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.
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.
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!
Some of the best European Sweets can be found right in the heart of New York City. At Bread's Bakery they have a sweet, pillowy marzipan challah that's simply to die for and theirs a chocolate lover's dream. At Lezzetli Turkish-Style Ice Cream, they're serving up a delicious and chewy version that will challenge everything you know about this frozen treat. And at A.B. Biagi, they're elevating the ice cream sandwich to new heights using authentic gelato and artisanal breads. One bite and you'll never go back to the store bought brand.
We take a trip to the Windy City to check out the coolest doughnuts around. One hotspot specializes in huge, super fluffy doughnuts that are so good, they sell out fast. Then there's a full service restaurant that has doughnut and coffee service every morning and has invented a unique and delicious hybrid called the "doughscuit." And you won't want to miss the locale where mini doughnuts are fried fresh all day and can be topped however you want -- or even crumbled into a milkshake!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.