I have been saving this fruit pizza recipe for you for the fourth of July! I had hoped to get it out yesterday, but I had an important update letter to write to our ministry partners about our upcoming move to Puerto Rico. It was a fun write, but I had tunnel vision until I finished it.
This fruit pizza conjures up some of the warmest memories of my youth. I loved it whenever my best friend’s mom (my second mom) made fruit pizza. It was definitely one of my favorite desserts. And clearly I loved it if I made sure to get the recipe as a teenager! I’ve made it countless times, and I’ve had a number of people tell me that it’s also their favorite dessert I make.
And here’s a secret: it’s really easy. I’ve adapted the recipe to make my own cookie crust in recent years, but prior to that, it was a Pillsbury sugar cookie dough all the way. Make it easy and use that! Also, I make whipped cream in lieu of the Cool Whip. But again, you don’t need to do that. It’s delicious both ways! Just depends on your food preference and how much time you have.
The sugar cookie dough recipe is a classic chewy sugar cookie from America’s Test Kitchen. It’s a keeper for making cookies, not just this crust. The coconut lime sugar cookie is an adaptation of this recipe, so you can follow the baking instructions there if you want to make cookies.
Since this is called “Fruit Pizza”, you may be tempted to make it on a round pizza pan. By all means, do it! But know that you’ll have too much cookie if you’re using the cookie recipe. Make about six cookies and then use the remaining dough for the crust. If you go with Pillsbury, you can use all of the dough. Either way, keep at least an inch around the edges because it spreads off the pizza pan. Make sure to put a pan or foil underneath just in case, to ease the oven cleanup. Since I despise cleaning ovens, I keep this on the bottom of my oven at all times.
If you need other ideas for holiday food, these burgers are delicious, or grilled chicken, and this quinoa salad is great for potluck. Last year I made these vanilla cupcakes festive. I added red, white and blue sprinkles to the batter, and to the frosting, I added red and blue pop rocks. They were so fun… one of my favorite cupcakes to eat, and the only one that makes me laugh as I make it. Happy Independence Day, friends!
For the cookie crust
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and still warm
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
-Or Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough-
For the topping
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (Or 2/3 cup Cool Whip, thawed)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tsp sugar, divided
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- fruit, such as blueberries, sliced strawberries and pineapple bits
- dark chocolate for shaving, optional
For the cookie crust
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F. Grease or line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place 1 1/2 cups of sugar and the cream cheese in a large bowl. Pour the warm butter over the sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in the oil until incorporated. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until a soft homogenous dough forms. (I usually use my KitchenAid mixer for all of this). Alternatively, you can buy a roll of refrigerated Sugar Cookie dough and use that for the crust.
Scoop the dough onto the jellyroll pan in mounds, then use your hands to press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 14-18 minutes, rotating the pan after about 8 minutes of baking. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.
For the topping
Make the whipped cream: Combine the cream and 2 tsp sugar and whisk, using a handheld mixer, whisk attachment on a stand mixer or a normal whisk (the option of choice if you're looking for a workout before you eat dessert). Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Remove and place in a separate bowl. (Alternatively, you can use 2/3 cup cool whip, thawed, and skip this step).
Combine the softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add in the whipped cream and mix until combined and fluffy. Spread evenly over the cooled cookie crust.
Sprinkle assorted fruit over the cream - as much as you desire. For a fancy touch, grate part of a chocolate bar lightly over the top to create chocolate shavings.
Source: recipe from my second mom growing up, Mrs. West. Cookie crust from America's Test Kitchen