Papayas may not be the most common ingredient for desserts, but papaya desserts are incredibly delicious.
They have a sweet and tangy flavor that makes them unique among most desserts, and there’s often a rich tropical flair, as well.
Most of them are also relatively easy to make, and they don’t take a ton of time or skill.
From this list, both the hamantaschen and the papaya coconut crumble cake take about an hour.
But the rest take less than 50 minutes, with many requiring only 10 or 15 minutes each.
Whether you like cakes, gelato, muffins, or something else entirely, this list should have something on it that you’ll enjoy.
1. Papaya Bars
These gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly papaya bars take about 15 minutes to prepare and another 25 to cook.
They have a soft, moist texture and are a lot like lemon bars, but the papaya flavor is stronger, fruitier, and a bit less tart.
You’ll sweeten the bars with honey, but adding a powdered sugar topping will provide an extra dose of sweetness that’ll help balance out the tanginess.
2. Papaya Mousse
The most time-consuming part of this tasty treat is letting the cashews soak for 6 hours before you plan to use them. That’s just idle time, though.
After that, it’s just a matter of roasting the oats for a few seconds and blending the rest of the ingredients.
Once you get the papaya, oats, dates, cashews, coconut cream, vanilla extract, and dark chocolate mixed smoothly together, stick it in the fridge and let it chill for a while before serving it.
It’s chocolatey, tropical, fruity, and creamy. All told, it’s a refreshing treat that’s perfect for summer.
3. Papaya Coconut Hamantaschen
Hamantaschen are traditional Jewish desserts that people usually serve for Purim.
They are triangular-shaped cookies with a warm, buttery dough and sugary fruit fillings.
For this recipe, you’ll fill them with a sweet and zesty papaya jam.
You’ll also dust them with a generous helping of coconut, which gives them a slightly macaroon-like flavor.
These take quite some time to prepare, mainly due to making the papaya jam and shaping the cookies.
The dough also needs to sit and chill for a while, which adds additional time.
Even so, they’re a lovely treat, and they taste phenomenal. They’re well worth the time you’ll spend making them.
4. Papaya Gelato
With only three ingredients – papayas, coconut cream, and maple (or agave) syrup – you can whip up this papaya gelato in 10 minutes or less.
You’ll still need to freeze it before eating it, though.
Simply throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend them until they’re smooth. Then freeze the mixture.
You can also add other things to tweak the taste if you like – coconut, nuts, pineapple chunks, cherries, etc.
5. Papaya Coconut Crumble Tea Cake
You may see the lengthy ingredients list on this papaya coconut crumble tea cake and decide to take a pass, but I urge you to reconsider. This cake is superb.
It has a dense, crumbly consistency similar to that of cornbread, but it’s much sweeter.
It also has both papayas and coconut in the cake batter and for toppings, giving it a double dose of tropical goodness.
6. Papaya Lime Cheesecake
The first time you take a look at this cheesecake, you may think, “That looks nothing like what I expected a papaya lime cheesecake to look like!”
I thought the same thing when I first saw it.
It’s a gorgeous cake, and even better, it’s vegan-friendly, gluten- and grain-free, and contains no refined sugars.
All you’ll need for the crust are cashews, Medjool dates, maple syrup, and coconut oil.
The filling requires a few more ingredients, but none of them are hard to find either.
The cake itself is tart, almost to the point of being sour, but if you’re a fan of lemon icebox cake, Key lime pie, or cheesecake, you’ll love it.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the toppings, either.
The vegan chocolate chips and dried papaya look lovely, but there are plenty of other options for you to use.
7. Brazilian Papaya Cream
You can make this four-ingredient papaya cream in 5 minutes, but it looks and tastes like an expensive delicacy you’d buy while on vacation somewhere warm and costly.
With one papaya, some vanilla ice cream, three tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, and some Crème de Cassis to drizzle over the top, this creamy pink and red dessert is one you’ll definitely want to try.
8. Papaya Halwa
I’d never really considered cooking papayas until I found this recipe and discovered that doing so releases the fruits’ juices and makes them extra flavorful.
After you cook the papayas and add the other ingredients, you’ll ultimately have a thick, chunky mixture that’s similar to a puree.
The halwa, though, has a much bolder taste.
Add your toppings and serve it warm, or wait until the mixture has time to chill. Personally, I think it’s better straight off the stove.
9. Papaya Coconut Muffins
If you’re looking for a low-fat, high-flavor brunch or breakfast option, you must try these papaya coconut muffins.
Thanks to the papaya puree and the whole wheat pastry flour, the muffins’ consistency is denser and less fluffy than other muffins, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy them.
I actually love the slightly crispy texture of these muffins.
Furthermore, each bite is infused with the robust, tropical flavors of coconut, papaya, and cinnamon, with just a hint of vanilla.
These are ideal on-the-go breakfast pastries for rushed mornings, especially when paired with a large glass of cold milk.
10. Tropical Papaya Boats
Tropical papaya boats are an excellent option for those looking for a sweet but healthy and natural dessert option.
They’re 100% vegan and gluten-free, and you won’t have to cook anything to make them.
You’ll simply have to throw a few ingredients into a blender, then assemble everything atop a hollow papaya.
You can adjust the recipe however you like, but the one you see here is pretty flawless as it is.
The banana ice cream is sweet and creamy, and the toppings are all-natural fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds.
Add a little homemade granola, and you’ll have a sweet and crunchy after-dinner treat.
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