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Tropical Dessert and Bread Recipes

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Whenever you read a recipe or see a dessert with the word "tropical" in the name, it usually has one of the following fruits in it. It could be made with a fruit as simple as, in our part of the world anyway, a banana. Even something made with coconut doesn't seem all that exotic. How about a mango or a kumquat? Even better, ever had a durian or prickly pear? Can't forget the papayas, guavas and passion fruits either. Not to worry, most of the following recipes are made with the more commonly found tropical fruits.

1. Bananas and Plantains

2010 Double Banana Upside Down Cake Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli
2010 Double Banana Upside Down Cake Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli

I have to say it is rare not to find a bowl of bananas sitting on my kitchen counter. Besides being rich in potassium, they complete a bowl of cereal and make a wonderful afternoon snack. To me, plantains are bananas that are really green. My favorite way to have them is Sautéed.

Upside Down Banana Cake
Hummingbird Cake
Flowerpot Banana Cake
Very Best Banana Bread
Banana Pancakes
Bananas Foster
Ambrosia Salad

2. Coconut

2010 Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
2010 Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Just mention coconut and thoughts of nutty sweetness come to mind. The sweetness is from being a fruit and the texture is similar to eating a nut. Please enjoy these recipes made with this white tropical fruit called coconut.

Macaroons
Tropical Carrot Cake
Mom's Pina Colada Cake
Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Bread
Coconut Ice Cream
Even More Recipes Made with Coconut

3. Key Limes

2010 Key Lime Pie Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
2010 Key Lime Pie Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

I don't know if key limes are considered tropical, but they seem like they should be to me. Just eating a bite of a Key Lime Pie conjures up visions of the tropics. You can almost feel those tropical breezes.

About Key Limes
Key Lime Pie
Eggless Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Cake

4. Kumquats

2009 Kumquat Tree Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
2009 Kumquat Tree Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

I never tried kumquats until my in-laws bought a house with a kumquat tree in the backyard. They have a wonderful sour taste that goes perfectly in these recipes.

How to Puree Kumquats
Gourmet Kumquat Cookies
Kumquat Bundt Cake with Kumquat Glaze
Kumquat Cream Pie
Kumquat Nut Bread

5. Mango

I just love the sweet/tart flavor of a mango.
Photo © 2007 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.

I just love mangos. They have a sweet, yet citrus-y flavor. Two of the recipes I use mango in are Mango Cream Pie and Mango Bundt Cake with a Warm Mango Sauce. I also like to mash-up half a mango to put in my daughter's plain Greek yogurt.

6. Pineapple

2010 Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
2010 Photo (c) by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Like bananas, I always have pineapple on hand. It's usually of the can variety, but I will occasionally treat my family to a fresh one. Pineapple has a sweet and tangy flavor.

Double Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Pineapple Angel Food Cake
Hummingbird Cake
Tropical Carrot Cake
Pineapple Coconut Cake
Miss Lexie's Pineapple Casserole
Pineapple Bread
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