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World’s Best Desserts by Priyanka ,  Jul 28, 2013

Whether you come by your sweet tooth naturally, suddenly find your pants slipping southward from too much road grub, or just can’t face another plate of mystery meat, desserts on the road are a great way to get to know a country’s culinary culture. Whether fussy, sticky, squishy, crunchy or altogether unexpected, a trip down to the local konditory, patisserie or sweets shop will have you smacking your lips and reaching for your toothbrush.

Here are some must-try sweets from around the world. So get out there and get tasting.

Alfajores

(Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, other Latin American countries, via Spain)

alfajorestriples

Alfajores in their many varieties can be found in South and Central America, and also still in Spain. Etymology suggests that they’re from the Arab world, though most now consider these to be squarely (roundly?) Latin American. They’re shortbread or cakey cookies pressed together over a filling of dulce de leche, or milk caramel. Sometimes they’re rolled in shredded coconut or covered in dark or white chocolate, or coated in meringue. Pictured here are triple-deckers, for your munching pleasure. These are found at bakeries and mass-produced in convenience stores and newsstands.

Semla

(Sweden and similar in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Estonia)

semla

Swedes are famous for fika, or an afternoon break at which coffee and pastries are served. If you time your visit to Sweden just right, you’ll be there to sample the famous semla, available in bakeries between Christmas and Easter. These are bun-like pastries, which have their insides scooped out and traditionally stuffed with the filling, milk, and almond paste and topped with whipped cream, but which have recently been popping up (at least in one friend’s kitchen) in chocolate and mocha varieties.

Sfogliatelle/Cannoli

(Italy)

sfogliatella_santarosa

The sfogiatelle’s better known cannoli cousin is going to have to step to the side for just a moment. This clamshell-shaped layered dough (think of a thicker phyllo) is baked, split open and stuffed with cream or a ricotta-based lemon or orange-infused filling for a delectable treat that’s probably not on your doctor’s list of recommended snacks. Luckily your doctor didn’t come on vacation with you. A mangiare!

Taiyaki

(Japan)

taiyaki

A little waffle-like fish-shaped pastry filled with a sweet red bean paste can take the chill out on a cold day, or keep the munchies at bay until you find the perfect place for lunch while walking the populated streets of any street festival or market. Watching taiyaki be freshly made in cast-iron griddles can take up the better part of your nibble time, which means you’ll be able to plunk down some more yen to buy a second one. If you can’t find the “baked sea bream” (as taiyaki means in Japanese) console yourself with imagawayaki, a round cake made in different molds, but which tastes the same.

Sopaipillas/Picarones

(Chile, Peru)

peru_picarones

The antidote to a rainy day in Chile or Peruis is sopaipillas pasadas, a fried disk of dough plunged into a warm molassesy sauce made of chancaca, a solid brown sugar derived from sugar cane. If you can’t find sopaipillas, it may be because they’re selling picarones instead. These are sweet fried rings of a similar dough, which sometimes has a yellow squash incorporated into it (not that you’d notice). If you do the math you’ll see that picarones have more surface area to soak up the sauce. We’re just saying.

Koeksisters

(South Africa via Cape Malay)

koeksisters

Koeksister/Koeksuster/Cooksisters are a South African after-school snack, which can look like bowties, braids (plaits in local parlance) or in sloppy hands, little blobs. They’re fried and plunged into a cold simple syrup, which keeps them from getting mushy. They’re sticky and addictive, and if you’re lucky, slightly ginger-flavored.

Tres Leches Cake

(Mexico, other countries in Central and South America)

tresleches

A good piece of Mexican tres leches cake (so named for the three ways that milk is incorporated into the recipe, condensed, evaporated and as cream) is neither dry nor mushy. It shouldn’t have a pool of condensed milk below it, and should be tall enough so that the milk hasn’t percolated all the way up. It tastes mainly of yellow cake and milk, and tends to be very sweet. It’s perfect accompaniment to a strong cup of coffee and a long walk afterwards.

