Sure, the English Breakfast is fun and all; but a trip to London is simply incomplete if you do not try the iconic desserts that the city has to offer. Follow this list of handpicked sweet delights to get yourself a sweet-dish experience like no other.
1. Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of the most decadent desserts you will ever come across in London. It is an airy-light dome of date sponge thoroughly doused in a rich toffee sauce. The buttery, syrupy flavor pairs exceptionally well with the smooth quenelle of luxurious cream on top.
2. Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich
Yep, the title says it all. Delightfully creamy homemade ice cream is sandwiched between brightly colored, sweet macarons. If that sounds good already, wait until you discover the range of exotic flavors inspired by South Asian cuisine. Hong Kong Milk Tea, Vietnamese Coffee are some of the many choices you have.
3. Deep-Filled Apple Pie
We are willing to bet that the Deep-Filled Apple Pie in London is one of the best pies ever. The filling inside has an extraordinarily perfect balance of softness and sharpness as well as juiciness and crispness. The silky-smooth cream on top, sometimes replaced by scoops of vanilla ice cream, only adds luster to this already glowing divine dessert.
No matter how many exciting dessert alternatives emerge, nothing beats an incredibly moist, single-serve cake with buttery icing and fun toppings. London has no shortage of cupcake sellers that do not fear experimenting with adventurous flavors.
5. Baked Alaska
This one is a truly dramatic dessert that you will profusely post on Instagram about. Baked Alaska has cherry and vanilla ice cream shelled inside a coat of meringue, which is drizzled with a liqueur called Kirsch and set on fire. Yes, the waiter sets the desserts ablaze right in front of you, and the meringue gets a nice, burnt color without compromising on the super-yum taste.
6. Bread Pudding
This English dessert consists of bread fried in rich buttery goodness and doused into milk or sugar syrup at times. Creamy milk infused with vanilla and cinnamon and thickened with eggs build delicious flavors in this pudding. Topped with raisins or roasted nuts, this dessert definitely feels like a grandma’s loving hug.
7. Ice Cream On Candy Floss
This decadent ice cream dessert that features scoops of velvety ice cream rested upon lip-smacking nectareous sauces or syrup and sweet, feathery-light candy floss. It is then topped with colorful sprinkles, pillowy marshmallows, fresh cherries, whipped cream, or other exciting additions.
8. Honey Cheesecake
This is a supreme delight that every single person should try at least once. London’s Honey Cheesecake is unique, primarily because of its mousse-like consistency and the pleasant notes of savoriness derived from the feta cheese. Nested on Kadaif pastry, this cheesecake is exuberantly topped with blueberries, almonds, oregano, and honey.
9. Eccles Cake
9. Named after the English town of Eccles, this cake is exceptionally cute through and through. It has a rich, syrupy, zingy filling of currants that are tastefully spiced. The aroma of the gentle spices marries surprisingly well with the crisp texture of the pastry, making Eccles Cake an irresistible treat.
10. Rainbow Cake
This is a truly stunning cake with multiple layers of sponge, each featuring a different color from the rainbow. The sponge cake itself is typical white velvet. The velvety rich, soft buttercream has pleasant notes of vanilla that linger on your taste buds as much as the pretty sight of the layers of the cake lingers in your memory.
11. Pastel De Nata
Pastel de Nata is the Portuguese rendition of Egg Tart. It is an especially cute dessert consisting of a crusty pastry shell filled to the brim with deliciously soft egg custard. While other Egg Tarts in the city are just fine, Pastel de Nata has a perfectly balanced sweetness along with a relatively saltier and much crispier pastry that is too good to be true.
12. Bubble Wrap Waffle
This dessert is one of the hottest trends in London at the moment. As though regular waffles weren’t enticing enough, Bubble Waffle or Bubble Wrap Waffles have started gaining immense popularity because of their appearance resembling a delicious version of the bubble-wrap. These waffles are super tasty and are often loaded with toppings such as chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
13. Naked Dough
Remember as a kid how your mom would be making cookies, but you were too impatient and just wanted to eat the entire bowl of cookie dough as is? Naked Dough is a fabulous dessert that will especially satisfy that little kid in you. The dough is eggless and made with heat-treated flour, so you have no reason to worry. Simply indulge in your childhood fantasy.
