5 Must-Try Desserts in Portland
Satisfy the sweet tooth with some of Portland's best treats
Creo Chocolate is a small batch bean-to-bar chocolate factory and tasting room in the Lloyd District of Portland. With cacao beans straight from farmers in Ecuador, the flavors are rich and complex, pairing well with raspberry, mint, orange, and more. They offer a variety of chocolate treats, from an amazing black lava chocolate caramel to a chocolate whiskey. Kevin Straub of their marketing department says, “Everyone should try everything, but those are two of my favorites.”
Besides eating chocolate goodies, for $20 you can take a one-hour, behind-the-scenes tour of the award-winning factory to see where the chocolate comes from and interact with the chocolate makers.
The best part is that you get to design your own chocolate bar at the end. They’ll make the basic bar, but you’ll choose the flavor pairings, add-ins, and decorate the wrapper with markers and stickers. "We get some people who are very creative, and there are some people who just want to write their names on it,” says Straub. Tours are appropriate for children ages eight and up, but all supervised children are welcome.
Indulgent, creamy, extravagant ice cream isn't limited to summer days. Salt & Straw makes unbelievable ice cream by hand, creating unique flavors like Pear & Blue Cheese and Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper. If those sound a little too adventurous for you, they have more conventional tastes, like Mint Chip with Theo Chocolate, Double Fold Vanilla, and Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons. Each ice cream flavor in the three Portland locations has been made in collaboration with local artisans and farmers.
Portland is known for catering to vegans, and Salt & Straw is no different; 20% of the flavors are vegan, and they create a special dairy-free menu every January.
Everyone has been told not to eat raw cookie dough, but The Cookie Dough Café defies that age-old rule by making edible, gourmet cookie dough. Richer than ice cream, there are eight flavors, including Oreo, confetti, and General Manager Dakota Sykes' favorite, snickerdoodle.
They are all egg-free and use heat-treated flour, so they're safe for everyone, even children and pregnant women, to eat raw. "Instead of eggs, we just added more butter and adjusted the ratios of the rest of the ingredients,” Sykes explains. Heat-treating the flour kills the bacteria that makes it harmful. For the vegan brownie batter flavor, they use vegan butter.
While there, you can pay by the scoop (1 scoop for $3.50, 2 scoops for $6.50, 3 scoops for $9) or try one of their special cake pops they made in collaboration with Bee's Cakes; it's a layer of cake and a layer of cookie dough, all covered in melted chocolate. However, if you don't want to go all the way to Portland, pints of their cookie dough are carried in supermarkets and specialty shops all over the country—go to their website, type in your zip code, and it'll tell you what nearby markets carry them.
People line up around the block to buy any of the fifty different types of doughnuts Voodoo Doughnuts offers. From classic glazed and jelly-filled to the unique Guava Colada, Diablos Rex, and the signature Voodoo Doll, there is no shortage of deliciously fried pastries to chow down on. The Bacon Maple Bar is a must-try, and the founders, Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon, maintain that it’s where the maple-bacon craze started.
Voodoo Doughnuts has two bakeries in Portland, but have also expanded to Denver, CO and Austin, TX, plus both Universal Studios locations.
Cupcakes are great because they’re trendy, portable, and just the right size to satisfy the sweet tooth. Saint Cupcake is perfect for this, as their cupcakes come in two sizes; Dots (mini-sized) are $1.75 each while full-sized cupcakes are $3.50. Delectable flavors range from vanilla with cream cheese icing to Toasted Coconut Cream to Vegan Red Velvet.
Not in a cupcake mood? Their three locations throughout Portland also sell cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, and ice cream.
By Digital Content Coordinator, ALLISON BENNETT
Photo Credit: Creo Chocolate, Shawnalee Anderson, & Cookie Dough Café
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