6 Must-Try Austin Desserts

By Megan Giller  |  August 20, 2013

Earlier this summer we rounded up the must-try ice cream in town, and we’ve even profiled vegan frozen treats for our plant-diet friends. But what about the other types of sweets? Lest we neglect the denser after-dinner delectables, we’ve put together six of our favorite desserts in town. It’s just icing on the drunken donut that a lot of these creations come from our city’s talented, innovative female chefs.

  • Banana Split at Sway

    We can’t get enough of the over-the-top nostalgic dessert at this hip modern Thai restaurant on South First Street. But as we’ve said before, this is not your five-year-old’s sundae: chocolate-five-spice ice cream, condensed-milk ice cream and cashew-caramel-swirl ice cream rest atop halved and sliced bananas, plus black-sesame brownie bites and candied cashews over caramel coconut-milk jam, homemade whipped cream and drunken cherries. Even though executive pastry chef Laura Sawicki is leaving the restaurant, we’re hoping the split stays.

  • 1886 Cake at 1886 Café and Bakery

    Chocolate lovers, this rich cake has your name all over it. The recipe harkens from the Heritage Society of Austin, and the authenticity of each slice will take you back to your childhood, if your childhood was as classy as this traditional layer cake with chocolate ganache icing. And though the buttermilk-laden recipe is floating around on the internet, we recommend you do yourself a favor and let the masters work and the eaters eat.

  • Popcorn and a Movie at Swift’s Attic

    The strong flavors of chocolate, caramel and root beer in this throwback dessert from pastry chef Callie Speer’s innovative dessert definitely polarize people. That’s just fine with us, since once in a while that means we get to steal the entire plate from the table. The homemade candy bars (think Twix meets peanut butter cups) are topped with caramel sauce, caramel corn and salted popcorn ice cream, and the plate is dotted with root beer gelée. It’s a perfectly innovative way to end a meal at one of Austin’s most creative restaurants.

  • Croiss-onuts at Barley Swine

    Who needs to stand in line in New York when we have our own version of Cronuts right here? Try Barley Swine pastry chef Kyle Mckinney’s latest creation, “croiss-onuts” plated with caramel-coffee mousse, coffee pearls, goat’s milk sorbet, aerated milk chocolate and crunchy milk. It will be the best coffee and donuts you’ve ever tasted.

  • Bananas Foster Cake at Eddie V’s

    Momofuku pastry chef told us a while back that her favorite dessert will always be her mother’s sticky butter cake, a yellow cake with a buttery center that is basically melting on top. Well, Eddie V’s boasts the closest Austin comes to Tosi’s favorite. In this cake, the already decadent butter cake is topped with bananas Foster and huge scoops of ice cream and then flambéed tableside. We recommend sharing.

  • Fried Milk at Uchiko

    Pastry chef Philip Speer’s dessert at the Rosedale sushi and small plates restaurant is now a classic. How do you fry milk? We’ll let Speer show you, with individual lightly battered and fried pockets that spill something between condensed milk and manna when bitten into, plated with a milk chocolate ganache, crunchy chocolate wafers, cornflake crunch and iced milk sorbet.