Home Desserts 27 Best Mediterranean Desserts and Sweets

27 Best Mediterranean Desserts and Sweets

Try one of these gorgeous Mediterranean desserts when you’re tired of the same old cupcakes and cookies.

From Greece to Italy, they’re impossibly delish.

27 Best Mediterranean Desserts & Sweet Treats featuring Homemade Arabic Semolina with Almonds
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25+ Easy Mediterranean Dessert Recipes

You’ve likely tried sticky baklava and creamy Tiramisu. But what about Crema Catalana or Ravani?

These dessert recipes are so varied and versatile. Plus, they’re not difficult to make.

So instead of grabbing that boxed cake mix, why not try one of these Mediterranean desserts?

You won’t regret it!

1. Greek Lemon Olive Oil Cake

This cake is not your typical sugary treat. 

It’s got a lovely balance of sweet and tart flavors. And the fresh lemon brings plenty of zesty aromas.

You’ll love the citrus kick and the subtle earthiness of the olive oil, too. 

The cake is usually topped with a sweet glaze. It’s optional but adds an extra layer of flavor and moisture.

2. Baklava

Layers of phyllo pastry filled with a heavenly combination of ground nuts, cinnamon, and cloves. Yum!

But that’s not all. It’s then drenched in sugar, honey, and lemon juice syrup.

The spices in the recipe add depth to the nuttiness. And the sweetness is perfectly countered by the tangy lemon.

3. Greek Orange Honey Cake with Pistachios

One thing you’ll notice about many of these Mediterranean desserts is the use of citrus and honey.

And this one is no exception!

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There’s plenty of tangy sweetness from the orange. Meanwhile, the honey offers almost floral notes with the tasty pistachios. 

This results in a unique and flavorful cake that’s sure to impress. 

4. Mediterranean Lemon Cake

The cake is insanely light and fluffy, and the tangy lemon flavor gives it a refreshing twist. 

It’s also a stunning blank canvas for all kinds of yummy extras.

So, try adding some blueberries or raspberries to the batter for an extra pop of flavor. 

You can also substitute the lemon with other citrus flavors like oranges or limes.

5. Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one of the most iconic Italian desserts around. Though the intense coffee flavor means it’s mostly for grown-ups.

Still, with its soft yet creamy texture and rich flavor, Tiramisu is beloved the world over. 

I don’t know what I love more. The coffee-infused sponge or the indulgent mascarpone and whipped cream.

6. Tarte Tatin

From Italy to France, now we have Tarte Tatin. It’s a classic French dessert that’s sure to impress – though it’s not as fancy as it sounds. 

It’s basically an upside-down pie featuring caramelized apples and a buttery crust. 

The caramelization process brings out the natural sweetness of the apples and adds an extra oomph you’ll drool over.

7. Chocolate-Dipped Almond Biscotti

I rotate through a bunch of biscotti recipes. But when I want the best, I go for chocolate-dipped almond biscotti.

Whether paired with coffee in the morning or enjoyed as a snack, this crunchy cookie is hard to resist. 

Better yet, it lasts ages on the counter and makes a wonderful edible gift for the holidays.

8. Coconut Pistachio Cake

Calling all dessert lovers! You won’t want to miss out on this coconut pistachio cake. 

With its unique blend of sweet coconut and tasty green nuts, it tastes almost as good as it looks.

The recipe itself is user-friendly, with simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps.

9. Crinkle Cake

If you read the instructions for baklava and think it looks too involved, try this instead.

It’s like a cheat’s baklava, but you get the same crunchy pastry and sticky-nutty finish.

Add more nuts or chopped chocolate, and it’s one you’ll turn to again and again.

10. Crema Catalana

If I had a dollar for every crema Catalana I’ve enjoyed…well, I’d have at least $20!

It’s more or less a Spanish crème brûlée. The main difference is the use of milk instead of heavy cream, making it much more delicate.

But you still get that yummy layer of sugar on top!

Oh, and it’s usually flavored with a blend of cinnamon, orange, and lemon zest. 


11. Traditional Greek Galaktouboureko

This delectable Greek dessert combines phyllo dough, custard, and syrup. Sounds fantastic, right?

It’s sweet, creamy, and pretty easy to whip up.

The thin layers of phyllo dough become deliciously crisp and contrast the smooth filling so well.

And the syrup adds a touch of sweetness to each bite.

12. Ravani (Greek Semolina Cake)

Of all the semolina recipes out there, Ravani is my fave.

It’s a traditional Greek cake, and it’s super light and fluffy. That said, you’ll get a slight grainy finish from the semolina.

But it’s pleasant. Kind of like almond flour.

Add notes of orange and vanilla, and you’ll want a second slice for sure.

13. Cannoli

I have a deep love for cannoli. Seriously, it’s more like an obsession.

And if you’ve ever had real cannoli, you’ll know why.

Featuring fried shells filled with a sweet ricotta filling, they’re to die for. And they come in so many flavors, too.

Though the OG with orange and mini chocolate chips is my go-to.

14. Lemon Ricotta Cookies

The recipe is relatively simple, requiring just a handful of pantry-staple ingredients. 

But the bright citrus flavor and rich ricotta are anything but simple. They’re why this cookie is both refreshing and satisfying. 

