Bring on the nutmeg, peppermint, and pie. With the holidays around the corner, dessert shops and bakeries across Orange County have created their own tributes to the season—some familiar and others new. Whether you’re a traditionalist who won’t eat anything but pie post-Christmas dinner or the type who consumes eggnog in every shape or form, there’s something sweet (and likely minty) for you in Orange County this season.
10. Peppermint Drumstick at Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream (Santa Ana)
Thankfully, Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream has reopened earlier this month after being closed for renovations. Otherwise, we wouldn’t get to try their seasonal offering: peppermint drumsticks, which are cones are filled with ice cream, covered in chocolate, and sprinkled with peppermint bits. 3640 S Bristol St, Santa Ana, (714) 979-8815; hanshomemade.com; facebook.com/welovehans
9. Various Desserts at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café (Anaheim)
Like Dole whip and corn dogs, coconut Matterhorn Macaroons at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café are a staple at Disneyland. You’ll know it because everyone who’s eaten one has the same picture of it being held in front of the Matterhorn ride. At around $2 a piece, the macaroon topped with white chocolate and coconut shavings is one the cheapest foods in the park (granted it’s tiny) and it’s delicious. But of course, Jolly Holiday Bakery Café is also known for their Mickey-shaped macarons and cutely designed cupcakes. Last year, they had Olaf from Frozen on their cupcakes. 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, (714) 781-4636; disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disneyland/jolly-holiday-bakery-cafe.
8. Leche Flan at Spigas Bakery (Orange)
Flan is one of those things that show up at holiday parties somehow. At potlucks, no one requests it and yet someone always brings it. Well, if you’re planning to be that person, the flan at Spigas Bakery is a good choice. It’s a floppy, slippery blob of cream cheese and caramelized sugar that’s not too sweet or soft. The bakery also carries chocolate flan, tres leches cake, and champurrado—all of which are great for the holidays as well. 1643 W Chapman Ave, Orange, (714) 937-2972
7. Inside SKUP (Fullerton)
A couple of months ago, a new ice cream sandwich shop called Inside SKUP opened up by Cal State Fullerton and it quickly made a name for itself for its Asian-inspired ice cream flavors. While ube, Vietnamese coffee, and lychee ice cream are still the shop’s hook, its new Ande’s chocolate peppermint brownie—which can be eaten with any ice cream flavor—is a nice bow to the holidays. 575 N Commonwealth Ave, (714) 869-3110; facebook.com/insideskup
6. Eggnog and Peppermint Ice Cream at Andrew’s Ice Cream and Dessert (Orange)
Every year, Andrew’s Ice Cream and Dessert—a small shop in the corner of a strip mall—offers eggnog and peppermint ice cream, which are consistently creamy and balanced in flavor. This month, the shop is offering a cool deal: whenever it rains, you get two ice cream orders for the price of one. Come hither, El Nino! 1549 E Katella Ave, Orange, (714) 829-9350; facebook.com/andrewsicecreamanddessert
5. Chocxo Coffee and Cacao (Multiple Locations)
With Chocxo Coffee and Cacao’s massive deals for December, everyone just might be getting chocolate for Christmas this year. On particular days, they’ll mark their peanut butter cups, mochas, and chocolate bark half off. Either your family and friends will love you for the sweets or hate you for ruining their annual New Year’s resolution of being fit. And if you’re holiday shopping is exhausting you, try their seasonal mint frappe to relax (there’s also a half-off discount on it on random days! 1534 Adams Ave, Costa Mesa, (657) 231-6190; also at 20025 Lake Forest Dr #101, Lake Forest, (949) 305-2800 and 9461 Irvine Center Drive, (949) 825-5781 chocxo.com; Instagram: @chocxochocolatier
4. December Yule Log at Disneyland (Anaheim)
At Disneyland, another holiday season calls for another round of Yule log—-that is, chocolate cake rolled into a log with coffee butter cream, thick chocolate ganache, and chocolate crunch candies. This year, they’ll be available at Plaza Inn and Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel. Of course, because these logs are Disney’s, expect festive wreath designs and candy canes to be popping out of the bark. 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, (714) 781-4636
3. The Dirty Cookie (Tustin)
This season, trade a traditional plate of cookies and milk for cookie shots at The Dirty Cookie. These cup-shaped cookies are probably one of the most economical inventions in Orange County as of late. The cookies, which are made with Belgian chocolate, come in chocolate chip, cookies n’ cream, and red velvet. Milk options are Madagascar vanilla cream, chocolate cream, vanilla almond, and the regular kind. If you’re a peppermint lover, you might also fancy the chocomint cookie sandwich, which are double chocolate cookies with mint filling. 2493 Park Ave, Tustin, 949 324-1574; thedirtycookieoc.com; Instagram: @thedirtycookieoc
2. Holiday Donuts at Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee (Costa Mesa)
Sidecar Doughnuts is known for changing its flavors every month, and this December their donuts are in gingerbread, Buche de Noel, malasadas, apple fritter, pear charlotte, and eggnog flavors—with the latter only available at their Costa Mesa location. The eggnog donut, which is particularly notable, is a classic combination of eggnog, rum extract, and ground nutmeg. The gingerbread is made with real ginger and topped with powdered sugar snowflakes. 270 E 17th St. #18, Costa Mesa, (949) 873-5424; sidecardoughnuts.com; Instagram: @ sidecardoughnuts
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1. Pies at Polly’s Pies Restaurant (Various Locations)
Yeah, it's a chain, but we won't hate: Since opening its first location in Fullerton in 1968, Polly’s Pies has remained a classic pie destination for north OC locals. Now, the family-owned business runs sixteen locations throughout Southern California (and even owns a bunch of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises—but that’s another story). Pies come in flavors like traditional apple and banana cream, and—not to mention—the fattiest (and most delicious) crust.
136 N. Raymond, Fullerton, (714) 526-7741
2660 N. Main St, Santa Ana, (714) 547-9681
2025 N Tustin St, (714) 637-3040
23701 Moulton Pkwy, Laguna Hills, (949) 380-8383
9791 Adams Ave, Huntington Beach, (714) 964-4424
3464 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, (562) 430-4541