Slideshow: 17 Tropically-Inspired Desserts To Make Right Now

Brûléed Pineapple Tart
Brûléed Pineapple Tart

Break out the brûlée torch for this stunning tart with flavors reminiscent of a pina colada. The pastry shell is flecked with coconut flakes while the filling provides a custardy contrast to the concentrated sweetness of roasted pineapple.

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[Photograph: Lauren Weisenthal]

Rum Glazed Banana Bundt Cake
Rum Glazed Banana Bundt Cake

One up your banana dessert game by opting for this banana bundt cake that gets an extra lift from shredded coconut and cashews. It's finished off with a dark rum glaze because, hey, a dash of booze is pretty much guaranteed to warm things up.

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[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Guava Bars
Guava Bars

Guava paste is a seriously under-appreciated condiment that adds an instant jolt of sweet fruitiness to whatever you spread it on. Here, it gets paired up with buttery shortbread and a crunchy oat topping for a bar cookie that's irresistibly rich.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Kumquat Lemongrass Ice Cream
Kumquat Lemongrass Ice Cream

Aromatic lemongrass and sassy kumquats are two ingredients that don't pop up in desserts nearly as often as they should. When used together in ice cream, they create a perfumey lilt and citrusy tang that evokes the flavors of Southeast Asia.

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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Date Rum Cake with Walnuts and Coconut
Date Rum Cake with Walnuts and Coconut

Although we might associate cakes like this one, made with handfuls of dried fruit and a healthy dose of rum, with sweater weather, the truth is that they have roots in the balmy climes of the Caribbean. Loaded with strong flavors and a stronger alcohol content, its practically a dessert and digestif all in one.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Pineapple Coconut Muffins
Pineapple Coconut Muffins

Basic muffin batter gets an upgrade here with the addition of coconut milk, which adds extra fat for a ridiculously moist and tender crumb. Cubes of pineapple help cut some of the richness, resulting in a breakfast-friendly treat that makes optimal use of a quintessential tropical flavor combination.

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[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Coconut Mango Upside Down Cake
Coconut Mango Upside Down Cake

Upside down cakes do something magical to mangoes—by keeping the fruit at the bottom as it bakes, it stays luscious and juicy while getting a bit of caramelized flavor around the edges. In the end, the technique also makes for layers that are as tantalizing to look at as they are to eat.

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[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Spicy Pineapple and Tequila Sorbet
Spicy Pineapple and Tequila Sorbet

Sometimes the zing of tropical fruit just isn't enough to shake yourself out of a weather-induced funk—it might also take a jolt of fiery chile, or perhaps also a rousing blast of tequila. This sorbet has all three, delivering the exact amount of excitement necessary to trick your brain into thinking it's summer.

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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Grilled Pineapple with Coconut-Condensed Milk-Butter Sauce
Grilled Pineapple with Coconut-Condensed Milk-Butter Sauce

Grilled pineapple wedges are a snack that let you recreate a bit of Thai street cuisine in your own home. We like to top them with a coconut and sweetened condensed milk sauce, which contrasts pleasingly with the tartness of slightly underripe fruit.

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[Photograph: Leela Punyaratabandhu]

Coconut Pineapple Gem Cookies
Coconut Pineapple Gem Cookies

Sweetened coconut is also indispensable in this recipe for gem cookies—so called for the button of jam that fills the center. It helps add a little extra something to this tropical take on the traditional cookie.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Islas Flotantes de Coco (Coconut Floating Islands)
Islas Flotantes de Coco (Coconut Floating Islands)

Coconut, caramel, and cashews add a Latin-influenced twist to îles flottantes, the dessert of feathery meringue puffs floating in crème anglaise. One bite and you'll realize that these little islands are more like weightless clouds, carrying dreams of sunnier times.

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[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

Toasted Coconut and Lime Ice Cream
Toasted Coconut and Lime Ice Cream

Extra creamy ice cream is an excellent vehicle for showcasing the nutty flavors of lightly toasted coconut shreds. We also like to add a couple tablespoons of grated lime zest, which provides a bright, floral lift.

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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Kumquat Tart
Kumquat Tart

If you've already baked your way through all other manner of fruit tarts, why not give kumquat a try? The best part about using the thin-skinned citrus fruits here is that they don't require any peeling or juicing—just stick them in a blender and you're good to go.

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[Photograph: Anna Markow]