NYC's first ever dessert festival has come and gone, but the desserts they served will stay in our heads (and our hearts) long after their flavors are gone.
Sometimes NYC festivals can be a bit of a let down, but Dessert Goals was chock full of desserts and fun just as you would have expected. I could have easily spent a full day there.
When you first walk in, you're greeted by a sweet-as-sugar staff handing out boxed water to keep guests hydrated and candy bracelets labeled "Love U." I love you too, candy.
They also provided a map so you could expertly maneuver your way through the booths and plan for the ones you were most excited about. The cover page labeled it as the "Best. Day. Ever." and they weren't wrong. Here's what I tasted and where to find them in NYC.
My first stop was Boananas, a banana pudding company like no other. They make banana pudding in flavors beyond just banana, so you can enjoy a healthier pudding that tastes like oreos, french toast, or matcha. I've never tasted banana pudding before this, but I will definitely be eating more of it now.
I immediately recognized Taiyaki's fish-shaped waffle cones, since they started breaking the internet last month. Let me tell you, they're worth the hype.The experience is like no other, with a warmth coming from the tail of the soft cone that's filled with red beans, swirled matcha soft serve comes out of the fish's mouth and a mochi skewer and chocolate biscuit stick out of the top. It's a little hard to hold without scarfing down as the ice cream makes the already soft cone even softer, but the mixture of hot and cold is shocking in the best way.
Wowfulls is a another NYC bucket list ice cream treat for me, and we already named them one of the most over-the-top desserts in America. Unlike the fish, these waffle cones were more crispy than soft, but that didn't make them any less delicious.
The samples we received had a scoop of cotton candy flavored ice cream, chocolate drizzle and some yogurt-coated pretzels. The crispy cone added some great crunch to an otherwise soft dish.
4. Baba Cool
A company I wasn't quite as familiar with was Baba Cool, an artsy company specializing in food bowls. They had some dragonfruit bowls that looked more like art than edibles. The bowls were filled with good-for-you treats (if that's not an oxymoron) like chia seeds, edible pansies, bee pollen, cocoa nibs and sunflower seeds, and topped with edible flowers or bananas.
5. Mini Melanie
Mini Melanie had an array of desserts that were also almost too beautiful to eat. From her naked yet intricately colored cakes to her diamond-shaped truffles, each dessert looked almost as good as it tasted.
Mochi made an appearance at mochidoki. Mochi is an up-and-coming dessert that's getting more and more buzz, and mochidoki's innovative flavors and experimentation are bringing the new trend up a notch with the first ever chocolate chip infused mochi and many more creative flavors.
7. Rice Cream Shoppe
Rice pudding is another dessert that usually doesn't get its day in the sun, but Rice Cream Shoppe gives it the ice cream treatment, offering different cup sizes and toppings for flavors like Rum Raisin, Tiramisu, and more.
8. Cookie Do
I'm sure I'm not the only one who loved licking cookie dough off of spoons when I was younger. Cookie Do translates that nostalgia into an adult-friendly, no salmonella, edible cookie dough. They brought with them a cookie dough bar where you could add toppings to their sugar cookie or chocolate chip cookie flavors. They also offered cookie dough balls, and sample size containers of popular cookie dough flavors.
9. Boba Guys
I've never been a fan of bubble tea, but Boba Guys made a tea-liever out of me. Disregarding the bubbles, which are the reason I'm not a fan, the flavor itself was pretty good. It really cool to see the layers of flavor they put into it, then swirl them together yourself to get the combo once you take a sip. Want to learn more about them? Check it out here.
10. Joey Bats Sweets
Another newbie for me, and probably most of you, was Joey Bats Sweets' Portuguese Egg Tarts, also known as Pastels. These actually ended up being my favorite dessert of the day. They were sweet and custardy in the middle with a puff pastry exterior and came with an added bonus of a fresh pour of powdered sugar and cinnamon right before I tasted it. It was a perfect bite and totally unexpected.
11. Plenty of Good
My next bite, however, was a familiar flavor, especially since I am Jewish and this is a Passover staple, but delicious nonetheless. Plenty of Good makes some great vegan and gluten free macaroons. Not to be confused with the French macaron, these were made with coconuts and came in a plain flavor (which tastes anything but), salted caramel, and chocolate-covered.
12. Butter Lane
Butter Lane cupcakes was another familiar name. They make some mini cupcakes that are to-die-for and normal sized cakes that are topped with the minis for the ultimate mix.
13. MELT Bakery
I'm sure MELT Bakery needs no introduction, but definitely still needs a mention. They're creative and often-praised ice cream sandwiches never disappoint.
14. Jae NYC Eats
When I looked up Jae NYC Eats, I was so excited to try their innovative twinkie-like desserts. Their representative explained that they have a ton of flavors like their "Boozy Brunch" options, made with Bailey's and Grand Marnier, or "Morning After" breakfast flavors like maple and bacon.They offered samples of their Ube, Fruity Pebble and Matcha for Dessert Goal-goers to try. Unfortunately, right now, they only sell at markets and festivals, so Twinkie fans be sure to follow their Instagram to track them down.
15. Doughnut Plant
What dessert festival would be complete without a doughnut option? Doughnut Plant lived up to their much repeated hype with regular sized and mini doughnut options, along with a Halloween themed candy corn doughnut for some added flair.
And as if we didn't have enough ice cream, Noona's brought some creative Korean flavors like matcha and dark chocolate, and Sweet as Bae, a cinnamon ginger flavored ice cream with honeyerd pear sauce, to give us some elevation for our typical desserts.
17. Macaron Parlour
Then came the Macaron's most would recognize. Macaron Parlour brought its A-game with adorable black cat macarons for Halloween, expected flavors like chocolate, raspberry, and more, as well as some unexpected ones like Cheeto.
Then came the surprise...there was another floor! I'm sorry, not just a floor, but a rooftop.
The first thing on the roof was a Salt Bar, a much needed island of solace to cut through all the sweets with offerings like pretzels, popcorn and chips.
18. Not Your Average Cotton
I was so excited when I saw a cotton candy booth. The company, called Not Your Average Cotton had some intriguing flavors, including Lavender, Rose and Mint.
The booth next to that housed what I like to call "Spoon-inspired." Bittles is a company that specializes in cereal infused cake pops served on spoon instead of sticks. I got a chance to try the "Mo' Cocoa Mo' Problems" made with cocoa puffs, and had no problem finishing the bite. I think the only problem was that one cake pop is never enough. But with more desserts to taste, I had to control myself.
20. Little Treats
Moving on down the line were some foreign options, starting with Little Treats Brazilian truffles. They kind of reminded me of mini rum balls and I wasn't mad. Ok maybe a little mad I had never had them before.
The last booth I tried was Dana Confections which offered French fare like Pate de Fruit, Calissons, Nougat and more.
21. Vintage Ice Cream Lounge
On top of all these sweet treats, there was an adorable and relaxing Vintage Ice Cream Lounge (to rest up after eating all those luxurious bites), a Garden with special backgrounds for Instagram pictures, a (free) candy shop, Coffee from Bodum and even workshops from big names like @BrunchBoys and @CoffeeandChampagne and @OneHungryJew.
All-in-all the event gave me some great dessert destinations to visit again and left me in the most amazing sugar coma. And if you're feeling some serious FOMO, you may have to seek out the vendors yourself and try them out. It's definitely worth the effort.