On the Line / Industry News / Top 10 Dessert Trends and Statistics for 2023

Top 10 Dessert Trends and Statistics for 2023

The dessert market is looking up, and so are these sweet and visually stunning dessert trends.

Menu Engineering Course
icon RESOURCE

Menu Engineering Course

Take this course to make the most of your menu. Learn about menu psychology and design, managing your menu online, and adapting your menu to increase sales.

Download
You must have Javascript enabled in order to submit forms on our website. If you'd like to contact Toast please call us at:

(857) 301-6002
First and Last Name is required
Phone Number is required
Restaurant Name is required
What is your role? is required
What best describes your restaurant type? is required
Yes, I’d like a demo of Toast, a restaurant technology platform.
Yes, I'd like a demo of Toast is required
loadingspinner

We’ll handle your info according to our privacy statement.

Built for Restaurants
Dessert trends statistics

DISCLAIMER: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting, tax, HR, or other professional advice. You are responsible for your own compliance with laws and regulations. You should contact your attorney or other relevant advisor for advice specific to your circumstances.

Desserts are an indulgent comfort. Consumers continue turning to sweet treats for all of life’s celebrations even as the lingering effects of the pandemic tighten budgets. 

The North American dessert market is projected to keep growing in the coming years. Experts expect the ice cream and frozen dessert sector to expand rapidly between 2022 and 2029. In a recent survey, 53% of consumers reported they had dessert in the past day, and 18% admit that they eat desserts once a week.

In the restaurant industry, 60% of operators offer desserts as a regular part of their menus. Desserts that require little prep, like cookies, cupcakes, and ice cream, are popular with consumers and have high-profit margins. 

With all this love of sweets, dessert trends defined 2022. We’re diving into all the cakes, cookies, vegan desserts, and confections that people can’t stop talking about from last year that will dominate the dessert market in 2023.

icon RESOURCE

Menu Engineering Worksheet

Use this menu engineering worksheet, complete with intricate menu engineering formulas, to determine areas of strength and weakness in your restaurant's menu.

Download
You must have Javascript enabled in order to submit forms on our website. If you'd like to contact Toast please call us at:

(857) 301-6002
First and Last Name is required
Phone Number is required
Restaurant Name is required
What is your role? is required
What best describes your restaurant type? is required
Yes, I’d like a demo of Toast, a restaurant technology platform.
Yes, I'd like a demo of Toast is required
loadingspinner

We’ll handle your info according to our privacy statement.

Read this next
Top 10 Restaurant Trends and Statistics for 2023
Industry News

Top 10 Restaurant Trends and Statistics for 2023

Start the new year on a high note with these restaurant industry trends.

Dessert Boards

Dessert boards or platters combine candies, cookies, chocolates, fudge, miniature cakes, macaroons, and any small sweet treat you can imagine. Boards and platters are trending because assortments offer something for everyone to enjoy. 

Dessert boards are sure to be a hit at weddings, baby showers, and holiday parties. Restaurants can get in on the action by selling curated dessert boards with a smattering of their unique, exciting treats.


Be mindful of allergens when building dessert boards. Some people have severe allergies triggered by even trace amounts of nuts and other ingredients.

Plant Based Desserts

The pastry world is facing the demand for vegan options, with creative chefs and business owners meeting the call. It's no surprise - globally, the vegan dessert is worth $2.77 billion, and the market is growing more rapidly than other dessert markets.

Restaurants and bakeries are innovating with plant-derived ingredients so that vegans can satisfy their sweet tooth too. Even though some of the most acclaimed pastries, cakes, and pies require the fat content in butter and the protein in eggs, plant-based dessert recipes are plentiful, creating sugary and indulgent treats approachable to the growing population of vegans.

Another important factor is that plant-based ingredients are often more environmentally sustainable than their counterparts. Locally sourced and house-made ingredients are in vogue now more than ever.

