Known for its cultural diversity, vibrant art scene and top-notch cuisine, London is a favourite destination among different types of travellers, especially foodies.
Besides taking visitors on an aromatic trip around the world, London’s food scene is also a delight for travellers who love to indulge in all things sweet – from traditional cakes and bakes to innovative and Instagram-worthy desserts.
I have asked some of my fellow (sweet-toothed) travel bloggers to share their favourite dessert in London (and where to find it!). Whether you’re planning a coffee and cake crawl on a rainy day, or want to treat yourself after a long day walking around the city, here are some delicious desserts in London that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
1. The doughnuts at St. JOHN Bakery
“My first London doughnut obsession was courtesy of St. JOHN, the restaurant made famous for nose-to-tail eating by chef Fergus Henderson.
The St. JOHN Bakery doughnuts are the creation of Justin Gellatly, who found his calling as a pastry chef and baker after joining the St. JOHN’s team. Gellatly also has his own bakery, Bread Ahead.
The doughnuts at St. JOHN’s are a thing of beauty – fresh dough stuffed with chocolate, salted caramel or vanilla custard, or a seasonal jam.
Be warned – it’s best to get there early if you want a choice of flavours. If you’re too late there will be no doughnuts left at all!”
Kavita from Kavey Eats
2. The cookie sandwich at Cookies and Scream
“Cookies and Scream’s cookie sandwich is one of the most delicious desserts in London.
The cookie sandwich is quite literally a sandwich: two crumbly yet chewy cookies joined by creamy ice-cream as the filling. There are normally a few cookies to choose from. A particular favourite combination of mine is the ginger ninja cookie and the double chocolate cookie.
Cookies and Scream is a gluten-free and vegan bakery. They also serve other delicious treats, including doughnuts, brownies and milkshakes. The cookie sandwich is quite big, so you need to make sure you visit this bakery with a very large appetite!”
Anna from My Travel Scrapbook
3. The chocolate macarons at Brigit’s Bakery Bus
“If you are looking for some delicious desserts in London, then no other place springs to mind than the Brigit’s Bakery Classic Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour. What better way to enjoy the historical city centre than riding on a double-decker bus while enjoying afternoon tea served with cute little desserts.
There are many appetising things to choose from, however the chocolate macarons stand out the most. The outer layer is nice and crisp, but when you fully bite into it, you begin to appreciate the fine and delicate work behind the making of the macarons. The interior of the macaron is soft and your palate is treated to the delicious dark chocolate filling. Simply delicious!
I look forward to my next trip on the afternoon tea bus tour. Keep a look out for these delicious little things if you do decide to book a trip!”
Michelle from Greedy Gourmet
4. The red velvet cupcakes at The Hummingbird Bakery
“Portobello Road in Notting Hill is always teeming with people, so not knowing where things are could be frustrating. Thankfully, knowing my way around, I could easily locate the famous Hummingbird Bakery, known for their red velvet cupcakes among many varieties.
The cupcakes at Hummingbird all look tasty and inviting and it might be difficult to pick just one, so try some from their big selection. The red velvet cupcake is richly covered in cream cheese frosting and dusted with red cake crumbles – it is not just a joy to look at, but it’s especially yummy, too!
And if you are one of the few people who eats “free from” cakes, you’ll definitely find an alternative from Hummingbird Bakery.”
Marie from Our City Travels
5. The unicorn cakes at Saint Aymes
The cafe is really quaint and has a flower petal wall outside and some tables. On the inside, there are plenty of flower walls, unicorn-themed cakes, and of course, some unicorn latte, which you can get decorated with real gold.”
Alex from Swedish Nomad
6. The bread pudding at The English Restaurant
One of their traditional desserts is an elegant bread pudding with either ice cream or a dollop of fresh cream served to your liking. It is a sublime treat with crispy chunks of bread and a soft creamy center, plus the huge dollop of cream to add to the texture and gooey delight. I loved having a nice large café mocha with it and just absorbing the wonderful ambiance on this food experience.”
Noel from Travel Photo Discovery
7. Ice-cream on candy floss at Milk Train
“One of our favourite places for dessert in London has to be Milk Train. It is the perfect place to go if you want an ice cream cone that is both delicious and Instagram-worthy.
The main item on offer at Milk Train is soft serve ice cream in a cone with a cloud of ferry floss floating around it. The ice cream flavours vary, but when we went we decided to go for the Matcha Green Tea flavour. You can put pretty much what you want on it too, from sprinkles to popcorn, and a whole host of other inventive toppings.
