Southern desserts are in a category all to their own, combining big bold flavors with deep tradition. Like at Sublime Doughnuts, where the doughnuts and fritters are made with a sweet potato dough and come in fun shapes with decadent flavor combinations. CamiCakes Creamery turns traditional Southern desserts like red velvet cake and lemon meringue pie into ice cream cake sandwiches. Pie Shop keeps with tradition and preserves the craft of pie making with favorites like Georgia Bourbon Pecan and Pineapple Chess Pie.
We visit some of the eateries that satisfy the sweet cravings of Washington, D.C.'s power brokers. First stop: GBD, which stands for "Golden Brown Delicious" -- the perfect way to describe the unique doughnuts at this hotspot. At Cupcakes Actually, the shelves are stocked with 10 varieties of this sweet treat daily, including its signature dipped cupcakes. And we'll sample the refreshing artisan gelato at Dolcezza, which combines local ingredients, old-world methods, and innovative flavors.
There's nothing better than the perfect cookie -- unless you take two of them and put some filling in between! At DC Patisserie they make delicate macaron with delicious American flavors. Milk Cult in Washington, D.C., has a true fan following for their unique ice cream sandwiches. And in New York, an art gallery/spice lab creates little sandwich cookies exploding with flavor.
We're traveling the country in search of people giving classic sweets a modern and delicious makeover. In New York City, a charming little shop is putting a gourmet spin on the crispy rice treat, with flavors loved by children and adults alike. In Atlanta, the simple ice pop has been transformed into a frosty combination of real ingredients and unique textures. And in Seattle, there's a new take on the soda shop that serves amazing ice cream floats, made with the house's premium ice creams and their very own dessert beers.
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.
Austin can get sweltering hot but they have plenty of delicious options to keep you cool. At Cow Tipping Creamery, Corey Sorensen is making stackers, her layered version of a sundae that not only gives you plenty of ice cream but ensures that you can get your fill of her homemade toppings. At Dolce Neve you can savor their authentic Italian gelato flavors made with in-season Texas produce and at Sweet Ritual you can try a vegan ice cream that has all the creaminess and flavor you crave with none of the animal byproducts.
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.
Colorado has it all: Mountains, lakes and sweets. Head to High Point Creamery in Denver for unusual ice cream flavors like lemon ice pop with raspberry swirl and earl grey tea with shortbread, or have a slice of ice cream cake drizzled with hot fudge. In Boulder, Pizzeria Locale finishes off their dinner menu with three desserts done simply and perfectly. You can order the seasonal biscotti, butterscotch budino, or saltimbocca -- baked pizza dough filled with gooey, melted chocolate-hazelnut spread. And also in Denver, Glaze: They serve German layered cakes called baumkuchen that will amaze and delight your eyes and taste buds.
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!
Classic desserts get deliciously updated at three sweet shops across the country. Skull and Cakebones rocks vegan cupcakes in Austin, Texas, with flavors like basil berry, dirty chai and just beet it, you'll be singing a new tune about dairy free desserts. Valerie Confections in Los Angeles is resurrecting vintage cake recipes with mouthwatering results: Head here for a slice of coffee crunch cake or banana shortcake. And in Brooklyn, Hay Rosie uses unusual ingredients like champagne and hops to flavor super creamy scoops of ice cream.
Opposites attract, which must be why sweet and savory flavors are such an irresistible combination. We visit three very different sweet and savory hot spots: Aiko Pops in Denver, where ice pops come in radical flavors like Raspberry and Sweet Corn, Mango and Green Chile and Grapefruit Rosemary. At New York's 24-hour Empire Biscuits, perfect flaky Southern biscuits are slathered with out-of-the-box spreads like roasted duck fat-thyme butter and apricot-Cape gooseberry jam and grilled corn butter with blueberry jam. Finally we visit Cacao Sweets and Treats outside Chicago for the artfully-salted decadence of the Luxe Brownie and the Chocolate Caramel Spice Cake and the genre-bending Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese icing.
We're in Asheville, N.C., for some amazing sweet treats. At the speakeasy called Nightbell, they're taking traditional Southern dishes, adding a little culinary magic, and turning them into bite sized morsels that will surprise and satisfy. Then at the local hang out called The Hop, they've come up with the most unique, yet delicious, ice cream flavors you could imagine. Finally, just outside Asheville, there's Ruth and Ranshaw, where they put all the flavors of your favorite Southern treats into a jar and make an amazing pecan pie that's anything but traditional.
