I love tropical desserts because of the sweet, tart flavors. Key lime pie, for example, is one of my favorite desserts and I seek it out whenever I can. Plus, tropical fruits are vibrant and colorful, which makes for a gorgeous serving plate. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite tropical desserts below and you’ll also find resources for where to buy tropical fruit if you can’t get it locally. If you are reading this in the winter, these desserts will give you the feeling of someplace warm, and if you are somewhere bright and sunny, they’ll pair perfectly with the weather.
The inspiration for this dessert came from Instagram. I asked my followers what to make with 10 pounds of rambutan, the response was overwhelming for sorbet and panna cotta. So, this is my interpretation of those suggestions: Coconut Panna Cotta with Tropical Sorbet.
Based on recipes from Zoë Bakes Cakes.Classic, white cake, with a big messy pile of perfect strawberries resting on passion fruit buttercream. It is super easy to put together, but looks like sunshine and happiness, so no one will care that you didn't have to work that hard.
This Pomegranate Swirl New York Cheesecake started with a base I found in Bake from Scratch Magazine. The texture is luxurious and smooth, but not as dense and custardy as some of my other go-to cheesecake recipes. I added a swirl of pomegranate to the cake, because it has a tartness that pairs so well with the rich creaminess of a cheesecake.
Making your own candied fruit is so easy and absolutely addicting. I make a huge batch and end up eating half of it right off of the drying rack. I love the the color and taste of the candied grapefruit, but you can use the same technique to make candied orange, lemon, lime or any other citrus fruit.
The curd in this mango curd tart is made just as you would a lemon curd, but I used a combination of mango and lime. It makes very little sense, but the lime makes the mango taste more like mango and not just cloyingly sweet. Slow cooking the curd over a double boiler is the key to the satiny texture. This will make an 8-inch tart that is very full, or a 9-inch tart that leaves room for the fruit on top.
This tart is the more sophisticated cousin to the Lemon Meringue Pie. It has all the tartness of lemon, but with lime, which I just find a touch more interesting. Don't get me wrong, I am in LOVE with the lemon version, but this one just sings to me. I used a lime curd as the base of my tart, then topped it with so much meringue that it touches the sky.
For this recipe I used the vanilla cheesecake base from my Craftsy class. The lemon curd is a lovely addition to the creamy cheesecake and gives it a wonderful look. It is pretty enough to serve as is, but you could also add one of the fruit sauces we make in the class as well.
Grapefruit posset really needs no accessories, so you can serve it all by itself. But, I wanted to layer on the grapefruit flavor, so I made a bed of pound cake and then topped it with a grapefruit and Campari gelee. It is very rich, but the grapefruit and slight bitterness of the campari create a sophisticated "creamsicle" that is super refreshing.
Posset is a creamy, cold British dessert that’s super-easy to put together. It’s like a perfectly executed panna cotta in texture and taste, but it’s made without the gelatin. This version is flavored with tart grapefruit and topped with tropical fruit and chopped macadamia nuts for crunch.