Among the Lifestyle Frisco writers, there are from time to time assignments that, when they come up, you want to be by your email or texts so you can be the first to raise your electronic arm and claim it. One such assignment is, obviously, to select the best desserts in the Frisco area.
Think about it… You get to ditch your New Year’s resolutions before the new year even starts, you go to a restaurant after restaurant, ask for a dessert menu and say something like, ‘I’ll have one of everything, please!’
I thought I was up for it. I grew up in Europe where sweet shops are embedded in your everyday life. Back then, I knew which one had the best ice-cream, which had the best cake, or any other of dozens of varieties of sweet treats. Don’t even come at me with a Hershey’s bar – my chocolate needs to be Swiss or German, maybe Belgian, if I’m feeling generous.
But I know a guy…
I was excited about my assignment. Until I met Sean Duncan, Founder and Owner of SMD Consulting & Accounting.
Sean is the kind of guy who takes the phrase “sweet tooth” to a stratospheric level. A man who banished the words “sugar coma” from his vocabulary. He really will order every dessert on the menu, and then eat them all!
Clearly, Sean was the man to consult with on this one. ‘Hey, Sean, what do you think are the best desserts in and around Frisco?‘ What follows, word for word, is his response. ~~ Suad Bejtovic
Sean M. Duncan is a father of three and owner of the CPA Firm SMD Consulting & Accounting, LLC located in Frisco, TX. While ‘adulting’ as a Business Consultant and CPA is his work passion, his family time and acting like an over-sized child is Sean’s life passion. This includes skipping his veggies and eating all the sweet delights that he can like an 8-year-old boy.
Sean Duncan: “If you want to find GREAT desserts in North Dallas, I’m your guy. First, let me preface this whole article with a really important piece of information.
I’m just a dude. I’m not a Chef. I’m not a seasoned food critic. I’m not a professional (or even semi-professional) writer. You won’t see me using words like “notes” or “flavor profile.”
I’m just a guy that just likes great food because it tastes good, and I especially LOVE great desserts. I look for those moments when I tell everyone the table to shut up while I savor something (as if somehow my hearing affects my taste buds). I seek out places with that “magical” dessert item that has to be eaten without regard for the rest of the menu.
I will admit one of my pet peeves though… I don’t want the fancy micro dessert that costs $20 because the chef is now semi-famous on an internet blog because he or she talked to Gordon Ramsey once on a plane ride.
Here’s what I have found in my dessert adventures thus far. And I’ll be specific… None of this general “go to this XYZ restaurant because all the desserts there are pretty good.” No, I’m fully committed. I’ll tell you THE exact dessert to have at a particular place.
Let’s Start By Explaining My Rankings
This tier represents the Holy Grail of desserts – the items that I want to shove down my face when you tell me I have ten minutes to live. They are epic. When eating them, you hear strange moaning sounds only to discover that it’s you making those sounds. They’re toe-curling, hair-raising, body-shuddering, glorious foods that come with angels bursting from the skies wielding trumpets and harps while you eat. I’m not exaggerating.
The desserts in Tier 2 are amazing, and under normal circumstances these are the ones you call your friends, write to family members, and Yelp your little fingers off about. Tier 2 items often fall into “the best thing I ever ate” category… until you try Tier 1 items…which are just so amazing they deserve special recognition.
These desserts rock, but just aren’t in the upper echelons for me. They’re the kinds of desserts you still need to make sure you try regardless of what I say. Taste is personal. These are GREAT…very flavorful and special…just not Tier 1 for me.
No. Nothing to see here… I’m here to tell you about greatness only.
OK – Let’s Get To It!
Carrot Cake (Bonnie Ruth’s – Frisco)
The carrot cake of all carrot cakes. It has everything. It’s perfect. I’ve had a LOT of carrot cake in my life, and I would drive hours to eat this plate full of amazing. Thankfully, Bonnie Ruth’s is only about five minutes from my office and ten from my home. PLEASE NOTE: I am specifically referring to the Frisco location only. I don’t know why, but the Allen location does something different. Don’t get me wrong, Allen makes a mean carrot cake too, but theirs is a Tier 2 (at best) for some reason. If you want to take it up a notch, have them warm it up for about ten seconds. Ohhhhhh Mama!
Whiskey Cake (Whiskey Cake – Plano)
When a restaurant is named after a food item, it better be good. And holy schneikies, it is! My understanding is that this is the owner’s secret family recipe, and I’ve considered hiring a group of spies to break into their secret menu vault like Tom Cruise hanging from the ceiling to steal this secret for myself. It has sweet, spice, and happiness all wrapped up into one beautiful little bundle. Pro tip: ask the waiter to double down on the homemade whip cream. You can NOT have too much whipped cream.
