Any sweet tooth knows it’s important to try different types of dessert.
I mean, how else are you supposed to decide if you like cookies or cupcakes better?
As a baker, general foodie, and dessert aficionado, I know a thing or two about sweet treats.
And no doubt you do too!
But many people don’t know the difference between a tart and a pie. So, let’s go over it, shall we?
From donuts to pastries, there are so many types of dessert. And I’ve even got a few recipes for you to try!
Let’s get to it!
20 Delicious and Decadent Types of Desserts to Try
1. Pies and Cobblers
Pies and cobblers are delicious desserts that are great for holidays and parties. They’re classics, but they’re pretty different.
Pies usually start with a pastry crust and can be sweet or savory. You’ll find fillings from fruits and custard to meats and veggies.
Some pies have more pastry on top, and some have crumb toppings. But pastry is the key to a good pie.
This strawberry pie is my favorite because it’s colorful, sweet, and straightforward.
In contrast, cobblers are almost always sweet. They have fruit on the bottom with a crumbly and cakey topping that’s almost like a biscuit.
Cobblers can also have a bottom crust, but it’s not that common. Basically, there’s much more filling with a cobbler.
And peach rules the roost!
Cookies are one of the most common types of desserts, and there are so many kinds from all over the world!
Also known as biscuits (in the UK and Australia), cookies are a household staple originally invented as small spoonfuls of cake batter used to test oven temperature.
They come in many shapes, sizes, and textures. But most are made of the same basic ingredients: eggs, butter, flour, and a sweetener.
The most common cookie in America is chocolate chip.
But there are countless variations, including sugar, peanut butter, shortbread, meringues, sandwich, and more.
Cakes are everyone’s favorite birthday dessert, but they can be served at any and all occasions.
Some of the most popular flavors in the U.S. include chocolate and vanilla.
And even that encompasses a million varieties, from angel food and devil’s food to German chocolate and pound cakes.
But go over to Europe, and you’ll see a lot of sponges with fruit baked inside. They often don’t have any frosting at all.
And then there are pavlovas (meringue “cakes” filled with whipped cream and fruit) and bundt cakes (big, round cakes in special molds).
You see, cakes alone have a million different types! So if you need dessert for a dinner party, you can’t go wrong.
Tarts are very similar to pies but have a few distinct differences. For example, they’re often made in individual portions, and the pastry is slightly different.
Pie pastry is typically flaky, whereas tart pastry is thicker and will hold its shape when you pick it up.
Furthermore, pie fillings are generally kind of sloppy. In contrast, tart fillings are often set and able to slice – like chocolate ganache.
Some of the most popular tarts include Bakewell, Treacle, and Tarte Tatin.
5. Ice Cream
Ice cream is possibly America’s favorite dessert. It’s sweet, creamy, and delicioulsy cold.
It can be made in many ways and can also come in different forms.
For example, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, sherbet, or sorbet are all under the ice cream umbrella.
Ice cream is generally made with a custard-like egg base that’s churned until cold and thick.
That said, you can make no-churn ice cream at home in minutes.
Some of the most common flavors are chocolate, vanilla, butter pecan, mint chocolate chip, and strawberry.
But the sky’s the limit if you have an ice cream maker!
Custards are usually cream or cheese-based, sweetened with milk, and thickened with eggs.
Some recipes utilize flour, gelatin, or cornstarch as a thickening agent, and those can even be made vegan!
There are three main types of custards: baked, steamed, and stirred.
Flavor-wise, custard is sweet and simple – most often flavored with vanilla. They make a fantastic addition to pastries, cakes, and tarts.
If you’ve ever had creme brulee or flan, you’ll know it’s silky-smooth and wonderfully rich and creamy.
Brownies are a type of chocolate-flavored cake that’s more dense and fudgy than any sponge.
They can be made with melted chocolate and/or cocoa and can feature any number of extras, like chocolate chips.
Brownies are usually cut into small, grab-and-go bars or squares and taste fantastic with vanilla ice cream.
These slutty brownies are probably my faves. But if you smother any brownie in caramel, I’m a goner!
Pastries are a breakfast staple in almost every country around the world. They just look a little different depending on where you are.
For example, the Brits like savory pastries, such as sausage rolls, or sweet turnovers filled with sweet apples.
In contrast, we prefer things sweet, like cinnamon rolls and danish.
As the name suggests, they’re made with pastry, and that could mean shortcrust, puff, croissant dough – you name it.
Each one is yummy, and each one has a slightly different method.
But from puff and pate sucrée to choux and phyllo, they each have a different texture and taste. I mean, you can’t make cream puffs out of puff pastry, right?
The most popular sweet pastries include croissants, cream puffs, eclairs, baklava, cannolis, and more!
As for savory recipes, you’ll see anything from spiced potatoes and curried chicken.
Candies are another type of dessert that everybody loves.
There are many kinds, and they’re different throughout the world – some aren’t even sweet!
