When people go to get their favorite fast food, they sometimes want a little something extra to go with it. We're not just talking about a large order of fries or extra dipping sauces. We're talking about the desserts! Fast food doesn't need to be limited only to the savory. How often have you gone to a fast food place just to get something sweet? Whether it's an ice cream cone or just a cookie, there are plenty of fast food desserts that anyone would go out of their way to snack on. After all, some places make their desserts part of their identity. Just look at Shake Shack, which puts its dessert-style beverages right there in the name! There are plenty of really great fast food desserts that can take your meal to a whole new level.
Of course, hiding among all of the great fast food desserts out there are ones that have no business even being sold. They are the kind of thing that has no discernible flavor, or they try to rip off a more prominent fast food dessert only to fail entirely. These are the fast food desserts that should be avoided at all costs. Even if your meal is really great, there's no doubt that the experience will be ruined by one bad dessert. The level of disappointment that comes with a bad fast food dessert is almost beyond measurement, so it's important to know what you're getting into. These are ten fast food desserts that are absolutely delicious, and ten that you should just skip entirely.
20 DELICIOUS: DQ PEANUT BUSTER PARFAIT
There are plenty of great sundaes to try at Dairy Queen, not to mention their famous Blizzards. For your money, though, there isn't really a better choice than the famous peanut buster parfait. This simple sundae is comprised of vanilla soft serve, chocolate sauce, and plenty of roasted peanuts. It is simple, but that is kind of the beauty of it. The peanut buster parfait is the kind of sundae that doesn't need a lot of bells and whistles to convince you that it is delicious. Its three components come together perfectly in every way, and as an after dinner treat, it is just perfect.
19 SKIP IT: PIZZA HUT CINNAMON STICKS
It's too bad that Pizza hut eliminated its famous dessert pizza in favor of things like the cinnamon sticks it ended up making its signature dessert product. These sugary sweet breadsticks in disguise don't have a great texture, often ending up very soggy and overly soft due to the sheer amount of sugar, plus the steam that builds up inside the box, leaving them very messy and not all that desirable. Trying to eat these things was an exercise in seeing how sticky you could stand your hands being at a given time. They have never really been that great, and they don't really make a great dessert for pizza since both items are so carb heavy.
18 DELICIOUS: PIZZA HUT DESSERT PIZZA
Pizza Hut's dessert pizza was something special, a play in making something savory into something sweet. They don't make this particular item anymore, but when they did, it was a huge deal. If you found yourself at Pizza Hut during the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, then they were sure to trot these things out near the end of service. You could gorge yourself on regular pizza and breadsticks, then grab a slice of this strudel-like pizza, which came in both cherry and apple flavors. They were not overly sweet and really resembled a traditional pastry more than other fast food desserts. Maybe one day, it will make a triumphant return.
17 SKIP IT: TACO BELL CARAMEL APPLE EMPANADA
Taco Bell has had a lot of hits over the past few years by doing exactly what they tell their customers to do (that is, "think outside the bun"). Their Doritos Locos tacos made the company billions and sparked a whole new interest in the restaurant. It's kind of funny, then, that their attempt at a more traditional dessert could fail so badly. The caramel apple empanada is packed full of artificial flavor, and its lack of any discernible texture might lead one to believe that a real apple never came anywhere close to this thing. The crust also left much to be desired. Overall, this was one of Taco Bell's more disappointing ventures.
16 DELICIOUS: MCDONALD'S MCFLURRY
Mcdonald's really knocked it out of the park when they came up with the McFlurry. It's not quite as perfect as a DQ Blizzard, but it has its own special charm. It's the kind of dessert that you get when you're passing by a McDonald's and you just need something sweet. They are as recognizable by their cool refreshing flavor and mix-ins as they are by their dome lids and hollow spoons. The McFlurry stands as the best dessert you can get at McDonald's. There are plenty of ways to customize it, and there are always limited time flavors to try. However, nothing can really beat the classic Oreo flavor, which remains the best one.
