Italian Dessert Recipes

Tiramisu, gelato, ricotta cheesecake, and a delightful assortment of Italian cookies. Get recipes for favorite Italian-style desserts.

Staff Picks

Chef John's Lemon Ice

Rating: Unrated
Using the classic Italian granita technique makes this an easy and refreshing summer treat. I love the contrast between that light texture and bright, vibrant flavor.
Sponsored By Food Wishes

Emily's Famous Tiramisu

Rating: Unrated
If you really want an all-out fancy restaurant style tiramisu with all the fixin's this is the one. People will speak of this for years to come. You can also make it in a bowl like a trifle!


Rating: Unrated
Ana and Lydia's cannoli, recipe invented on July 31st, 2005. I spent a lot of time looking for a good recipe for cannoli shells and filling. Since no two were alike, and since instructions were a bit sketchy, I worked with a friend to come up with a good recipe, including some tips that we came up with along the way. Special equipment is needed such as cannoli tubes, a pasta machine and a pastry bag to help make these cannoli come out just like the ones at Italian restaurants and bakeries. Start with 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar, and then add more to taste.

Chocolate Hazelnut Tartufo

Rating: Unrated
My variation on a delicious dessert we experienced in Rome this spring. Called tartufo because it resembles a truffle.

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Rating: Unrated
A crisp, not too sweet chocolate cookie. Wonderful with coffee. Stores very well.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Stewed Strawberries

Rating: Unrated
Gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, egg-free, and nut-free dessert.

Rose Galletta's Ricotta Pie

Rating: Unrated
Aunt Rose's creamy custard cheese pie, enjoyed with coffee and conversation after an Italian Sunday dinner!

Fragola Pazzo (Crazy Strawberry)

Rating: Unrated
This is an Italian dessert that goes great with pasta. As the name suggests, it's a crazy combination but surprisingly excellent. Someone always asks me for the recipe when I make it. Be sure to use a good quality balsamic vinegar with this dish or you will not have as good results.

Panna Cotta

Rating: Unrated
A traditional, easy, and delicious Italian custard. I had a difficult time finding a good and easy recipe on the internet, so I made up my own recipe. It tastes just like the panna cotta served at Italian restaurants. Serve with warm hot fudge sauce and fresh raspberries on top. This keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.

Italian Wedding Cookies III

Rating: Unrated
Also sometimes called 'Mexican wedding cookie', 'Russian tea cakes', or 'butterballs', can also be made into crescents. You can also substitute pecans and they are very good as well. This is the best version of these I have ever seen, it was given me by a friend who grew up in central Europe.

Cannoli Crumb Pie

Rating: Unrated
When my husband's cousin, Nino, was visiting us from Chioggia, Italy, he made us this delicious pie called "Torta Sbriciolata Ricotta e Chioccolato", which translates to crumbly cake with ricotta and chocolate. Now, that's a mouthful ... so I call my version "Cannoli Crumb Pie". It's so quick and easy to make. My family loves it!

Italian Cream Cheese and Ricotta Cheesecake

Rating: Unrated
This is my grandmother's cheesecake recipe passed down to my entire family. It's the best. I can't believe I'm sharing it, but everyone needs to know how to make an authentic Italian cheesecake. It is creamy and not thick, which is why our family LOVES it! For best results, do NOT substitute any ingredients with low-fat unless you've made it before and want to experiment.

Inspiration and Ideas

Panna Cotta

"This tasted just like the panna cotta I fell in love with in Italy! Thank you for the wonderful and easy recipe." – Marianne J Ball

Italian Almond Cookies II

Rating: Unrated

This cookie is very chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside, BUT the entire outside is coated in sliced almonds for a fantastic look and is absolutely delicious. It is well worth the effort.