There is no question that regional road trips have become extremely popular this year - with many folks focusing on what is right in their own backyard for ‘staycations.’ For plenty of regional travel ideas, check-in every Wednesday for a Downstate Illinois Road Trip Roundup on themed topics showcasing several destinations across the southern portion of the state. This week we’re focusing on the best desserts, as October is National Dessert Month. So pack up the family, bring your masks and get ready for a road trip!
Decadent desserts abound in Mt. Vernon! Whether pies, cakes or cookies are your jam, we have your sweet tooth covered! The Grille makes pies and cakes fresh in house. Try a multi-layer red velvet with cream cheese icing or your favorite cream pie, but hurry! Once they sell out, you will have to choose something else or come back another day! Whole pies and cakes are available for sale as well, so give them a call and reserve yours today! After a great meal, topping it off with a sweet treat is quite literally “icing on the cake” at Double Overtime Bar & Grill! The luxuriously rich Chocolate Galaxy Cake satisfies even the most serious chocolate craving! You might want to get a to-go box for the entrée to save some room for this magnificent creation! The Mennonite-run Farmhouse Bakery & Café offers a case full of choices to take home or order a single slice off the menu. Make sure you grab a donut as big as your head, ginormous cookies and a cinnamon roll to enjoy later too! They accept special orders in advance for your favorite cake, pie or other sweet treat and also offer some sugar free or reduced sugar dessert options.
In our experience, it’s hard to pick just one dessert...right? With 22 counties full of dessert options in ILLINOISouth, it’s hard to go wrong! For some of the tastiest pie you’ll have - we highly recommend a visit to Urban Farmhouse in Highland. The ‘grandaddy’ of their entire pie selection is the Snickers Pie - if you get a slice, make sure you have a glass of milk handy. If it’s sheer size you’re going for, look no further than a piece of carrot cake from Urban Farmhouse - it can EASILY be shared between a couple people. For a wide variety of desserts from cookies and cakes to donuts and more, stop by Marks’ Bakery in Du Quoin! Marks’ has the best seasonally designed sugar cookies, and their Skunk Tail donut is some sort of cream-filled legend (no seriously, ask about it). For those who are in Casey to check out all of the World’s Largest things, you should definitely make a stop at Wildflour Bakery - right next to the World’s Largest Mailbox. It’s cliche, but there really is something for everyone at Wildflour. They offer everything from croissants and pie to cheesecake and candy apples - they also have limited time ‘pop-up’ desserts that don’t stick around long. Happy eating!
Take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Shawnee Forest country on Old Highway 51 north of Cobden and you will find Flamm Orchards. The sights and sounds of a wholesale packing house will buzz in the background while you shop for fresh produce at a farm that spans through 6 generations of the Flamm family.While there, treat yourself to desserts that follow Flamm family recipes and are made from scratch in their own bakery. At the Flamm Orchards Fruits and Cream stand, you can enjoy in-season treats such as strawberry shortcake, peach cobbler, apple pie and apple dumplings. From September thru October, the homemade apple dumpling is a favorite of local customers and visitors alike. And of course, all their desserts can include soft-served ice cream if you prefer. If an individual serving is not enough, you can take some home! Made ready to go, you can take home whole pies, dumplings, and cobblers. Do yourself a favor and stop by Flamm Orchards in Cobden and take advantage of the Southern Illinois fruit season while it lasts. Flamm Orchards is open daily from May thru November.
There’s nothing sweeter than treating yourself… or someone you love! With the holidays quickly approaching, we’ve gathered a list of Effingham’s must-try dessert destinations. After all… tis’ the season to indulge, right? If you’re craving something truly decadent, stop by Firefly Grill and share a tiramisu for two (or for one… we’re not judging)! Enjoy their cozy outdoor seating, fireside, or an intimate table for two in their rustic dining area. Maybe you’re in charge of dessert for this year’s Friendsgiving or your family’s annual Christmas Eve party? Nothing screams holiday traditions like a seasonal pie from Niemerg’s Steakhouse. Pumpkin, apple, coconut cream… This iconic restaurant’s made-from-scratch desserts will wow your friends and family, so much so, that you might want to pick up two (or three)! For a completely STACKED bakery, look no further than Joe Sippers Café in Downtown Effingham. Delight in one of their infamous Sips Chips cookies (made with chocolate, toffee, sea salt and browned butter), split a slice of pumpkin cheesecake with the friend you’re meeting for coffee, or take a few of their freshly-baked caramel apple crisp muffins to-go and surprise your family with a heavenly breakfast. Nothing satisfies a sweet tooth like Effingham.
Let’s make your stay in Southern Illinois even sweeter! Granny Puckett’s Cupcakes in Herrin is a bakery unlike any other. This local shop isn’t afraid to think outside the box when it comes to their specialty treats! Whether it be candy corn peanut macaroons or apple bacon cupcakes, they aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of flavor and find a delicious new combination! Cozy Cakes Café in Cambria is another local bakery that doesn’t shy away from a challenge! The talented team at Cozy Cakes creates cakes and cookies that look too good to eat but taste too good not to! If you’re a fan of sweets and street eats, our new food trucks will be right up your alley! Spread S’more Love is serving up their tasty twist on this campfire favorite all over Southern Illinois! Treat yourself to a traditional s’more or try out one of their other delectable marshmallow creations! Drizzle Donuts is a tempting truck offering mini donuts topped to perfection! Try out the puppy chow or the tutti frutti donuts and wash them down with a local flavored milk! Whatever your sweet tooth is craving, our Williamson County businesses always bring the flavor!
*Disclaimer - Due to mitigation orders that may be put on businesses, please make sure to call ahead to any of these establishments if there’s a possibility that they may not be offering a full menu.