The whole idea of the cotton candy apparently came about as a sweet compliment to some of the more bitter ice cream flavours like Matcha and Hojicha, which is a Japanese green tea.
Milk Train has become popular with tourists and Instagrammers alike. Just don’t spend ages taking pictures like we did, as you will end up with a lot of Matcha ice cream dripping down your arm.”
Lizzie and Dave from Wanderlust and Life
8. Afternoon tea at One Aldwych
“When you’re in London, you simply must have an afternoon tea. I highly recommend the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon tea at One Aldwych.
When you arrive, you’ll be given a specially designed menu, each decorated with a family from Roald Dahl’s fabulous book. There is a list of teas to choose from, and the yummy menu explains what you will get to eat.
The feast begins with a selection of savoury items, including sandwiches and a cheddar scone with bacon jam. These are delicious, and you can order the same again if you’re feeling hungry – but save room for the sweet things which is where the Chocolate Factory comes to life.
A red stand holds an assortment of chocolatey delights that could have been made by Willy Wonka himself! A bottle of chocolate caramel milk, some candy floss, a golden chocolate egg filled with a creamy lemon cheesecake mousse, a chocolate cake pop and a bubble gum flavour mousse – these are all beautifully presented alongside a basket of cakes with raspberry jam and lemon curd to drizzle on top.
And if that wasn’t enough, you could also order more of anything you fancied, and several different flavours of tea too. The service was excellent, and the fun, unusual choices made this afternoon tea truly special.”
Claire from Tales of a Backpacker
9. The chocolates at Paul A Young
“I’m addicted to the chocolate at Paul A Young in London. I fell in love with this artisan chocolatier many years ago when I stayed at the Soho Hotel across from the shop.
When I first walked inside the Soho shop with the purple façade, I had no idea that I would enter into a tasty addiction. I bought a dense fudge brownie as dessert and brought it back to the hotel to pair with a glass (or two) of red wine because it was so rich and indulgent.
The next day, I tried the truffles, artfully arranged on the circular centre table and full of flavor. On the third day, clearly a new fan, I hit the chocolate jackpot with the sea salted caramel popcorn pave. The thin chocolate squares have bits of caramel and popcorn mixed in so the sweet and salty combo is fantastic.
I bought loads of chocolate to bring home, some of which was eaten on the plane. Thankfully, living in Philadelphia, the shop doesn’t ship internationally or I’d really have an expensive addiction. They do deliver in London and ship in the U.K. – don’t blame me for your new chocolate addiction.”
Suzanne from PhilaTravelGirl
10. The rainbow cake at The Hummingbird Bakery
“Upon first glance in the counter, it comes across as an indulgence in the calories. Like a birthday cake but even more sugary sweet. The Hummingbird Bakery‘s signature cake of six coloured layers of sponge is the sort of guilty pleasure you can allow yourself to be treated to every once in a while.
Whether or not you can finish it all by yourself or would need to share with someone is up to you. All things considered, I could not say no to a “Man vs Food” challenge. Finishing without feeling full was not easy!
I would advise you to make sure at least 24 hours have passed since your last intake of anything high on the sweet side.”
Jonathan from Journeymaxx
11. Pastel de nata at Lisboa Patisserie
“If you haven’t yet tried a pastel de nata (or Portuguese custard tart as it’s sometimes called in English), then it absolutely belongs on your bucket list. London has a large Portuguese community, and several Portuguese-owned cafes and restaurants, so this is definitely one of the best cities for you to try one.
Lisboa Patisserie on Golborne Road is one of London’s longest running Portuguese cafes, having opened sometime around the early 90s. The cafe makes hundreds of pastéis de nata every day, and with more than 20 years experience they definitely know what they’re doing.
It’s worth noting that they’ve become incredibly popular in recent years and you really should get there early as they’re often sold out by as early as 2 pm.”
James from The Portugalist
12. Afternoon tea at Aqua Shard
“For a real treat with a view, make a booking at Aqua Shard on Level 31 of The Shard for afternoon tea. As you sip your tea (or champagne!) and taste each delicate cake, you can watch London’s busy city life carry on below you.
Afternoon tea includes sandwiches but don’t fill up on these. While delicious, nothing can compare to the selection of cakes and petit fours. The standout was a chocolate mousse with ginger crumb and raspberry shot – so indulgent and delicious!
I love the combination of this old tradition enjoyed in the iconic modern building of The Shard. The stunning panorama is matched by the creativity of the afternoon tea.”
Katy from Untold Morsels
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