Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: The Best Spots for Salted Caramel Treats in Los Angeles

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You can have your sugar and salt it too!  Satisfying a sweet tooth can be tough, as anyone with a toddler can attest: the more sugar they consume, the more they desire.  Then along came salted caramel. The once exotic now ubiquitous flavor that originated in France is now widely celebrated in all forms of desserts. The savory sweet combo pleases palettes from 2 to 92, and L.A. aficionados young and old can find an abundant variety citywide to satiate any craving.

Insider’s Note:  All offerings here are house-made and available for take-out.  This comprehensive list focuses on locally based businesses (with one exception); some have outposts in additional cities.

Baked Goodies

The spot that sparked the cupcake craze in SoCal delivers in its seasonal Salty Caramel.  A super-moist caramel cake with buttery yet light frosting is adorned with hand-harvested fleur de sel (French sea salt) from Brittany.  Cheaper than a flight to Europe, the taste treat is available through the month of February, and set to reappear in May, July and November. Beware of long lines with fidgety ones; mid-morning weekdays are usually quieter.

9635 So. Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, Ca 90201

‘Lette Macarons
Made in the French tradition by an award-winning pastry chef, these airy meringue sandwiches are what the kiddies will crave after a stroll down Beverly Blvd, adjacent to the Beverly Hills bakery.  The crispy cookies – made from egg whites, sugar and almond powder – complement the creamy caramel ganache pressed between; a dusting of fleur de sel intermingles each bite of this ‘classic’ choice.  Deliciously dainty for fancy-dress parties, the maracons keep in the fridge for up to a week.  Eastsiders can also visit shops in Larchmont Village and Old Pasadena.

9466 Charleville Blvd
Beverly Hills, 90212

122 No. Larchmont Blvd
LA, Ca 90004

14 So. Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, Ca 91105


From a postage stamp-sized storefront, Früute dispenses fresh, organic mini desserts that are perfectly proportioned for pipsqueaks with adventurous tastebuds.  Two-bite “tarts unordinary,” the WeHo bakery classifies its sea salt caramel as a classic:  the pop-in-your-mouth novelty mixes light caramel with chopped macadamia nuts, dried berries and honey encased in a crispy-thin chocolate cookie crust, topped with a blackberry and more sea salt. Complex. Neat. Petite. Yum.

8951 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite A
West Hollywood, Ca 90069
Closed Mondays

Baked donuts, not fried. Faux nuts. Delicious. The brainchild of a voice actress and her accomplished pastry chef pal, the light, fluffy cakes are steamed and baked at high heat to replicate the texture tots crave.  The salted caramel has a kid-friendly vanilla essence and a generous glaze of caramel speckled with salt.  The 3rd Street location teems with little tykes sampling the relatively healthy treats, which include several gluten-free choices.  Skip Tuesdays; the ovens have the day off.

8104 West Third St.
LA, Ca 90048
Closed Tuesdays

BabyCakes NYC
While babycakes was born in NYC, it’s alive and thriving in Downtown LA and  Hollywood.  Grownups will love the tasty vegan menu – free of all refined sugar, gluten, wheat, soy, casein, and egg and kosher to boot– incorporating healthy fats from canola and coconut oils for growing kiddies.  The salted caramel doughnut packs a flavor punch, taking more the shape than the texture of its namesake.

130 East 6th St
LA, Ca 90014

236 No. Larchmont Blvd
LA, Ca 90004


Frozen Confections

Carmela Ice Cream
Selling their artisan, small-batch ice cream at local farmer’s markets since 2007, Carmela Artisan Creamery scoops up fresh flavors in northern Pasadena.  Persnickety parents will love the organic ingredients that give their signature salted caramel its balanced and buttery finish.  For those who loathe the drive with little ones, pre-packed pints can be found at gourmet purveyors such as Canyon Gourmet in Topanga, The Curious Palette in Mar Vista and The Farmer’s Kitchen in Hollywood, among others.

