Think You Can’t Offer House Made Desserts?

chocolate cake

If you think that you don’t  have the time or the training to offer desserts made “in house” at your restaurant you might want to think again. There are thousands of restaurants with amazing menus that fall flat when it comes to their dessert section.

Humans, nearly all humans, have a craving for sweet things. It is disheartening to enjoy the most amazing food you’ve ever eaten and then pick up the dessert menu to see three items being offered and none of them very imaginative. In fact, one of the worst disappointments ever is to order a luscious sounding chocolate cake to finish off  a special evening and find a commercially made, previously frozen cake at the end of your fork.

While not having house made desserts probably won’t put you out of business it may mean that you lose business to the restaurant down the street that is serving freshly made apple pie. House made desserts have much higher profit margins than cocktails or almost anything else.

Here are some tips to get house made desserts on your menu even if you can’t afford a pastry chef.

Offer the Dessert Trifecta

You don’t have to offer complex desserts to make them irresistible to your guests. Most people are easy to please when it comes to freshly made sweets so keep it simple. Offer a pie, a cake, and a house made ice cream if you can’t find the time to do more. Other options are cookies and fruit.

In fact, it’s almost always a good idea to have some sort of fresh fruit on the dessert menu for those who may be watching their weight or cutting out sugar. Adding a slice of Brie or other cheese is a nice, contrasting touch.

Ice Cream

Ice cream is simple to make and you’ll be able to create your own unique combinations and flavors. It doesn’t take much hands on time but a scoop of really delicious fresh ice cream will have your guests talking about your food for weeks. You can make different flavors on a weekly or nightly basis, depending on how much you usually sell. Another benefit to ice cream is that you can keep it for several months in the freezer.


You can, if you have the time and ability, make a scratch cake but even using a cake mix as a foundation is better than buying a frozen cake from your supplier in most cases. For example, you can make a large sheet cake in a high sided baking pan, cover the baked cake with Coco Lopez and caramel sauce, let it soak in and serve it with a dollop of whipped cream on top. The cake wills stay fresh for three or four days in the refrigerator if it’s covered.


If you’re not comfortable making pie crust you can use a ready made crust or even a crumb crust. Apple and cherry pies are classic favorites but chocolate cream and coconut cream do very well, too.

Finding Recipes and Ideas for in House Made Desserts

There are hundreds of websites with recipe ideas on the Internet but if you are going to be serving a recipe to the public you’ll want to know it is going to go over well. Sites like All Recipes that have a rating system are perfect for finding recipes that appeal to many different people.

Choose simple items that go together fast and don’t have exotic or expensive ingredients. If something doesn’t work try something else another time.

Desserts that are made fresh and in house can significantly increase your profits in a very short period of time.

photo credit: daveyll via photopin cc



- Marye Audet

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer, and editor. Cooking, baking, and recipe development have been a major part of her life since she baked her first loaf of bread at age 13. Luckily, with a husband, eight children, a son in law, and three grandchildren she has enough test-tasters to handle the steady stream of experiments that come from her kitchen.

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