10. Struffoli – Struffoli is a traditionally Neapolitan dessert that consists of marble-sized deep fried balls of dough. They are light on the inside and crunchy on the outside. They are often mixed with other sweet things such as honey. While there are a number of ways to present Struffoli, the traditional way is presenting them with bits of an orange rind, cinnamon taste confection, and honey. Struffoli is often served warm during Easter and Christmas.
9. Tartufo di Pizzo – A typical pastry product from what is now Calabria. It is a hand-shaped cake with a heart of chocolate, melted and covered with sprinkles of cocoa powder and sugar.
8. Biscotti – The full name for biscotti is biscotti di Prato (which translates into biscuits of Prato). These cakes are twice baked. While still hot and fresh in the oven, these large almond biscuits are cut. That is why they remain dry and crunchy after baking.
7. Babà – Even though it may have Polish origins, the Babà is now typically a product that you would find in Naples. They are liquid saturated yeast cakes. These are often filled with pastry cream or whipped cream.
6. Ciarduna – Traditionally from Palermo, Ciarduna are sweet pastries. The pastries are made up from an almond cookie shell that is filled with mascarpone or ricotta filling. There are also varieties that are filled with powdered sugar and chocolate frosting or covered in a chocolate shell.
5. Panna Cotta – Originally, Panna Cotta is from the Piemonte region, but you can now find it all throughout Italy. It is made by simmering together sugar, milk, and cream, and mixing them together with gelatin. You then let it cool until set. It is usually served with caramel sauce, chocolate, or wild fruit coulis.
4. Cassata Siciliana – A round sponge cake that is moistened by liqueur or fruit juices and has layers of candied peel, vanilla, chocolate filling, or ricotta cheese. It is covered with a shell of green and pink pastel colored icing, marzipan, and layered with decorative designs. Not only exceptionally tasty, but also beautiful to look at.
3. Cannoli – A delicious pastry desert. Fried pastry dough made into tube-shaped shell form. They are usually filled with a creamy, sweet filling, often containing ricotta. These are well known in the United States as well.
2. Gelato – The only thing to say about the Italian version of ice cream is that people do not actually realize what the big deal is about gelato until they try it. Creamy, rich and yet not filling in the slightest, ice cream how it should be.
1. Tiramisu – Tiramisu is perhaps the most popular Italian dessert. The original recipe comes from the northern region of Veneto. Ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a mixture of mascarpone and egg yolks, flavored with cocoa and liquor. The original recipe has since been adapted in many different varieties including cakes and puddings.