We’re smack dab in the heat of the summer, and the month of July is especially sizzling on with it being National Grilling Month. Millions will enjoy the smell of what's cooking, but hot dogs and hamburgers aren’t the only things that can be prepped on the grill. Grilling baked goods from donuts to pound cake offer a unique flavor and dessert option for summer BBQs.

Executive Chef Melissa Trimmer of Dawn Foods recently shared some ways that retail bakeries can embrace the summer heat and capitalize on the grilling trend this summer.

What are some ways that bakers can decorate their baked goods to make them stand out during grilling season? 

Melissa Trimmer: Char marks from grilling baked goods can be used both for a smoky flavor and as a decorative touch. Grill marks can be placed crisscrossed on baked goods such as donuts, poundcake, crostatas, dessert sandwiches and more, making them visually appealing and giving them a unique flavor.  

Grilled baked goods can also be finished with drizzles of chocolate or caramel and topped with fruits like berries, peaches, pineapple and more to add a colorful pop and fruity finish that’s perfect for summer months.  

What are some grilled foods that can complement baked goods this season? 

Grilled fruits like watermelon and peach are a great side dish to complement baked goods at any backyard BBQ. Summer is all about light bites and grilled fruits and veggies give a refreshing feel   that pack a punch with a charred flavor from the grill.  

Are there any other summer trends that can be incorporated into baked goods? 

Baked goods can easily help consumers get through the dog days of summer. While many look to summer treats like popsicles and ice cream to cool down, bakeries can still follow this summer trend by putting their own spin on desserts to beat the heat, such as cake pops. Flavors like orange creamsicle, birthday cake, and brownie offer nostalgic summertime favorites.