SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Have you recovered from your holiday binge? It gets easier to forget the days of overindulgence as they get farther and farther in the rear-view mirror. Maybe your sweet tooth has come back to life or you are looking for a new Valentine’s Day dessert — either way, you’re looking for a treat.
If something sweet is what you seek, these Syracuse sites can satiate your stomach. NewsChannel 9 has compiled a list containing some of the best locally-owned dessert shops (currently open in the February cold) in Syracuse, according to Google. If two restaurants have the same rank, the one with more reviews will be ranked higher.
#20 Pie’s The Limit – Salt City Market
Average Rating: 4.4 stars. Reviews: 17
In 2019, Fiona Barbour Day founded Pie’s The Limit. The following year, she was asked to join the new Salt City Market. Fiona offers a combination of sweet and savory pies, each more delicious than the last. These include a personal pan Shaker Lemon Pie made with Meyer Lemons and a vegan Blueberry and Orange Galette. Pie’s The Limit’s menu is always changing to stay fresh with the seasons.
#19 The Cookie Connection – Mattydale
Average Rating: 4.5 stars. Reviews: 27
The Cookie Connection is Syracuse’s first gluten-free bakeshop certified by the National Celiac Association. Their goal, according to their website, is “to allow everyone, regardless of any health issues, to be able to obtain good tasting, healthy, preservative-free baked goods.” While the store has limited hours, their selection of treats is not! The Cookie Connection offers scrumptious classics like half-moon cookies and 15 different flavors of cake.
#18 CupCakers – Liverpool
Average Rating: 4.6 stars. Reviews: 91
CupCakers is a gourmet bakery on Old Liverpool Road that specializes in cupcakes. They have over 50 flavors of cupcakes to order, including seasonal and alcohol-infused flavors like Bailey’s and Raspberry Lime Margarita. In addition to cupcakes, they offer cream pies, cookie sandwiches, cheesecake pies, and brownie bars… Yum. They’ll also occasionally offer events with unique snacks, like hot soft pretzels with homemade sauces.
#17 The Toast – Cazenovia
Average Rating: 4.6 stars. Reviews: 368
The Toast in Cazenovia describes itself as an artisanal bakery. It seems like an accurate statement as some of their pastries look like works of art! They offer macaroons in many different flavors like pineapple upside-down, lemon blueberry, and raspberry cream; Berry and Asian Pear fruit tarts, s’more cookies, and several other tasty treats which you can munch on. You can see more of their delicacies on their Facebook or Instagram.
#16 Cathy’s Cookie Kitchen – Downtown
Average Rating: 4.7 stars. Reviews: 54
Cathy’s Cookie Kitchen is a staple of Armory Square, specializing in — believe it or not — cookies! Cathy’s Cookie Kitchen’s s’mores chocolate chip, Milky Way chocolate chip, and Heath Bar crunch chocolate chip were all voted “Best Desserts” during Syracuse’s Winterfest 2018, 2019, and 2020 and featured on NewsChannel 9’s Bridge Street. Cathy’s Cookie Kitchen even offers delivery straight to Syracuse University student dorms and a “cookie of the month” club!
#15 Exhale Café & Bake Shop – Camillus
Average Rating: 4.7 stars. Reviews: 58
Exhale Café and Bake Shop is owned by Maria Eliana, a classically trained baker. Exhale Café and Bake Shop offers classic treats and unique creations alike, such as Blondies, M&M Bars, and red velvet lattes. Exhale Café and Bake Shop also creates custom order cakes and will design anything — including a ‘fancy’ Jesus in a suit! Her store has been described as “effin’ cozy” by Amelia C. on Google.
#14 Serres Donut Shop – East Syracuse
Average Rating: 4.7 stars. Reviews: 128
Serres Donut Shop is the definition of a mom-and-pop shop and has served delicious donuts in East Syracuse for over 40 years. Their store and offerings might be simple and classic, but they always have a plehora of treats that are guaranteed to satisfy that craving. Their prices have also always been reasonable, and last time we were there, you could get a dozen donuts for $7.99 — $2 less than Dunkin’ and made a lot closer to home.
