Kid-Friendly Father’s Day Desserts
If you want Dad’s face to light up this Father’s Day, watch what happens when the kids present him with a creative Father’s Day dessert they made themselves
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Wondering what to make Dad for Father's Day? While a macaroni paperweight will most definitely evoke an amused, fatherly grin, this year, why not delight Dad with dessert? We’ve gathered up some easy Father’s Day dessert recipes that are not only out-of-the-ballpark delicious, but specially chosen with young chefs in mind — whether they’re little ones who can help stir, frost, and decorate, or older kids who are eager to tackle slightly more complicated tasks. What better way to satisfy Dad’s sweet tooth than with a Father's Day gift he can eat, made by the whole family?
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No-bake desserts for Father's Day
This category is a great place to start if you’re wondering, “what food can I make for Father's Day?” because just as you might expect, the recipes are low-commitment, though still celebration-worthy.
If Dad’s a classic film buff (think It’s a Wonderful Life) or a fan of TV oldies (like I Love Lucy in the soda jerk episode), he’ll definitely get a kick out of this old-time soda fountain treat. And the recipe doesn’t hold back: six scoops of ice cream in three different flavors, store-bought chocolate and caramel sauces, nuts, and sprinkles. Just don’t be like Lucy and forget the bananas.
These colorful pops are sure to make your pop smile, and the recipe is ideal for kids. The no-bake cake is made from crumbled Oreo cookies and cream cheese, which can be mixed and shaped by little hands — a bit messy maybe, but so much fun. And after you coat the pops with chocolate (melted in the microwave), even the youngest children can help decorate them with brightly colored sprinkles. Present them in an attractive vase or tie them together with a ribbon for a Father’s Day bouquet.
Classic chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwiches get "frosted” in whipped cream and topped with Dad’s favorite candy bar, chopped up, or with chocolate chips. Freeze the icebox cake at least an hour, then cut it into slices.
Father's Day cookie recipes
Giving a batch of easy-to-make cookies is a great way to say “I love you” to Dad without overtaxing the bakers.
Lemon bars combine sweet and tart in a way that’s just crazy good — and the buttery shortbread crust adds a whole other layer of pleasure. With just five ingredients, it won’t overwhelm a junior chef, and you can make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge. As for Dad, bet he can’t stop at just one.
Here’s another five-ingredient recipe: rich, classic sugar cookies made with plenty of butter. For the most tender cookie texture, measure flour by spooning it into the measuring cups and then leveling it off (don’t scoop up flour using the measuring cups or tap the cups down, or you’ll pack in extra flour and the cookies may turn out crumbly). Freezing the shaped balls of dough before baking helps the cookies bake up chewy rather than crispy.
Let Dad know how much he’s appreciated with these adorable cookies — a delectably edible craft idea. If you’re pressed for time, you can start with packaged cookies and frosting from the supermarket, as the recipe suggests. Or you could make Bakery-Style Frosted Sugar Cookies from scratch. Either way, let the kids go to town decorating with M&Ms and expressing their love in chocolate icing messages. This one is guaranteed to make Dad smile.
Father's Day cake and custard recipes
An oven-baked dessert will fill your home with a sweet aroma and announce to Dad (and everyone else) that good things are in store!
As Father’s Day cake recipes go, this one looks fancy but is a breeze to make: a one-layer cake with a dusting of powdered sugar instead of frosting on top. Fresh seasonal berries and ricotta cheese guarantee the cake comes out moist and flavorful.
A boxed cake mix gives your baking team a head start on this recipe, meaning you get to focus on the fun parts — arranging pineapple rings and maraschino cherries in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with brown sugar and butter, and then carefully turning the baked cake out of the pan to reveal the fruit.
What could be more magical than a dessert that separates into a custard layer and a cake layer as it bakes? The recipe creator is Australian, so if you’re in the U.S., you’ll use superfine sugar for the caster sugar, an 8-inch square baking dish instead of one that’s 20 cm, and you’ll bake the dessert at about 340° Fahrenheit instead of 170° Celsius.
Dads with a sophisticated palate will appreciate the subtle pleasure of a classic crème brulée, and you and older kids can prepare it together up to two days in advance. Caramelizing the sugar crust is simple if you have a chef’s torch — and kids will love the drama — but if you don’t, you can use your broiler instead. Garnish with a few fresh, seasonal berries and you’ve got an elegant finale to your Father’s Day dinner.
Father’s Day fruit desserts
Dad’s big day lands at the start of summer, which definitely brings thoughts of fruity desserts to mind — though for convenience, you’ve got options here for frozen berries and canned pineapple.
There’s no crust in the bottom of these individual cheesecakes, which means they’re easy to make and they work for gluten-free diets. You'll find tasks for kids of all cooking experience: beating the cream cheese batter, lining muffin cups, adding the batter and a swirl of pureed raspberries, and setting a fresh raspberry on top of a baked treat.
There’s nothing quite like a hit of sweet caramel, followed by the flavor of tart, juicy apple. Making these old-fashioned confections is a cooking activity that generations of children have enjoyed, and one that’s worth bringing back. This version of the recipe is extra-easy because it starts with store-bought caramels that you melt in a saucepan with a little cream. Kids can help dunk the apples and then decorate them with sprinkles, nuts (pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds would be good), and/or a drizzle of melted chocolate.
The heart-motif crust on this blueberry pie is a tasty way to show Dad how much he means to all of you. You can use either fresh or frozen berries for the easy-to-prepare filling. Children will enjoy cutting out heart shapes from store-bought pastry and arranging them on top of the pie. It’s a beautiful Father's Day recipe designed to warm any father’s heart — and tummy.
Father's Day chocolate desserts
Is chocolate required for the ultimate Father’s Day dessert? You can ask Dad’s opinion, or just surprise him.
A rich, chocolatey dessert all for Dad? We predict you’ll want to have extra mugs handy so you can make more than a single serving. Fortunately, the recipe takes only 15 minutes start to finish and it cooks in the microwave. The directions include simple ways to customize it with additions like peanut butter, Nutella, marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs (s'mores flavor!), chocolate chips, and more.
For fathers who are fitness buffs, this recipe has the makings of Dad's favorite treat, but in a healthier way. Instead of butter or heavy cream, the truffles are made with creamy avocados. And there’s no added sugar, beyond what’s in the chocolate. You can vary the sweetness by choosing dark, semisweet, or milk chocolate for a dessert that’s sinfully luscious — but light on the sin. It's a kid-friendly Father's Day dessert that Mom will definitely approve of.
Looking for a fun Father’s Day dessert? If the dad in your household enjoys barbecuing, you can be sure he’ll get a kick out of chocolate brownie cupcakes that are decorated with a black icing “grill,” orange sugar “embers,” and tiny candy kebabs, hot dogs, and steak.
The name of this cake doesn’t come from the intense chocolate-on-chocolate darkness, but from its origins in Brooklyn during the blackouts of World War II. For dads or granddads with New York roots, one taste will bring on a rush of sweet childhood memories — but any chocoholic will bliss out on this moist cake that’s filled with creamy chocolate pudding, slathered with buttercream icing, and coated with chocolate cake crumbs. It’s a project recipe for older kids who love baking — and one that will take Father's Day brunch to the next level.