dessert in Williamsburg, VA

21 Delicious Places For Dessert In Williamsburg, VA: Discounts Noted (2023)

There is no loss of incredible dessert in Williamsburg, VA, including the one-of-a-kind Colonial “ginger cakes”. Take note of the Good Dimes discounts which are underlined where applicable. Bookmark this post for your visit so you don’t miss out on any of these sweet treats.

Dessert In Williamsburg: Bakeries

1. Raleigh Tavern Bakery – 410 E Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (Colonial Williamsburg)

The Raleigh Tavern Bakery is the most unique bakery in Williamsburg, as it’s located in the restored, historic colonial area of town, directly behind the Raleigh Tavern.

Baked goods are made fresh daily in an authentic wood-fired oven by bakers dressed in colonial garb. It’s truly an experience you can only get in Williamsburg and one not to be missed!

Ginger Cakes at Raleigh Tavern Bakery

They are most famous for their “ginger cakes” (cookies) but they also serve other baked goods, soft serve ice cream, coffee, light lunch bites and snacks, as well as beer and other cold beverages.

2. Aromas – 431 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (near Merchant’s Square)

When I think of Williamsburg, I think of Aromas. It is quintessential Williamsburg and has been my go-to spot for meeting up with friends over the years – from high school to visits home during college, and into adult life.

Aromas serves delicious coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and baked goods, sometimes accompanied by live music but always by great conversation.

They have a huge dessert case displaying their beautiful cakes, pies, fruit tarts, cookies, cream puffs, eclairs, scones, muffins, danishes, sticky buns, multiple flavors of biscotti, and the list goes on!


Aromas has both gluten-free and vegan baked goods, including their gluten-free turtle brownies and vegan chocolate cake.

In fact, they bake 10 varieties of fresh cakes and pies daily, sold by the slice or whole, and 13 types of pastries, all in-house! It’s easy to see why this is one of the best places for dessert in Williamsburg, VA!

The atmosphere is warm, bright, bustling, and often decorated with local art available for purchase. It’s located adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary, thus it’s almost always busy with tourists, students, and locals alike. However, you rarely have to wait for a table.

Their large coffee bean roaster is on display and you can watch the process from start to finish every Wednesday! They don’t always keep their event schedule on their website up-to-date, so give them a call to see if they have any live music while you’re in town so you can plan accordingly.

They have a second location in Newport News, VA. You can order their cakes, coffee, and tea online.

3. Carrot Tree Kitchens – 1303 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (off of Route 199)

A local “scratch bakery” staple for decades, it’s the only place in town where you should be caught eating carrot cake, of which they got their namesake! It’s so good I chose it as my high school graduation cake.

carrot cake

Their owner was quoted in 1990 saying, “We will bake good cakes, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always good cakes”.

The Carrot Tree makes a dozen creative flavors of cakes in various sizes, including caramel coconut pecan and peanut butter fudge, to name a few. Carrot Tree’s smallest cake is a 6” round called a “baby cake” serving 3-4 people, offered in 8 of their flavors.

Their cupcakes are offered in 4 flavors, including their delectable carrot cake! They have one vegan and one gluten-free option in their cupcakes and all cake offerings except for their large cakes which serve 30+ people.

Carrot Tree also makes several types of freshly baked pies as well as other sweets and treats including brownies, lemon bars, Linzer bars, pecan bars, “pretty fours”, coffee cakes, quick breads, cookies, and carrot tea sandwiches. They have a second location in Yorktown, VA.

You can pre-order your dessert desires on their website which is especially recommended if you want a whole cake.

4. XO Extraordinary Cupcakes – 435 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (Merchant’s Square)

Located in Merchant’s Square inside the Illy Cafe on Duke of Gloucester Street, this XO bakery is a truly lovable spot with more than a decade of serving some of the most beautiful cupcakes you have ever seen.


Their bestseller is the Marvelous Madagascar – traditional vanilla bean pound cake with Madagascar vanilla buttercream icing from the island of Madagascar! That’s one heck of a Good Dimes way to experience Madagascar!

They have about 10 flavors as well as a seasonal variation and the cupcake toppings sometimes include fresh fruit, cookies, chocolate shavings, sprinkles, marshmallows, or coconut. Extraordinary Cupcakes also serves NY cheesecake, whoopie pies, walnut mousse bars, cake truffles, and banana pudding for those non-cupcake lovers out there. You can order online or get them delivered by DoorDash.