2495 E. Washington Blvd
Pasadena, Ca 91104

Gelato Bar
With new owners and a second location in Los Feliz, Gelato Bar remains a neighborhood gathering place – an authentic Italian ‘piazza’ – where bambinos will beg to try each of their two-dozen daily, colorful handcrafted flavors.  The cioccolato salted caramel interlaces a fine chocolate swill with the all-natural milk base.  Parents can relax knowing the dense, velvety refreshment has less butterfat than conventional ice cream.

4342½ Tujunga Ave
Studio City, Ca 91604

1936 Hillhurst Ave
Los Feliz, Ca 90027


Suck It
What kiddo doesn’t love a popsicle?  In a modern twist, Suck It in Studio City incorporates seasonal farmer’s market ingredients to make cold concoctions more portable, and primarily gluten-free.  The namesake ‘Suck It’ salted caramel tastes like sweet cream on a stick, yet the compact 3 oz. treat isn’t likely to spoil supper.  Adventuresome tykes might make their little mouths water sampling ‘Blue Velvet’ (blueberry hibiscus) or ‘Dill Did’ (dill pickle).  Proceeds from their ‘pupsicles’ for furry friends benefit animal rescues, so family pets can lick with a conscience.

4361½ Tujunga Ave
Studio City, Ca 91604
Closed Mondays

Sweet Rose
Sweet Rose Creamery churns out small batches of unique organic ice cream on the premises.  The flavors honestly replicate the ingredients; sweet dreams are made of this salted caramel, offered with an optional accent of additional fleur de sel.  The lines snake out the door on a balmy afternoon in Brentwood, but the Country Mart courtyard, retro coin-op rides and a look-and-touch toy store will keep the hungry ones happy while they wait.  A salted caramel pie, with chocolate sauce and cookie crust and will feed a whole family of devotees.

225 – 26th Street, Suite 51
Santa Monica, Ca 90402

Cool Haus
Cool Haus now maintains a storefront in Culver City while its sought-after truck continues to rove the streets of LA, bringing frozen snacks to the masses.   Kiddies can construct their own ‘sammie’ from a rotating choice of homemade premium ice creams and chewy gourmet cookies.  Sample a ‘Caramia Lehrer’ with an interior of Maldon sea salt caramel (inspired by architect Mia Lehrer) combined with snicker doodle ‘roof’ and ‘floor’, protected by an edible whisper-thin wrapper made from potatoes.  Check Cool Haus’ Twitter for daily whereabouts and featured flavors, including fried chicken & waffles, sweet potato & marshmallow, and candied bacon.  If the wee ones feel a chill, there’s homemade salted caramel hot chocolate, available even with salted caramel whipped cream!

8588 Washington Blvd
Culver City, Ca 90232


Sweet Butter
Stepping into the gated courtyard at Sweet Butter in Sherman Oaks, you’re transported from Ventura Blvd to a tranquil European countryside.  The market’s butter-colored walls, adorned with the owner’s framed, tried-and-true favorite recipes, invite patrons to the bakery display; the generous cakey fleur de sel brownie with a river of caramel running through it won’t disappoint child or grownup alike.  Afternoon kiddie-approved snacks include grilled nutella sandwiches and buttermilk jindori chicken strips.  The family-friendly café bustles at midday, so try calling ahead to have your order ready upon arrival.

13824 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, Ca 91423

Big Sugar
The glass-domed counter at Big Sugar Bakeshop delights with more than a dozen daily varieties – from red velvet cupcakes to green tea shortbread, Southern pecan pie to double coconut cake. Yet the fudgy chocolate salted caramel brownie is a mainstay that schoolchildren, from nursery to college, can derive that mid-afternoon kick to keep them going – and there’s complimentary coffee to boot.  No dinner here, just desserts. Simple and delicious.

