Around the World With the Desserts of Summer

There’s something about summer that triggers an irresistible impulse to travel. Maybe it’s the long days full of possibilities or the memory of school days coming to end when adventure waited after the last bell, but whatever it is can be hard to deny. Even if you can’t get away IRL this summer you can travel the world in sweets. From a gelato coffee concoction to an indulgent dessert that literally means to sigh, I rounded up the desserts of summer. Travel like the jetsetter you are in your kitchen.

Related Content: Keep Your Cool at 11 Long Island Ice Cream Shops

Affogato, Italy

summer desserts

image: kapongza

Think Italian summer and dreams of gelato likely fill the mind. The Italian summer staple plays a role in this dessert, but the star ingredient is coffee. Simple, Affogato is a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla gelato–additional shot of coffee liquor optional. Chocolate Moosey has an even sweeter version that includes caramel. Get the recipe.

Bananas Ghana, Ghana

summer desserts

image: josef mohyla

Ghana has bananas, lots of them. In the ultimate version of farm-to-table, it’s hard to find a traditional Ghanaian dessert that doesn’t feature bananas. The most well known is Bananas Ghana, made with bananas, cinnamon, orange juice and Curacao. Get the recipe.

Baked Coconut, Brazil

summer desserts

image: handmadepictures

Foodies heading to the Rio Games will find plenty to love on the streets of Brazil including the popular street food dessert Baked Coconut, known as Cocada wrapped in little paper. The sticky sweet dessert is so easy to make. Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’s version is cake-like. Get the recipe.

Halo-Halo, Philippines

summer desserts

image: AGfoto

Think everything sweet in a jar and you’ve got the basic idea of a Halo-Halo. The name actually means “mixed together.” There’s shaved ice, syrup, ice cream, custard and some sweet toppings. Anthony Bourdain showed us one of the best places to get it stateside in a 2013 season of Parts Unknown. Or you could just whip it up at home. Get the recipe.

Kulfi, India

summer desserts

image: ingwervanille

Sorry ice cream fans, but once you’ve had Kulfi you’ll never really be satisfied with your beachside favorite again. Seriously. India’s version of ice cream is creamy, dense and designed to melt slowly. Almost like gelato, but better. One of the most popular flavors is mango. Get the recipe.

Sno-Balls, New Orleans

Dreaming of Nectar Cream…? It’s Tuesday, dream no more! (📷: @mauxfo )

A photo posted by Hansen’s Sno-Bliz (@snobliz) on

Whatever you do, don’t call it a snow cone. They don’t even come close to the traditional New Orleans dessert of summer. The difference is all in the ice. Sno-balls are made with shaved ice not crushed or ground, which New Orleanians believe makes the handmade syrup soak in better. Get the recipe. Suspiro de Limeña, Peru  

Hard to make, but oh so worth it, this Peruvian dessert combines dulce de leche, port wine infused meringue and ground cinnamon. It’s sticky, sweet and you’ll sigh after just one bite. It’s in the name. Get the recipe.