Being on vacation is all about living it up, and, in our book, that means getting dessert every night! Gatlinburg, TN and the surrounding cities are filled with fantastic candy shops, bakeries, and creameries, so you’re sure to find plenty of ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. To help you make the most of your next getaway, Hearthside Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to seven places that serve the best dessert in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.
The Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen has been a can’t-miss stop in downtown Gatlinburg since 1950! This beloved shop has stood the test of time by staying true to its roots and doing everything the old-fashioned way. When you visit the Candy Kitchen today, you’ll have the chance to see fudge being prepared in copper kettles, salt water taffy being pulled on a mesmerizing machine, and white-uniformed candy makers honing their craft.
Whether you’re in the mood for a candy apple, cashew brittle, chocolate covered Oreos, or peanut butter fudge, you can’t go wrong at this amazing candy store. The Kitchen has two convenient locations right on the Parkway.
2. Glades Soda Fountain
Glades Soda Fountain is a real blast from the past! Located in the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community, this ice cream parlor is patterned after the soda fountains of the 1940s. Guests can order a variety of classic ice cream creations, including sundaes, milkshakes, malts, floats, and phosphates. All of these tasty dishes are handcrafted by a friendly soda jerk who even wears a vintage paper hat. Be sure to try the Fountain’s homemade root beer; it’s fantastic!
The Donut Friar is another popular destination for the best dessert in Gatlinburg. Tucked away in The Village Shops off of the Parkway, this amazing donut shop makes the most celebrated pastries in town. Highlights of the Friar’s menu include the Bavarian cream donut, chocolate eclair, apple pillow, and freshly baked cinnamon bread.
The Donut Friar opens at 5 a.m. each morning, so early risers won’t have to wait to sink their teeth into some melt-in-your-mouth goodness. You may want to stop by an ATM before your visit, as The Donut Friar is a cash-only business.
4. Sweet Shoppe of the South
Cupcake lovers will definitely want to stop by the Sweet Shoppe of the South! This excellent bakery at The Island came to national attention when its founders, Nikki and Susan, took first place on the Cupcake Wars TV show. Some of the tasty cupcake flavors you’ll find at the Sweet Shoppe include Rocky Road, Cookie Dough, Thin Mint, Strawberry Milkshake, and Chocolate Cream Pie.
The Apple Barn Village is the place to go for apple-filled treats. Located beside an apple orchard, this shopping complex features a number of stores where you can enjoy some mouthwatering desserts. The Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store is famous for its fried apple pies, apple cinnamon donuts, old-fashioned apple stack cakes, and, of course, fresh apple cider. Other sweet spots in The Apple Barn Village include the Apple Barn Candy Kitchen and the Apple Valley Creamery.
6. The Old Mill Square
The Old Mill Square is overflowing with delicious desserts! At The Old Mill Candy Kitchen, guests will find some of the area’s best chocolates, fudge, and caramel apples. If it’s ice cream you’re after, head over to The Old Mill Creamery to sample their famous Banana Pudding Ice Cream or Salted Caramel Ice Cream. We also recommend trying the pecan pie at The Old Mill Restaurant; it’s so good that the restaurant serves over 700 slices of this pie each day!
If you find yourself at Dollywood during your vacation (and we hope you do!), you should definitely indulge in some of the theme park’s signature desserts. The most popular snack at Dollywood is far and away the cinnamon bread. Baked fresh at the park’s old-fashioned grist mill, this irresistible bread is dripping with butter, cinnamon sugar, and icing. Dollywood claims to sell around 350 loaves of cinnamon bread an hour!
Where to Stay in Gatlinburg
When you stay with Hearthside Cabin Rentals, you will be near all of the best dessert in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 18 bedroom lodges, we are sure to have the perfect property for your getaway. To start planning your escape, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!