They come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors and can be hard, chewy, fruity, rich, or sour.
Usually made with lots of sugar and water with some type of flavoring, we see candy at pretty much every turn.
I love going to the grocery store for penny candies (“pick and mix” if you’re in the UK).
Some unique candies include super spiced cinnamon gummy bears and impossibly salty licorice from Sweden.
Although the word “cake” is in the name, cheesecakes are much different from the average sponge.
And if you’ve been here before, you’ll know I’m obsessed!
Classic cheesecake is made with a sweetened cream cheese filling and a crispy cookie crust.
The most common version is a sweet and tangy filling with a Graham Cracker crust.
If you’ve ever been to the Cheesecake Factory, you know what I mean!
These creamy and indulgent cakes are perfect for feeding a crowd. So if you’re looking for a rich and delicious treat, cheesecake will always be a winner.
11. Deep-Fried Desserts
Doesn’t everything taste better fried? Okay, maybe not everything.
Donuts, funnel cakes, and churros…oh my! Deep-fried desserts are some of the most loved sweets around.
Almost anything can be deep-fried if you want it to be. Just drench something in batter and gently toss it in hot oil. Easy peasy.
Of course, you don’t always need a batter. Dough fries very well, which is why these apple fritters are so perfect!
Go to any American county fair, and you’ll find a number of fried dessert inventions, from Oreos to candy bars.
English biscuits are basically cookies. Go across the pond, and they call everything from Oreos to Twix a biscuit.
That said, traditional English biscuits have a lighter, crisp texture. And the word biscuit actually has Latin origins that translate to “twice baked”.
Think shortbread versus chewy sugar cookies.
But in general, if you’re in the UK and offered a biscuit, you’re just as likely to get a chocolate chip cookie
Gelatin desserts are a fun way to add color and fruity flavor to any dessert spread.
Using collagen-based gelatin, these desserts also include a fruit or sweet element.
They’re liquid when you make them and then set solid as the mixture cools.
You’ll often see gelatin desserts called jello, Jell-o, or jelly. They can be any color or flavor you choose.
You can even layer gelatin desserts, add fruit, or even mold them into fun and exciting shapes.
Pudding is similar and very closely related to custard. They’re both made with milk or cream and a sweetener.
But the main difference is, custards are thickened with eggs, and puddings are thickened with starch.
You can bake, boil, or simmer them, though they’re most often served chilled.
Chocolate pudding, tapioca pudding, and banana pudding are some of the most popular varieties.
Fruit is a simple, easy, and delicious dessert everyone can get behind.
It’s a healthy alternative to a lot of complicated, sweetened recipes. And it’s naturally sweet, so you don’t have to wonder what’s in it.
That said, you can also turn fruit into decadent treats.
The options are endless, from strawberries, cherries, and raspberries to melons, bananas, and mangoes.
Serve fruit with a flowing fountain of chocolate fondue, add warm caramel sauce to a platter of apple slices, or top a bowl of ice cream with your favorite berries. Yum!
Although donuts are a type of fried dessert, I think they deserve their own category.
You’ll also see them spelled doughnuts, and those are almost always yeast-based.
But you can get cake-like donuts that don’t need rolling and proofing.
Covered with sweet glazes, they’re pretty hard to resist. And some are so outrageous these days you have to share.
Top them with cinnamon sugar, frosting, sprinkles, coconut – you name it.
Plus, you can fill them too! I love jelly donuts and cream-filled donuts.
Gelato is an Italian version of ice cream that’s made with milk rather than cream. It also has less air churned into it, making it richer and creamier.
Often flavored with very decadent ingredients, it’s beyond dreamy.
The most popular flavors include dark chocolate, pistachio (my fave), raspberry, lemon, and tiramisu.
Stracciatella is similar to chocolate chip, and it’s made by drizzling melted chocolate into the frozen cream.
It freezes almost instantly and creates a light and crispy texture. Delish!
18. Dessert Drinks
Dessert drinks can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, so everybody can enjoy them.
If you’re full from dinner but still want something sweet, drinks are the way to go!
Cocktails, milkshakes, and sherbet punch are a few of my personal favorites.
You can easily and affordably customize dessert drinks, too, so they’re perfect for parties and special occasions.
Mousse is a soft and fluffy dessert that has four main parts to the recipe: a base, a sweetener, an aerator, and a thickener.
Mousse can range from light and airy to thick and rich. But it’s always scrumptious.
The most common type is chocolate mousse, which can be served on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream.
You can also add it to layered cakes and pastries or layer it with other mousse flavors. I like this white chocolate recipe!
Cupcakes are a type of mini sponge baked and served in a liner. They’re individually sized and can be frosted, filled, and decorated.
Some say cupcakes are the ideal party food, and I totally agree. They’re grab-and-go, and you don’t need any utensils or plates.
These soft and fluffy treats can be made in any flavor you like. Plus, they’re fun to decorate for all occasions!
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