Chef John's Desserts

Dessert recipes provided by Chef John.

Staff Picks

Lace Cookies (Florentine Cookies)

These Florentine lace cookies are simple to make and gorgeous to look at. This cookie technique is versatile and adaptable to any kinds of nuts or chocolate. They also keep pretty well so they're perfect if you're looking for an idea for an edible holiday gift for any cookie lover on your list--just stack them up in a box and tie them with a bow!

Chocolate Puddino

This Italian-style pudding recipe has a gloriously soft and silky texture.

How to Make Chocolate Truffles

Rating: 4.73 stars
If you've never made homemade truffles before, these are way easier than you think, and make for an impressive edible gift. I ended up doing a gingerbread spice version, which is chef-speak for pumpkin spice, but the fun part is getting to flavor these any way you like! To guarantee the perfect ganache, use a scale to make sure you match 60% of the chocolate's weight in cream.

Chef John's Russian Tea Cakes

Rating: 4.72 stars
As the old joke goes, these Russian tea cakes might not be Russian, but at least they're not cakes. No one knows exactly how these came to be known as Russian tea cakes but, nevertheless, they are quite delicious.

Chef John's Chocolate Souffle

Rating: 4.81 stars
These visually impressive individual chocolate soufflés are perfect for your special someone. If you're serving more people, the recipe should scale up just fine.

Chocolate Cream Puff Swans

Rating: 4.67 stars
A delicious and elegant way to say I love you.

Chef John's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: 4.55 stars
Crispy around the edges, chewy and chocolaty in the middle, and thin, oh so thin. My 'secret' formula has been adapted from Alton Brown's famous, 'The Thin' recipe, and is fairly foolproof. The only real variable is the baking time, since we all scoop slightly different amounts. And yes, of course you can add nuts to yours!

Chef John's Zabaglione

Rating: 4.32 stars
In this classic Italian dessert, sweet, juicy fruit is enveloped in a rich but impossibly light custard.

Chef John's Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Rating: 4.79 stars
This is so perfect in the summer, and not just because it's easy and refreshing. All that amazing seasonal fruit gives you the perfect reason…excuse…to make these easy treats. If you start your panna cotta the day before you want to eat it, this classic Italian recipe is about as simple as it gets.

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream

Rating: 4.51 stars
The key to a great pastry cream is using the minimum of starch. You need enough so the cream holds a shape, but not so much it interferes with the flavor. This version uses cornstarch; just be careful not to keep cooking it once it has thickened. This is perfect in Napoleons, pies, tarts, or cakes.

Butterscotch Budino

Rating: 4.62 stars
I'm gonna show you my take on this amazing Italian custard pudding. Above and beyond that rich and decadent butterscotch flavor, the texture here is unbelievable. To say it's smooth and luxurious doesn't come close to doing it justice. Serve as-is, with whipped cream, or topped with caramel sauce and flaky sea salt.

"Burnt" Basque Cheesecake

Rating: 4.8 stars
I rarely post a trendy recipe while it's still trendy. But this 'burnt' cheesecake method deserved the hype; baking it in a very hot oven delivers a beautiful, dark exterior full of bittersweet notes that make the light, creamy cheesecake interior seem even more rich and flavorful. Plus, this method is just plain easier--just remember the parchment paper. So, if you've not had much luck with traditional cheesecake methods, you should stop trying and make this exclusively.

Inspiration and Ideas

Discover What Makes Chef John's Brownies Truly the Best

Yes, really! The best! These brownies deliver the Holy Trinity of brownie perfection—a crispy, flaky top, chewy edges, and a fudgy center.

Russian Honey Cake

Rating: Unrated
There are 3 different ways to make this cake…the hard way, the harder way, and the way we're gonna do it: the hardest way. Because it's that worth it.

New York-Style Cheesecake

Rating: 4.71 stars

This is my favorite recipe for New York-style cheesecake, and includes a great technique for letting the citrus-kissed cake finish in the oven, so that no crack forms when the cake cools.