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Style: Folsom | El Dorado Hills

Sugar High: 50+ Decadent Desserts in Folsom

Jan 29, 2018 11:20AM

According to Merriam-Webster, dessert is a “sweet course or dish (as of pastry or ice cream) usually served at the end of a meal." While we don’t disagree with the dictionary, we’re here to tell you that when it comes to sweets, rules are meant to, and should, be broken. Whether that means eating dessert for dinner, adding a savory touch to a recipe, or indulging in a liquid—and liquored up—confection, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth. Read on for our region’s most mouthwatering treats, the best local chocolatiers, baking secrets from the pros, and much more.

Pick your poison with one of these ridiculously good sweet treats

36 Handles serves a Persimmon Crumble (previous page) that’s full of whisky-soaked persimmons and topped with brown sugar, oat-pecan crumble, and vanilla ice cream. Try it alongside a pint of one of their “36 handles” (preferably a stout or porter), and you’ve got yourself a one-way ticket to dessert heaven. 1010 White Rock Road, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-3606,

The Chocolate Lava Cake from Land Ocean takes decadence to another level. This chocolate ganache, crushed Heath Bar almond toffee, chocolate and caramel sauce delicacy is served hot and makes for an especially sublime experience with cold vanilla bean ice cream. 2720 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-983-7000,

If you’re feeling especially indulgent, get your Chocolate Covered Cannoli at Dominick’s NY Pizza and Deli. These delicate Italian pastries are made with extra care and filled with ultra creamy ricotta that’s sweet and tart and perfect. Buon appetito! 187 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, 916-351-0900,

The Tiramisu at Visconti’s Ristorante is a labor of love that’s made fresh daily by the owners themselves. Well-treated mascarpone, Italian ladyfinger biscuits, and espresso you can actually taste make for this well-crafted dessert. Visit Visconti’s for a taste of home and piece of this memorable masterpiece. 2700 East Bidwell Street, Suite 700, Folsom, 916-983-5181,

The Steakhouse Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlee at Sutter Street Steakhouse is brûléed to perfection, and infused with quality vanilla beans that speckle the rich, thick, creamy custard. Garnished with a raspberry and thin cookie, this dessert is elegance on a plate. 604 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-351-9100,

Mexquite crafts Churros that are everything they’re supposed to be—doughy cinnamon-sugared straws served with a generous helping of vanilla bean ice cream, drizzled with chocolate and honey sauce. They recommend having it with Azuñia Black Tequila—now that’s a fiesta we’d like to go to. 25095 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, 916-984-8607,  

The description for the Vegan Brownie Batter cupcake at Icing on the Cupcake reads: “a vegan chocolate cake with vegan chocolate chips baked inside, and vegan chocolate frosting topped with a vegan chocolate chip.” This confirms two things—that there’s no absence of chocolate goodness in these cupcakes and that they’re vegan through and through (bananas and almond milk replace the eggs and dairy). Go forth and enjoy. 2379 Iron Point Road, Suite 110, Folsom, 916-303-4333,

Bacchus House Bistro combines perfectly poached pears, frangipane that’s made from almonds, and vanilla bean ice cream as part of their Whiskey Pear Tart. The riveting combination of flavors melds perfectly with one another. It’s the tart you have when you want to celebrate something special and chocolate just won’t do. 1004 East Bidwell Street, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-984-7500,

Here’s a wild idea—how about we take some mochi ice cream, wrap it in pound cake, lightly tempura fry the whole thing, and top it off with raspberry sauce and powdered sugar? Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? The Sweet Dream dessert at Mikuni is exactly that. It’s a favorite for a reason—the reason being it’s so good. 185 Placerville Road, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-934-5250,

Thai Paradise is known for their seasonal Sweet Sticky Rice and Mango, which is like Mother Nature’s dessert in the form of well-cooked sticky rice saturated with sweet coconut milk, served alongside brightly flavored mango slices. There’s nothing else quite like it, which is why we love it. 2770 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-984-8988,

Tips and tricks from local bakers

 Karen Holmes, owner of Karen's Bakery and Café, 705 Gold Lake Drive, Folsom, 916-985-2665,

"The number one cause of cookies spreading too much during baking is overmixing.” 

