Sweet Treats for Santa: Best Desserts in the Smokies

Snickerdoodle, chocolate chip, gingerbread, macadamia nut, sugar…cookies are traditional and sure mean a lot to Santa Claus. After all, they do add a bit more pep in his step on Christmas Eve so he can make all his rounds with a smile and ease. But what about the rest of the holiday season…what kind of sweet treats do you think ole St. Nick cooks up in his cozy kitchen for Christmas? With plenty of inspiration from around the world, he’s sure to have quite the assortment of sugar-filled recipes. For now, let’s take a look at the best desserts he’s picked up in the Smokies and (perhaps more importantly) where YOU can partake of these scrumptious sweets, too!

Rich & Sugary
A perfect take-home gift, midday pick-me-up, or even a stocking stuffer, fudge is where it’s at in the Smokies. Seen as one of the traditional sweets in the area, fudge comes in all shapes and sizes as well as flavors, which tends to surprise people. Chocolate may talk a big game, but save room for maple walnut, rocky road, peanut butter, and — wait for it — cookies & creme!

By combining pure ingredients with passionate hard work, the Fudge Shoppe of the Smokies provides delectable loafs of creamy fudge year-round. Made fresh daily, these melt-in-your-mouth morsels will not only make your taste buds tingle with excitement but also leave a lingering smile for all to see.

Fudge Shoppe of the Smokies
716 & 812 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 430-5052

Fruity & Flaky
Where fudge packs a flavorful punch in a single bite, a tasty Southern cobbler is one dessert that can be scarfed down entirely without a care in the world. That’s right, you can’t go to the mountains without grabbing a slice of cobbler — be it apple, peach, or blackberry! Topped with a whopping scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream…what could be better?

Using family recipes passed down for generations, The Apple Valley Creamery, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and bakery, crafts their cobblers — and cobbler breads! — from scratch. They even boast home-baked raspberry cheesecakes, sliced sourdough loaves, and chocolate brownies with a gooey layer of fudge right in the center!

The Apple Valley Creamery
230 Apple Valley Road
Sevierville, TN 37862
(865) 429-4113

Cakey Yet Light
What food stall does everyone eagerly line up for when they attend a fun-loving fair or seasonal festival? Here’s a hint: this dessert is large, round, and completely covered in powdered sugar. Hip-hip-hooray for funnel cakes! Yep, these sinfully sweet cakes are a 12-month privilege in the Smoky Mountains.

Keeping to tradition is all fun and good, but taking something delicious up a notch is more than worth a try, right? Well, the Funnel Cake Factory has done just that — with homemade batters to boot! While basic funnel cakes are happily offered, go for a red velvet version or a mountain of toppings, such as whipped cream, yummy fruit, or chocolate syrup.

Funnel Cake Factory
3357 Parkway
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
(865) 453-3623

Creamy & Cool
With so many sweet options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide on only one, which is where dessert shooters proudly make their appearance. Packed with rich layers of cookies and cake — each carefully sandwiched by fluffy ganache, fruit-filled jams, smooth mousse, or luxurious buttercream — these shooters make for a delightful dessert experience.

At Heavenly Delights, a cafe and bakery, handmade dessert shooters are yours for the taking — with endless flavors and seasonal specialties! Plus, made-from-scratch mini cheesecakes, moist cupcakes, and mouthwatering macarons await as well. As a treat for the eyes, you can watch the professional pastry chef and staff create these edible masterpieces in the open kitchen.

Heavenly Delights
631 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 325-6020

Crunchy, Chewy, Salty, & Sweet!
While all these desserts are more than satisfactory, some may argue that homemade candies take the cake — just don’t tell your dentist. From brittles and toffee to pralines and taffy (and everything in between), confectionary classics are easy to find in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. In fact, they’re difficult to get away from, with tantalizing temptations around every corner!

Venture into The Old Mill Candy Kitchen for flavorsome taffy pulled from the original, 75-year-old machines, adding a touch of tradition to each piece. Grab handfuls of licorice chews, rock candies, chocolate-covered cherries, pretzels, or marshmallows, white chocolate cashew clusters, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, pecan logs, caramellows, English toffee, and Bear Paws (milk chocolate, fresh pecans, and made-in-house caramel)!

The Old Mill Candy Kitchen
177 Old Mill Avenue
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
(865) 453-7516

Extra Sweet Treats

  • Bring home a box of delicious donuts from the Donut Friar.
  • Eat a caramel apple with toppings galore at Chocolate Monkey.
  • Enjoy a banana pudding like no other at The Old Mill Creamery.
  • Take home some mountain honey from Smoky Mountain Candy Makers.
  • Experience the good ole days with an old-fashioned milkshake at Glades Soda Fountain.
  • Buy a few pounds of sugar-free fudge at The Fudgery.
  • Dine on fried apples with cinnamon at Maypops.
  • Go crazy for pecan chocolate bark at Farmhouse Sweets Candy Kitchen.

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