5. Blackbird Bakery – 407 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (Merchant’s Square)

One of local chef David Everett’s culinary endeavors, Blackbird serves a wide variety of baked goods that can be enjoyed from breakfast beyond dusk. Their dessert pastries include cookies, daily fruit tarts, brownies, limoncello bars, cannoli, hot milk cake, and a daily selection of bomboloni (Italian donuts).

They have an entire section of gluten-free options including a chocolate mousse cup, ricotta cheesecake, rice crispy treats, and a flourless chocolate torte.


Breakfast treats include multiple kinds of croissants, scones, muffins, cruffins, cinnamon buns, canneles, and biscuits. Blackbird also sells multiple types of freshly baked breads, paninis, salads, and drinks, including coffee.

While their website has a tab for online orders, it directed me to Piazza, one of Everett’s other restaurants, and the ordering system was dysfunctional. Try checking the site yourself, call, or just show up and try your luck.

6. The Bake Shop – 204 Armistead Ave, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (near Merchant’s Square)

This artisan bakery and coffee bar has lots of delicious offers on hand. While their list of sweet options is much shorter than their savory, it’s still a good place to stop for a sugar rush if you’re in the area.

You’ll likely find sticky buns, brownies, cookies, and maybe some seasonal sweet surprises along with all of their savory options on the menu. Orders can be placed ahead online.

The Bake Shop

7. Emily’s Donuts And Cafe – 7123 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (next to Shoofly Dairy Bar, about a 5-minute drive from Colonial Williamsburg)

If you’re one of those “donuts for dessert” people, then check out Emily’s for a wide selection of delicious, homemade donuts. Emily’s boasts 30+ different types of donuts including ring donuts, cake donuts, topped donuts, filled donuts, and a variety of special donuts.

You can order your donuts online ahead to make sure they don’t sell out of your first picks.

They offer specials on different days throughout the week as well as occasional discounts on seasonal treats.


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Dessert In Williamsburg: Gourmet Candy/Chocolate

8. Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop – 414 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (Merchant’s Square)

Located in beautiful Merchant’s Square on Duke of Gloucester Street, Wythe Candy has stood the test of time for 50+ years of serving dessert in Williamsburg, VA.

A favorite of locals, tourists, and college students alike, you can find everything from homemade fudge to caramel apples, hand-dipped chocolates, and the largest selection of candy in the area.


Fun fact: the owners used to have a Jelly Belly branded beetle bug, and I got to take a ride in it when I was a little girl (I was slightly obsessed with beetle bugs, so my parents pulled a few strings for one heck of a surprise)!

Yep, that’s 4th-grade me! Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving!

Dessert In Williamsburg: Ice Cream/Snow Cones/Frozen Yogurt

9. The Big Scoop – 3044 Richmond Rd Suite 106, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (near Williamsburg Premium Outlets)

This scoop shop comes highly rated, serving up ice cream, soft serve, Italian ice, milkshakes, sundaes, floats, and even ice cream nachos?! Open year-round with reduced hours during the off-season.

ice cream

10. The Swirl – 801G Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (near Emily’s Donuts and Shoofly Dairy Bar)

Newly opened in 2023 in what’s called the “edge district” of Williamsburg, The Swirl is already getting rave reviews as a great spot for dessert in Williamsburg, VA.

The Swirl specializes in soft serve, gelato, and Italian ice, however, you’ll find milkshakes, sundaes, cookie ice cream sandwiches, cupcakes, cakes, cake pops, pies, and cookies including chocolate-covered Oreos, among other treats! They even have one of my all-time favorite kinds of ice cream from growing up – blue goo soft serve!

The Swirl also offers “pup cups” for your four-legged fur babies.

The Swirl

11. Sno-To-Go – 2229 Richmond Rd #2, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (near Williamsburg Premium Outlets)

A longtime tradition for dessert in Williamsburg, VA since 1997, Sno-To-Go offers SnoBalls (also known as snow cones and similar to shave ice) in 50+ flavors, sundaes, soft serve, SnoStorms, milkshakes, SnoShakes, cold drinks, and more!

If you’ve never tried a “stuffed” SnoBall, you’ve got to give it a try. It’s a delicious and refreshing treat of alternating layers of shave ice and ice cream. I’m not even a shave ice lover, but stuffed SnoBalls are a game changer.

shave ice

Sno-To-Go offers 10% off on the flavor/product of the week along with other occasional discounts.

Sno-To-Go is open from spring through early fall with reduced hours while school is in session. Sno-To-Go observes the Sabbath and is closed on Sundays. Note: outdoor seating only.