“When making caramel, add a pinch of cream of tartar or a few drops of lemon juice; this inhibits the formation of crystals, which will make your caramel gritty, or cause it to seize up altogether.”

Q: What’s your favorite sweet treat to bake? 

A: Almond polenta pound cake. It's the wallflower of our shop (everyone looks over it), but I think it's the most delicious and most versatile thing we make. I have one in my home for every holiday.

 Barbara Brown, owner of Nothing Bundt Cakes Folsom, 2793 East Bidwell Street, Suite 200, Folsom. 916-984-4383,

"You only need a few kitchen utensils to make a masterpiece. While many kitchen appliances are convenient and can help speed up the process, there’s nothing better than taking the time to handcraft a dessert or a meal with care.”

“Don’t cut corners. In our bakery, we use real butter, eggs, and cream cheese, instead of substituting ingredients that might make our process easier but sacrifice the quality of the product.”

“Make what you like! When you’re passionate about what you’re making, the care will be reflected in the final result.”

Q: What’s your favorite sweet treat to bake? 

A: Red velvet cake, because of the delicious chocolate chips within the cake. It’s a wonderful complement to an already decadent treat.


 Julian Perrigo-Jimenez, chef/owner of Julian's Pâtisserie and Café, 6610 Folsom-Auburn Road, Suite 7, Folsom, 916-936-4735,

"One recipe I feel all home cooks should add to their repertoire is pâte à choux—the mix you pipe éclairs and cream puffs out of. To get the best results, make sure you cook the base enough, because you want to take a lot of the moisture out of it before you add the eggs; get your oven nice and hot before you put them in, so they come out hollow; and don’t be afraid to bake them until they’re completely dry—after the filling is added, it’ll bring more moisture back, thus resulting in the perfect texture.” 

Q: What’s your favorite sweet treat to bake? 

A: Raspberry cream puff, which has the pâte à choux as the base, but is topped with a red croustillant before it’s baked. Once baked, it’s filled with Chantilly cream and fresh raspberries.


Best local chocolatiers

 Snooks Chocolate Factory is operated by Jim and Renee Snook and has been in Historic Folsom since 1985. Three generations of candymakers have been at the helm of this store and take their chocolate calling very seriously. All their candy is made from scratch and some of their signature products, like fresh caramel, have been fine-tuned over the years, making for a tender and flavorful candy. Their popular peanut brittle consists of fresh raw Spanish peanuts cooked into caramel that’s hand stretched on an original marble table acquired in 1963. Smooth, distinct truffles like the mango habanero and cherry bomb are also popular, as is their butter toffee, fudge, and their own oven-roasted nuts. 731 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-985-0620,

Becki L. De Koning Tyner is the brain behind The Chocolate Architect. Her trademarked and aptly named chocolate silk is a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth confection that has been perfected from the Old World European style of chocolate making. Similar in texture to the center of a truffle, this indulgence carries many exotic flavors (most of which are gluten-free, some of which are sugar-free and vegan). At all times, you’ll find 20-25 of their 75-plus flavors—anything from toffee chip silk and white raspberry silk, to smokin’ bacon silk, and hot chili lime bite silk. Their offerings extend to creatively constructed chocolate gifts as well (Becki is, after all, a licensed architect) that include chocolate keepsakes and wine pairing boxes—making these nuggets the perfect gift for any and all occasions. 250 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1335, Folsom, 916-966-9006,

Mona Keady, of Raffiné in Newcastle, makes the finest chocolates that are pleasurable to the eyes and the palate. Her artisanal chocolates combine flavor and textures to bring Old World European chocolate making to life. Fresh fruit purées, spices, and natural flavors make up perfectly balanced dark, milk, and white solid chocolates; silky caramels (fleur de sel, butter-vanilla), fruit creams (black currant, passion fruit); infused cream ganaches (green tea, rum and raisin); and pralines. She even makes giandujas, an Italian specialty of molded chocolates featuring soft, semi-liquid ground hazelnut centers. Packaged in elegant gift boxes or trays, these carefully crafted chocolates do not disappoint. 661 Newcastle Road, Suite B, Newcastle, 916-663-9617,