Suspiro Limeño

(Peru)

suspiro

The Peruvian dessert of suspiro limeño/suspiro limeño/surpiro de limeña might just make you sigh, as the name suggests (suspiro means sigh in Spanish). This slow-cooked concoction of evaporated milk, condensed milk, egg yolks and sugar is as smooth as butter, and will make you hate every pudding you’ve ever tasted before. It’s topped off with meringue for a total sweet overload. There’s a reason it’s usually served in a relatively small dish.

Sernik

(Poland)

sernik

In Poland, if you haven’t come across a good babka, that marbley bready coffee cake of Seinfeld fame or the jam-filled cookies called kolaches (thumbprint cookies on your Christmas cookie-exchange), then you might opt to stop for a slice of sernik, a tasty Polish version of cheesecake, made with twarag cheese, and occasionally potatoes. It’s covered with a latticed top, and makes a great afternoon snack.

Tangyuan/ Yuanxiao

(China, Taiwan)

tangyuan

Don’t go to China in search of fortune cookies, these having been invented in the west. Finish up your meal here, particularly during the lantern festival, with pastel-colored tangyaun or yuanxiao (from the various parts of China), a little starchy sweet dumpling made from a dough of glutinous rice flour and hot water, filled with sesame paste, adzuki bean paste or other sweet fillings. This is served in a small bowl along with some of the water in which it was cooked.

Brigadeiro

(Brazil)

brigadeiro

No Brazilian child’s aniversario (birthday celebration) would be complete without the delectable and gooey brigadeiro, little balls of fudgey caramel, rolled in chocolate sprinkles, and served in a tiny fluted paper cup. Brigadeiro-inspired cakes and icecream have sprung up, but if your teeth don’t ache, you haven’t had the real deal. They’re also sold in pastry shops and on the street, so if you haven’t been invited to a birthday party, you’re not out of luck.

Khao Niaw Ma Muang (mango and sticky rice)

(Thailand)

khaoniaw

As a meal-ender for the complex flavors of Thai food, this can’t be beat. The rice is simmered in coconut milk until it is soft and glutinous, and served beside or beneath fresh mango. And since it has fruit, you can include it in your five-a-day for fruits and veggies.

Cakes, breads, muffins, pie, puddings, ice cream – it seems like every country enjoys something sweet after a meal (or any other time of the day, for that matter). This list describes ten outstanding desserts from around the world. If any are unfamiliar, I encourage you to go to a specialty store or restaurant and try them out. Nothing in your area? That’s a great incentive to travel the world and taste the local flavors!

10. Sopapillas (U.S.)

The name “sopapilla” most likely stems from a Spanish word sopaipa, meaning “sweet fried dough”. They are probably cousins to a vast family of fried and oil dipped breads which have sprouted all over Latin America. After some intense scrutiny, it appears sopapillas originated in New Mexico around 200 years ago. Yes, this is part of the U.S. but it still foreign enough to be put on this list and its family is certainly more Latin than American. Sopapillas can be eaten alone but their spectacular tastes comes when they are drizzled in some honey or the honey is actually poured inside the hollow bread. Cinnamon may be sprinkled on them to compliment this delicious dessert.

9. Churros (Spain)

Churros were given to us from the Spanish. They are now worldwide, even in Korean movie theatres and American baseball games. Churros are sticks of soft dough, made from wheat flour and other particular ingredients. They are extruded through an object that appears to be a star but it is a molded curve which comes in assorted sizes. They are usually made with no-cholesterol 100% vegetable shortening. They are best eaten on winter days when the warmth of this cinnamon flavored bread is digested. They are powdered with cinnamon and sugar. The exterior is crispy but the interior is softer and this dessert just electrifies the tasty sensation in one’s mouth. This is a dessert that has staying power and has been adopted by cultures the world over.

