32 Italian desserts
Try our sweet Italian entertaining ideas, from a show-stopping Amalfi lemon cake to twists on panna cottas and the best tiramisu recipe
Looking for Italian desserts to serve at your next dinner party? Want an easy Italian cake for a summer afternoon tea event? Try our dessert ideas including Italian biscuits to serve with coffee, chocolate tortes and, of course, plenty of panna cotta and tiramisu recipes. Plan a full dinner party with our healthy Italian recipes, Italian starter recipes and more Italian recipes. Check out more Italian desserts with our Italian baking recipes.
Easy Italian dessert recipes
Whip up our smart, authentic version of this classic Italian dessert, made with mascarpone, marsala and savoiardi biscuits soaked in coffee and Tia Maria.
Italian lemon cake
Give our Italian almond and Amalfi lemon cake a go. The Amalfi lemons have a strong intense lemony aroma, and are slightly sweeter than normal lemons. This light cake is seriously moreish and a real crowd pleaser.
Warm molten chocolate and salted caramel tarts
Molten chocolate and salted caramel tarts take a little bit of effort to make, but are sure to impress guests. The recipe comes from Italian restaurant Luca, where it's served with milk ice cream – but vanilla would work well, too.
Sicilian ricotta cake
Wow your dinner party guests with this creamy baked ricotta cake, studded with chocolate chunks.
Italian Easter cake
Give this traditional Italian Easter cake a go this spring – it’s a yeasty bake that's similar to a panettone.
If you’re into Italian sweet treats, you’ll love these homemade cannoli – you’ll need cannoli moulds but it’s worth investing in them.
Budino – an Italian custard dish – is here flavoured with butterscotch, a kick of whisky and a salted caramel topping to make a stylish sweet dessert.
These chocolaty almond biscotti make great edible gifts for the festive season, but are delicious all year round. Make them as a little treat to have with your coffee.
Panna cotta with cherry and ginger sauce
Learn how to make the best version of this Italian dessert. The perfect panna cotta (‘cooked cream’ in Italian) should be just set enough to hold together, but soft and creamy enough to melt in the mouth. Gelatine is the secret to this texture and it can be a tricky ingredient to handle – but follow these simple rules and you’ll have it mastered in no time.
Affogato chocolate mousse
Check out this quick and easy chocolate mousse recipe with espresso for an Italian twist. If you're hosting a dinner party and looking for an indulgent yet easy dessert that can easily be made ahead, try these gluten-free creamy puds – ready in 15 minutes.
Raspberry granita with balsamic caramel
Mix up your caramels and try this raspberry granita with balsamic caramel to get your taste buds tingling. The natural sweetness of the sharp Italian vinegar works brilliantly with the zing of the soft fruit. It totally works so go on, give it a go!
Espresso martini tiramisu
Need a show-stopping Italian dessert? Make our creamy tiramisu with espresso, kahlúa and vodka. This indulgent recipe is easy to make and will be a hit with all your friends.
Perfect for entertaining, try our version of a classic Italian chocolate cake with sponge, chocolate and a splash of booze.
Amalfi lemon syllabub
Try this refreshing lemon dessert from Italian restaurant Bancone in Covent Garden. Bancone's easy recipe makes more lemony granita than you’ll need – store any leftovers in the freezer.
Espresso panna cotta
Try our recipe for silky-smooth espresso panna cotta. This dessert is an ideal way to end any dinner party, it's gluten-free and looks impressive served in martini glasses.
Chocolate and hazelnut meringue semifreddo
The Italian dessert, semifreddo, is an ice cream with a mousse-like texture. This recipe not only looks impressive, but can be made in advance for easy dinner party entertaining. Plus, there's no churning required.
White chocolate panna cotta with stewed rhubarb
White chocolate provides a perfect contrast to the sharpness of the rhubarb in this classic, creamy dessert.
Coffee cake with cappuccino buttercream
Try our super easy coffee slab cake – an American favourite with an Italian twist. This recipe is nut-free and comes with an indulgent cappuccino buttercream, a simple yet moreish cake, perfect for parties, birthdays or just family gatherings. More tray bake recipes here...
Italian hazelnut and chocolate torte
This rich decadent chocolate torte may look tricky but it's so easy to put together for a dinner party. The secret is coating the outside with a layer of crunchy hazelnut and biscuit.
These crunchy biscuits would make a great dessert alternative to serve with coffee. Otherwise, hang them from ribbons as an edible Christmas tree decoration or stack them on a plate and enjoy them with a comforting cup of tea.
Boozy tiramisu bombe
Everyone loves a boozy, coffee-flavoured Italian tiramisu and this is a great easy version, made with shop-bought sponge cake and without raw eggs and shaped like an ice cream bombe.
Marsala, the key flavour in this, is a perfect match for strawberries in this fresh twist on the Italian dessert zabaglione. Don’t over-beat the cream, otherwise combining it with the zabaglione will be difficult. Whisk until it is barely in soft peaks and then gently fold together.
Blood orange polenta drizzle cake
Change up the classic lemon drizzle with juicy blood oranges. Our polenta cake is easy to make and the ideal sweet treat to accompany your morning coffee.
Coconut panna cotta with mango salsa
This classic Italian dessert gets a tropical twist by infusing the cream with coconut and topping with a zingy mango and passionfruit salsa.
Layers of coffee-soaked sponge fingers and whipped mascarpone make for an authentic Italian tiramisu, finished with dark chocolate shavings.
Passion fruit panna cotta
This fruity and super creamy twist on panna cotta is quick and easy to make, plus it can be made easily in advance.
Recreate our easy yet standout semifreddo, where chocolate and amaretto semifreddo is encased in an Italian pandoro bread and topped with crunchy pistachios.
Panettone is a classic Italian Christmas bake, traditionally slow-proved for 72 hours. We've used fast-action yeast to create an easy, make-at-home version.
This Italian dessert is popular for its chewy texture, with pistachios, almonds and dried fruits offering a nutty and sweet flavour.
Rhubarb frangipane cake
This recipe from Italian restaurant Manteca pairs tangy rhubarb with ground almonds in this nutty sponge. Serve with crème fraîche for an easy dessert.
Vanilla panna cotta
Try this super-simple, super-creamy, classic Italian dessert – it's the ideal way to impress guests at your next dinner party.
Italian chocolate hazelnut cake
Torta alla nocciola, an Italian chocolate hazelnut cake, celebrates a classic combination and is deliciously indulgent. It makes for a great dinner party dessert.
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