Ah, sweets: the original comfort food. I must admit, I have always been a bit of a sugar fanatic and stand strong in my belief that we have two different stomachs: one for regular food and another for dessert! In fact, I feel that there is nothing more satisfying than surrendering your taste buds to the sugary deliciousness of that perfect treat you’ve been craving. Or better yet, seeing your children’s reactions when they try a new sweet for the first time.
So, why not dig in and indulge in some delicious fun during your next trip to Orlando? After all, vacations are meant to be relaxing, exciting and liberating—and a sweet little Orlando taste-testing spree with your family will make it that much better. To help you plan, I’ve grouped some of my favorite dessert places together by location, so if you’re short on time, you can easily hit a few of these at once.
Desserts Near Disney World
- Ghirardelli® Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop
1710 E Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL 32830
Ghirardelli® is a permanent fixture as one of America’s favorites chocolatiers, so it’s no surprise that their Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop in Downtown Disney is adored by all who enter. With delicious chocolate confections and more fountain treats than you could ever imagine, including shakes, floats, and malts, you’ll be in dessert heaven. Be sure to try Ghirardelli’s World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae—it is sensational.
- Private Island Ice Cream
14650 Gatorland Drive, Orlando, FL 32837
If you are looking for a unique experience, Private Island Ice Cream is the place to go. It offers the next generation of liquid nitrogen ice cream, with over 50 different toppings—from the classics to more adventurous options like cayenne pepper and candied bacon. You will be blown away by how good the ice cream tastes and your kids will have a blast. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Downtown Disney, but its well worth the extra haul.
Desserts Near Universal Studios
- Dessert Lady
7600 Dr. Philips Blvd. #78 Orlando, FL 32819
This local dessert and wine bar is a must. Get ready to indulge in some of the most decadent desserts or even a dessert cocktail or two—the key lime pie martini with graham cracker crumbs on the rim is a crowd favorite.
- Fruity Waffle
6606 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819
Who doesn’t love waffles? They are the epitome of deliciousness and provide a healthier alternative to many other desserts. And what’s great about the Fruity Waffle is you can order a waffle any time of day—they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This waffle stand also offers fruit smoothies, frozen yogurt and ice cream.
Desserts Near Downtown Orlando
- Blue Bird Bake Shop
3122 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL
Head over to Audubon Park for some of the best cupcakes, coffee, muffins and more! Everything is baked fresh daily and unlike many cupcakes I’ve tried, their cake isn’t overbearingly sweet or dried out. My absolute favorites are the unusual flavors like Chai and Apricot Ginger. And the shop itself is an adorable little spot with a super friendly staff.
- Sweet! By Good Golly Miss Holly
711 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828
The talented bakery chef and owner, Hollis Wilder, was a recent winner of Food TV’s Cupcake Wars, where her shop gained instant fame as the place to go for unusual cupcakes, traditional favorites and frozen yogurt station.
Dessert On Wheels
- The Crêpe Company
This French-inspired, mobile crêpe company offers breakfast, entree and dessert crepe selections made fresh on-site. They use all natural ingredients and they really care about making them perfect for you. I highly recommend the S’mores and Éclair crêpes, and for something a little more traditional, the Strawberry Short-Crêpe. To keep track of their location, check out their schedule on their site.