I love desserts just as much as the next girl, but every once in awhile, the idea of a clunky, dense, ultra rich confection just isn’t quite what I’m craving. Know what I mean? And for those moments, I have something extra special to share: refreshing dessert recipes that’ll leave you feeling lit up, instead of weighed down and extra perky, instead of just plain sleepy.

So if you’d like a dessert that helps you seize the day, instead of curling up to take a long, long nap after eating something heavy, these are the sweet treats you’ve been waiting for!

Minty Macarons


An ode to all things classy and French, these minty macarons are the perfect light and refreshing way to start our journey. There’s nothing heavy or dense about a well made macaron, and to me, mint is the freshest herb in existence. So give your tongue the tingles and take a bite out of these beauties! They’re minty heaven hugging a decadent chocolate ganache. Zoe Bakes, you’re my hero for this one.

Lemon Sorbet Cups


You can’t get more refreshing than eating a frozen, citrus-y dessert straight out of a lemon! These lemon sorbet cups are oh so perfect for parties and no bowls are needed! All you will need is lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and water! Kids will go crazy for these fun little frozen cups of happy from A Thoughtful Place – and so will everyone else too!

Peanut Butter and Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches


Does anyone else have super happy childhood ice cream sandwich memories? I know I do! Whoever first thought to put ice cream in sandwich form has my utmost respect and deep appreciation. And this refreshing new take on an ice cream sandwich by She Likes Food, is vegan and gluten free! Peanut butter and bananas make our “bread” and the ice cream’s creaminess to both bananas and overnight-soaked cashews. Delicious.

Pina Colada Poke Cake


When I heard the words “rum spiced vanilla cake drenched in sweetened condensed milk” I knew I was in trouble. Big, big trouble. But the best kind of trouble. The delicious kind. Any dessert that can teeter on the line between straight up indulgent and fluffily refreshing has already won in my book, and Beyond Frosting’s pina colada poke cake has done it. And if the cake doesn’t already have you falling to your knees, the fresh pineapple on top or the coconut-infused whipped cream will.

Coconut Chia Pudding with Mango and Mint


A heaping helping of pudding may sound too dense and rich to be refreshing, but that’s only because you’ve never tasted coconut chia seed pudding with zingy mango and lovely mint. Tales of a Kitchen’s recipe relies on our favourite new superfood: chia seeds. And then dresses them up with creamy homemade coconut milk, juicy ripe mango and lots of little mint leaves on top!

Avocado Mint Cream Bars


Avocado is luscious. It’s smooth and pretty and creamy enough to use as a hand moisturiser. Or you can just eat it with chocolate and mint and soothe yourself from the inside out! The crust for these cream bars by Eat Good for Life is a tasty, chocolate packed mixture of almonds and dates. The cream’s an avocado base infused with yumminess like peppermint oil and maple syrup and the topping is all about the cacao powder.

Lemon Curd Mousse


Look up refreshing in the dictionary and a picture of a lemon is probably there. So what better way to liven up your fluffy mousse than with a bright and cheerful lemon infusion. I love how pretty this mousse looks in the cup, with a smear of the lemon curd that flavoured the mousse coloring the bottom of each vessel bright yellow. This tasty treat by The Kitchen McCabe is not only refreshing to your taste buds, it’s also so, so easy on the eyes.

Coconut Lime Cupcakes


Once upon a time, sweet, crispy toasted coconut met cream cheese frosting. They loved each other so much that they decided to make a home together … on a light, zesty, soft cupcake. And they all lived happily ever after. No, but really, these charming cupcakes from Dessert Now, Dinner Later, are all about the satisfying softness of cake paired with the tart, citrus sweetness of lime. And together, it’s all so, so good.

Frozen Mint Chip Pie


I’m a mint chocolate chip girl. And the tried and true combo of mint and chocolate seems to be even better served cold! Handle the Heat’s frozen pie extravaganza has an Oreo mint crust (you can sub in any crumbly chocolate cookie here!) filled with your homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, topped with a chocolate ganache shell that’ll melt in your mouth!

Orange Creamsicle Sheet Cake


Sometimes I’m not ready for five inches of cake. But two or three inches sounds awesome. Enter this fluffy – not too thick – extra yummy sheet cake from The Creative Bite. And the cake is full of pretty little flecks of orange zest, reminding you of where that joyous flavour came from. And slathered on top? A mixture of cream cheese, condensed milk and lots of orange juice that’ll make you go weak in the knees. But that’s not all – it’s topped with homemade whipped cream!

What are your favourite zesty recipes? We’d love to hear all about them! Share your faves with us on Facebook and Instagram using #cbsshomemade.