Best Desserts of 2018

Desserts represent the good things in life. They’re the goal you reach for at the end of the journey, the treat you reward yourself with, the light and playful side of a restaurant’s menu. Desserts are fun, even when they are layered with care painstakingly thought out. We think you’ll find our 15 best desserts of 2018 worth your time to hunt down and enjoy.

Possum Pie at Honey Pies – Of course, a shop built entirely around desserts is going to do well in the sweets department. This Possum Pie has been my Honey Pies go-to this year. There’s something about the mix of chocolate and cream cheese on that butter crust that has kept me coming back. It’s great by the slice, and just as good as a whole pie to take home. (Steve Shuler)

Red Velvet Cake Balls at Donuts and Deli – Sadly, this little spot was short-lived, as it closed just this month. But while it was there, I was most impressed by their Red Velvet Cake Balls. Perfectly crispy on the outside, soft and cakey on the inside, the cake balls were a delightfully indulgent way to start the day. (Sara Edwards Neal)

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Neapolitan Cheesecake at Cinnalightful – Expect to see a lot of Cinnalightful this next year, as they are making a big push into restaurants. Matcha Norwood’s Neapolitan Cheesecake is a great example of why. It is a nice balance of flavors, each coming through strongly. (Greg Henderson)

Pink Lemonade Pie at Cathead’s Diner – Sadly, Kelli Marks is no longer with Cathead’s Diner, but while she was there she created what was easily my favorite dessert lineup in town. Her pies were a sheer delight, especially this Pink Lemonade Pie. Light, whimsical and pleasantly tart, it was a blissful bite of Southern summertime. (SS)

Cake Shakes at Big Orange – Save room next time at Big Orange so you can enjoy the restaurant’s seasonal cake shake. It’s a whole slice of cake submerged into a creamy milkshake with toppings that make for an epic dessert. My sugar crush is on the Strawberry Cake Shake, which is a huge slice of strawberry cake in a milkshake. A newer cake shake on their menu is the Chocolate Fudge Cake Shake, also definitely worth a try. (SEN)

Nutella and Caramelized Banana Crepes at Rebel Kettle – Megan Kessler has never made a big name for herself publicly as a pastry chef, but she has some serious talent in that area. On a whim, she threw together these crepes as a dessert item and she honestly should do more just like it. (GH)

Chocolate Gravy at TAE – Yeah yeah, I know, this isn’t a true dessert. But when your chocolate gravy is this deep, sweet and balanced, I’m going to find a way to feature it. Little Rock now has several places doing an excellent chocolate gravy, but for my money, TAE outdoes them all. (SS)

Cookies at Ann Potter Baking – The custom cookies from Ann Potter are beautiful, edible works of art. If you follow @annpotterbaking on Instagram, she posts her current cookie projects as well mesmerizing videos of her decorating process. The fun and whimsical designs always make an impact during events, and they are as delicious as they are beautiful. (SEN)

Ice Cream Flight at Loblolly Creamery – This feature came with Loblolly to their new scoop shop, and it’s still one of the best date night dessert ideas in town. Eight small scoops of your choice of Loblolly’s ice cream, sorbet or vegan ice cream make for an utterly delightful evening out. (SS)

Coconut Cream Cake at Zara Made It – Zara Wilkerson is taking a break from the restaurant life, but that doesn’t mean she is done making desserts. She is putting out dessert boxes and some of the best treats of her career are landing in them. The coconut cream cake is a great example: not too sweet, certainly not dry, and full of coconut flavor throughout. (GH)

Cookies at Boulevard Bread Company – I have a weak spot for the chocolate chip pecan cookies from Boulevard Bread Co. And just about every time I stop by for lunch I have to grab a cookie for myself and a second for a friend. They’re soft, chewy and overall a solid cookie. (SEN)

Apple Caramel Souffle at So Restaurant – Chef Cody Rudd brought this out as a “one more thing” dessert when I was checking out his bar menu, and I was extremely glad he did. The texture was delicate, but the robust fruit and caramel flavor paired with a housemade vanilla ice cream made me wish I hadn’t already stuffed myself on the bar food. (SS)

Sunflower Seed Pie at 1836 Club – Jon Nayles is not a person on our radar for pastry, but after turning out the sunflower seed pie at the club’s Cuisine for a Cause event he should be. This unusual pie was well balanced with chocolate wine sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. It was the dessert of the year for me. (GH)

Tiramisu at Raduno Brick Oven and Barroom – It’s difficult for me to find a solid tiramisu, and Raduno’s is perfection. Their version is light and fluffy, and the sweetness is balanced by the bitterness of the espresso. Be sure to check it out the next time you’re in. (SEN)

Key Lime Donut at Cathead’s Diner – Like I said, Kelli made my favorite dessert menu of the year (and maybe ever). Long before Cathead’s opened, we knew there would be donuts. What we didn’t know is that those donuts would live up to a year’s worth of hype. This Key Lime Donut was crisp, sour and sweet, and was the standout in a very good donut line-up. (SS)

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Best Desserts of 2018