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Dallas Desserts

My dad and I are big fans of desserts, and I'm curious to hear what other foodies have to say about the best desserts in Dallas (and the country for that matter). So far, my dad and I have reached the consensus that the best desserts are at the Palm. Their cheesecake is great, their chocolate cake is amazing, and their carrot cake is heaven. I consider their chocolate cake and carrot cake to be perfection. It does help that the desserts are huge (and $15 each). Besides that, if I am craving some dessert and don't want to gorge on Palm desserts, I usually go to Eatzi's, Dallas City Market, or sad as it is to say, Cheesecake Factory. I've tried places like the Grape (way too small and not tasty) as well as Stephen Pyle's Heaven and Hell cake... I guess you have to love peanut butter to appreciate it. I went to Hibiscus once and liked their chocolate cake as well as its size, but I think the Palm wins hands down. So where do you guys go? I am pretty conservative when it comes to desserts, but I'd still like to know your favorite dessert know matter how eccentric it is. Also, I think that Whole Foods "Death by Chocolate Brownie" is very good, and Del Frisco's has some good stuff too. Thanks.

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  1. Natsumi's frozen yogurt and gelato is hard to top. I haven't had a single flavor there that I don't like. This is the first place that always comes to mind when I'm feeling like a dessert.

    The black forest cake at Henk's Black Forest bakery/deli is pretty amazing stuff. The bakery has a huge assortment of good pastries to choose from as well.

    Craving cookies? I suggest Pokey O's and Doughmonkey, either one is an excellent choice.

    1. I would highly recommend Doughmonkey for a dessert. All of their pastries are great.

      If you can get there in the mornings before they sell out I would try a muffin at Yummy Donuts on Lovers on the east side of the tollway (Across from the Firestone). The husband and wife team make an excellent muffin that is not overly sweet and is packed with blueberrys. They also have very interesting designer donuts (think cookies and cream with Oreos on top). No Website.

      For a somewhat healthy dessert (I am sure they have it elsewhere also) but a dish of the fresh silken tofu with a simple syrup at Sichuanese was very good on a recent visit.

      Also good to great are the desserts at La Me. While not on your typical rotation of sweets (i.e cheesecake or chocolate dessert) the Vietnamese can make great desserts that you would never think go together. I believe they have about 5-6 desserts everyday with about two more in the fridge.

      A substitute for a dessert could be Cassis in Plano for a specialty drink or a frozen drink. That is if you are up in that area. I don't like peanut butter that much but the peanut slush is just right.

      Candidate for the worst slice of cake ever was at Henk's Black Forest Cafe the Swiss Madrissa cake. Dry tasteless cake, bland icing and canned fruit topping made for a bad experience.

      1. Doughmonkey, as others have said, has great desserts. If you want restaurant desserts, then I think the best is the moon pie at Papas Bros. Honorable mention goes to Strong's EveryDay Tavern for their coconut pie.

        2 Replies
        1. re: 8 2 Much

          I think Fireside Pies has the best cheesecake--blackberries mixed in with berry sauce on the side...

          1. re: 8 2 Much

            Second that, went to Strong's this past weekend, sat outside, i know it was blazing.. but the courtyard was very nice, can't say enough of the service he was really awesome, brought extra glasses of ice for our drinks several times, burgers were great, meat loaf, not too exciting, but the coconut pie was really great, and i don't even like coconut.

          2. La Duni. Their Quatros Leches (or is it Tres?) cake is almost perfect. The only problem is it is so rich that it sends me into a sugar coma.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Epicurious Esquire

              perry's for brown bag apple pie and chocolate cake--get both and enjoy.

              nobu for mochi, and pear tobanyaki, as well as almost all the desserts.

              jaspers for the trio of desserts

            2. I'll second the La Duni Quatros Leches Cake....RICH! Also, the Tres Leches Cake at Zaguan Bakery is killer and a whole one to take to work when it's your turn for the Birthday cake is a real crowd pleaser as is Eatzi's Sour Cream Chocolate Cake.

              I haven't tried the coconut cream pie at Strong's yet (I like that place alot), but the Capital Grille version is top notch.

              1. I've said this before, but i really like the s'mores from Tillman's. They can be messy, but i have loved making this dessert at home since i was really young, and Tillman's puts a little upscale twist on it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: iluvtennis

                  Oh man those S'mores at Tillman's are G O O D !! Mouth watering!

