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Favorite Austin Desserts?

Just exited a 15 year dessert-free marriage to a calorie-obsessed husband, and I like to start making amends to myself by checking out some of Austin's best dessert offerings. I'm looking for some recommendations:

What is your favorite price-is-no-limit, no-calories-barred, can't-wait-to-finish-the-main-course dessert in town?

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  1. I have not tasted a dessert in a restaurant that jumps to my mind but to help you in your new dessert path you can start on your own with a couple of things I enjoy:

    1.- Go to CM and buy a Valhorna 60-70% chocolate bar, and also a Capogiro or Hagen Dazs Vanilla gelato/ice cream. Chop the chocolate and add it to the same amount of hot heavy cream and let it melt for a minute, then stir to make a ganache. Use this on top of some of the capogiro gelato or HD ice cream.

    2.- Buy some croissants from la Boite or Baguette et Chocolate and some Nutella, put them together, eat and enjoy. While at BeC check the case for some wonderful chocolate mousse and maybe buy some other pastries to take home.

    3.- If you enjoy espresso, Buy a small pint of gelato/ice cream at CM North Lamar and then go straigth to Houndstooth and ask for a double espresso, and ask for a latte cup (not warm). Put some ice cream in the latte cup and when the espresso shots are ready pour them over the ice cream/gelato to make a wonderful affogato.

    Enjoy! and well do not try to do over doing it by having all of them the same day :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: fduran

      To add to fduran's recommendations (which, by the way, I'm jotting down myself), don't miss the macarons at La Boite, either. They are AMAZING.

      La Boite
      1700 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

      1. re: Optimista

        had macarons at payard in vegas that were out of this world good. Haven't found any in austin that have compared... definitely gonna give this place a shot, thanks for the tip

    2. My far and above favorite was the coconut buttermilk pie with a bruleed top and berry coulis at the Good Knight. RIP. Sigh.

      1. -the homemade doughnuts at Parkside. I find them irresistable.
        -anything from Sweetish Hill. Between birthdays and work functions, I've had many different flavors of their cakes. And I get pastries there for breakfast more often than I care to admit. I don't have a favorite.
        -apple strudel at European Bistro. Availability varies.

        1. a few people mentioned the following as the best pastry chefs in austin:

          thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760851

          laura sawicki, la condesa
          philip speer, uchiko
          diana sanchez, jack allen's kitchen

          4 Replies
            1. re: verily

              yes-- the desserts at uchi and uchiko are very unusual and nuanced.
              they're not the usual sugar and butter one two punch (not that i mind it, when in the mood).

              if you are into chocolate truffles, there was a post on them here:

              barley swine is also doing some interesting desserts.
              here's an excerpt from today's menu:
              Smoked pecan fudge, marshmallow, cocoa nibs, salted caramel ice cream 7
              Vanilla porter, malted barley ice cream 4

              1. re: dinaofdoom

                That beer float at Barley Swine is fan-freaking-tastic.

                Barley Swine
                2024 S. Lamar, Austin, TX

            2. re: dinaofdoom

              I'd for sure add Plinio Sandalio at Congress/Second to that list.

            3. i love it! you go!

              get some Miles of Chocolate from Central Market, that stuff is sooooo freaking good! (if you REALLY want to make up for lost time, maybe combine it with the gelato/ganache idea).

              Speaking of gelato, Teo's salty caramel ice cream is great.

              wow, this is going to do wonders for your mental health! =)

              Central Market
              4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

              1206 W 38th St, Austin, TX 78705

              2 Replies
                1. re: NirvRush

                  Second on the salty caramel from Teo's. Yum!

                  1206 W 38th St, Austin, TX 78705

                2. Neither of these are expensive, but I love the frozen bananas from Bananarchy (I've only had mine dipped in chocolate and rolled in peanuts and toffee...I can't seem to ever order anything else!) and cupcakes from Sugar Mama's. They're pretty much all good, even the vegan ones.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: chocolatemalt

                    a "crawl" of some of the dessert cars with some gal-pals would be a great end-of-marriage party.

