Candied Comfort! DC’s Most Iconic Fall Desserts

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Summer desserts are easy—a scoop of ice cream, sorbet, or gelato and everyone’s happy. But as the weather begins to cool down and the darkness creeps in earlier, you might be craving something that provides a little more comfort. Get ready to snuggle up to DC’s best sweets; we rounded up the city’s most iconic fall desserts so you can tuck in to a satisfying sweet treat. Whether your favorites are cinnamon, chai or pumpkin, grab your utensils and get your fall flavor on!

Butler's Orchard

What says autumn more than apples and apple cider? A quintessential fall treat, apple cider donuts do double duty as a delicious breakfast or dessert. And The Farmer’s Porch at Butler’s Orchard is offering up some major fall treats. In addition to the traditional pumpkin pie or pumpkin roll, they offer apple cider donuts by the donut or the half-dozen. But perhaps the best reason to make the 40-minute drive is their Apple Cider Donut Sundae: an apple cider donut with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and caramel topping. 

Insider tip: Due to the 40-minute drive and the orchard requiring reservations, it’s worth making a day of this. Pick your own Halloween pumpkins, enjoy the huge slides, and spend some time with the farm animals before enjoying dessert (before or after dinner!). 

Butler’s Orchard
22222 Davis Mill Road
Germantown, MD 20876
Online: www.butlersorchard.com

photo: iStock

Rise Bakery

If you or your little one often feel like you have to miss out on dessert because you’re gluten-free, Rise Bakery has you covered. Plus, many of their dishes are also dairy, soy, egg, and/or nut free! They’ve got some deliciously tempting treats on their menu that just scream autumn. Some of our personal faves: their apple pie (or the vegan apple pie), pumpkin cheesecake with ginger molasses cookie base, pumpkin roll, carrot cake, cinnamon roll, or cinnamon coffee cake. Yeah, there’s plenty to love. 

Insider tip: There’s a super-small seating area so plan to take your treats to-go. You can walk to Kalorama Park in about five minutes to enjoy your desserts. 

Rise Bakery
2001 L St NW Ste 140
Adams Morgan
Online: www.riseglutenfree.com

Rocky Point Creamery

Ice cream might not be your first idea of the ideal fall dessert, but if you head to Rocky Point Creamery, it just might become your first idea. Offering unique flavors like Pumpkin, Salty Caramel Pretzel, and Caramel Apple (on rotation, so check their Facebook page to know when it’s available), their ice cream goes from summer refresher to fall comfort. They also have a Green Apple Sorbet for dairy-free dessert. Not to miss: check out their Halloween candy-themed flavors, such as Reese’s Pieces, M&M, Almond Joy, Trick or Treat, and Monster Mash. Yum! Sometimes they offer spur of the moment flavors, so make sure to check their Facebook page each week to know what’s on offer!

Insider tip: This ice cream shop is on a working farm, so your littles can wave to real-life dairy cows and climb a farm tractor converted into a slide! 

Rocky Point Creamery
4323A Tuscarora Road
Tuscarora, MD 21790
Online: www.rockypointcreamery.com

Crepeaway

Got a little pancake-lover in the house? Then they’ll probably love Crepeaway. Crepes are very similar to pancakes but much thinner, and Crepeaway serves them up with a variety of sweet-tooth satisfying choices. First, they add Nutella chocolate, then they add your choice of powdered sugar, cinnamon-sugar, fruits, berries, or cookies. There are a lot of options here, so it’s unlikely anyone’s going to leave disappointed. If you’re not sure what to order, ask the staff for recommendations. 

Insider tip: They offer both pickup and delivery, but you will want to make sure you can eat your crepes as soon as possible so they’re still hot. They do lose a little of their yumminess as they cool down. 

Crepeaway
2001 L St NW Ste 140
Downtown
Online: www.crepeaway.com

District Doughnut and Coffee

If you thought doughnuts were just a breakfast food, you’ve never been to District Doughnut and Coffee. These delectable doughnut flavors are swapped out seasonally, but you’ll sink your teeth into delicious scratch-made Vanilla Bean yeast dough year-round. Their fall menu includes Pumpkin Crème Brulee, Pumpkin Glazed, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Apple Cider Bites. 

Insider tip: While these specialty doughnuts are delicious any time of day, swing by early in the day to make your selections. By late afternoon, you may have limited options or none at all. They’re that good!

District Doughnut and Coffee
5 locations in DC and VA
Online: www.districtdoughnut.com

Le Diplomate

Your little one's picky palate may not be ready for French food in general, but their immature taste buds will appreciate this vanilla bean crème brûlée.  The toasted sugar crust has the perfect amount of crunch, while still remaining a creamy, rich dessert. It comes with a French cookie on the side, too. For some truly autumnal flavors, try their Apple Tart Tatin or the Milk Chocolate Pot De Crème.