8. Tiramisu (Italy)

There is a pseudonym for this; it is called “Tuscan Trifle.” It originates from Siena, a northwestern Italian province of Tuscany. It is a cool, spectacular feeling that has won the satisfaction from people on all continents. This is the antitheses of the heavy American pie; this dessert is light, similar to light tapioca pudding. Even lighter, more like whipped cream. Tiramisu is made from eggs, mascarpone cheese, ladyfingers, cream, liquor brandy, marsala, a little sugar, some rum, shaved chocolate or cocoa. Mascarpone is a triple-crème cheese. Ladyfingers are sweet little sponge cakes. This dessert is like tasting a bit of heaven, a dessert that floats: it does not drape around one’s tongue. It just hovers through one’s system. The slight taste of some liquor, I am surprised this is not served in every bar but the delicate steps involved to make this precious dessert may exceed most establishments.

7. Almond Cookies (China)

Originally from China, many ethnic communities have adopted these almond cookies. These cookies are found all over America and are so good it is not uncommon for customers to walk into a Chinese restaurant just to buy a box… and that says something since Chinese food is spectacular. They are often served complimentary after a large or expensive Chinese meal such as suckling pig or lobster. Do not mistake these cookies with the dry and stale fortune cookies, those are scrub cookies compared to these spectacularly flavored ones. With milk, there may not be a better dessert around.

6. Fruit Salad Dessert (Central Africa)

Nothing healthier than a fruit salad: and what is better than a dessert that is better for the body than perhaps the main course? There is not any one type of salad that predominates in this region, but they all feature watermelon. In fact, watermelon feeds the entire animal kingdom in this area. Wherever you are, watermelon is absolutely essential to a fruit salad.

5. Castle Pudding (England)

England is not known for its delicious food. In fact, people in England have left that island to seek tastier delights (and possibly better weather). But the English got it right in terms of this dessert. I am sure it is not uncommon for some people in England to just skip dinner to get to this warm, strawberry jelly sauced, scrumptious plate all the more sooner. What separates this pudding from the rest is the topping. The pudding is not what marvels one’s senses; it is the strawberry jam that is cascading down the sides of the pudding. These two textures were made for each other. Usually this type of pudding is baked in a dariole mold. This translates into the French verb “dorer” which means “cover in gold.” Sounds enticing! 

4. Pavlova (Australia and New Zealand)

This is a dessert preference in Australia, New Zealand and England. England takes a backseat here since it seems to be enjoyed a little more in the southern hemisphere. There is not any one kind of pavlova and it is not something sold on the street corner or in a convenience store. It is found in prestigious restaurants and some cake stores are known to carry this sweet delight. This is not a high caloric dessert so even Nicole Kidman can enjoy it. It is made from egg whites and sugar and, when cooked by someone who knows what they are doing in the kitchen (not me), the outside of the meringue shell will be crunchy. Whipped cream envelopes this dessert while the inside has a marshmallow like texture. It is served with any of these luscious fruits: strawberry, kiwi, raspberry or peach.

3. Baklava (Turkey)

This ambrosial dessert is now linked to Greece and Greek food settings, but it was first concocted in the Ottoman Empire inside Turkey. During this period, the Greeks and the Turks shared foods and ideas, including, but not limited to, this spectacular dessert known as Baklava. Kitchens should be kept humid and the cook needs to be prepared because Phyllo dough is used in the recipe. It can be tricky to manipulate: it is fine and dries very quickly. Honey, sugar, lemon juice, and orange water are used to make a syrup, which is poured over layers of phyllo dough and melted butter. Nuts are placed on top, usually pistachios, and the result is a thick but savory dessert. Photo: Ultimate Guide to Greek Food

2. Chestnut Kintons or Cream Candy (Japan)

Typically I would think that candy is more suitable for a movie theater, not dessert. However, I will make an exception for Japanese cream candy because it is so tasty. Chestnuts are the staple here, with sweet potatoes, sugar, mirin sauce and some vinegar. This chestnut is from a chestnut tree that is only found in Japan and South Korea. It is quite small, reaching only about 15 cm tall at the largest. This is a deciduous tree and the Japanese have taken advantage of Mother Nature’s offerings by creating a dessert candy that is delectable.

