15 Easy Desserts You Can Enjoy on the Mediterranean Diet

updated Jan 16, 2024
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Green yoghurt panna cotta topped with macerated berry topping

The Mediterranean diet is all about moderation, which means dessert is hardly out of the question. Ingredients such as fresh fruit, olive oil, and yogurt are staples when it comes to sweets, resulting in desserts that are light, fresh, and full of flavor.

Like so much of Mediterranean cooking, desserts are rarely complicated, often coming together in one bowl with just a few ingredients. Here are 15 of our favorite Mediterranean dessert recipes.

1 / 15
Olive Oil Cake
Make this tender and fluffy olive oil cake at home with ingredients that are already in your pantry.
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2 / 15
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta
An easy, no-cook recipe for creamy panna cotta made with Greek yogurt.
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3 / 15
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
This ultra-moist chocolate cake is deep and rich in flavor and best served with whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts.
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4 / 15
Balsamic Berries with Honey Yogurt
A light and fresh dessert of mixed berries marinated in balsamic vinegar and topped with honey-sweetened yogurt.
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5 / 15
Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

Cornmeal adds a wonderful texture to this tender olive oil cake. While blood oranges lend vibrant color, regular oranges can be substituted — as can Cara Cara, which have a pink flesh, if you can find them.

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6 / 15
Brûléed Ricotta
A fast and easy dessert recipe for honey-sweetened ricotta that's brûléed and finished with fresh fruit.
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7 / 15
Italian Carrot Cake (Torta di Carote)
The couple behind the Tuscan Gun share their family recipe for a just-sweet-enough carrot cake that's free of whole nuts, spices, and raisins.
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8 / 15
Honeyed Phyllo Stacks with Pistachios, Spiced Fruit & Yogurt

Working with phyllo dough may seem intimidating, but it’s actually much easier than you think. The trick is to keep the layers of dough moist under a damp towel or plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.

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9 / 15
Whipped Yogurt with Apples and Walnuts

Whipping yogurt with heavy cream transforms it into a mousse-like treat that doesn’t need much more than a few warm, cinnamon-spiced apples to make it dessert.

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10 / 15
Sticky Gluten-Free Lemon Cake
Almond flour and polenta form the base of this gluten-free cake that gets a double dose of flavor from lemon zest and lemon syrup.
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11 / 15
Brûléed Fruit with Mascarpone Yogurt Sauce

Save some of the juice left behind after cutting up your brûléed fruit, instead of pouring it down the drain. Toss it in brown sugar and use to sweeten the creamy yogurt sauce here.

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12 / 15
One-Bowl Yogurt and Honey Olive Oil Cake
This humble cake is moist, tender, and perfumed with just a touch of fresh thyme and lemon zest.
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13 / 15
Domenica Marchetti's Carrot Polenta Cake with Marsala

This Italian-style carrot cake isn’t the cream cheese frosting-laden version you’re used to. It’s a simple, rustic cake that’s flavored with citrus zest and nutmeg and is best enjoyed mid-afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea.

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14 / 15
Red Fruit Salad with Lemon-Vanilla Bean Syrup
This fruit salad filled with peaches, raspberries, and cherries is drenched in a light lemon-vanilla syrup.
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15 / 15
Almond-Tahini Cake with Rose Syrup & Pistachio
This delicate almond tahini cake soaked with a sweet rose syrup and topped with buttery green pistachios is reminiscent of baklava and also happens to be naturally vegan and dairy-free.
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