Think of it like sour cream cookies. The added fat makes them remarkably tender.

15. Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake

Speaking of remarkably tender – here’s one of my all-time favorite desserts.

Italian lemon ricotta cake combines the creamy and tangy flavors of ricotta cheese and the bright taste of lemon. 

Light, moist, and full of flavor, every bite is pure bliss.

16. French Macarons

I absolutely adore French Macarons! 

While they may seem daunting to make at first, I promise the end result is more than worth it.

And the true beauty of these petite treats lies in their versatility with flavors. 

From classic vanilla to tangy lemon and even rich chocolate ganache, the possibilities are endless.

17. Imqaret

Imqaret is a traditional Maltese sweet treat that I simply cannot resist. 

These small diamond-shaped pastries are made from a unique blend of dates, flour, and spices.

And the anisette adds a slightly herbal finish that ties everything together. 

18. Kremsnita

I vividly remember the first time I tried Kremsnita – a scrumptious Balkan dessert that quickly became one of my all-time favorites. 

This divine pastry comes loaded with layers of creamy vanilla and custard filling. And that’s sandwiched between flaky puff pastry sheets. 

It’s a lot like the custard slice from the UK or Australia.

19. Croatian Madjarica

This pastry combines the best of both worlds with its flaky layers and sweet filling. 

It’s a layered chocolate slice, but it’s different from the Australian version.

Instead of mixing everything in one, you’ll layer the cake with the filling to get that fun color contrast.

20. Kanafeh

Phyllow dough is a pain to work with. But not when you shred it!

Filled with creamy cheese and drizzled with sugar syrup, it’s super crunchy on top and sticky at the bottom.

21. Namourah (Lebanese Semolina Cake, aka Basbousa)

I have always been a huge fan of Lebanese desserts. But this semolina cake is one I crave all the time.

Nutty semolina flour, rich butter, and sweet sugar with orange blossom are too good to miss. 

I love the classic recipe, but much prefer the one with coconut. Either way, it’s a winner.

22. Pistachio Tahini Halva

As a lover of all things sweet and nutty, I am thrilled to share my latest obsession – halva.

The texture is dense yet crumbly, making each bite a satisfying experience. 

It’s usually served as a treat with coffee or tea.

23. Om Ali (Egyptian Bread Pudding)

I recently had the pleasure of trying a traditional Egyptian dessert called Om Ali. 

And it was absolutely delicious! 

This bread pudding dish is made by layering pieces of pastry into a pan. You then soak them in a rich, creamy mixture of milk, cream, and sugar. 

The addition of nuts and raisins adds a lovely texture and sweetness to each bite.

24. Greek Yogurt Cake

I fell in love with this Greek yogurt cake the first time I tried it. 

The tangy flavor of the yogurt plays so well off the sweetness of the other ingredients in this recipe. 

I particularly love the way lemon pairs with yogurt. But if you want it a bit sweeter, feel free to use orange.

25. Kourabiedes

As a lover of all things sweet, nothing satisfies my taste buds quite like kourabiedes. 

These delectable Greek cookies have a rich and crumbly texture that just melts in your mouth.

26. Baklava Cheesecake

I must admit, I was skeptical when I first heard about baklava cheesecake. 

But after trying it, I am officially a believer! 

The sweet, spicy, and savory flavors work harmoniously, melting in your mouth with each bite. 

It’s a must-try if you ask me!

27. Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

This cake is rich and decadent with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. 

The olive oil and dark chocolate create a deep and complex flavor profile. 

One might think that the olive oil would be overpowering – it’s not! Instead, it adds a subtle fruitiness that perfectly balances the bitter chocolate.

Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or some whipped cream.

27 Best Mediterranean Desserts and Sweets

When you’re tired of the same old cupcakes and cookies, try one of these gorgeous Mediterranean desserts. From Greece to Italy, they’re impossibly delish.


  • Greek Lemon Olive Oil Cake

  • Baklava

  • Greek Orange Honey Cake with Pistachios

  • Mediterranean Lemon Cake

  • Tiramisu

  • Tarte Tatin

  • Chocolate-Dipped Almond Biscotti

  • Coconut Pistachio Cake

  • Crinkle Cake

  • Crema Catalana

  • Traditional Greek Galaktouboureko

  • Ravani (Greek Semolina Cake)

  • Cannoli

  • Lemon Ricotta Cookies

  • Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake

  • French Macarons

  • Imqaret

  • Kremsnita

  • Croatian Madjarica

  • Kanafeh

  • Namourah (Lebanese Semolina Cake)

  • Pistachio Tahini Halva

  • Om Ali (Egyptian Bread Pudding)

  • Greek Yogurt Cake

  • Kourabiedes

  • Baklava Cheesecake

  • Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious Mediterranean dessert in a flash!
Mediterranean Desserts

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “27 Best Mediterranean Desserts and Sweets”

  1. Hey Kim, amazing page! Quick question: what is the name of the dessert on the very first picture of top (with the almonds and coconuts)?

    • Hi Stella! That’s the Namourah Semolina Cake (#21). It’s actually the Middle Eastern version of the same cake, but it has coconut, which is such a fun addition!


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