I have a crazy sweet tooth, so picking the best desserts that we published this year is no easy feat. As evidenced by the list below, most of my top picks have chocolate in some form or another, but I managed to throw in some very, very delicious “other” desserts as well. Scroll to the bottom to see my absolute, uncontested number one dessert of the year (it’s also super simple).
While the flavors in this chocolate and coffee meringue cake are super appealing, this dessert takes the prize for the most addictive texture. Houston pastry chef Ruben Ortega sandwiches two large, crispy, chewy meringues with a creamy, light mocha-mousse filling. Make this instead of a cake.
I love when pastry chefs take awesome candy and make it even more awesome. This combo of chocolate crémeux (pudding) and silky, salty caramel-peanut sauce was inspired by the Goo Goo Cluster candy bar.
Some cake is just good for dessert. This one (to me) is definitely an all-day treat. It’s the ultimate buttermilk bundt cake, with a soft, tender crumb and a sugary, lemony glaze.
With almost 2 cups of pumpkin seeds here, this nutty cake from the incredible Rick Bayless is wonderfully unexpected and clever (while still managing to be utterly delicious).
Using melted vanilla ice cream as a shortcut in these flaky biscuits from ice cream whiz Jeni Britton Bauer is totally fun.
And this. My absolute favorite dessert of the year. It’s just a crumble, but it’s far more. Pastry chef Nicole Krasinski's crisp, light and deeply chocolaty crumble is a little salty and impossible to stop eating. I think she intends for it to be eaten on ice cream but I couldn’t stop eating it just as is. Bonus: it holds in the freezer for weeks and is just as good frozen! Second bonus: it’s ideal for putting in jars or bags and giving as a holiday gift.