                      1. re: korikoritx

                        sorry, i meant "trucks", like the banarchy one CM mentioned.

                    1. re: chocolatemalt

                      Oh I had another idea: you could get a box of Tiff's Treats delivered to your office (or home...)! Their cookies are amazing when warm. Once they cool they are sort of run of the mill, but warm they will make you cry. And your coworkers will love you too.

                      Tiff's Treats
                      1806 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78701

                    2. Alamo Drafthouse's $5 milkshake always hits the spot when I don't feel like ordering dinner there. Huge serving (must've used an entire pint) topped with little candied sunflower seeds. For a dollar more, their Midnight Espresso milkshake is really delish, too.

                      I noticed the Lake Creek franchise is experimenting with new flavors like chocolate-ancho and strawberry-balsamic. I plan to try one when I go see Captain America this weekend.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: verily

                        I adore the Drafthouse's chocolate peanut butter shake. They float a little peanut butter cup on top of the whipped cream on top of the shake.

                        Hula Hut's tres leches cake has almost always been a winner for me, too (except for one time when it was tough on the bottom, but that was a very rare anomaly).

                        Oh, and go to Gourdough's and ask for a Sailor Jerry with grilled bananas on top. Or a Flying Pig if you're feeling carnivorous.

                          1. re: amysuehere

                            yummmm Tres Leches! Habana's Tres Leches is scrumpdiddilyuptious!

                      2. What a fun idea, and reliving past great desserts is so much more fun than what I was doing - watching my lawn wilt and die.
                        Could i choose a favorite dessert from this list? Why not just ask me to pick the cutest puppy at the shelter, the fluffiest cloud on a summer afternoon or the most witless yokel commenting on the Statesman website – Herculean tasks all.

                        So here’s my list, in no particular order:

                        The bread pudding with warm rum sauce at Hoover's on Manor is decadent - highly recommended. Pair it with a Chicken Fried Chicken dinner with cream gravy and you have a top-notch high calorie celebration worthy of the challenge.

                        The Salty Oat cookie at Quack's is an unexpected treat - rolled oats and raisins, topped with coarse salt.

                        Stuff your pie hole with a 4" mini-pie at Cutie Pie's new storefront - 7329 Burnet Road. Their Buttermilk Pie was named one of the best pies in the South by Southern Living Magazine.

                        Casey's New Orleans Snoballs over on 51st Street has been serving some of the best shaved ice in the city for decades. My favorite flavors include Chai, Wedding Cake, Chocolate Covered Cherry, Cantaloupe and Grandma's Nectar Cream. I also recommend springing for the extra 50 cents and adding whipped cream or caramel topping to your snoball.

                        The quality of the Tres Leches cake at Fiesta market on 38 1/2 street is surprising, and another strong recommendation of mine. I remember they won best tres leches a few years ago during a blind taste testing by the Chronicle's food writers (the old Granite Cafe was second place).

                        1. Besides what I said below, I add Gumbos chocolate custard

                          1. Truluck's Carrot Cake and/or Mudd Pie. Both are very good.

                            1. Wom Kim Peach Pudding at Hyde Park Bar and Grill.

                              1. Jasper's Desert Trio - 1) dark chocolate molten cake, 2) butter finger creme brûlée, 3)rocky road ice cream sandwich.

                                Gumbos chocolate custard (as previously mentioned)

                                Trulucks chocolate cake and chocolate box.

                                1. i generally don't have a sweet tooth, so you can always throw my suggestions out the window... but here are my recs...

                                  Wink's El Rey Chocolate Cake - i actually don't like chocolate, but LOVE this dessert. must pause after each bite to get over each foodgasm... their lemon meringue pot is good too... make sure NOT to get the dessert trio though, it's not even remotely the same experience...

                                  Foreign & Domestic's Almond Tart - all i remember is not wanting to share this with anyone...