                2. Does anybody know anything about Tart Bakery on Lovers? Also, is Doughmonkey still open for retail sale? I read that they only do wholesale stuff now.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: rep123max

                    Doughmonkey has returned for retail sale!!

                    Have not been to Tart Bakery, with Doughmonkey that close why would I go???

                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                      Glad to hear that about Doughmonkey. I was getting worried that I wouldn't be able to taste it. Anybody know if it is open on Sundays?

                      1. re: rep123max

                        it's not open Sundays, and only open until a little after 5 on Saturdays.

                        1. re: luniz

                          Just went there this Saturday and as always incredible. They had samples of their Valrhona pound cake as well as the new chocolate truffle line they just started. Expensive but I just had to by a 15 piece box. Every chocolate lover needs to head there as soon as they can. I feel no one in the DFW area treats it with as much respect as Doughmonkey. Simply brilliant stuff.

                          1. re: mike1823

                            So I went to Doughmonkey. I must have made a bad call because I got their pineapple carrot cake. It was good, but not great. I was disappointed because when I called they said they had some special chocolate brownies but I didn't see them when I was there. I guess they rotate every once in a while. I'll go back to try pure chocolate cake.

                            1. re: rep123max

                              their chocolate and cookie stuff is what's best. the fruity type stuff is all good, but none of it has really wowed me yet. well their marshmallows are good too, haven't tried the peanut brittle.

                              1. re: luniz

                                I more or less agree - this weekend I bought (among other things) a small cherry pie, topped with some almond crumb. It was extremely well done - not too sweet, no gloppy sauce, tender crust and a nice crunch on top with the almonds. It tasted like plump, cooked cherries - which is as much as you can (or should, in my opinion) ask of a fruit pie. It was not a life-altering experience, but I can't imagine a better execution. And I really admire and enjoy their general trend (with chocolate desserts too) to not over-sweeten.

                                They had some baklava too - it looked really good, but I had already exceeded my limit. luniz (or anyone else) - any chance you've tried it? Does it even approach your standard?

                                1. re: gavlist

                                  I had some, thinking of luniz the whole time. The nut paste tasted as if it also contained some raisins, dates, or figs. Some sort of dried fruit like that. It wasn't syrupy in the least bit, though it is made with honey. It's very buttery, yet not one phyllo layer seemed soggy. I prefer it to afrah because the flavor was kicked up some with honey, spice and fruitiness, but i can certainly see some preferring afrah's.

                                  1. re: kindofabigdeal

                                    ooo i haven't tried it. i tried fadi's at taste of dallas, it was pretty good for fair food (but not my favorite style). i hope it was dates instead of raisins...raisins in baklava sounds pretty yucky to me. they probably used good butter to get it to taste buttery. syrupy-ness is due to not cooking the syrup long enough (or pouring it on before you bake it, like the first time i made it!). so that is an easy thing if you can remember/practice it...it's still hard for me yet.

                                2. re: luniz

                                  I have tried the peanut brittles several times. I am not sure who is doing the spicing but for instance the Chipotle peanut brittle needs more Chipotle. Same hold true with the other spiced peanut brittles. I enjoy really tasting a spice (especially sweet and spicy-chile in this case) not just having it in the background. They are good but not wowing. Marshmallows on the other hand are very good, light and airy, and spiced with exotic ingredients (tasmanian honey, candied ginger, fennel pollen, etc). Would highly recommend the marshmallows.

                                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                    I agree - I tried their mole bark, which I thought could be interesting but was too under-spiced to pull off the effect. I felt the same about their "salt & pepper" chocolates. Not enough Szechuan peppercorn to really notice.

                                    1. re: gavlist

                                      this weekend, I tried DoughMonkey's chocolate bark with chinese five-spice. They dosed it perfectly - the five-spice flavors are distinct and noticeable, but don't overwhelm the chocolate at all. The combination (I'm not sure which chocolate they used) is really delicious and addictive - it's also sprinkled with small cubes of candied ginger. I strongly recommend it.

                      2. re: rep123max

                        I had a petit four from tart that wasn't great. BUT, that's just a very small sampling.

                        1. re: rep123max

                          Have tried both Tart locations (Lovers and Legacy) and have been disappointed both times. I always try a wide sampling (lemon bar, brownie, 3 flavors of cupcakes, and a petit four). All were extremely dry and tasted like they'd been sitting out for awhile. The only positive was the sweet cream frosting on the cupakes.

