7 Unique Dessert Ingredients

This post was written by a guest contributor.

unique dessertsWho doesn’t love a tasty dessert every now and then (or every day if you have the metabolism for it)? And who doesn’t love an odd fact or two, the kind of small curiosity that makes you smile a bit and say, “What do ya know”? Put the two together and you get something perfect for that dinner party you want to throw: a delicious treat and a conversation starter.

But really, what dessert ingredients could possibly be that unique? If you’re like us, you’ve been around the dessert block more than a few times. Could any dessert ingredient actually surprise you? Only one way to find out. Read on for our list of 7 unique dessert ingredients.

1. Sauerkraut.

How’s that for strange? Bet you didn’t think you’d see this one on the list. What dessert could possibly accommodate sauerkraut? German chocolate fudge cake, of course. The tartness of the sauerkraut adds a nice little kick against the sweetness of the coconut and the richness of the dark chocolate. Yum.

2. Bacon.

We know what you’re thinking. Bacon is already a perfect food, so why bother using it as an ingredient in anything else, let alone a dessert. We understand. We really do. But once you get a taste of pecan, brown sugar, and bacon ice cream, you’ll agree that this bacon has not been used in vain. The saltiness of the bacon complements the creamy sweetness of the ice-cream, and the pecan adds that extra richness which melds well with the bacon fat.

3. Tulips.

tulip flower
What?! Yes, you read that right. Tulips actually serve double duty here. Since the petals are edible, you add a tulip petal puree to homemade vanilla ice cream to achieve a lovely acidity that the ice cream tempers and balances. Then, if you really want to blow away your guests, serve the ice cream in actual fresh tulips. The blossoms create a natural “bowl” and will offer a delightful presentation. Order some online to be delivered to your door to make it extremely convenient.

4. Mayonnaise.

Next time you need to make frosting fast, use mayonnaise as your base.  Now, we know mayonnaise gets a bad rap these days as unhealthy and fattening. But remember we’re talking about desserts here. And just in case you didn’t know, buttercream frosting’s main ingredient is just gobs and gobs of vegetable shortening. We’d say mayonnaise is a step up health-wise from that. And guess what? It tastes fantastic.

5. Lavender Flower.

Another frosting additive, lavender will give your icing a strong scent of the flower while only giving a hint of its taste. Simply boil dried lavender in milk, strain out the petals, and whisk in the sugar. This can be a wonderful addition to any baby shower or wedding with a purple theme or lavenders as part of the floral arrangements.

6. Jalapenos.

Adding jalapenos to chocolate-based desserts has long been a common practice in Hispanic cultures. Whether you’re having a cup of hot cocoa or baking a cake, consider adding some jalapeno powder. You’ll experience it less as an added flavor than as a bit of heat on your palate, which can be just the thing on a cold night.

7. Chow Mein Noodles.

On their own, Chow Mein noodles can be a bit bland. But include them in a dessert with plenty of sweetness, and they offer a nice crunch, not to mention something more on the savory side to temper the sweetness. We like these in no-bake cookies. Mix them up with some nuts and shredded coconut and douse them in honey or corn syrup. Delicious.

There you have it. Seven unique dessert ingredients. Not only will using these ingredients help you put together a memorably delicious dessert for your family or party guests, but these unique ingredients will create opportunities for fun small talk.


  1. I actually loooooooooooove lavender and I like adding it to desserts. And not only to desserts. I made great rolls last Friday and added honey and lavender. They turned out great 🙂

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