We eat pizza year-round, but in the summer we do like to switch it up a bit. We grill pizza, we make lighter veggie pizza, and we don’t stop at savory: these fruit pizza recipes are the perfect way to end any summer get-together (but by all means, take them through the fall and winter too).
The formula for dessert pizza is simple (and honestly, pretty much like the one for a regular pizza, though you do have more options when it comes to crust).
Make (or Buy) Your Dough
Start with your base. Your options are varied, but here are some to try:
- plain pizza dough
- a basic sugar cookie dough
- your favorite pie dough or tart crust (doubled or tripled if you want a larger pizza)
- puff pastry
- crescent roll dough
Roll your dough into a round disc as large as you’d like your pizza (or make miniature ones—and if using rectangular puff pastry, feel free to leave it oblong!), then transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the crust as instructed by the recipe, or until golden brown. Remove it and let it cool.
If you use a round pan, you can even use runnier batters for a base (think: brownies).
No-bake dessert pizza option: Build it on a slice of watermelon!
Choose Your Sauce
As a stand-in for tomato sauce, you can spread lots of different things on your dessert pizza crust once cooled; some of our favorites are:
- caramel sauce or dulce de leche
- ricotta cheese
- Greek yogurt (sweetened and/or flavored, or not)
- mascarpone cheese (as-is, or made into a fruit dip, which works well as a spread too)
- cream cheese frosting
- whipped cream
- fruit preserves, jam, or jelly
- thick chocolate sauce (on its own or mixed with peanut butter or almond butter)
Pick Your Toppings
Fresh fruit is the obvious and best choice for topping dessert pizza, and in summer, the smartest move is to use whatever is currently tasting best at the market. Try:
- strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
- sliced stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines)
When summer fruit isn’t quite at its peak, try roasting your strawberries and other firmer fruit for extra flavor, and remember, sliced ripe bananas are always a good choice (maybe even better if you roast them too with a bit of sugar, vanilla, and maybe rum, à la bananas Foster). In fall and winter, try sauteed or roasted pears and apples.
Related Reading: Why You Should Be Grilling Fruit All Summer
Pro-tip: No matter what you go with, you should generally wait to assemble your pizza until you’re ready to serve it, as juicy fruits will start to make the underlying toppings and sauces runny if they sit too long.
Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches
Scatter fresh mint over the top instead of basil. Or try some chopped toasted nuts; chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings; shredded toasted coconut; or even sprinkles for festive flair. Additional drizzles of things like honey, caramel, and chocolate sauces are also usually welcome touches, but it all depends on your specific flavor combos.
In some cases, you may even want to bake your dessert pizza briefly, to warm and melt the toppings. Or slide it on the grill to cap off a BBQ.
Checkered Chef Rocker Pizza Cutter, $13.95 on Amazon
This is superior to a pizza wheel whether you're making sweet or savory pies.
Dessert Pizza Recipes
Here are some excellent combinations to get you started on building your own dessert pizza masterpieces, with a premium on fruit pizza recipe ideas:
This stunning summer dessert highlights berries on a classic pizza dough crust. A touch of brown sugar and honey sweetens up a thin layer of mascarpone and turns fruit into a decadent, creative end to the meal. Get the Blueberry Mascarpone Dessert Pizza recipe.
Related Reading: Savory Summer Berry Recipes Are Also Unexpectedly Delicious
This fruit pizza is based on a sugar cookie crust, topped with a combination of cream cheese and whipped topping plus artfully arranged rings of fruit (but it’s just as pretty if you jumble them, whether you go for a rainbow of colors or make it monochromatic). Get the Rainbow Fruit Pizza recipe.
Pizza and Nutella in one dish? Sign us up. This recipe pairs fresh strawberries with ricotta, Nutella, and mint over a basic pizza crust base, but puff pastry would be a great shortcut option here. Get the Strawberry, Nutella, and Ricotta Pizza recipe.
A brownie base is great for chocolate fans; for serious chocolate fans, you could even top it with chocolate frosting instead of the tangy cream cheese frosting called for. The fruit is brushed with melted apple jelly to give it a beautiful shine and a little extra flavor, but you can try the same trick with whatever jelly or jam you have on hand. Get the Brownie Fruit Pizza recipe.
Related Reading: 11 Easy Tips for Fabulous Fruit Desserts All Summer
Okay, so there’s no fruit on this one, but you can’t skip a s’mores pizza when it’s the height of s’mores season! Add sliced strawberries and/or bananas if you like. The crust mimics a graham cracker, of course. Get the S’mores Pizza recipe.
Header image courtesy of Anna Kurzaeva / Moment / Getty Images