30 Desserts That Go With Italian Food


Quick Answer: What Desserts go With Italian Food?

Some of the best desserts that go with Italian food are— delectable cookies like Biscotti, Italian Lemon Drop Cookies, Italian Ricotta Cookies, and others; beautiful cakes like Tiramisu Cheesecake, Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue Cake, Ricotta Cake, and others; frozen desserts like Semifreddo, Granita, and others; Tarts like Fruit Tart and Peach Tart; and Italian delights like Panna Cotta, Tiramisu, Italian Hot Chocolate, Cornetti and others. Read to know more!

Here are the 30 most phenomenal desserts that fit well with Italian food and deliver a flavorful knockout effect!

I love everything about Italy, especially its food and wine.

And if there is one thing this fan has learned from Italian culture, it is how to pair food with the perfect drink and dessert. Therefore I bring to you this list of the best desserts that go with Italian food. 

So, let’s get to it. Shall we?

Desserts that go with Italian Food: Quick Table

RecipeCalories (per 100 gm)Preparation Time
Panna Cotta257 255 min
Semifreddo322.3390 min
Granita4510 min
Biscotti45340 min
Tiramisu28310 min
Gelato128180 min
Fruit Tart35055 min
Italian Hot Chocolate7615 min
Zabaglione25580 min
Cannolis25490 min
Tiramisu Cheesecake300300 min
Bomboloni360441 min
Italian Lemon Drop Cookies27222 min
Lemon Bars430255 min
Affogato47 5 min
Sorbet12415 min
Italian Ricotta CookiesNA80 min
Chocolate Cake37145 min
Italian Hazelnut CookiesNA95 min
Amaretti483.340 min
Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue Cake430240 min
Cheesecake Brownie 37860 min
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake34255 min
Crostata241.550 min
Cornetti35628 hrs 15 min
Ricotta Cake28267 min
Lemon Cake29760 min
Panettone French ToastNA15 min
Italian Trifle NA145 min
Peach Tart25055 min

1. Panna Cotta

Total Calories (per 100g): 257

Total Preparation Time: 255 minutes

Panna Cotta translates to ‘cooked cream’ and is made from sweetened cream that has been moulded after the addition of gelatin.

It can be made in simple flavors like vanilla, chocolate, or fruit flavors; or extraordinary flavors like chamomile, double coffee, or Negroni.

It will suit the flavor scheme of an Italian meal.

Here is an incredible recipe by The Cooking Foodie

2. Semifreddo

Total Calories (per 100g): 322.3

Total Preparation Time: 390 minutes

Another cold dessert that will tango well after a delectable Italian dinner.

Semifreddo means ‘half frozen’ and can be said to be a cross between a mousse and ice cream. However, unlike the two, semifreddo is moulded and sliced like a bread loaf.

It can be prepared in several flavors.

Check out this quick recipe by Home Cooking Adventure

3. Granita

Total Calories (per 100g): 45

Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Do not confuse it with a sorbet— Granita is a semi-frozen dessert with a delightful crystalline and smooth texture.

Prepared from flavored sugar water, it is simpler to create as it requires no extra machine and can have a wide range of flavors.

It’s perfect for a cranky hot day!

Here is an easy recipe by Food Wishes

4. Biscotti

Total Calories (per 100g): 453

Total Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Biscotti are exceptionally crunchy cookies flavored from almonds. It is a common dessert served after an Italian meal, on the side of any drink.

Deriving a lip-smacking taste from brown sugar and toasted almonds, it is dipped in chocolate to create a mesmerizing sweet bite!

Twice-baked, it’s a wholesome dessert.

Check out this quick recipe by Babish Culinary Universe

5. Tiramisu

Total Calories (per 100g): 283

Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes

There has been a recent surge in the appearance of Tiramisu on meal tables due to its elegant presence!

Tiramisu is prepared from layering sponge fingers soaked in espresso under a creamy sheet of sweet mascarpone and is finished with a dusting of cocoa powder.

It perfectly fits in an Italian menu.

Here is a simple recipe by Preppy Kitchen

6. Gelato

Total calories (per 100g): 128

Total preparation time: 180 minutes

Ditch your basic ice cream and go for a nice bowl of Gelato for dessert after an authentic Italian meal.