15 SKIP IT: BURGER KING HERSHEY CHOCOLATE PIE
Burger King might need to stop trying to make its dessert menu happen, seeing as how they just can't seem to get anything right. Along with their corn-syrup laced caramel sundae, they also serve their own Hershey chocolate pie. This textureless, overly sweet dessert isn't going to be winning anyone over any time soon. Despite the fact that it looks like the pie has several different layers, they all blend together until there is basically no discernible difference between the filling, crust or whipped topping. This is not exactly the kind of dessert that you would want to end your meal with.
14 DELICIOUS: WHITE CASTLE CHEESECAKE ON A STICK
Cheesecake, chocolate, things on sticks... These are all things that most people love, so why would anyone deny how great these tiny little triangles of deliciousness from White Castle really are? They perfectly combine all the flavor of cheesecake with a thin and sweet (but not too sweet) chocolate coating. Like their famous sliders, these little slices of cheesecake can generally be eaten in about one or two bites, so it's important to get two or five or ten of them when you really need a good old-fashioned cheesecake fix. There are other desserts from White Castle that follow the same formula, but none of them can match the sheer joy of this creamy, sweet, chocolaty treat.
13 SKIP IT: A&W ROOT BEER FLOAT
A&W is known for its famous root beer, and most people wouldn't even think about getting a meal there without a tall frosty mug of that fizzy beverage. A&W is also known for its root beer floats, a staple of old malt shops, where root beer is topped with a scoop of ice cream. The only issue with this dessert (which could also just be a drink to go with your meal) is that the root beer at A&W is topped with soft serve, which doesn't quite do it in terms of a real root beer float. Without a solid scoop of vanilla ice cream melting into your drink, it's just not quite the same.
12 DELICIOUS: TACO BELL CINNAMON TWISTS
Once again, Taco Bell has cracked the code of making a weird food a major hit. What are the cinnamon twists, you ask? Well, as some observant people have pointed out, they are literally just deep-fried rotini that is tossed in cinnamon sugar. Sure, to most people the idea of deep-fried pasta would be enough for them to be turned off of the dessert entirely, but these cinnamon twists are the perfect sweet treat. They are not too heavy, nor are they too sweet. The flavor and crunch come together in a really great way. These are the perfect dessert after a good old Doritos Locos taco.
11 SKIP IT: BURGER KING CARAMEL SUNDAE
How could a fast food place get a simple sundae so, so wrong? Well, somehow Burger King managed to do it with their caramel sundae. Remember how we mentioned that most fast food soft-serve is kind of waxy and artificial tasting? Well, the same goes for the ice cream from Burger King, which was never that good, to begin with. On top of that, the caramel sauce was comprised mostly of high fructose corn syrup, which made it highly unappealing and eliminated any trace of actual caramel flavor in exchange for a cloying sweetness with no flavor profile. This was a major misfire, and it could never live up to other truly great fast food desserts.
10 DELICIOUS: SUBWAY COOKIES
What's the best thing you can get at Subway? If your answer was any of the sandwiches, then you are already very wrong. The right answer is the delicious cookies that are sold in addition to the mostly just okay subs. These cookies are so much better than anything most people can make at home, and they are worth a trip to Subway just to get them. They make a perfect snack, and every kind is delicious in its own way. There's chocolate chunk, delicious in its simplicity, White chocolate macadamia, which is subtly sweet and has a nice added crunch from the nuts, the M&M cookie, which is colorful, fun and tasty, and finally, the double chocolate, which provides a perfect fix for any chocolate lover.
9 SKIP IT: MCDONALD'S CINNAMON MELTS
McDonald's has a lot of its dessert items featured on this list as being skippable, but it's not because of any bias. They really just aren't all that good for the most part. The same goes for McDonald's cinnamon melts, a gooey, sticky mess of a dessert that looks like a poorly formed cinnamon bun and tastes like it was thrown in the microwave for too long. There is rarely a time when you can get these fresh, which means that most of the time you're just eating a stale cinnamon cake. when there are other, better dessert options out there, why would anyone return to this?
