For the crowning touch on your meal, desserts provide sweet satisfaction.
Miz Kathi’s Sweetery
101 N. Main St., Wildwood, 352.748.1223
Finding the right dessert to end your meal is as easy as pie, cake, cookies, pastries…okay, maybe it’s not that easy. However, Style has done the research and can point you in the direction of some great places to find fabulous finales. Biting the bullet (or sweet shot), we’ve narrowed the list to some of the best.
You can’t talk about dessert without Miz Kathi’s Sweetery entering the conversation. Adjacent to Cotillion Southern Café, this is dessert heaven in Wildwood. Owner Kathi Vincent has used her family’s legendary recipes for years, and seeing those luscious pies and towering cakes means you may want a salad for your entrée. The good news is you can get one serving or buy the whole dessert and take it home with you. Just call and place your order to have it ready when you get there.
Cool Key Lime Cake has the tart key lime pie filling and “buttacream” frosting accented with white chocolate curls. It’s tangy and smooth.
Sour cream fudge cake and salted caramel “buttacream” frosting create the decadent Southern Salted Caramel Fudge Cake. It’s decorated with ganache, chocolate curls, caramel bits, and cookies to make it just a little wicked.
We have to give a nod to old favorites with Old Fashioned Southern Pecan and Chess Pies, but remember Miz Kathi’s recipes are all prepared with that special Southern charm.
1884 Restaurant and Bar
12 E. Magnolia Ave., Eustis, 800.856.1884
1884 Restaurant and Bar has some divine desserts like Triple Chocolate Cake and authentic New York Style Cheesecake. You can get amazing Crème Brulee on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. It is melt-in-your-mouth creamy and rich, and it’s a scrumptious way to top off your evening meal.
However, if you want more, there’s a sweet shop tucked in a corner at the front—the bakery, and that’s where you can go if you want to take some delicious treats home. Get muffins, cupcakes, and their popular cream puffs, but for a special treats that’s a bit out of the ordinary, try the German Chocolate Cookies. These are sizeable fudge cookies topped with German chocolate pecan-coconut frosting. They will make you happy all over.
122 E. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora, 352.383.2200
If desserts are your passion, you’ll think you’ve found Eden when you step into Cupcake Delights. With flavors from banana split to key lime to snickerdoodle to caramel chocolate chunk, everyone in the family will find a favorite. These cupcakes are light and moist, and the frostings are rich.
Some cupcake flavors change daily; others are staples available every day. The staff sampled a dozen: Chocolate Buttercream with yellow cake, Coconut Dream with yellow cake, Red Velvet, Banana Split, Cappuccino Delight, Cherry Cheesecake, Key Lime Delight, Peanut Butter Cream, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Caramel Crunch, Cream Cheese with yellow cake. We found the top favorites were Key Lime Delight and Cappuccino Delight. You may want to buy a dozen and have your own taste test, but go early. They sometimes run out of cupcakes, especially on weekends.
Enjoy your favorite coffee or tea with your cupcake, including café latte, cappuccino, espresso, chai tea latte, and many more, hot or iced.
Sarah’s Greek Cuisine & More
16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd., Suite 305, Clermont, 352.404.8031
Sarah’s Greek Cuisine & More has homemade Greek and Lebanese food and is a great place for desserts. A family-run business, the restaurant’s staff includes father and daughter Sarah and Sam Deeb and son-in-law Fady, who is the baker and creates the desserts. The food is delicious, but the array of desserts is a feast for the eyes and the tummy.
In addition to original Baklava, there’s Chocolate Dipped, Open Face, Chocolate Cheesecake, and a shredded wheat Baklava called Kunafa. If you think Baklava is good, you’ll love these variations on a good thing.
But that’s not all. Try the Napoleon, Vanilla Crème Cake, Chocolate Mousse Cake, or whatever cake Fady decides to bake that day. When Style visited, it was a Honey Cake made with semolina that was very tasty, though not too sweet.
There were also Sesame Molasses and Walnut Cookies. The Almond Wedding Cookies were wonderful, but be prepared to have powdered sugar everywhere.
If you’re looking for an added experience, hookahs are available on the patio. They have a variety of flavors available at a reasonable rate.
Bloom’s Baking House and Restaurant
601 W. Main St., Leesburg, 352.787.1004
The element of surprise is what makes looking for desserts at Bloom’s Baking House and Restaurant such fun. You never know what treat you’re going to find in the wonderful display beside the cash register. Owner Cheryl Bloom is in the kitchen cooking and baking every day.
The Strawberry Cake is a creamy, luscious treat, and Cheryl said the Pineapple Upside Down Cake didn’t become popular until she began making the double-decker version. Another tasty crowd pleasure is her Coconut Cake, which may delight you with its raspberry jam filling.