                                  Uchi/Uchiko's Special Dessert - i generally like cutting edge/experimental desserts, and they've got some interesting offerings...

                                  Foreign & Domestic
                                  306 E 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751

                                    1. re: SLadd

                                      The 1.25 cone at La Paleteria, coconut.

                                      La Delicias Paleteria Y Neveria
                                      8120 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758

                                    2. Favorite old school dessert (i.e. no bacon gelato or tobacco cream) has to be the Jubilee at the Highball, a bourbon bread pudding for two ($12), flambeed with cherries and Grand Marnier at your table side. They wheel out this polished wood contraption to make it that looks like a prop from Dynasty or Love Boat or some other faux-sophisticated 70s TV show. It's either hilarious or embarrassing depending on how many cocktails you've had, but tastes decadently wonderful.

                                      1. Coffee Panna Cotta at Uchi: coffee panna cotta with mango ‘yolk,’ coffee soil and white choco­late sorbet.

                                        Uchi Restaurant
                                        801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

                                        1. korikoritx, this post really revved up some of us.
                                          please report back on all your gluttonous swingle indulgences!

                                          1. -Chocolate Intemperance at Jeffrey's
                                            -Chocolate silk pie at East Side
                                            -Anything from Uchi or Uchiko
                                            -Dessert cocktail at FINO
                                            -Banana's Foster at Eddie V's
                                            -Tiramasu at Musashino


                                            Uchi Restaurant
                                            801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

                                            4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

                                            1. the coconut gelato at Mandola's at the triangle is the best cold coconut offering I've ever had.

                                              1. Sit-down places
                                                Perla's-Standouts included the fried blackberry pie and the brown butter ice cream.
                                                Uchi/Uchiko: I feel like you can't really go wrong at either place. I have never tried the more savory option (with goat cheese and tomato) at Uchiko, but everything else has been tasty--including specials.
                                                Carillon: The Guanaja Chocolate Terrine surprised me. I'm not usually a citrus/chocolate fan, but this won me over.
                                                Roaring Fork: The mini cherry pie a la mode.
                                                Hyde Park Bar and Grill: The brownie a la mode is super decadent and fudgy.

                                                Everything else
                                                Goodpops: Coffee and coconut paletas are outstanding. They are sold at Whole Foods and at a pop-up on Riverside and Congress, among other places.
                                                Teo: Their gelato is among the best in town. My favorites are salted caramel and Nutella peanut butter.
                                                Whole Foods: The caramelita bar is scrumptious, as is the chocolate mousse.
                                                Central Market: Their gelato is actually very tasty. The pistachio is more flavorful than the pistacho at Teo. I also like to hit up the chocolate section for the occasional splurge on a Vosges chocolate bar. The Amella passion fruit cocoa butter caramels (if they still carry them) are the best.
                                                Sugar Mama's: Frida cupcake, s'mores bar and apple pie bar.
                                                Hopdoddy: Salted caramel milkshake
                                                Casey's: My personal favorite snowball is chocolate covered cherry.
                                                Gordoughs: I am partial to the sweet/savory flavors of the Porky's, but if you want more sweet, the Heavenly Hash fits the bill.
                                                La Boite: Not a fan of their macarons, personally, but the Barrie Cullinan almond croissants can't be beat.
                                                Amy's: I still crave the peppermint ice cream with hot fudge that I had one winter. I also love the coconut ice cream.

                                                Have fun on your dessert quest!

                                                Central Market
                                                4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

                                                1206 W 38th St, Austin, TX 78705

                                                La Boite
                                                1700 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

                                                4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

                                                1. Favorite Austin dessert, Blondie Pie or, Jack's Banana Toffee Pie at Jack Allen's! In fact, had it for breakfast today! Close second, slightly outside of Austin, Banana Pudding at Opie's in Spicewood. Man, think I have a little leftover in the fridge... Later!