We travel across the nation to find the most original ice cream creations. At Morgentern's Finest Ice Cream in New York, inventive flavors and unusual toppings take center stage. If you're feeling nostalgic, Publican Quality Meats in Chicago is bringing back a childhood favorite with their amazing pub pops, one push of this frozen pop and you'll be hooked. And in Colorado, Fior di Latte makes a delicious horchata affogato and a colorful cake using their creamy, silky gelatos.
Boston is a city with a lot of history ... and a lot of great sweets! First we visit Union Square Donuts. Their fluffy, puffy, glorious yeast donuts come in wicked awesome flavors like peanut butter marshmallow cream and brown butter hazelnut crunch. And don't forget their classic cake donuts! Next we're off to Flour Bakery, a Boston staple offering a bevy of brioche options, like twice baked brioche, sugar bun brioche and cinnamon cream brioche. They knock it out of the park with their pies and tarts, too! Our last stop is Area Four, a Cambridge coffee shop with some of the best-baked goods around. Their whole wheat cookie based J-bar, chocolate espresso B cookie and brown sugar studded craquelin all score high marks with MIT and Harvard students and professors in the area.
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.
We venture out of Manhattan to the incredibly diverse borough of Queens and find one-of-a-kind baked treats. Rudy's Bakery and Cafe has been putting their own spin on classics like German Chocolate Cake since 1934. La Nueva bakery brings a taste of Latin America to the neighborhood with its signature Uruguayan sandwich cookies and at Norma's they're coming up with delicious creations like the Frankencrispie: part brownie, part cookie and part cereal bar. Now this is definitely worth a ride on the subway.
Hawaii is more than just pristine beaches: it's also home to some incredible sweet treats. Lee Anne Wong serves sweet brunch specialties at Koko Head Cafe, while Via Gelato blends Hawaiian flavors with Italian techniques to make innovative frozen sweets. And renowned Vietnamese restaurant The Pig and the Lady serves out-of-the-box creations at their dessert bar.
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.
Anyway you fry it, America loves donuts, and these three shops are a cut above the rest. There are vegan delights at Donut Friend in Los Angeles, with everything from berries and mint to donut sandwiches; at Underwest Donuts in New York, they prove you can have your Halva Tahini donut and eat it too; In Honolulu, Champion Malasadas serve up Portuguese-style donuts fried to order and covered in sugar.
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.
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.
If you are looking for some Low Country Love, look no further than Charleston, S.C. At Callie's Hot Little Biscuit, they are baking up over the top, warm, doughy rounds like the Cinnamon Biscuit and the Blueberry Biscuit. At Brown's Court Bakery, they push the boundaries of baked goods with items like their Peanut Butter and Sriracha Croissant and their Caramelita Bar. And good things come in small packages at Sweet Lulu's Bakery on Wheels, where you can order Coconut Cake in a Jar or even Wonder Chick.
We travel the country finding the sweetest way to start your day! At Holy Donut in Portland, Maine, the dough for their Maine Blueberry Donuts and Sweet Potato Ginger Glazed Donuts includes mashed potatoes. At Kolache in Brooklyn, they take on the Texan kolache pastry with a Berry Sweet Cheese version filled with three kinds of berries, and Orange Rolls. Finally, there's a decadent breakfast of Carrot Cake Pancakes and Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches at the Dixie Supply Bakery and Cafe in Charleston, S.C.
These sweet treats will help tide you over during a long afternoon! Tandem Coffee and Bakery in Portland, Maine, will brighten your day with their Coconut Almond Cream Pie and their Strawberry-Almond Cornmeal Cake. EVO Craft Bakery in Charleston, S.C., will perk you up with its selection of eye-opening combinations like the PB&C with peanut butter, dark chocolate and chipotle, and the O'Snap with white chocolate with spicy ground ginger snaps. And in New York City, Chalait is breaking new ground by adding green tea to desserts with their Matcha Coconut Custard Croissant and Matcha White Chocolate Bark.
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!
These are the best unique sweets in the San Francisco Bay area. Head over the Bay Bridge to Oakland, and you'll find out why people are raving about the pies at Pietisserie. You'll fall in love with the the ruby red Beet Pie or the eye-popping Chantilly Chocolate Cream Layered Pie. Then, find out why people line up at the crack of dawn just to get their fix of Cruffins at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. It's a mash-up of a croissant and a muffin, and it's stuffed with decadent creamy fillings. Finally, Donut Savant, where they're frying up fresh mini doughnuts all day long. Try the Chocolate Frosted with Hole which is a two-for-one favorite: thick chocolate glaze on a vanilla yeast doughnut, complete with a vanilla-glazed doughnut hole placed back in the middle.