1. Gulaab Jamun (India)

Corn oil is preferable for this tasty dessert. Powder, regular milk, and perhaps some raisins or pistachios are most of the ingredients. This dough is divided into small balls and they will increase in size like donuts. These are not unlike the donut holes in the U.S., but instead of powdered sugar, sweet syrup is drizzled onto the soft dough. The syrup’s taste is indicative of where it is made in India. Some areas have a proclivity towards rose water, others lean toward saffron or citrus juice. This is not something that needs to be eaten quickly: Gulaab Jamun can be stored over night to absorb more syrup.  Wow, how much sugar can one take? It depends on how strong the dough recipe is. This dessert, like pumpkin pie, can be served or eaten hot or cold. This dessert can also be delivered with even additional syrup layered on it. This is a traditional Indian dessert served on the holidays when firecrackers and celebrations are popping all around.

Whether you like them sinfully self-indulgent or slightly more wholesome, there's still nothing that can make your mouth water quite like the perfect dessert. Here are the best after dinner treats from across the globe.

Tiramisu: Men have gone to war for less

Pavlova, New Zealand/Australia

Whether this famous dessert, with its light, meringue base, lashings of whipped cream and handfuls of fruit, was created in New Zealand or Australia remains a matter of hotly contested debate. What is certain, however, is that egg whites beaten to a stiff consistency with added sugar, white vinegar and cornstarch makes for one of the tastiest, crunchy soft desert sensations known to man. Especially when decorated with whipped cream and fruit, usually strawberries, peaches, kiwi or passion fruit.

Tiramisu – Italy

For a dessert that seems to have been unknown until 30 years ago, when it is believed to have been invented in the town of Treviso in northern Italy, Tiramisu quickly made its mark on international tastebuds, and today very few things seem as quintessentially Italian as this luscious dessert. Meaning ‘Pick me up’ in Italian, the layering of flavours, combining coffee, alcohol, a light airy mascarpone based zabaglione cream and chocolate, is the true innovation of this dessert.

Macarons – France

The macaron is a dessert of legendary proportions which easily transcends the cookie genre. Technically, it’s a pastry, in which two shells made from ground almonds, egg whites, icing sugar and sugar encase a delicate filling flavoured with a symphony of different flavours. It is believed that macarons made their way to the French court from Italy with the chefs of Catherine di Medici who married King Henry II of France in 1533. However the dessert really entered the popular imagination in 1792 when two nuns seeking asylum in Nancy during the French Revolution baked and sold macarons to support themselves and became known as the macaron sisters!

Black Forest Cherry Cake / Schwarzwälderkirschtorte – Germany

Sour Morello cherries and Kirchwasser (a double-distilled, clear cherry brandy made from these cherries) are widely produced in the Black Forest (Der Schwarzwald) region of southern Germany. Therefore, it is not surprising that desserts incorporating these ingredients have become staples of this region. Of these, Black Forest Cherry Cake is probably the most famous. The earliest version of the recipe dates back to the late 16th century and some suggest that it actually originated in Switzerland and travelled north to Germany.

Sticky Toffee Pudding – Great Britain

While Great Britain boasts a plethora of traditional puddings from sweet to savoury, Sticky Toffee Pudding is perhaps the modern classic. A light, moist cake, flavoured with chopped sticky dates and vanilla, served warm, soaked in a sticky toffee sauce, the pudding was invented by Francis Coulson, chef and owner of the Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel, in England’s Lake District around 1960 and has since travelled the world.

It is said that it takes 32 steps to prepare the perfect Sachertorte – although eating it only takes one.

