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Fast food desserts
Photograph: Time Out

The 11 best fast food desserts in the U.S.

We've taste-tested shakes, sundaes, churros and all to find the best fast food desserts in America

Written by
Danielle Valente

A delicious dessert, whether ice cream, pie, or chocolate, is the perfect way to finish up a meal. Any meal. Alternatively, sometimes it's just best to skip the savory bit and set a direct course for the sweet section. Fast food desserts don’t get as much attention, but trust us, they’re worth it. We’ve done our research to find the best fast food dessert, so your burger or nuggets won’t be left hanging.

Classics like the Sonic Blast and Wendy’s Frosty are cold and sugary, while Taco Bell’s Cinnabon Delights and Jack in the Box’s Mini Churros offer a hot, cinnamon-y option. These tantalizing confections are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, but which fast-food desserts are the absolute best? Where does your favorite rank on our list?

Make your next takeout order a little sweeter with these top desserts. If you’re not sure of what to order on the savory side of the street, check out our guides to the best things to order at Chipotle, Taco Bell, Subway and Popeyes. While you're at it, be on the lookout for the best gas station snacks, including some super-sweet options.

Top fast food desserts

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Nothing pairs better with a Shack Burger and crinkly fries quite like a creamy shake. The hand-spun, frozen custards are blended to perfection with fruits, candy, cookie crumbles and any other topping your heart desires. Flavors and availability vary by location and include creations such as the tiramisu frozen custard with notes of coffee and creamy mascarpone, topped with whipped cream, cocoa and a ladyfinger cookie. There's even a delicious, dairy-free version for those craving a plant-based dessert.

A hand-held slice of crispy apple pie is basically a fall essential. We just might be inclined to ask for seconds. Popeye's Cinnamon Apple Pie is slightly more expensive than Taco Bell's equivalent, but it's a little bit closer to what you would expect from a traditional pie like this. 


While we never refuse a burger at Five Guys (and a generous scoop of peanuts, of course), the real draw is the chain's desserts. Handspun shakes vary from the traditional (think vanilla and chocolate) to the avant garde mix-ins like bacon. We can't possibly deny ourselves that scoop of whipped cream to polish it all off. 

A rich chocolate cake with a slightly crunchy crust and a warm liquid chocolate center that flows out at the nudge of a fork. In essence, this is a chocolate lover's paradise and a meal in itself...but we're not complaining. 


It's a classic for a reason, folks. The vanilla soft serve hot fudge combo is pure dessert bliss—with its creamy vanilla soft serve and smothered in chocolatey hot fudge topping—and never goes out of style, no matter what type of intricate sandwich-and-fries concoction came before it. Simple but totally satisfying!


A tribute to our favorite candy bars, Sonic Blasts celebrate each treat—Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Butterfinger, Snickers and so on—by mixing a dollop of ice cream, cookie crumbles and syrup in with bits of the confections. We might be rather partial to the Oreo-flavored Blast...


A cross between a milkshake and scoop of ice cream, the frozen dairy Frosty has delighted customers since Wendy's opened—was among the first five items introduced on the Wendy's menu—and we have a feeling we'll be ordering it for dessert until the end of time. 


Though they may be little, Jack in the Box's mini churros are fierce. This scaled-down version is packed to the brim with a savory cinnamon taste. It takes your typical, garden-variety carnival staple churro, chops it into bite-sized bits and pipes a line of melted, gooey cinnamon sugar through the middle. Plus, the pint-sized snack is perfect when you're on the go. 


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