Indulgent Desserts You Need to Try in Nashville, Tennessee

Satisfy your sweet-tooth with the iconic banana pudding at Loveless Cafe in Nashville
Satisfy your sweet-tooth with the iconic banana pudding at Loveless Cafe in Nashville | © Jennifer Wright / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Leena Kollar
30 March 2021

For us, a helping of Southern comfort doesn’t come cooler than ice cream or frozen yogurt, and in Nashville, Tennessee, they really know how to dish it out. For those with a sweet tooth, there’s plenty more in store – from fudge and doughnuts to banana pudding and cupcakes. No matter what your favorite dessert is, you’re sure to find something sweet to tickle your tastebuds in Nashville. These are our pick of the bunch.

Chocolate peanut butter swirl fudge from the Bang Candy Company

Dessert Shop, Dessert, $$$
Map View
Bang Candy Company sign at Marathon Village in Nashville, TN.
© Richard Ellis / Alamy Stock Photo
One of the most delectable flavor combinations is peanut butter and chocolate. In the form of fudge, this duo gets even better. Rich and creamy, the chocolate and peanut butter swirl fudge from the Bang Candy Company answers the prayers of every sweet tooth out there. There are plenty more goodies in store, including flavored syrups, marshmallow treats and the delicious Sparkle Bark – rectangles of dark and pink Belgian white chocolate topped with festive popping candy.

Buttermilk white chocolate bar from Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co.

Bar, Cafe, American, Coffee
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Chocolate lovers clamor for the novelty bars sold by Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co. The buttermilk white chocolate flavor will give you a giddy high, fusing pure cane sugar, pressed cocoa butter and buttermilk. If white’s not all right, widen the search – perhaps to Mexican-style chocolate, sea salt-and-vinegar caramels, bourbon nib brittle, and salt-and-pepper chocolate. Judging by these knockout numbers, it’s easy to see why this chocolate company is Nashville’s fastest-growing sweet shop.

Ice-cream sundae from Mike’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar

Dessert Shop, Dessert, $$$
Map View
tourists enter mikes ice cream fountain shop on broadway Nashville Tennessee USA
© Radharc Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Downtown on Broadway, Mike’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar deals in big servings of sweetness. The menu homes in on moreish classics, including soft-serve yogurt and sundaes, both regular and specialty. Choose from a sugar cone or waffle cone topped with handmade ice cream, or get your face into Mike’s many other offerings, including smoothies, milkshakes and cool-hit coffee drinks.

Layer doughnut from Five Daughters Bakery

Bakery, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Courtesy of Five Daughters Bakery

You haven’t experienced a doughnut until you’ve tried the 100-layer leviathan from Five Daughters Bakery. It’s so exquisite that it takes four days to make just one. Calorie-counters, look away now. Once it’s cooked, it’s rolled in sugar, filled with cream and topped with glaze. You’re spoiled for taste but we particularly recommend vanilla sugar, chocolate sea salt or maple glaze. The bakery also features flavors of the month, including coconut cream pie, lemon blueberry and tiramisu.

Banana pudding from the Loveless Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Fast Food, Street Food, $$$
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Reception, register area with famous Country Stars photo head shots on wall of Fame at the Loveless Cafe & Motel, Nashville, TN
© Jennifer Wright / Alamy Stock Photo

Curious about the name? It nods to Lon and Annie Loveless, who set about serving fried chicken and biscuits out of their front door in 1951. Today, classic down-home Southern cooking is what you’ll still get at the Loveless Cafe. The menu also features a range of dessert options, such as cobbler and pie, as well as the madly popular, made-from-scratch banana pudding. We’ll say it – this is one of the very best sweet treats in Nashville, with a rich flavor and creamy texture, you simply have to try it.

Cake pops from Nashville Sweets

Bakery, Pastries
Map View
What do you want from a boutique bakery? Whatever it is, you’ll find it at Nashville Sweets, which specializes in desserts that not only taste the part but also look like works of art. Nothing captures the fun and creativity of their menu better than the cake pops, which come in flavors like chocolate, vanilla, red velvet and pumpkin. These mini-bite bakes of crumbled cake are rolled with icing and dipped in colorful chocolate. Also worth trying are the French macarons and cupcakes, and you can even order personalised wedding cakes for the big day.

Cookies n’ cream cupcake from the Cupcake Collection

Bakery, American, Gluten-free
Map View
It’s worth swinging by this place every day to marvel at the different flavor offerings, including strawberry, sweet potato, sweet lemonade and wedding cake. The Cupcake Collection knocks its beauties up from scratch. If you have special dietary requirements, let them know – gluten-free and vegan options are available upon request.

Brambleberry crisp ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Dessert Shop, Dessert, $$$
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Frozen treats are the menu staples at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and flavors go way beyond vanilla. Try its brambleberry crisp, with oven-toasted oat streusel, blackberries and blackcurrants layered with vanilla ice cream. You can also get your chops around goat’s cheese with red cherries or whiskey and pecans. They also offer a range of delicious dairy-free flavors, such as lemon bar and Texas sheet cake.