Shrikhand – India

This deliciously creamy Indian dessert originates from the region of Gujarat. In its purest form Shrikhand is basically strained yogurt, hung to drain all of the liquid and then whisked with sugar and spices like cardamom and saffron. The result is a thick, sweet, creamy mixture served chilled with a sprinkling of nuts, often eaten in traditional Gujarati cuisine as part of a vegetarian platter, called Thali.

Umm Ali – Egypt

Umm Ali is a light fluffy pastry bathed in sweet milk, sprinkled with tangy dried fruits and nuts, baked in the oven to allow all the flavours to mingle into an incredible experience. The name Umm Ali literally mean’s Ali’s mother and dates back to Ottoman rule in Egypt. According to legend, a sultan stopped in a poor village looking for something to eat and the village’s best cook, named Umm Ali, made something akin to this dish. Today anyone can order it anywhere in Egypt and still be delighted.

Baklava – Turkey

The exact origin of Baklava is hard to pinpoint, because every ethnic group with Middle Eastern ancestry has laid claim to this scrumptious pastry at some time or another. And you can understand why. Probably dating back to Assyria in 8BC and made from layers of phyllo dough, stuffed with nuts and aromatic spices then drenched in sweet syrup and honey, this is the dessert of nobility and until the mid 19th century was considered an upper class delicacy.

Sachertorte – Austria

Rich, chocolaty and fruity, everything about Viennese Sachertorte screams decadence. For more than 175 years the Sachertorte has been considered as one of the world’s most sophisticated chocolate pastries. First created in the 1830s after Franz Sacher, a 16 year old apprentice working in a small pastry shop in Vienna was tasked with creating a totally new style of pastry, the sachertorte comprises two layers of slightly bitter chocolate cake, sandwiching a sweet, fruity apricot jam and sealed in a shiny dark chocolate glaze. A dollop of whipped cream was added on the side for traditionalists. It is said that it takes 32 steps to prepare the perfect Sachertorte – although eating it only takes one.

Engadine Nut Cake – Switzerland

While there might be several different recipes for nut cakes, the most popular originates from Engadine in Canton Graubunden, Switzerland. Containing caramelized walnuts and a heavy cream filling inside a traditional shortbread crust, this Swiss classic was first created in 1926 by Engadine baker, Fausto Pult who later went on the sell his nut cakes at an exhibition in Basel, which introduced the cake to the wider world. Loaded with calories, Nusstorte are usually cut into small pieces and served with coffee or tea.

Everyone (well, almost everyone) loves dessert. From tart and savoury to sweet and creamy, the best desserts come in all shapes and sizes.  And while we might deny ourselves the pleasure of finishing off the meal with something special, when we travel the opportunity presents itself for some can’t-miss temptations.  So splurge, enjoy yourself, and walk it off the next day with any of these ten of the world’s best desserts.

Mont Blanc at Angelina’s in Paris

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The only thing better than relaxing on the River Seine at Sunset is savouring a cup of coffee or tea while enjoying a Mont Blanc at Angelina’s, the best bakery in Paris the world.  It’s just a few minutes walk from the Louvre, and people usually come here for the renowned hot chocolate. (I don’t like it – but it’s a drinking chocolate.  Not my thing.)  But this concoction of think whipped cream and chestnut creme is simply the world’s best dessert.  Without question.  I could go to Paris just to have one of these.  Stunning.

Quindim in Brazil

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Quindim is another world-class best dessert, and appearances might be deceiving as sometimes its presented a bit like a Brazilian doughnut!  Don’t be fooled, though; it’s of course much more than that.  One of the many Portuguese-influenced treats in Brazil, it’s made with lots of eggs and sugar infused with coconut, which gives it this wonderful texture.  The best ones are homemade if you can find them – some of the store ones aren’t nearly as fresh or as tasty.

Beingets from Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans

The beingets from Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans are almost as famous as Mardi Gras itself.  I wonder how much powered sugar this place goes through in a year – it’s piled high to ensure your sugar rush is set for warp speed.  I have it on good word these are good for a hangover too, a useful bit of knowledge in this part of town, though brace yourself for the long queues to get yours.

