Let’s be real here...who doesn’t love dessert? I mean, no matter how filling a meal is, no matter the time of day, no matter who you’re with, there’s always room for dessert. From ice cream to cookies to cupcakes, everyone loves a sweet treat now and then, right? And in Gainesville, there are so many options! From ‘mom and pop’ bakeries to homemade creameries, the options are endless and we’ve narrowed our favorite dessert places into three categories: ice cream, cupcakes/cakes, and bakery. Read along and try out our favorite places!
I Scream, You Scream...
We all scream for… ice cream! A classic childhood staple that has grown into a nostalgic and refreshing treat. Nothing more calls for ice cream than a hot day in Florida, and being in Gainesville provides so many choices of where to go!
Our first favorite spot for ice cream is Karma Cream, an organic ice cream cafe that serves some of the best treats! Their ice cream is only made with vegan and organic ingredients, adding to the yum-factor. They have perfected the original flavors, like vanilla and chocolate, and explore with fun, seasonal flavors, such as pistachio and ginger cookie caramel!
One of Karma Cream's seasonal flavors, Pistachio, paired with a Nitro Cold Brew
Next, another one of our favorite ice cream spots is Gainesville’s Sweet Dreams Homemade Ice Cream. Every week, they make their ice cream and sorbet in-house and have the best and most unique flavors! With no-added-sugar and dairy-free options, Sweet Dreams’ ice cream has a rich and creamy flavor that hits every craving you may have. With a wide variety of rotating flavors, like Honey & Cinnamon or chai, this place is one of the best options for a midafternoon treat or midnight snack!
Finally, a Gainesville classic that students and alumni alike are familiar with: SweetBerries. For a treat unique to Gainesville, SweetBerries bases their ‘concretes’ with frozen custard and tops them with the best topping combinations and options. From candy to fruit to nuts to syrups, you can get creative with your dessert or choose from SweetBerries’ favorites.
Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can
First, you have to roll it, pat it, then mark it with… Byppo’s approval! On top of ice cream, you can’t go wrong with cake. It’s the dessert our moms and grandmas made us for our birthdays and a special treat associated with celebration and togetherness. Especially in times like this, cake is a perfect excuse to gather your friends and enjoy a treat!
Our first stop is Gigi’s Cupcakes, a sweet bakery shop with a rotating selection of cupcakes and cookies. Their classic and seasonal gourmet cupcakes are beautifully and deliciously made, with lots of icing; the best part! From Strawberry Shortcake, a classic, to Banana Split, a seasonal flavor, Gigi’s cupcakes have the spongiest cake and sweetest icing. They also design specialty cupcakes and cakes to order, so be sure to try Gigi’s for your next party or to satisfy a sweet tooth!
Some of Gigi's Cupcakes Summer flavors, including 'Sundae Fundae' and 'Citrus Berry Sherbert'
The next stop in our adventure for finding the best cakes and cupcakes in Gainesville is Sweet Buns! Their treats are baked daily, onsite with premium ingredients, and with passion and care that is evident in their deliciously delicate desserts. The Mille Crepe cakes, sponge cakes, and milk cakes are some of the amazing options available every day at Sweet Buns! On top of their mouth-watering and aesthetically pleasing cakes, Sweet Buns also has some of the best pastries in the business! Check them out for a dessert experience like no other.
Finally, a cute stop for cupcakes and other desserts is Patticakes in the Village, located minutes down the road from Butler Plaza. This coffee shop, known for its customizable espresso and welcoming atmosphere, also serves some of the best cupcakes in town. Their classic flavors include vanilla, red velvet, and black tie, and their seasonal options vary per week! The cupcakes are perfectly paired with Patticake’s coffee and ice cream options, making the best combination. We highly recommend it!
The Cookie Monster
C is for cookies, and that’s good enough for me! We could not leave out one of the best desserts and sweet treats of all time...cookies! In Gainesville, there are plenty of options for cookies and other treats, either delivered to your door in the midnight hours or in-store at family-run bakeries. Let’s dig in!
Starting off, we have the college-student staple: Midnight Cookies. A Gainesville classic, Midnight Cookies has signature and seasonal cookies that are available for delivery until 12:45 am! These cookies are made to order, onsite, and are guaranteed to have the warm, melt-in-your-mouth goodness we all know and love. From the ‘S’mores’ cookie, topped with a gooey marshmallow and melty chocolate, to their vegan ‘Bananas Foster’, you can’t go wrong with their menu. Top it off with a glass of milk, also available for delivery, and you’re set for a dessert you can’t get anywhere else!
Next, another delicious option is the Talented Cookie Company. A delightful Gainesville gem, the Talented Cookie Company makes fresh cookies daily from scratch - and has the best flavors and batches! Their soft batch style rivals the classic grandmother cookie secrets and their cookie dough truffles are unlike anything you can get anywhere else. All the desserts are adorably decorated, often with themes that make them the perfect gift for a friend or family, from holidays to teacher appreciation! In a homey, coffee shop atmosphere, the Talented Cookie Company is one of the best places to get cookies in town, and we recommend you try!
'Teacher Appreciation' themed sugar cookies from Talented Cookie Co!
Finally...our last dessert, BakerBaker! Making not only amazing cookies, BakerBaker specializes in all types of bakery items, such as cakes, bars, croissants, pretzels, donuts, and so much more! Their shop is perfect for a treat at any time in the day, as their handmade breakfast and dessert pastries are made from scratch and fresh every day. The locals are familiar with BakerBaker and so are we...it’s absolutely amazing!
It’s okay if you are...we are too! Be sure to check out our favorite spots in Gainesville and let us know what you think. We love local goods and supporting small businesses, especially family-run bakeries and ice cream parlors...because, who doesn’t like sweets? Enjoy!