Doughnut Time, Oxford
Opened this month in Westgate Oxford (find the sage green frontage sandwiched between Rituals and the Oxford Library) this is the fourth outpost outside London for the Insta-worthy doughnut den. Not only are the doughnuts seriously delicious, but they’re brilliantly named and have both vegan and gluten-free options. For starters try the Claudia Sprinkleman (chocolate dough with rainbow sprinkles), Gordon Jamsay (jam-filled and topped with a jammy dodger) or the David Hasselhoff (Lotus Biscoff spread, caramel glaze, chocolate glaze, topped with caramel buttercream and a Lotus biscuit). Must. Try. Them. All.
Plentiful Desserts, Amersham
Remember when you were a kid and loved licking the cake dough from the spoon? Well, you can relive your childhood sweet tooth – with or without kids in tow – by popping into Plentiful Desserts in Amersham, which opened in February this year. The mouthwatering menu included molten lava chocolate cake, milkshakes and gluten-free golden brownies. Don’t forget to lick the spoon clean before you leave.
Alfonso Gelateria, various locations in Oxon
Alfonso Gelateria’s origin story is as sweet as its authentic Italian Gelato. After moving to England in 2010 to study Chemistry, owner Lewis wanted to recreate and share the flavours that shaped his childhood in Italy and began experimenting with recipes, selling from a food truck in Summertown, North Oxford. There’s now a permanent shop in Woodstock – a five minute walk from Blenheim Palace – with a second outpost in Witney set to open in Autumn this year. You can also pick up a cone from the ice cream truck outside Victors in Westgate in the summer months and at various local shops around Oxon. Deliciously authentic.
Great Gelato, Stony Stratford
Husband Ethan’s gelato outlet and wife JoJo’s cake business have joined forces to open Great Gelato – the first Italian Gelateria and bakery on the High Street in Stony Stratford which opened in Spring 2022. With dine-in and takeaway options available, you may have found your new favourite mid-morning coffee spot; time it right and you can stay for lunchtime pizzas too.
Moo Moos, Oxford
Follow the slew of bright pink takeaway cups down the high street and you’ll find this pocket-sized milkshake bar tucked away in the Covered Market – but don’t be fooled by its size. Moos Moos offers over 200 – yes 200! – different milkshakes and smoothies with flavours you never even knew existed. Starburst? Frosted Shreddies? Pink Wafer biscuit? Toblerone? We’ll take them all, thanks.
Treat Street, Milton Keynes
Fancy a Malibu, Daim and coconut shake? Er, no brainer! Located in Stadium MK, this family-run, independent dessert parlour has a seriously impressive milkshake menu including boozy hard shakes (hard yes, please) alongside waffles, cakes, gelato and cheesecake. There’s also a large vegan menu.
The Milk Shed, Western-on-the-Green
@debporterphotography via The Milk Shed
Tucked away on Manor Farm, near Bicester, this hidden gem of a brunch spot has an on-site ice cream ‘lab’ and a list of desserts to impress, from sundaes and milkshakes to warm homemade brownies. Although bestsellers are always available, you’ll discover a new flavour on every visit, making it impossible to leave without a cone – and if you like it that much you can purchase it by the litre in the shop! Did someone say takeaway?
Mrs Macs Sweet Treats, Woburn Sands
Owned by two local sisters, this cake shop sits pretty in pink, bedecked with faux flowers it screams, ‘welcome, please sit down’. New concoctions and flavourings appear regularly (the vanilla, strawberry and meringue cupcakes for Wimbledon were positively dreamy). Alongside cakes, biscuits and brownies, they cater for birthday parties, can take orders for special occasions and are able to deliver on the day.
The Willow Basket, Henley
Like a sprinkling of satisfaction with your scoop? This zero-waste whole foods store is big on sustainability, serving up 25 flavours of organic, all-natural homemade ice cream in an edible cup (yes, really! Just like that scene in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory). They also have a cute vintage ice cream van for pop-up events so listen out for that unmistakably tinkling tune that says’s summer’s here!