8 DELICIOUS: SHAKE SHACK MALTED SHAKE
Shake Shack is obviously known for its shakes as much as its burgers and fries. It is right there in the name, after all. While many of the shakes at Shake Shack are truly delicious, the chocolate malted shake is something very special. While the normal shakes can be very thick and sweet, the malted chocolate shake takes a different approach, providing a more airy and light texture, and cutting back on the sweetness by providing a little more of a complex flavor profile with the addition of malted milk. This is the perfect drink for people who don't want the heaviness of a normal milkshake with their meal.
7 SKIP IT: ARBY'S OREO BITES
There might not be a more disappointing dessert on this list than Arby's Oreo bites. What would you expect from a restaurant that can't even seem to get the roast beef sandwich right? These little, cream-filled chocolate donut holes border on being completely flavorless, and the cream filling is just insulting to anyone who loves dessert. These are the kinds of things that you might only try if you want to see how not to make something sweet for mass consumption. It's amazing how Arby's could take two surefire desserts (Oreos and donut holes), and combine them into something so wholly unappealing.
6 DELICIOUS: POPEYES HAND PIES
Popeyes is already known for its delicious fried chicken, which some might say is actually the best fast food chicken available right now. They are also known for their more eclectic sides, like their red beans and rice and obviously their delicious biscuits. However, Popeyes also has their own dessert, in the form of hand pies. These crispy, sweet pastries are the perfect capper to a meal of Cajun-style fried chicken. the newest variety, strawberry cream cheese, provides a nice balance of flavor between rich and tangy. These are the kind of fast food pies that you want to have as an after meal treat.
5 SKIP IT: SHAKE SHACK PURPLE COW
The Purple Cow is a secret drink at Shake Shack that has nonetheless become very popular. The drink is a variation on a float, which uses grape soda and custard to create something that is probably closer to a shake than anything else. Still, this is the kind of sweet treat that is more of an acquired taste. After all, grape soda can be a little bit too sweet on its own, so mixing it with custard to make something even heavier and sweeter just seems like it would put the whole thing over the top. If you're ever at Shake Shack, it might be better to stick to the chocolate malted shake.
4 DELICIOUS: WENDY'S FROSTY
Is there any fast food frozen dessert more coveted than the famous Wendy's frosty? This versatile dessert can be eaten on its own, or it can be used as an unconventional dip for your fries. The Wendy's frosty stands out from other frozen treats by having a depth of flavor that is hard to figure out. It has notes of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee, and the texture is absolutely amazing. This is the kind of thing that is perfect on a hot summer day. Wendy's introduced new flavors, but the original frosty is still the best. This is by far the best fast food dessert out there.
3 SKIP IT: MCDONALD'S PIES
While McDonald's apple pies used to be something that was a signature part of their menu, it seems like in the last few years they have faded into obscurity. That might be due to the fact that when the restaurant switched from frying them to baking them, there was a major change in flavor, and not for the better. These pies have gone from something that used to be a fan favorite, to sitting in cardboard boxes in a metal container, just waiting to be thrown out at the end of the day because no one bought them. It's really a shame to see something that was a staple of the McDonald's menu fall so far.
2 DELICIOUS: CHICK-FIL-A ICEDREAM CONE
There are plenty of fast food places that have their own plain vanilla soft-serve cone, but the king of all of them has to be the Icedream cone from Chick-fil-A. This deliciously refreshing soft-serve cone is neither too sweet nor understated. It has a far more creamy texture than most other fast food soft-serve, and it is the perfect chaser to one of those famous chicken sandwiches. It's a step above the kind of ice milk treats that other restaurants try to pass off, which can sometimes be a little too thick or have an artificial taste or texture that makes them somewhat off-putting.
1 SKIP IT: MCDONALD'S SOFT SERVE CONE
There are plenty of rare sights in this world, and one of them is a McDonald's with an ice cream machine that is actually working. If you ever manage to find one of these locations, then you'll probably treat yourself to a McDonald's soft-serve cone, which is a popular fast food dessert, but it is all that good? When it really comes down to it, there might not actually be a more disappointing ice cream cone out there. There's just something about the texture of a McDonald's cone that makes it taste a bit too artificial for real ice cream fans. Rather than being creamy, it is almost too thick and gummy. It doesn't taste terrible by any stretch, but it is far from the best ice cream cone you can get.