Your birthday is coming up, and you want to do something unique this year. You are ready to look past traditions and find a little more grown-up way to celebrate. You don’t want the standard birthday cake with your name written in weird blue gel, and you don’t want your guests to have to deal with that either. You are ready for a new birthday dessert, and you won’t stop until you find the perfect one.

Luckily, the Italians have a long list of great dessert ideas that can help you replace that boring old birthday cake. If you are ditching the yellow cake for your birthday this year, check out these four Italian desserts that can give you a unique and special birthday.

Cenci alla Fiorentina

These Italian pastries are made with egg dough that is cut into strips and then deep-fried. You can make them easily before your party and create an awesome addition to your birthday dessert tray. Traditionally, you tie them into knots before deep-frying them. This helps give them layers. The great thing about these desserts is that you can make a sampler of dipping sauces from chocolate to your favorite fruits. If you want to go the standard route, you can always just sprinkle powdered sugar on top. They are delicious any way you serve them, and they are a little more adult than the standard sheet cake.


Genoise is your answer to the standard sponge cake. You don’t have to use a box cake to have a great birthday dessert. As a matter of fact, you can make this sponge cake—generally made with melted butter—with ingredients in your own home. This cake is a little heavier than other replacement desserts you might have for your birthday, but if you’re looking to boost the cake idea without completely getting rid of your tradition, genoise is a great substitute.


Panforte is a traditional Tuscan fruit cake. While many Italians serve this around Christmastime, you can serve it at your birthday celebration to give your guests a more grown-up alternative to sheet cake. The great thing about panforte is that it blurs the line between candy and cake. It is full of candied fruits and nuts that give it multiple textures and delicious flavors. This is an excellent dessert to have with coffee or wine.

Pitta M’Pigliata

Pitta M’Pigliata is another Italian Christmas tradition that you can turn into your birthday dessert. This cake is generally made up of (basically) several cinnamon rolls baked together. It includes nuts, cinnamon, and honey. It is deliciously sweet, but there aren’t many ways to make it healthy. However, it’s your birthday, so you can cheat a little.

Selecting the perfect birthday dessert is what is going to make your party stand out. If you don’t think you can make great Italian dishes for your birthday dessert, consider visiting Barano, a great restaurant in Brooklyn for your birthday dinner. We can help you create the ultimate feast with the best dessert. Book a table today!