The 15 best desserts in Boston

From bread pudding to crack cake and donuts, the best desserts in Boston will satisfy your sweet tooth and then some

Photograph: Courtesy Buttermilk and Bourbon

Believe it or not, the best restaurants in Boston aren’t necessarily tending to your very demanding sweet tooth. Enter the best desserts in Boston. From crack cakes to excellent bread pudding and some of the best donuts in Boston, these local establishments offer the kinds of sweets that will revive your taste buds. And, if you feel like you’ve indulged a bit too much, burn a few calories off while walking around town on the best Boston city tours.

Best desserts in Boston


French chocolate mousse at Frenchie

Co-owner Sandrine Rossi relies on family history to bring customers authentic, rustic French cuisine. This is a grandmother’s chocolate mousse recipe: an ample and extra rich pot topped with blueberries to be savored with a fellow chocoholic over a couple of glasses of Sauternes. If you seek a chocolate fix that’ll tide you over for several months, keep an eye out for the chocolate cake, a moist and chewy piece de resistance that’s a semi-regular menu addition.

South End

Chocolate chip cookie dough at Little Donkey

Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer bank on the power of simplicity when offering everyone’s favorite childhood treat as a dessert. It’s almost exactly as it sounds: a hearty blob of uncooked cookie dough, served (drum roll please) on the beater. The dough comes astride a milk espuma (foamed milk) topped with cocoa nibs, perhaps to add a bit of adulting to the otherwise primal experience of licking batter off of metal.

Central Sq

Fried beignets at Buttermilk and Bourbon

A New Englander once had to hitch a ride to New Orleans to find a proper beignet. But with the opening of Jason Santos’ Buttermilk and Bourbon, that trip just got a lot less necessary. These are the real deal: four Cafe du Monde-style fritters piled with powdered sugar and served with freshly whipped vanilla bean mascarpone frosting for dipping. The Back Bay den perfectly executes all manner of Southern cuisine, but just because you’re full of Nashville hot chicken doesn’t mean you shouldn’t save a little room for dessert.

Back Bay

Chocolate pecan pie at Coppersmith

Executive chef Jason Heard is all about his Southern roots, as evidenced by the piles of barbecue on his menu. But the down-home delicacies don’t stop at the entrées. His take on the classic pecan pie adds chocolate, ribbons of rum caramel and bourbon whipped cream to make an already alluring dessert that much more irresistible (and just a tad inebriating).

South Boston

Caked Up at GEM

Maria Cavaleri is a “go big or go home” sort of pastry chef. In other words, more is more. Caked Up is a monstrosity in the best sense of the term—half of a vanilla cheesecake piled high with warm fudge sauce, whipped cream, candied bacon, chocolate chip cookies, sea salt and a sweet “secret sauce.” Needless to say, this is an order you split with the table—otherwise, you’re not eating for a few days.