After hours of studying and completing schoolwork, sometimes, you need to reward yourself with a delicious, sweet treat. This positive reinforcement can incentivize you to work harder and will allow you to recognize your educational efforts. As French pastry chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres says, “Life is short, eat dessert first!” Here are some of my favorite dessert shops in Gainesville that satisfy my post-schoolwork sweet tooth:
1. Insomnia Cookies
1702 W University Ave Suite B1, Gainesville, FL 32603
We all deserve to indulge in fresh, warm cookies every once in a while. Insomnia Cookies is the perfect dessert shop for many reasons. You can take a short walk to the shop on University Avenue or utilize its speedy delivery service to get its desserts delivered right to your door. Its late-night delivery is perfect when you don’t have enough time to leave your dorm or apartment while finishing up some last-minute studying. Insomnia Cookies has late hours; on most nights, they are open until 1:00 a.m., and on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, you can get warm cookies until 3:00 a.m.! Insomnia Cookies offers unique and classic flavored cookies, cookie sandwiches, cookie cakes, ice cream, brownies and sides of icing. Also, Insomnia Cookies has options for you if you’re gluten-free or vegan. My go-to order is a deluxe four-pack with confetti deluxe, chocolate chip peanut butter (highly recommend for Reese’s lovers), salted caramel, and triple chocolate. If you don’t want to get four large cookies like me, its traditional cookies are $1.85 and come in many flavors. With so many tasty and affordable options, there is no wrong choice.
2. Krispy Kreme
306 NW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32601
There is nothing like a soft, fluffy doughnut, and Krispy Kreme never fails to satisfy my post-schoolwork cravings. The best part about Krispy Kreme is that you can eat a doughnut at any time of the day without any shame. It’s the breakfast of champions, right? Krispy Kreme is open 24 hours, and its delivery ends at 1:00 a.m. This means there are no excuses for not splurging on a warm doughnut. Because it’s Halloween time, Krispy Kreme offers many spirited desserts, such as the spooky spider, boo batter, scaredy bat, neon orange sprinkle and mini doughnuts with Halloween sprinkles. Although the Halloween flavors are super fun, I always go with a classic strawberry-frosted doughnut with sprinkles. It has been my all-time favorite doughnut since I can remember. Classic glazed doughnuts are sold for only 99 cents, and you can spoil yourself, and maybe your roommates too, with a dozen for just $7.99. Think about it … buying a dozen means you are saving money. With coffee, ice cream and doughnuts, Krispy Kreme truly hits all the marks for a college student’s ideal sugary snack.
Butler Town Center – 3625 SW 32nd Ct St40, Gainesville, FL 32608
Celebration Pointe – 4949 Celebration Pointe Ave Ste 60, Gainesville, FL 32607
Kilwins reminds me of home because that is where I would go with all my friends every Friday after elementary school, after every special event, and any time family and friends would visit. Kilwins has something for everyone, and everything they make is heavenly. You can purchase gourmet chocolates, toffee and caramel, fudge, caramel corn and brittle, caramel apples, chocolate-covered snacks, ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes, cakes and more. Its delectable desserts also make for the perfect gift, especially for those who seem to have it all. Who can pass up chocolate? The best ice cream flavor, in my opinion, is cake batter. It is made with yellow cake batter, chunks of cake and chocolate frosting. I also love its chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate-covered Oreos. Another reason to support Kilwins is because of its philanthropic mission and ethical owners. The owners helped found SAME (South African Medical Expeditions), a nonprofit benefiting orphan and vulnerable children in South Africa who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. According to SAME’s website, the organization donates over 2,300 meals per month, gives children parasite treatments and gives homes food and clothing for these affected children. Despite the short drive from campus to either one of the Kilwins’ locations in Gainesville, it will be worth it when you’re craving ice cream or chocolates.
3730 SW Archer Road Suite 230, Gainesville, FL 32608
Even though frozen yogurt was super trendy in 2014, the frozen yogurt industry is still alive and thriving in Gainesville with the help of Yogurtology. The unique flavors and variety of toppings can satisfy your cravings from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Cinnamon Toast Crunch, salted caramel, Nutella, strawberry milkshake, cookies ‘n cream and coconut are just a few flavors to experience. To keep things new and fresh, the store rotates 12 flavors weekly, which can include dairy-free, vegan or no-sugar-added options. Its over 60 toppings allow you to personalize your yogurt to your liking. Like Kilwins, Yogurtology is just a short drive from campus, but it is so worth it; the 2014 froyo trend didn’t die in Gainesville for a reason. A delicious, cold dessert with exciting toppings makes for an incredible reward after hours of studying.
5. Gigi’s Cupcakes
3524 SW Archer Rd #130 Gainesville, FL, 32608
There is a reason Gigi’s Cupcakes has over 50 locations in 21 states. Its cupcakes are known for their incredible amount of swirled icing and rich flavors. Brownies, macarons, cheesecakes, cakes, and cookies are also for sale at the bakery. Gigi’s Cupcakes also makes desserts for those who are gluten-free. Some cupcake flavors include chocolate chip cookie dough, birthday surprise, apple cheesecake crumble, chocolate peanut buddy, cookies and cream, lemon crumble, red velvet, seasonal pumpkin swirl and strawberry shortcake. Every flavor just sounds fantastic, and you can buy yourself one for $4.50. You can purchase the baked goods Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Drive on over to Butler Plaza to treat yourself to an impressive gourmet cupcake.
While it isn’t recommended to treat yourself to dessert every time you study, having a sugary study break snack from one of these fantastic Gainesville spots every once in a while is perfectly acceptable. These five Gainesville dessert shops are bound to satisfy your post-schoolwork sweet tooth with cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, chocolates, frozen yogurt and cupcakes.