As we roll into the summer months after a grueling spring, it’s easy to fall into the comforts of home and away from whatever diet we somehow managed to trick ourselves into following on campus during the school year. Step aside kale and quinoa, it’s ice cream season now. And what better way to celebrate our sugary descent into sunny lethargy than with a list of arbitrary dessert-to-University of California campus pairings by yours truly?

Without any further ado, credibility, or authority whatsoever, I present to you each University of California campus in dessert form:

UC San Diego — Churros with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

california campus

Photo courtesy of @x_tine on Flickr

Though one may not think to reach for the phrases “crunchy,” “chocolatey” or “all-around-heavenly” to describe our dear Tritons, they nonetheless embody these pieces of deep-fried goodness under all that sea-god bravado. Share one with our southern neighbors next time you make a trip down to TJ, will ya?

UC Irvine — Chocolate Chip Cookies

california campus

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Vardeman on Flickr

“Aren’t chocolate chip cookies kinda boring?” Why, fresh out of the oven and served with a warm glass of milk? I rest my case. Residing in one of the safest cities in the nation, our friends at UC Irvine personify the epitome of American hospitality and homeliness: the chocolate chip cookie. Zot, zot, zot indeed.

UC Berkeley — Bear Claw

california campus

Photo by John Liu on Flickr

Heh. You see what I did there? Don’t worry, it’s the only mascot-dessert pun I’ll be making in this piece. But all punniness aside, there are few desserts that encompass the classic, old-school vibes of the founding UC campus than a good ol’ fashioned doughnut.

UC Santa Barbara — Chocolate Rum Balls

california campus

Photo by James on Flickr

Oh, you think it’s just a ball of fudge covered in powdered sugar and sprinkles? Think again. BAM. Yup, that’s rum. Like these multifaceted spheres of decadence, Gauchos have mastered the art of juggling the social and the academic. “Die up,” Santa Barbarians.

UC Davis — Organic Gelato

california campus

Photo courtesy of @amazing_podgirl on Flickr

Smooth as can be, with half the fat! Home of one of the world’s best agriculture programs, UC Davis does not skimp on academic excellence, as gelato leaves no flavor hindered with a carefully planned cream-to-milk ratio. You go, Aggies.

UC Santa Cruz — Banana Split

california campus

Photo by Sodanie Chea on Flickr

Yeah, I lied about not doing another mascot-dessert pun. This one was just too good to pass up. As the classic, carnivalesque treat would suggest, Banana Slugs are adventurous folk with no holds barred when it comes to spunk and spiff.

UCLA — Green Tea Pancake

california campus

Photo by Kurman Communications Inc. on Flickr

Eclectic and daring, Bruins are an innovative bunch who are unafraid to push boundaries and create the unexpected, like a Green Tea Pancake. All kidding aside, the chances of finding something like this at one of their dining halls (a.k.a. restaurants) is actually pretty high.

UC Merced — Ice Cream Mochi

california campus

Photo by @pengrin on Flickr

The newest addition to the UC family, UC Merced manifests itself in the form of ice cream-filled mochi. Though bite-sized and seemingly humble at first glance, the Bobcats are not to be underestimated. Do so, and risk the dangers of brain freeze, which is to be expected when devouring ice cream mochi.

UC Riverside — Baked Alaska (Served flambé, of course.)

california campus

Photo by @vxla on Flickr

With many layers and a fiery personality, UC Riverside has established itself as the rising star in the UC system. Not to mention the fact that it’s really hot there. Like, temperature-wise.

UC San Francisco — Hospital Jello

california campus

Photo by Sarah R on Flickr


UC San Francisco — Affogato

california campus

Photo by Emma on Flickr

I kid UCSF, I kid. As the only dedicated medical school campus in the UC, UCSF is chock full of the smartest cookies around that would pair well with the luscious combo of espresso and gelato in an affogato.