Ranking Fast Food Desserts From Worst To Best

If you're like a lot of people, you're not heading to a fast food restaurant for a dessert. Rather, you're going for the savory stuff, and you decide to order dessert as a last-minute add-on. In some cases, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that the fast food dessert you'd always overlooked is actually rich and delicious, worth the trip through the drive-thru even without the burger. Other fast food desserts, though, are less than appealing and leave a lot to be desired — you may be better off just buying a pint of ice cream at the gas station.

Therefore, we've tasted some of the most common fast food desserts to find out which ones are worth the price and which ones you should just forget about ordering. You may not agree with us on every point, but hopefully, this can give you the lowdown of the fast food dessert landscape. Let's take a closer look.

19. Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists

You're at Taco Bell, and at the last minute, you decide you want something sweet to pair with your Crunchwrap Supreme. To your ultimate dismay, you order the Cinnamon Twists, which seem to be fashioned after churros. We really, really wanted to like these, but they're just downright disappointing. They're crunchy, not soft, which means you don't get that satisfying crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside texture you'd want from a churro-adjacent snack. Plus, the cinnamon-sugar dusting is so sweet that all you taste is sugar when you take a bite.

If you're in a pinch and you just want something, anything sweet, the Cinnamon Twists at Taco Bell may fill the hole, but if you're actually looking for an enjoyable dessert experience, this is not likely to be it.

18. McDonald's Baked Apple Pie

McDonald's offers a range of desserts, but in our opinion, its baked goods leave a lot to be desired. It shouldn't come as a surprise that McD's doesn't deliver on the freshly baked dessert front. The Baked Apple Pie from McDonald's doesn't look like the kind of pie your mom would make for Thanksgiving. Rather, it's pretty much in the shape of a hot pocket. Under the lattice crust, sugary apples are surrounded by a cinnamon-flavored goo. In practice, it should be good, but take a bite, and you'll realize why we're not huge fans of the Baked Apple Pie.

The flavor of this dessert is overwhelmingly artificial — it tastes like you're biting into the idea of an apple pie, not the real thing. It's also way, way too sweet for anyone who doesn't have a serious sweet tooth.

17. In-N-Out Strawberry Shake

No trip to In-N-Out is complete without grabbing a shake, but you may want to stick to the classic vanilla or chocolate flavors. That's because we're really not big fans of the Strawberry Shake from In-N-Out. There's nothing overtly wrong with this shake — we've definitely had worse desserts before. But there's also nothing that exciting about it. Mix up some frozen strawberries and vanilla ice cream at home, and you can probably make a better vanilla shake than what you'll get at In-N-Out.

We commend you for subverting expectations and ordering the strawberry over the chocolate. We feel even prouder that you didn't succumb to the boredom of vanilla. But order the Strawberry Shake from In-N-Out once, and chances are, you'll never go back to it again.

16. Subway Raspberry Cheesecake Cookie

You've already decided what you want on your sub sandwich, and you've even picked out some chips before getting to the checkout. But once you're ready to pay, you realize that you don't have anything sweet to end your meal with. That's when you decide to make the last-minute decision to add a cookie to your order. You've had more chocolate chip cookies than you can count, so you decide to go for something different. How bad could Subway's Raspberry Cheesecake Cookie really be?

Alright, it's not that bad. But if you're looking for a satisfying cookie, you might as well just go to the bakery section of your local grocery store. This cookie is overly sugary, and the white chocolate chips certainly don't help. The raspberry bits aren't terrible, but we wish they were more tart to balance out that sweetness some. Ultimately, you'll probably decide to just go for the chocolate chip cookie the next time a dessert craving strikes.

15. Sonic Cinnabon Cinnasnacks

If you're ready to indulge in something sweet, you may get excited when you see the Cinnabon Cinnasnacks on Sonic's menu. Who doesn't want to eat tiny pastries filled with cinnamon roll filling? Upon the first taste, you may actually like this dessert. But after you've had one and a half to two of the small pastries, that overwhelming sweetness is going to become cloying — not least because you're supposed to actually dip the pastry in cream cheese frosting. By the time you finish a serving, you're probably going to be turned off of sweets for a week.

So, should you order this dessert just for yourself? Maybe not, unless all that sweetness doesn't make your teeth hurt like it does ours. Rather, we think this dessert is better for sharing. Just a single one of these pastries will fulfill your craving for sweets.

14. KFC Chocolate Chip Cookie

There aren't many desserts that you can find just about anywhere, but the chocolate chip cookie may be one of them. It's one of those essential sweets that most people love, so it makes sense that fast food restaurants like KFC would sell them to their chicken-inclined customers. Thinking about ordering the Chocolate Chip Cookie from KFC? Go for it. You're not going to be blown away by how delicious it is — truthfully, it's pretty unremarkable. You may find it a bit too sweet, too. But our real problem is the fact that this chocolate chip cookie tastes like very little at all. Most chocolate chip cookies we've had have more going on than this one does.

