As we drag our feet through the last remaining weeks of winter, it helps to think of sunshine and tropical climates – and the refreshing desserts that come with warmer weather. So instead of getting bogged down in the winter blues, bring the summer season into your kitchen with these bold and easy desserts. From exotic fruit crisps and citrus pound cake to chocolate-coconut balls and mango-coconut ice pops, these tropical delights will immediately brighten your day.
Grilled Pineapple with Nutella
What’s better than straight-up grilled pineapple? A recipe that includes Nutella, of course! This unique, mouth-watering dessert perfectly blends fresh, juicy pineapple with everyone’s favourite chocolate spread.
Lemon Coconut Cupcakes
Who can resist a cupcake? These gems from the Queen of Baking boast a delicate lemon cake base and an irresistible homemade coconut buttercream frosting that will have you daydreaming about those warm summer nights.
Toasted Coconut Chia Pudding
An assortment of refreshing tropical fruit – dragon fruit, mango, pineapple, etc. – acts as the perfect chia pudding topping. Finish it all off with a generous sprinkling of shredded coconut.
Rainbow No-Bake Cheesecake
If you’re short on time, this simple no-bake cake will brighten your kitchen with its pretty pastels and mousse-like appearance. Light and airy on the inside and jam-packed with strawberries, mangoes and zesty limes, it tastes exactly like summer. Find more of our best no-bake desserts.
Chocolate Coconut Balls
Chocolate? Check. Coconut? Check. No-bake? Check! This sweet snack is the perfect tropical offering to get you through the winter doldrums. You can also play around with these no-bake treats to make with kids.
Rose Cheesecake Tart
A simple icebox cheesecake is given a positively regal twist with its bold, beautiful crown of rose petals fashioned from fresh plums and mangoes. A gorgeous addition to your afternoon tea party, this recipe would make the Queen herself envious. Serve them up with these scone recipes.
Pina Colada Tres Leches Cakes
“If you like pina coladas …” then these amazing mini cakes served up in on-trend Mason jars are the perfect after-dinner treat or party dessert.
Tropical Fruit Pinwheel Danishes
We love a good old-fashioned Danish recipe, especially one that features homemade lemon curd and fresh tropical fruits. This versatile dessert allows you to sub in your personal favourites. Think: dragon fruit, starfruit, mango and kiwi. For more inspiration, check out Anna Olson’s best new dessert recipes.
Mango Coconut Ice Pops
You don’t have to be in the midst of a summer heat wave to stock your freezer with these gorgeous ice pops. Requiring less than seven ingredients and only 15 minutes of your time, these beauties are a cinch to make.
Upside-Down Bananas Foster Cake
Forgo traditional pineapples this time around and opt for another tropical fruit that everyone loves: bananas. It’s the perfect substitute for this boozy, caramelized version of the classic upside-down cake.
Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
Ready in 30 minutes, these soft ricotta cookies are given a lemony zing that will inspire you to incorporate more tropical-flavoured desserts into your regular rotation.
Pineapple, Banana, Strawberry Skewers with Salted Chocolate Drizzle
Introduce some summertime grilling into your winter dessert repertoire. We especially love this skewer-combo of caramelized bananas, jammy strawberries and juicy pineapple, but you can easily swap in other tropical favourites like mangoes or dragon fruit.
Get the recipe for Pineapple, Banana, Strawberry Skewers with Salted Chocolate Drizzle
Star Fruit Upside-Down Cake
An oft-neglected tropical flavour is the underrated star fruit. For the uninitiated, it tastes a lot like an apple but looks more visually appealing thanks to its unique shape. Bonus: it’s loaded with fibre and vitamin C. Find more foods packed with vitamin C.
Kale-Banana Breakfast Pops
We appreciate a cool dessert that is as delicious as it is healthy. At a mere 120 calories per serving, these smoothie-inspired ice pops are the perfect post-breakfast treat after you’ve downed a hot bowl of oatmeal or gobbled up scrambled eggs. Find more things healthy people eat for breakfast.
Lemon Panna Cotta with Summer Fruit
We love the simplicity of this classic Italian dessert – in fact, you don’t even have to turn on the oven. The molded, chilled treat pairs perfectly with chopped strawberries, sliced peaches or fresh blueberries.
Key Lime Pie
With its reputation as one of the dessert world’s most beloved comfort classics, you can’t go wrong with the tangy goodness of a traditional key lime pie complete with graham cracker crust.
Pound Cake with Citrus Glaze
This rich, buttery pound cake topped with a tangy lemon glaze is just as dense and delicious as we hoped. Find more lemon-inspired desserts that will make you feel like you’re on a beach.
Tropical Watermelon Sorbet
Light and refreshing, this watermelon and pineapple juice-infused sorbet will have you dreaming of warmer weather. You can even celebrate the impending arrival of summer by replacing the ginger ale with dark rum for a boozy twist.