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A Local’s Guide to the Best Desserts in Orlando

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As the city of Orlando continues to grow, so do its offerings for amazing food — especially desserts. I have a huge sweet tooth, so I’ve made it my mission to find the best dessert places in the Orlando area. Here are a few of my favorite spots to grab a sweet treat from when I’m not feeling up to baking one myself.

The POP PARLOUR

I’m going to start with a place that’s a little close to home, specifically, at UCF! The Pop Parlour is a gourmet popsicle shop with a location on UCF’s Main Campus, as well as in Downtown Orlando. The Pop Parlour has a rotating flavor list of popsicles, from a decadent Speculoos Cookie Butter to a bright Strawberry Lemonade. Their popsicles are less than $5 each, and every single one is creamy with flavors that you can’t miss. If you’re 21 or older, they also have boozy pops to spice things up, and an amazing coffee and tea menu that matches the perfectly Instagram-worthy vibe in the shop.

mATCHA CAFE MAIKO

Moving on to the incredible Mills 50 district, located minutes away from the heart of Downtown Orlando, Matcha Cafe Maiko is a matcha dessert spot with locations all around the world. After falling in love with Matcha Cafe Maiko while visiting its San Francisco location, I was over the moon when I saw they were coming to Orlando. They have a wide range of options, from matcha soft serve to Kokuto (brown sugar) Gelatin. If you have a craving for a matcha sweet treat, definitely check out Matcha Cafe Maiko.

buttermilk bakery

Located in Winter Park, Buttermilk Bakery is a little bakeshop with the most incredible croissants I’ve ever had in a wide variety of flavors, from a Baklava Croissant to the classic Almond Croissant. After stumbling upon Buttermilk Bakery one early morning with friends, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about their Morning Buns. Just make sure you get there early! They’re only open from 9 am to 2 pm — and sell out very quickly.

The greenery creamery

Located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, The Greenery Creamery has the cutest, most unique ice cream flavors I’ve seen — not to mention they have vegan ice cream! They have eight permanent flavors, and eight rotating flavors that change daily, so there will almost always be a new flavor for you to try. Not to mention, they also sell plants (hence the name), so I’d check out the Greenery Creamery to get your ice cream and plant fix.

choulala

A fine French pastry shop with two locations in Winter Park, Choulala specializes in Choux puffs or cream puffs. Choulala has 24 rotating flavors of choux puffs, such as Tiramisu and Fruity Pebbles. They also have macarons (of course!), eclairs, entremets and custom mirror glaze cakes. If you have a craving for French pastries, definitely look no farther than Choulala.

The glass knife

If I had to pick a dessert shop based on presentation, The Glass Knife would win hands down. With beautiful cakes, donuts and various pastries, this spot, located in Winter Park, has treats that will satisfy your Instagram foodie highlights and your stomach.

The salty donut

An artisanal donut shop down the street from East End Market, the Salty Donut has the fluffiest brioche donuts I’ve ever had. Their donuts feature creative flavors that you can actually taste the flavors, rather than just pure sugar (I’m looking at you, Dunkin Donuts). If you need your caffeine fix, they even have a Cereal Milk Latte that is to die for — and totally worth the high price tag.

light on the sugar cafe

I had to save the best for last. Light on the Sugar Cafe is a small cafe you would never guess is serving up incredible crepe cake slices and lemon tarts nearly every day of the week. After discovering Light on the Sugar a little over a year ago, I make sure to grab a treat at least once a month. They have a wide selection of unique drinks, like a perfectly tart Lavender Lemonade or floral Sakura Matcha Latte. Recently, they opened up a sister bakery called Sugar Dough Bakehouse, which I have yet to try, but I can already promise they are worth a trip.

Of course, these are only a handful of dessert shops in Orlando, but after living here for 20 years (aka my entire life), these are the only ones I swear by. My favorite part about all of these spots is that they’re all small businesses, so enjoy your sweet treats while supporting local small businesses!

Naziah Roberts is a junior at UCF majoring in Clinical Psychology and minoring in Human Services and Social Inequality and Diversity. You can often find her trying out a new dessert recipe, making a new Spotify playlist, or reading about astrology when she isn't busy learning about the inner workings of the human mind! She is pursuing a career as a Clinical Psychologist for underprivileged youth.
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