Gelato from Anywhere in Florence

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It’s tough to choose which Italian dessert to feature as indeed many of the world’s best desserts come from Italy.  But since I’m doing the choosing here, I’ll go with gelato – and Florence has some of the country’s best shops.  Vivoli is probably the one the most famous, but I wouldn’t say it is the best.  Others to try are Carabè, Badiani and Grom; just finding the places is difficult, but just get lost in the maze that is Florence and enjoy yourself.

Galub Jamun in India

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Akil wrote about some of her favorite Indian desserts, and it is no surprise that Galub Jamun made the list.  It is simply a fried dough in sugar, but I love the different flavours of syrup you can get: sometimes its a hint of cardamom, other times it’s a little ginger-y.  An excuse to try them a few different times during your stay.

Maple Taffy in Canada

Canada has no shortage of world’s best desserts, but if you visit in spring then you simply must try a bit of maple taffy – just trying it is a bit of an experience!  You see, it’s hot maple syrup poured into the snow and rolled around a stick.  (Don’t worry, they use clean snow.)   It tastes so pure and wholesome, the perfect treat after a day of Canadian adventures.

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream in New Zealand

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I love ice cream, so it gets two turns to be on the world’s best desserts list.  And what else but ice cream can be used as an excuse to visit New Zealand, my favourite country?  Hokey pokey is vanilla ice cream with sponge toffee bits thrown in for good measure.  You can find it at any place that services ice cream – in fact, if the parlours only have one flavour, it will be hokey pokey.  But what else could satisfy your sweet tooth after a day of hikes and extreme adventure sports than some hokey pokey?

Churros from Anywhere

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I love churros – and thankfully they are easy to find in many places.  The world’s best churros are in Tijuana, in my opinion, but chocoholics will not want to miss churros y chocolat for breakfast in Madrid.  Pretty much any Spanish speaking or influenced country will be serving up these tasty treats.  Yum.

Naleśnik in Poland

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Naleśnik is basically a Polish crepe or light pancake.  It’s a difficult decision to make for me, because I do love pierogi filled with fruit as a dessert, but these tasty pancakes are easier to find.  I think because the Polish ones come with lots of different fresh fruits, fresh cream, and a heavy dose of cinnamon, they win for me against their (delicious) French counterparts.

If you ever decide to eat your way around the world, dessert might be a good course to start with. The world offers an endless array of incredible desserts of course, yet here I have managed to single out some of my favourites treats of all time:


Chestnut Kintons

This is a Japanese sweet creamy candy. It is made from chestnuts, sweet potatoes, sugar of course, mirin sauce and a dash of vinegar. Not your average dessert, but it is well-worth a try.

Tiramisu

This is a very light and fluffy dessert – even though it might look heavy at first sight – originates in the Italian town of Siena. It consists of eggs, mascarpone (a triple cheese), brandy, some ladyfingers, thick cream, marsala spice, a tad of sugar, rum, and if you prefer shaved chocolate instead of cacao.

Kulfi

This traditional Indian dessert is a lot like ice cream, yet it is a lot denser and much more creamier. I have tasted Kulfi that was flavoured with saffron, but it tends to be served in a variety of other flavours like almond and pistachio.

In a cozy bakery in Boston’s South End, where sticky buns drip with caramel pecans and donuts are sold out by noon, a cheeky sign above the register proclaims: “Make life sweeter—eat dessert first.

”There’s no arguing with pastry chef Joanne Chang, whose Flour bakery sees crowds lining up as early as 7 a.m. for her signature treats. Indeed, the best places for dessert inspire you to throw out all the rules—eat with moderation, save the best for last—and give in to sugary bliss, no matter what the time of day.

