A Pizza My Mind: In Defense of Dessert Pizza


Cinnapie from Papa John's, [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Dessert pizza will always have a pizza my heart. Admittedly, there's an element of nostalgia at work; my gluttonous pre-teen years synched up with the introduction of dessert pizza. Back then, Pizza Hut did dessert pies the best. At their lunch buffet, you could stuff yourself with pepperoni slices, lasagna, and probably salad, but I always viewed the savory slices as a penance to be paid before getting down to the real reason for going there: taking down at least half a cherry dessert pizza.

The apple version was decent, but cherry was the better flavor. The crust was smeared with cherry pie filling, sprinkled with brown sugar crumble, and striped with icing. The easiest comparison is to a cherry pie, but the buttery crumble on top made it more like a cobbler with a crust. I love it just as much now as I did then. Unfortunately, dessert pizza is no longer on the delivery menu, but you can still get it at select dine-in locations with a lunch buffet.

Say what you will about dessert pizza and I'll probably agree. Yes, it's a bit trashy... No, it's not actually pizza. I'm on board with both of those statements, but that's not the whole story. Dessert pizza isn't delicious in spite of the fact that it's bad, it's delicious because it's bad. That's (virtually) the entire point. Dessert pizza is like Cinnabon: you could get a more artfully crafted pastry elsewhere, but sometimes, all you want is the sudden sugar spike (and pure joy) that comes from eating a bready, gloppy blob of simple carbohydrates and sugar.

The low-rent dessert pizzas at the Hut are still my favorite, but I'm also partial to the pies topped with Nutella and fruit, though they're even more of an endangered species in San Diego now that the Merk has shuttered.

What are your thoughts on dessert pizzas? Delicious, or the most delicious??