Kansas City, and the surrounding communities, is a foodie paradise, especially if you have a sweet tooth. After many years of visiting, I’m sharing my favorite KC restaurants for ice cream, cookies, and other sweet treats.
Disclosure: Some of these restaurants or shops I’ve visited while being hosted by a visitors bureau; others I’ve visited and paid my own expenses. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.
I chose restaurants and shops that aren’t necessarily in Kansas City, Kan., or Kansas City, Mo. Instead, these restaurants are in the “greater Kansas City area.” It’s a broad term, sure, but just hop on the interstate and you’ll be getting your sweet treat fix in no time.
Ice Cream in Kansas City
We tend to get ice cream on every road trip. The most memorable ice cream stop was at Sylas and Maddy’s in Olathe, Kan.
This family-owned ice cream shop has a ton of homemade flavors. So many, it’s hard to choose. So maybe go ahead and get yourself that five flavor sampler.
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Cake and pastries in Kansas City
Hands down, the best cake I’ve had was the cream cheese coffee cake at Strawberry Hill Bakery in Merriam, Kan. I don’t know where it’s been all my life, but I’m so glad to know about it now.
Be sure to keep the cake chilled. It gets rather crumbly, otherwise. Not that I’ve tried sneaking a slice in my car or something.
While I’m partial a savory breakfast, I sometimes sample the sweet pastries my family orders. And in Kansas City, they’ve ordered some doozies.
For more creative spin on a pastry, go to Black Bear Diner in Olathe and try the Bear Claw French Toast. The bear claw is so sweet, you really don’t need much syrup, if any.
For a more traditional pastry, try a giant cinnamon roll at Corner Cafe (there are a few locations). We tried to split it between four people and couldn’t finish it. Granted, we all had ordered our own breakfast entrees, but still. It’s that big.
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Cookies in Kansas City
The French macarons at Kate Smith Soirée are almost too pretty to eat. Almost. We found a way.
We came across Kate Smith Soirée while having lunch at The Public Market in Lenexa. I tried a lavender and honey macaron, and it was as delicate as it sounds.
Sweet breads in KC
Ever heard of a povitka (pronounced poh-va-teet-sa)? Me neither, but I learned all about the hand-rolled bread on a recent visit to the Kansas City area.
It’s a Slovakian bread and Strawberry Hill Bakery in Merriam, Kan., has spent decades making this homemade delicacy. Try the most popular povitka, the English walnut. It’s delish.
Candy in Kansas City
For gorgeous candy that’s more of a work of art than a treat, go to Christopher Elbow Chocolates in the Crossroads District of KC. This is definitely splurge chocolate. It does taste as good as it looks.
For a less spend-y candy treat, I have a few suggestions. If you’re on the Kansas side of Kansas City — you know, The Sunflower State—be sure to get yourself some candy with sunflower seeds in it.
Sunflower Food Co., based in Lenexa, Kan., sells two kinds of chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. My whole family settled on the milk chocolate ones over the dark chocolate.
Sweet drinks in Kansas City
Whether you want hot or cold sweet drinks, I found some great ones in KC. Since it’s summer when I’m writing this, I’ll start with the ice-cold drink of choice for me.
This one’s a bit of a drive outside of the KC metro area, but it’s worth it. Head to Gieringer’s Family Orchard & Berry Farm in Edgerton, Kan., and try the strawberry lemonade slushee. After picking berries in the summer sun, you’ll want to gulp down this drink, but beware: Brain freeze is real.
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For a grown-up hot drink, I’ll have to admit to buying (and loving) the expensive alcoholic hot chocolate that’s available at Worlds of Fun during Winterfest.
It warms you up, no doubt about it. But, buy it only if your budget allows because, whoa.
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