Top 20 summer baking ideas

Make the most of vibrant summer fruits with our top summer baking ideas. Our top-rated recipes include tasty scones, bread, cakes and cheesecakes. 

Sangria cake

The idea of an afternoon baking session may seem less appealing when the sun is beaming outside. But as summer means rainbow fruit and vegetables in abundance, it’s actually one of the best times to reach for the mixing bowl. And besides, you need something to do on those woefully common rainy days...

For the ultimate selection, see our summer baking collection.

Our favourite summer bakes... 

1. Boozy cakes

Pimm's cake
Add a boozy kick to your bakes with our cocktail-inspired cakes. Our Pimm's cake (pictured) channels the flavours of a classic summer drink. Or, try a mojito cake, packed with zingy lime and cooling mint. Our gin & tonic cake is infused with juniper berries and an alcoholic hit, or pile summer fruits like citrus and berries on top of this sangria cake.

Pimm's cake

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2. Galette

Peach galette with brown sugar crust
Making a galette is a great opportunity to showcase seasonal summer fruits. Bake this peach version with a crunchy brown sugar crust. Use up a bunch of cherries while they're at their best in this cherry & almond frangipane galette. For a super-simple dessert, try this five-ingredient caramelised banana & chocolate galette.

Peach galette with brown sugar crust

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3. Fruity cheesecake

Triple-layered berry cheesecake
Perennially popular, cheesecake works with most fruit, but one of our favourite recipes is this triple-layered, strawberry version. Try this impressive layered lime cheesecake, full of zingy cirtrus flavours. Keep things simple this easy lemon cheesecake.

Triple-layered berry cheesecake

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4. No-bake cake

Strawberry shortcake slice 
When it's too hot to turn on the oven, consider an easy no-bake dessert. This strawberry shortcake is layered with biscuits, whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Cheesecakes are another great option, like this four-ingredient chocolate hazelnut ice cream cheesecake.

Strawberry shortcake slice

See more fridge cakes and no-bake cheesecakes...


5. Sourdough

White sourdough
Sourdough is a great investiment project for those long summer months. Begin with our sourdough starter, then bake a classic loaf like this white sourdough. Alternatively, try our rye sourdough for a deep malty flavour. Assemble a sourdough pizza for a scrumptious dinner.

White sourdough

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6. Super scones

Classic cheese scones
Outdoor afternoon tea just might have the edge on the indoor version. Pile your cake stand high with cucumber sandwiches, delicate cakes and mandatory scones. Try our sweet versions like these Pimms's scones or savoury options like these cheddar scones.

Classic cheese scones

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7. Sausage rolls

Caramelised onion & thyme sausage rolls
The ultimate emergency picnic addition – try experimenting with extra flavours like herbs or cheese. These onion & thyme sausage rolls are loaded with chutney and wholegrain mustard. Make a chicken version with these summer sausage rolls or a plant-based option with our vegan sausage rolls.

Caramelised onion & thyme sausage rolls

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8. Turnovers

Jam turnovers
A roll of puff pastry will see you right whatever the season. Jam turnovers are a great way to experiment with different fruity flavours. For a savoury version, try these ham, cheese & mushroom turnovers.

Jam turnovers

See more puff pastry recipes...


9. Perfect pavlova

Cherry, rose and pistachio pavlova
This cloud-like retro dessert has stood the test of time. Bring it up to date by baking in a rectangular tray and using rose water and edible flowers. Scatter it with summer fruit to avoid any mention of 70s dinner parties. 

Cherry, rose & pistachio pavlova traybake

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10. Brownies

Cherry brownie babycakes
Chocolate brownies work well with all manner of summer fruit – go for strawberries in white chocolate blondies, raspberries in milk chocolate brownies or cherries with dark chocolate brownie cupcakes.

Cherry brownie babycakes

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11. Pound cake

Lemon & buttermilk pound cake
Make this lemon & buttermilk pound cake for a perfect addition to an afternoon tea. Bake this vibrant blood orange pound cake for bold citrus flavours. For something more versatile, try our easy vanilla pound cake.

Lemon & buttermilk pound cake

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12. Savoury tarts

Spinach, bacon & roquefort tart
Ideal for summer lunches, picnic baskets, garden parties and more, a layered quiche or savoury tart is the perfect way to up your vegetable intake in an indulgent fashion. This version contains spinach, hearty bacon and bold roquefort.

Spinach, bacon & roquefort tart

More quiche and savoury tart recipes...

 

13. Ice cream cake

Peach & red berry ice cream cake
This sensational layered sponge is easier to achieve than you might think. Once you’ve baked your sponge, use the same tin to layer it with homemade mascarpone ice cream – there’s no need for a churner either…

Peach & red berry ice cream cake

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14. Pasties

Perfect pasty
There’s no joy like snaffling a beef pasty on a sunny beach in Cornwall, but you can try and replicate the good feeling at home. Use traditional ingredients by picking up authentic beef skirt or chuck. And don’t be scared to get your mitts stuck into lard pastry…

Cornish pasties

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15. Fruit tart

Rustic strawberry tart
Whether you like yours with a neat patisserie-style crispy base, encased in hearty puff pastry or somewhere in-between, fruit and pastry is one of the most beautiful pairings in the food world. This year, we’re going down the super-simple route…

Rustic strawberry tart

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16. Arctic roll

Clotted cream & raspberry arctic roll

Cool down this summer by combining cake and ice cream into one mega dessert. This clotted cream version is loaded with fresh raspberries and raspberry jam, rolled in a light sponge. Or try using up a punnet of strawberries with this classic Arctic roll.

Clotted cream & raspberry ripple roll

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17. Vegetable cake

Courgette, lemon & thyme cake
Round about June, courgettes start billowing out of control. We have lots of ways to use up your glut, and we like them most in a moist, light cake. 

Courgette, lemon & thyme cake

See more garden glut cakes...


18. Layer cake

Paul's genoise sponge with berries
The most simple layer cake can be easily spruced up by scatterings of mixed summer berries. This four-tier stack by Paul Hollywood contains minimal ingredients put to use with professional panache. Embrace the tropical flavours of pineapple with this spiced hummingbird cake.

Paul’s genoise sponge

See more layer cake recipes...
 

19. Picnic pies

Pork, apricot and pistachio pies
Don’t reserve your pastry skills for rib-sticking winter pies – picnics are the perfect opportunity for a veritable pie showcase. Set up some al fresco dining in your garden and serve these pork, apricot & pistachio puff pastry pies, studded with fruit and nuts. For a vegetarian friendly version, try this veggie rainbow picnic pie.

Pork, apricot & pistachio puff pastry pies

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20. Crumble cake

Cherry crumble cake
Combine a fluffy sponge cake with a crunchy crumble topping for the ultimate mash-up. This cherry crumble cake is loaded with juicy summer fruit. Or use up a glut of rhubarb with these tasty rhubarb crumble muffins. For a super simple version, try our apple crumble loaf with a hazelnut topping.

Cherry crumble cake

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Does baking happen all year in your kitchen? We'd like to hear your warmer weather recipes... 

Comments, questions and tips

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Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
rosiedunningham
1st Aug, 2014
Where is the recipe for the cake in the main picture? It looks fantastic - the only reason I clicked to see this page and I can't find it! Rosie
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
4th Aug, 2014
Hi Rosie, sorry about the confusion. The slice of cake comes from this ombre recipe: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/raspberry-caramel-ombre-cake - enjoy!
rosiedunningham
18th Aug, 2014
Yay thank you! Looks wonderful, next on my list to bake for a big family bbq :)
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