Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
This cake ($4) is heavenly, and you’d never know it’s gluten and dairy-free—as are all the baked goods at Royal Tea and Treatery. That’s why this tea house is winning the hearts of hungry customers, with or without dietary restrictions.
2950 Grace Lane, Costa Mesa
Proof in the Pudding
Among Little Arabia’s ever diversifying roster of restaurants is Cairo Restaurant and Café, where a menu
of Egyptian classics is highlighted by dessert. Finish with the umm ali ($6), a creamy bread pudding made with fluffy puff pastry and showered with coconut, walnuts, raisins, and pistachios.
10832 Katella Ave., Anaheim
New Fix for Lavender Lovers
Crème & Sugar in Anaheim Hills goes straight for our weakness for summer’s prettiest, sweetest smelling herb. Choose from lavender honey lattes ($5), fresh lavender lemonade ($4), or a crazy-gorgeous lavender layer cake ($6 a slice, $45 for a whole cake).
6312 E.Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim Hills
A Plate of Kelley’s Kookies is all the dessert you need when company calls. Owner Marcella Onishi uses ingredients such as Guittard chocolate and grade AA butter in her family recipes. Choose from 25 melt-in-your-mouth varieties ($6). We love the Melting Moments and Chocolate Dipped Macadamia. At Gelson’s and other specialty markets, as well as a location at Brea Mall and the Stanton main kitchen.
7155 Katella Ave., Stanton
St Patisserie Chocolat’s fruit sorbets are downright exquisite. By that we mean they’re all natural made with prime seasonal fruit, sugar, and water—and taste like they were plucked from nature. They’re also vegan. Picking a fave is tough, but from the passion fruit, raspberry, lemon kalamansi, and pear, we’ll go with the Asian kalamansi citrus that tastes floral and crisp, and the pear, specked with bits of the fruit. $3.50 a scoop.
3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa
Pop Culture Macarons
In our blind taste tests against some of the county’s most popular macaron makers, Honey & Butter Macarons came out on top, flavor after flavor. Staff favorites include milk and honey, sea-salt dark chocolate, salted caramel, and passion fruit ($2). But we were initially drawn to this shop simply for the adorable characters that owners Leanne and Pawel Pietrasinski churn out daily. Previous themes have included Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Final Fantasy ($2.50 to $4.50). A new shop at Irvine Spectrum adds house-made ice cream sandwiches to its lineup ($5 to $6).
The Lab 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa
Irvine Spectrum, 633 Spectrum Center Drive