Gelato is healthier than the average American ice cream and is way more dense and creamy.

With a satisfying smoothness, it can be prepared in a wide variety of flavors.

Check out this easy recipe by Bigger Bolder Baking

7. Fruit Tart

Total Calories (per 100g): 350

Total Preparation Time: 55 minutes

Fruit Tart is a popular dessert because of its wholesome flavor profile and aesthetic visuals.

It consists of a crisp sweet pastry shell that is filled with creamy delectable custard and is topped with various beautiful sliced fruits.

All of this makes it a gorgeous pairing for Italian cuisine.

Here is an easy recipe by Preppy Kitchen

8. Italian Hot Chocolate

Total Calories (per 100g): 76

Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Nothing feels more gratifying than finishing a tummy-pleasing Italian dinner with a cup of hot Italian coco.

Italian Hot Chocolate is immensely thick and creamy; its dense characteristic gives it a thick chocolate soup-like texture.

You’d be addicted to this indulgence and keep on serving it throughout the winters.

Check out this simple recipe by The Cooking Foodie

9. Zabaglione

Total calories (per 100g): 255

Total preparation time: 80 minutes

Are you looking for an ecstatic booze-based dessert for an all-adult Italian feast? Then this will be an excellent choice.

Zabaglione is yet another Italian dessert. It is created from egg yolk, caster sugar, and sweet wine.

It is indeed an ‘elegante’ delicacy that tangos well with Italian cuisine.

Here is a quick recipe by Food Wishes

10. Cannolis

Total Calories (per 100g): 254

Total Preparation Time: 90 minutes

Cannolis would be perfection!

These are tubular-shaped crispy pastry shells that contain a creamy ricotta filling. The filling is often dotted with chocolate chips or pistachios.

As a dessert, it adds a delectable sweet crunch to the meal and goes well with the simple flavors of Italian food.

Check out this easy recipe by Preppy Kitchen

11. Tiramisu Cheesecake

Total Calories (per 100g): 300

Total Preparation Time: 300 minutes

This one is a miraculous combination of classic cheesecake and iconic tiramisu.

It is creamy, coffee-flavored, and has white chocolate whipped topping. It’s finished with a dusting of cocoa powder.

DIY recipe—

12. Bomboloni

Total Calories (per 100g): 360

Total Preparation Time: 441 minutes

Bomboloni is a famous Italian doughnut that’s just wayyy too irresistible.

The soft, round buns are fried till golden brown, and then the creamy pastry filling is piped into them.

DIY recipe—

13. Italian Lemon Drop Cookies

Total Calories (per 100g): 272

Total Preparation Time: 22 minutes

Lemony desserts act as a palate cleanser after a meal and therefore must be preferred.

These cookies burst with bright citrusy flavor and are coated with sweet lemon glaze.

DIY recipe—

14. Lemon Bars

Total Calories (per 100g): 430

Total Preparation Time: 255 minutes

Another lemon-based delicacy to give your Italian feast a perfect ending!

Lemon bars consist of a lemon curd filling, which is thick and creamy and sits gracefully over a buttery shortbread.

DIY recipe—

15. Affogato

Total Calories (per 100g): 47

Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Affogato is made from combining two beloved items— coffee and ice cream.

It is created by drowning a scoop of vanilla gelato/ice cream in a shot (or two) of hot espresso.

DIY recipe—

16. Sorbet

Total Calories (per 100g): 124

Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes

A dairy-free dessert alternative— Sorbets taste refreshing after a flavorful Italian meal.

This cold dessert is fashioned out of sweetened water that is flavored with fruit juice or puree.

DIY recipe—

17. Italian Ricotta Cookies

Total Preparation Time: 80 minutes

Planning a holiday meal? Add these festive cookies to the menu!

Italian Ricotta cookies are moist and soft like cake and are enveloped in a simple and sweet glaze.

These are finished with a topping of colorful sprinkles.

DIY recipe—

18. Chocolate Cake

Total Calories (per 100g): 371

Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes

If experimenting with dessert isn’t your thing, then you can always go with a classic chocolate cake.

