Where to find the best desserts in London [2023]

Maitre Choux pretty eclair desserts in London

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Post last updated: June 2023.

I’ll start this post off with a confession… I never used to be a dessert person.

To me, dessert just meant a big sickly slice of birthday cake or an ice cream sundae that I didn’t really want at the end of a filling meal. I was always the weird kid who picked savoury over sweet at parties, and the adult who’d order a coffee rather than pudding at a restaurant.

However, after spending the last several years hunting down some of the best desserts in London, I may have finally been converted to the sweet side.

I came to realise that dessert is an occasion in its own right. Something that can be savoured as a Sunday afternoon treat after a long week, or enjoyed with the girls over a much-needed catch-up.

I also came to realise that it’s difficult not to be a dessert person in London, a city that is home to some of the best desserts you’ll find anywhere in the world.

The best desserts in London [2023]

Chin Chin Labs ice cream Camden London

Chin Chin Ice Cream

Where? Camden & Soho.

What? Liquid nitrogen ice cream and tasty desserts.

Must try: Griddled vegan cookie dough with burnt butter ice cream.

Chin Chin is Europe’s very first liquid nitrogen ice cream parlour and one of the best spots to discover some of the most unique and delicious desserts in London.

Their exciting selection of ice cream flavours are frozen with liquid nitrogen in giant tanks, in a space that looks more like a mad scientist’s lab than a dessert parlour.

There are plenty of unusual ice cream flavours to try, including burnt butter caramel, coffee and olive oil and vegan mango lassi.

Chin Chin also serves a variety of indulgent desserts including griddled vegan cookie dough, brownie cookie sandwiches, a tiramisu sundae and a sticky toffee pudding sundae. All accompanied by a large scoop of ice cream.

And during the chilly winter months, don’t miss Chin Chin’s super indulgent hot chocolate with gooey marshmallow fluff.

Crème Cookies

Where? Soho.

What? Freshly baked cookies.

Must try: You can’t go wrong with the milk chocolate cookie.

There was no way I could write a post about the best desserts in London and not include a cookie parlour.

Warm gooey melt-in-your-mouth cookies are my guilty pleasure and something I just can’t get enough of, especially when they’re from Crème.

Crème was started by French pastry chef Chef Damien Leroux who wanted to put a French twist on the classic New York style cookie. The result was the perfect combination of crunchy exterior and delicious gooey cookie dough centre.

There are just four flavours to pick from; milk chocolate, double chocolate, white chocolate miso and banana and dark chocolate. So you might as well try one of each right!?

You can eat in, take away or even get a box of cookies delivered to your home. Don’t forget a scoop of ice cream on top if you eat in.

Maitre Choux eclair desserts in London
Maitre Choux pretty eclair desserts in London

Maitre Choux

Where? Soho, Chelsea, South Kensington and Canary Wharf.

What? Luxury choux pastries.

Must try: Hazelnut and milk chocolate treasure eclair.

And the award for most luxurious dessert in London goes too…

Maitre Choux is the first and only choux pastry specialist patisserie in the world, headed up by a talented pastry chef who has experience working in a Three Michelin Star restaurant.

The pretty French-style patisserie serves some of the most elegant and picture-perfect creme-filled éclairs, choux and chouquettes you’ll find anywhere on the planet. I can guarantee you’ll be drooling over the window display before you even get a chance to head inside.

Their range of delicious choux creations are constantly changing, using the freshest seasonal ingredients. So no matter how many times you return, there will always be something new to try.

They may be a little on the pricey side, but they’re worth every penny.

Milk Train Café

Where? Covent Garden.

What? Ice cream, candy floss & waffles.

Must try: Whatever the seasonal special is!

If you’re looking for a London dessert that’s super Instagrammable but also insanely delicious, Milk Train is the place to go.

Their soft serve ice cream comes with a whole variety of sugary toppings, including giant sprinkles, Oreos, chocolate pretzels and popcorn, and surrounded by a choo-choo candy floss cloud. You can create your own cone or choose from one of their colourful creations.

