Yelp’s 10 Most Outrageous Desserts of 2023

Yelp has gone on a mission to find the most outrageous desserts in America this year. From disguised treats that look like anything but a dessert until you cut into them to DIY waffle towers loaded with decadent toppings and unbelievable cotton candy confections, these desserts will satisfy your sweet tooth and blow your mind at the same time.

1. Avocado Dessert at Empellón

Diners who visit Empellón, an upscale Mexican-inspired restaurant and cocktail bar in Manhattan, New York, are in for a surprise when what looks like a freshly sliced avocado on top of salt arrives at their table. In reality, the avocado is just a disguise for a creamy custard dessert featuring hints of sweetened avocado and lime, while the “salt” is lime-flavored Mexican shaved ice. The exclusive avocado dessert was created by Empellón chef and co-owner Alex Stupak, who is a former pastry chef and multiple James Beard Foundation Award nominee. 

2. Marie Antoinette Dessert at Barton G. The Restaurant

Barton G. The Restaurant, a wild and extraordinary eatery in Los Angeles, serves a number of fun, quirky and over-the-top whimsical-inspired plates, including the three-foot-high cotton candy dessert that is presented on a life-size head of Marie Antoinette. The adorned pink cotton candy “wig” is LED-lit and tastes just as good as it looks, with rotating flavors that include watermelon and strawberry. 

3. Geometric Apple Dessert at Jonquils Café & Bakery

At Jonquils Café & Bakery in Boston, Massachusetts, desserts look more like art pieces in a museum than items at a bakery. Almost too pretty to eat, the Geometric Apple is an exquisitely designed dessert created by Ukrainian architect and pastry chef Dinara Kasko, who uses a 3D printer to make silicone molds for her modern-shaped pastries. When you’re done admiring and finally cut into the Geometric Apple, you’ll find a cheesecake mousse featuring a “core” of apple confit, soft caramel, cream cheese, caramel cream, hazelnut crunch and chocolate sponge cake.

4. The Flaming Skull Dessert at CHICA

The thoughtful choice of ingredients isn’t the only part that makes this dessert worth trying. The Flaming Skull at CHICA, a Latin American restaurant and bar in the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, features a chocolate skull wrapped in edible gold that bursts into flames right at your table as aged spiced rum is poured on top, revealing a moist chocolate lava cake and chocolate ganache packed with subtle hints of traditional Mexican flavors, including horchata ice cream, fresh berries and lightly toasted marshmallows.

5. WOW Waffle Tower Dessert at Elm Street Diner

Elm Street Diner in Stamford, Conn. is more than gracious with its desserts, allowing customers to create their own versions of towering waffle concoctions stacked high with other classic desserts. The WOW Waffle Tower begins with a base of two house-made Belgian waffles that are stuffed with your choice of ice cream and toppings and then topped with layers of sweets from the diner’s bakery such as donuts, cupcakes and cheesecakes. But that’s not all—the tower is then adorned with candy bars, sprinkles, ice cream bars, Hostess cakes, sauces and piles of whipped cream. For the final touch, Elm Street Diner will add a lollipop cookie or chocolate syringe on top. 

6. Movie Theater Sundae Dessert at Stanton Social Prime

This isn’t your average box of movie theater popcorn. Located in Las Vegas, Stanton Social Prime’s movie theater sundae dessert is served in a classic red-and-white “bag” of popcorn, but inside is a sweet-and-salty ice cream sundae, made with dulce de leche ice cream, caramelized banana slices and real buttery popcorn on top. 

7. The Harvest Dessert at Spot Dessert Bar

Spot Dessert Bar in New York, helmed by Thai celebrity chef Ian Kittichai, serves all-natural desserts and beverages with an Asian twist and unique presentation for a fun eating experience. The Harvest dessert, for example, looks just like a potted plant yet it’s actually a cheesecake layered with berries featuring a mint or parsley garnish placed in a topping of Oreo “dirt” crumbs. The dessert is served with raspberry sorbet and a small pitcher of milk tea, so guests can “water” their plant before enjoying it. 

8. Cotton Candy Burrito Dessert at Creamberry

Wrap fluffy swirls of vibrant colors around candy and other sweet fillings and you’ve got a cotton candy burrito. Creamberry in Las Vegas created the first cotton candy burrito in 2016 and now people from all over line up to indulge in the eye-catching dessert featuring cotton candy in the flavors of blue raspberry, piña colada, bubble gum and more filled with house-made ice creams and crunchy toppings such as breakfast cereal, sprinkles, nuts and crushed candies. 

9. Fashionista Dessert at House of Chimney Cakes

Fashionable and Instagrammable, the Fashionista dessert at House of Chimney Cakes in Anaheim, Calif. is a testament of the joint expertise in fashion and dessert that co-owner and fashion model Szandra Szabó and her husband and fine-dining chef Omar Lara share. The dessert is served inside a chimney cake rolled in Cocoa Pebbles and filled with creamy Dutch chocolate soft-serve that is drizzled with chocolate sauces and sprinkles and topped with chocolate-covered-biscuit Pocky sticks plus giant chocolates featuring edible gold logos of designer brands. 

10. Fruity Pebble Treat Dessert at TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth

The Fruity Pebble Treat at TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth in Indianapolis, Indiana takes the rice krispie treat and ice cream sandwich to a whole other level. The shop puts a giant dollop of locally sourced ice cream in between two marshmallow-cereal treats made with Fruity Pebbles for a creamy, crunchy rainbow dessert. Guests can choose their favorite ice cream flavor to complement the Fruity Pebble treats, but the most popular is Blue Moon (pictured), a bright blue ice cream with lemon and raspberry. 

Read Yelp’s comments on these outrageous desserts here.

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