Where to Find Seattle’s Best Dessert Spots

Seattle is a sweet lover’s paradise, where tasty treats, such as Lady Yum macarons, abound
Seattle is a sweet lover’s paradise, where tasty treats, such as Lady Yum macarons, abound | © Taylor Vick / Unsplash
Photo of Jacklyn Grambush
19 February 2018

Seattle, home of the first Starbucks and a thriving culinary scene, is a place to sate your sugar cravings. Whether you want a crash course of empty calories or a more diet-friendly dessert, there are plenty of places serving delicious sweet treats. Salivating at the prospect? Read on for the best bakeries, creative cookies, European delicacies and specialty dessert shops in town.

Lady Yum

Bakery, French
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Macarons are having a moment and nowhere more so than at Lady Yum. While they might be a bit of a highfalutin sweet treat elsewhere, here, the macarons are all about fun – from the dazzling colors and toppings to the adventurous flavors and even the snazzy packaging. Flavor combinations such as raspberry chardonnay, apricot honey cardamom, and hazelnut maple mocha are irresistibly tempting. Before you know it, you’ll have filled a pick-n-mix box and still have many flavors you’ll want to try the next time you visit.

Deep Sea Sugar and Salt

Bakery, Dessert
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Is there anything more soul-soothing than a generous wedge of cake? This Georgetown cake shop doesn’t think so. That’s why you’ll find some of the most delicious slices of light-as-a-feather sponge in the most imaginative flavor combinations you’ve ever tasted at Deep Sea Sugar and Salt. The seasonal raspberry, cardamom and rose cake is delicately sweetened with honey, while the 9lb Porter Chocolate Cake is rich and heavy, flavored with bittersweet chocolate and porter. Want something lighter? The lemon cream cake, made with olive oil, is fragrant and zingy.

Dahlia Bakery

Bakery, Dessert, American, Vegetarian, $$$
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Two coconut cream pie bites are shown in front of bakery box from Dahlia Bakery in Seattle, Washington.
© Lynnette Peizer / Alamy Stock Photo

Tom Douglas’s Belltown bakery produces wonderful artisan bread, pastries and cakes daily in small batches. Before you storm in and start shoveling pecan blondies, chocolate chunk cookies and still-warm muffins into paper bags, consider grabbing a spot for breakfast or lunch (or even brunch) first. The breakfast egg sandwiches and quiche will set you right for the day, while a different daily sandwich at lunch will give you an excuse to return (which you’ll want to do after tasting the sweet treats). Whatever you do, try the signature triple coconut cream pie, covered in white chocolate shavings. It’s a local legend.

Simply Desserts

Bakery, Dessert, Pastries
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If you’re looking for some traditional American goodies, this modest, checks-and-cash-only bakery makes “old-fashioned American desserts with a contemporary twist.” And it’s widely regarded as being among the best in the Pacific Northwest. Pop in for an espresso and a slice of orange pumpkin cake. Or how about a generous wedge of chocolate fudge cake? Simply Desserts makes cheesecakes, too. The Baileys Irish Cream cheesecake is one of the most popular, or preorder a batch of chocolate swirl brownies, fudge chip cookies or black bottom cupcakes to go.

Hello Robin

Bakery, Dessert, American
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Thanks to a nudge from the owner of legendary Seattle ice-cream brand Molly Moon’s (see below), Hello Robin opened in 2013 to offer freshly baked cookies (and ice-cream cookie sandwiches) in a dozen different flavors every day. And these are not your run-of-the-mill cookies, either. Squidgy, chewy and with the right balance of salty and sweet, the options range from the traditional (chocolate chip) to the more adventurous (orange habanero chocolate chip or salted butterscotch). Vegan and gluten-free versions are available with notice, along with cookie cakes in two sizes.

Midnight Cookie Co

Bakery, Dessert
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Founded in 2017, Midnight Cookie Co creates delicious treats that offer a much-needed mood boost, and it provides a late-night cookie delivery service. Head to the website, choose a delivery partner and pick from either the traditional cookies (think snickerdoodle, oatmeal raisin chip), select cookies (white chocolate macadamia, double chocolate chip) or vegan cookies. The store will take care of the rest. Alternatively, pop in for a Full Tilt Ice Cream and a coffee.