There’s Pecan, Coconut Cream, Butterscotch/Coconut/Pecan Pies, and a Style favorite, Butter Cookies, along with your favorite Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Brownies, Blondies, and the Famous Bloom’s Cinnamon Roll, which is a treat anytime, not just for breakfast.
If you’re looking to chill with your dessert, there’s always an ice cream cone or sundae with the Hershey’s ice cream in the cooler on the other side of the cash register.
Central Avenue Treat Market
15 N. Central Ave., Umatilla, 352.388.1512
Along Umatilla’s busiest street is the Central Avenue Treat Market, a nostalgic venue where you’ll not only find a fun place to sit and enjoy listening to oldies, you can enjoy dessert too. Owner Cathy Hanstein wanted to create the old soda shop atmosphere, and she has done just that. Be careful, though, some of those great looking treats sitting around are plastic.
But if you’re in the mood for sweets, she has Homemade Mini Doughnuts made to order with cinnamon and sugar, powdered sugar, or your favorite syrup as toppings. These little buggers will melt in your mouth. In the display case, there are a variety of homemade candies like Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge, Chocolate Sweet & Salty Caramel Peanut Clusters, Coconut Chocolate Balls, Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle, and Brownie Slices. Those of a certain age will recognize the homemade Irish Potato Candy, a treat from Depression-era cooking.
While you’re enjoying your sweet treat, you can play vintage pinball machines with Dolly Parton or a Space Mission. There’s also Ms. Pac Man and Atari Area 51. If you’d rather sit and play games, you’ll find wooden Tic-Tac-Toe and Checkers on the tables.
8210 County Road 48, Yalaha, 352.324.3366
16770 U.S. Hwy. 441, Summerfield, 352.693.2304
The great news about Yalaha Bakery is they’ve got two locations, so you can arrive quickly. That’s good, because you may want to go for breakfast and just hang around all day sampling goodies. These are authentic German baked goods and deli meats, and while you’re enjoying the sweets, don’t forget the delicious breads on the shelves behind the display counters. All their goods are made with organic ingredients, wonderful spices, and essentials imported from Europe.
Style visited the Summerfield location for this taste test and was not disappointed. For breakfast, there was the Chocolate Croissant and the Éclair, which were creamy, decadent, and made even better with the freshly made Caffé Americano. Of course, they have a great selection of hot and iced coffees, as well as teas.
The take-home box was stuffed with goodies to be enjoyed all weekend. The delectable array included Apple Strudel, Honey Bee, Cream Puff, and a delightful concoction called Fat Man’s Misery. For those with dietary restrictions, they bake gluten-free and sugar-free breads and pastries. It’s a win/win situation!
Cody’s on 4th
111 E. Fourth Ave., Mount Dora, 352.735.8426
This lovely little café in Mount Dora doesn’t have a lot of desserts, but there is definitely one worth telling you about: Cody’s Famous Carrot Cake. Owner Cody Spitzig prides herself in serving homemade soups, salad dressings, quiches, and desserts.
The carrot cake is wondrous to behold and enchanting to feast on. The cake is spicy and rich with nuts, and the frosting is dreamy. Definitely big enough to share, this dessert is an event you’ll remember for a long time.
Ramon Ramos Patisserie
10401 U.S. Hwy. 441 (ViaPort Mall Food Court), Leesburg, 352.314.3619
This may surprise you, but one of the most interesting and delightful places found in this journey through desserts was Ramon Ramos Patisserie in the food court at ViaPort Mall in Leesburg. When you walk up, you may to want to just stand and gaze at the display case because the desserts are so utterly beautiful. These artisan designs are stunning and taste as good as they look. Chef Ramon’s experience comes from working more than 20 years with the Ritz Carlton and Marriott corporations.
The Chocolate Chip Cookies are crisp, small, and not as sweet as what you usually find. However, that doesn’t detract from the flavor at all. The Macaroons are crisp on the outside and the coconut is fresh and addictive. The Chocolate Dome with its filling of mousse and Bavarian cream is divine, and the Tiramisu is creamy and rich but the flavors are blended to be light and go down easily. There are a variety of pies along with Flan, Tres Leches, and amazing Bon Bons.
One Flight Up Café
440 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, 407.758.9818
When you’re in Mount Dora, take the stairs to One Flight Up Café, tucked in a cozy corner. Though you can get lots of good eats beginning with breakfast, they also have great homemade desserts. You’ll find lovely cakes on the counter, but don’t forget to ask about the award-winning Praline Bread Pudding. It is served warm with wonderful praline sauce, not to mention there’s whipped cream and drizzled caramel on top. It will make you feel good down to your toes.
You can have any number of hot and cold coffees and teas to accompany your luscious dessert, and you may even get to enjoy it on their balcony overlooking downtown Mount Dora.