Happy #NationalPizzaDay! Fruit Pizza has to be at the top of my pizza list. Sure, it’s made from a giant sugar cookie, but it still counts, right? This easy dessert (or dinner or breakfast in some cases – no judging because I’ve done both before!) is my go to for any fun event that requires me to bring something homemade. It always cracks me up when I start hearing people ooo’ing and aww’ing at first glance. Little do they know that it’s made in 4 simple steps and under an hour. Also, this is literally one of the only things I know how to make and can actually make well.
I first discovered Fruit Pizza in High School. My best friend’s mom made it when she was hosting Bunco at her house. Since we were over there and they had some leftovers, we were able to try it. Ever since that moment we’ve made it for most of our celebrations growing up. It was only fitting that I would make it for my very first Bunco too!
STEP 1: PREPARE THE COOKIE
The “pizza dough” of the Fruit Pizza is actually a giant sugar cookie. In the photos I used a round pan that has an edge. EXPERT TIP: purchase a round pizza pan that does not have an edge. Since the edge gets hot in the oven it over cooked my crust and made it a little crunchy. I prefer my full cookie to be soft.
The key is to buy a tube or roll of pre-made sugar cookie. This is what makes this whole process go by so easy. You could make your own cookie dough from scratch, but add in extra time. Plus if your consistency is off at all it will make the entire pizza off too. EXPERT TIP: The cookie dough roll is way easier than trying to flatten out the break and bake dough. Even if you break the dough and space it out on the pan, it’s way too thick to simply flatten by hand. I suspect you would have to slice each cookie in half before flattening it out. Also, one of my girlfriends thought to make mini fruit pieces with break and bake dough so each person could have their own, but it just wasn’t the same. You can’t fit as much fruit, so you didn’t get a great variety, plus the crust/cookie wasn’t as thick and soft as a full pizza is.
First things first, spray your pan and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. After unwrapping the roll of dough, slice it up in about 1/2″-3/4″ pieces. This can be completely eye-balled as there is no need for exact measurements in this super easy recipe. Then, arrange the slices in the pan to mimic what the crust will look like. This will make your life easier when you create the full crust. EXPERT TIP: Wash your hands really well and manually (by hand – no gloves) flatten the pieces out to make one large crust. I’ve tried rolling it out and the whole cookie stuck to the pan. I even tried spraying the pan, using gloves and using the plastic wrapper from the cookie dough roll, none of it worked. If you can make it work, please comment below your tricks! It should be fairly even, but not perfect. You don’t need to create a “crust” at the edge like you would with a real pizza, but make sure it’s not super flat either. I prefer it to be consistent throughout. Then place it in the pre-heated oven for 12 minutes. You can cook for as long as 16 minutes, but be sure to take it out once it’s golden brown like in this photo. EXPERT TIP: I always take it out at 12 minutes. It continues to cook a little longer in the pan and as long as nothing is raw, which it shouldn’t be, you should be good! I’d rather have a softer cookie than a crunch, burnt or hard cookie. You can see here that the crust is too dark like I mentioned earlier. Now let it cool for 30 minutes.
STEP 2: PREPARE THE FRUIT
While the crust is cooking, it’s time to prepare the fruit by washing, drying and slicing it up. EXPERT TIP: It’s important to rinse your fruit immediately after preparing the cookie crust so that you have more time for your fruit to dry. I prefer mostly berries because they’re delicious and easy to arrange on the cookie. However, kiwi and bananas are always a go-to for me too, but only if the kiwis are in season and only if you’re eating this right away – there’s nothing worse than browned bananas! EXPERT TIP: Add the bananas on later if you’re not eating your pizza till the next day or more than 1-2 hours. Other fruit that is not featured here, but I love using are mandarin oranges because they’re super easy from a can and give a great tang, but make sure you completely dry them before putting them on the cookie. (I would have used them this time, but honestly I completely forgot them since they’re in a different aisle away from the fruit section.) I haven’t used mangos before, but if they’re in season I bet that would be delicious! They’re a pain to cut and peel, so you’ll have to have patience with that. EXPERT TIP: I have not used pineapple because they’re so juicy and you really don’t want any juicy fruits because it makes a weird watery substance on top of the frosting.
STEP 3: MIX THE FROSTING & FROST THE COOKIE
By this time, you have probably already removed the cookie from the oven and are letting it cool for 30 minutes. The cooling step is VERY IMPORTANT. I’ve been antsy before and frosted too early. Since the cookie was so hot, it just melted off. There’s no real science to making the frosting or frosting the cookie. If you follow the recipe you’ll do great! EXPERT TIP: Use a rubber spatula to spread the frosting on the cookie. I haven’t always had a rubber spatula, so I’ve had to make it work with a knife, which takes so long and the consistency isn’t great. Plus some times I would accidentally scratch the cookie. EXPERT TIP: Don’t try making this dessert healthy. My girlfriends and I have tested the low-fat cream cheese and it makes the frosting dry and cakey. It looks like you can flake it off if it sits out for more than 10 minutes. Plus it doesn’t taste right. The fruit is healthy, let’s leave it at that! Maybe there are some gluten free or vegan options, which I’m all about, but I haven’t explored that yet. (Future blog post?? Comment below if interested!)
STEP 4: ARRANGE THE FRUIT
Now for the fun part! This is where you get to be creative! You can arrange your fruit however you want. EXPERT TIP: Use a fruit in the middle that is easy to cut. I used to pile all the blueberries in the middle because it was an easy place to put them since they’re small and take a while to place, but when people would take their slice all of their blueberries would fall off and then it’s awkward… do I take the blueberry that fell off my piece, but now it’s on someone else’s piece? We’ve all been there!
EXPERT TIP: Start arranging your fruit at the crust with the fruit that you have the most of. Arranging your fruit at the crust creates your circle and makes it easy for the other lines of fruit to keep the circular shape. I’ve always created my fruit pizza on a round pan and placed my fruit in rings, which means I always cut it like a pie too. I prefer this method because every slice receives each piece of fruit. As opposed to cutting squares or placing your fruit in a straight line. I’m sure it would work either way. If you’ve tried these other ways, please comment below! The only annoying thing is cutting all the way through the cookie without ruining your pan and cutting small enough slices for everyone to have a piece. I’ve never been able to successfully transfer my cookie to another pan. I tried it once and it was a disaster!
EXPERT TIP: I prefer to make my cookie fresh and take it straight to the event without refrigerating for an hour or putting jelly on top. If the event isn’t for longer than 1-2 hours then I’ll definitely refrigerate it. I prefer to eat my fruit pizza at room temp, so leaving it out for a few minutes before digging in is my preference. Also, what the jelly?! No thank you! Maybe that preserves the fruit, but it doesn’t sound good to me. Plus, I’ve never had it on top and I haven’t had any complaints (to my face at least!)
I hope you enjoyed my EXPERT TIPS! If you have some, please share them below. Let me know if you end up making this for the first time and what you think of the recipe. I can’t take credit, it’s Pillsbury’s recipe, which is below!