Top Italian Desserts to Try

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or you just love to try new desserts wherever possible, there’s every reason to add Italian desserts to your list of ‘must makes.’ Aside from being divine, you can easily consider Italian desserts as science and fine art, all the while enabling you to test your dessert making skills to the limit. If you’re ready for a challenge and you can’t wait for your friends and family to try your creation, here are five delicious Italian desserts to make in your home kitchen.  And if you needs some tips on baking then make sure to read our article here.


If you can’t order Tiramisu at your local Italian eatery, it’s not an authentic Italian experience! Tiramisu, translating to “pick me up” has a history spanning back as early as the 17th century. While its more solid history is from the 1960s, there are many reasons to believe this coffee, cocoa, and sweet mascarpone dessert was enjoyed for hundreds of years prior.

It’s a popular dessert on any Italian menu and is served in a cake style, in a cup, or in a glass. While it traditionally consists of mascarpone, coffee, and cocoa, modern variations now include strawberries, hazelnut spread such as Nutella, and even nuts. True to its name, it’s certainly a pick-me-up for those with a sweet tooth!

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is one of those desserts that can either make or break you. Such is the margin of error that many Italian restaurants don’t even put it on their menu – even if the Italian chef is an expert. A good Panna Cotta, which is made with thick cream, gelatin, sugar, and infused spices, is supposed to wobble on a plate. It’s a standalone dessert served with coulis or a rich sauce, and if it doesn’t wobble, you’re in trouble.

Many a cooking show contestant has been taken down by this dangerous dessert, but if you find a chef who can prepare them with 100 percent consistent results, keep them on!


If you want your kids to enjoy Italian desserts as much as you do, or you just love a nice, vibrant dessert, it might be time to make a Cassata. This bright green delight is made as either one large cake or several small ones known as Cassatine.

It’s made of citrus fruit, ricotta, and almonds – all traditional Sicilian ingredients. To make the perfect Cassata, you add a layer of sponge with sheep milk ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, marzipan, and icing. The final product is then covered with candied fruits which makes it stand out as a fun and vibrant sweet treat.


If you’re not familiar with Italian cuisine, you may not have heard of Cantucci. However, you may have heard of Biscotti which is the same thing. These little twice-baked biscuits are served at the end of the meal. They’re not strictly a dessert, but they feature nuts such as almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts, and are dipped in dessert wine to soften them.


If you tire of the same old ice cream dessert, it might be time for a change. While ice cream is undoubtedly one of the most common frozen desserts, gelato is becoming more popular as the years go by. In fact, it’s becoming so much easier to find ice cream parlors that sell gelato.  With its popularity booming, you will find many gelato making/tasting competitions.

Gelato is made with milk, cream, and sugar, and is then flavored with fruit and nut puree, or any other flavoring you desire. It has less air, less fat, and more flavor than traditional ice cream, and is dense, rich and delicious. In Italy, gelato must have at least 3.5 percent butterfat. It’s actually the law. However, the United States has no such law, so the percentage can vary depending on where you buy it from. You can buy gelato on a cone, in a cup, on a stick, in a pie, a cake, or even in a sandwich.