5 Delicious Grilled Dessert Recipes for Memorial Day

By Patti Plummer

Memorial Day: the unofficial start of summer—which means it is also the unofficial start of the backyard grilling season and pool parties. We all know that grills are perfect for creating all types of entrées, from tender ribs to juicy steaks. But, have you have ever considered using your grill to make dessert?

From grilled fruit kabobs to a grilled banana split, here are a few grilled dessert recipes to tempt your taste buds…one bite, and you will wonder what took you so long!

Grilled Banana Splits with Hot Fudge and Rum Caramel Sauce

Grilled banana split recipe summer dessertServings: 6

6 firm-ripe unpeeled bananas, halved lengthwise
6 tablespoons honey
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) packed light brown sugar
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Hot Fudge Sauce, for serving
Rum Caramel Sauce, for serving
2 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Finely chopped roasted lightly salted peanuts, for serving
6 maraschino cherries, for serving


Preheat a grill to high, and lightly oil the grill grate.

Place the banana halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet and drizzle the honey evenly over them. Sprinkle with the brown sugar. Place the bananas, cut side up, directly on the grill, arranging them so they are perpendicular to the grill grate. Close the grill cover and cook until the bananas are caramelized around the edges and the fruit is beginning to pull away from the peel, 3 to 5 minutes.

Carefully transfer the grilled banana halves (still in their skins) to a small baking sheet. Using two small forks or a long, thin spatula, carefully remove the banana halves from their skins and place 2 pieces of banana on each dessert plate. (This is a little tricky because the bananas are now very soft.) Top each banana with 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with the Hot Fudge Sauce and Rum Caramel Sauce. Top with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Garnish each banana split with a maraschino cherry, and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, from Emeril at the Grill, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2009, copyright MSLO, Inc., all rights reserved; www.emerils.com. Photo courtesy of Steven Freeman

Grilled Fruit Kabobs with Tropical Yogurt Sauce

Grilled fruit kabob recipe strawberry pineapple dessertServings: 6

6 bamboo skewers, 8 to 10 inches long
6 ounces key lime pie yogurt
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoons imitation coconut extract (optional)
1 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons butter, melted
1 small pineapple, peeled and cored
1 pound large, firm, fresh strawberries
2 large firm nectarines or peaches, fresh, pitted and cut into wedges


Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat.
Soak skewers in warm water for several minutes; drain and set aside.
In a food processor or blender, process yogurt, Cream cheese, sugar and coconut extract. Cover and chill.

In a small bowl, combine lime juice and melted butter. Set aside. Cut pineapple into 1-inch wide slices; quarter slices. Remove hulls (leaves) from strawberries. Alternately, thread strawberries, pineapple and nectarine or peach wedges on skewers. Brush with butter mixture.

Grill kabobs, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until heated through, turning once or twice. Do not allow strawberries to overcook.

Remove grilled fruit from skewers; serve with yogurt dipping sauce.

Recipe and photo courtesy of © 2013 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.

Grilled Chocolate

Grilled chocolate recipe with grilled pound cake summer dessertServings: 4 dozen pieces, about 16 servings

Prepared batter for Golden Vanilla Pound Cake (found on www.kingarthurflour.com), or your favorite pound cake recipe using about 2 cups of flour.

Softened butter
Three 6.8-ounce chocolate bars, the kind that break into small rectangles; we prefer Hershey's Special Dark chocolate


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" square cake pan; line it with parchment and grease the parchment, if you don't trust your pan to release the cake nicely.

Pour the prepared pound cake batter into the pan. Bake the cake for about 40 minutes, till a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out without any clinging crumbs. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

When you're ready to make grilled chocolate sandwiches, slice the cake in long strips, about 3/8" thick. Butter one side of each strip. Space three chocolate rectangles along the unbuttered side of half the strips. Top with the remaining cake strips, buttered-side up. Cut each strip in thirds crosswise, cutting between the pieces of chocolate.

Cook the cake sandwiches on a griddle preheated to about 325°F to 350°F; or in a frying pan set over medium heat. Cook till the cake is golden and the chocolate melted, about 2 minutes per side. Hint: Cook one sandwich first, to test the temperature/timing. Serve as is, or with a scoop of ice cream.

Recipe and photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour, www.kingarthurflour.com

Fire-Roasted Strawberries

Fire roasted strawberries recipe summer dessertServes: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Way to grill: direct high heat (450° to 550°F) for gas grills only
Grilling time: 8 to 12 minutes
Special equipment: 8x8-inch baking pan suitable for the grill

2 pints (20 to 24) fresh, large strawberries, washed and blotted dry
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, or 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon lemon  juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Vanilla ice cream


Hull and trim the stem end of the strawberries so that they are flat. In a medium bowl combine the berries, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur, and toss to coat.

Use the soft butter to generously coat the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch ovenproof pan or disposable aluminum pan. The pan should be just large enough to hold the berries in a single layer with their sides almost touching (this allows the berries to gently support one another as they begin to soften). Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat.

Remove the berries from the bowl and line them up so that they fit snuggly, pointing up, in the prepared pan. Pour the contents from the bowl over the berries and cook over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until they’re bubbling and beginning to slump, 8 to 12 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on the variety, size, and ripeness of the strawberries. Watch closely to catch them before they collapse.

Spoon the pan juices over the berries to moisten them, let cool for 5 minutes, and then carefully cut them into quarters or leave whole. Ladle berries over ice cream.

©2008 Weber-Stephen Products LLC Recipe from Weber’s Way to Grill™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.

Grilled Pineapple with Raspberries and Rum Sabayon

Grilled Pineapple with Raspberries and Rum Sabayon recipe summer dessertServes: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Grilling Time: 5 to 7 minutes

Special equipment: 10- to 12-cup stainless steel bowl or double boiler, instant-read thermometer

6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup pineapple juice, preferably refrigerated instead of canned
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup amber rum
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

6 slices fresh pineapple, each about 1/2 inch thick, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup fresh raspberries


In a medium saucepan bring 1-1/2 inches of water to a simmer over medium heat. In a 10- to 12-cup stainless steel bowl whisk the sabayon ingredients. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the bowl on the saucepan over, not in, the simmering water (this can also be done in a double boiler). Whisk the sabayon constantly until it thickens, foams up to double or triple in volume, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160° to 170°F, 6 to 7 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep the water at a bare simmer. Be careful not to let the eggs begin to set. Remove the sabayon from over the water and whisk gently for 30 to 40 seconds to begin cooling. Set aside to serve warm, or cool completely and chill up to one day. (The cold sauce will be somewhat deflated, but thicker and creamier. Whisk to blend before serving.) If a few curds accidentally form, pour the sabayon through a fine mesh strainer.

Sprinkle the pineapple slices evenly on both sides with the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the pineapple slices over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until well marked, 5 to 7 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill and cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Divide the pineapple and raspberries evenly among six dessert glasses. Spoon warm or cold sabayon over the top and serve immediately.

©2012 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.

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