Raleigh, North Carolina is a charming southern city filled with comfort food and charming folk. Despite its roots, Raleigh has grown to become more versatile, representing food internationally. Next time you find yourself in the southern United States, make Raleigh one of your priorities and try the 12 most epic desserts in Raleigh before you die.

1. Goodberry’s Vanilla Custard with strawberries and Oreo cookies

Melinda Kauffman

This may sound like an unusual combination, but don’t knock it 'til you try it. Goodberry’s is a North Carolina long-standing tradition, boasting some of the best homemade custard around. Whether you go for the traditional chocolate or vanilla, or pick one of their extravagant sundaes, you can’t go wrong. My personal favorite is the vanilla custard with strawberries and Oreo cookies. Nothing tastes better than the fresh strawberries that melt into the creamy and smooth vanilla goodness along with the sporadic chunks of chocolatey Oreo cookies. Give it a try.

2. Gigi’s Strawberry Princess Cupcakes

Melinda Kauffman

Strawberry is not my favorite flavor at all, but when it comes to Gigi’s strawberry cupcake, it is. I don’t know if it’s the fact that you can see real strawberries in the cupcake that makes it taste so fresh, or if it’s the mile-high icing piled on top of the cake that makes this cupcake so amazing. Although the strawberry is my favorite, I have not met a Gigi’s flavor that I haven’t liked. If you're still not sold on the strawberry, try another one of their flavors like Wedding Cake or Chocolate Salted Caramel. A warning, however, these are not amateur cupcakes and take a big stomach or insatiable sweet tooth to eat the entire thing in one sitting.

3. Maple View Farms’ Ice Cream Sundae

Melinda Kauffman

Not only is the ice cream incredibly fresh and creamy here, but the atmosphere makes it extra special. It may appear that you are driving into the middle of a forest on your way to Maple View, but once there, the beautiful farm backdrop does it justice. From a giant front porch with rocking chairs, to a warm and welcoming staff, Maple View Farms is a place to bring the whole family. Prepare to bring your appetite, because with over 30 flavors to choose from like Double Chocolate, Ginger Snap, and Eggnog, you'll want to try them all.

4. Andia’s Cap’n Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae

Melinda Kauffman

This decadent sundae comes with three heaping scoops of Peanut Butter Fudge ice cream piled high with whipped cream, hot fudge, and peanut butter sauce. The sundae is finished off with Cap’n Crunch cereal and Reese’s Pieces. If you’re not a peanut butter fan don’t worry, because this establishment also offers other delicious sundaes and ice cream flavors like the doughnut sundae, which is a warm and gooey doughnut stuffed with ice cream on the inside.

5. A dish of Carolina Crunch ice cream from FRESH. Local Ice Cream

Melinda Kauffman

FRESH. Local Ice Cream is a North Carolina establishment and offers some of the tastiest dessert around. Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the ice cream flavors they offer, because the best is Carolina Crunch. The flavor consists of creamy caramel icing with chunks of heath bar and other decadent goodness.

6. Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich from the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo

Melinda Kauffman

These Food Truck Rodeos only happen once in a while, so get to them while you can and get yourself a gooey, ooey ice cream and cookie sandwich. These sugar bombs consist of two warmed cookies of choice and two giant scoops of the creamiest ice cream imaginable. Patrons choose from a variety of cookies like chocolate chunk, M&M, or classic chocolate chip, and of course the ice cream flavors like chocolate, vanilla, mint chocolate chip and so on. But don’t take my word for it. Sink your teeth into one of these and your taste buds will never be the same.

7. Oatmeal Cookie and Brownie Batter Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone from Sunni Sky’s

Melinda Kauffman

This small trailer about an hour outside of Raleigh may not boast a grand appearance, but don’t judge a book by its cover. Sunni Sky’s ice cream was started by a family and has over 140 homemade flavors to choose from. Every summer hundreds of North Carolinians flock to this tiny shop to fill their stomachs with some of the best homemade ice cream in the state. Stock up while you can, because the shop closes during the winter and they can afford to do it with all of the business they receive the rest of the year. With over 140 flavors to choose from, go ahead and try them all. However, I love the oatmeal cookie and brownie batter flavors with real cookies and brownies made into the ice cream.

8. Duck Donuts' Bacon in the Sun Donut

Bacon—one of America’s favorite foods to eat. Not only can you eat bacon for breakfast, but you can also find it on one of Duck Donuts’ most popular donut flavors: the Bacon in the Sun donut. Delicious maple icing, topped with bits of toasty bacon and drizzled with caramel, this donut is sure to throw you into a sugar coma.

9. Chocolate Chess Pie from the Angus Barn

Pie and chocolate—what more could you need? Dining at the Angus Barn is an experience from start to finish, and if you haven’t dined here before, you should make your reservation now. No dining experience is complete without dessert and the chocolate chess pie from Angus Barn is the perfect way to finish a delicious steak meal. Crack open that top layer of chocolate and reveal a creamy layer of more chocolate underneath. Finish yours already? Don’t fret! You can buy an entire chocolate chess pie in the gift shop to take home.

10. Fried Reese’s Cup from the NC State Fair

The NC State Fair is a culture of its own and boasts some of the strangest and most delicious fair food in all of America. Here at the fair you will find fried candy bars like Reese’s and Snickers, fried desserts like Oreos and cheesecake. Not so mainstream are dishes like fried mac and cheese, fried Kool-Aid and our personal favorite the Krispy Kreme burger. This heart attack between two donuts is a juicy beef burger topped with bacon and other condiments smashes between two sugary Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. But don’t stop there. Finish the day with a fried Reese’s that explodes with melty chocolate and peanut butter with every bite.

11. Fresh Berry Tall Cake from Cowfish

This dessert takes strawberry shortcake to a whole new level with three layers of moist lemon pound cake, vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry sauce. The giant stack is finished off with fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Overwhelmed by the size? Don’t worry. This dessert is perfect to share with a group of hungry enthusiasts, or maybe not so hungry if you’re hoping to eat most of it by yourself.

12. Mini Donuts from Sola Coffee

These adorable and tasty treats are baked fresh daily. Check the menu inside for the flavors of the day, but we are confident that whichever flavor you do choose you won’t regret. Get an assortment of several flavors like cookies and cream and orange and grab a warm mocha to sip on. These bites of sugary goodness will not disappoint. 

So here you have some of the best and most decadent desserts in the southern city of Raleigh, North Carolina. From creamy, homemade ice cream to moist and spongy cake, there is a decadent dessert out there for everyone to try. No pressure, but make sure to try all of them before you die.