12. Shoofly Dairy Bar – 7127 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (about a 5-minute drive from Colonial Williamsburg)

Shoofly Dairy Bar is one of the newer kids on the dessert block in Williamsburg (opened in 2017), but the building it’s in has been a dairy bar for ages and the retro appearance has remained so similar it almost feels like you’re visiting the original.

Shoofly Dairy Bar

Shoofly Dairy Bar brings a new emphasis to lots of twists on shoofly dessert – shoofly pie, shoofly sundae, shoofly milkshake, shoofly pie blended into soft serve, and shoofly whoopie pie! If you’re a shoofly lover, this is clearly your spot for dessert in Williamsburg, VA.

In addition to their shoofly treats and soft serve ice cream with lots of topping choices, they have 100+ snow cone flavors, floats, sundaes, milkshakes, soft serve blended with toppings, whoopie pies, and other sweet snacks like edible cookie dough cups. Like Sno-To-Go, Shoofly offers stuffed snow cones with any flavor of soft-serve ice cream. They serve their own version of a “pup cup”, like The Swirl.

Shoofly is open year-round with limited winter hours. Note: outdoor seating only with several lawn games for use, they do have a small fire pit (possibly only seasonal).

I’m spilling the tea on insider secrets about unique spots in Williamsburg you don’t want to miss.

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Dessert In Williamsburg: The Not-So-Common (Mostly Eastern/Midwest) Chains

13. The Meadows Frozen Custard – 1222 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (about a 5-minute drive from Colonial Williamsburg and a 5-minute drive from New Town)

Located in Midtown Row, this small chain with only 25 locations worldwide serves frozen custard and yogurt, sundaes, shakes, frosts (ultra thick shakes), arctic swirls (custard or yogurt blended with toppings), Italian ice, smoothies, and other delicacies that hit the sweet spot, including frozen custard and yogurt cakes.

frozen yogurt

14. Kilwins – 421 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (near Merchant’s Square)

Kilwins is more than an ice cream shop. They also serve fudge, caramels, chocolates, candy apples, caramel corn, and brittle. However, it’s a 3-minute walk from Wythe Candy & Gourmet shop, so consider shopping local for your confectionary desires.


15. Bruster’s – 5289 John Tyler Hwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (at the intersection of Route 5/John Tyler Highway and Route 199)

Bruster’s has a wider reach than The Meadows and Kilwins, but I still wouldn’t quite consider it mainstream. It boasts 240+ inventive ice cream, sorbets, Italian ice, and non-dairy flavors, although surely not all flavors are available at all times. But, it just shows you’ll never be at a loss for finding something in your favorite flavor profile.

ice cream

Some eye-catching flavors are red velvet cake batter, mango dragon fruit sorbet, cold brew brownie, and french toast among a bunch of crazy names that’ll have you scratching your head and asking what’s in them. My favorite flavor growing up was the cotton candy explosion.

In addition, Bruster’s serves sundaes, splits, shakes, freezes, blasts (ice cream blended with toppings), specialty items, and whole cakes and pies. You can order their cakes online.

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Dessert In Williamsburg: The Chains

I get it. Sometimes you really just have to hit the chain. My family and I are guilty of favoring Baskin-Robbins 9 times out of 10 when it comes to frozen treats in Williamsburg because we just love their Gold Medal Ribbon more than just about any other ice cream flavor in the world.

So, I’ve included a list of some mainstream ice cream, frozen yogurt, and Italian ice chains below. 

However, if you’re only in Williamsburg for a short visit, I would urge you to try some of the local delicacies and leave the chains for when you get back home.

16. Baskin-Bobbins – 416 Prince George St, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (near Merchant’s Square)

17. Coldstone Creamery – 4615 Monticello Ave A, Williamsburg, VA 23188 (near Monticello Marketplace/New Town)

18. Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt – 4907 Courthouse St, Williamsburg, VA 23188 (New Town)

19. Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt – 4645 Casey Blvd #100, Williamsburg, VA 23188 (near New Town)

20. Rita’s Italian Ice & Custard – 220D Monticello Ave, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (about a 5-minute drive from Colonial Williamsburg and a 5-minute drive from New Town)

21. Ben & Jerry’s – 5699 Richmond Rd #18, Williamsburg, VA 23188 (at Williamsburg Premium Outlets)

Speaking of Ben & Jerry’s, did you know you can visit their factories? Visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory is one of the best things to do on a trip to Stowe, VT.

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