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60 Tropical Desserts That’ll Brighten Up Your Day

Get the taste of an easy, breezy tropical vacation with each bite of these amazing island desserts.

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Caribbean Coconut Rum Cake

My take on those boozy treats that weigh down suitcases returning from Jamaica, this moist cake packs a rum punch. You may wish to card your guests before serving. The longer the rum soaks in, the better—overnight is best. —Jenn Hall, Collingswood, New Jersey

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Tropical Coconut PieTaste of Home

Tropical Coconut Pie

A breeze to prepare, this tropical-tasting pie is tops with whoever tries it.—Nancy Mendoza, Yakima, Washington

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Sunny Citrus Cheesecake

Sunny Citrus Cheesecake

This beautiful layered cheesecake takes a bit longer to make, but the end result is so worth it! Citrus seems to be the perfect ending for an Easter meal, and the bright flavors really shine in this dessert. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

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Pineapple Rumchata Shortcakes Exps Tohescodr20 245807 E02 19 1b 3

Pineapple RumChata Shortcakes

This deliciously different dessert is made in the slow cooker instead of the oven. When done, add final touches to the cooled pineapple shortcake jars and serve. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Homemade Mango MarshmallowsTaste of Home

Homemade Mango Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are much better than bagged ones. I had yummy results when I flavored my recipe with mango nectar. Look for it in your store’s Mexican food section. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri

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Warm Pineapple Sundaes with Rum SauceTaste of Home

Warm Pineapple Sundaes with Rum Sauce

Pineapple, rum and sugar have a longstanding and flavorful relationship that takes on new meaning when you add ginger and butter and turn up the heat. —Jamie Miller, Maple Grove, Minnesota

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Coastal Coconut Cream Cake Exps Tohon19 198326 E06 13 5b 2

Coastal Coconut Cream Cake

This is my son’s county fair cake. He was awarded a top-10 prize and auctioned his coconut cream cake off for big bucks! —Amy Freeze, Avon Park, Florida

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Key Lime Cream Pie

I am very proud of this luscious no-bake beauty. It’s so cool and refreshing—perfect for any summer potluck or get-together. Wherever I take this pie, it quickly disappears, with everyone asking for the recipe. —Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida

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Tropical Compote DessertTaste of Home

Tropical Compote Dessert

To make a more adult version of this recipe, use brandy instead of the extra tropical fruit juice. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pina Colada Icebox CakeTaste of Home

Pina Colada Icebox Cake

This icebox cake has all of the flavors of a pina colada. It takes just one bite to escape to a tropical island! —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia

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Hawaiian Dream Cookies

These cookies are lovely as they are, but I’ll sometimes use a light-colored sanding sugar for the top: First, lightly brush the top cookie with cream, then sprinkle with sanding sugar. This can be done before or after placing the cookie on top of the filling. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

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Mango Glace With Pineapple Pomegranate Salsa Exps Thjj19 233536 E02 20 9b Rms 7

Mango Glace with Pineapple Pomegranate Salsa

I’d like to say this dish was a brilliant idea that came from expert planning. But the truth is that between the quickly ripening fruit on my counter and the 100-degree heat, it pretty much invented itself! Very ripe fruit eliminates the need for extra sugar. —Jodi Taffel, Altadena, California

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Margarita Cake Exps Toham20 144162 B11 06 1b

Margarita Cake

This margarita cake is perfect for a picnic on a warm day. You'll be surprised at how closely it tastes like the real thing. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

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Pineapple Coconut Tassies Exps Thd18 226779 C07 27 4b 1

Pineapple Coconut Tassies

These cookies may sound and look fancy, but they’re rather easy to make Their simplicity makes them an ideal choice for baking with children. My granddaughter enjoys helping me measure the ingredients. Children also can help shape the dough into balls, and then you can finish them together. —Connie Shuff, York, Pennsylvania

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Coconut Mango Bread Pudding with Rum SauceTaste of Home

Coconut Mango Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

All of the fun flavors of Puerto Rico come together in a dessert that's both exotic and familiar. Topped with a brown sugar rum sauce, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. —Jennifer Jackson, Keller, Texas

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Tropical Cranberry CobblerTaste of Home

Tropical Cranberry Cobbler

The sunny island flavors of pineapple and orange go so well with the tart cranberries in this Hawaiian-inspired dessert. A scoop of vanilla ice cream makes it a creamy treat. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

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Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake Exps Tohrc20 252032 E06 23 11b 2

Pineapple Coconut Upside-Down Cake

This pineapple coconut upside-down cake is one of my favorites! The tropical flavors remind me of being on vacation with my family in the Caribbean. It brings back so many fun memories. —Stephanie Pichelli, Toronto, Ontario

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Marshmallow-Almond Key Lime Pie

Summer is peak season for Key limes—a must for this pie’s distinctive sweet-tart flavor. Unlike other Key lime pies, mine has a smooth marshmallow layer on top that makes it stand out as a crowd favorite. —Judy Castranova, New Bern, North Carolina

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Lemon Coconut BitesTaste of Home