#13 JessiCakes – Baldwinsville
Average Rating: 4.7 stars. Reviews: 150
JessiCakes is the perfect spot for tasting great desserts and supporting a great cause. Owner Jessica Doran has a daughter with autism and uses the bakeshop as a place for other young people with autism to develop skills and have fun. Together they create delicious cookies, custom cakes, and a huge variety of chocolate covered strawberries!
#12 The Sweet Praxis – Downtown
Average Rating: 4.7 stars. Reviews: 267
The Sweet Praxis, according to their Facebook page, is a “bake lab + kitchen offering handmade pastries and baked goods”. If you visited them at 2021’s Great New York State Fair, you may have gotten a chance to taste what they mean by taking home a cone of chocolate chip cookies or an edible cookie dough cup! Regardless, you can still get your sweet fix at The Sweet Praxis by munching on a s’mores cereal bar, a Salt City brownie, or a mixed berry hand pie. If they’re a bake lab, consider me a scientist.
#11 Glazed & Confused – Downtown
Average Rating: 4.7 stars. Reviews: 641
Glazed & Confused is another area staple, offering award-winning donuts. Sometimes their treats have cool designs, like ones with a Bills theme or ones that featured County Executive Ryan McMahon’s face. While these designs might not be around anymore, you can still experience the delicious taste of their donuts: flavors like banana split and peanut butter and chocolate do not disappoint.
#10 Big MaMa’s Cheesecakes – Syracuse
Average Rating: 4.8 stars. Reviews: 18
Big MaMa’s Cheesecakes began as a cheesecake wholesaler, but the store’s popularity at events like the Taste of Syracuse and the Great New York State Fair spurred owner Carrie Fanizzi to create a storefront by Carrier Circle, a decision that we should profusely thank her for. The store also recently had the roof blown off, and the cheesecake flavors offered, like creamsicle, apple caramel, and cookie monster, might do the same to your tastebuds.
#9 Peace, Love, and Cupcakes – Downtown
Average Rating: 4.8 stars. Reviews: 104
Returning to traditional desserts, Peace, Love, and Cupcakes is another local spotlight. Owner Rebecca Riley can do it all but is most passionate about cupcakes. Her creations look great and taste just as nice. Peace, Love, and Cupcakes also shows incredible support to the Syracuse community, whether it’s donating 100% of cookie proceeds to local non-profits. donating 10% of daily sales in the memory of customers, or just sharing content from other local and supportive business owners.
#8 Bella Bakery – Lakeland
Average Rating: 4.8 stars. Reviews: 133
Bella Bakery in Lakeland is another area hidden gem with a diehard fanbase. They specialize in Italian and Eastern European cookies and have been serving the Syracuse area for years. They’re so dedicated to their craft that John Bella, the owner, says his grandfather was born in the bakery, according to legend (and their company website). The dedication shows in their delicious treats: Italian cookies, pies, and traditional cakes.
#7 Hercules Candy – East Syracuse
Average Rating: 4.8 stars. Reviews: 576
Hercules Candy has had over 100 years to perfect the art of making candy in East Syracuse and is a can’t-miss spot. They make all of their treats by hand without any machines and roast their own nuts — and it shows. They have all sorts of sweets, from ribbon candy to chocolate, and each offers a unique taste. If you need some confirmation, you can check out their social media: they have this list’s most Facebook likes, with 86,771 and over 100,000 followers, over 145 million total views on YouTube, and have been featured on BuzzFeed. They even have their own subreddit!
#6 Eva’s European Sweets – Solvay
Average Rating: 4.8 stars. Reviews: 797
Eva’s European Sweets has been the CNY home for authentic Polish sweets since 1997. Eva’s has been named Yelp’s top spot to eat in Syracuse and was featured on Guy Fieri’s Syracuse tour in 2013. While Guy Fieri missed out on her sweets, we don’t think you should! Eva’s European Sweets offers a huge variety of desserts to choose from, including cherry crumb pie, chocolate ganache cake, and a coffee buttercream cake.
⭐The Top 5⭐
#5 Sweet on Chocolate – Downtown
Average Rating: 4.9 stars. Reviews: 65
Sweet on Chocolate is another can’t-miss spot for chocolate candy in Syracuse. With a rotating menu, you’ll always have a chance to try a new chocolate blend, whether it’s in the form of truffles, creams, turtles, clusters, or barks. If you can name it, Sweet on Chocolate probably has it! Even though the ownership changed hands back in 2018, the remarkable quality has stayed the same.
