When I say that I’m addicted to sugar I’m dead dog serious. It’s hard for me to finish any meal without something sweet and after moving to the capital of Texas last year I took it upon myself to try all of the best desserts in Austin so I could share the highlights with you! This list includes a variety of desserts from ice cream to donuts (doughnuts?) to pie. Enjoy!
20. Bananarchy: Frozen Bananas
There are few things more quintessential in the Austin food scene than food trucks and Bananarchy is one of my favorites! I love this unique but totally delicious concept of frozen bananas coated with a dip (choose from chocolate, peanut butter, or vanilla) and rolled in toppings! My favorite specialty banana is the Texas Two-Step- a chocolate-dipped banana topped with pecans, toffee, cinnamon, and a peanut butter drizzle. It’s the perfect treat for the hot Texas heat.
19. Hayley Cakes & Cookies: Sugar Cookies
You don’t have to live in Austin to enjoy Hayleycakes and cookies (they ship!) but trust me when I tell you they’re just as delicious as they are gorgeous! Hop over to their Instagram page and be blown away by Hayley’s decorating skills, and in the meantime stop by their Austin location near Lake Travis.
18. Gourdoughs: Big Fat Donuts
Probably the first dessert I was ever aware of in Austin were the insane donuts from Gourdough’s. This food truck and brick & mortar business sells some of the most insane and enormous donuts you’ll ever see in your life. They’re a great dessert option if you’re looking for something completely glutenous and indulgent. One of my favorite donuts to order is Granny’s Pie- a homemade donut topped with caramel, pecans, bananas & graham cracker. The more I’ve been to Gourdough’s, however, the more partial I am to something simple and sweet like the Naughty & Nice- a homemade donut topped with sugar and cinnamon.
17. Little Lucy’s: Mini Donuts
I will never pass up an opportunity for fresh, hot, and delicious mini donuts and Little Lucy’s is no exception! Little Lucy’s is located right on Rainey Street in downtown Austin. I love how truly light and fluffy these hot donuts are. The first time we went here I completely made the mistake of sharing with my husband. There are so many inventive donut flavors but we recommend trying cinnamon sugar topped donuts with caramel or chocolate dipping sauce on the side!
16. Cold Cookie Co: Unshake
Have you ever had to pick between a homemade cookie and homemade ice cream? It’s basically like choosing a favorite child. At Cold Cookie Company you can have the BEST of both worlds. I assure you that both the cookies and the ice cream can hold their own, but together it’s the perfect duo! You can keep things simple with a scoop of ice cream plus a cookie, but everyone who frequents Cold Cookie Company knows that the unshake is the most popular way to go- basically a deconstructed milkshake with alternating layers of ice cream and toppings!
15. Upper Crust Bakery: Cinnamon Roll
I’ve had my fair share of carbs and sugar over the years (haven’t we all) and the Upper Crust Bakery makes some of the best desserts in Austin. The pies, the cookies, the cake by the slice- they’re all truly fantastic and whoever is running the show in the kitchen is doing a dang good job. But my favorite of all the sweet offerings at the Upper Crust Bakery is the cinnamon roll. It’s not your conventional cinnamon roll and we’re totally fine with that. The endless layers of dough and sugar are soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. No frosting needed.
14. Amy’s Ice Creams: Mexican Vanilla
Amy’s is beloved by locals and tourists alike for their delicious ice cream and is unquestionably one of the best desserts in Austin! Visit one of their many locations in town or the original brick and mortar on Guadalupe to enjoy some of their delicious homemade ice cream with toppings and sauces to your heart’s content. We highly recommend trying the Mexican Vanilla (unreal) and whatever you do add a splash of hot fudge to your order.
13. Little Deli: Chewy Chocolate Cookie (GF)
My favorite neighborhood restaurant in ATX, Little Deli, also serves one of the best desserts in Austin too! This chewy chocolate cookie is absolutely delicious- soft and chewy in texture, rich in flavor. We frequent Little Deli for their sandwiches and pizza and I never leave without one of these in hand! I recently found out that this chewy chocolate cookie is gluten free too- a great option for all of your GF friends and neighbors.
12. Capital City Bakery: Vegan Confetti Cupcake
Full disclosure: I typically shy away from anything Vegan/Vegetarian/Whathaveyou, but the sweet treats at Capital City Bakery are some of the absolute best desserts in Austin. They have so many delicious baked goods from cookies to homemade pop tarts to insanely delicious cupcakes. You can’t go wrong with any of the cupcake flavors but it’s hard to resist the Confetti Cupcake! All so delicious and moist on the inside. A must-try whether you’re vegan or not!