14. Mille Crepe Cake
Mille Crepe Cake is an incredible dessert consisting of delightfully nectareous crepes stacked one on top of the other. Cloudy soft whipped cream cements each layer of crepe to form one delicious pile. This is then covered with rich chocolate ganache and dusted with snowy powdered sugar.
15. Soft Serve Ice Cream
If you think London hit its creative best with its vast assortment of pies, wait until you hear about the soft-serve ice creams in the city. The flavors are unbelievably wild and unique. What do you think of a black sesame ice cream, a brûléed sweet corn soft serve, or an ice cream topped with a freaking gold sheet?
16. Cookie Shots
Another wild trend that is deservingly hot in London right now, cookie shots are basically cookies shaped like shot glasses. Milk is served inside these cookie shots, the idea being that milk and cookies be enjoyed in their entirety without depending on crockery. Possibilities of flavor combinations are endless- both in terms of cookie ingredients and dairy or coconut milk infused with nutty spices.
17. Melting Chocolate Orb
Another theatrical dessert, the Melting Chocolate Orb, is a unique experience in itself. Luxurious chocolate sauce is poured over an enclosed orb which melts away to reveal a tantalizing interior of silky mousse, moist chocolate brownie, and delectable berries. Passionfruit and orange jelly give this dessert a fantastic zing.
18. Mousse Au Chocolat
Dessert-makers in London are incredibly fond of Parisian chocolate puddings. Hence, there is absolutely no scarcity of rich, decadent chocolate mousses in the city. Mousse Au Chocolat is one such sweet-treat that features luxurious ingredients such as Belgian dark chocolate, heaps of butter, and liqueur.
19. Dessert Platter
This heavenly platter is London’s tribute to every person with a severe sweet tooth. It serves an exquisite assortment of treats ranging from delicate sorbets to ravishing cheesecakes. Exotic fruits also feature on the platter, which is extremely refreshing.
20. Brownie Cookie Ice Cream Sando
Going beyond the usual cups and cones, dessert-makers in London have cracked the code for instant happiness- ice cream sandwiched between densely rich chocolate cookies and frozen brownies. The combination of this trio is nothing short of magical, and hence, it’s highly recommended.
21. Nitrogen Ice Cream
Ice Cream Parlours in London are unusually trendy, not only when it comes to experimentation with flavors but also the preparation techniques. One such example is the use of liquid nitrogen. Wild flavor combinations are turned into fresh cream, which is instantly frozen using nitrogen. As a result, what the customers get is ice cream that is super-duper fresh. Cool, right?
22. Lemon Meringue Pie
London’s Lemon Meringue Pie is the absolute treat that will make you fall in love with desserts all over again. The pastry has a beautiful crunch, and the meringue is so fluffy that it looks like a delicate cloud of happiness.
23. Crème Brûlée
This is, quite obviously, one of the most unbeatable desserts of all time. This dessert has a rich custard base and is served in individual ramekins. With its delicate hints of burnt flavor, the caramelized sugar on top makes every spoonful as mesmerizing as the previous one.
No other dessert beats the good ol’ comfort brought about by doughnuts in London. They are fluffy, pillow-soft on the inside, and have a delightful crunchy texture on the outside, coated typically in a rich vanilla-bean glaze. There so many other varieties of glazes to choose from that you would be too confused for words. No matter which one you pick, and especially when dunked in coffee, these doughnuts serve you a literal taste of perfection.
25. Custard Bun
London’s Custard Bun is an absolute cult classic. It consists of a Cantonese-style bun that is heartily filled with custard made from duck eggs. The filling is super runny and has remarkably built flavors that are neither too sweet nor too savory. Custard Bun is definitely a must-try.
London has some of the craziest, wackiest milkshakes you’ll ever see, thus earning themselves the name Freakshakes. Heavily loaded with ice cream and truly daring toppings such as literal slices of cake, the milkshakes here are bound to keep you coming back for more.
In French, the word éclair refers to “flash of lightning.” This oblong dessert absolutely deserves the name, for the choux dough pastry has a rich cream filling and a luxurious chocolate icing. Believe me, just one helping of an éclair simply won’t be enough when you are in London.
As much as London is the city of savory pies and multi-cultural hustle-bustle, we now have enough evidence to conclude that it is also the city of indulgence in sweet sins. With this curated list of desserts, do not hesitate to plan your next trip to satiate your sweet tooth.