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Dessert Trends for 2018

Watch the full clip from my KTLA segment here :

Dessert Trend Predictions for 2018 with Nastassia Johnson

2017 was a year of colorful decadence and over-the-top sweets like cake-topped milkshakes and funfetti cream-filled croissants. But this year we’ll see less cereal on top everything and more a shift towards mindful eating – yes, even in our desserts!

The trend here is desserts for every diet. Last year we saw a huge emphasis on plant-based foods and this year we’ll see an even greater demand for more dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan sweets.

One great option for this is the Sweet Laurel that offers paleo, dairy-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free. You can find them at markets around LA like Rainbow Acres and Erewhon and they’ll also be opening a stand alone shop in Palisades Village later this year.

Another great option for plant-based treats with gluten-free options too is Sun Café Organic in Studio City. Now I’m obviously a lover of butter and dairy and bread, but I’ve got to tell you Sun Café’s desserts are so good you wouldn’t even guess they’re vegan. And that’s what we’ll really see that these desserts are more healthful, but taste amazing! Here we have their apple pie skillet which uses raw apples in a gluten free crust, topped with rolled oat crumble and their cheesecakes – Almond Butter Cheesecake is a decadent creamy two layer dessert: an almond butter cream and a rich chocolate layer.

Even with the gluten-free craze in full effect, it’s clear people are still enjoying bread and baked goods. Heirloom grains have been getting more attention and use in the last few years, but mostly in bread and this year we’ll see more pastries made using them.

Roxana Jullapat at Friends & Family just down the street here on Hollywood in Thai Town offers great examples heirloom grains in housemade pastries and baked goods like sonora wheat croissants, einkorn shortbreads, and spelt blueberry muffins.

Carlos Enriquez is the owner of Bakers Kneaded a wholesale bakery here in LA that focuses on seasonal organic whole grains and ingredients selected weekly from the local Californai farmers market. He was also a finalist on Top Chef Desserts Season 2. He makes incredible with pastries heritage grains like these bombolinis that just Tehachapi Project’s Sonora Wheat, morning buns that use Tehachapi Project’s Sonora and Red Fife wheat and these BTOs (better than oreos) that use Abruzi Rye Heirloom Grain again from Tehachapi Project.


Middle Eastern restaurants have been a part of the Los Angeles dining scene for decades, but last year Middle Eastern cuisine really started trending and expanding beyond local mom and pop shops to more fine dining or mondern takes on the cusines with places like Kismet and Mhzh in Silverlake opening last year and new restaurants coming from Bestia’s Ori Menashe and Jessica Koslow at Sqirl. This year we’ll really start seeing Middle Eastern flavors and spices will be a dominant force in desserts.

Momed opened on S. Beverly Drive, with their modern middle eastern cafe and a couple of years ago opened in Atwater Village with it’s gorgeous patio and killer brunch. They really paved the way for this new trend. This is their Basbousa which is a sweet cake from Egypt made with tahini and rose syrup.

And lastly we have everyone’s favorite Zankou. It’s an LA staple with 8 locations that was first established in Beruit Lebabnon and came to LA in the 80s. It’s a family run operation famous for their secret garlic sauce and perfect rotisserie chicken. They recently introduced baklava to their menu, it’s the recipe of the matriarch of their famiy with the right amount of sweetness, crunch and flavor. Like all of their food it’s all-natural, never frozen and made fresh daily.

So we’ve covered what I think are really going to be the 3 big trends in desserts this year!

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