If there’s one way to top off a fast food meal, it’s with a dessert that’s as sweet as your fries are salty. Sure, every fast-food chain offers some type of ice cream-based dessert, like a milkshake or a frozen drink, but the true art is knowing where the best dessert foods are. We hunted down the best fast food dessert options to give you an idea of the real goodness that’s lurking out there within those golden arches, redheaded braids, and giant cowboy hats. The results may surprise you. Here are the Top 10 Best Fast Food Desserts.
10. Subway Cookies
Subway’s approach to dessert is simple, yet effective. Cookies aren’t hard to make, and they’re not overwhelming, but they come with a wide range of potential with mix-ins, flavors, and toppings. However, there’s an art to making a really good cookie and surprisingly, Subway knows it. In fact, we challenge you to find someone who has a problem with Subway’s deliciously soft and chewy cookies. Here’s the secret; Subway instructs their employees to take the cookies out of the oven before they turn golden brown. If a cookie is a golden brown color, it’s considered overcooked according to their standards and not acceptable to serve. When you bake a cookie and it reaches golden brown, the sugar is caramelized, which can change its taste. This is why there are people who prefer soft cookies and people who prefer crunchier ones. By avoiding that golden brown texture, Subway cookies stay soft and chewy, just the right amount of undercooked. From raspberry cheesecake to M&M chocolate chip, Subway cookies come in options that cater to a variety of tastes. The double chocolate is by far one of the most popular choices, but we’ll leave that up to you to decide.
9. Long John Silver’s Fried Twinkie
When you’re already sitting down to a fast food meal, you’re not usually concerned about your waistline. So why not add something extra artery-clogging with a fried twinkie? It seems like something you’d find inside a 10-year-old boy’s dream world, but thanks to Long John Silver’s, this dream is a reality. In America, we love to deep fry things. That’s just a common fact of life. Just go to a state fair and you’ll probably find something you never expected to be coated in batter and plunked in a vat of fryer oil. Deep fryers are also a staple piece of equipment used in every single fast-food restaurant out there. So, it’s not surprising when fast-food chains try to their deep fryers to create dessert options, just like Long John Silver’s did. Sometimes it doesn’t really work, but in this case, the public has spoken and it does. They’re not messing with Twinkies here. Simply deep-fried Hostess snack cakes, nothing else added to try to change the beauty of a Twinkie. However, instead of the room temperature kind you’d buy in the grocery store, these ones are warm and crispy, with a gooey but surprisingly not messy inside. A light cinnamon taste on the outside adds a bit of extra flavor for your tastebuds. These deep-fried twinkies were originally supposed to come as a limited menu option, but people started asking for them so often they made them available for purchase individually or by the dozen.
8. Arby’s Cherry Turnover
One of the best things Arby’s does is it always seems to spin nostalgia into its menu items. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that they make a good cherry turnover. The cherry filling, flaky pastry, and drizzle of icing are all the essential elements of a good turnover. They don’t try to put some strange spin on it and keep it classic for a nice sweet treat. This pastry is flakier than a pie, so expect a little bit of a mess. But sometimes the best foods are the messiest. Cherry turnovers are a nice contrast to the limited selection of fast-food dessert options out there because a lot of them are the same old chocolate or cinnamon based things. You don’t really see a lot of other fruit-based options, but these often make for a very satisfying dessert. The fact that they are so flaky also makes them a little bit lighter than something that would be fried, so if you’ve already stuffed yourself with some classic roast beef sandwiches, chances are you’ll still have room for this fruity treat. Arby’s hasn’t really tapped into the fast-food breakfast game like a lot of other chains are doing. While places like McDonald’s and Burger King are killing it with the early morning crowd, Arby’s has only really dipped its toes into the water. So this cherry turnover also makes a nice breakfast or even snack option if you’re looking for something quick on the go and Arby’s is one of your only choices.
7. Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists
We bet you didn’t think Taco Bell would make this list. But their cinnamon twists are delightfully surprising. They’re also vegan. The cinnamon twists look like pieces of deep-fried rotini pasta, but we assure you they are not pasta. You may even laugh at this idea, but there have been rumors floating around on the Internet for some time that this is the case. Just Google it! Countless blogs have made this statement for years, claiming that you can make your own version at home just by deep-frying dried rotini pasta and dousing it in a cinnamon-sugar concoction. Even BuzzFeed got in on the hype. In May 2019, a viral video on social media platform Tik Tok claimed this was the case and viewers were “bamboozled” about the whole thing. But if you’re one of those people who actually tried to deep fry dry rotini pasta, you probably found pretty quickly that this is not a good idea. In case you’ve never made pasta before, noodles require water to swell up and expand. The real cinnamon twists use rice flour as a primary ingredient so that they puff up and expand to their signature size. All in all, the Taco Bell cinnamon twists are a great choice even if you just want a sweet snack. Their light and airy texture, and resemblance to a sweet cereal means you can probably get away with eating your dessert for breakfast. Just a fair bit of warning, though, because these twists are known to be addicting. At only $1, this is a dessert that’s definitely worth the price tag.
6. Sonic Cinnasnacks
The problem with Cinnabon is that it’s so much cinnamon bun it’s hard to even finish one. So, if you want to satisfy a craving, Sonic’s bite-sized pieces can do the trick instead. They are essentially what looks like a pizza roll but filled with a gooey cinnamon filling. Let’s be real here. The gooey cinnamon filling is the best part of a cinnamon roll anyway. Sonic’s Cinnasnacks don’t really use cinnamon roll dough, and instead, the cinnamon goo is hosted inside a crunchy, yet not overly doughy, outside layer. They are served with a container of cream cheese frosting to dip in. Each order comes with about 1.5 ounces of the sweet sticky frosting, which is more than enough for a 5-piece serving. This is perfect for those who love to indulge in a non-socially-acceptable amount of frosting with their cinnamon roll. Interestingly enough, Sonic has their Cinnasnacks listed on their breakfast menu, but they really are more of a dessert item. In fact, they’re almost entirely a dessert rather than a breakfast, especially since they are extremely sweet. But we’re not here to judge what type of sweets you eat for breakfast, just to tell you what your options are. Just like Cinnabon’s full menu, this one isn’t for the faint of heart. Literally. It’s natural to expect that your fast-food dessert isn’t going to be healthy, but there are a ton of calories, sugar, and fat lurking inside these seemingly innocent bite-sized treats. Up to 680 calories in three pieces, to be exact. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
5. Burger King Hershey Sundae Pie
The packaging may be notoriously complicated because your pie is packed tightly into a triangular box, but most people find it’s worth it once you get to the sweet treat that is Burger King’s Hershey sundae pie. If you love chocolate, this is the dessert you’re going to need in your life. The Home of the Whopper could soon be the Home of Your Favorite Dessert. This sweet treat includes a crumbly chocolate crust filled with chocolate ice cream and topped with chocolate syrup and chocolate chips. In translation: chocolate on chocolate topped with more chocolate. That is basically a chocolate lover’s dream. It’s also topped off with some whipped cream, and overall resembles something like a chocolate mousse cake. Since it’s actually really light and airy, it’s not as heavy as you’d think it would be, which makes a great dessert option if you’ve already scarfed down a Whopper or two. Sometimes this pie comes really cold, so if you have sensitive teeth, just wait a few minutes and then dig in. But that feeling of a nice cool chocolate pie after a hot burger and fries adds to the whole appeal of washing it all down with dessert.