                        2. La Duni , IMO, makes the very best cakes in Dallas, and for that matter anywhere, as I travel throughout the country, I still stand by their cakes...Now for pie, if you like Key Lime, you cannot beat the version at Houstons, though you must have it while the "season" is here, after that they do not offer it...Cookies...very picky, and still have not found any here that blow me away, except for my own homebaked version...

                          1. Parigi on Oaklawn has a cobbler that is amazing! Alamode is the way to go. Pecan pie at Pappas...yummy. The homemade cakes at East Wind are a nice twist after great sushi. Best banana creme pie...Lawry's! I love desserts. My daughter and I treat ourselves by ordering dessert first!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bond007

                              Reminds me of one of my favorite sayings..."Life is uncertain...Eat dessert first"

                              1. re: bond007

                                Chocolate blob at Parigi's is amazing! But I love all their food, and their service and open patio as well.

                                Parigi Restaurant
                                3311 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219

                              2. Right now, this is my fave dessert at Tillman's:

                                PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE SANDWICH
                                with banana ice cream, chocolate icing and chocolate sauce

                                I like the s'mores too, but the peanut butter cookie dessert is killer.

                                1. I rarely like plain old chocolate cake, but Trulucks has a great one. I am also mildly obsessed with their chocolate bag dessert. It's a chocolate mold in the shape of a bag and inside is a giant piece of poundcake, fresh berries, and whipped cream. After serving it, they chop it all up in front of you. Yum.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: sass

                                    That chocolate bag dessert originated at a restaurant that is no longer with us, but very much loved in the 80's by the name of "Gershwins"....

                                    1. re: jinet12

                                      Actually it originated with the company that still makes and sells the chocolate bags, tulips, swans, high heels, and many other shapes, wholesale to restaurants, hotels, bakeries, etc.

                                  2. I agree with the folks who have said La Duni's Leches Cake and Tillman's smores. I would add the Nutella crepe at Normandie Alliance and the molten chocolate dessert at Fireside Pies.

                                    1. Haven't had too many desserts in the area, but here are my favorites so far:

                                      Cheesecake: Fireside Pies
                                      Chocolate Cake: Palm
                                      Carrot Cake: Trululcks
                                      Pizookie (fresh baked wht choc macademia nut cookie w/vanilla ice cream on top):
                                      BJ's Brewery
                                      Nutella Cake: La Duni

                                      Can't wait to try Tillman's and Doughmonkeys!

                                      1. My favorite bakery in all of Dallas is Breadwinners. Their cupcakes are always moist and are topped with a sweet creamy icing - best of all they're only $1.75. The red velvet cake is to die for. Really, you can't go wrong with any of their desserts, and I love that they have such a wide assortment. Another great bakery is Society Bakery. They have great cupcakes as well but are quite pricey.

                                        Ounce has a decent chocolate cake and some really good ice cream sandwiches. I also still love the chocolate cake at Hibiscus. Chocolate heaven... Another awesome dessert is the bread pudding at III Forks.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: wells524

                                          re: " Parigi on Oaklawn has a cobbler that is amazing!"

                                          if you try this one, ask them not to microwave it to death, I tried it last night and it was like mush........... I should have returned it but did not bother.

                                        2. I guess once you find the Holy Grail of desserts, there is no turning back. In all honesty, I can't get over Doughmonkey's. I think Dallas foodies will be talking about this beloved bakery for years to come. La Duni's desserts are saccharine sweet. Parigi just has that chocolate molten cake with baked peaches. It's okay, but it's still just another riff on a chocolate molten cake. Central Market, Eatzi's, and Whole Food's desserts (with the exception of the To Die For Chocolate brownie) are woefully bad. Society Bakery is pretty good, but Doughmonkey's was as good as any bakery in the country. The desserts at Doughmonkey's were incredible. All other places in Dallas pale in comparison. Sprinkles is a joke. Such a shame because if Dallas wants a true foodie scene, a great artisanal bakery like Doughmonkey's is essential.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: jindomommy

                                            had doughmonkey closed? their website says they are no longer open and the number i found on google (2148601300) says its no longer in service.

