5 Great Creamy Dessert Recipes You Should Know

Who doesn’t love a smooth, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth dessert? When a craving for something rich and decadent strikes, nothing but a luscious creamy treat will do. 

Satisfy your sweet tooth with five of the most delectable creamy dessert recipes perfect for any occasion. Read on for divine recipes from Italian panna cotta to classic American cheesecake that are sure to impress.

  1. A Light and Silky Italian Classic: Panna Cotta

This quintessential Italian dessert translates to “cooked cream” and it is truly the pure essence of cream in dessert form. Simple yet elegant, panna cotta is the perfect make-ahead dessert. It can be unmolded and served with a variety of sauces, such as fruit puree, chocolate ganache, or caramel. But it needs nothing more than a sprinkling of berries or a shower of citrus zest to highlight its pristine flavors.

Panna cotta is made by warming cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla to infuse the dairy with flavor before blending in gelatin to thicken. Pour into decorative molds or glasses and chill for at least 4 hours until set. Then simply unmold and top with your choice of fruit sauce or fresh berries. The silken cream holds its shape but gives way to the spoon with a soft wobble. Its pure white color and clean cream taste are irresistible. 

With just a few ingredients, you can make this elegant Italian classic at home. Your guests will be impressed with your mastery of this panna cotta recipe. It makes a refreshing finish to any special meal.

  1. A Crowd-Pleasing Baked Classic: Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a cherished American dessert known for its lush cream cheese filling encased in a buttery crisp crust. This beloved treat comes in endless flavors and styles, from the iconic New York baked cheesecake to chilled varieties. For your next gathering or holiday meal, a homemade cheesecake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

The filling is made of cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and flavorings like lemon, vanilla, or chocolate. After blending the silky filling, it is poured into a graham cracker crust and baked in a water bath until just set but still wobbly in the center. This prevents overbaking into a dry or cracked cheesecake. Then, it’s chilled for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving.

Top your cheesecake with fruit compotes, chocolate ganache, caramel, or other decadent toppings. Or keep it classic with a dusting of powdered sugar for irresistible elegance. Bake this impressive yet easy treat for your next event, and get ready for endless requests for the recipe. 

  1. A French Classic: Crème Brûlée

Nothing beats a crème brûlée. This elegant French custard is topped with a crisp sugar shell that cracks to reveal the creamy interior when your spoon breaks through the surface. The contrast of textures between the brittle burnt sugar crust and the smooth vanilla custard is part of what makes crème brûlée so thrilling to eat.

The creamy base starts with egg yolks, cream, and vanilla. Often, there is also milk for a lighter and softer texture. Once baked in a water bath until just set, the custards chill for several hours before the topping is added. Raw sugar is sprinkled on top and melted with a kitchen torch or under a broiler until caramelized. This forms the distinctive top crust. Crème brûlée is best served the same day so the sugar shell maintains its crisp texture.

When you break into the burnt sugar crust and take the first bite of silky custard, it’s an experience like no other. Let the velvety cream melt on your tongue as the caramelized sugar dissolves. Crème brûlée is a show stopping dessert yet surprisingly simple to make at home. Your dinner guests will be wowed when you present those individual ramekins crowned with sugar crust waiting to be cracked.

  1. An Airy Orange Cloud: Lemon Orangesicle Mousse

For a refreshingly fruity yet still decadent creamy dessert, try making a mousse. Whipped egg whites give the mousse a light and airy texture that melts on your tongue. Our luscious lemon orangesicle mousse combines tangy citrus with sweet cream for a bright summertime treat.

Whip egg yolks with sugar, then fold into sweetened whipped cream and lemon and orange zest. Separately beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, then gently fold into the cream mixture. Spoon into cups or glasses and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. The mousse will set into a smooth and creamy cloud bursting with citrus flavor.

Top with candied citrus slices or a sprinkle of lemon cookie crumbles for crunch. The refreshing orange and lemon combination makes this surprisingly light yet still decadent dessert perfect for hot days. Your guests will be delighted by the airy texture and tangy orange cream flavors in each bite.

  1. A French Silk Classic: Chocolate Mousse

What could be more elegant than a luxurious mousse made with fine chocolate? Rich and smooth chocolate mousse is the ultimate in classic French desserts. With just a few key ingredients, you can whip up chocolate mousse in minutes for an elegant finale to impress any guest.

Bittersweet chocolate is melted with butter and then blended with egg yolks one at a time. Lightly whipped cream is carefully folded in to maintain the airy texture. Finally, stiffly beaten egg whites are incorporated before spooning into glasses or cups. Chilling firms up the mousse for at least 4 hours before serving. You’ll want to make the chocolate mousse ahead of time since its flavor improves as it rests.

When ready to serve, top each mousse with candied violets, cacao nibs, chocolate curls, or a cloud of whipped cream. Both velvety and light at once, chocolate mousse is the ultimate elegant dessert for any occasion.


When a creamy dessert craving strikes, look no further than these 5 decadent yet surprisingly easy-to-prepare recipes. From the European classics of panna cotta, creme brulee, and chocolate mousse to comforting American favorites cheesecake and citrus mousse, all your creamy desires will be fulfilled. Impress your loved ones with your skills, turning out one elegant dessert after another. 

Scott Hamlin
Scott is the editor-in-chief of Spice Market New York. He is also an author and publisher of his own craft.