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Italian Dessert Recipes: 16 Classic Recipes

Italian Dessert Recipes: 16 Classic Recipes

Italian desserts vary widely from simple and rustic to luscious and dreamy—but one thing’s for sure: they’re all delicious. Treat your loved ones with these 16 classic Italian dessert recipes!

16 Classic Italian Dessert Recipes // FoodNouveau.com

La dolce vita—the sweet life. It’s something Italian desserts celebrate with ease. From cheesecake to cannoli and gelato to tiramisu, you are probably already very familiar with some of the most popular desserts from Italy. And while these are “must makes” for anyone who loves dessert, you will also want to try some of the lesser-known Italian sweets.

Do not overlook rustic desserts like Lemon Polenta Cake, Torta di Nocciole, or Italian Chocolate Bread Cake. Their beauty specifically resides in their simplicity: they’re very easy to make and so full of flavor—perfect for an afternoon cup of tea or a casual dessert.

But it’s also hard to resist the showstopper desserts like Zuccotto, Budino, or Pistachio Roll Cake! And who can say no to Bomboloni stuffed with luscious Italian pastry cream? Not me!

The only solution? Trying them all!


1. Sicilian Cannoli

by Mangia Bedda

Sicilian Cannoli is such an iconic Italian dessert recipe and with good reason: the presentation is spectacular and the contrast between the crunchy, sweet shell and the rich, creamy sweetened ricotta filling is to die for. Follow step-by-step instructions to learn how to make your own cannoli shells. There’s nothing like homemade!

Sicilian Cannoli by Mangia Bedda

2. Classic Tiramisu

by Veronika’s Kitchen

Tiramisu is one of the most renowned Italian desserts and it’s not hard to see why: it’s rich, creamy, and supremely satisfying to eat. This delicious Italian no-bake dessert is made with espresso dipped ladyfingers layered with rich and creamy mascarpone filling, and topped with cocoa powder. Learn how to make it the authentic way!

Classic Tiramisu by Veronika's Kitchen

3. Salted Caramel Budino

by Good Life Eats

This Salted Caramel Budino recipe is one of those irresistible but easy Italian dessert recipes! It features a cookie crust that’s topped with vanilla pudding and then a layer of homemade caramel sauce. It’s a festive, make-ahead dessert that promises to satisfy the biggest dessert fans.

Salted Caramel Budino by Good Life Eats

4. Orange Maple Panna Cotta

by Food Nouveau

This easy Orange Maple Panna Cotta is topped with bright citrus pieces and a crunchy maple crumble. An elegant combination of flavors and textures!

Orange Maple Panna Cotta by Food Nouveau

5. Bomboloni (Italian Doughnuts)

by Inside the Rustic Kitchen

Soft and light Italian Bomboloni Doughnuts rolled in sugar and filled with Italian pastry cream (crema pasticciera). These doughnuts are insanely delicious and make such a special treat!

Bomboloni (Italian Doughnuts) by Inside the Rustic Kitchen

6. Crostata di Frutta

by Inside the Rustic Kitchen

This Crostata di Frutta is such a beautiful, classic Italian dessert recipe. Made with flaky and sweet shortcrust pastry, vanilla pastry cream, and topped with fresh fruit and apricot jam. Fresh, light, and delicious!

Crostata di Frutta by Inside the Rustic Kitchen

7. Raspberry Pistachio Semifreddo

by Food Nouveau

Think of this Raspberry Pistachio Semifreddo as a spectacularly elegant no-churn ice cream. It’s gorgeous, easy-to-make, and memorable—and best of all, it can be made year-round using frozen berries!

Raspberry Pistachio Semifreddo by Food Nouveau

8. Lemon Polenta Cake

by Family Style Food

Lemon Polenta Cake is a rustic Italian-style cake made with whole-grain cornmeal and lots of fresh lemon. Serve it with a simple dusting of powdered sugar, or make it festive by topping it with fresh fruits.

Lemon Polenta Cake by Family Style Food

9. Torta di Mele (Italian Apple Cake)

by The Petite Cook

Torta di Mele, aka classic Italian apple cake, is soft and fluffy, and easy to make with just 8 ingredients!

Torta di Mele (Italian Apple Cake) by The Petite Cook

10. Ricotta Pistachio Roll Cake

by Mangia Bedda

Ricotta Pistachio Roll Cake, a beautiful yet simple dessert with a sweet ricotta filling reminiscent of your favorite Sicilian dessert, cannoli! Follow my easy step-by-step instructions for making the perfect, no-fail rolled cake.

Ricotta Pistachio Roll Cake by Mangia Bedda

11. Sorrento Double Lemon Cake

by Family Food Style

This zesty and super moist lemon cake recipe is inspired by the Italian Amalfi coast. The cake is infused with layers of fresh lemon and decorated with a delicious limoncello-spiked glaze. Perfect as a sweet ending for a festive brunch!

Sorrento Double Lemon Cake by Family Food Style

12. Torta di Nocciole (Hazelnut Cake)

by Food Nouveau

Italian hazelnut cake is super easy to make, yet it tastes elegant, rich, hearty, and comforting. Great on its own, but just fantastic with a spoonful of homemade chocolate hazelnut spread.

Torta di Nocciole by Food Nouveau

13. Italian Chocolate Bread Cake

by Occasionally Eggs

Italian Chocolate Bread Cake is a traditional northern Italian recipe made with stale bread, cocoa, cookies, and raisins. This vegan version made with almond milk is just as scrumptious as the original recipe!

Italian Chocolate Bread Cake by Occasionally Eggs

14. Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

by Ask Chef Dennis

Learn the secret to making a delicious Italian Cheesecake using ricotta and mascarpone. Make this dessert even more spectacular by topping it with fresh berries or sliced citrus fruits. It’s a crowd-pleaser!

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake by Ask Chef Dennis

15. Zuccotto (Italian Mousse Cake)

by Christina’s Cucina

Zuccotto is an impressive-looking Italian dessert that’s surprisingly easy to make! The dessert’s spectacular presentation is guaranteed to wow your guests and its layers of cake, cream, and chocolate will delight everyone!

Zuccotto (Italian Dessert Cake) by Christina's Cucina

16. Dark Chocolate Gelato

by Food Nouveau

This indulgent gelato is for true chocoholics: a spoonful provides a rich, strong hit of cocoa, reminiscent of biting into a square of 70% chocolate. Learn how to make the creamiest gelati with the help of additional resources, including a video class!

Dark Chocolate Gelato by Food Nouveau

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