The Best Desserts In London
From fluffy pancakes to exciting cheesecakes, these are our favourite desserts in London.
Based on our 100% legit, scientific studies backed by someone whose name we can’t share for legal reasons, we have found that sweet treats can in fact raise morale, improve productivity (maybe), and make you run faster (possibly not). OK, it hasn’t been proven in the “traditional” sense, but what you should know about the Infatuation London team is that we have an extremely high tolerance to sugar. And a low tolerance for anyone who says no to dessert. In this guide we will be documenting all of our favourite desserts in London. Now, on to the sugar.
THE SWEET SPOTS
Melted chocolate should be its own food group. Cocomelt in Soho makes a great case for this. You’ll see huge chocolate fountains through the window, and there’s a menu which includes crêpe fettuccine drizzled with milk, dark, or white chocolate (or a mix of all three), waffle sticks drenched in chocolate, and fondue with chunks of brownie and marshmallows. Basically this is a chocolate-lover's dream. Sit down for an intense sugar session in their bright and neon sign-filled cafe and get the chocolate-covered strawberries—because fruit.
This takeaway gelato spot in Soho has a double pistachio flavour that’s so moreish we wouldn’t be surprised if it was laced with something stronger than the layer of pistachio cream. Every cone and cup here is topped with an additional baby cone, filled with melted chocolate—you know, in case double pistachio and white chocolate gelato isn’t indulgent enough. Pop in for a post-dinner dessert and just know that once you get a taste of their exciting flavours, you’ll be finding excuses to come back for more.
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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Cake & Bingsoo Cafe
Look outside. If the weather is serving ‘put your sunnies on’ then it’s time to make a beeline for Cake & Bingsoo Cafe in New Malden. More specifically, it’s time to make a beeline for the signature shaved ice bingsoo that comes loaded with a variety of gravity-defying sweet treats and ice cream. A casual cafe where Korean desserts reign supreme, there’s a large sharing table perfect for you and a few hungry friends, even larger bubble teas, and a concise menu of sweet treats. The best part is it’s open from 9am-9pm so if a matcha craving strikes after work, Cake & Bingsoo has got you covered.
If you’ve passed an Ottolenghi shop window without pausing to gawk at the cake display, then you have the kind of self-discipline our Amazon delivery driver wishes we had. But ignoring the sweet treats at this bright and airy Pavilion Road cafe is a mistake. As impressive as the array of cakes and tarts look, they taste even better. You’ll struggle to pick between the moist carrot cake covered in criminal amounts of tangy cream cheese icing, or a mocha cheesecake tart that would even impress that friend who brags about not needing caffeine to function. But FYI, a single blueberry cupcake is around a fiver, so exercising some self-discipline might not be the worst thing.
We like our French toast to be fluffy and topped with things like melted chocolate and ice cream. And this all-day spot on James Street goes a step further by making very fluffy, very delicious French toast topped with things like Nutella, brownies, and caramel popcorn, or Biscoff and salted caramel, or Kinder Bueno bars that melt and turn into a lovely creamy, crunchy mess. Basically, it’s the place to go when you want a really good sit-down dessert in central. They’re all around the £10-£12 mark which yes, is pricey considering it’s a dessert, but it’s the sort of thing you’ll want to share between two anyway.
This Chinatown spot isn’t the only place doing soft serve in London. But it is one of the only places we’ve found that does excellent soft serve with brown tapioca. And it’s a big yes from us. There are four soft serve flavours—vanilla, black sesame, rose lychee, and matcha—which you can choose to have in a taiyaki, a Japanese fish-shaped waffle cone, or in a cup. Either way, it’s great. Our go-to order is the Oreo with tapioca or ‘The Little Mermaid’ with lychee rose.
This small, colourful dessert shop is cheesecake heaven. The display of baked cheesecakes at this spot in Brixton Village will have you convincing yourself that you can finish seven slices of cheesecake. ‘That’s what freezers are for’ you’ll think when you spot the blueberry cheesecake after already asking for a slice of the peanut butter pecan pie and dulce de leche Biscoff. Our suggestion is to rock up in a group and work your way through all the flavours, because yes, they’re that good. They’re baked slowly for several hours, giving them an insanely creamy texture, and are topped with a bunch of different stuff from Twix to crumble. The roasted pistachio cookie is also a winner. Just know there are only a few seats out front so you may want to get your order to go.
Buns From Home
Buns From Home specialises in croissant buns—essentially double-baked, layered croissant dough with a range of different flavours like cinnamon or cardamom. But they’re not even the best thing we’ve had at this lockdown project turned bakery in Notting Hill. The dessert buns—pastry filled with custard cream, tiramisu, cheesecake, or whichever special is on—are excellent. And the best part? No one can judge you for eating a croissant bun for breakfast. Even if it is filled with cheesecake.