11. La Patisserie: Crobrio
If you’re looking some of the finer things when it comes to the best desserts in Austin, look no further than La Patisserie. Owned and operated by pastry chef Soraiya Nagree, this French bakery serves amazing pastries from macarons to almond croissants to morning buns. My absolute favorite creation from La Patisserie is the crobrio: croissant + brioche donut. One bite and you’ll never be the same.
10. Tiny Boxwoods: Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
I absolutely, wholeheartedly love the chocolate chip cookies from Tiny Boxwoods and they’re a definite must on my list of best desserts in Austin! A Houston original, Tiny Boxwoods is a great restaurant for delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the real thing that keeps me coming back are these warn and very classic chocolate chip cookies, baked FRESH every 20 minutes. Not kidding. You’ll likely see a new warm pan of cookies being carried to the baked goods display while you place your order. Eat one in house and take a few home to share.
9. Churro Co: Campfire Churro
Churro Co. was one of the first desserts on my radar since moving to Austin and it never disappoints! The folks behind this Austin original prepare freshly made churros in their trailer and finish them off with a variety of toppings which make up their different churro creations. You can never go wrong with a delicious traditional churro but my absolute favorite is the Campfire, churros tossed in graham cracker sugar, topped with Mexican chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and torched marshmallows. Get. In. My. Belly.
8. Tiny Pies: Miniature Pies
I am a huge sucker for pie and when I found out about Tiny Pies in Austin I literally ran there to sample as many as I could handle! The pies are, of course, made from scratch, and I love that even though they’re miniature there’s nothing lacking in terms of the quality of the pies. The “tiny” size is perfect for gifts, dessert for one, or simply something different than you’ve ever had before. The menu at Tiny Pies is constantly changing but some of the flavors that I have tried and loved include the sweet potato pecan (pictrued), sweet Texas pecan, and apple.
7. Gelateria Gemelli: Gelato
There are several options when it comes to gelato in Austin but the best is unquestionably from Gelateria Gemelli. Owner Andrew Sabola has brought the art of authentic Italian gelato to Austin and you can taste the difference immediately upon sampling some of his incredible gelato. All of the flavors are so delicious but my absolute favorites are the dark chocolate and olive oil.
6. Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop: James Brown Cupcake
I took the liberty of trying every single cupcake in town and this, my friends, is the best one. A great cupcake is not too fluffy but not too thick. It absolutely cannot be dry (yes- it needs to be moist) and the flavors of the cupcake and frosting must compliment each other. The cupcakes from Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop are without a doubt some of the best desserts in Austin. We strongly recommend the James Brown- a Valrhona chocolate cupcake topped with rich chocolate buttercream and festive sprinkles. As their website says, “you’ll feel good!”.
5. Launderette: Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwich
I will shamelessly admit that I’m a huge fan of anything birthday cake, sprinkle cake, or funfetti in nature, and while there’s no rhyme or reason for it, I’m here to tell you that the birthday cake ice cream sandwich cake from Launderette is one of the best desserts in Austin! Pastry Chef Laura Sawicki created this simple yet elegant dessert as a homage to childhood, with layers of homemade partially baked cookie and ice cream. I’m drooling.
4. Jacoby’s: Grandma Hagler’s Strawberry Cake
We don’t know who Grandma Hagler is but we do know that she makes a mean strawberry cake and it’s one of the best desserts in Austin, hands down. The flavor of this strawberry cake itself is fantastic, and the frosting is the perfect complement to the pure strawberry flavor throughout. If you haven’t had a slice of this cake yet, it’s time to make a change. Grab one of their amazing burgers while you’re at it.
3. Henbit: Monster Cookie
If you’re looking for a sweet treat in Austin that is going to completely “wow” you and your friends, then the Monster Cookie from Henbit at Fareground downtown is an absolute must! Reminiscent of the popular giant cookies from Levain Bakery in NYC, these giant cookies are uniquely Texas with pecans, white sonora wheat, chocolate chips (of course) and even a touch of lemon zest (don’t knock it until you try it)! I will never get sick of this cookie. Period.
2. Round Rock Donuts: Glazed Donut
The glazed donut from Round Rock Donuts is truly the donut of all donuts. Just a 15 minute drive north from downtown, Round Rock Donuts is home to the best glazed donut I have ever had in my life. Watch the video above for details, salivate, and make plans to visit.
1. Lick Honest Ice Creams: Texas Sheet Cake Ice Cream
There is no better ice cream that you can find in Austin than at Lick Honest Ice Creams. They keep things simple but truly sublime by infusing all of their delectable ice cream flavors with honest, simple ingredients. Visit any Lick location and they’ll do a fantastic job of walking you through regular or seasonal menu items, but my favorite flavor will always be the Texas Sheet Cake. And if you want to know my second favorite flavor it’s the Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt.