This Crushed Pineapple Dessert is the best of all worlds: 6 ingredients, less than 15 minutes of active prep time, and shockingly good. This is the perfect make-ahead dessert that I promise your guests will want seconds of. Tested to perfection!

A serving of Crushed Pineapple Dessert in a white plate with sliced pineapples on the side.

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Crushed Pineapple Dessert

I’ve served this Crushed Pineapple Dessert at many summer gatherings and it’s always been met with a certain enthusiasm. At first I was surprised, given how simple it is.

But now I can say for sure that this no-bake dessert recipe that takes me all of 15 minutes to prepare will sometimes overshadow the belabored kheer or the sweets from the dessert shop.

Inspired by a local Pakistani restaurant’s Dilbahar Ananas (a fancy term for the cool whip-based Pineapple Delight) and my friend Sarah’s (Flour and Spice Blog) Lemon Mousse, this recipe is elegant yet casual, effortless yet show-stopping.

The texture is light and fluffy thanks to the gelatin, which is easy to use and keeps for years. I suggest you find some, but Sarah has made her original recipe plenty of times without it, so it’s worth making regardless. In any case, you can’t go wrong!

More Quick and Easy Desserts: 20-Minute Sheer Khurma, Instant Pot Kheer, 20-Minute Sooji Halwa

Scooping out Crushed Pineapple Dessert from serving dish.

Ingredients

IMPORTANT: Such few ingredients means the quality of each is exponentially important. For best results, use the highest quality you can find.

Ingredients for Crushed Pineapple Dessert
  • Unflavored powdered gelatin: Stabilizes the whipped cream and gives it a mousse-like texture. This can be hard to find if you use halal gelatin (I use Jazaa brand), but otherwise it’s available most everywhere.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Or Double Cream for those in the UK, serves as the foundation for this dessert.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: To sweeten with a bit of complexity. Use a high-quality condensed milk like Eagle Brand.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice: To enhance tartness and brighten up the pineapple flavor. The amount you need will vary depending on how tart your lemons are. I’ve also tried and loved this with Meyer Lemons.
  • Crushed pineapple: There are so many different types of canned pineapple. In heavy syrup, in pineapple juice, unsweetened, and so on. The type you use will affect the amount of condensed milk you need. I’ve tried both crushed pineapple in heavy syrup and pineapple juice, with the latter being easier to find. Though either will be drained, I think the dessert tastes best, more complex with crushed pineapple in heavy syrup.
    • In a pinch, you can also use canned pineapple chunks. Just drain, then pulse to chop in a food processor.
  • Biscoff cookies or cookies of choice: Biscoff add a certain depth and caramel flavor that complements the pineapple cream, but any cookies will do.
A serving of Crushed Pineapple Dessert in a white plate with sliced pineapples on the side.

How to make Crushed Pineapple Dessert

This recipe moves quickly, so it’s helpful to have the ingredients prepared before you start. I like to get the gelatin started while I gather the remaining ingredients. You also want to strain the pineapple so has time to drain while you prepare the cream.

Set the Gelatin

  1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. The key here is to sprinkle the powder evenly over the surface, rather than dumping in the spoonful, which will result in clumps. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until it blooms and sets slightly. It’ll go from runny to gelatinous.
  1. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. The gelatin should have dissolved completely into the liquid. If not, microwave again for 15 seconds. Set aside to cool. No need to rush this process. (Once, to speed things up, I tried to place the gelatin in the fridge to cool quickly, and it hardened.)

Whip Cream + Add Remaining Ingredients

  1. Place the cream in a bowl fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a handheld beater) and whip until stiff peaks form. You don’t want to overbeat it, but when you lift the whisk, it shouldn’t drip down.
  2. Pour in the condensed milk, lemon juice, and cooled gelatin – it’s okay if it’s still a little bit warm. Whisk again until smooth. It’ll be slightly drippy, no longer as set, but still somewhat stiff.
  1. Fold in the drained pineapple. Taste and add lemon for more tartness or condensed milk if you’d like it sweeter.

Transfer to Serving Dish

  1. Place the cookies on a serving dish and use your hands to break them into bite-sized pieces. Not only does manually breaking up the cookies keep the dessert easy, but I find crushing them in a food processor makes them crumbly and powdery, and I don’t want to complicate things with butter.
  2. Pour the pineapple cream mixture over the cookies, using a spatula to smooth out and evenly distribute.
  1. Seal tightly with cling wrap or airtight lid. Refrigerate overnight ideally, or at least 4 hours.
Crushed Pineapple Dessert in a white serving dish garnished with mint leaves.

