This week I was flipping through my favorite cookbooks, looking for a fun dessert to make with my kids. After a year of baking our way through quarantine, I was feeling uninspired by all the cakes and cupcakes I saw. Then it hit me: I should be looking for tasty dessert pizza recipes.
My youngest will get her fix of pouring and mixing with the sugar cookie crust, and my older kids will enjoy exercising their creative muscles with all the fun toppings. In fact, I’m picturing a delicious dessert pizza buffet at one of our summer family cookouts this year, with a range of toppings for everyone.
If that sounds delicious to you too, here are some recipes for dessert pizza to get you inspired, whether you prefer chocolate, fruit, skip the gluten, or eat plant-based desserts.
Yes, it’s just that versatile!
At top: double chocolate dessert pizza at Rainbow in my Kitchen; watermelon dessert pizza recipe at Health My Lifestyle
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First, a few tips for dessert pizza
1. if you’re trying to make a perfect circle for your crust, then bake the cookie crust in a pizza pan, so that it spreads evenly.
2. If you’re cutting back on sugar, a lot of these work well with traditional pizza crusts. You can always use a pre-baked crust that you grab from the grocery store or even your local pizza joint — but be sure to get one that’s as plain as possible. No oregano or extra olive oil!
3. Sally’s Baking Addiction — such a great resource for all things baking — reminds you to be sure any toppings are cut into bite sized pieces. A giant round of fresh pineapple may look pretty, but it will be a mess to eat. (Same reason pepperoni, meatballs, mushrooms and other traditional pizza toppings are bite-sized, right?)
4. As for serving, set the dessert pizza out on a wooden pizza board, just like you would a savory pizza, and let everyone grab their own slice. If you want to get a little fancier, you can arrange it on a clean wooden cutting board — the ones from Sonder Los Angeles are exquisite, and so well rated!
Related: How to grill pizza, step-by-step: My family’s new summer obsession
8 dessert pizza recipes to try
The classic desert pizza: Cream cheese icing and fruit
First, check out the classic dessert pizza combination: a sugar cookie crust with a cream cheese icing, and fabulous fruit toppings. This version from Eva Bakes is the one to start with when baking with kids, because it’s so simple. Even your very young kids can help decorate the top after you prepare the crust and icing. It’s easy, impressive, and delicious.
S’mores dessert pizza
It’s officially summer, which means we’re obsessed with s’mores right now.This S’mores Dessert Pizza recipe at Simply Stacie looks so tasty and so manageable, thanks to her tips for using store-bought ingredients for the crust and the chocolate layer. And don’t miss her ideas for extra toppings, like chopped-up peanut butter cups. Whoa! This is a must-try this summer.
Chocolate chip cookie dessert pizza
We’re all pretty much drooling around Sam’s chocolate chip dessert pizza recipe shared on Sugar Spun Run. I mean, just look at it! It gets raves from fans, which is no surprise considering she spent years perfecting the recipe.She makes her crust from scratch but of course you could go semi-homemade. Don’t skimp on that streusel topping though — that’s what really seals the deal on this one for all of us.
A Nutella dessert pizza, because, Nutella
The easiest dessert pizza may in fact be any of the variations on a Nutella topped pizza, but we’re drawn to this popular recipe for Strawberry-Banana Nutella Dessert Pizza from Kara from Creations by Kara, shared on Lil’ Luna. It truly could not be easier, especially if you use ready-made dough. In fact, it reminds us of this favorite dessert recipe from our archives. Even so, she offers a ton of fantastic dessert pizza tricks she’s picked up, so it’s worth reading. She even suggest that you can serve this warm or cold. (Why not both? Make two!)
Related: A 3-ingredient dessert the whole family will love — including you. (Hint: Nutella is involved.)
A healthy(ish) gluten-free dessert pizza
Fear not, gluten-free friends, I have you covered! Although this recipe at Donut Worry, Be Healthy is billed as a healthy dessert pizza recipe, I think the layers of coconut, dark chocolate, cinnamon, nut butters, and coffee drizzle will make it taste absolutely indulgent. It has a gluten-free crust (made in part with cauliflower rice!) that’s still dense and chewy, that you can top with your choice of so many delicious toppings — her suggestions are all free of refined sugar, too. Be sure to skim through the post, because Megan offers lots of ideas for variations on the basic recipe.
Related: The gluten-free chocolate chip oatmeal cookie that fooled my wheat-eating kids
A watermelon crust dessert pizza
For a healthier twist on a dessert pizza, or for those of you trying to eat more plant-based foods right now, check out this vegan watermelon dessert pizza recipe at Health My Lifestyle. Her recipe uses a watermelon slice instead of crust, coconut whipped cream (you can buy it ready-made, for a time-saving hack), although I’ve also seen these made with Greek yogurt for the “frosting” if you’re eating dairy. Either way, this is a bright, summery treat that you won’t regret later.
A dessert pizza that’s all about the chocolate
Embrace your dark side, and go all-chocolate with this double chocolate dessert pizza at Rainbow in my Kitchen. This recipe also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, but if that’s not essential to you, consider swapping in a brownie batter from your favorite boxed brand and use it as the base instead of hers, which requires teff flour and tapioca flour. However you make it, don’t skimp on her chocolate, coconut-cream drizzle on top. It’s incredible.
A dessert pizza perfect for parties or game days
This is so clever! With just oranges and blueberries, Windy City Dinner Fairy turned her fruit dessert pizza into a celebration her kids’ favorite sport. Take inspiration from your own kids’ obsessions, and work them into the design you come up with — it would be easy to make a baseball (red berries or M&Ms for the laces), and I bet you could get creative with a football if you go oblong and use something chocolatey for the leather. Hey, no one says you have to limit yourself to fruit! Candies and colored frosting are totally acceptable toppings, too.