Indulge in Sydney’s most decadent desserts

Looking for the best dessert in Sydney? These crumbly cakes, pretty pastries and tasty treats will hit the (sweet) spot.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Nov 2022 -
min read

Nomtella Cake at KOI Dessert Bar  

It's the cake that made Reynold Poernomo famous on MasterChef, the aptly named Nomtella. Layers of dark chocolate brownie, espresso mousse, salted caramel ganache and hazelnuts come together in the perfect nutty mocha-y bite.   

Nomtella cake at Koi Dessert Bar, Chippendale

Koi Dessert Bar, Chippendale - Credit: Koi Dessert Bar

Goya at La Renaissance 

It’s only fitting that the delicate French pastries at this bijou cafe should be named for artists; they look like works of art themselves. The Goya is raspberry mousse with a creamy passionfruit centre, almond nougatine and pain de genes biscuit base, with one of their signature macarons on the side. 

Balles Bougatsa at Lukumades

Lukumades are a traditional Greek doughnut, sold from pastry shops or hole-in-the-wall cafes as an afternoon snack, often topped with sweet syrup and crushed walnuts. Taking cues from its namesake, there’s plenty of modern flavours on offer at this Chippendale venue, but you can’t go past a classic – Balles Bougatsa is filled with custard and topped with cinnamon and icing sugar. 

Selection of balles bougatsa at Lukumades, Chippendale

Selection of balles bougatsa at Lukumades, Chippendale - Credit: Lukumades Australia

Strawberry Watermelon Cake at Black Star Pastry

It’s called the most Instagrammed cake in the world and with its pretty-as-a-picture layers of almond dacquoise, rose-scented cream and watermelon, topped with strawberries, pistachios and dried rose petals, it’s easy to see why. Expect a line out the door most days to get one. 

Plated strawberry watermelon cake at Black Star Pastry, Newtown

Black Star Pastry, Newtown - Credit: Black Star Pastry

White Coral at Quay 

Quay’s snow egg was the first dessert in Australia to become a celebrity in its own right. In 2018 it was replaced by white coral – white chocolate ganache frozen with nitrous oxide until it takes on a spongy, coral-like texture, served with coconut cream and feijoa ice-cream. 

White coral dessert at Quay, Circular Quay

White coral dessert at Quay, Circular Quay

Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Gelato at Gelato Messina 

Every gelato aficionado has its own favourite scoop from Gelato Messina, true legends of the game in Sydney, but the salted caramel and white chocolate is consistently their best seller. It’s made with milk from Messina’s own jersey cows and churned fresh in-store every day. 

Gelato Messina, Darling Square

Gelato Messina, Darling Square - Credit: Gelato Messina

Cheesecake at Uncle Tetsu

A cult favourite in Japan, Uncle Tetsu brought their brand of oh-so-fluffy cheesecake with the golden brown top to Australia in 2016. Demand was so intense when it first opened that there was a limit of one cake per person. Happily, you can now buy as many as you like. 

Baked Ricotta Cake at Pasticceria Papa

This traditional southern Italian bakery has been a Sydney favourite for more than 30 years and those in the know always order the baked ricotta cake. Made from a secret family recipe, its light and fluffy ricotta is encased in flaky pastry that melts in your mouth. 

Selection of specialty cakes, Pasticceria Papa

Selection of specialty cakes at Pasticceria Papa, Haberfield

The OG Lamington at Tokyo Lamington 

A Japanese take on the iconic Australian sweet, Tokyo Lamington has a huge range of flavours from fairybread popcorn to yuzu meringue and banana caramel, but it’s hard to go past the classic. Fluffy sponge, raspberry jam and vanilla cream, dipped in chocolate and coated in coconut – bliss. 

The OG lamington at Tokyo Lamington, Newtown

Tokyo Lamington, Newtown - Credit: Tokyo Lamington

Portuguese Tart at Sweet Belem 

Daydreaming about a Portuguese tart that rivals the famous delights you find on the streets of the Lisbon suburb of Belem? Head to Petersham’s Sweet Belem, which sells between 600 to 1,000 pasteis de natas on a weekend day. Once you bite into the flaky outer shell to the warm custard inside, you’ll understand why the Inner West bakery has become an institution.  

Portuguese tart at Sweet Belem, Petersham

Portuguese tarts at Sweet Belem, Petersham

Almond Croissant at Flour and Stone

Found in the back streets of Woolloomooloo, Flour and Stone serve up classic bakery delights, including coffee, pastries, cakes, and savoury sausage rolls and pies. The real showstopper, however, is the flaky almond croissant – cooked fresh every night by chief of viennoiserie Mary Johnston, using Pepe Saya butter. Come hungry so you can taste other menu delights, such as sourdough crumpet with ricotta and honeycomb, or a creamy leek and gruyere tart.

Almond croissant at Flour and Stone, Woolloomooloo

Flour and Stone, Woolloomooloo

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