Lemon Coconut Bites

The tangy lemon flavor of this layered bar dessert is especially delicious on a warm day. It takes me back to selling lemonade on the sidewalk as a little girl. —Donna Biddle, Elmira, New York

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Slow Cooker Tropical Orange Cake Exps Thedscodr19 160988 E02 22 6b 3

Slow-Cooker Tropical Orange Cake

Inspired by the fruity tropical flavors of my all-time favorite yogurt, this makes
for a fresh, fun and comforting treat. Try it for a beautiful dessert that is
ridiculously easy to prepare! —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri

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Pina Colada Molded SaladTaste of Home

Pina Colada Molded Salad

My gelatin ring gets a tropical twist from coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts. It's a wonderful anytime treat. Now that I'm retired from teaching, I have more time for kitchen experiments. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

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Caramelized Pineapple SundaesTaste of Home

Caramelized Pineapple Sundaes

Whenever we get a craving for a tropical escape, this super simple recipe whisks us away in no time. Vanilla’s nice but drizzling the sauce over salted caramel ice cream and taking a bite is just pure paradise. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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Coconut-Macadamia BiscottiTaste of Home

Coconut-Macadamia Biscotti

I came up with this recipe after my husband and I returned from our first trip to Hawaii. Dipping these tropical treats in a good cup of coffee brings us right back to the wonderful memories we made there. —Shannon Koene, Blacksburg, Virginia

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Coconut Key Lime Thumbprints Exps Sddj18 204455 C08 08 4b 5

Coconut Key Lime Thumbprints

This is the cookie recipe I created for the Las Vegas World Food Championships 2013. It’s similar to a shortbread thumbprint cookie, but with lots more personality. —Amy Freeze, Avon Park, Florida

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Tropical Crisp

One bite of this sweet, juicy, crunchy crisp, and you just might hear the crash of the ocean and feel warm sand under your toes! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Pineapple Upside Down Muffins Exps Tohcom19 36757 B10 04 9b 2

Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins

For a modern version of upside-down cake, we use pineapple and a sweet batter to make fun muffins with a cherry on top. —Suzeanne Longwill, Ortonville, Michigan

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Refrigerator Lime Cheesecake Exps Bdsmz17 48876 B03 02 3b 2

Refrigerator Lime Cheesecake

I made this for a Father's Day party, and it was a hit! I guarantee compliments when you serve this fantastic dessert. —Cher Anjema, Kleinburg, Ontario

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Pina Colada Zucchini Bread Exps Ugfbmz17 42315 C04 28 5b 1

Pina Colada Zucchini Bread

At my husband's urging, I entered this recipe at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and won first place! I think you'll love the cakelike texture and tropical flavors. —Sharon Rydbom, Tipton, Pennsylvania

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Lime & Gin Coconut Macaroons

I took these lime and coconut macaroons to our annual cookie exchange, where we name a queen. I won the crown! —Milissa Kirkpatrick, Angel Fire, New Mexico

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Frozen Pineapple-Kiwi PopsTaste of Home

Frozen Pineapple-Kiwi Pops

Kiwi, pineapple, sugar and water are all you need to make these easy, breezy freezer pops.—Colleen Ludovice, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Pina Colada Tube Cake

We named this a “pina colada” cake because it has coconut, pineapple and rum. It’s a soothing finish at the end of a big spread. —Debra Keil, Owasso, Oklahoma

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Island Breezes Coffee CakeTaste of Home

Island Breezes Coffee Cake

With the island flavors, this simple pull-apart bread is perfect for a spring brunch. —Debra Goforth, Newport, Tennessee

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Pina Colada Grilled PineappleTaste of Home

Pina Colada Grilled Pineapple

During a cookout with friends, I forgot about dessert. I had a fresh pineapple and coconut, so I improvised. Now I grill pineapple at every cookout. —Josee Lanzi, New Port Richey, Florida

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Aloha Cupcakes

A friend asked me to make a coconut and pineapple cupcake for a gathering she was hosting. Everyone agreed that this beauty took them to the tropics. The macadamia nuts are completely optional (the friend happens to be allergic), and the cupcakes are still fantastic without them. —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta

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Mango Rice PuddingTaste of Home

Mango Rice Pudding

Mangoes are my son's favorite fruit, so I was ecstatic to incorporate them into a healthy dessert. You can also use ripe bananas instead of mango, almond extract instead of vanilla, or regular milk in place of soy. —Melissa McCabe, Victor, New York

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Lime Angel Food CakeTaste of Home

Lime Angel Food Cake

For my husband's family reunion, I took a store-bought angel food cake and turned it into this special dessert with a lovely lime cream frosting topped with toasted coconut. It went over big! —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania

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Coconut Dream Cupcakes

My daughter, Elizabeth, came up with this incredible recipe. The cream cheese in the middle is a fun surprise when someone takes their first bite. —Julie Flournoy, Laurelville, OH

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Panna Cotta with Papaya CoulisTaste of Home

Panna Cotta with Papaya Coulis

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert that means “cooked cream.” My friend and I developed a tropical version that’s rich, creamy, tangy and so refreshing. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah

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Dar's Coconut Cream PieTaste of Home

Dar's Coconut Cream Pie

When I whip up a toasted coconut cream pie, my family goes wild and the pie vanishes. —Darlene Bartos, Shoreview, Minnesota

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Frozen Key Lime DelightTaste of Home

Frozen Key Lime Delight

In the middle of summer, nothing hits the spot quite like this sublime Key lime dessert. Cold, creamy and tart, it looks like sunshine. —Melissa Millwood, Lyman, South Carolina

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Rich Rum Cake Exps Fbmz18 189500 D05 09 2b 1

Rich Rum Cake

We like a touch of rum for the holidays, and this orangey rum cake is decadent alone or with big swoops of whipped cream. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Best Lime TartTaste of Home

Best Lime Tart

This treat is the perfect balance between tart and sweet, and the almonds in the crust are just wonderful. This is one of my husband’s favorite desserts. Enjoy! —Charis O'Connell, Mohnton, Pennsylvania

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Hawaiian WafflesTaste of Home

Hawaiian Waffles

I created this waffle recipe to recapture the memorable tropical tastes we enjoyed while visiting Hawaii. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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Cherry Coconut Bars

I came across these easy maraschino cherry bars while stationed at a Michigan Air Force base in 1964 and have been making the recipe ever since. My children don't think an event is special unless they are part of it. —Marguerite Emery, Orland, California

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Pineapple Breeze Torte

This lovely torte features ladyfingers, a creamy filling and a crushed pineapple topping. It's a special treat for my large family and a must at Christmas. —Barbara Joyner, Franklin, Virginia

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Coconut Rum Balls

My mom has made rum balls for as long as I can remember. They look beautiful on a dessert spread and can be packaged in a decorative tin as a gift. I swapped coconut rum for the traditional rum and added shredded coconut. —Jana Walker, Macomb, Michigan

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Toni's Tropical Biscotti

My second mom had a hankering for biscotti with pistachios and dried papaya. Since she's a fabulous cook, I gave it a whirl. The result was sensational!—Bonnie Hauschild, Wellington, Florida

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Key Lime CupcakesTaste of Home

Key Lime Cupcakes

I made these light, tangy cupcakes on a chilly day to remind me of our vacation in southern Florida, where Key lime pies are star attractions. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan

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Coconut Pound Cake with Lime Glaze

This pound cake is the best! Oven temps will vary, so if the cake is not done after 1 hour and 20 minutes, continue baking in 5-minute intervals. Use fresh, not bottled, lime juice for the glaze. —Jo McFarland, Sterling, Virginia

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Sunrise PopsTaste of Home

Sunrise Pops

Bright, beautiful, cool, refreshing, sweet, delicious and wholesome—what's there not to like in these homemade pops?—Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

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Favorite Coconut CakeTaste of Home

Favorite Coconut Cake

When I need an impressive dessert for a special occasion, this is the recipe I turn to. My guests are glad I do! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana

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Lemony Coconut BarsTaste of Home

Lemony Coconut Bars

These lemony and chewy bars make a refreshing addition to the holiday cookie tray. Try lime juice and zest for a zingy twist. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey

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Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake Exps Fbmz16 6240 D05 31 2b 1

Skillet Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

For a change of pace, you can substitute fresh or frozen peach slices for the pineapple in this old-fashioned recipe. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas

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Creamy Pineapple PieTaste of Home

Creamy Pineapple Pie

Creamy Pineapple Pie is a light and refreshing dessert that's quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina

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Macadamia Sunshine BarsTaste of Home

Macadamia Sunshine Bars

Your guests will be delighted with my bars. They are packed with nuts and dried fruit. I think that when you take a bite of this treat it’s like a mini-vacation to a Polynesian paradise. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

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Lemon Meringue Angel CakeTaste of Home

Lemon Meringue Angel Cake

I've been told that this dessert tastes exactly like a lemon meringue pie and that it's the best angel food cake anyone could ask for. I'm not sure about all of that, but it is delightful to serve, and each slice is virtually fat free. —Sharon Kurtz, Emmaus, Pennsylvania

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Tropical Carrot Cake

I look forward to August because our family reunion means fun and great food, like this classic cake with the special flair it gets from pineapple. My great-aunt gave me this recipe, and I always make it for the reunion. —Victoria Casey, Enterprise, Oregon

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Easy Coconut Cream Pie

This is my own recipe for a pie that I make often. It's been a family-favorite dessert for decades. I even made several of these pies to serve a threshing crew of 21 men! —Vera Moffitt, Oskaloosa, Kansas

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Orange Dream Angel Food Cake

A basic angel food cake becomes a heavenly indulgence, thanks to a hint of orange flavor swirled into every bite. The orange color makes slices of the cake look so pretty when arranged on individual dessert plates.—Lauren Osborne, Holtwood, Pennsylvania

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Coconut Tres Leches Cupcakes

Three types of milk wonderfully moisten these cupcakes. Toasted coconut on top adds an elegant touch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.