Portland is at the forefront of the food scene using local ingredients with a unique spin. Quin Candy is a perfect example making nostalgic sweets with a sophisticated twist using ingredients like marionberries and creamed infused with ground popcorn. The creator of Stumptown Coffee is behind the city's latest gem, the Roman Candle Baking Company. The delectable breakfast treats and artisanal pastries have the same attention to detail and quality that made the coffee such a success. Kyra's Bakeshop serves up indulgent cupcakes that are also gluten-free.
When it comes to sweets, chocolate is king. And it inspires chefs to reach new heights with amazingly chocolatey dishes. At Petsi Pies in Somerville, Mass., the indulgences begin with pie crusts made from ground chocolate cookies, and goes on to include Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie and an incomparable Mississippi Mud Pie.Bean-to-bar chocolatiers French Broad Chocolates in Ashville, N.C., create the addictive Chocolate Mocha Stout cake, then ups the ante with the thick and creamy Maple and Smoked Sea Salt Liquid Truffle. And Roni-Sue's Chocolate's on New York City's Lower East Side started a movement with its Pig Candy: crispy slices of fried bacon dipped in chocolate.
Sometimes good things come in small packages, and we visit three locations that pack big-time flavors in small servings. First stop is Cake Monkey Bakery in Los Angeles, where their mini layer cakes allow you to have your favorite cake -- and eat the whole thing! And the fluffy, coconut-coated Mogul takes a cute childhood favorite and makes it even better than you remember. Next stop is Tiny Pies in Austin, Texas, where a mother-daughter duo are making some of the best pies you've ever tasted, like the brownie-pecan combo Texas Two Step and the juicy Peach and Blueberry, and sizing them to fit in the palm of your hand. Finally, it's a twist on some classic French pastries at Canele by Celine, where delectable canele -- crispy on the outside, custard-like inside -- come not just in a rainbow of flavors, but bite-sized as well so you can try them all!
Visit three of New York's game changers, putting a new spin on old favorites. At Dominique Ansel Kitchen, time is the secret ingredient: desserts are made to order instead of ahead of time. At Good Batch, a passion for cookies has evolved into groundbreaking ice cream sandwiches, like the deconstructed candy bar called the Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich. And the frozen desserts at Snow Days make childhood dreams come true: feathery shavings of flavored frozen creams in inventive flavor combinations.
These frozen treats go far beyond vanilla, chocolate and strawberry scoots. In Honolulu, Shimazu Store pushes the boundaries of shave ice, a uniquely Hawaiian treat. In New York, Ice and Vice uses unconventional ingredients to create edgy desserts for adult palates. In Burbank, Calif., Quenelle is changing the rules of the frozen-treat game, with creations including ice cream sandwiches with fresh, hot, funnel cakes.
It's time for the ultimate sugar high. In Miami, Brain Freeze Nitrogen Ice Cream Lab is concocting delicious creations, and offering a mad scientist challenge to eat 30 scoops of ice cream in 30 minutes. At Spot Dessert Bar in New York City, imaginations run wild with their Asian-inspired plated desserts, including a riff on the classic chocolate lava cake featuring an explosion of creamy green tea. And in Southern California, Afters Ice Cream delivers two desserts in one with their donut ice cream sandwiches!
We're heading to picture-perfect Maine for some soul-satisfying treats. Starting at Scratch Baking Co. in South Portland, we dive into the perfect breakfast pastry, the Toaster Jam Scone. For an afternoon snack, try the Concord Grape and Peanut Butter Snack Cake, or their real showstopper -- the Movie Night Cake. At Wicked Whoopies in Freeport, they're taking the official state treat and turning it a massive five-pound whoopie pie. And if you have a hankering for something cool, look no further than Catbird Creamery, where they whip up some out-of-this-world ice cream, like Tamari Caramel with soy sauce!
We're heading to the Arizona desert to find some of the coolest desserts. At Fluff It Marshmallows in Gilbert, they're all about - you guessed it - the magnificent marshmallow and all its cloud-like flavor possibilities. Sweet Republic Artisan Ice Cream in Phoenix sells sundaes that will simply shock you, so loosen your belt for handcrafted ice creams, homemade toppings and a huge cookie at the bottom! Finally, Paletas Betty in Chandler offers dozens of Mexican ice pops to choose from every day, including a mix of sweet and spice and everything ice.
We're searching high and low for New York City's most shocking sweets! In Astoria, Queens, an underground doughnut spot called Donut Diva is frying up outrageous cake doughnut creations that will make your jaw drop. At Eggloo in Manhattan's Chinatown, ice cream is generously piled in soft, puffy cones and customers get as many colorful toppings as they want. And Do, Cookie Dough Confections in Murray Hill is breaking all the rules by dishing out ready-to-eat raw cookie dough in a cup.
We head north of the border to Toronto, Canada, where the childhood favorite of milk and cookies are taken to a whole new level at Moo Milk Bar, which offers a variety of classic and signature cookies that can be paired with their all-natural flavored milks. Glory Hole Doughnuts specializes in artisanal yeast doughnuts made with all-natural ingredients like the Lemon Ricotta Doughnut. Clafouti Patisserie is known for their exceptional croissants and we check out one of their inventive treats calleda crookie.
If you think the folks in Los Angeles eat only health food, think again. Especially when it comes to breakfast! We visit some L.A. Hotspots that are the sweetest places to start the day. From artisanal doughnuts fried fresh all day long, to the most decadent stuffed French toast, to the best buns in Koreatown -- these are breakfasts worth setting your alarm for.