12182 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, Ca 91604

Triple Threats

Bottega Louie
If Eloise lived at The Biltmore Hotel, she’d take her meals at Bottega Louie.  The Downtown restaurant/gourmet market/patisserie operates in the European tradition of a classic cafe, with wait staff in white, open kitchen and elegant dining area lined with tall windows.  Alas, take-out here is better with babies as the table wait can be upwards of an hour.  Fortunately, there are a plethora of salted caramels choices to appeal to all ages:  an almost-perfect bite of milk chocolate ganache in crispy-light salted caramel macaron, a peanut chocolate tarte with caramel crème in a thin graham cracker crust speckled with sea salt, and a salted caramel éclair with whipped custard crème and milky chocolate icing finished with a salt sprinkle. That’s one-a-day for a weekend holiday in the big city.

700 So. Grand Ave
Los Angeles, Ca 90017

Sweets for the Soul
Started by a commercial producer who turned her hobby into a career, the itty-bitty Sweets for the Soul bakery in Atwater Village boasts a bonanza of brownies exclusively with Valrhona chocolate and organic ingredients.  Kiddos can enjoy the brownie ‘shot’, with a fudgy dark cocoa base encapsulating a fleur de sel-laced homemade caramel while moms and dads may want to split the ‘Billionaire’s Bliss’ bar of buttery shortbread layered with gooey caramel and refined bittersweet Guittard chocolate, finished with sea salt.  Junior can stay in the stroller to munch on a pink macaron with salty caramel cream.  If none of these strike your fancy, there’s subtle salted caramel organic ice cream, fresh from Rori’s Artisanal Creamery in Santa Barbara. Be sure to grab a few salted caramel candies to savor after the little ones wind down to bed.

3169 Glendale Blvd
Atwater Village, Ca 90039

Purist Perfection

For purists, size matters and this popular Santa Monica café does not disappoint.  Huckleberry offers a large square of tacky caramel, a half-inch thick atop simple shortbread  adorned with a flaky fleur de sel.  The sweet taste lingers, so share a glass of moo juice with your muppet to wash it down.

1014 Wilshire
Santa Monica, Ca 90404

Thyme Café & Market
The Santa Monica larder is best known for its gourmet seasonal specialties, while offering a full array of scrumptious desserts.  Their salted caramel pie combines three distinct textures, with equal parts whipped cream, custardy caramel, and crunchy graham cracker crust.  The finish is more salty than sweet, sure to evoke smiles all around.  The market also carries a small selection of children’s books and unique toys.

1630 Ocean Park Blvd
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Simplethings Pie Shop
Sandwich. Pie. Done…simplethings sandwich & pie shop goes back to basics to deliver a satisfying family dining experience.  The truly simple, truly delectable ‘cutie pie’ is the ideal proportion for small hands, with ooey-gooey caramel custard in a crumbly graham cracker shell, crowned with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream.  An ‘a la mode’ option is classic addition – though likely overkill with this flavor.  The salted caramel pie comes in three sizes (besides cutie, simple and big) and is available Wed-Sat.

8310 W. 3rd St
Los Angeles, Ca 90048

If you want a treat to last a week, Hotcakes in Mar Vista has your number.  A virtual slab of sticky caramel, measuring three square inches, covers a dense butter cookie base; a generous sprinkling of salt mixes with the syrupy sweetness of butter and sugar.   If it proves too daunting for littler appetites, they can choose from more than a dozen specialty cupcake flavors, including their award-winning très leches spicy mango.  A tiny window-front counter is the only seating, so get yours to-go and enjoy it at a nearby park, or Venice Beach, about a mile away.

4119 So. Centinela Ave
Mar Vista, Ca 90066

Little Flower Candy Co
When nothing short of actual candy will do, Little Flower sea salt caramels are the ones to sink your into.  Made on the premises with five pure ingredients (cream, milk, sugar, corn syrup, and French sea salt), the chewy buttery confections are on display in varying size bags at the Pasadena café, as well as their signature flavored marshmallows and a family-friendly menu of healthy comfort foods.  If western Pasadena isn’t on your agenda, pick up a bag online or at numerous gourmet markets around town. Sunday is a day of rest.

1422 W. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, Ca 91105
Closed Sundays

Where will your sweet tooth take you today?

— Kim Orchen Cooper