Boozy, buzzworthy confections guaranteed to please 

Double Shot Espresso Martini (360 organic vodka, Bailey's Irish cream, Kahlúa Especial, fresh-brewed espresso), $10 at The Independent, 629 Main Street, Placerville, 530-344-7645,

Yatsuhashi (cinnamon-infused Old Forester bourbon, Zaya rum, house horchata), $13 at Aji Japanese Bistro, 4361 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 111, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-9181,

Black Forest Cake Martini (Ciroc Amaretto vodka, Bailey's Irish cream, Godiva chocolate liqueur, white crème de cacao, chocolate drizzle, garnished with a filthy black cherry), $11 at Scott's Seafood, 9611 Greenback Lane, Folsom, 916-989-6711,

Vanilla Orange Creamsicle (Fruitlab organic orange liqueur, TRU organic vanilla vodka, muddled orange, citrus essence, soda, candied orange peel), $11 at Back Bistro, 25075 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 150, Folsom, 916-986-9100,

*Sammy's Drunken Island (Zaya rum, Campari, pineapple juice, lime juice, sugar, garnished with a pineapple popsicle), $10 at The Monk's Cellar, 240 Vernon Street, Roseville, 916-786-6665,

*Note: Limited number available each day

Regal Apple Crisp (Crown Royal Regal Apple, Johnnie Walker Black Label, fresh lemon juice, house-made honey syrup, Creme de Grand Marnier, shaved chocolate, graham cracker rim), $8 at Paul Martin's American Grill, 1455 Eureka Road, Roseville, 916-783-3600,

Prized pies to slice into right now

Fat’s Asia Bistro’s Banana Cream Pie is legendary. Why? Because nowhere else will you get such a generous helping of fresh bananas layered in a rich egg custard, sitting in a flaky crust, topped with a mountain of freshly whipped cream. This made-from-scratch pie is so light and refreshing you’ll scarf it down in no time. 2585 Iron Point Road, Folsom, 916-983-1133, 

Ah…the good ol’ Olallieberry Pie at Sweetie Pie’s in Placerville—tart, yet sweet, the modest olallieberry lends itself beautifully to this comforting pie that’s all fruit and no filler, making sure you taste these precious deep purple jewels. Accompanied by a well-tended-to crust, one slice of this pie will leave you berry happy indeed. 577 Main Street, Placerville, 530-642-0128, 

Grandpa’s Cellar makes an extensive list of “pure old-fashioned apple delights” containing fruit from our very own Apple Hill. Their Traditional Apple Pie can be found at Heyday Café and boasts the finest of fruit that’s carefully prepared and packed into a classic handmade pie that’s both yummy and filling. Heyday Café serves it with caramel sauce, taking it over the edge. 325 Main Street, Placerville, 530-626-9700,

For something slightly unconventional, try the Berry Sour Cream Pie at A Slice of Goodness in Roseville. This beauty takes the humble pie to another level—one of sophistication and indulgence. Each mouthful makes for a multitude of flavors that satisfy and impress. Slightly sour, lots of sweet, you’ll want to take bite after bite…after bite. 924 Douglas Boulevard, Suite A, Roseville, 916-781-3727

An Honest Pie is a food truck from Grass Valley that spreads pie fairy dust all over Placer and Sacramento Counties, and beyond. Their Brenda Sue’s Peach Pie is made from scratch, with no processed ingredients and only whole ingredients. It tastes like a warm, sunny day and is one pie you won’t soon forget. 530-990-1303,

Ikeda’s California Country Market in Auburn starts baking every day at 4 a.m. and dishes out pies by the dozens. They make all kinds, but our favorite is the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie that combines tart rhubarb with sweet, ripe strawberries to orchestrate a wonderful symphony of flavors. The fruit is grown on their farm, making sure the freshest produce is delivered straight from the branch to your belly. 13500 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530-885-4243,   


Buttercup Pantry Restaurant in Placerville is the epitome of country comfort food. Their Southern Pecan Pie is a classic recipe that’s been perfected to a tee. Sink your teeth into buttery pecans in thick custard on a classic crust and slip slowly—and willingly—into pie coma. 222 Main Street, Placerville, 530-621-1320, 


Clever icy combinations sprinkled throughout the region  

Cereal 'n' Milk Sweet Cone at Sweet Dozen Cones, 807 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-358-9832,

You’ll never skip breakfast again once you pick up a Cereal 'n' Milk Sweet Cone from Sweet Dozen Cones. Inside their infamous sweet, crisp cone is vanilla soft serve topped with your choice of cereal—Fruity Pebbles, Corn Flakes, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. If you make it all the way through the monstrous cone, you'll be surprised with a donut hole at the bottom. 

