The Best Dessert Chains in America in 2023

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Cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, pie—nothing finishes off a satisfying meal like a delicious sweet treat. Whether you like to indulge in a whipped cream-topped sundae from your favorite ice cream shop or prefer a slice of cake from your local bakery chain, you’re not alone in your love of desserts. According to a recent research study done by OnePoll for Crumbl Cookies Media, one in six Americans eats dessert each and every day.

When it comes to desserts, there seems to be a limitless number of options to choose from out there. And while having options is usually a good thing, it can also feel overwhelming if you’re not certain of exactly what you want or where to get it. That’s why we rounded up some of the best dessert chains in America—after all, if you’re going to indulge, you better make sure it’s worthwhile.

From iconic donut shops that have been around for over 75 years to newer ice cream chains dishing out top-quality scoops, here are 13 of the best dessert chains in America. Go ahead and satisfy that sweet tooth.

Levain Bakery

Levain Bakery
Levain Bakery / Facebook

There’s a reason why Levain Bakery usually has a line out the door and is considered one of America’s best bakery chains: its cookies are nothing short of incredible. Made using tasty ingredients like semi-sweet chocolate chips, crunchy walnuts, caramel, and dark French cocoa, these jumbo cookies are the perfect dessert to bring to a party, or keep on hand just because. Levain has over a dozen locations in cities including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles, and shipping is available nationwide.

RELATED: 9 Chains That Serve the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ben & Jerry’s

ben and jerry's
Shutterstock

Ben & Jerry’s has perfected the art of ice cream making—the brand has been around for decades, after all. It’s famous for churning out uniquely named ice cream with premium ingredients, like sea salt fudge chunks, brownie batter, and lightly roasted pistachios. Even better? The beloved company also focuses on high-quality ingredients. For instance, they source some of its core ingredients—sugar, coffee, vanilla, cocoa, and bananas—on Fairtrade terms.

“If you are an ice cream lover and you haven’t been to Ben & Jerry’s, then you are missing out on something really special,” one Yelp reviewer wrote. There are over 600 Ben & Jerry’s locations around the world, but if you don’t have one near you, you can also pick up a pint at your local grocery store.

RELATED: 8 Ice Cream Brands That Use the Highest Quality Ingredients

Sprinkles

Sprinkles
Sprinkles / Facebook

Whether you need a dozen cupcakes for a birthday party or a last-minute dessert for a holiday dinner, Sprinkles has you covered. Founded in 2005, the famous brand is considered one of the first cupcake bakery chains, with locations throughout the country and nationwide shipping available.

Customers can choose from a range of mind-blowing flavors, including strawberry, dark chocolate, triple cinnamon, chocolate marshmallow, and the limited-edition pumpkin (perfect for fall!). Cakes, cookies, brownies, and chocolate bars are also available if you’re not in the mood for cupcakes.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams / Facebook

If you want top-notch ice cream made with only the best ingredients, pay a visit to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Made from scratch using recipes formulated by its James Beard Award-winning founder, Jeni Britton, Jeni’s Ice Cream is famous for its smooth texture, exciting flavors, and colorful packaging. Choose from fun options, including Blackout Chocolate Cake, which has extra bitter fudge, chocolate cake, and chocolate pieces; Pineapple Upside Down Cake, packed with red cherries, golden cake, and a sweet caramel swirl; and many more.

There are also festive offerings that are perfect for the holiday season, like White Chocolate Peppermint, made with white chocolate specks, and Merry Berry, filled with amaretti cookies and raspberry coulis.

Magnolia Bakery

apple crisp bread pudding magnolia bakery
Courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

From the recipes to the branding, everything about Magnolia Bakery screams high quality. Founded in New York City in 1996, the beloved bakery chain catapulted to superstardom and became a permanent fixture in the cultural zeitgeist after its season three cameo on the HBO hit series Sex and the City.

Today, Magnolia Bakery has over 20 locations in places like New York City, Chicago, Qatar, and West Hollywood, and serves everything from cupcakes and cookies to cakes and pies. Oh, and don’t forget to try the banana pudding—it’s next-level good. “This was one of the dessert shops in NYC that I was looking forward to trying,” one Yelp reviewer shared. “The banana pudding was amazing and met all of my expectations. Highly recommend!!” Nationwide shipping is available, even for the banana pudding!

