What Are the Different Types of Hot Desserts?

Anna B. Smith

The most commonly served types of hot desserts can include hot fudge sundaes, pie, flambe, and bread pudding. These foods are commonly served with ice cream so that the hot foods quickly melt the cold to form a thick and sweetened cream inside the dessert dish. Recipes for these foods may be found in dessert cookbooks and through Internet searches.

A cherry pie.
A cherry pie.

A hot dessert can be any sweet food served at the end of a meal at a high temperature. Some cold or lukewarm desserts may be heated quickly in a microwave or hot oven prior to serving to improve their consistency. Brownies may fall into this category of hot desserts that can also be served cold. They are frequently reheated and served with cold ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge sauce to create a hot fudge brownie sundae.

Homemade apple and other fruit pies are typically served warm.
Homemade apple and other fruit pies are typically served warm.

Pies are another popular form of hot desserts. A pie may be any type of food that has been baked inside a pastry shell. Fruit is frequently placed in between a bottom and top pie crust with a small amount of sugar and lemon juice so that its natural sweetness may flavor the pie. Some common choices for fruit used in pie are strawberries, cherries, apples, and peaches. Multiple types of fruit which compliment one another in flavor and texture may be used in one dessert to create a unique and signature taste. Cobbler is a type of quick pie that utilizes biscuit dough, rather than pastry shells, to create a thick, crust layer over the baking fruit.

Strawberries are a common pie filling.
Strawberries are a common pie filling.

Chefs wishing to serve hot desserts, who prefer not to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen after the main meal has been served, may enjoy the ease of serving a flambe dish. Flambe is the act of adding liqueur to a dish and igniting it immediately prior to serving. This action burns off the actual liquor content of the primary ingredient, but still retains its rich and full flavor in the dish. The liqueurs used in such recipes must be heated prior to use, so that they will catch flame. Both main meals and desserts may be prepared using this technique.

Some popular flambe hot desserts include cherries jubilee, bananas foster, and crepes. Cherries jubilee layers cold, vanilla ice cream, cooked cherries, and brandy together. Pre-mixed cherry pie filling may be used for this type of recipe, or cherries may be reduced for half an hour in a sauce pan prior to use. To make bananas foster, the chef may combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, halved bananas, and rum in a sauce pan and cook over a medium heat. Once all ingredients have begun to brown, they are ignited and finally served over vanilla ice cream.

Bread pudding is a type of dessert which utilizes sweetened bread and is served hot. This dish may be baked in a hot oven during the main meal, or served from a slow cooker. Any type of bread may be used, though naturally sweet breads like cinnamon, raisin, and yeast bread tend to work best. This ingredient is combined with milk, eggs, and brown sugar to create a syrupy base that forms beneath the upper thick crust.

Many recipes for bread pudding call for eggs, milk and brown sugar.
Many recipes for bread pudding call for eggs, milk and brown sugar.

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Discussion Comments


There are some desserts I can eat hot or cold. We used to make a baked banana pudding with a meringue topping at our restaurant, and it never had time to cool down before we sold out of it at lunch. I usually like cold banana pudding myself, but the added heat gave it a completely different flavor profile.


When my wife and I visited the area around Vanderbilt University in Nashville, we had dinner at a restaurant popular with students. For dessert, I tried something I'd never seen anywhere else. It was called a "cookie dough egg roll". The chef placed raw chocolate chip cookie dough inside an egg roll wrapper and flash fried it for a few minutes. He then plated it and drizzled chocolate sauce over it. The final touch was a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The heat from the egg roll was balanced by the coolness of the ice cream. I order it every time we're in that area.

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