When you’re on vacation, you have the perfect excuses to indulge in sweet desserts you might otherwise forgo: first, there’s all the walking you’ll be doing. Second, there’s the extra fuel you’re going to need to stay pepped and ready to take on all the fun ahead of you. Third, there are so many wonderful treats you won’t find anywhere else. And, finally, it’s your vacation… you’ve earned it!
In a previous previous BIG 5 blog post, we counted down the best desserts at Universal Orlando, which were the perfect way to end a delightful meal. But what if you just want to satisfy your sweet tooth on the go? In this edition of THE BIG 5, we count down the best sweet treats you can quickly grab and enjoy in Universal Orlando’s two theme parks.
#5 – The Brookie
First, it’s just fun to say. Second, it’s a brownie topped with a chocolate chip cookie. How sweet is that? Two desserts for the price of one, and at $2.79, it is a pretty sweet bargain.
The Brookie is available at multiple quick-service locations in both parks (this one was purchased at Jurassic Park’s Pizza Predattoria inside Islands of Adventure). It’s quick, casual, and easy to eat while rushing through the parks to your next adventure.
#4 – Chocolate-covered pretzels, turtles, caramel apples, fudge & more
Any good theme park offers at least one candy store to make any guest feel like a kid again. The shelves are stocked with all kinds of colorful and yummy sweets, and your eyes can’t help but grow wide. Some of my favorite treats can be found inside these display cases.
From fudge to cookies to chocolate-covered marshmallows, there is so much to choose from! My top picks include chocolate covered pretzels ($3.95 for that sweet and salty fix you just need once in a while), dark chocolate turtles ($3.95, a caramel lover’s dream), and, of course, caramel apples ($5.95 to $8.95).
In the world of Orlando theme parks, caramel apples are elevated to an art form. Universal’s parks usually offer a flavor of the month, so before making your selection, be sure to ask what it is; it can vary from key lime pie to cinnamon sugar.
#3 – Cheesecake at Boulangerie
The Boulangerie is a staple of Universal Studios Florida. I remember having lunch at this establishment on my very first visit to the park, back when I was a little theme park adventurer.
While you can enjoy a pastry or sandwich of your choosing here, the stars of the show are the massive cheesecakes. Towering high in the display cases, it is difficult to not start drooling the minute you set eyes on them. The variety of gourmet flavors is impressive; your creamy, dreamy indulgence can come in flavors like blueberry patch, key lime, black forest, and, of course, luscious strawberry.
The thick, creamy cheesecake filling is very satisfying. This is definitely a dessert that is easily shared. The cheesecake is so thick and rich, it is a good idea to enjoy when you are ready to sit back and chill for a little bit. Most likely, you will be fending off the desire to take a post-cheesecake nap, so perhaps a cup of coffee is in order to accompany the cheesecake goodness.
#2 – Cauldron Cake, Pumpkin Tart, Treacle Fudge & Rock Cakes
Honeydukes is certainly one of the most-visited parts of Hogsmeade Village in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Even if you are a Harry Potter novice, you will certainly appreciate the delectable desserts that are magically transported from the books and films. While Honeydukes offers four different desserts that are directly from the Potter universe, they do offer some of the standard sweet treats that other candy shops in the parks serve.
The Treacle Fudge ($3.95) certainly does the trick for anyone familiar with the super-sweet syrup known as treacle (which, obviously, is the main ingredient in any treacle dessert). Treacle fudge is white, creamy, sticky and super-sweet. The raisins that are mixed in break up the heavy, creamy fudge nicely. It is also a generous serving – enough to share.
If you are a chocolate lover, then the Cauldron Cakes ($3.95) will certainly cast a spell on you. Thick, moist chocolate cake in a curvy cauldron shape is filled with creamy chocolate mousse. Then the bottom is dipped in chocolate ganache, which is even formed to resemble the bottom of a cauldron, then a chocolate ganache handle adds the perfect finishing touch.
My personal favorite Wizarding World sweet treat is the Pumpkin Tart ($2.95). There is so much pumpkin in the world of Harry Potter, especially in the books, I am surprised there aren’t maybe one or two more pumpkin-flavored goodies to try. However, the Pumpkin Tart is a classic taste done really well.
The pastry is simple pie crust; the pumpkin filling is the perfect balance of spice and sweetness. What really makes this dessert for me is the mound of whipped topping, chopped walnuts, and a sliver of dark chocolate that reminds me of the pointed top of a wizard’s robe.
#1 – Brain Freezin’ D’oh-nut Sundae
It is utter indulgence at its finest. Just take it all in – are you ready for this? A glazed donut topped with yummy pink frosting and sprinkles is cut in half, sandwich-style, and then the bottom of the donut is placed in a bowl, with your choice of chocolate or vanilla soft serve layered on top. Then you choose your topping (choices include sprinkles, Oreo pieces, Reese’s pieces, and more), and, finally, the top of the donut is placed at the peak, topped with a crown of whipped cream and a cherry. At $6.49, it is a pretty good deal, considering it is large enough to share.
I felt a pang of guilt when I ordered it, but the minute that sweet, buttery donut topped with creamy, cold vanilla soft serve hit my lips, I didn’t care. I went with vanilla and rainbow sprinkles to be consistent with the sprinkles on the donut. This is definitely the pinnacle of theme park sweet treats. It tastes as good as it looks, and you are sure to get a few looks of admiration from your fellow park guests as you enjoy every last bite.
There are so many ways to indulge your sweet tooth when you’re on an Orlando Vacation. The creativity behind some of the treats and the deliciousness in each bite definitely add to the wonderful memories you are sure to make when you’re here, at the most exciting vacation destination in the world!
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