RELATED: 12 Coffee Chains That Serve the Best Holiday Beverages

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts
Shutterstock

It’s been more than 75 years since Krispy Kreme changed the donut game, and the magic is still there. Started in North Carolina, Krispy Kreme has become synonymous with delicious donuts. Here, you can expect a wide variety of flavors, including glazed raspberry-filled, cake batter, glazed chocolate cake, and of course, the original glazed donut. “The donuts here are amazing!!!! It’s almost as if those glazed donuts melt in your mouth,” one Yelp reviewer posted.

Van Leeuwen

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Courtesy of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

The long list of flavors, the cute brick-and-mortar shops, the colorful pints—what’s not to love about Van Leeuwen? The trendy ice cream chain started as an ice cream truck in New York City over 15 years ago and has set the bar high for other ice cream brands.

For starters, Van Leeuwen uses only the finest ingredients, has created warm and welcoming scoop shops, and even offers vegan ice cream flavors. Even better? They have dozens of locations (and counting) throughout the country and also sell their pints in grocery stores for added convenience.

Cinnabon

cinnabon employee
Cinnabon / Facebook

Started in 1985 in Seattle, Washington, Cinnabon is the go-to place for delicious cinnamon buns served warm and drizzled with white icing. Pick from the chain’s range of sweet treat offerings, which include signature options like the Classic Roll or more innovative options like the Caramel PecanBon, Churro Swirls, and Cookie BonBites. Cinnabon impressively has over 1,800 locations worldwide, so you’re most likely never too far away from one.

Beard Papa’s

beard papa cream puff
Beard Papa’s / Facebook

How good are cream puffs? Founded over 20 years ago in Osaka, Japan, Beard Papa’s makes some of the most famous cream puffs out there. The bakery chain’s version includes a double-layered puff-choux interior and a pie crust exterior filled with a mixture of fluffy whipped cream and smooth vanilla custard. What’s more? At Beard Papa’s, you can expect a range of fun flavors like Oreo cookie crumble, strawberry, green tea, and honey butter.

“This place is a dessert hidden gem and I have been here several times,” shared one Yelp reviewer. “Great for when [you] want something different [from] the usual ice cream or cookie dessert. Love the classic one, but the s’mores and Oreo puffs are also excellent as well.”

RELATED: 8 Fast-Food Chains That Serve the Best Donuts

Cold Stone Creamery

cold stone worker
Coldstone

Pop by a Cold Stone Creamery if you’re in the mood for ice cream you can customize. Founded over 30 years ago, Cold Stone Creamery makes each of its ice cream flavors fresh in-store using only the best ingredients. Whether you want to dream up your own ice cream concoction, order one of its signature creations, or pick up an ice cream cake, Cold Stone has you covered.

“How can I begin to describe my love for Cold Stone Creamery?” one user posted on X. “I love it so much it brings me so much joy. So much of it. My [eyes sparkle], and my heart flutters! I love great ice cream!”

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen Blizzard
Dairy Queen / Facebook

You can always count on Dairy Queen for a good dessert. Founded in Joliet, Illinois, in 1940, Dairy Queen is a go-to spot for delicious grilled burgers, freshly blended shakes, and of course, dessert. Whether you love DQ’s Blizzards, which come in flavors like snickerdoodle, hot cocoa, and caramel fudge cheesecake, or prefer a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone, Dairy Queen always hits the spot. Even better? Dairy Queen also makes cakes, so you can order one of your favorite Blizzards in cake form—how cool is that?

RELATED: The Best & Worst Foods at Dairy Queen, According to Dietitians

Crumbl Cookies

Crumbl Cookies
Crumbl Cookies / Facebook

If it feels like Crumbl has taken over the dessert scene in recent years, that’s because, well, it has. For starters, Crumbl Cookies has over 900 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Beyond being relatively easy to track down (and if you don’t have one near you, you can always order online), it also offers some of the most exciting cookie flavors out there—its menu rotates weekly and may feature choices like pumpkin pie (made with spiced pumpkin pie filling), cranberry crumb cake, maple cinnamon roll, and red velvet white chip.

“I love Crumbl! They have the best cookies in the city,” one Yelp reviewer wrote of one of Crumbl’s New York City locations. “Super fresh and amazing flavors. They sometimes have a line, but anything that good is worth the wait!”

Tous Le Jours

Tous les Jours / Facebook

There’s just something so elegant about Tous Le Jours. This famous South Korean bakery chain, which was founded in the late ’90s, whips up a variety of different dessert delicacies, ranging from custard buns, almond croissants, and yuzu pies to blueberry yogurt cream cakes, tiramisu, cheesecake, and more. It also currently has over 1,650 locations worldwide, which is an added plus. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a slice of cake with a warm tea or coffee during the chilly winter months.