Nutella Bread Pudding (Del Frisco’s Grille – Plano)
In my dessert adventures, I took many recommendations from friends, and this is one that I’m REALLY glad I tried. This bad boy puts you right on the verge of chocolate overload. I just love it when a dessert can teeter that precipice of almost too much but full of sweet indulgence. It was fun to try four desserts in a single visit and have the wife and kiddos participate in ranking what we ate. This bread pudding got very high marks and nearly a fork in the hand or two when someone was a little too greedy on their share of the pudding. You’ve gotta try this one.
Coconut Cream Pie (Del Frisco’s Grille – Plano)
In truth, I’d never choose a coconut cream pie if I saw it on a menu. It’s not the kind of thing that I crave. My inclusion of this item just represents how amazing it really is. Be warned: it’s exceptionally rich and not for the faint of heart. If you’re a sweet-a-holic like me, you and one other dessert machine could take it down. However, for the casual sweet eater, I recommend bringing 2-3 friends. They’ll thank you for letting them join in on this enormous slice of wonder.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie (Paradise Café)
Okay, I know what you are thinking. “Oatmeal Raisin? That’s just a regular cookie. What’s sexy about that?” Oh, my friend, you do not know of what you speak. I’m convinced they add addictive drugs into this cookie. Somehow it’s moist but crispy; sweet but hearty; healthy (raisins and oats… c’mon… gimme this!) and unhealthy. Be warned: They have a buy three get one free or buy six get six free. If you’re like me, those four on the first deal never make it home, and the twelve… Well… let’s just say I have a sugar “issue” and all dozen all end up in my tummy.
Candy Cane Crunch Donut (Dunkin Donuts)
If you want to see my eyes roll back in my head during breakfast, give me this donut. Hooooooo-boy! This is one where I’ll offer the disclaimer: if you find yourself saying “Ohhh, that’s too sweet” ever, then stay clear. This super-powered donut brings layers of sweet from the donut itself to the cream filling, to the peppermints on top. I’m shaking with ecstasy (or maybe it’s just the sugar shakes) after a two or three of these. Yes, I said two to three. (Did I mention that I have a little bit of a sweet tooth?)
Apple Crisp a La Mode (Cheesecake Factory)
I’m supposed to pick one of the cheesecakes here, right? Well, if they hadn’t changed the recipe for the “Chris’s Outrageous Cheesecake,” it would be on this list as well. But alas…. They did change the recipe, and thankfully for them (and my sugar addiction), the Apple Crisp delivers the ooh la la that I crave. I know you’ve had a lot of Apple Crisps before. They come out in the skillet with ice cream on top, but CKF just delivers the consistent “wow” that often gets messed up with mushy crumbles, scorched apples, or something else to detract. This is one of those times where both the recipe is right and the preparation is reliable, making it a flavor-packed experience.
Sokolatina Chocolate Cake (Platia – Frisco)
Layers of wonderful chocolate. Cream and cake come together for an awesome mix of chocolate bliss. Considering how good the Baklava is at Platia, this cake stood out and got the big thumbs up from the whole family. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you put this as a Tier 2 or even Tier 1 based on your personal tastes.
Caramel or Vanilla or Marshmallow or…ALL of the Cinnamon Rolls (Cinnaholic – Richardson)
Ohhh Yeah! Ladies and gentlemen, now THIS is a cinnamon roll! Granted, I normally lean toward the five pound cinnamon roll monstrosity layered in icing, and these are petite bundles. However, they DO pack a decadent punch. The ONLY reason this is a Tier 3 is because I haven’t had a chance to try all the flavors yet! So far, each flavor has rocked, and I will be back to try the rest!
White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt (Nothing Bundt Cakes)
This one caught me a little off guard. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did (especially since I don’t like anything with raspberries in it), but boy oh boy, it was definitely a top-notch Bundt cake. When placing an order for that gifting occasion, baby shower or office party, be sure to include this flavor.
The Drunken Nut (Emporium Pies – McKinney)
Be forewarned, the staff acts like you’re a nuisance to them and have interrupted a very important Instagram session or something (I cannot tell if this is a schtick or not). But, if you can get past the attitudes, there’s a great and marvelous pie in that display case awaiting you. It’s a bourbon and brown sugar pecan pie that would make your Granny proud. It’s heavy on the pecans and really something that makes me wanna slap my knee and shout “Gal Dan! That thar shoor be a gud pie!”
The best thing about writing this article
(Besides having an excuse to eat tons and tons of desserts), is that YOU will send in your opinions on the ones I missed, and I’ll eat those too! Bring it ON in the comments box below!
I welcome the chance to update this list with more amazing items you can help me discover, so drop your favorites in the comments section, below! Here’s to Sweet Eating!” ~~ Sean Duncan