Have you ever stopped to consider just how often we talk about sweets and sugar? Sugar and spice and everything nice. Sweet as pie. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. That’s the icing on the cake. It’s like giving candy to a baby. You can catch more flies with honey. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
These idioms, used in every day conversation, show our obsession with the world of sugary treats. We think about dessert so much that we’ve worked sweets into common parlance. Why do we love them so much?
The perfect sweets can do so many things: help a good date last longer, improve the mood of a hurting friend, celebrate a milestone or accomplishment and satisfy a nagging craving.
Desserts bring people together, whether they are sharing one ice cream soda with two straws or chatting over a box of fresh scones and doughnuts at a morning meeting. It’s hard to think of an interaction that isn’t improved with some sugar and icing.
And we are finishing our meals with something sweet more often. About 40% of Americans eat desserts twice a week, up 4% in just three years. Also, more adults are eating desserts during the day, no longer reserving them for a special after dinner treat. Sure, almost half of us report that we share our desserts when we eat out and about a third of us opt for small dessert portions when available, but we still want that sugar high.
Whether you are a cookie connoisseur, a pie purveyor or a cupcake king, Phoenix is a great place to live if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth craving. But where is the best place to get dessert in Phoenix? Here is a list of the 15 top dessert spots in Phoenix. Bon Appetite!
Fans of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars may recognize the team from Urban Cookies Bakeshop, but they bake up more than just cupcakes. They also create delicious cookies and donuts from their shop on North Seventh St. in Phoenix.
Their cupcakes come in seasonal flavors, such as chocolate peppermint or eggnog in the winter, as well as classics such as birthday cake, carrot cake and coconut. Beyond the cupcakes, the salted caramel nut bars and roasted pear shortbread bars are not to be missed. For vegans or those with gluten allergies, try Urban Cookies’ German chocolate, maple pecan or other flavors of donuts.
Conscientious shoppers should check out Urban Cookies Bakeshop. Their commitment to giving back to the community is commendable. They offer job training to at risk teens and support charities that provide meals to hungry children and families. Their support of the community is another reason Urban Cookies Bakeshop is one of the best places to get dessert in Phoenix.
Pastry Chef Gerald Cretton, raised in Switzerland, was a chocolatier in Geneva before settling in Phoenix. Offering European pastries and chocolates, Le Napoleon provides a taste of Switzerland right here in Arizona. The macaroons, dobosh cake and opera illustrate that this bakery goes beyond the traditional fare offered at other shops. The namesake treat — the fluffy, creamy Napoleon — is definitely one of the best desserts in Phoenix.
Sure, Sprinkles is a national chain, but these picture-perfect cupcakes are a favorite of celebrities for a reason, and they qualify as one of the best desserts in greater Phoenix. Beyond the basic flavors, try the chai latte, banana or triple cinnamon for a change of pace. Sprinkles also knows how to do special occasions, offering cupcake towers, favor boxes, decorations and even help with party planning. The Phoenix Sprinkles is conveniently located across from Scottsdale Fashion Square at the intersection of Camelback Rd. and N. Scottsdale Rd.
Another reason to keep Sprinkles on your list is because they are the inventors of the cupcake ATM, a magnificent sugar dispensary that allows you to get a cupcake 24/7. And according to their website, a cupcake ATM is coming to this Arizona location soon.
Known to carry some of the best pastries in the central corridor of Phoenix, Copper Star Coffee can satisfy your sweet tooth and your caffeine fix at the same time. The Ghiradelli Brownies for chocoholics and the applesauce spice cake for vegans are just two popular options available in the shop or via preorder for parties or meetings. Their cupcakes, raspberry crown Danish and cookies also place them squarely on the list of best desserts in Phoenix.
Everyone agrees with the Pie Snob motto, “Life’s too short to eat bad pie.” Named one of last year’s Editors Picks by Phoenix Magazine “Best of the Valley” competition, the Pie Snob is known for their caramel apple pie — but there are plenty of other flavors to choose from, such as the Green Chile Jalapeno Apple Pie, Mississippi Mud Pie, Razzleberry Pie and more. This is a great option for take-away desserts, since Pie Snob is located in a residential neighborhood and the storefront is located behind the owner’s house.
Of course cupcakes and cookies are classic dessert options, but why not try something new? The desserts at the Mexican eatery Barrio Café will satisfy your sweet tooth while introducing you to new flavors such as the Churros Rellenos de Cajeta de Cabra — crispy fried churros filled with goat’s milk caramel and served with ice cream and candied pecans. Barrio Café’s flan can be enjoyed plain or topped with Kahlua for extra flavor, and their dessert menu also features a chocolate cinnamon cake. These Mexican postres (desserts) make Barrio Café one of the top dessert restaurants in Phoenix.
With several locations across Phoenix, Dutch Brothers is a fun, funky coffee shop whose drinks classify as desserts in our book. Their Freezes and Frosts blend ice cream and coffee (or espresso), and their wildberry fruit smoothie is delicious and sweet-tooth-satisfying. Even their coffee classics are sweet, with caramel, mocha, coconut and Irish cream offerings. Dutch Brothers was started by dairy farming brothers in Oregon, and now it is America’s largest privately held drive thru coffee company. If you prefer to drink your desserts, head to Dutch brothers.
