Zeppole To Zebra Cake: 7 Zesty Desserts Starting With 'Z'
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Desserts are a vast and diverse world unto themselves. From chocolatey to nutty or fruity, there are so many different types of desserts that sometimes it can become overwhelming to keep track of all of them. That’s why most professional bakers and master chefs prefer to categorise their desserts in some way, and the most convenient and easiest way to categorise desserts is in alphabetical order.

This article will focus on some of the most renowned desserts, starting with the letter 'Z.' This is quite a versatile list, and the desserts all originate from various parts of the world. They are also unique in texture and taste, making use of a host of sweets as well as local and imported ingredients. However, no matter where they are from or what they are made of, they are equally delicious and widely beloved.

Check out the seven most popular desserts, beginning with the letter 'Z.'


A frozen Italian treat, zabaglione is a custard prepared from egg yolks, sugar, and either Marsala or sweet wine. To craft this dreamy dessert, whisk the egg yolks thoroughly with sugar till the mixture assumes a colourless and dense consistency. Gradually, introduce sweet wine to the mixture while continuing to whisk it over a pot of boiling water. The heat will enable the custard to cook properly while air is beaten into it, infusing the dessert with a creamy texture. This dish can be savoured as a warm sweet sauce or in a chilled mousse-like form.

Zebra Cake

Zebra cake is an unconventional dessert that rose to fame in the US in the 1960s. This sweet dish boasts a distinctive presentation, with layers of chocolate, decorated with white frosting, resembling a zebra’s coat. Although the cake was originally prepared using boxed cake mixes, many bakeries craft the cake from scratch with ingredients such as chocolate cake and buttercream frosting. This decadent cake’s novelty lies in its simplicity; the dark colour of the chocolate provides an enchanting contrast to the whiteness of the frosting, elevating the cake's appearance as well as its flavour.

Image Credits: iStock


Zeppoles, an Italian delicacy, are essentially deep-fried dough balls that possess a light, melt-in-the-mouth texture. To make these succulent specialties, prepare a yeast-leavened dough and drop it into hot oil; the dough will puff up and mould into an enticing, doughnut-like shape. Once the balls assume a golden brown colour, strain them and sprinkle them with powdered or cinnamon sugar to imbue them with an undertone of sweetness. Some variations of this luscious dessert also come with rich pastry cream or jam fillings.


Considered a distant relative to the classic jalebi, zalabia is a Middle Eastern sweet treat that is typically described as a funnel-shaped pastry. To make this dessert, begin by deep-frying a yeast-risen dough till it takes on a golden brown crispiness. Subsequently, douse the dessert in honey-rose water syrup while it is still warm to give it a flavour of floral sweetness. This preparation method leads to the creation of a unique dessert that boasts a soft and gooey interior and a crispy interior, making it a textural delight.

Zuppa Inglese

A timeless Italian trifle dessert, this delicacy is made by soaking slim, brittle ladyfinger biscuits in a rum or Marsala wine-flavoured custard. The sweet ladyfingers are layered with a sinful vanilla pastry cream to craft this culinary masterpiece. After the layering is done, the dessert can be garnished with several ingredients, such as whipped cream or chocolate sauce. The different layers and toppings of the dish lend it an invigorating flavour that is guaranteed to keep you coming back for more.

Image Credits: By Lungoleno - Own workSelf-photographed, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons


Another Italian delicacy, the zuccotto, is a visually enchanting dome-shaped cake that is filled with a variety of sweet treats, including ice cream, fruits, and nuts. This dessert is created by soaking a simple sponge cake in liqueur and layering it; thereafter, it is filled with an enriching blend of the aforementioned ingredients. Lastly, the cake is garnished with chocolate ganache or whipped cream, and chilled till it becomes sturdy. Once chilled, the soft and comforting cake is sliced and served.

Image Credits: By Pietro & Silvia from Italy - zuccotto, CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikimedia Commons


The festive cookie known as Zimtstern has roots in Germany. A Christmas special treat, the cookie is made by combining cinnamon and groundnuts, specifically almonds and hazelnuts. Ingredients like sugar, egg whites, and lemon juice are used to make the dough, which is kneaded with flour and spices. The cookie is typically garnished with some frosting, specially prepared by blending icing and water. This dessert is admired for the manner in which it marries the contrasting sweet and spicy flavours of its ingredients.