Scrumptious Italian Desserts

Touting creamy gelato and richly delicious cakes, Italy produces some of the world's most beloved desserts. Crafted with simple but decadent ingredients, these Italian desserts are truly irresistible.

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  • 1 of 24

    Boccone Dolce Meringue with Chocolate Cream and Berries

    Desserts don't get more decadent than this. Boccone dolce -- Italian for "sweet mouthful" -- features lavish layers of crisp vanilla meringue, drippy chocolate, cloudlike whipped cream, and market-fresh berries.

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    Cherry Gelato

    Meet gelato: ice cream's indulgent Italian cousin. Orange peel and toasted almonds add zippy crunch to this very-cherry version, while pitted dark cherries provide nutrition and color.

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    Chocolate-Hazelnut-Filled Bombolini

    So long, sprinkles and frosting! It's back to basics with these Italian doughnut holes. A package of instant mashed potatoes helps create the batter, while simple sugar and velvety chocolate-hazelnut cream dress them all up.

  • 4 of 24

    Apple-Fig Cake (Torta di Mele)

    Torta di Mele -- apple cake -- was inspired by the abundant apple orchards of Northern Italy. Every happy forkful of this fragrant fig version oozes with warm ginger goodness. Serve with a smear of honey-infused mascarpone.

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    Chocolate Cannoli

    With ricotta cheese, dark chocolate, and zippy orange peel, this version of a quintessential italian dessert marries a melange of delicious flavors.

  • 6 of 24

    Pear Frangipane Crostada

    Bring the intoxicating flavors of Italian bakeries to your kitchen with this pretty almond crostada. Smeared with jam, studded with pears, and sprinkled with almonds, what's not to love?

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    Classic Tiramisu

    Ahh, tiramisu. The iconic Italian dessert continues to evoke oohs and ahhs, thanks to its addictive layers of liqueur-soaked ladyfingers and fluffy mascarpone cheese. Dust the dreamy dessert in cocoa powder to finish.

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    Make Perfect Tiramisu

    The real secret to making fabulous tiramisu? It's all in the chilling time. Check out these quick tips!

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    Coffee-Raspberry Zabaglione Semifreddo

    Zabaglione (a sweet wine custard) meets semifreddo (a semifrozen fruit sorbet) in this delightful Italian dessert. Each forkful features raspberry-lemon sorbet sandwiched between two layers of whipped espresso topping, all on a crumbly amaretto crust.

  • 10 of 24

    Strawberry Granita

    Granitas are intensely fruit-flavored ices popular in southern Italy. This one is zippy, light, and refreshing. Top with a spoonful of homemade lemon cream.

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    Lemon Olive Oil Cake

    Almonds, olive oil, and lip-smacking lemon liven up this light-as-air cake while a topping made of your favorite fruit makes it party-ready.

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    Chocolate-Dipped and Nut-Stuffed Apricots

    Apricots are a staple in Italian cuisine. These chewy little fruit bites make the perfect sweet snack when stuffed with pistaschios and dipped in chocolate. Choose between white or dark chocolate -- or better yet, drizzle in both!

  • 13 of 24

    Tiramisu Semifreddo

    Frozen tiramisu? Sold. Italy's finest flavors -- coffee, vanilla bean, and Kahlua -- come together to create this creamy cool twist. Enjoy the slew of sweet flavors atop a rich ladyfinger crust.

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    Mascarpone Cheesecake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

    For an authentic Italian cheesecake, blend mascarpone with vanilla bean and cool cream cheese. Freeze the filling atop a crunchy amaretti cookie crust, then bedazzle with candylike fruit for a true taste of Italy.

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    Classic Zabaglione

    Light and creamy, this classic custard is infused with sweet Marsala wine and freshly grated nutmeg. The homey dessert tastes fabulous when topped with fresh fruit or simply eaten alone. 

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    Little Hazelnut-Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

    In the Piedmont region of Italy, the duo of chocolate and hazelnuts flavors all kinds of desserts. Serve these sweet little cookie sandwiches with after-dinner espresso.

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    Ricotta Mousse with Berries

    Creamy ricotta cheese flavored with orange peel and orange liqueur is the perfect flavor contrast to a tart but sweet berry mixture.

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    Sweet Ricotta with Amaretti and Fresh Plum Sauce

    Macaroons flavored with sweet almonds are known in Italy as amaretti cookies. They make a delightful topper for this dreamy plum dessert.

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    Lacy Florentines

    Sweet honey, spicy ginger, rich cream, and crisp almonds come together to make these delightful, light-as-air cookies.

  • 20 of 24

    Genoise in Strawberry Vin Santo Sauce

    Genoise (zhen-WAHZ) is a rich, light-texture cake (similar to sponge cake) that originated in Genoa, Italy. Here, the cake is topped with a mouthwatering sauce spiked with Vin Santo, a rich, sweet Italian white wine.

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    Raspberry-Almond Meringues

    These melt-in-your-mouth raspberry and almond meringues are a lovely way to end a hearty meal on a sweet note.

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    Triple-Chocolate Gelato

    Three kinds of chocolate make this oh-so-creamy gelato a no-brainer for chocolate-lovers. Best of all, it has fewer than 200 calories per serving and calls for just six ingredients.

  • 23 of 24

    Cherry Cassata Torte

    This variation of cassata, a traditional Italian dessert often served at weddings, offers a heavenly cherry brandy-spiked ricotta and cream cheese filling flecked with almonds and dried cherries.

  • Next Slideshow All-Time Favorite Italian Recipes

    All-Time Favorite Italian Recipes

    Calling all spaghetti-lovers and pizza purists! You're going to fall for all of our delicious Italian recipes. These traditional dishes are our favorite Italian recipes -- ones you'll want to share, hand down, and save in your recipe box. Sure, we have classics like spaghetti bolognese and baked ziti, but be sure to start with bruschetta and end with tiramisu for the complete Italian experience!
    Begin Slideshow »
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