You're probably not going to actively dislike this cookie, but you're not likely to go back for seconds either. Only buy it if you're seriously craving something (slightly) sweet after your meal.

13. Arby's Cherry Turnover

If you're looking for a fruit-filled pastry, we think you're better off opting for Arby's Cherry Turnover instead of the McDonald's Apple Pie. First of all, we like that the cherries have more of a distinct flavor than the apples do — you can taste the tartness along with the sugary sweetness. But the actual pastry is of better quality too. It has a flakiness to it that you expect from pastries that come from a real bakery.

But in the grand scheme of fast food desserts, you can still do better than Arby's Cherry Turnover. The filling is exceptionally sweet, and it may be too much for some people. Then, they add the white sugary drizzle on top, which makes the sweetness a bit too overpowering. Of all the fast food desserts you could choose, this one's not the worst, but it's also far from the best.

12. Domino's Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes

Chocolate molten lava cakes were a staple of '90s restaurant culture, but these days, it's harder than ever to find them ... unless you live within delivery distance of a Domino's, of course. The chain's Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes are iconic, and for chocolate lovers, they're seriously a dream come true. The chocolate cake protects a center of liquified chocolate inside, and the sprinkling of powdered sugar on top of the cakes provides a nice visual touch.

Now, if you're a huge fan of chocolate — and a lot of it — you're probably going to love the Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes. But for most people, this dessert is going to be too rich. The chocolate-on-chocolate flavor profile is a lot to stomach, especially if you're trying to eat the whole order. For us, this dessert is delicious for a bite or two before it just becomes cloying.

11. Pizza Hut Triple Chocolate Brownie

Sometimes, you're looking for a dessert that's enjoyable, easy to eat, and ultimately inoffensive. Maybe you're sharing with a group of friends, or maybe you're just craving something simple. In that case, you're probably going to love the Triple Chocolate Brownie from Pizza Hut. It's just what it sounds like: a chocolate brownie with a rich, chocolatey taste and plenty of sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth. And as far as brownies go, it's not bad — you're almost certainly not going to regret ordering this dessert.

So, you may be curious as to why this brownie isn't ranked higher on our list. Essentially, it just comes down to the fact that this dessert is really, really basic, and it's probably something you could easily make at home with a mix. If you're in a pinch and are looking for something sweet, you may want to spring for the brownie. Otherwise, there are better ways to spend your money at Pizza Hut.

10. Popeyes Blueberry Lemon Cream Cheese Fried Pie

We have to give Popeyes credit for offering desserts that no other fast food restaurant has even come close to trying. Perhaps the most exciting of their offerings is the Blueberry Lemon Cream Cheese Fried Pie. It sounds like something you'd find at a festival concession stand, and the flavor isn't far off. You actually taste the sweetness of the blueberries, which pairs well with the brightness of the lemon flavor and the creaminess of the cheese. Everything comes together beautifully in a perfect pastry package.

Our only complaint with this dessert is the fact that it feels exceptionally heavy. Maybe it's because they pack all the ingredients in the pastry, or maybe it's the fact that it's fried. Regardless, it can be difficult to get through an entire serving if you don't normally eat a lot of heavy foods.

9. Jack in the Box Mini Churros

Churros are ultimately a simple dessert, and that's why we like them so much. It doesn't have to get more complicated than fried dough with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top, and that's exactly what you're going to get from these Mini Churros from Jack in the Box. We love the fact that they're bite-sized, so you can enjoy several before you start feeling too full. 

The flavor isn't too out there — if you've had a churro before, you can probably imagine exactly what these taste like — but the small size gives them a sense of novelty you won't get from every fast food dessert. These Mini Churros may not be our absolute favorite dessert we've ever gotten at a restaurant, but for a fast food option, they're seriously not bad.

8. Wendy's Chocolate Frosty

Just because Wendy's Frostys aren't anything too wild or out of the ordinary doesn't mean they don't hit the spot sometimes. And if you're going to bother going through the drive-thru to get one, the Chocolate Frosty is the obvious choice. Yes, the flavor is simple, but it's hard not to enjoy the generic sweetness and subtle chocolate flavor of a Frosty. However, the real magic is in the texture. Frostys are smooth and creamy, but the ice creates a fine grittiness that makes every sip (or spoonful, depending on how melted your Frosty is) a real treat.

Yes, there are better fast food desserts out there, especially if you're looking for something a little more interesting. But when you need a reliable quick dessert, a Chocolate Frosty is never going to let you down.