Accommodating Dietary Restrictions

Accessibility matters in every industry. Gluten-free bakeries, dairy-free desserts, and naturally-sweetened confections are more common than ever before. Some businesses take this to the next level to accommodate health-minded customers by using naturally derived food coloring, allowing for vibrant desserts without artificial dyes. 

Restaurants, bakeries, and commercial dessert companies are all embracing alternatives to traditional ingredients. It’s great to see businesses cater to all kinds of eaters and let them enjoy the pleasures of sweet treats.

High Tea

Tea parties might seem like a relic of a past era, but sophisticated high tea service is springing back into the public consciousness. Popular period dramas like Bridgerton and The Gilded Age bring a renewed passion for beautiful, intricate spreads of desserts paired with fine teas. Restaurants, hotels, and cafes are putting their spin on this trend with special events and regular tea service.

Coffee and Tea Infused Desserts

Coffee and tea have been served alongside desserts for ages. But, these beverage flavors are becoming part of sweet creations. Coffee cake is a classic, while latte, mocha, chai, matcha, and earl grey flavored cakes and ice creams are gaining even more popularity this year. Layered with complementary flavors like pumpkin, cream cheese, and vanilla, these caffeine-essenced desserts are a refreshing twist on time-tested flavors.

Plated Desserts

In fine-dining environments, simple desserts are a relic of the past. Elevated-plated desserts with subtle flavor profiles and many complex, textural elements are cropping up on menus across the country. Innovative pastry chefs continue to push the envelope with crunchy, crispy, soft, creamy, and cold confections.

Serving desserts that look as artful as they taste is the goal. The plate acts as a canvas for creative chefs to explore textures, flavors, shapes, and colors in a way that is often limited by traditional dessert recipes.

Premium Desserts

Premium desserts, such as French macarons, flaky pastries, and delicate chocolate truffles are in higher demand in metro areas than ever before. Consumers are willing to spend a little extra for something small yet luxurious to combat the lingering challenges of the pandemic. Even cookies are getting the star treatment at spots like the famous Levain Bakery in NYC.

Spicy and Globally Inspired Flavors

Spicy flavors like black pepper, cardamom, and rosemary might not be traditional dessert flavors. Yet, the combination of spicy and sweet packs an extra punch in desserts. And, of course, pumpkin-spiced treats seem to never go out of style.

One big trend is culturally significant flavors are trending up. Global flavors like star anise, chipotle, turmeric, and cayenne are making appearances in bakeries and patisseries. Take your baked goods to the next level by experimenting with yuzu, ginger, and passion fruit. Your customers will love the opportunity to experience unique flavors in desserts!

Themed 3D Cakes

Cakes are perfect for any occasion or celebration. Bakers put their creativity to work in 2022 to make cakes stand out, literally. From the “is it cake” phenomenon to cakes specially made for themed events, 3D cakes are sculptural, edible works of art. Working with stiff Italian meringue buttercream, moldable fondant, and tempered chocolate, bakers and pastry chefs can create realistic and fantastical scenes.

Nostalgic Comforts

Some dessert trends don’t go out of style. Classic, familiar flavors continue to be popular with a large section of consumers. Flavors like s’mores, cookies, cream, and peanut butter and jelly are both timeless and trendy. Especially in the wind-down of the pandemic, familiar flavors provide a nostalgic comfort to many. This is proven by the fact that simple desserts like cookies, cakes, brownies, and ice cream are best sellers in both bakeries and restaurants.

Embrace these dessert trends in 2023!

Despite the lingering effects of the pandemic on the economy, desserts, snacks, and confections continue to capture the consumer market. Desserts offer a simple and sweet way to increase profit margins. And, with these dessert trends, you can help your restaurant, bakery, or business to keep sales on the rise into 2023.

Subscribe to On the Line

Sign up to get industry intel, advice, tools, and honest takes from real people tackling their restaurants’ greatest challenges.

We’ll handle your info according to our privacy statement.

Otl subscribe 44