Sweet and Sinful: Guide to Decadent San Diego Desserts

While See’s Candy favorites and Sweet Factory–stuffed striped goodie bags are safe bets to satisfy your sapid and sugar-craving taste buds, San Diego is home to many other sweet spots that offer the ultimate in home-grown delightful desserts.

From cute cupcakeries such as Cups in La Jolla and Cupcakes Squared in Point Loma, to heavenly dessert havens such as Chocolat in the Gaslamp Quarter and Extraordinary Desserts in Hillcrest, the time has come to award your buds with the treats they really deserve.

Discover the best restaurants for decadent desserts in San Diego.

Extraordinary Desserts in Hillcrest

If you’ve never been, it may be hard to find. Extraordinary Desserts is tucked away in an urban jungle, but when you see the line of people out the door, through the garden patio and onto Fifth Avenue, you’ll know that you’ve found Karen Krasne’s delightful desserterie. As soon as you enter, you’ll immediately realize the reason for the atrociously long line. The sight of Krasne’s edible art – which might I add, look too flawlessly perfect to eat – immediately greets you as you enter the side door and the rich smell of roasting coffee beans beckons you to enjoy a cup with your dessert. While the menu changes daily at Extraordinary Desserts, you’re guaranteed to find a scrumptious selection of homemade tortes, fruit tarts, cookies, creme brulee, cobbler, bread pudding, mousses and ice creams. To top it off, Extraordinary Desserts also customizes any of their award-winning cakes to suit your anniversary, baby shower, birthday or business meeting. Who wouldn’t want an “Extraordinary” cake at their special occasion? Extraordinary Desserts also offers a Little Italy location. For more information, please visit Extraordinary Desserts.

Cups in La Jolla

This charming all-organic cupcakery and lounge has garnered an abundance of praise in a short amount of time. Cups owner Michelle Ciccarelli has handcrafted over 85 sinfully delicious cupcake flavors made with local ingredients alongside Kitchen Manager Jesus Gonzales, the former Creative Chef at Rancho La Puerta Spa. From classic flavors like the famous PBamp;J; and Vanilla Vixen to such exotic concoctions as Not-So-Red-Velvet (Southern style chocolate buttermilk cup topped with sweet cream cheese frosting), the Coco-Limey (topped with luscious kaffir lime ganache), Tiramisu and Zanzibar Chai, Cups pleases frosting-loving kids and adults of all ages. And as if these sweet and savory flavors didn’t have you salivating already, Cups also offers specialized cupcakes for those with specific dietary needs, including gluten-free choices such as Bunny Love and Choco Libre, vegan selections such as Strawberry Tea Cup and Deez Peanuts, low glycemic index alternatives like Harvest and the dairy-free PB Cup for those who are lactose intolerant. For more information, please visit Cups La Jolla.

Elizabethan Desserts in Encinitas

It’s safe to say that this quaint bakery located within a lush garden nursery in Encinitas is one of San Diego’s tastiest hidden gems. In a nutshell, owner and Executive Chef Elizabeth Harris serves up a selection of savory sweets by combining nostalgic bliss and American comfort food with an elegant touch. At Elizabethan Desserts, you’ll find grandma’s recipes amped up with gourmet ingredients. Try flavors such as Lemonhead, Colin’s Peanut Butter Wags, Mr. Bean’s Cup o’ Joe, The Elvis, and Diggity Dangs. If you’re in the mood for something non-resembling of cupcakes, you need not fear. Whatever your sweet tooth addiction may be, you’re guaranteed to find the personal touch you’re looking for. From Blackberry Topped Key Lime Mini Pies and Chocolate Cake Lidbits, to White Chocolate Dipped Passion Fruit Cheesecake on-a-stick and Crème Brulee Lidbits, this tempting dessert haven is bound to satisfy your taste buds. For more information, please visit Elizabethan Desserts.

Cupcakes Squared in Point Loma

Cupcakes Squared takes ultimate pride in using the freshest ingredients possible for their cupcakes. Each of the delectable cupcakes is made exclusively utilizing Hawaiian Vanilla 9 (a very fine vanilla grown on the Big Island of Hawaii) and very exquisite French chocolate. Only natural products are used in the recipes and the skillful chefs do not use any food coloring, chemicals, or artificial preservatives and unbleached products to create their signature sweets. If you venture into Cupcakes Squared, you simply must try out the S’mores made with graham cracker chocolate chip cake with chocolate buttercream frosting or the Cranberry White Chocolate designed with creamy white chocolate cake, laced with cranberries and frosted with vanilla buttercream. Gluten-free cupcakes are also available Thursday through Sunday. For more information, please visit Cupcakes Squared.

