Here at Giordano’s, it’s no secret we love pizza. But you might not know we think pizza makes a great dessert option, too!
And we’re not talking about heating up leftovers. We’re talking a delicious pizza creation made especially to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Just like traditional pizza, you have infinite options to fit any palate. From indulgent dessert pizza recipes to healthy dessert pizza, only your imagination and willingness to try something new limit your cooking experience. We’ve put together a general guideline for you to follow to form your dessert pizza ideas.
Now, it’s time to get creative! Here are some ideas for how to make dessert pizza.
Step 1: Choose Your Crust
Let’s build this pizza from the bottom up. First, we’ve got to figure out your base. In other words, what are you using as your crust?
Instead of regular pizza dough, you have many options to choose from, ranging from a slightly sweet to a truly delectable dough. It all depends on the dessert pizza crust you prefer. Keep in mind the toppings you want to add, so you can pick the base that will best complement what you plan to add later.
Some of our favorite dessert pizza crusts include the following.
- Cookie dough: For almost any dessert pizza, a sugar cookie crust will work as an excellent base — it’s sweet, but not overpowering, and will complement practically any topping. If you’re feeling more indulgent, go with a chocolate chip cookie dough or brownie batter. If you want to save time, grab premade dough from the store to make your pizza-making process even easier.
- Cinnamon roll: For a breakfast-inspired pizza, try cinnamon roll dough. Place the rolls in a circular pan and roll them out until they’re approximately a quarter-inch thick. Bake per the instructions and you have an indulgent, spiced crust!
- Pie shells: With this option, you can put the pie in pizza pie! You can easily convert pie shells or leftover pie dough into dessert pizza. Just remember, this will likely be a softer, thinner base than the cookie dough, so select your toppings wisely.
When choosing, you have to think ahead about what else you plan to stack on your pizza. The crust needs to support the delicious toppings you put on top of your pizza, so pick a sturdy base if you plan to use an ingredient that could liquefy in the oven, like jam.
When figuring out the timing, remember that some crusts may require some pre-baking time.
Step 2: Choose Your Spread
It’s time to think about what dessert pizza spread you want to use. You’ll place this ingredient where you would usually put the cheese. During this part of your pizza production, you can get creative. What you choose here should complement what you plan to add as your topping. Make sure you picked a sturdy enough crust before you start loading on your spread.
When considering what to put on your pizza as your spread, you could choose between the following options.
- Cheese: No, really, cheese! Cream cheese makes a tasty spread for dessert pizza. To sweeten the neutral flavor, add a quarter-cup of sugar to an eight-ounce packet, along with a splash of vanilla. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, mix salty and sweet. Try combining ricotta cheese with fresh berries and basil for a delightful sweet-and-savory blend.
- Nut butters: From healthy to indulgent, pick your favorite nut butter. You can do crunchy or smooth, and even flavored nut butters. Some of our favorites are classic peanut butter, chocolate-hazelnut and almond.
- Chocolate ganache: There is something about this rich, indulgent layer that makes our mouths water. When you want a treat, layer your dessert pizza with a glossy ganache. You can mix this fancy-sounding chocolate spread by bringing cream just to a boil over medium-high heat, pouring it over chocolate and letting it stand for 10 minutes. After that, add a pinch of salt and stir. Don’t stir your ganache too soon, or it will cool quickly and become grainy.
- Marshmallow spread: For the serious sweet tooth, make faux cheese with ooey-gooey marshmallow spread. For a toasted flavor, spread your marshmallow layer and quickly broil on low heat. For the sake of safety and your dish, never walk away from the pizza while broiling the marshmallow. It will likely take less than a minute, and walking away could leave you with burnt marshmallow or even a smoke-filled kitchen.
- Frosting: As an easy crowd-pleaser, frosting adds to the sweetness of your dessert pizza. You can use premade or make your own, and it’s a great way to get the kids involved. Let them spread the frosting after the base cools.
The options here could go on and on, but remember not to soak or overload your crust. If you’re considering adding something like jam to your dessert pizza, you need to account for how sturdy your crust will be, compared to the liquid content of your spread. Try adding a thin layer of cream cheese before the jam to keep your crust from getting soggy.
Step 3: Pick the Perfect Toppings
Narrowing down your topping list will likely be the hardest part of the whole process. Choose your favorite flavors, or go for a theme. To start, you’ll probably want to consider two primary categories.
Are you looking to keep things light, or do you want to fully satisfy your sweet tooth? Pick one, pick the other or mix it up!
If you’re looking for healthy options, consider these toppings.
- Go nutty: After adding a nut butter, you could add crushed peanuts, hazelnuts or almonds to get some crunch on your crust. For another layer of texture, consider adding crushed granola as well!
- Fruit dessert pizza: Adding your favorite fruit to a pie crust and jam or ricotta cheese gives you a sweet, simple flavor that leads to a lighter pizza than a rich and indulgent chocolate option.
If sweet indulgence is what you’re after, the candied world of chocolate and sweets gives you endless options:
- Chocolate chips
- Peanut butter cups
- Chocolate or caramel syrup drizzle
- Mini marshmallows and graham crackers
- Crushed candy bars
- Crumbled cookies
If it satisfies your sweet tooth, you can probably make it work as a dessert pizza topping.
Step 4: Mix and Match for Endless Possibilities
To get you inspired, we came up with a list of our favorite combos.
- Birthday cake: From the crust dough to the spread or even as a topper, you can’t go wrong with sprinkles. Top your crust with vanilla icing mixed with rainbow sprinkles and finish it off with multicolored candies or more sprinkles.
- Peanut butter and chocolate: Top your cookie crust with peanut butter, add crushed peanuts, chocolate cups and candies, then drizzle with chocolate hazelnut spread or ganache.
- S’mores: Top your crust with chocolate-hazelnut spread, melted chocolate or marshmallow spread. If you top with marshmallow spread, toast that layer under the broiler and add melted chocolate and graham crackers to the top. If you go with a chocolate spread, top with mini marshmallows and toast with a broiler or kitchen torch. Sprinkle the final product with crushed graham crackers.
- Pie dessert pizza: We love the idea of turning a home-baked pie into a pizza pie! Top your cookie crust with cooked or warmed canned fruit – try apples, peaches or whatever pie flavor you like. Crumble granola or streusel on top, drizzle with caramel or melted frosting and enjoy!
You can pick a tried-and-true recipe, or you can branch out and invent something unique to you. Whatever combination you choose, remember to have fun with it.
Make DIY Dessert Pizza and Order a Deep Dish for Beforehand
Use dessert pizza to spice up movie night, dinner party, picnic or your average weeknight. Get the kids involved in planning the pizza, mixing and spreading the dough and placing their favorite toppings. Making dessert pizza is a great way to bring the whole family together.
What makes a dessert pizza taste even more delicious? Ordering a Giordano’s pizza beforehand.
Tie your feast together with a Giordano’s classic deep dish to start the meal, then finish the evening off right with your dessert pizza recipe. Place your order now, so it’s ready when you are.