For a delicious dessert to go you can also pick up one of their ‘inspired by travel’ ice cream pints, inspired by different world flavours. Choose from the likes of Victoria Sponge Cake, Matcha Green Tea, Mango Sticky Rice, Brazo de Reina and more.

Or if ice cream isn’t really your thing, opt for a tasty waffle or Milk Train’s unique croffsant – a croissant mixed with a waffle – instead

Humble Crumble

Where? Spitalfields and Borough Market.

What? Crumble.

Must try: You can’t go wrong with the standard apple crumble with warm vanilla custard.

While I’ve always been a fan of a classic British crumble, I never realised it could also be such a visually appealing dessert until I discovered Humble Crumble and their beautiful artisan crumbles.

In yet ANOTHER world first (there are a lot of firsts on London’s dessert scene), Humble Crumble is the world’s first crumble bar. 

All of their delicious crumbles are completely customisable:

  1. Pick your base, from the traditional apple crumble to seasonal flavours including rhubarb, strawberry, blackberry, elderflower, and more.
  2. Throw in the buttery and crumbly shortbread crumble.
  3. Top with your choice of pillowy torched meringue, velvety whipped cream, or homemade pure vanilla custard (hot, cold, or frozen).
  4. Add extras such as cinnamon, almonds, edible glitter, or dried rose petals.

Tip: The vanilla custard is bottomless, so if you get halfway through your crumble and need more, just pop back to the stall and ask.

Buns From Home

Where? Multiple London Locations.

What? Homemade cinnamon croissant buns. 

Must try: If you love Nutella as much as I do, go for the chocolate hazelnut bun.

Buns From Home was born during lockdown in 2020 when founder Barney Goff started baking buns from his mum’s kitchen and selling them to neighbours using a local home delivery service.

His deliciously flakey and buttery croissant-style buns became such a big hit that over the last few years it’s evolved into one of London’s top dessert shops, with multiple locations all across the capital!

All of the stores sell a variety of freshly baked buns, from the classic cinnamon buns and chocolate hazelnut buns to indulgently filled dessert buns in flavours like berry cheesecake, dulce de leche, tiramisu, and more.

There are even some savoury buns, such as ham and cheese buns and spinach and feta.

Tip: The brand’s West End stores can get particularly busy, with long queues down the street at peak times. Try one of their quieter stores, like Notting Hill or Holland Park for smaller lines and more options.

Secret Nicky’s Cookie Dough

Where? Covent Garden.

What? Hot cookie dough.

Must try: The hot cookie dough, of course!

Secret Nicky’s started life selling American-style frozen vanilla custard at Lewisham’s Model Market, before relocating to a permanent location in Covent Garden and segwaying into hot cookie dough.

The tiny cafe is hidden downstairs in the Covent Garden Apple Market, with a pretty pink entrance and a cosy seating area.

Secret Nicky’s offers a small menu of delicious cookie dough creations, ranging from classic chocolate chip to indulgent flavours like red velvet and salted caramel.

The heavenly cookie dough is served hot with a large dollop of soft serve ice cream and your toppings of choice. A flavour and texture combination that can’t be beaten!

Doughnut Time

Where? Soho, Bond St, Borough, Covent Garden, Notting Hill, Westfield London, Westfield Stratford, Shoreditch, City, Islington.

What? Doughnuts.

Must try: Literally anything!

I was never the biggest doughnut fan until I discovered Doughnut Time, the doughnut store that has spread like wildfire around London over the last few years.

Moving from Australia over to the UK in 2017, Doughnut Time has acquired such a cult following that there are now an impressive 13 stores across London. And that number is only looking to increase!

The quirky, modern doughnut store is known for its creative flavours and great puns, including the likes of Bruce Sprinklesteen, Gordon Jamsay, Apple Crumble and Fitch, Stranger Rings and Bae Watch.

I can’t tell you exactly what doughnuts they have as their selection is constantly being updated with brand new flavours every week – and fun new names to match. All I can tell you is that a visit to Doughnut Time is an absolute MUST for anyone with a sweet tooth!

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London City Calling

Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the southwest. She has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works full-time running this blog and as a freelance travel writer, splitting her life between London and travelling the world as a digital nomad.

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