Doughnuts have always been a constant in our lives. Covered in chocolate, filled with cream, or even just those mini ones from Sainsbury’s, they’ve all got a special place in our hearts. So stumbling upon these doughnuts was like finding a £20 note in an old pair of jeans. The doughnuts at this Wandsworth bakery change on a regular basis, with flavours like passion fruit, or tiramisu. But something you can find on most days, is their excellent raspberry jam doughnut. The dough is perfectly fluffy, generously filled with raspberry jam, with a raspberry on top. This might be the best jam doughnut in London.
We’re not ashamed to admit that we had to Google what a doily is. Forgive us, Elizabethan table decor fans, we clearly have not lived. But if anything is going to get us all Team Doily it’s the name of this charming little Soho cafe that is responsible for London’s best cookies. This place specialises in brownies, cupcakes, and other things that would make a dentist panic, but it’s their New York-style cookies that we have a real soft spot for. They’re excellent and importantly, extra large. All of the flavours are winners but it’s the raspberry white chocolate that we’re obsessed with. They also make bigger cakes to order—our absolute favourite is the raspberry ripple.
If you spend just a minute on this Fulham cake shop’s Instagram page, you’ll understand why you don’t rock up and get one cupcake to go. You might head to the small, pink-tinged bakery with that intention, but you’ll end up leaving with a box of assorted cupcakes, a Mars Bar brownie, a monster slice of red velvet cake, and a hot choc cookie for the road. And by the road, we mean your mouth. With fun combos like vegan Biscoff sundae and brownie cheesecake cupcakes, you’ll want to try them all. And you should, because they taste even better than they look—seriously impressive when they look this good. There are a couple of tables inside but your best bet is to take away.
An island made out of a fluffy Taiwanese pancake is exactly where we’d rather be 95% of the time. Especially if it’s as good as the wheel cakes that can be found at this stall in OG Westfield. Think of a cross between a pancake and a bready cake, and you won’t be far off. They’re made fresh each day, filled with vanilla custard, chocolate, matcha, and Oreo. The cakey outer layer is light and slightly salted, complementing the sweetness of whichever creamy filling you choose. You can go classic with the vanilla custard, but we have a sweet spot for the chocolate and vanilla and Oreo flavours. They also have some limited edition seasonal options with things like Biscoff or sweet pumpkin which are always excellent.
Despite our love for chocolate cake, finding one that doesn’t disappoint can be a challenge. So much so that since we came across L’eto and this particular slice on a late-night sugar search in Soho a few years back, we haven’t found one better. It’s a four-tier cake with chocolate cream and raspberry between each chocolate cake layer, covered with chocolate glazing, raspberry crumble, and major Matilda energy. It’s moist, plus the fresh raspberry makes the richness less overwhelming and adds a nice fruity tang. Perfect for chocolate lovers, cake lovers, and Roald Dahl fans who have been dreaming of that cake since they were six years-old.
There are pancakes, which we love. There are cakes, which we also love. And there’s the light and fluffy mixture of the two, topped with Biscoff sauce, that you can find at Fuwa Fuwa at the Brunswick Centre in Bloomsbury. This Japanese spot specialises in soufflé pancakes, which means extra fluffy, extra thick, and so good it might ruin other pancakes for you. But it’s worth it. There are different toppings like strawberry and Nutella, and blueberry and yuzu cheesecake, as well as seasonal specials like Biscoff. The thick and creamy Biscoff sauce comes cascading down, covering the pillows—sorry, pancakes—with crushed biscuit, whipped cream, and strawberries. It’s velvety, moreish, and something you should try at least once in your life, or anytime it’s on the menu.
Whether the last cookie you came across was at the bottom of a Ben & Jerry’s tub or you regularly polish off a pack of Marylands, the ones you’ll find at this small dessert spot in Soho are something else. American-inspired with a French twist, these cookies are huge and almost cake-like in texture, which means flavours like banana dark chocolate taste like banana bread, and double chocolate tastes like a brownie. The winner is the banana dark chocolate, but the milk chocolate comes a close second.
Contrary to popular belief and some baseless propaganda, ice cream isn’t tied to certain weather conditions. No, it’s a state of mind. The state of mind of a person who does whatever the hell they want, including eating ice cream in the rain. The gelato at this St John’s Wood spot uses recipes from Bologna to make some of the creamiest gelato you’ll find in London. Their classic flavours are real winners—hazelnut and pistachio being our favourites—but they also have some Unico specialties like rum chocolate, and due torri, which is made with mascarpone and served with hazelnut and chocolate sauce. You can get that, plus a range of vegan sorbets, at all four of their London locations.
Over Under Coffee
Pancakes have pretty much always been popular, so we’re definitely not saying that they’re underrated. We are, however, saying that the pancakes at this tiny Australian coffee shop in Earl’s Court are some of the best we’ve ever had, and should be rated higher. They come in a messy stack of three pancakes—each one is thick and fluffy, and comes topped with Greek yoghurt, poached fruit, and maple syrup. The tanginess of the yoghurt matches perfectly with the sweetness of the syrup, and balances out the slightly savoury pancakes, making this the kind of dish you can have for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dessert, or as a pre-dinner snack—basically at any, and all, times.