It's a tour of the sweetest spots in Los Angeles. At Republique, French pastries are expertly crafted, and totally addictive. The Pistachio Raspberry Kouign Amann is like California summer wrapped in a buttery and flaky dough. And you'll love unwrapping the Cherry Pistachio Braid layer by sugary layer. At Churro Borough, their version of an ice cream sandwich pairs artisanal ice cream with two warm, flaky deep fried pastry disks. Then we check out the unique cloud cakes at Bo Nuage.
We're going on an ocean-hopping journey from Hawaii to the mainland for some magnificent morning munchies. We start with sweet unique ways to add fruits and veggies to your morning meal with a tropical Breakfast Bruschetta, Blue Corn Zucchini Bread, and a Strawberry Mint Hand Pie that will have you practically jumping out of bed. Next, a dizzying array of donuts from Glazed, Chocolate Malasadas, Apple Fritters, and a Donut Cake! If you're wanting something a little lighter, cozy up to some Cinnamon Sugar Pie Crisps or a multigrain Muesli Toast with nuts, berries, honey and green-tea custard.
From an ice cream shop to a pop-up bake sale, we found the best hangouts in Austin, Texas, to satisfy the sweet tooth. At Lick Ice Creams the flavors of Texas will hit you with each lick. Jump in line at pop-up F&D Bake Sale to try pastries that reinvent American traditions. Cake & Spoon serves personal-sized Southern sweets. Delish Bakery serves sugary decadence in downtown Austin.
Zucker Bakery is a picture-perfect bakery sharing family traditions with their customers through their cookies. Flour and Tea lures you in with their Taiwanese baked goods with American influences. Stop by Las Paletas for refreshing frozen treats that bursts with flavor! Bien Cuit executes French pastry beautifully, cutting no corners to create the finest sweets in Brooklyn.
From morning pastries to inventive brunch items, we cover the most delicious morning sweets. At Darling Coffee you can get your morning brew paired with delicious handcrafted morning sweets. Clementine Bakery creates vegan pastries that pack major flavor into each bite. Short Cake turns traditional American sweets upside down. Sky Blue Cafe is a hip Nashville brunch spot that will satisfy everyone's craving for pancakes and French toast.
There's no better way to start your day than with one of New York's most unique breakfast treats. At the legendary Doughnut Plant, Mark Isreal makes his signature square doughnuts and his sophisticated alternative to the doughnut hole. At Lafayette, one bite of their luscious creations transports you into a classic French bistro. Then it's off to Wafels & Dinges where they're taking wafels to a whole new level of deliciousness.
Pies are anything but humble in the hands of these innovative bakers. Whether it's a Seattle shop that imagines pies on sticks or in jars, a San Francisco baker who likes his pies on the spicy side, or pies both deliciously peculiar and uniquely down-home coming from New York City, the pie has arrived.
We found the most unique sweets to suit your morning cup o' Joe. Abraco's morning pastries are packed with bold flavors like black sesame cardamom spiced cake and saffron sugar babka. Crespella adds a taste of Italy to your coffee with their crepes flavored and topped with tiramisu and cannoli. Bang Bang Pie in Chicago bakes decadent pies, from blueberry to a frozen sage lemon summer pie. Angel Food Bakery in Minneapolis serves donut bread pudding and tres leche cupcakes.
We're stopping in at three unique sweet spots that deliver layers upon layers of incredible flavors and textures. Union Fare Bakery in New York City is flipping the switch on the classic croissant and baking up flavors like red velvet and birthday cake. When it comes to pies in unusual shapes and flavors, Slab Sandwiches and Pie in Seattle is at the top of their game. If you love layers, Cake Bar in Dallas displays 14 colorful layer cakes daily, and every slice brings a sweet smile.
We're on the hunt for the best sweet treats New York City has to offer. Sweets by Chloe is a cute vegan bakeshop that's creating giant cookies and fudge cakes that are rich and moist, creamy and chocolatey. Daly Pie in Brooklyn Heights has a mouthwatering lineup, but one pie loaded with peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut and potato chips that has everyone talking. And Brigadeiro Bakery brings international flair to Soho with their chocolate truffle-like confections.
We're returning the favor and celebrating cakes in every form, flavor and size. Take a slice of inspired, traditional French cakes from New York City, over-the-top masterpieces from a San Francisco mainstay, Seattle's best delicate and exotic coffee cakes or out-of-the-box cupcakes. Cakes never deserved their pedestal more.
Trigger your fondest food memories with flavors you never remembered in our favorite picks for revisited retro and nostalgic desserts. Indulge in caramel corn in San Francisco, a Meyer Lemon Shaker Pie, the creamiest of cheesecakes to have all to yourself, or a slice of birthday cake unlike any mother ever made.
Craving cookies that are too cool for your childhood cookie jar? Nibble on a crumbly, oat-flecked peanut butter sandwich cookie in New York, a psychedelic sugar cookie from Brooklyn, a serious chocolate chip cookie with cocoa nibs in San Francisco, or a wacky snickerdoodle "cookie pizza" from Chicago.
Need a nibble of something sweet? Take a bite of sticky, stacked baklava and creative candies from Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y., or a tiny taste of decadence with twisted French classics in Chicago or upscale Farmer's Market fare in San Francisco. These treats may be tiny, but are huge on flavor.
If a love for chocolate can be described as a religion, we have found the ultimate places of worship that claim devotion to little else. Atop the shrine to this beloved ingredient sits a collection of playful chocolate confections, a chocolate-doused brownie sundae, a molten chocolate tart unlike any you've ever seen and a chocolate cake that's known as the best in the world.