If you’re looking for a kid-friendly dessert or a birthday party treat that won’t knock the children over with sugar overload, then this fruit pizza recipe is what you want.
Since fruit pizza gets most of its sweetness from the natural sugars of fruit, it’s easy to cut the refined sugar way down, or completely out, in this dessert.
Fruit also lends natural color, so you can choose to modify or skip artificial dyes altogether, and you’ll still serve up a colorful treat.
Vegan? Gluten-free? It’s easy to modify a fruit pizza recipe to fit any food sensitivities.
And best of all, fruit pizza is fun for kids to make as well as eat. Kids can happily decorate fruit pizza as a party activity, or make their own special dessert for a special occasion.
Fruit Pizza Recipe
Here’s how to make a basic fruit pizza.
1. Make the pizza crust. Most fruit pizza recipes use a cookie crust, and I admit, that is pretty yummy. The fruit pizza that my kids are making in these particular photos has a homemade M&M cookie cake as its base.
However, because the fruit itself is so sweet, you absolutely do not have to add any extra sugar into the crust. You can use a lightly-sweetened cookie recipe as the base, or–and although I haven’t tried this one myself, I’ve heard positive feedback from those who have–you can apparently simply use your favorite thin-crust pizza crust recipe.
Whatever crust you choose, let it cool completely. Fruit pizza is best served immediately, or at least within a couple of hours of its decoration, so at this point you can also wrap and freeze this crust, then defrost it on the day that you want to make your pizza, to give yourself a little less work to do on party day.
2. Make the pizza sauce. You need some sort of “sauce” to hold the fruit to the crust, and again you have a lot of options. We use plain softened cream cheese for our fruit pizzas–you can sweeten the cream cheese, of course, or use cream cheese frosting, but I don’t think it’s needed, and actually, I prefer the contrast of the tart cream cheese to the sweet fruit.
If you’re making this to serve immediately, fresh, unsweetened whipped cream or coconut cream are both good possibilities.
Other non-dairy options include nut butter sweetened with honey (or maple syrup, or nothing), or cocoa hazelnut butter that lacks milk powder as an ingredient.
If you’re using cream cheese or whipped cream, you can also choose to dye your sauce, or not. The fruit is certainly colorful enough as it is, but my kids really enjoy dividing the cream cheese into muffin tins, then dyeing each one a different color. Use homemade or store-bought natural food coloring to avoid the artificial chemicals and preservatives found in conventional food coloring.
3. Decorate the pizza! Do this as close to serving time as you can, to preserve the freshness of the cut fruit.
My kids are super into rainbows, so they had a fabulous time shopping for and decorating with fruit that matched all the colors of the rainbow. Fortunately star fruit is yellow, since bananas are not, but you’ve got to use your imagination with blueberries.
Slice larger pieces of fruit, such as kiwis or star fruit, as thinly as possible. Spritz apple slices with lemon juice, or soak them briefly in orange juice, to keep them from turning brown. Bananas should probably only be used if you really are serving the pizza immediately, since they don’t keep well at all, and skip using watermelon altogether, because it will only make your pizza soggy.
Although making and eating this fruit pizza recipe is just plain fun, there are a lot of educational experiences that kids can have with this:
- Is your kid interested in cooking? Fruit pizza is an easy recipe for a kid to learn to make completely independently.
- Is your kid a bit of a fussy eater, or reluctant to try something new? Fruit pizza is a great way to encourage her to taste new fruit!
- Fruit pizza is a fun enrichment activity for a kid who’s studying the rainbow or the color wheel.
- Fruit means flowers, and flowers means botany! Can your kid identify the leaves and flowers associated with every fruit on the pizza? She can dissect a piece of fruit to learn its anatomy, or look up the order of classification of the plant that produces each piece of fruit.
- Pizza is all about fractions. Ask your kid to decorate a quarter of the pizza with blueberries, and a third with grapes, etc.
Do you have any other fun pizza ideas? Share them with me in the Comments below!