#4 Mrs. Kelder’s Cakes – Manlius
Average Rating: 4.9 stars. Reviews: 44
While Mrs. Kelder’s Cakes is one of the many dessert stores in the Syracuse area, they are one of the best. Mrs. Kelder has perfected the art of frosting, blending delectable colors and taste together with great presentation. Mrs. Kelder’s Cakes also has some very creative recipes for her fabulous and affordable cupcakes, such as the Irish Car Bomb: a chocolate Guinness cupcake, filled with Irish cream buttercream (Irish cream and Irish whiskey), and topped with chocolate buttercream. The store also offers local delivery within 5 miles!
#3 🥉 Sweet Dream Candy Shoppe – Baldwinsville
Average Rating: 5.0 stars. Reviews: 8
Sweet Dream Candy Shoppe is in the heart of the Village of Baldwinsville and will probably win over your heart if you step inside. The store boasts an impressive variety of candy — it’s almost intimidating! Thankfully, the owner is a candy professional and will help you decide the perfect treat for your visit, whether you’re in the mood for a classic candy or something artisanal.
#2 🥈 Westcott Cookie Company – Downtown
Average Rating: 5.0 stars. Reviews: 23
Westcott Cookie Company is a “vibey dessert café serving cookies, signature dessert drinks, gourmet hot chocolate, and other treats” in Downtown Syracuse. According to their website, their story is simple: “Guy makes cookies. Friends eat his cookies. Friends say ‘you should sell these cookies.’ Guy starts selling cookies.” But their reviews and comments and Instagram seem to think their flavors are anything but simple — especially their (already famous) salted chocolate chip cookie.
Honorable Mentions 🏅
Modern Malt – Downtown
Average Rating: 4.2 stars. Reviews: 1,180
Modern Malt joined the delicious horde of restaurants in Downtown Syracuse in 2014. While not exclusively a dessert shop, some of their breakfast items are sweet and tasty enough to save for dessert — if you can hold off that long. These include the “Barney Rubble,” a fruity-pebble-crusted French toast, and the s’mores waffle, which is — you guessed it — a waffle made with chocolate chips, toasted marshmallows, and graham cracker. You also can’t forget to try one of their delicious milkshakes, such as the Wildberry Pop-Tart.
Ma & Pa’s Kettle Corn and Popcorn Factory – Liverpool
Average Rating: 4.8 stars. Reviews: 103
While kettle corn might be considered just a snack, the huge variety of popcorn and delicious flavors that Ma & Pa’s Kettle Corn and Popcorn Factory offer definitely pushes them into dessert category. Some kettle corn flavors include lemon pound cake and snickerdoodle; Ma & Pa’s also sells super-sweet candied corns, like birthday cake, cinna-bun, and sour patch. You can also get caramel-chocolate drizzled popcorn or even caramel-coated cheese balls that you might recognize from the Great New York State Fair.
And the winner is… 🏆
#1 🥇 Honeycomb Bakery – Nottingham
Average Rating: 5.0 stars. Reviews: 31
According to Google reviews, the number one dessert shop in Syracuse is Honeycomb Bakery! Nestled in the plaza by Nottingham Road and Tecumseh Road, Honeycomb Bakery offers all sorts of sweets and treats. Here’s what some of the 5-star reviews had to say:
I run with a group that leaves from this parking lot on Sunday mornings, and after I was really craving something sweet, so I popped in here and got half a dozen donuts, and they are perfect! The consistency is between dense and light, and the flavors are all good, I especially recommend the sweet potato donut, it sounds odd, but it is delicious! I also like the dark chocolate and banana donut because the chocolate chips are so thick.Attilio Lospinoso, Google reviews
Everything exceeds expectations!! Cakes, pies, doughnuts are outstanding!!Holly Foti, Google reviews
I’ve tried so many delicious pastries here, I can’t even narrow it down to just one to recommend. Try them all!
(start with the sweet potato donuts)Stephen Gasparini, Google reviews
You can see some photos of their sweets on Honeycomb Bakery’s Facebook page.
This list does not reflect the views of NewsChannel 9 and is for entertainment purposes only. This list is simply an ordered aggregation of Google Review rankings. If you think the order should be different, try out a local dessert shop and leave them a positive review!