Best Desserts in Austin

Roasted tomato sorbet with cherub tomato confit and chevre fondant from Philip Speer of Uchi/Uchiko.

Austin has a ton of dessert options, from trailers to fine dining to bakeries you are sure to find something to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Two of the best restaurants in town are Uchi and her sister restaurant Uchiko.  You may have heard of them, Tyson Cole won a James Beard Award last year for best chef Southwest and if there is any justice in the world, Paul Qui will be crowned Top Chef tomorrow night.  As ethereal as their food is, I always save room for dessert.  Sometimes two.


Peanut butter semifreddo with apple-miso sorbet from Philip Speer at Uchi/Uchiko

Director of Culinary Operations at Uchi and designer of desserts Philip Speer was just nominated for a James Beard Award for the third time.  His plates are as beautiful as they are tasty.  Speer uses familiar flavors and combines them with bold techniques to make a sophisticated presentation.  One of his biggest sellers is the peanut butter semifreddo which came to him one day when he was making a sack lunch for his daughter.

My next post talks about the Social Hour they offer at both restaurants.  If you go, make sure to try the desserts as well.




Guanja chocolate terrine with grapfruit segments, candied baguette, and chupa nut puree from Plinio Sandalio at the Carillon.

The Carillon is the restaurant located at the AT&T Executive Center on the University of Texas Campus.  This is one of the best restaurants in town that nobody seems to know about.  It is probably due to the fact that it is located in a hotel/conference center run by UT and is only open to staff for breakfast and lunch but it opens for fine dining to the public in the evening and it is outstanding.  I have been a huge fan of the executive chef, Josh Watkins, since his days at the Driskill.  As much as I love Watkins’ food, his dessert program did not do justice to his high caliber food.  That problem was recently resolved with the addition on Plinio Sandalio to the team.

Foreground- Goat cheese cheesecake/mango pudding/candied cashews Background- carrot cake fritters/ mustardo/cream cheese/candied pecans from Plinio Sandalio at the Carillon

Sandalio originally comes from Bolivia but spent most of his life growing up in Houston.  He is known for his daring desserts that combine savory elements like foie gras or offer surprising twists like flavored pop rocks. I always look forward to his inventive design.



Huge tip-  the restaurant validates for its parking garage.  It is one of the few places downtown you do not have to worry about parking.


Additional fine dining desserts:

Steven Cak from Parkside presented this beautiful beet dessert at the Dessert Project on Sunday
One of my all time favorites is the Chocolate Soup at Wink



Tons of pastry cases around town including many Mexican bakeries that you should try but that is subject to a whole separate post.  Here are a few of my favorite European style bakeries:

La Patisserie offers gorgeous macarons as well as French pastries and tasty sandwiches.
Walton’s Fancy and Staple is owned by Sandra Bullock and offers delicious desserts and sandwiches on fresh baked bread
Vespaio Enoteca offers cookies, breads, pastries, cakes, tarts and more next to a gourmet deli case capable of stocking a picnic basket with tasty treats as well as a sit down area with a menu, full bar, and espresso.























Do not forget the trailers!  Far more delicious desserts than I can count but here are a few of my favorites:

Holy cacao offers those cute little cake balls and homemade s’more fixings but my favorite from here is the iced hot chocolate. The incredibly decadent hot chocolate is mixed with chocolate ice cream and mixed into a refreshing beverage sure to cool you down and quell even the biggest chocolate craving.
La Boite recently changed suppliers for their almond croissants but I am happy to report they are still as close as you can get to Paris. They also sell beautiful macarons, delicious coffee drinks, and the award winning Confituras preserves.
Gordough’s has relocated to 1503 S. 1st along with Izzoz and Dock and Roll. Gordoughs offers huge fresh fried donuts with an abundance of topping options. My favorite is the Flying Pig topped with bacon strips and maple icing.
One of the first trailers to start the wave, Hey Cupcake has the tastiest cupcakes in town. They offer several varieties but my favorite is the Double Dose, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. They have several locations around town including a brick and mortar.
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My name is Christy and I was born, raised, and still live in Austin, TX. I love to travel. I have been all over the US, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, etc. My second favorite place in the world is Negril, Jamaica where I have been 10 times and counting. I am a trained pastry chef but I am not currently working in "the industry" right now. I became a pastry chef in part to complement the fabulous dinners conjured up by my best friends Ethan and Michelle, who hopefully will be contributing to this blog as well. We went through a 2 year period of "Tuesday Night" dinner parties which were a smorgasbord of bloody meat and red, red wine. Friendships and laughter. The men did all the cooking while the women got tipsy, as all dinner parties should be. If I wanted to participate with food, I had to bring something and I became Dessert Girl. Eventually I attended the Le Cordon Bleu program at the Texas Culinary Academy and received a certificate in Pastry and Baking. I have had several baking jobs but found it hard to make ends meet, so I earn my living elsewhere for now. I have had the pleasure of working with several celebrity chefs including Rebecca Rather, Bronwen Weber, and David Lebovitz. I have also cultivated some amazing friends and resources in the Central Texas area and would like to share my knowledge with all who care to join me. My most recent honor was winning Best Sweet at the Bacon Takedown during SXSW 2011. As the culinary icon Ms. Childs' says, "Bon Appetit!" ***CONTACT ME at or twitter @christy111luv***

18 thoughts on “Best Desserts in Austin”

  1. Lick it bite it or both and Galaxy up in Georgetown are really good too. I’ll have to try Polkadots, thanks, Jane

  2. Great list and I love your photography. Uchiko is great. The problem is, you have to really make an effort to save room for dessert. I usually do that automatically, but the food was so outstanding that by the time dessert rolled around I wasn’t as enthusiastic as usual. Maybe I should just go for dessert.

  3. I’m always up for a dessert dinner! Or sometimes I go for social hour and just have a couple of small bites first.

  4. I definitely wouldn’t say Hey Cupcake has the best cupcakes in town. They may have been the first trailers, but they started off by selling cupcakes made from box mixes. I always choose Sugar Mama’s on S 1st over Hey Cupcake.

  5. I find Sugar Mamas cupcakes to he dry. And the thing I have always liked about Hey Cupcake is that you can taste that they are not made from a box mix, at least as long as I have been eating them. But what I like about them most is the frosting, they use plenty of it and it isn’t too sweet. But best cupcake from either place is like picking the hottest guy. If Brad Pitt isn’t available, I’ll settle for George Clooney. Especially with extra icing on top.

  6. OK, so have got to try the Carillon! It’s been on my list forever but now that you mention DESSERTS there, I really have to go! And that milk dessert at Uchiko is SO SO good. I’m glad you mentioned it. I love polka dots cupcakes–even more than sugar mama’s. But i love your hot guy analogy. Perfect!

  7. Thanks for this list! I’m macaron-obsessed and can’t wait to try these great options. I had a hard time with the Uchi desserts- they were so pretty I had a hard time actually taking a bite.

  8. I love the vegan cupcakes at Hey Cupcake and I can’t wait for Capital City Bakery to open. The sorbets at Uchi & ko are delicious. I wish the other nice restaurants followed suite and have vegan options though!

  9. Never been a huge Hey Cupcake fan, but the rest of them look AMAZING. On cupcakes: Sugar Mamas, Polka Dots, Delish and Sweetish Hill all top HC, IMO.

  10. I love all the cupcake discussion! Thanks Eli, I will have to try Delish and I love the cakes at Sweetish Hill, so I bet their cupcakes are good too. Lazy Smurf- Thanks for the Vegan additions! Rebecca- I recommend taking a picture, then digging in at Uchi. Shefaly- Make sure and let me know what you think of the Carillon. I probably go there the most of any of the fancy places in town.

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