This summer, let the season’s sweetest treats – fresh berries – take the spotlight with delightful and delectable desserts. Freshly picked or purchased at the supermarket, they make for a refreshing respite on sweltering summer days. Berries rich in antioxidants – blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries – add a natural sweetness, as well as a healthy dose of nutrients, to your desserts. Here is some inspiration for fresh berry dessert options:

For breakfast, try some fresh blueberry muffins. Look for berries with a slight frosty-white hue. Blueberries can be refrigerated in their original container for up to a week. For something a bit more filling, have a cream cheese and raspberry danish or croissant. Fresh raspberries should be deeply colored. Avoid berries that still have their hulls attached – it’s a sign of premature picking. Raspberries can be safely stored refrigerated for two or three days, unwashed, in a single layer on a plate, and loosely covered.

With multiple layers of cake and filling, tortes are alluring, complex, and luscious European desserts. Try them with a heavenly raspberry or strawberry filling, complemented by a raspberry or strawberry infused whipped icing, or topped off with glazed whole strawberries. For a lighter cake alternative, berries are also a wonderful addition to cupcakes. Try cakes filled with blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry filling. For added elegance and flavor, they can be topped with blueberry or strawberry garnish, or a glaze swirl.

Strawberries are a wonderful treat fresh off the vine, and they’re unbeatable as part of your favorite dessert. While a strawberry farm or farmer’s market is the ideal choice for fresh berries, you can also get good-tasting strawberries at your local grocery store. They should be plump, fragrant, and fully ripe, with no white shoulders. Be sure to check the underside of the container to ensure that there are no damaged berries or juice stains. If you’re not going to use them immediately, strawberries may be stored in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

Fresh berries are so delicious and plentiful this time of year, and there’s no better way to showcase them than in sweet treats. Whether you prefer something simple and sweet, or luscious and tart, there are endless options for incorporating nature’s candy into the desserts you love.