We surveyed the globe for the finest desserts, such as ricotta-and-chocolate-stuffed pastries in Rome and the “mango avalanche” in Taipei, shaved ice piled high with fresh fruit, mango pudding, and sorbet. Whether as an antidote to a long day of exploring or a quick pick-me-up between sightseeing stops, these sweets can define their destination in just one bite.




    Mr. MinschBerlin
    The vibe is Mad Hatter meets 1950s hausfrau at this Kreuzberg takeout bakery, where master pastry chef Andreas Minsch turns out his extravagant confections. You’ll be hard-pressed to choose between an enormous cinnamon roll or a slice of the popular Black Forest cherry cake. 


    Cristalli di ZuccheroRome
    Adjacent to a farmers’ market just off the Circus Maximus is a pretty-in-pink pasticceria where Parisian-style tartlets are made with regional ingredients like apricots and pistachios. Order the flaky ricotta-and-chocolate-filled Romanella at the counter with an espresso—then get another one to go.

    Christina’s Homemade Ice CreamCambridge, Mass
    Behind a distinctive lavender façade on Inman Square, the shop’s intense, exotic flavors (more than 50 each day) include burnt sugar, licorice, honey-lavender, apple cider, and cinnamon-spiced Mexican chocolate. 

    (Photo: Daniel Lakey)

    HabibahAmman, Jordan 
    For the city’s best knafeh, follow the queue down an alleyway near downtown’s Arab Bank. The generous pockets of shredded phyllo and sweet cheese are crowned with local pistachios and syrup, and served piping hot. 


    Ice MonsterTaipei
    Ignore the candy-colored popsicles up front. What you want is the “mango avalanche”—shaved ice piled high with cubes of fresh fruit, mango pudding, condensed milk, and mango sorbet. It’s enough for four dainty eaters or two ravenous ones.  


    XocolatVienna
    Even the most jaded epicurean succumbs to the Willy Wonkaesque sense of wonder at this haven for the cocoa-obsessed. Lose yourself amid the shelves of chocolate bars, truffles, and pralines—some house-made, some globally sourced—then sign up for a class in creating your own. 


    Café CentralVienna
    Though it’s welcomed plenty of tourists over its 137 years—not to mention habitués like Freud, Lenin, and Trotsky—the utterly grand café inside the majestic Palais Ferstel is known among pastry-obsessed Wieners for serving the best, flakiest strudel in town.


    Lamingtons at Flour & StoneSydney
    At bite-size bakery Flour & Stone, these quintessentially Aussie squares of vanilla sponge cake, slathered in chocolate icing and dusted in coconut, come stuffed with panna cotta and berry compote. 


    Loong Fatt Eating House & ConfectionarySingapore
    A tiny bakeshop with superior tau sar piah, crumbly sesame-seed-encrusted pastries filled with sweet or savory bean paste. 


    Auntie Sweet, Hong Kong
    In the laid-back Tin Hau neighborhood, groups of boisterous families head to this cheery café for traditional Asian desserts, including terrific tong shui (sweet Cantonese soups and custards), durian-and-tofu pudding, and our favorite: super-rich black-sesame ice cream.

    6: Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bar - All Parks

    Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bar - All Parks

    Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bars are a Disney World classic. In my opinion, no trip to Disney World is complete without getting at least one Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bar. Sure, it's just vanilla ice cream in a milk chocolate coating... But it's in the shape of Mickey Mouse Ears! They also score convenience points for being pretty ubiquitous: these ice cream bars are available in numerous ice cream carts around every park.

    5: Chocolate Cake - Main Street Bakery (Magic Kingdom)

    Chocolate Cake - Main Street Bakery (Magic Kingdom)

    Unless you really hate things that bring joy and happiness to people, the cake at the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom is an absolute must have. It's so delicious, it earns the top spot for a piece of cake on our Top Disney World Desserts list.

    4: Strawberry Tart - Boulangerie Patisserie (France)

    Strawberry Tart - Boulangerie Patisserie (France)

    "Well, at least it has fruit in it." That was my justification for having yet another dessert on my last trip to Disney World. (As you can see from this list, just stepping foot inside Epcot makes it hard to resist some pretty delicious desserts). However, this Strawberry Tart was well worth it. It's a sweet, delicious, and refreshing dessert.

