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Soft sugar cookie with just a hint of lemon meets tangy cream cheese fruit dip and all the fresh fruit on top in this Fruit Pizza recipe that is quick, easy to make, and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. It's got the wow factor of a French Fruit Tart, but without the intimidation of making a tart crust and pastry cream filling!
If you have ever been to a social gathering where someone brings a fruit pizza, you know the kind of reaction it gets. People practically fight to get a slice, so it might not be a bad idea to make two of them at the same time to avoid a brawl.
A fruit pizza is one of the easiest desserts ever to throw together. A lot of people just use premade refrigerated sugar cookie dough. But it's so much better to make it from scratch with the easy sugar cookie dough recipe I'm sharing below and it's still less than 20 minutes of actual work. It's just the right amount for one large sugar cookie pizza and there is no chilling required.
You can use any type of fruit you like and arrange it in a design or just lay them on in random order. It's really fun to make this dessert for the 4th of July or Memorial Day. Just arrange blueberries or blackberries in one quadrant and raspberries or strawberries in rows over the rest of the fruit pizza for an easy patriotic flag dessert!
Do I need a fruit pizza glaze on top?
I don't use a glaze on my fruit pizza because frankly, I don't think it needs one. It's an unfussy, unpretentious sort of dessert that I'm usually throwing together last minute and I typically just forget about brushing a glaze ofver the top.
But if you want to try one, you can use the same one I use in my super popular fruit tart recipe and heat ½ cup apricot preserves or apple jelly in the microwave for a few seconds, then brush it on top for a little extra flavor and shine.
Fruit that goes well on fruit pizza
- strawberries (sliced in half or in slices)
- grapes (sliced in half)
- canned mandarin oranges, drained well
- pineapple (fresh or canned)
- thinly sliced apple (dip in lemon juice and water to prevent browning)
- passion fruit (just scoop out the pulpy seeds and drizzle on top)
- sliced banana (don't add this until right before serving though or the bananas will go brown)
- dragonfruit (makes for such pretty presentation)
- apricot halves (fresh, not dried)
- cherries (pitted and halved)
- fresh peaches or nectarines (mmm, so good - I cannot wait for peach season!)
Ingredients in fruit pizza
Aside from the fruit that you will use to decorate this pretty treat, you will need to make the sugar cookie crust and the cream cheese topping. I prefer a simple sweetened cream cheese topping to hold the fruit in place. It holds up better than whipped cream toppings and the smooth, tangy flavor is the perfect contrast to the bright flavors of the fruit and the sweet cookie beneath.
I keep the powdered sugar amount fairly small and don't include butter, which would turn this layer into more of a true cream cheese frosting. It's still creamy and light, but it tastes subtler and provides a better canvas for the fruit flavors to shine without competing with the frosting below.
- Butter: I use salted butter. If you only have unsalted, just increase the salt below by a pinch.
- Sugar: The amount is just right for a perfectly sweet cookie with the right texture. People commonly think sugar only affects taste, but it plays a big part in texture too!
- Vanilla extract: Sugar and vanilla go hand-in-hand in most cookie recipes. You can get away with imitation vanilla if you need to in this recipe.
- Lemon zest: This is optional, but I almost always add it because I love just the hint of lemon flavor it imparts. It is one of the little additions I've added over the years that makes this the best fruit pizza ever!
- Egg: Just one for binding.
- All-purpose flour: Be careful when you measure not to pack in the flour.
- Baking powder & baking soda: Gives the cookie a little lift and keeps it soft.
- Cream of tartar: This also helps with the rise and gives a subtle, but unique flavor to the dough. I also use this ingredient when making snickerdoodles.
- Salt: Just enough to bring out the flavor in this cookie.
Cream cheese layer:
- Cream cheese: Make sure your cream cheese is softened to room temperature so it blends easily and goes on nice and smooth instead of leaving little lumps.
- Powdered sugar: The tanginess of the cream cheese is perfectly offset with this ingredient.
- Lemon juice: It's amazing how adding a little lemon juice brightens the flavor of the whole dessert.
- Vanilla extract: Balances everything out and lends a classic vanilla scent to the fruit pizza so it doesn't taste just like sugar.
How to make fruit pizza
It doesn't take long for the fruit pizza to cool, so you don't really need to worry too much about making the cookie part far in advance. I find that if I start pulling together the cream cheese topping and prepping my fruit once I pull the cookie part out of the oven, it's cool enough to frost by them time I'm done peeling and slicing the fruit I plan to use.
Make the cookie crust
- Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract, along with the lemon zest, if using. Beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Next go in the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt, mixing until combined to make a nice, soft cookie dough.
- Pat the sugar cookie dough into a large round pizza pan (mine is about 14") or just use a baking sheet if you don't have a round pan and pat it into a big circle (or even a fun heart!). You might want to line your pizza pan with parchment paper for easy removal, or spray it with cooking spray and dust with a little flour first.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes until it is light golden brown around the edges. You don't want to overbake the cookie or it will dry out and not be as super soft and wonderful. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
Make the cream cheese topping
- In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese for 1 minute until smooth using an electric mixer.
- Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined and smooth.
- Once the cookie crust is completely cooled, spread the cream cheese topping in a single layer almost to the very edge of the cookie, leaving just a little rim so you can see the crust beneath.
- Arrange your chosen fruit in a decorative pattern. I like to fill in every possible space on top for maximum fruit-to-cookie ratio.
- Slice and serve!
I don't recommend making this dessert far in advance. You can make it a day ahead of time and keep it in the fridge overnight, but the cookie starts to soften a bit from the cream cheese topping over time. And if you use particularly juicy fruit like pineapple or peaches, it could seep through and start to create wet areas in the crust.
A better choice if you really need to make this in advance is to make the cookie crust one day, then wrap it well in plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature overnight. Then the next day make the topping and assemble just before serving.
That said, I happily eat leftover fruit pizza on the second day when I make one just for my family and it's still pretty darn delicious even if it isn't quite as good as when it's fresh.
More fruit desserts you'll love!
- Fresh Strawberry Pie
- Blackberry Nectarine Crumble
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
- Double Glazed Lemon Cookies
- Sour Cream Blueberry Custard Pie
- Raspberry Pretzel Salad
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Cherry Chip Cake
- Best Key Lime Pie
- Fresh Peach Cobbler
- Best Homemade Cherry Pie Recipe
- Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream
- ½ cup salted butter softened
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Layer
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Canned mandarin oranges drained
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 14-inch pizza pan or baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or spraying with cooking spray and dusting with flour.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla, mixing well until combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt, mixing until combined.
- Pat the cookie dough into the pan, pressing it in a thin layer all the way to the edges. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, just until the edges of the crust are a light golden brown. Don't overbake so the cookie stays soft. Cool completely.
- While the cookie crust cools, beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl for 1 minute until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, beating until combined.
- Spread over the cookie crust, then top in a decorative design with the fruit of your choosing. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Best the day it is made.
- You can make the cookie crust 1 day in advance and wrap it in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature overnight and assemble the next day just before serving. Store any leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 days.