How to Serve

  • Try to serve this as cold as possible. I recently took it to a large gathering and put ice underneath the bottom of the tray to keep it cool.
  • I usually serve as-is, not pre-cut, so everyone can choose how much they want. You can also cut it into squares for better presentation.
  • This would be an ideal dessert for serving in individual dessert cups.
A serving of Crushed Pineapple Dessert in a white plate.

Topping Ideas

  • I like to decorate with mint, which adds a sophisticated, invigorating flavor.
  • Pineapple or lemon slices are ideal to give the dessert some context.
  • The restaurant where I first tried it topped it with sprinkles, which look nonsensical but add an unexpected element of crunch.
  • Toasted coconut flakes would top nicely, considering how well coconut pairs with both pineapple and cream.
Scooping out Crushed Pineapple Dessert from serving dish.

Variations

Keep in mind that *every* single element of this dessert is adaptable. Some ideas:

  • Use pretzels instead of cookies for the base.
  • Of course, increase or decrease the lemon, condensed milk, and even the pineapple.
  • Add flavor enhancers like a pinch of sea salt, vanilla, or lemon zest.
Partially eaten serving of Crushed Pineapple Dessert in a white plate with sliced pineapples on the side.

Tried this recipe? If you have a minute, please consider leaving a comment telling me how it was! You can also take a quick picture and upload it directly into the comments. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creations. I truly love hearing from you. Thank you!

A serving of Crushed Pineapple Dessert in a white plate with sliced pineapples on the side.
5 (6 ratings)

Crushed Pineapple Dessert (15 Minute Prep!)

This Crushed Pineapple Dessert is the best of all worlds: 6 ingredients, less than 15 minutes of active prep time, and shockingly good. This is the perfect make-ahead dessert that I promise your guests will want seconds of. Tested to perfection!

Watch the Video

Ingredients 

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin, See Note 1
  • 1 cup (237 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ¾-1 cup sweetened condensed milk, ¾ cup if you prefer low-sugar desserts, I like ¾ + 2 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
  • 1 20- oz can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup, drained – See Note 2
  • 12-15 (90g / 3.2 oz ) Biscoff cookies or cookies of choice, amount varies depending on serving dish – See Note 3

Equipment

  • Serving dish Capacity: At least 1 ½ QT/1.4L (or 10 inches in length)

Instructions 

  • Place water in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly all over the surface. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until it blooms and sets slightly. It’ll go from runny to gelatinous.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. The gelatin should have dissolved completely into the liquid. If not, microwave again for 15 seconds. Set aside to cool.
  • Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the cream on medium speed (4) until stiff peaks form (~6-7 min). If whisking at a higher speed (6), it’ll set within 3 minutes. You don’t want to overbeat it, but when you lift the whisk, it shouldn’t drip down.
  • Stop the stand mixer and pour in the condensed milk, lemon juice, and slightly cooled gelatin. Whisk again on medium speed for 10-20 seconds, until smooth. It’ll be slightly drippy, no longer as set, but still somewhat stiff. Fold in pineapple. Taste and add lemon for more tartness or condensed milk if you’d like it sweeter.
  • Place the cookies on a serving dish and use your hands to break them into bite-sized pieces (the smaller the better, but you don’t want them too crumbly). Pour the pineapple cream mixture over the cookies. Use a spatula to smooth out and evenly distribute. Seal tightly with cling wrap or airtight lid. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 hours. Serve chilled, straight from the fridge. See post for Topping Ideas.

Notes

Note 1: You can use any type of gelatin powder (one recipe tester used Knox original gelatin). Gelatin stabilizes the cream and skipping it will result in less of a mousse-like but still creamy, delicious dessert.
Note 2: Allow pineapple to drain while you prepare the dessert. I prefer the one in heavy syrup as opposed to the one in pineapple juice because it lends more complexity in flavor, but I’ve also made it with the one in pineapple juice and it’s always just as big of a hit. If using canned pineapple chunks, drain out the excess liquid, then pulse to chop in a food processor.
Note 3: You can use a variety of cookies: Marie biscuits, vanilla wafers, lemon snaps, ginger snaps, or even graham crackers.
To store: Keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 nights, after which the cookies start getting soggy.
Adapted from Flour and Spice Blog.
Calories: 213kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 67mg, Potassium: 163mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 376IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 77mg, Iron: 1mg