The 10 Best Desserts in Austin

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Austin is so full of amazing food, that you often find yourself ending a meal with a belly absolutely full of well, amazing food … and no room for dessert!.What a shame, because Austin’s dessert scene is a hidden gem in an already delicious city. Conserve real estate in your stomach and be sure to check out these unique offerings the next time you’re in town.

1. Sweet Ritual’s Banana Split
This isn’t any ordinary banana split. Not only is Sweet Ritual dedicated to an allergy-friendly, vegan menu, but this woman-owned business makes some of the tastiest ice cream in town. The banana split is a classic, amped up with chocolate olive oil, cashew vanilla and strawberry ice cream scoops topped with a caramelized banana (bruleed to order!), homemade chocolate olive magic shell and homemade pb magic shell, homemade caramel sauce, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate chips and toasted coconut flakes. And if you’re not feeling the full split, you’ll still do well with some Unicorn Poop in a gluten-free waffle cone—trust me, the cone is the best I’ve had in town and tastes like a snickerdoodle.

2. The Hightower’s Bowl of Cereal
hightower bowl of cereal.jpg Photo courtesy of The Hightower
If you’re out on the “hipster” side of 6th Street (East 6, as the locals call it), pop up to Hightower on 7th and pair one of their cocktails with this unique dessert that looks like breakfast. The Bowl of Cereal is comprised of cereal milk mousse, cookie crisps, corn flakes and apricot-pistachio clusters.

3. Launderette’s Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwich

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Have you ever seen a restaurant with multiple dessert menus? There is both a lunch and dinner menu at Launderette. Unfortunately, the Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwich is only on the dinner menu. Soft, thin, sprinkle-studded wafers contain a hefty helping of ice cream, topped with even more sprinkles. It's a dessert best enjoyed slowly (or, as slow as you can before it melts in the Austin heat), preferably on your un-birthday so you don't have to wait.

4. Odd Duck's Lavender Vanilla Bean Churro
odd duck churro.png Photo courtesy of Odd Duck
Odd Duck's menu changes with the seasons, so be sure you try this delicious springtime take on the popular Tex-Mex treat before it's off the menu. In addition to a circular fried churro, the dish also includes pecans, meyer lemon and marshmallow. These spring flavors are best accompanied by the open air warmth of Odd Duck's patio.

5. District Kitchen + Cocktails's Oreo Tiramisu
Oreo Tiramisu.JPG Photo courtesy of District Kitchen + Cocktails
Occasionally, fine dining restaurants will lose steam on the dessert menu. Not the case at District. The Oreo Tiramisu is not the same old tired tiramisu you may be used to. District comprises their dish with cold brew soaked ladyfingers, crushed Oreos, mascarpone cream, iced coffee gel, coffee soil,and salted cocoa tuile. A combination of traditional and modern that will please any sweet tooth.

6. Snow Monster's Snow Ice
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On a hot day, there will be a line at any frozen treat stand, so it almost pains me to reveal this Austin secret. Don't confuse it with the shaved ice or sno-cones, Snow Monster is something on a whole other level. Based on the Taiwanese dessert, the fluffy ice shavings come from either plain water or soy milk. They're then topped with a variety of fruits and syrups, and even popping boba. It's truly an experience.

7. Freedmen's Smoked Banana Pudding

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Banana pudding is a Texas staple. But there's something about Freedmen's that takes this classic treat a step further (and no, it's not the trendy mason jar it's served in). The smoky flavor pulls the whole meal together after you've downed Freedman's famous BBQ.

8. La Patisserie's Triple Mousse Cake

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The byline of the business says “macaron & pastry boutique” and yes, the macarons are tasty, but the utter beauty and deliciousness of the Triple Mousse Glass Cake cannot be beat. Light, creamy texture, gorgeous glassy covering. It's as photogenic as it is tasty.

9. VOX Table's Slayer Cake
slayer cake.jpg Photo courtesy of Vox Table
Every item at Vox Table is a true culinary experience. The incredible combination of techniques, flavors, and textures on each plate is just as prevalent on their dessert menu. The Slayer Cake is no exception. Pastry chef Annabelle Turner has assembled this masterpiece with crispy gianduja, orange chocolate mousse, cardamom ganache and toasted fennel ice cream. Bonus: the plates here are small, so it's easy to pace yourself until the final course.

10. Tiny Pies' Pies

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Austin is all about weird—which apparently translates to small local businesses. Tiny Pies fits the bill by being a pastry shop entirely dedicated to the palm-sized confections. Baked fresh daily, you can almost taste the love baked into each one by the mother-daughter team who runs the shop. For a true taste of the South, try the Texas Two Step or the Bourbon Chess.


Ashley Blom is a New Englander and haphazard foodie living in Austin, Texas. Her book, “How to Eat a Lobster” is coming from Quirk Books in 2017, and you can find her recipes and ramblings at forkingup.com

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