Insider tip: The crème brûlée, like their other desserts, is sized for sharing so grab a spoon!

Le Diplomate
1601 14th St NW
Logan Circle
Online: www.lediplomatedc.com

Baked & Wired

If you’ve got a unicorn or rainbow lover in the house, head to Baked & Wired for a cupcake that looks like it was baked and frosted by Lisa Frank herself. It's a funfetti cake topped with buttercream frosting and brightly colored sprinkles; frosting colors change regularly for extra fun. Their fall assortment is a dozen delicious cakecups for $52.80. You get four each of pumpkin, dirty chai, and chocolate doom flavors. You might want to wipe the drool of your chin before you go.

Insider tip: Some of the cupcakes have adult-themed names. If you have a non-reader, it probably is a non-issue.

Baked & Wired
1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Georgetown
Online: www.bakedandwired.com

Osteria Marzano

Does your tot love Nutella? S’mores? Anything and all things gooey? Then they’ll adore this Nutella pizza meant for sharing. It’s thin pizza dough topped with mascarpone, Nutella, pistachios and mini-marshmallows. Rich and delicious, this dessert is the best combo of pizza and dessert.

Insider tip: Even if it’s just you and the kiddo, order this full-size pizza. The leftovers will taste just as delicious reheated in the microwave tomorrow.

Osteria Marzano
6361 Walker Ln
Metro Park VI (#140)
Franconia, VA
Online: www.osteriamarzano.com

Boqueria

If your little has never had churros before, this Spanish tapas restaurant’s delectable dessert may spoil them on traditional churros forever. Boqueria offers churros con chocolate, the traditional fried dough with a cinnamon-sugar dusting that you dip in thick hot chocolate. They also have churros rellenos, filled with either Nutella or dulce de leche. Whichever ones you get, your kiddo is guaranteed to love them.

Insider tip: The main dining area at the Penn Quarter location can get a bit loud when it fills up. You may want to swing by during quieter periods if your little one is sensitive to loud noises.

Boqueria
777 9th St. NW
Penn Quarter

1837 M St. NW
Dupont Circle
Online: www.boqueriarestaurant.com

Tiger Fork

Does your munchkin live on waffles for breakfast? One of the most beloved hand-held foods just got more fun with... bubbles! At Tiger Fork, the bubble waffle is served with two scoops of ice cream plus “fun stuff." The “fun stuff” is a random assortment of toppings from sprinkles to crushed cookies to pixie sticks chosen by the kitchen. You might not know what toppings you’ll get, but you know sugar overload is guaranteed!

Their Baonut holes are fried bao with cashew sauce and cinnamon and sugar. Like a traditional donut hole but with that extra flair, these are utterly delicious. If you want to have that fall bonfire feel with a little something special, try the Chinese S’more. It’s roasted marshmallow with chocolate five-spice streusel and ice cream.

Insider tip: They only serve the bubble waffle at dinner.

Tiger Fork
922 N St.NW
Blagden Alley
Online: www.tigerforkdc.com

Indique

Indique offers Gulab Jamun, a milk solid donut hole drizzled with honey and served with vanilla ice cream. This melt-in-your-mouth dessert comes out piping hot with a super-soft texture and a hint of rose flavor. You might even catch a hint of cardamom in the ice cream. Plus, it’s perfectly pint-sized, making it an excellent dessert for littles.

Insider tip: If you plan to go at brunch, make sure you get a reservation. They get very busy!

Indique
3512-14 Connecticut Ave. NW
Cleveland Park
Online: www.indique.com

The Source

The Source by Wolfgang Puck offers a 15-layer carrot cake that is worth its weight in gold. While a serving looks light and thin, this rich dessert is easy to share (and is topped with ginger ice cream. Yum!).

Insider tip: Take your little on their birthday, and the restaurant will write their name on the menu!

The Source
575 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC
Online: www.wolfgangpuck.com

Firefly

Make dessert an extra special occasion by bringing the kids to Firefly for dinner. Firefly doesn’t advertise it on the dessert menu, but they have the perfect make-your-own dessert for kids. Before dinner, each kid is given cookie dough to decorate to their own satisfaction. While you eat, the cookie is baked and then served to your little one as dessert. This might be the perfect dessert: a pre-dinner activity to keep them busy, and a dessert they’re guaranteed to eat since they made it themselves!

Insider tip: The atmosphere is a bit upscale, so if the kids are cranky, it might be better after a nap.

Firefly
1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Dupont Circle
Online: www.firefly-dc.com

—Wendy Miller

featured photo: Pexels 

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