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Food Critics: The Best Desserts In Kansas City In 2019

'I am loopy' shaved ice cream from I Am Frozen Dessert Cafe

Some desserts are secrets. Some aren’t necessarily desserts. Others, still, make you rise up and confidently declare that you are rich or beautiful.

Food writer and personal chef Lou Jane Temple says she recently decided to retaste-test the tiramisu at Bella Napoli and did not see it in the display case. When she asked, she received a sort of hushed reply that it was behind the counter.

“It’s like a little secret,” Temple says. “Be sure and ask if you go in and you don’t see it.”

Food writer Carlton Logan is infatuated with some of the offerings at I Am Frozen Dessert Café, where speaking with confidence is sort of an imperative for customers because each flavor is attached to a different declarative sentence.

“You get up there and you make your declaration of confidence: ‘I am rich!’ And they say, ‘Yes you are! Here’s your dessert!’”

Here are their recommendations for Kansas City's other best desserts.

Lou Jane Temple, Chef & Author

  • Andre’s Confiserie SuisseNapoleon. These layers of puff pastry with whipped cream plus icing are simply classic.
  • The Restaurant at 1900Sweet corn ice cream sandwich. This is an oatmeal cookie, peach-cinnamon compote, and caramel sauce. A love letter to the end of summer.
  • Bella NapoliTiramisu. Just a classic Italian dessert of espresso-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone and chocolate.
  • Dolce BakeryCream cheese brownie. Gooey chocolate bottom, yummy vanilla/chocolate top.
  • Messenger Coffee and Ibis BakeryOrchard bread, densely packed with dried fruit and nuts. If I were serving it at home, I would take two good cheeses, put them on the table with wonderful butter and slices of this bread for a perfect ending. 

Carlton LoganKCFoodGuys.com

  • Rye  — Lemon meringue pie. The meringue is more toasted marshmallow, which takes that lemon filling to another level.
  • I Am Frozen Dessert Café  — Shaved ice and honey toast are two great desserts from Asia. The shaved ice cream feels like you're eating a great big bowl of pure snow, except if you order the I Am Rich, it's flavored with peanut butter; I Am Delightful is mango; and I Am Powerful is coffee. For honey toast, Japanese milk bread is coated with a honey caramel sauce, toasted and drizzled with condensed milk, accompanied by different flavors of ice cream.
  • Black Sheep + MarketChocolate Chess Pie has a reliably flaky crust, a rich, fudgy, chocolate filling and is served with in-house vanilla bean ice cream.
  • Best Regards Bakery and CaféChocolate cheesecake is perfectly fine after a grilled cheese or porchetta sandwich (either that, or a cream puff).
  • Q39 Warm apple crumble. Who doesn’t love a dish of warm, caramel apples with a crunchy topping and ice cream? Perfect for fall weather.
  • Corner Café – Coconut cream pie here, with its extremely flaky crust, is one of my favorite custard-type pies.
  • Artego PizzaBaked Nutella. This that wonderful hazelnut spread people love encased in pizza dough. Chef Joe Perez bakes it, then drizzles it with chocolate, caramel, strawberry or raspberry sauce.
  • Dolce Bakery — Cheesecake brownie and bittersweet chocolate brownie. Cupcakes were the thing; now it’s macarons. I want to bring back the brownie.

Follow KCUR contributor Anne Kniggendorf on Twitter, @annekniggendorf.

Anne Kniggendorf is a staff writer/editor at the Kansas City Public Library and freelance contributor to KCUR. Follow her on Twitter, @annekniggendorf.
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