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Have You Tried This Nostalgic No-Bake Treat?

Summer is a time for fun, freedom and easy living. That goes for how we eat as much as when we take vacation. During a summer heat wave, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. Or stove. Or toaster, even. When it's too darn hot outside to even think of cooking, no-bake desserts are the way to go. The best dessert in summer is one that takes no time to make, and is cold and delicious. We've got the perfect summer treat with Kool-Aid pie.

What is Kool-Aid Pie?

Using Kool-Aid as more than just a drink is pretty popular, especially in the South. There are koolickles (pickles soaked in Kool-Aid), snow cones and gummy bears, or you can add it to popcorn, cupcake frosting and pasta. Kool-Aid pie uses the instant powder with three other ingredients for a sweet dessert that is nostalgic and tasty. Better yet, this easy recipe is one that you can turn over to the kids and let them make it all by themselves.

The history of Kool-Aid pie is unclear. Although Edwin Perkins invented Kool-Aid in 1927, it's not until the 70s that we find a print recipe for the dish. The Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina's newspaper, found a brief mention of the dessert in 1974 in the Chicago Defender paper. The paper found stories that the recipe had been around since maybe the 1950s, although evidence was hard to come by:

"A frustrated Kool-Aid pie fan in 1999 complained to the Columbus Dispatch that her cravings had gone unfulfilled since the 1950s, when her friend lost a 20-year old Kool-Aid packet with a pie recipe on its back side. "We called the Kool-Aid company, but no one there knew about it," she wrote. (Another reader supplied the desired recipe, adding "This is in my recipe card file. I haven't tried it.)"

The easy pie has gained in popularity over the past few years; you can scroll through an endless stream of social media posts shared by fans.


How To Make Kool-Aid Pie

A basic Kool-Aid pie recipe calls for four ingredients:

  • One pkg of Kool-Aid drink mix
  • One 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • One small container of frozen whipped topping like Cool Whip
  • One graham cracker pie crust

You can use the Kool-Aid flavor of your choice; either the sweetened or unsweetened Kool-Aid works here.

To make the pie, first mix the condensed milk, whipped topping and Kool-Aid powder together in a mixing bowl. Then scoop the mixture into the graham cracker crust and smooth it out. Refrigerate for at least two hours, then serve.

With all the different Kool-Aid flavors, you can go wild and try different variations. Use pink lemonade and top with cute half-circles of lemon. Or for a patriotic treat, try the strawberry Kool-Aid in the pie mix and top with blueberries and more whipped topping.

This dessert recipe is so simple that young kids can help and older kids can make it on their own. Because it's a no bake pie, there's no oven or stove involved. And all the Kool-Aid flavors mean that kids can have fun coming up with wild ideas for what kind of pie to make.

Watch: Out of Brown Sugar? Here Are Our 6 Favorite Substitutions