                                                  1. Thank you for all your suggestions! I've been busy, busy, busy, but have barely made a dent in this list! So far, I've gotten the warm baked cookies at the Alamo Drafthouse (with milk!); had two bites of a doughnut at Gourdoughs (way too sweet for me), devoured something absolutely divine at Uchiko (one of the specials), licked the plate from the Chevre Cheese Cake at Mirabelle, smacked my lips over some lemon/meringue thing at Wink, and tried four different pies from Cutie Pies! All that, and I've lost weight since the divorce. I think happiness is the best diet : )

                                                    Please keep the suggestions coming!

                                                    4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: korikoritx

                                                      Bananas Foster at BarChi Sushi was really good. I agree the Tres Leches at Habana is really good, but you could make it yourself for just about as much money with a box of cake mix, the 3 milks and cool whip. I love Gourdoughs and Sugar Mama's. The Alamo Cookies are the way to go, they make them from scratch. Unfortunately, their milkshakes are no longer made from Amy's Ice Cream, I hear they got a "milk shake machine" like Wendys. Strangely enough the Key Lime Pie at The Crab Shack is really good as well. (I heard a rumor that Dangerously Delicious Pies from Baltimore/DC is opening a location here.) That is exciting because I love pie!

                                                      1. re: duncanmcgeachy

                                                        I'm a big pie fan as well. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in Cutie Pies. The were cute and all, but the crust-to-filling ratio was off, probably because they were so cute and tiny. What are some of your favorite local pie places?

                                                        1. re: korikoritx

                                                          I agree about the pie crusts at Cutie Pies. Great fillings (I love the berry pie), but the crust is incredibly thin and usually soggy.

                                                          Once, I had a delicious slice of blueberry pie with a crumble topping at Magnolia Cafe. When I went back to get it again, the pie wasn't as heavenly.

                                                          I am thinking of trying pie from the Frisco next. Has anyone been?

                                                          1. re: TerryMtz

                                                            I prefer the full size pies at Cutie Pies. ESPECIALLY the buttermilk. Oh my god. I thought I was going to die. ::drools::

                                                            Currently on the hunt for amazing bread pudding.

                                                        2. re: duncanmcgeachy

                                                          OMG, I've been wanting to try the Baltimore Bomb pie from Dangerously Delicious ever since I saw it on TV. His pies look incredibly insane. I can't WAIT for this to open!

                                                      2. I'm so happy I found this thread! Whenever I eat out, what makes or breaks my experience is the quality of their desserts. Here are my standouts, after eating my way through $-$$$ restaurants these past few years:

                                                        Foreign and Domestic -> (Deconstructed) Banana Tart
                                                        I'll let the photos do the talking: http://blog.fndaustin.com/2011/11/cre...

                                                        Walton's Fancy and Staple -> Flourless Chocolate Hearts
                                                        At $1.50, they're relatively affordable. For dark chocolate lovers, as it is not that sweet (vs. every other dessert there


                                                        Lick Ice Cream -> Any flavor, but I like salted caramel, coconut+avocado cream, and their seasonal spiked eggnog
                                                        It's the best ice cream in town, IMHO. The flavors are excellent, creative, *fresh*, local, and not too creamy or too sweet to give you a tummyache if you want to eat a TON

                                                        Wheatsville Co-op -> Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
                                                        You can find these in the deli section, when they're not sold out. So rich and chocolately and peanutty. They make Reese's PB cups taste artificial and cloying. Other places in town that make their own VPB cups but aren't as good: Quack's Bakery, Progress Coffee

                                                        Upper Crust Bakery (and Quack's Bakery) -> Sugared cinnamon roll
                                                        If you like cinnamon rolls, you've got to try this. It's crammed with butter and sugar, and it's a delight to peel it and eat it layer by layer

                                                        Fabi + Rosi -> crack pie hooch cream
                                                        It's Austin's version of Momofuku's crack pie. Super simple, very sweet, oh so satisfying if you've got a major sweet tooth happening.

                                                        Enjoy! We live in a wonderful city where people demand good desserts, and get them!

                                                        1. I love the key lime pie at Hula Hut--yummy crust (with almonds)!