The Works at The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs, 1490 Eureka Road, Suite 170, Roseville, 916-781-7833,

Imagine a milkshake in your flavor of choice topped with a Nutella-filled donut, limitless toppings, and whip, and you have one of the sweetest, most sinful, ice cream treats around: The Works.

Salted Caramel Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at Fishology Poke Bar, 2784 East Bidwell Street, Suite 400, Folsom, 916-587-1899,

After you've polished off a bowl of delicious poke, don't forget to treat yourself to one of Fishology's giant ice cream sandwiches, made with Gunther’s ice cream and Bon Mange macarons. They’re served in a multitude of flavors and a rainbow of colors—all guaranteed to satisfy any and all taste buds. 

Premium Sweet Crepe at T-Crepes, 1870 Prairie City Road, Suite 300, Folsom, 916-597-2787,

At T-Crepes, originality is encouraged. Their offerings include a variety of ice creams, and an even greater selection of toppings, including fruit, sauces, cereal, candy, and more. Choose your ice cream (chocolate) and toppings (strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream), and they'll roll it up into a tasty crepe for easy eating. 

Goliath Funnel Cake at Fancy Funnel Cakes, 4800 Granite Drive, Suite B-11, Rocklin, 916-259-2482,

If you thought funnel cakes were only served at fairs then think again. Fancy Funnel Cakes takes it a step above by adding ice cream, whipped cream, and toppings (we’re fans of keeping it simple with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup).

Mint Chip Madness Ponchik at The Niche Ice Cream, 25004 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 109, Folsom, 916-398-9800,

When you can't decide on one sweet treat, head to The Niche for two: donuts and ice cream! Their Mint Chip Madness Ponchik features a warm donut filled with mint chip ice cream mixed with chocolate-chip-cookie-infused brownies (yes, you read that right!). What's more, they serve macaron ice cream sandwiches, and single scoops for the purists out there.

Gelati at Rita’s of Folsom, 1177 Riley Street, Folsom, 916-597-2752,

Rita's offers almost any frozen treat you can imagine: Italian ice, frozen custard, milkshakes, and more. Try your hand at Gelati—Italian ice topped with frozen custard. Flavor options rotate, so the possibilities are truly endless, but we recommend wild black cherry Italian ice and vanilla frozen custard.

S'mores Shaved Snow at Vampire Penguin, 4060 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 102, Granite Bay, 916-912-3076,

Vampire Penguin specializes in shaved snow—a frozen block of ice cream that’s shaved into ribbons making for a creamy yet fluffy treat. Their combos are sure to satisfy every sweet tooth and include dulce de leche, Twix, green tea, and s'mores—the latter features cookies and cream shaved snow, crushed graham crackers, Oreos, marshmallows, and chocolate syrup.

Deep Dish Delight at Chicago Fire Pizza, 614 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-353-0140; 310 Palladio Parkway, Folsom, 916-984-0140,

One of the classic desserts in our area is Chicago Fire's Deep Dish Delight. Three layers of chocolate chip cookies are topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry. They say it serves two to three people, but we won't judge if you finish one on your own.


A guide to what’s what in the land of frozen delights 

Ice Cream: Frozen blend of milk, cream, and sugar, with optional flavorings

Frozen Yogurt: Ice cream with added yogurt

Soft Serve: Ice cream with added air for a smooth texture

Frozen Custard: Ice cream with added egg yolk 

Gelato: A lower fat ice cream that’s churned more during production

Sherbet: Frozen blend of fruit, sugar, and milk or cream

Sorbet: Frozen blend of fruit, sugar, and water

By Tara Mendanha and Emily Peter

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