                                            1. re: pgwiz1

                                              yea they closed last year :(

                                              I think Rhonda is working as a pastry chef somewhere in Rockwall or doing uhh catering or whatever you'd call it...I think she's still around in the metroplex. I wish I could buy more of her chocolates *sad*

                                              1. re: luniz

                                                i totally agree... i had such a bad craving for DM choc chip cookies the other day.. i wanted to call her up and have her mail me some dough in the mail.... if that was an ooption... pls... if DM people are reading this.. there is a need!!

                                          2. i like the cupcakes at Sprinkles (the carrot is amaaazing, has cinnamon cream cheese frosting) and Society Bakery... Sprinkles are more rich and "gourmet", Society is more like the best possible version of cupcakes that remind you of your childhood... nice and fluffy with a big creamy mountain of icing. as far as desserts go, i love Local... all their desserts are made in-house and they change the menu weekly. Recently had an amazing pumpkin custard topped with cinnamon-sugar whipped cream... yum. They also have a chocolate composed that is always on the menu, with a mini chocolate souffle, tiny chocolate malt shot, and rich brownie cookies... decadent.

                                            Society Bakery
                                            3426 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX

                                            1. Neiman's has a great rum cake and chocolate liquor cake, if you don't mind getting drunk on your desserts. They also sell small sample cakes in assorted flavors. They make great christmas gifts for friends wihtout a drinking problem. ;)

                                              I actually prefer less sweet desserts, since 2 bites of most heavily sweet cakes make me high or pass out, so I love the fruity breads and cookies at Eatzies, as well as the rice pudding. Fresh and delicious. If you need more sugar, you can add some of their fresh jams as well. Great stuff. Most Thai places in town also do a great job on black rice pudding - tasty stuff and not too sweet.

                                              And when I think I can handle a sugar attack and I am in a hurry, believe or not McDonald's cinnamon rolls are awsome. Fresh and warm and the perfect size.

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: txlegalpro

                                                Rise for their chocolate souffle at Rise, and Chamberlain's bread pudding.

                                                1. re: DallasDude

                                                  I really like the bread pudding souffle at Rise ... and the chocolate souffle at Cadot (better than Rise IMO).

                                                  Miles of Chocolate from Central Market is pretty damn good ... have some waiting for me on the kitchen counter right now :D

                                                  I also like the chocolate cake with hot fudge, chopped pecans, and whipped cream at Macaroni Grill. My gripe is they don't properly heat the cake, but it's so huge you have to take most of it home, where you can heat it yourself. I strongly dislike chocolate cake that is more frosting than cake ... this one doesn't have that issue.

                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                    Have you had the milk chocolate cake at Trulucks. it is also very huge, but oh so wonderful. The chocolate 'sack' they have is too much overload.

                                                    1. re: DallasDude

                                                      I haven't--I'll have to try it. What's good there for an entree? (I suppose they'll want me to have one of those :) I had the stone crab the only time I went, and wasn't entranced.

                                                      1. re: foiegras

                                                        We are actually nearing the end of the proper Florida stone crab season in mid March. I think these are food of the gods. But they do a nice smokey chargrilled steak that I usually get with three crab clabs. Dense and meaty, sweet and best served with the mustard sauce provided.

                                                        I can never eat a lot, so I will get the cake to go. It is always better later that evening.

                                                        Trulucks has an all you can eat evening. I think it is Tuesday. Be prepared to gorge on a lot of crab.

                                                        1. re: DallasDude

                                                          Thanks for the recommendation ... I'll have to give them another try, and I'll be sure to get the chocolate cake.

                                                      2. re: DallasDude

                                                        That chocolate cake is the best thing there, we sometime go there just to get the cake to go, it's enough for two people, easy.

                                                2. The warm bread putting with irish whiskey sauce at the Old Monk on Henderson. That's the only dessert they have on the menu, and you won't be disappointed. So tasty!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: pgwiz1

                                                    For cake, I cant find better than Truluck's Chocolate Malt Cake and Carrot Cake. The Key Lime Pie is also really good.

                                                  2. Natsumi (asian flavors!)
                                                    Old Town Creamery (asian flavors!)
                                                    Black Forest Bakery (fruit pastries)
                                                    Afrah (pistachio baklava)
                                                    Doughmonkey (closed, cry)
                                                    I find La Duni overrated (too sweet, too dry) but has some interesting options.
                                                    I'll never have it again but the lemon cake at Del Frisco's was top notch.