Le Panier

Bakery, Dessert, French, Pastries, $$$
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Le Panier, Handcrafted goodies run the gamut from fresh-baked bread to macarons, all made in a French style. Seattle
© Jorge Garrido / Alamy Stock Photo

Since 1983, this bakery in Pike Place Market has been producing patisserie so authentically French that, by the time you’ve emerged back onto the streets of Seattle, you’ll feel like you’ve had a mini-break in Paris. Helmed by Thierry Mougin, a trained pastry chef from Normandy, Le Panier is committed to the traditional methods, and it makes all the difference when it comes to the crunch and melt-in-the-mouth suppleness of the croissants and pastries.

Gelatiamo

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert, $$$
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Maria Coassin grew up in Maniago, Italy, in a family of bakers. After spending four years learning the art and science of making gelato (it’s more labor-intensive and technical than ice cream), she opened Gelatiamo in central Seattle in 1996. Bringing the authentic Italian gelateria experience to the Emerald City, her team makes gelato fresh daily in small batches; Maria develops each recipe, with ingredients sourced as locally as possible. Of course, some things can’t be replaced, such as Sicilian pistachios, hazelnuts from Piedmont or chocolate from Tanzania.

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert, Pastries, $$$
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Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream has not-so-slowly become a Seattle staple over the past decade. With nine locations in and around the city, the first being in Wallingford, it offers 10 flavors year-round (including the popular cold-brew coffee and honey lavender) and four flavors that rotate seasonally. While 90 percent of the ingredients come from the Pacific Northwest, the team works hard to keep the other 10 percent organic and Fairtrade and succeeds in making 100 percent of the products delectable.

Cupcake Royale

Bakery, Dessert, Pastries, $$$
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Cupcake Royale made a mark in 2003 when it opened the first cupcake bakery in the US outside New York City. Being in Seattle, the cupcakes are, of course, paired with artisan espresso. The community-minded bakery makes goodies from scratch every day with ingredients from Washington farmers and producers. With a few vegan and gluten-free options, it offers flavors such as lavender (with real lavender buds), tiramisu and red velvet.

Fran’s Chocolates

Patisserie, Dessert, Pastries, Coffee, $$$
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Fran's Chocolates in Seattle
© Darryl Brooks / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the most highly regarded chocolatiers in America, Fran Bigelow opened her first of four Seattle chocolate shops in 1982 – she’d later go on to open three in Japan too – and has been at the forefront of an artisan chocolate renaissance in the US ever since. Known as Barack Obama’s favorite chocolate shop, Fran’s Chocolates offers everything from decadently simple truffles to chocolate-covered fruit and gold bars (nuts encased in either white chocolate and coconut or dark chocolate ganache). The only oversight is that the packaging is so elegant you won’t want to unwrap it.

Hot Cakes

Bakery, Dessert, American, Gluten-free, $$$
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Hot Cakes is known for deliciously gooey, melty cakes. What started as a side project at charities and farmer’s markets for founder Autumn Martin, who cut her teeth as a pastry chef at Canlis and then head chocolatier at Theo Chocolate, soon turned into a bricks-and-mortar shop in the Ballard neighborhood. Combining her love for chocolate and baking, she created the Dark Decadence molten chocolate cake, which is still the most popular item on the menu. Newcomers include a molten peanut butter cake, a strawberry cake and a warm cookie with your choice of ice cream and topping. Conveniently, Hot Cakes also delivers.

Pie Bar

Bakery, Bar, Cocktail Bar, Juice Bar, Dessert, American, $$$
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What do you get when you combine an elegant, marble-topped cocktail bar with pies? Pie Bar. This wacky one-of-a-kind place in Capitol Hill describes itself as “the world’s first late-night pie-only cocktail lounge.” You wonder for how long, though, when it works this well. With both a walk-up window and inside seating, Pie Bar specializes in sweet and savory pies, from classic chicken pot pie to light and fluffy banana cream pie. Each comes with a drink-pairing suggestion – from root beer floats to apple pie moonshine mules – to make picking a tipple as easy as pie.

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