Babycakes in Hillcrest

Step inside Babycakes and you will find eclectic décor including antique furniture, cozy couches, the original brick fireplace, open beamed ceilings, and a screaming chandelier. The dessert cases are full of decadent cakes, mouthwatering tarts and moist delicious cupcakes your taste buds will praise you for. Stick with the classics at this dessert boutique. Gourmet cupcake flavors range from Hazelnut to Mocha, Chocolate Fudge, Pomegranate and the signature “Babies” mixture. Aside from sweet treats, guests can indulge in everything from Chocolate Martinis to Butterscotch Truffles to Orange Dreamsicles. Whether you want to catch up with old friends or make new, Babycakes is an eclectic and unique destination to celebrate simply the day or to make it your home away from home. For more information, please visit Babycakes. For more information, please visit Babycakes.

Heaven Sent Desserts in North Park

Nestled in North Park’s bustling retail district, Heaven Sent Desserts is critically acclaimed for its delectable wedding cakes, specialty pastries, and European style crepes and cookies. The desserts at Heaven Sent include traditional American recipes, new fusion style recipes and many international recipes. Of course, when you have a menu boasting sweet treats such as a Sunday Bloody Sundae, which is a combination of rich chocolate brownies, mint ice cream and blood orange sorbet all accented with butterscotch'd caramel and chocolate sauces, it's no doubt their cozy booths are occupied by chocolate addicts of all ages. In addition, every day from 3– 6:30pm, Heaven Sent Desserts offers Happy Hour. Choose from one of three dessert selections and a cup of house coffee or tea for $6. Bring a friend for the Double Delight featuring two desserts from the selection and two cups of house coffee or tea for only $10. For more information, please visit Heaven Sent Desserts.

Chocolat in Gaslamp

Located in the heart of the Gaslamp District, Chocolat encompasses the deliciousness of life in a spacious and modern setting. While Chocolat serves up a scrumptious array of salads, flatbreads, and rich pasta dishes, Keep in mind that it’s always necessary to save room for the best part: dessert. Chocolat’s rich and creamy gelato is made with chocolate from six different qualities of cocoa from all over the world. Also such desserts as Chocolate Decadence, Wild Berries Tart, Crème Brulee and sweet crepes infused with Chocolat's signature gelato, Nutellea, or mascarpone cream and topped with fruit of your choice are all available for your tasting pleasure. Share the flavor with your special someone by taking a treat to-go in one of Chocolat's original personalized gift boxes or sit down and savor the essence of sweet chocolately delight. For more information, please visit Chocolat.

Azucar in Ocean Beach

This vibrant and charming patisserie in the heart of Ocean Beach offers up an exceptionally unique Latin twist on classic novelty desserts. Owner and Executive Chef Vivian Hernandez-Jackson has combined her classical French training with her Cuban roots to develop a unique product line of cakes and pastries that combines traditional favorites with new flavors and designs. From Mojito and Triple Chocolate Espresso cookies, and Caramel Cocoa Nib Brownies; to Macadamia Coconut Honey Buns and Mango Upside Down Cake, Azucar serves up a one-of-a-kind assortment of specialty treats you simply must savor. For more information, please visit Azucar.

Cupcake Love in Solana Beach

Located off Hwy 101 in the Beachwalk Shopping Center in Solana Beach, Cupcake Love makes perfectly decorated, from-scratch, cupcakes with only the finest ingredients. At Cupcake Love, each and every cupcake is baked from scratch with only the finest over-the-top ingredients. Every day, this cute cupcakery features 12 delightful flavors ranging from Vanilla Bliss and Chocolate Sin to German Chocolate Love Story and Chocolate Peanut Butter Ecstasy. For those that just don’t love cakey frosted galore (I’m sorry, but how is that even humanely possible?!) Cupcake Love also offers decadent brownies and a small selection of bar cookies. Try the Lovin’ & Squeezin’ Lemon Bars guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds or the Chocolate Addiction Brownies made with the finest chocolate from Belgium. For more information, please visit Cupcake Love.

Seconds, please! More of our favorite San Diego sweet shops include Eclipse Chocolat, Heavenly Cupcake and Coronado Cupcakery. Know of a sweeter spot? Leave a comment below!

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