Desserts To Try The Next Time You Dine At An Italian Restaurant

Posted on: 20 May 2015

If you love going out to eat at Italian restaurants like Ynot Italian, make sure to get dessert. While there are lots of fantastic Italian desserts you can get a bakeries, such as sfogliatella and pignolata, some desserts are best suited for a sit-down dinner. Some of these desserts are custard-based, while others are variations on classic Italian ices you might have seen sold in stores.


Granita is a classic Italian ice. However, it's not like the saccharine ices that you might see in your local pizza parlor. Grainta is a much more complex and coarser ice. The dessert originated in Sicily. The original flavorings included lemons, as lemons were a popular fruit on the island. Other recipes incorporate strawberries or almonds. The ice is not smooth; rather it has a rough texture.


This is a rich custard. It is not as thick as pudding or mousse. The custard is made using Marsala wine, which is a sweet, fortified wine from Italy. Many restaurants will serve the zabaione with an anise cookie. However, it is also sometimes served with fresh fruit. The custard will usually be served in a thin champagne glass.

Panna Cotta

If you're looking for a thick custard, then you will love panna cotta. This phrase translates to "cooked cream." It is similar to flan. The main difference between panna cotta and flan is that flan is made with egg yolks, while panna cotta uses gelatin. Also, flan has caramel sauce and panna cotta usually has fresh berries. Sometimes a restaurant will serve panna cotta with a sweetened balsamic vinegar reduction.

Zuppa Inglese

This is a delicious custard cake. It is very similar to the English trifle. The cake is made by dipping ladyfingers in an Italian liquor and then layering them between custard and topped with slivered almonds. The custard is usually made with lemon zest.


This is an open-faced tart that originates from Naples. It is Italy's answer to the apple pie. The tart was popular because it was designed to be rustic, and not fancy. It was intended to be free form. This meant that the baker would not have to labor over lattice crustwork. Many tarts were made by rolling out the dough, filling it with berries and sugar, and then folding the edges over. This left an opening in the middle for steam to evaporate.

The crostata crust is shortbread. This makes it sweeter and sturdier than traditional pie crusts. The filling is usually a berry, although sometimes plums or almonds are used.