(Credit: Courtesy of Driftwood Kitchen)

(Credit: Courtesy of Driftwood Kitchen)


It’s hard to resist indulging in over the top desserts every once and a while, especially considering Orange County’s variety of decadent options. Whether you’re craving ice cream, chocolate, cheesecake, churros, donuts or marshmallows, Orange County restaurants and bakeries have got you covered! These eight desserts are some of the most decadent of all – but don’t hold back. Each one is a must-try that will leave you wanting more.

(Credit: Afters Ice Cream)

(Credit: Afters Ice Cream)


Milky Bun
Afters Ice Cream
13662 Newport Avenue
Tustin, CA 92780
www.aftersicecream.com

Afters Ice Cream has been all the rage the last year or so and it’s entirely because of the infamous Milky Bun. The buns are essentially glazed donuts whose gooey sides stick perfectly to Afters’ inventive ice cream flavors. The vibrant blue Cookie Monster ice cream has been a huge hit as well, but they also offer Cookie Butter, Strawberry Cookie Crunch, Peanut Butter S’mores, Madagascar Vanilla, Churro, Jasmine Milk Tea, Acai Blueberry and more. Pick a topping as well, and you can get M&Ms or banana chips but they also have Captain Crunch, Cookie Crisp and Fruity Pebble cereal.

(Credit: Cheesecake Factory)

(Credit: Cheesecake Factory)


Chris’ Outrageous Cheesecake
Cheesecake Factory
7871 Edinger Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 889-1500
www.thecheesecakefactory.com

This list simply wouldn’t be complete without cheesecake – and who does cheesecake better than the Cheesecake Factory? While their menu has a whole lot of options to choose from, possibly the most decadent is Chris’ Outrageous Cheesecake. While the name is up for interpretation, what can’t be questioned is how over the top this dessert is. Layers of chocolate cake and chewy fudge brownie surround the signature chocolate chip coconut cheesecake. Topped with toasted coconut and chocolate frostings, sprinkled with pieces of chopped pecans and placed next to a pile of whipped cream, Chris’ Outrageous Cheesecake is definitely pretty outrageous.

(Credit: Monika Petersen Photography)

(Credit: Monika Petersen Photography)


Pug Chow
Baking Betty’s Gourmet Cookies
401 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 640-2253
www.bakingbettys.com

Located at Newport’s Fashion Island, Baking Betty’s is known for its cookies. The menu includes classics like chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and M&M, but they also offer unique flavors like crème brulee, cookies and cream, circus animal and red velvet. But, if you’re looking for over-the-top decadence, you need something more than that. You need the Pug Chow. This delectable treat starts out as a standard peanut butter cookie, but becomes a whole lot more once it is dipped in chocolate and peanut butter then rolled in Chex mix and powdered sugar. Reminiscent of the puppy chow we all snacked on as kids, this treat has a fun nostalgia factor as well.

(Credit: Driftwood Kitchen)

(Credit: Driftwood Kitchen)


Lady Finger Banana Split
Driftwood Kitchen
619 Sleepy Hollow Lane
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-7700
www.driftwoodkitchen.com

While this isn’t the only decadent dessert on Driftwood Kitchen’s menu, it sure has a unique appeal. Follow your seaside, seafood-filled meal with the Lady Finger Banana Split. The dish starts with smooth ice cream, but the sweetness levels rise quickly once everything else is added. Atop the sundae, there are bruleed bananas, chocolate and caramel sauces, ladyfingers, gourmet cherries and cream a la mode. While there is enough sugar in this dessert for an entire year’s worth of treats, there is nothing like it. The flavors blend to create an upscale version of a famous dessert.

(Credit: SOCIAL Costa Mesa)

(Credit: SOCIAL Costa Mesa)


Thunderking Coffee Chocolate Cake
SOCIAL Costa Mesa
512 West 19th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 642-2425
www.socialcostamesa.com

Everything on SOCIAL’s menu leaves you wanting more and their desserts are no different. While their cinnamon sugar donuts were our favorite, there’s no denying the rich, delicious flavor of the Thunderking Coffee Chocolate Cake. The moist chocolate cake couples excellently with the coffee ice cream, but it’s the cremeux on top that makes this menu item perfectly over the top. Sprinkled with hazelnuts and topped with gorgeous edible flowers, this cake is also a treat for the eyes. Pair the dessert with the restaurant’s Layover in Osaka cocktail — a plum cordial, sake and vodka—for some extra flavor.

(Credit: Dolce Monachelli’s)

(Credit: Dolce Monachelli’s)


Italian Butter Rum Cake
Dolce Monachelli’s
699 South State College Boulevard
Orange, CA 92831
(714) 519-3648
www.dolce-monachellis.com

These treats will easily become some of your favorites. Once you try them, it’s hard not to crave more. The Orange bakery is an option, but the best spots to get your hands on these mini bundt cakes are at farmer’s markets all over Orange County. Walk up to tables filled with these tiny treasures: chocolate decadence, lemon citrus, red velvet, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate cappuccino. But none of these flavors compare to the rich, addicting sponge cake that is the Italian Butter Rum—which just happens to be their bestseller. In business for over 20 years now, this family-run entity is clearly doing something right (hint: it’s this cake).

(Credit: The Loop)

(Credit: The Loop)


Glazed Sprinkle Berry Loop
The Loop
9729 Bolsa Avenue
Westminster, CA 92683
(714) 713-8570
www.theloopchurros.com

Churros have been a big hit lately as far as desserts go. But, these aren’t the small, crispy treats you’ll find south of the border. These massive, looped treats come with endless options and flavors that traditional churros lack. Possibly the most decadent is the Glazed Sprinkle Berry Loop, where the churro is glazed with strawberry and covered in colorful sprinkles. Other glazed options include chocolate and almonds, white chocolate and crushed Oreos and matcha and Fruity Pebbles. If the glazed loop isn’t decadent enough take it a step further; the chilled loops are stuck into a cup of ice cream with unique toppings like cheese bites, marshmallows and caramel popcorn.

(Credit: Torch S’more Co.)

(Credit: Torch S’more Co.)


Torched S’mores
Torch S’more Co.
201 East 4th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 614-2212
www.torchsmores.com

Restaurants with fire pits have started offering s’mores as a dessert option, but Torch S’more Co. offers a different take: handmade s’mores toasted right before your eyes – with a torch. These treats are especially great because of the unique options available. While guests choose from milk or dark chocolate, they also pick their graham cracker flavor. Crackers include the classic honey, vanilla, chocolate and Guinness. You can mix and match with the two sides of your s’more. But, what’s even better is choosing the flavor of the marshmallow. Offering vanilla, toasted coconut, whiskey bacon, chai, earl grey, espresso and Bailey’s Irish Cream, these customizable s’mores are as decadent as you want them to be.

Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.

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