For many of us, dessert is the best bit of a meal. Everyone looks forward to a scoop of homemade ice cream, slice of sweet tart or a biscuit or two. Believe it or not, you can create a version of a classic Italian dessert at home in just a few simple steps. Whether you're craving a slab of luscious layered tiramisu or a plate of creamy panna cotta, these desserts are comforting and elegant in equal measure.


Perfect a whole menu with our best ever Italian-style recipes, from carbonara to fresh bruschetta and crisp, golden-brown arancini. Finish off your menu with our top Italian-style cocktail recipes – try a pre-dinner aperitivo or punchy negroni to sip at your leisure.

Best ever Italian dessert recipes

1. Tiramisu

Plate of tiramisu

This iconic sweet treat is easy to make at home with our simple recipe. Make it ahead of time to allow the flavours to mingle and intensify while you're munching on a crunchy bruschetta starter. Layer up coffee-soaked sponge fingers, smooth mascarpone and plenty of rich dark chocolate shavings, then serve up slabs of this caffeinated classic.

Make even more satisfying desserts with our best tiramisu recipes. Try a quick cheat's version, a modern rolled roulade or creamy grown-up cheesecake.

2. Cannoli

Cannolis on plate

A crisp cannoli shell filled with creamy ricotta – there's no better combination. Spend a weekend making a batch of these moreish cannolis to enjoy with your afternoon cup of coffee, or as a tasty way to round off an Italian-inspired feast. Dipping the ends of your cannoli in chocolate and crushed pistachios gives your treats a professional finish and added nutty flavour. They require a little more effort to make, but guests are guaranteed to be impressed.

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3. Vanilla panna cotta

Vanilla panna cotta with strawberry coulis on plate

Our delicate vanilla pudding is the ideal summer dessert: light, sweet and easy to pair with seasonal fruit. We've topped our simple panna cotta with a vibrant strawberry compote and fresh fruit to make an eye-catching dish. Scoop up soft pudding with a drizzle of sharp berry coulis for a taste of late summer.

For even more mouth-watering flavour combinations, try our favourite panna cotta recipes.

4. Chocolate torta della nonna

Torta del nonna on plate with slice cut

We've given this impressive-looking Tuscan-inspired tart a chocolatey twist on the traditional custard filling. Fill a delicate pastry case with an indulgent chocolate ricotta filling flavoured with orange zest for a hint of citrus. The finished tart will have that characteristic custardy wobble, but will firm up as it cools. You can make it the night before your dinner party and chill in the fridge until you're ready.

5. Semifreddo

Chocolate, pistachio & nougat semifreddo

Is there truly a flavour combination more divine than chocolate and pistachio? Perhaps only when you add the irresistible allure of nougat into the mix. Surprisingly simple to prepare, requiring minimal cooking and prep time, this chocolate, pistachio & nougat semifreddo is the ultimate choice for serving large gatherings on special occasions, generously accommodating up to 10 guests.

Discover more semifreddo recipes, perfect for an impressive dinner party dessert.

6. Panforte

Panforte on platter with slices cut

Chewy, sticky and sweet, this Tuscan-style treat is made with candied peel, toasted nuts, fried fruit and spices. A slice of panforte is best enjoyed with a glass of sweet wine or strong coffee. It's simple to make – just mix your fruit and nut mixture into your wet ingredients, bake and leave to set in the tin. Lucky guests can cut themselves a wedge once it's cool and firmed up.

7. Raspberry & hazelnut maritozzi

Raspberry & hazelnut maritozzi

In Italy, men traditionally give maritozzi to their sweethearts during Lent as a sign of their love. Our beautiful fluffy buns are flavoured with lemon zest and honey with a rich raspberry cream inside. Top with ripped raspberries and chopped hazelnuts for an elegant breakfast treat, or pick me up to go along with your afternoon cup of tea.

8. Affogato


Give your post-dinner drinks an air of sophistication with affogato. For those who want something a little different to the traditional espresso, pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a melty dessert you can put together in minutes. Try our amaretti affogato with the addition of crushed amaretti biscuits for extra crunch.

9. Mini panettone

Multiple mini panettone in cases

Indulge in the delightful charm of a mini panettone, perhaps accompanied by a dollop of luscious cream, a slather of decadent butter, or a generous spread of rich chocolate. Whether savoured as a delectable brunch option or a satisfying after-dinner treat, this miniature rendition of the festive classic promises an irresistible experience.

Bake your own Christmas panettone, or find inspiration for using up a leftover one with our panettone recipes.

10. Fruity biscotti

Fruity biscotti

Biscotti are twice-baked Italian biscuits with an irresistible crunch. They're delicious enjoyed with a coffee at the end of your meal. A box of these sophisticated bites also makes a great homemade gift. Try these traditional fruit and almond-flavoured biscuits, or opt for one of our twists, such as our double chocolate & orange biscotti or vegan biscotti.

Enjoyed these recipes? Try our other Italian-inspired dishes

Italian-style cocktail recipes
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What's your favourite Italian treat? Leave a comment below...

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