Ben’s Cookies, Oxford
Internationally loved Ben’s Cookies are baked with chocolate ‘chunks’, not chips, for an extra-gooey texture – there’s a reason these guys are so popular. With 15 flavours to choose from for your sweet tooth fix, the cookies are freshly baked daily in the tiny Covered Market store so time it right and they’ll still be warm. Melt-in-the-mouth cookie heaven.
Quince & Clover, Great Tew
With a wide range of salads and seasonal bowls at this chic cafe it may be a struggle to leave space for dessert – but try your best as the homemade cakes and North Cotswold Ice Cream Company tubs (made with Cotswolds cream and whole milk) are packed with unique flavours. Don’t miss the milkshakes either, made with three scoops and North Cotswold Dairy milk.
Crepêrie Angélie Kiosk, Bicester Village
Shopping is hungry work (especially when there are over 150 designer boutiques to mooch around at Bicester Village) so it’s a good job you can pick up an on-the-go snack from this artisan crepe stall, handmade to order using Cotswold-milled organic flour and local farm free-range eggs. Expect all the classic flavours, as well as a fun ‘Embrace your Inner Child’ menu including Kinder Heaven (Kinder Bueno and whipped cream) and Pistachio Dream (pistachio and white chocolate fondant with whipped cream).
Rumsey’s Chocolaterie, Thame and Wendover
Master chocolatier Nigel Rumsey has been creating his delectable chunks of milky goodness since 1991, when he was inspired by the film Chocolat – so it’s safe to say that Rumsey’s knows a thing or two about the good stuff. There are two outposts – one in Thame (near Mint Velvet – handy!) with a centrepiece Victorian glass cake cabinet, pavement seating, plus you can watch the chocolatiers at work through the glass – and one in Wendover, so you can reward yourself with a sugar hit once you’ve trundled around Wendover Woods.
The Works, Aylesbury
If you live near Aylesbury with children under 18, no doubt you’ll know The Works intimately – founded in Aylesbury with a second location added in High Wycombe, it’s school holidays catnip, offering a huge selection of pancakes, waffles, crepes and French toast, slathered in toppings that will topple your daily calorie count in a single glance. Sophisticated it’s not, but boy it tastes good.
G&D, various locations in Oxford
An Oxford institution, G&D has three locations in Oxford (St Aldate’s, Little Clarendon, and Cowley Road) and serves a selection of different flavours in each store, so you’ll have to visit every one. Kids will go gaga for the Cookie Monster – ice cream wedged between two cookies of their choice – while you can indulge in the more refined Rum and Raisin or a Bailey’s for me please. All ice creams are handmade in the original shop on Little Clarendon Street.
Heavenly Desserts, Headington
Ooooh, how good does this look?! This dessert bar brings a little bit of sophistication to its sweet treats with more of a restaurant vibe than café – there’s no slapdash chocolate sauce here. A new menu was launched this month including Mochi tasting plates (ask your TikTok loving teens), banoffee s’mores, waffles and crepes, saffron milk cake and The Cookie Jar sundae, complete with a nostalgic mini milk ice cream. There’s also a dedicated vegan menu.
Olney Pancake Parlour, Olney
Olney knows a thing or two about pancakes – the beautifully preserved Georgian market town was home to the first pancake race in 1445 and continues the tradition every Feb. So you can expect flipping good things! (sorry not sorry). Olney Pancake Parlour sits on the Main Square with the menu including both sweet and savoury classics. The pancake afternoon tea is a must-try at £20pp.
The Shake Shop, Witney and Carterton
This sweet milkshake bar serves over 100 tasty flavours from classic sweets and chocolate bars to biscuits, as well as tasty combos like bubblegum & marshmallow and Aero mint & After Eight. Not sweet enough? You can pimp your milkshake with heaps of different toppings – foam bananas, Jazzles (remember those?!), mini fudge pieces and more. The stores also sell ice cream for dogs if you have Fido in tow.