Cold African Desserts

For the most part, Africa is a continent filled with hot climates. Whilst in the UK, we only have a few weeks of hot weather to contend with, many African people deal with the heat day in, day out. As you would expect, one of the many ways they deal with the heat is with a nice cold dessert to bring down their temperature and satisfy their sweet tooth. 

With it being summer in the UK and the mercury continuing to rise, cold desserts are very much welcomed. Here, we take a look at 5 of our favourite cold African desserts.

Don Pedro

There’s a fine line between dessert and milkshake with Don Pedro, one person may call it a dessert, whilst another may call it a milkshake. However, due to its very sweet taste and tendency to be consumed after a meal, we are calling it a dessert.

So what is it? It’s essentially a boozy combination of alcohol topped with ice cream and is a South African favourite.

It’s the perfect choice when you fancy something sweet but can’t decide between a dessert and a cocktail. Made with vanilla ice cream, double cream and whiskey, it’s often served with grated chocolate, cocoa powder or a stick of chocolate. Whilst for the hottest days, a few ice cubes will be added to cool you down.

Whilst whisky is the preferred booze for many, it can also be made with brandy, rum...or any other spirit, the choice is yours!

Ethiopian Fruit Salad

If you’re looking for something much more healthier, an Ethiopian Fruit Salad will satisfy that. 

A common after-dinner choice in many Ethiopian households, this fruit salad is filled with many fruits native to Ethiopia, including navel orange, mango, and papaya. All of which will provide delightful colour and wonderful zestiness. It’s so fresh and is perfect for enjoying in the sunshine. 

If you’re looking for an alternative take on this dessert, many people look to the blender and use these fruity ingredients to make a frozen smoothie, which makes for a wonderful way to cool down on the hottest of days.


Another dessert which could also fool people into thinking it’s a drink - brukina is a northern Ghanian classic. Sweet, simple and so refreshing, the use of millets in it, which are one of the world’s oldest grains, makes it a healthy choice too.

Made with the aforementioned millets, plus pasturised milk, it is very nutritious and is considered a complete meal by many. 

With a rich and creamy taste and texture, it truly is delicious and is consumed all over the north of Ghana, where it can also sometimes go by the name of Deger.

If you’re craving something sweet, Brukina can be served with sugar. Whilst it won’t quite be as healthy as it could be, you will still have the benefits of the millets which include their  impressive starch levels, high vitamin B content, and their healthy dose of calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and magnesium.

Banana glace

Banana glace is a sweet Senegalese delicacy which combines banana with banana and makes for the perfect dessert for anyone who is bananas about bananas!

It is essentially pieces of fresh banana, arranged in a row on a plate, which are then covered with a chilled mixture of mashed bananas, heavy cream, and sugar. The bananas are then topped with a wonderful mix of chopped nuts including almonds and peanuts, and candied fruits including raisins and cherries.

In Ghana, you will usually be served this dessert with a small, strong black coffee.


Sombi is a traditional Senegalese rice pudding made with rice, water, coconut milk, sugar, and salt. 

On the hottest of days, this beautiful dessert is served chilled and is topped with coconut. On such summer days, it makes for a great alternative to ice cream for those looking for something a little healthier and friendlier to the waistline but just as flavoursome.

Incredibly traditional, sombi is a dessert that is guaranteed to bring back childhood memories for anyone growing up Sengalese. 

Whilst its cold coconut consistency makes for cooling summertime refreshment, it’s not only reserved for warm weather - when the weather turns and the colder days come, it can also be served warm. When served warm, it offers comfort from harsher, cooler weather. It truly is a versatile dessert which can be made as healthier or as sinful as you like, it all just depends what you top it with and how much sugar you choose to take.

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