A signature shake from Legendairy Milkshake Bar

Dessert Shop, Dessert, $$$
Map View

There are milkshakes, and then there are downtown institution Legendairy’s milkshakes. Like ice-cream sundaes on steroids, they’re piled as high as is physically possible, with whipped cream, waffles, chocolate chip cookies or marshmallows – depending on what you order. Its bestseller, Rolling in the Cookie Dough, features cookie-dough ice cream, a chocolate-icing rim, whipped cream, cookie-dough bites, chocolate drizzle and a whole chocolate chip cookie wedged in on top. Make sure you bring an appetite.

The mangonada from La Michoacana Premium

Dessert Shop, Dessert
Map View
A traditional mangonada Mexican frozen drink, consisting of mango sorbet, mango chunks, chamoy, lime, tajin powder, and tamarind candy, is shown in a clear plastic cup.
© Kilmer Media / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo

This Mexican ice-cream parlor has flavors you won’t find anywhere else, at least not north of the US-Mexico border. Queso (cheese), rice and raisin, and tequila with sliced almonds are some of the more acquired tastes; meanwhile, piña colada, cereal milk – laced with crunchy cornflakes – and tamarind will also give you a sense of culinary adventure. But the most popular flavor is easily the mangonada, a sundae made from mango sorbet, lime juice and chamoy sauce – a fruity, spicy, salty concoction made with chilies and apricots. It’s tongue-tinglingly refreshing, not to mention addictive – if it’s your first, it won’t be your last.

The chocolate chip pecan pie from Sweet Creations

Dessert Shop, Dessert
Map View

There are few things more iconic in the South than a good pecan pie, and they don’t get much better than the ones from Sweet Creations. This family-run bakery is a bit of a local legend and the go-to place for a special-occasion pie. The chocolate chip version is rich, buttery and crammed full of caramelized pecans. It’s irresistible when still warm, but hold off until you can add a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. Other pie highlights include its apple pie, sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie – a sellout around Thanksgiving and Halloween.

America’s first combination candy bar from the Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar

Dessert Shop, Dessert, American
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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JULY 25, 2019: The Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar on 3rd Ave. in downtown Nashville, a popular place to pick up some Goo Goo Clus
© Cheryl Moulton / Alamy Stock Photo

It’s the godfather of the modern chocolate bar. Before Snickers, Kit Kat, Bounty or Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut, there was the Goo Goo Cluster. Invented in 1912, this mound of caramel, marshmallow nougat, peanuts and chocolate represented the first time anyone had created a chocolate or candy product that consisted of more than one principal ingredient. Today, the recipe is still pretty much the same, with the addition of two other varieties – one with pecans instead of peanuts and one with peanut butter in place of nougat and caramel. All are equally impossible to resist.

Boozy doughnuts at Donut Distillery

Dessert Shop, Dessert
Map View

Booze and doughnuts might not be the most obvious food combination – unless you’re Homer Simpson, speaking of which, you must try their Homer D’ohnut – but here, they go hand in hand to delicious effect. Not only is there an impressive number of taps for pouring locally brewed craft beers, but the signature doughnut sports a rich and smoky whiskey glaze. The beers are selected to complement the doughnuts’ flavor combinations. If you’d prefer a glass of wine or a cocktail with yours, they’ll do that, too.

Home-made popsicles from the Ice Cream Bar

Dessert Shop, Dessert
Map View

You can feel the sugar rush before you even walk into this eccentric, homespun operation in suburban Turtle Creek. It features a freezer cabinet full of popsicles as luminous as lightsabers, pink and purple booths with tables plastered in comic-book cut-outs, and a ceiling hung like a funfair game with plush toys and tinselly decorations. It really has gone to town on the Willy Wonka vibes. Luckily, the ice cream is good enough to add substance to the style, while the home-made popsicles are fun and bursting with refreshing flavors. Cucumber and chili, soursop, and watermelon and cream are some of the more adventurous options in an impossible-to-pick selection of delights.

Custom ice-cream sandwich from the Baked Bear

Dessert Shop, Dessert
Map View
Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandiwch
© Brent Hofacker / Alamy Stock Photo

Fancy a sweet treat that’s as delicious as it is unique? The Baked Bear is the place for you. Here, the order of the day is an ice-cream sandwich – any way you like it. You choose the sandwich layers, from cookies to slabs of chocolate brownie, then the ice cream and, finally, the toppings. There are more than 1,500 combinations, such as sea salt peanut butter cookies with dark chocolate ice cream covered in mini M&Ms, or red velvet cookies with blackberry crumble ice cream and almonds on top. Get creative!

Alex Allen contributed additional reporting.

These recommendations were updated on March 30, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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