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18 Italian desserts to satisfy your sugar cravings

18 Italian desserts to satisfy your sugar cravings

Nothing beats the level of satisfaction when there’s that sweetness added right at the end of your meal. 

Yes, I’m talking about desserts!

When it comes to the sweet course, Italian sweets have a special place in my heart. However, enjoying them requires me to visit a fancy restaurant and risk some bucks down the line.

I know. I know. It doesn’t sound that much of enjoyment, does it?

So when I found out that I can have my favorite Italian desserts at home, I tried them ever so quickly. Until then, disappointment has no place!

From cookies and cakes to ice cream and doughnuts, I’ve rounded up fourteen of the most fulfilling Italian dessert recipes that can satisfy any of your sugar cravings. 


Among those traditional Italian desserts, this cream cake is what I enjoy the most. 

The cake’s taste is topnotch, thanks to the perfect combination of the ingredients. The brown sugar gets added to the batter with a touch of almond extract, increasing its depth of flavor. 

It also features a toasted coconut garnish that adds that spectacular flavor to the cake. 

Full details of the recipe here.

2. Crema pasticcera

Making this Italian pastry cream is so straightforward. It also has simple ingredients such as eggssugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and milk

Even if it’s vanilla-based, the possibilities with this pastry cream are endless. You can tweak its flavor by substituting vanilla with lemon zest, orange zest, limoncello, or your liquor of choice. 

Here’s a tip: Use full-fat milk for a richer and creamier taste to your pastry cream. 

Get the recipe here

3. Limoncello ricotta cake

This limoncello ricotta cake is sure to be a lovely addition to your dessert recipe box!

The ricotta cheese is the star of this recipe. This ingredient establishes the moist textures and resists the cake’s creaminess while the limoncello offers a lemony flavor and boosts the lemon zest flavors.
No limoncello on hand? Substitute them with lemon juice!

Get the recipe here

4. Tiramisu

This classic Italian dessert is made with mascarpone cheese and espresso along with a cocoa powder on top. Mamma mia!

If you want to serve this dessert to kids or people sensitive to caffeine, you can use those decaffeinated or use hot cocoa instead of coffee.

Unlock this recipe here.

5. Struffoli Italian honey balls

The fragrance, texture, and mild sweetness of these struffoli Italian honey balls are sure to keep everyone drooling at the holiday table.

They’re dipped in a lemon honey syrup and topped with festive sprinkles such as candied cherries or roasted hazelnuts. Adding limoncello to the mixture blends well with the syrup or if you don’t have them in the kitchen, rum or brandy will do. 

Check out the recipe here.

6. Frittele

This version of Frittele is so soft and lemon-flavored that it’s ready to melt in your mouth. If you’re unfamiliar with this it, this Italian doughnut is a go-to treat during holidays.  

To make them, you need milk, flour, eggs, yeast, butter, orange zest, and sugar for coating. 

For non-fried fans, baking these doughnuts works fine too. BUT fried ones are still the best. 

Here’s the recipe

7. Italian biscotti

Looking for a tasty treat to dunk in your coffee or tea? Your search is over! 

This traditional Italian biscotti cookie features crispiness on the edges and softness in the center. It’s packed with flavor from almondshoney, and orange zest. 

If you want something special, try dipping them with melted chocolate and see if you can endure its deliciousness.

Check out the recipe here

8. Italian pignoli cookies

These pignoli cookies are easy to put together and require only five ingredients to make.

They’re also a perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray or a great treat to satiate your sudden cookie cravings. Finally, they’re also chewy and super tasty!

If you make a large batch, better know how to store them! Learn how to keep them fresh here.

9. Italian cookies

Another cookie recipe I’m going to share with you is these Italian cookies dipped in creamy glaze and topped with colorful sprinkles. 

It’s a festive cookie recipe suitable for any occasion, especially for your next family get-together. It mixes eggs, sugar, almond, anise, flour, milk, and baking powder. 

Check out the recipe

10. Italian wedding cookies

These Italian wedding cookies will kick your cookie craving and fill your cookie jar in no time. 

It’s easy to make: Mix the ingredients to create a dough, add the almonds for crunch, bake them, and cover them with powdered sugar

Just make sure that your cookies are completely cooled when you roll them in sugar to avoid a hot mess.

