If you haven’t already given up on your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier or cut out sweets, you may want to keep scrolling. These Instagram-worthy treats are sure to make you second guess your goals and surrender to sugar in 2019.
From coast to coast, America is home to some truly sensational sweets. A lighter-than-air candy balloon? You’ll find it in Chicago. A chocolate chip cookie shot? You can indulge in New York City. A “burrito” made with cotton candy and ice cream? Vegas has you covered.
Whether you’re a diehard for donuts or addicted to ice cream, here are 25 of the most Instagrammable desserts across the United States. The likes will totally be worth the cavities – and the broken resolutions. We promise.
Milk Bar’s Birthday Cake
If you haven’t seen Christina Tosi’s swoon-worthy colorful birthday cake, you probably haven’t done a lot of scrolling on Instagram.
Found exclusively at Milk Bar – which has locations in New York City, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Toronto – this rainbow birthday cake is your favorite childhood throwback with a sophisticated twist. It took Tosi and the Milk Bar team three years to perfect their vanilla masterpiece, and the dedication shows.
No Milk Bar nearby? You can have this birthday beauty shipped directly to your door. (And no, it doesn’t have to be your birthday. We won’t judge.)
Creamberry’s Cotton Candy Burrito
What’s better than a regular burrito? How about one made of cotton candy.
Customers at Creamberry in Las Vegas can order this cavity-inducing confection stuffed with all of their favorites. The Cotton Candy Burrito combines your choice of ice cream flavor with a variety of candy toppings, all wrapped inside brightly colored cotton candy.
New Territories’ Bubble Waffle Ice Creams
New York City-based ice cream shop New Territories has embraced a Hong Kong street food trend — the bubble waffle — and combined it with artisan ice cream flavors like earl gray and honeycomb.
With a light and airy cone and tons of tantalizing toppings, these desserts are true culinary works of art.
Alinea’s Edible Helium Balloon
Introducing a dessert that’s lighter than air — literally.
You might recognize this Chicago restaurant from its appearance on the Netflix series “Chef’s Table.” The three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Alinea, is known for inventive culinary creations and its edible helium balloon is no different. Made from inverted sugar flavored with natural fruit essences, this helium-filled speciality hovers over diners’ tables attached to a string made from dehydrated apple.
Dominique Ansel Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot
From the bakery that brought you the cronut comes the next big thing in dessert innovation.
New York City’s Dominique Ansel Bakery created the chocolate chip cookie shot the year after the cronut, and it has since drawn similar lines of customers. The comforting treat combines a warm chocolate chip cookie shaped like a shot glass with homemade, cold-infused Tahitian vanilla milk that visitors pour into the treat themselves before enjoying.
In addition to its location in New York City, you can find the Dominique Ansel Bakery in Los Angeles and London.
The Sno-Bliz at Hansen’s in New Orleans is more than just a snowcone. It’s a tradition.
Founded in 1939 by Ernest and Mary Hansen, Hansen’s is now owned by their granddaughter, Ashley. Today’s Sno-Bliz is still made using the original ice-shaving machine Ernest invented and the flavor recipes Mary concocted.
Snap a photo of your fluffy Sno-Bliz in flavors ranging from traditional to inventive, topped with whatever you so desire (pictured here: a fresh pear Sno-Bliz with cinnamon and whipped cream).
Kamehameha Bakery’s Poi-Glazed Donut
From the outside, the donuts at Honolulu’s Kamehameha Bakery in Oahu look totally normal. But break one open and you’ll discover a gooey, vibrant purple center.
The bakery’s poi-glazed donuts — which pay homage to the traditional Hawaiian dish, made from fermented taro root — have drawn crowds since 1971.
Bonus: this bakery opens at 3 a.m., which means it’s perfect for late-night cravings.
Margie’s Candies’ World’s Largest Sundae
Margie’s Candies isn’t your typical soda foundation. This 1921 shop is a Chicago legend with delectable handmade candies and ice cream that are worth traveling for.
But where Margie’s really shines is with its “world’s largest sundae.” This hefty dessert challenges customers to eat an entire gallon of ice cream in one sitting, with flavors from California, Hawaii and Florida.
As they say, you can’t have too much ice cream.
Glam Doll Donuts’ Bellybomb
Minneapolis-based Glam Doll Donuts has lots of Insta-worthy creations. But it’s most audacious is the Bellybomb, a savory mac and cheese donut.
Oozing with bubbly cheese, this deep-fried creation perfectly balances the shop’s typically sweet offerings.
Jardin at Wynn Las Vegas’ Fleur Cake
The phrase “almost too pretty to eat” has never been more true than at the Jardin at the Wynn Las Vegas.
The restaurant’s fanciful fleur cake perfectly resembles a pot full of pansies. While the edible pansies are real, the terra cotta pot is actually a layered chocolate cake coated with cocoa butter spray.
The dessert takes at least an hour to assemble and has quickly become one of the Jardin’s most requested dishes.
Sugar Factory’s King Kong Sundae
This aptly named behemoth sundae starts with 24 scoops of ice cream covered in hot fudge, caramel and strawberry sauce. Toppings include — but are certainly not limited to — sliced bananas, toasted marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies, gummi bears and giant lollipops.
The impressive sundae is finished with lit sparklers and serves a cool 14 people. Try it with friends at any of the Sugar Factory's multiple U.S. locations, including in Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York City.
