.

This recipe is everything you want in a summer dessert: it’s fresh, easy to make, and delicious. The vanilla mint syrup gives the berries just the hint of sugar they need to stand up to the salty feta, allowing the two to come together and create summertime bliss.

2. Sweet Farmers Cheese Balls (Roshagullas)

One of the most popular desserts in Indian cuisine, roshagulla are made when farmers cheese is mixed with sugar and spices, kneaded into balls, and then boiled in order to create the perfect-sized sweet.

3. Rosemary Balsamic Parmigiano Ice Cream

Ice cream made with balsamic and parmesan, with a rosemary garnish by the side

Invest in a portable ice box now, because letting this ice cream melt before it hits your taste buds would be a crime of the worst degree. Salty Parmigiano Reggiano, savory rosemary, and a sticky-sweet balsamic glaze come together to create an ice cream worthy of global recognition.

4. Lemon Cheesecake with Laura Chenel’s Chevre

This light and fluffy cheesecake uses Laura Chenel’s fresh chèvre to create a cake as light as air. Sweet, creamy, and with a zing from grated lemon zest, this cheesecake goes great with mixed berries or even as a breakfast treat!

5. Apricot Goat Cheese Tart with Almond Cookie Crust

Once again, the trio of fruit, nuts, and cheese show everyone why their pairing is so timeless. Try topping the tart with sugar and popping it under the broiler to add a smoky charred note to the dish.

6. Aged Gouda Walnut Biscotti

For those looking for a more savory snack, these yeast-leavened biscotti are the perfect middle-man between a cheese plate and a dessert. Try them with your favorite fruit preserve for a treat that is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.

7. Bittersweet Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

You didn’t think we’d put together a dessert list without a chocolate recipe, did you? Tangy goat cheese and rich bittersweet chocolate work together in complete harmony to make a dessert that both kids and adults will love. Try using the biscotti recipe above to make the crust!

8. Fruit Compote Tartlets

Besides being perfectly portable, the great thing about these tartlets is that you can mix-and-match the fillings to be made with whatever your heart desires! While this recipe uses yogurt and mascarpone, try ricotta or cream cheese for a different spin on these summer treats.

9. Ricotta Strawberry Swirl

Our second ice cream of the list is perfect for all you cheesecake lovers out there. The base is made with light milk and ricotta (no heavy cream or half-and-half!), making this ice cream the ideal treat for when those temperatures begin to climb. Also, look how pretty this thing is!

10. Ugly Goat Milk Company Fudge

Rounding out our list is a fudge recipe that comes to us from Michael Amen, founder of Ugly Goat Milk Company in Parker, Colorado. Decadent chocolate mixed with fresh goat’s milk (or cow’s milk) makes this dish the perfect ending to a long day out in the summer sun.

Julian Plovnick

Julian is a die-hard dairy lover from the Boston area, working for culture this summer as an editorial intern. When not studying English at Vassar College, Julian can be found binge-watching Top Chef (quiz him on any season and he’ll know the elimination order, no joke), refilling his coffee IV, or researching new ways to incorporate ricotta into his life.