Rich in chocolate flavor with a lovely moist texture— it’ll go well with Italian food.

DIY recipe—

19. Italian Hazelnut Cookies

Total Preparation Time: 95 minutes

Everyone finds small things cute and enticing. Hence my contention— these will steal the show.

Italian Hazelnut Cookies have a melt-in-mouth texture and are fashioned by sandwiching a bit of dark chocolate between two hazelnut cookies.

DIY recipe—

20. Amaretti

Total Calories (per 100g): 483.3

Total Preparation Time: 40 minutes

With a perfect mix of crisp outside and soft, chewy inside texture— these cookies are quite remarkable.

Its almond flavor is mesmerizing and will beautifully blend with Italian cuisine.

DIY recipe—

21. Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue Cake

Total Calories (per 100g): 430

Total Preparation Time: 240 minutes

Often called ‘the Beast’ by the pastry chefs because of its larger-than-life presence— Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue Cake is a dreamy dessert.

It’s created from chocolate-hazelnut meringue and whipped cream.

DIY recipe link by food and wine

22. Cheesecake Brownie

Total Calories (per 100g): 378

Total Preparation Time: 60 minutes

A delicious combination of rich, fudgy chocolate brownie with a smooth, creamy cheesecake— Cheesecake Brownie is an epic treat.

The flavors of the cheese cream and chocolate balance each other.

DIY recipe—

23. Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Total Calories (per 100g): 342

Total Preparation Time: 55 minutes

Olive Oil Cake is an Italian delicacy that will amuse your sweet tooth.

The dark chocolate in the recipe ensures a deep chocolate taste while maintaining a perfect ‘sweet-savory’ balance.

DIY recipe—

24. Crostata

Total Calories (per 100g): 241.5

Total Preparation Time: 50 minutes

Crostata is a classic Italian pie made with homemade dough.

It has an iconic lattice top crust and the filling can be of any favorite jam flavor of your choice.

DIY recipe—

25. Cornetti

Total Calories (per 100g): 356

Total Preparation Time: 28 hrs 15 minutes

This one is the fun cousin of the French Croissant.

Cornetti has a similar shiny appearance as the aforementioned but is sweeter with a more dense texture and a heavenly aroma.

DIY recipe—

26. Ricotta Cake

Total Calories (per 100g): 282

Total Preparation Time: 67 minutes

Crafted from ricotta cheese and flavored with lemon— Ricotta Cake is enticingly light and fluffy.

This dense dessert is full of flavors and is well-appreciated after a hearty Italian meal.

DIY recipe—

27. Lemon Cake

Total Calories (per 100g): 297

Total Preparation Time: 60 minutes

Lemon flavor dances on your tongue gracefully after a heavy meal and cleanses the palate.

Indulge in it with this supremely moist cake which is even topped with a lemony glaze.

DIY recipe—

28. Panettone French Toast

Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Prepared by using a mix of custardy liquid with flavorful panettone, this dessert is insanely mouth-watering.

The secret behind its flavors is the use of panettone— a sweet Italian bread with a cake-like texture.

DIY recipe—

29. Italian Trifle

Total Preparation Time: 145 minutes

Why not switch the basic English trifle with the Italian one for your next Italian dinner plan?

It is made from sponge cake, pastry cream, and liquor and can be topped with sliced-up fruits.

DIY recipe link –> Italian Trifle

30. Peach Tart

Total Calories (per 100g): 250

Total Preparation Time: 55 minutes

Peach Tart is a magnificent dessert!

The sweetness of the peach blends beautifully with the buttery crust; plus the skin of the peach isn’t removed which adds a rustic texture.

DIY recipe—

The Bottom Line

We hope this wholesome guide gave you an idea as to what desserts tango well with the magical Italian delicacies.

If you have any tips or suggestions, please let us know below!

Do share this guide with your famiglia e amici.

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About Barbara Foster

Barbara is a traveler who has traveled to more than 25 countries. She loves the variety of food she gets to experience on her trips and maintains detailed journals of her travels which she plans to publish as a book someday. She loves to bake. Her favorite cuisines are Italian, French, and Mexican.