4. Popeye’s Cinnamon Apple Pies
Apple pie is as American as… well, apple pie. In this country, a hot apple pie can be a comforting dessert that brings you back to your homegrown roots. For a long time, McDonald’s was basically the king of the hand-held apple pie game, at least in the fast-food world. But forget about McDonald’s. The real winner is from Popeye’s. Trust us on this one. As you may already know, McDonald’s apple pie held the title for most beloved fast-food dessert once upon a time. However, the chain made a big change when they started baking the pies instead of frying them in an effort to be healthier. Many apple pie fans called this decision a mistake, and there was somewhat of an uproar about it. The filling became crunchier, the outside didn’t have that crispy fryer fat, and so on. Here’s where Popeye’s has your solution. Since their take on the hand-held apple pie is fried, the outside is nice and crispy. The inside is a gooey, apple pie filling, and it’s all dusted with cinnamon. If you eat these right after chowing down on something coated in one of Popeye’s signature salty-spicy seasoning blends, you’ll love the sweetness on your tastebuds. It has everything you miss that McDonald’s took away, and it’s all yours for about $1.29.
3. Domino’s Marbled Blondie Cookie and Brownie
A dessert from a pizza joint probably isn’t something you’re expecting to see on this list. These places aren’t exactly known for perfecting post-pizza indulgence. Quite frankly, they don’t really have to, because the market for pizza delivery isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That being said, this fact hasn’t stopped certain places from at least trying to offer something sweet to cap off your pizza binge, and Domino’s has definitely upped their game. Domino’s has tried some interesting options over the years for their small dessert menu, does anyone remember the Oreo dessert cookie pizza? However, nothing beats their Marbled Blondie Cookie and Brownie. This one is definitely a hit. The Marbled Blondie Cookie and Brownie is a deliciously chewy brownie that combines with a salty, buttery cookie to create one treat you won’t be able to stop stuffing in your mouth. It comes warm and gooey, cut into nine decently sized pieces. If you can’t decide between a cookie and a brownie, with this option, you can have both. Now, most people who enjoy baking wouldn’t attempt to mix these two together unless you really know what you’re doing. Both have different baking times. Somehow, the people behind the Domino’s dessert menu figured it out and produced this marvelous solution. It’s definitely worth the extra $5-7.
2. White Castle Cheesecake on a Stick
White Castle, the producer of Harold and Kumar’s favorite sliders, has made it to this list for something that isn’t actually on a bun. That would be their cheesecake on a stick, a perfect bite-sized dessert to pair with your little burgers. It’s really a combination of what Americans love; cheesecake and foods on a stick. Sure, it’s not glamorous. But it gets the job done. If you like the idea of a cake pop but aren’t really a cake person, this is probably the closest thing you’ll ever find. This invention is essentially a small, bite-sized piece of cheesecake dipped in chocolate fudge and served to you on a stick. Simple, but genius. It’s an ideal solution for cooling down on a hot day or rewarding yourself with a sweet treat just because. And it’s totally portable. And if cheesecake isn’t actually your thing, White Castle has you covered. They also offer a fudge-dipped brownie on a stick and a butter cake on a stick. Word on the street is that you can also buy these creations in 4-packs from the freezer aisle of select grocery stores. You can find one near you with the store selector on their website.
1. Dairy Queen Strawberry Funnel Cake
Okay, let’s face it. Dairy Queen is already the king of fast food desserts because 80% or more of the entire restaurant menu is dessert. They specialize in ice cream and, more importantly, Blizzards! But their strawberry funnel cake is an underrated dessert staple that should not be going unnoticed. Especially if you want something hot and baked with your ice cream. It’s basically what you’d want from a fast food restaurant serving a treat you’d enjoy at a state fair. Warm funnel cake slathered in sticky strawberry sauce and powdered sugar served with a sundae-style scoop of signature DQ vanilla soft serve. In fact, this is probably the closest you’re going to get to the real thing if you’re ordering a fast-food version of a classic American dessert. Of course, keep in mind it’s not going to be as big as the heaping funnel cake you’d get at a state fair. But it does the trick when you just have to satisfy a craving. If strawberry isn’t really your thing, the funnel cakes also come in hot fudge and caramel. Basically you’re just swapping out which sauce is being drizzled on top.