    3: Creme Brulee - Boulangerie Patisserie (France)

    Creme Brulee - Boulangerie Patisserie (France)

    For delectable creme brulee on the go, be sure to make yet another stop to the France pavilion at Epcot. The Boulangerie Patisserie offers this rich and creamy treat that my family keeps raving about. For another great creme brulee experience at Disney World, check out nearby Les Chefs De France.

    2: Red Velvet Cupcake - Starring Rolls (Hollywood Studios)

    Red Velvet Cupcake - Starring Rolls (Hollywood Studios)

    I've always been a huge fan of red velvet cupcakes, and this one ranks up among the top cupcakes I've ever had anywhere. The icing is pretty much perfect. If you're in Disney's Hollywood Studios, go to Starring Rolls and pick up one of these bad boys.

    1: Caramel and Dark Chocolate - Karamell-Kuche (Germany)

    Caramel and Dark Chocolate - Karamell-Kuche (Germany)

    On my last trip to Disney World, my family decided to try a "Dessert Tour" of the World Showcase. This chocolate caramel from Germany's Karamell-Kuche (German for Caramel Kitchen) was far and away the winner for Best Dessert of the evening. This candy features rich and delicious dark chocolate, but the star of the show is obviously the caramel. It hits the perfect balance of chewy and creamy. While $4 might seem a bit steep for a single piece of candy, this caramel is rich enough to be satisfying, and amazingly scrumptious enough to be the number one dessert in Walt Disney World.

    As a person with something of a sweet tooth, I’ve always found dessert to be the most satisfying part of any meal. While some may niggle about calories and fat, I’ve always found a bit of indulgence now and then is the key to a happy life. Of course, the most expensive desserts in the world bring indulgence to a whole new level.

    The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence – $14,500

    World's Most Expensive Desserts - The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence

    Offered by the Wine3 restaurant in The Fortress, a Sri Lankan luxury hotel, this dessert is an Italian cassata made with gold leaf and Irish cream. It’s served with a mango and pomegranate compote, a champagne sabayon enlighten and, most notably, a chocolate sculpture of a stilt fisherman sitting over an 80-carat aquamarine.

    Frrozen Haute Chocolate – $25,000

    World's Most Expensive Desserts - Frrozen Haute Chocolate

    A joint venture between Serendipity 3 and jeweler Euphoria New York produced this dear dessert. A blend of 28 cocoas, half of which are among the world’s most expensive, infused with five grams of 23k gold, this sundae is served in a goblet lined with edible gold and featuring a diamond and gold bracelet around the base.

    World's Most Expensive Desserts - Platinum Cake

    Platinum Cake – $130,000

    Created by Japanese pastry chef Nobue Ikara, this white cake is decked with platinum necklaces, pins, pendants and, for good measure, edible platinum flakes. The creator dedicated the cake to a number of famous Japanese women like Rinko Kikuchi and Chie Kumazawa. His hope was to encourage more women to wear platinum jewelry.

    Strawberries Arnaud – $1.4 million

    World's Most Expensive Desserts - Strawberries Arnaud

    Available at Arnaud’s in the French Quart of New Orleans, these fantastic strawberries were marinated in the finest port. They were served with mint, cream and one other very special topping—a 4.7-carat pink diamond ring once owned by English financier Sir Ernest Cassel. The million-dollar strawberries were accompanied by a fine port poured from a $25,000 Charles X crystal cave set.

    Diamond fruitcake – $1.65 million

    World's Most Expensive Desserts - Diamond Fruitcake

    Sold on Christmas 2005, this cake was also created by a Japanese pastry chef. Creating the cake required six months of conceptualization and another month to produce it. It’s decorated with 223 diamonds. The other ingredients, however, remain undisclosted.

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