Chocolate Chair’s Dragon Breath
The Dragon Breath at Los Angeles’ Chocolate Chair is as much a dessert as it is a performance. These crunchy puffed pearls are filled with liquid nitrogen and have a hint of fruity flavor that many customers say is akin to Fruit Loops. The pearls break open when bitten into, releasing the nitrogen and transforming the eater into a smoke-breathing dragon.
This sweet shop isn’t just blowing smoke — Dragon Breath has made serious social media waves.
Serendipity 3’s Frrrozen Hot Chocolate
You may remember this cozy New York City cafe from the 2001 John Cusack romantic comedy of the same name. But Serendipity 3 is so much more than its Hollywood hype.
The iconic eatery’s “frrrozen” hot chocolate is a creamy indulgence that quite literally overflows its glass. Topped with a heaping pile of whipped cream and chocolate shavings, this dessert is sure to make you fall in love — or at least attract a couple new friends to share it with.
Special varieties add in everything from mint to salted caramel (as pictured here).
La Muse Cafe’s Art Tart
Tucked inside Miami’s Avant Gallery, La Muse Cafe is a colorful haven where diners can enjoy a sweet surprise after their breakfast or lunch. Order the aptly named art tart and you never know what might end up on your plate. This creative confection has featured all sorts of artistic inspiration, including the face of the Mona Lisa.
Pictured here: a gorgeous “tipsy strawberry” presentation.
Bailey’s Chocolate Bar’s Chocolate Inebriation
Unsurprisingly, chocolate is the name of the game at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar in St. Louis. Bailey’s motto is “no celebration is complete without chocolate,” and thanks to its decadent desserts, every day can feel like a celebration.
This cafe is full of many delectable choices, but none are tastier than the chocolate inebriation, featuring a chocolate stout cake with bourbon chocolate and passionfruit puree that is sure to leave you feeling tipsy.
Matcha Man’s Taiyaki Matcha Cones
Matcha is having a moment, and now at Seattle’s Matcha Man, customers can enjoy the green-tea variety in the form of soft serve ice cream. Not only are Matcha Man’s treats cool and refreshing, but they’re also served in adorable fish-shaped Taiyaki, a traditional Japanese cake.
What makes a milkshake even better? At Los Angeles-based CottonHi, the answer is topping it with 100-percent-organic cotton candy.
Spice up a traditional milkshake or soft serve flavor with a little bit of sugary fluff. Not only are CottonHi’s creations sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, but they also make for fantastic photos.
The Stackery’s Chimney Cakes
If your go-to ice cream order is in a cone, you won’t want to miss The Stackery. This New York City artisan baker offers sweet and savory chimney cakes, fluffy pastries that are then filled with ice cream and topped with the sweets of your choice.
These filling treats originate from eastern Europe but have found a new home in New York City.
Taco Sweets’ Ice Cream Tacos
Forget Choco Tacos. This Austin, Texas food truck takes the ice cream-taco combo game to the next level. Taco Sweets combines funky flavors with brightly colored toppings to create some of the most eye-catching and delectable ice cream tacos out there.
Don’t walk away from this truck without a napkin or five — given the generous portions, you’ll probably need it.
Mac Lab Bakery’s Geode Macarons
Duluth, Georgia’s Mac Lab Bakery and Cafe is, quite literally, a gem. Or at least some of its confections are.
This small-batch bakery crafts stunning macarons complete with gold leaf and sparkling geodes. Each macaron is hand painted and includes edible, sparkling sugar clusters that resemble the twinkling formations of a real geode.
Afters Ice Cream’s Milky Bun
When you can’t decide what type of sensational sweet you want, head to Afters Ice Cream. The company, which has outposts throughout California, combines the best of both worlds with its variety of milky buns.
The impressive confections combine a traditional glazed buns are stuffed with innovative ice cream flavors and sprinkled with creative toppings. Once each bun is filled, it’s sealed back together and reheated to create the ultimate hot and cold dessert.
Pictured here: a delectable quartet of buns, including Milk & Cereal with Cap'n Crunch, Jasmine Milk Tea with Sprinkles, Cookie Monster with Cookie Crisp and Oreos, and Strawberry Cookie Crunch with Fruity Pebbles.
Cafe Du Monde’s Beignets
It is almost impossible to step foot in New Orleans without feeling the pull of Cafe Du Monde and its powdered sugar-covered beignets. While the lines may be long, the rewards are sweet for those who set out to enjoy an order of these New Orleans staples.
Popbar’s Dipped Pops
Why have a sad, freezer-burned popsicle when you can enjoy something sweeter? With locations in six states (California, Florida, North Carolina, New York, Texas and Arizona), Popbar is upping the ante with its handcrafted gelato on a stick.
Keep things traditional or opt to spice things up with Popbar’s dipped combinations. From chocolate-covered pistachio to green tea crunch, everyone is sure to find a flavor to love.
Chicago’s BomboBar truly takes donuts to the next level. This small sweet shop is little more than a walk-up window, but what it lacks in square footage it makes up for in flavor.
BomboBar’s specialty is its bombolonis, hole-less Italian donuts served with squeezable fillings. These gooey treats combine the best aspects of a filled donut with the texture of the traditional.
Black Tap’s Crazy Shakes
If there was ever a dessert that could give you a cavity just by looking at it, it would be one of Black Tap’s monstrous milkshakes. With locations in New York City and Las Vegas, Black Tap’s makes self-proclaimed “crazy shakes” that almost need to be seen to be believed.
These ice cream creations are true gravity-defying feats that are sure to stun your taste buds and your followers.