7. McDonald's M&M's McFlurry

There are few ice cream-based fast food desserts we love more than the McDonald's M&M's McFlurry. Despite its simplicity, it's a classic favorite that always seems to hit the spot ... if the ice cream machine is even working, that is. It all starts with the creamy vanilla soft serve, which is whipped into an undeniably pleasant texture. It seems lighter than most other ice creams out there on the fast food market. Then, add in the M&M's, and the simple flavors come together nicely. We love watching the colors from the candies dye the vanilla ice cream as we stir it all up.

You can find M&M's-based ice cream desserts just about everywhere, so this selection from McDonald's isn't one of the most exciting menu items on this list. That said, we'd never turn down an M&M's McFlurry if it was offered to us.

6. Carl's Jr. Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

Cheesecake is indisputably one of the best desserts to have ever graced this earth, so we're glad that fast food restaurants are getting in on the cheesecake game. One notable brand that's serving cheesecake is Carl's Jr. The brand's Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake is way better than we expected it to be — so good, in fact, that we may just go back to get another one. The classic creamy cheesecake tastes even better once you get to the strawberry swirls, which add an element of fruitiness to an otherwise dairy-heavy dessert.

You can find better cheesecake, of course, but by fast food standards, this stuff is amazing. Give it a try the next time you find yourself at Carl's Jr. and you may just discover your next favorite fast food dessert.

5. Dairy Queen Turtle Pecan Cluster Blizzard

If Dairy Queen is known for anything, it has to be its Blizzards. And if you ask us, the Turtle Pecan Cluster Blizzard may just be the best of the bunch. The vanilla soft serve treat is packed with pieces of pecan, caramel, and chocolate shavings, and it all comes together in one perfect symphony of flavors. We love the crunch of the pecans, and the caramel adds just the right amount of sweetness. And of course, who wouldn't love the addition of chocolate to the mix?

If you're not a huge pecan fan, you probably won't like this treat — the nuts provide quite a bit of crunch, and it can be difficult to pick around them. But if you're like us and love pecans, then this may just become your new favorite Dairy Queen dessert.

4. Chick-fil-A Icedream

While Chick-fil-A's Icedream isn't technically ice cream, it's close enough, as far as we're concerned. Officially, they can't call it ice cream because it has a lower butterfat content than actual ice cream. But when it comes to the flavor, it's hard to differentiate between the two. This is probably one of the simplest desserts on any fast food menu, but we're still big fans. It's simply a vanilla sugar cone with the frozen, ice cream-like filling inside. The texture is silky smooth, and the creaminess of the Icedream pairs well with the crunchy cone. We also love the fact that you get a reasonably sized portion when you order Icedream — you won't be rushing to finish the treat before it melts.

While, yes, there are technically more exciting fast food desserts out there, sometimes, we just want to keep things classic and simple. Chick-fil-A's Icedream does just that.

3. Jollibee Peach Mango Pie

Philippines-based Jollibee is serving up some of the most delicious dishes currently on the fast food market, and their Peach Mango Pie is no exception. These are fruits we usually don't see in the American fast food dessert market, so we were really excited to try this treat. Unsurprisingly, it was delicious. The mango is certainly sweet, but it offers a tartness that balances out the sweetness of the peach. It's all packaged in a thin but pleasant pastry that forms a pocket around the fruit.

If you're tired of the same old, same old, boring desserts you can get at any fast food joint in the country, you have to try this pastry from Jollibee — it might just completely change the way you think about fast food desserts.

2. Shake Shack Tiramisu Shake

Shake Shack is quite literally known for its shakes, so for one single shake to stand out in a sea of them is quite an accomplishment. Luckily, the Tiramisu Shake did just that for us. They fashioned the flavors after the classic Italian dessert, and we couldn't be more thrilled about it. Take one sip of the creamy vanilla custard combined with luscious mascarpone, coffee, and cookie crumbles, and you'll understand why this is one of our all-time favorite fast food treats. Once they add the cocoa powder on top, it's game over.

If you've tried tiramisu before and absolutely loved it, this shake may just change your life. But even if you've never tried actual tiramisu before, you should give this shake a try. It may just inspire you to seek out the real thing.

1. White Castle Gooey Buttercake-on-a-Stick

Not everyone in the country lives near a White Castle, but if you do, you're in luck. That's because you have access to the chain's iconic Buttercake-on-a-Stick, which may just be the best fast food dessert of all time. First, we have to talk about how genius it is that they serve an actual slice of cake on a stick like a popsicle. You don't need a fork or even a plate to eat this sweet treat — you can simply pick it up with two fingers and take a bite. We wish more fast food chains would do this with their treats.

But it's not just about the cake delivery method — we also love the flavor of this dessert. As the name suggests, it's super rich and moist, but there aren't too many flavors clamoring for attention. Rather, you just get that subtle sweetness and a buttery flavor that's hard not to like. If you're in the market for dessert from a fast food chain, this cake from White Castle is more than worth a try.