(Family Features) — Summer brings to mind all-American activities like fireworks, picnics, baseball and BBQs - and the light, refreshing treats that go hand-in-hand with these treasured past times.
Fortunately, creating delicious desserts to please your family and friends during this summer of celebrations doesn’t mean you have to be chained to your oven.
Quality boxed mixes and prepared crusts paired with ingredients such as fruit make it surprisingly easy for bakers of all skill levels to take desserts beyond the box.
To achieve delicious summery desserts that save on time while creating a made-from-scratch taste, remember these tips:
• When using cake mixes, look for a moisture-rich option in a flavor well-suited for pairing, such as yellow, lemon or French Vanilla.
• Use cold eggs and cold water for best results in hot weather.
• Blend ingredients just slightly longer than recommended for an extra airy, fluffy texture.
• Use quality bakeware to ensure even distribution of heat.
• Select complementary seasonal ingredients that add a tangy pop, such as fresh or canned fruit filling.
These simple and simply delicious recipes feature store-bought base ingredients for desserts that are perfect for picnics, BBQs and other summery celebrations this season. Here are two great summer recipes that take an easy and different spin on blueberries, for creative, delicious results. For more surprisingly easy and delicious summertime recipes, visit www.duncanhines.com.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 60 minutes
Servings: 24 bars
1 package Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Lemon Cake Mix
1/2 cup melted butter
3 large eggs
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 can (21 ounces) Duncan Hines(r) Comstock(r) or Wilderness(r) More Fruit Blueberry Pie Filling & Topping
3/4 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease 9-by-13-inch pan.
Combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg; blend well. Pat mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
Beat cream cheese until fluffy in large mixing bowl. Add remaining 2 eggs and confectioners’ sugar. Pour over cake mixture in pan, spread blueberry fruit filling on top and sprinkle with coconut and nuts.
Bake one hour or until lightly browned. Refrigerate until chilled; cut into bars.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-8 slices
1 can (21 ounces) Duncan Hines, Comstock, or Wilderness, More Fruit Blueberry Pie Filling & Topping, divided
1 tsp. grated lemon rind, divided (optional)
1 6-ounce graham cracker pie crust
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Combine 1 cup pie filling with 1/2 tsp. lemon rind (optional); pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes. Chill remaining filling.
Beat cream cheese until fluffy in large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, vanilla and remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind (optional). Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each; pour mixture over blueberry filling in crust.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake 25 minutes or until set. Cool. Chill.
Top with remaining chilled blueberry filling and serve.