Looking for a fun, casual place to go to share dessert with friends? Why not eat pizza for dessert? The Original Pizza Cookie at Oregano’s Pizza Bistro is more than a half of pound of cookie dough almost baked in a pizza pan and served with vanilla ice cream. Why “almost” baked? This leaves the delicious under-cooked consistency of part cookie, part cookie-dough that reminds you of licking the bowl and spatula clean.
The vintage décor, smiling staff and beautifully displayed pastries make A Bakeshop a great date or meet-a-friend destination. The quaint shop, located at the corner of 16th St. and Bethany Home in the Bethany Plaza, serves up cake by the slice, cupcakes, cake pops and parfaits. Thanks to the owner’s Italian heritage, the cannoli are often cited as a favorite.
If you want your dessert to look like it belongs on a magazine cover, head to Christopher’s Crush, which was recently named one of the top 10 new restaurants in the entire country by food critics Gayot. Chef Christopher Gross is a James Beard award winner, a panelist at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and the founder of the Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food. Convinced yet? The chocolate mousse tower is almost too beautiful to eat … almost. And who wouldn’t want their choice of chocolate, vanilla, raspberry or Grand Marnier soufflé? If you are looking to impress a date or mark a special occasion, Christopher’s is the dessert spot for you.
You’ll be the one saying “Merci!” after tasting the desserts at this French café. Merci French Café is the latest iteration of the Laio family, who previously owned the popular Scratch French Café in the same location. So if you never made it to Scratch or miss their French menu, be sure to check out Merci French Cafe.
Merci French Café and Patisserie was recently voted “Best Pastries in Phoenix” by the Phoenix New Times, and their homemade ice creams are worth the visit as well. With classics such as raspberry tart, Italian meringue and rum cake, you can feel like you’ve made a trip to Europe without ever leaving Arizona. And if you want a cool down, visit Merci French Café for some of the best ice cream in Phoenix.
Located in a historic building in downtown Phoenix, Bink’s Midtown is an oasis in the bustling city. The throwback desserts offered at Bink’s will awaken your inner child. Choose from a Push Pop made with mint ice cream, double chocolate chunk cookies and chocolate sorbet. The blueberry doughnut holes served with lemon curd are a sophisticated take on childhood treats as well. And for those of you who loved the flavors of s’mores as a kid, try the Chocolate Puddin’ Cake with toasted graham cracker and marshmallow fluff. These youthful delights qualify as some of the best desserts at Phoenix area restaurants.
The Julia Baker Sweet Experience Boutique in Biltmore Fashion Park is so elegant and chock full of chocolate that it’s hard to believe Ms. Baker started her career as a statistician. After leaving the 9 to 5 office job, she enrolled at the Le Cordon Blue in Paris, learning from and observing some of the most esteemed chefs worldwide. She has since become confectioner to the stars and even has her own show, Sweet Julia, on the Cooking Channel. Visit the boutique to enjoy a chocolate tasting, a selection of some of the most popular truffles and chocolates, or try a slice of cake or an ice cream sundae. Simply put, if you have a chocolate lover in your life, take them to Julia Baker Sweet Experience today!
Offering a break from cookies and cupcakes, the desserts at Greekfest on East Camelback Rd. in Phoenix are based on traditional Greek recipes. Try the flaky Baklava filled with pistachios, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts and covered in honey, or Galaktoboureko Chios, a goat’s milk custard wrapped in pastry and soaked in a delicious sweet syrup. These desserts are based on family recipes dating back years, transporting you to the “old country” with just a few bites. There are other homemade pastries available at Greekfest, one of the best places for dessert in Phoenix.
You might go for the La Grand Orange (LGO) grocery store or pizzeria, but you’ll stay for the bake shop. You can order cakes or try their cupcakes (shout out for the mini cupcakes that allow you to feel a bit better about dessert indulgence). They even serve treats with edible glitter for an extra sparkle. If you want dessert but don’t want to be put into a sugar coma, LGO’s olive oil cake is slightly savory and very moist. Whether you go for cheesecake, tarts or pudding, you can’t go wrong. Also, the Grateful Spoon Gelato shop is part of this company, so be sure to check out the strawberry gelato or one of the seasonal flavors to round out your tour of the best desserts in phoenix.
This list of 15 of the top dessert spots in Phoenix makes it clear that the Phoenix area has much to offer when it comes to sweets. But we know that all of that sugar can negatively impact your dental health. There is a reason Santa Claus often left you a toothbrush in your stocking along with all of those sweets!
Desserts are a fun, celebratory part of eating out with family and friends, but without regular brushing and flossing, desserts can lead to cavities and other oral hygiene issues. Combat dental issues by learning how to properly floss and brush.
Desserts can be enjoyed as long as we also practice consistent brushing and flossing and visit the dentist regularly for checkup and cleanings. Yet only about 60% of American adults have been to the dentist in the past year. Further, about 24% of adults have untreated dental caries, which is commonly known as tooth decay.
Not only will your dentist conduct a thorough cleaning, he or she will also check for decay, cavities, oral cancer and gum disease. Your visit to the dentist is about more than just whitening your chompers — poor oral health results in higher instances of diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis, among other chronic conditions. Taking control of oral health can help you become a healthier person overall and allow you to enjoy the best desserts in Phoenix for years to come.
Regular, preventative dental appointments and cleanings are the best way to continue enjoying these delectable sweets. Should you get a toothache from trying the best Phoenix dessert spots, visit AZ Family Dental. Call our office at 623-777-2037 or request an appointment online. Set up your regular preventative cleaning today so that you can continue to enjoy desserts guilt-free!