8 of the best places to go for dessert in Hertfordshire

The Pudding Stop's heavenly chocolate brownie

The Pudding Stop's heavenly chocolate brownie - Credit: The Pudding Stop

Whether you love ice cream, waffles, cake, pancakes, or all of them, here are some of the best Herts dessert specialists to enjoy this summer

We didn't really need any encouragement to celebrate great independent pudding specialists in the county but it all just seemed to make delicious sense...

The Pudding Stop, St Albans
A St Albans institution in the heart of the city (and at St Albans City rail station with its Pudmobile), The Pudding Stop prides itself on homemade goodies freshly made everyday on site. The bakers' creations, from individual puddings to whole tray bakes, are works of art and include many gluten-free and vegan options. There's local delivery or pick up and even bake at home puds. Handcrafted coffee from East London roasters Climpson & Sons completes the treat. 
What to order: Try buttermilk pancakes with blueberries in the morning or custard filled profiteroles dripping with salted caramel chocolate sauce throughout the day. 

The Waffle House, St Albans
For those who know what they want (waffles!), then The Waffle House in the beautiful 16th century Kingsbury Watermill beside the river Ver in St Albans is the place to be. With both savoury and sweet made-to-order Belgian waffles and a focus on ethically-sourced and artisan produce, there’s something for everyone from breakfast until early evening. Just launched is a fine dining evening Supper Club, thanks to the new executive chef and manager. Dine in or on the riverside terrace. 
What to order: From the sweet menu, who could say no to chopped pecan nuts baked inside the waffle and covered with a rich home-made butterscotch sauce? Not us. 

The Waffle House poached rhubarb with crème patisserie, rhubarb gel and meringue kisses 

The Waffle House poached rhubarb with crème patisserie, rhubarb gel and meringue kisses - Credit: Brian Arnopp Images

The Shaken Cow, Welwyn GC, Hertford, Berkhamsted, Harpenden, St Albans
Before you say that milkshakes aren’t desserts, you have to see the creations at the Shaken Cow. There are five 'milk bar' outlets in the county to pick up from or order home delivery, and almost countless possibilities to create your ideal milkshake.
What to order: Follow in the footsteps of everyone's favourite Simpson and try the Super Shake Homer, created by blending toffee, fudge and doughnuts with fresh ice cream and milk and topped with toffee fudge and doughnut pieces. Mmm.

Fabio’s Gelato, Hitchin & Letchworth
Inspired by the famous gelaterias of Rome which serve a huge range of delicious creamy gelato, Fabio and Hannah Vincenti opened their own in Hitchin. Now with an outlet in Letchworth too, all the Italian-style ice creams are made in-house and the flavours regularly change, often making use of local ingredients. Dine in or take away to enjoy in the sunshine on nearby Windmill Hill overlooking Hitchin or by the splash pools in Howards Park, Letchworth. Feeling extra decadent? Have your choice on a freshly homemade waffle.
What to order: You’ll want to visit again and again to try the changing flavours – they've created over 500 to date and will even make bespoke ones, saying: 'if you can think of it, we can make it!'. 

Cinnamon Square, Rickmansworth
A Ricky institution, Cinnamon Square is an award-winning bakery that also hosts baking classes and children's parties and workshops. From the Ricky sticky bun to whole cakes, the focus is on precision baking and too-good-to-eat looks (although of course you will). Browse the goodies (savoury too) when the shop, in a 400-year-old building, is open on Fridays and Saturdays or order by Wednesday evening for pick-up. 
What to order: It has to be the signature cinnamon square - 'a sweet fermented bun with a sweet cinnamon filling and topped with our cream cheese frosting. Best served warm and gooey!'

Cinnamon Square's signature treat - cinnamon squares

Cinnamon Square's signature treat - Credit: Cinnamon Square

Darlish, St Albans 
A Persian ice cream parlour, Darlish specialises in Middle Eastern confectionary. Located in Christopher Place shopping centre, and open from midday to early evening, it serves sweet treats alongside teas and coffees. Ice cream flavours include orange blossom and pistachio, tahini, and rhubarb, pomegranate and rose. They're so good Waitrose and Selfridges now stock them. 
What to order: If you want to create serious food envy, go for the baclava ice cream sandwich or for something more traditional, the coconut and cardamom halva. 

Darlish desserts - east meets west

Darlish desserts - east meets west - Credit: Sharon Struckman

Mario’s, Berkhamsted 
Crepes, waffles, ice cream, sorbet, milkshakes... there are many tantalising treats at Mario’s, a family owned and run coffee and gelato shop in Berkhamsted. Ice cream is homemade by Mario and there's barista made coffee too. And it's not all desserts, it's a popular savoury spot too. 
What to order: Gelato creations have included blue banana, salted caramel, Christmas pudding, rum and raisin, apple and cinnamon, tootie fruity, purple berry, and chilli chocolate .Take your pick of the latest creations. 

Brewery Tearooms, Walkern 
This award-winning institution in the village of Walkern near Stevenage is a great spot for treating someone special (including yourself!). The family-run cake, coffee and tea specialists offer a welcome as warm as their freshly baked scones in a lovely old building with outside seating too. Reopened on July 7, the summer season is Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to last orders at 4pm. There's collection and local delivery too. 
What to order: Why order just one thing? Go for Afternoon High Tea for a selection of goodies, served - like all their treats - on vintage china. It's popular though, so do book.