Get the recipe here.

11. Pizzelle cookies

These waffle-shaped cookies are thin, crispy, and addicting!

The secret to perfect pizzelle lies within the rest of the baking process. If done perfectly, you’re going to wow your family and guests at the table! 

You can make these cookies using pizzelle iron. If you haven’t owned one, probably it’s a perfect time. 

Here’s the recipe.

12. Spumoni ice cream terrine

Okay, enough with cookies. Let’s talk about ice cream!

You might be intimidated by its ingredients but trust me, eating this three-layered ice cream (cherry, pistachio, and chocolate) is worth a shot! It’s super creamy and bursting with different flavors!

Quick tip: You can only make this with the help of an ice cream maker, so better secure one.

Unlock all the ingredients of the recipe here

13. Cannoli

There are two important parts of this treat: the cream and the shells. 

Making the shell requires you to mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, butter, egg, Marsala wine, and vinegar. While the filling consists of heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon and orange zest, and the pistachio flavor. 

Though it takes time and effort to create, the product is totally worth it. 

Here’s the recipe

14. Classic vanilla bean gelato

Who loves to eat gelato after a meal? ME! And if you’re a gelato fan as I am, this recipe should be your next dessert! 

It boasts a creamy, intense, rich, and satisfying flavor that differs from your regular ice cream

Quick tip: Take your gelato out to room temperature before serving to soften it and make it easier to scoop.

Get the recipe here.

15. Semifreddo al torrone

Try this rich and decadent Italian sweet for your upcoming dessert party, or bring it to the table alongside luscious chocolate sauce to impress those unexpected guests. It’s also great during special holidays or when your sugar craving strikes any day of the week.  

A touch of eggs and amaretto sets it apart from other semifreddo al torrone recipes you may have tried. If you’re concerned about eating raw or undercooked eggs, use pasteurized eggs instead of those fresh ones.

Here’s the recipe.

16. Pistachio amaretti

Give your amaretti cookies an exciting spin with pistachios in this delectable and gluten-free Italian dessert. Expect a crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside feel, which can be elevated even more with a cup of coffee. 

Try serving these sweet treats during holidays or any time you need a light dessert or brunch treat to round out your meal. 

Get the recipe here.

17. Rose and yogurt panna cotta

Calling all Italian dessert lovers! You’ve got to make this panna cotta! This recipe includes tangy yogurt in the base that helps offset the sweetness of the rose syrup. 

And the best part? This tempting dessert can be made two days ahead. You can decorate it with basil seeds, raisins, blackberries, and pistachios for a nice crunch. 

More details about this recipe here.

18. Chocolate torta Caprese

This torta Caprese comes with an insanely and creamy mouthfeel born from a combination of melted butter and bittersweet chocolate enhanced with vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt. 

One thing to note about this cake—it’s absolutely bursting with chocolate flavor! It also can be made up a day ahead, making it the perfect addition to your Italian dessert recipe collection. 

Don’t forget the confectioners’ sugar and almond-infused whipped cream for decoration. 

Get the recipe here.

The bottom line

You can’t call it a meal without the sweets. 

So next time you share a meal around the dinner table with family, be sure to conclude it with any of the Italian desserts I’ve come up with to ensure that level of satisfaction only these sweets are known to provide! 

18 BEST Italian Dessert Recipe Assortment

18 BEST Italian Dessert Recipe Assortment

Here's a list of Italian desserts you can make at home. Follow this guide to unlock them all along with the tips and tricks of creating these treats.


  • Italian cream cake
  • Crema pasticcera
  • Limoncello ricotta cake
  • Tiramisu
  • Struffoli Italian honey balls
  • Frittele
  • Italian biscotti
  • Italian pignoli cookies
  • Italian cookies
  • Italian wedding cookies
  • Pizzelle cookies
  • Spumoni ice cream terrine
  • Cannoli
  • Classic vanilla bean gelato
  • Semifreddo al torrone
  • Pistachio amaretti
  • Rose and yogurt panna cotta
  • Chocolate torta Caprese


  1. Choose a few recipes to try. 
  2. Gather the ingredients. 
  3. Start making one of them at home.
  4. Serve them with your favorite side.

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