                                                    Trying cupcakes at various bakeries was interesting but ultimately disappointing. Terrible values, usually overly sweet. Never underestimate the power of trendy fad over common sense.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: amokscience

                                                      Isn't that the truth ... most cupcakes are the quickest route to disappointment available in a bakery. And why is this so difficult?!

                                                      I ordered cupcakes from Cupcake Cottage (in FW) to take with me to a potluck, and they were dry--not a little, a lot. The chocolate frosting screamed cocoa powder. One of the women there knew the owner, but had never had her cupcakes, and was eager to try them. When she tasted the cupcake, she didn't say anything. As in, no comment ;) The only plus was that they were clearly from a bakery, so I couldn't be blamed for their quality. Had I made them myself, they'd have never left the house ...

                                                      The cupcakes at Central Market are nothing to write home about either. The premium ones are filled a la Twinkies in addition to the frosting. I bought a chocolate one, found it oversweet, put it in the fridge mostly uneaten, and ended up throwing it out. And I am not one to waste dessert ;)

                                                      1. re: amokscience

                                                        I need to make some amendments to mine considering it's honestly been a while since I've gone to Natsumi (my favorite froyo place is now J'adore in Frisco, though I should disclose some bias as the store is owned by the family of one of my friends from college).

                                                        Definite +1 for Old Town Creamery!. They're working towards having a standard set of flavors plus some rotations, totaling to around 35 different ones. They've really upped the variety by having flavors like pomegranate, saffron, lychee, kulfi, falooda, badam-pista-kesar, cashew-raisin, fig, and honestly that's barely scratching the surface, I'm sure others can name way more.

                                                        I'm not sure whether to call Ravelin Bakery a dessert or a breakfast treat, considering you have to get up there so early in the day. Otherwise, they'll be all out of stock. Their almond croissant is outstanding by layering flavors from fresh almonds, some marscapone and the light, semi-sweet chocolate filling. They also have some eclairs that come very close to perfection, but they just need a little bit more filling. It has a very thin layer of chocolate topping that doesn't dominate the filling/bread. There are so many other things there I need to try.

                                                        Also adding milhojas at El Portal, those things have easily replaced La Duni's quatro leches cake for me.

                                                        1. re: amokscience

                                                          After having experienced Doughnut Plant in NYC I wanted to try some more interesting donut options. Seemed like Yummy Donuts would fit the bill but they came up short. Prices were reasonable and the place is bright, welcoming, and bustling... but the donuts were too sweet and too dry. I tried a mix of a half dozen and the best things were the freebie donut holes.

                                                          Continued south to Dude Sweet Chocolate and picked up some Crack in a Box and was practically forced to try the new blue cheese fudge. I liked it, especially the texture, although there wasn't much of anything in the flavor that reminded me of blue cheese. I guess it works, cheese is fatty dairy, so is it like milk chocolate (my favorite type of chocolate)? I think I need some education on the finer grades and brands of chocolate. Stopped by Soda Gallery as well which is not quite Willy Wonka-ish but a nice place to stop by especially if you're intent on doing a root beer or ginger ale comparison. My favorite root beer would be Virgil's by a mile.

                                                          On the way back I visited Natsumi because I pretty have to if I hit the Knox-Henderson area. Snagged maraschino cherry with plum, hawaiian passion fruit, and mango. Also, I noticed they have a store at the Dallas Farmers Market. They offer a 'real food' Japanese menu along with a limited gelato selection.

                                                          Yummy Donuts
                                                          4355 Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75225

                                                            1. re: amokscience

                                                              They still have their stand in Shed 2 at the Dallas Farmer's Market.

                                                          1. Just tried a pecan praline whoopie pie from Society Bakery...very good.

                                                            1. The mangonada at Paleteria and Neveria Durango in Arlington. A mangonada is a fruit mango and ice mixture that is made in a shape of a popsicle using a plastic cup. At the bottom of the cup they usually put chamoy (a sweet/spicy sauce) along with lime and powdered chili/salt. I am hooked on this. The best part is, its only 1.75. I get this savory dessert three times a week if I can.

                                                              My favorite used to be the location on Jefferson close to I-35 but this one location, IMHO has better flavor.

                                                              2107 Sherry St
                                                              Arlington, TX 76010-4811
                                                              (817) 861-5444

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: jaime24g

                                                                Which of the above places remains open and top quality?

                                                                  1. re: kel

                                                                    Do you want updates on the Arlington places or just DFW dessert places in general?