For my latest adventure I spent the day in Waynesville, Ohio seeking out the best desserts this town has to offer. I started my day of delicious indulgence at The Hammel House Inn. I was lucky enough last summer to taste their Sweet Cream Sugar Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake – a seasonal favorite. It was unlike any other strawberry shortcake I have tasted, with a cookie-like base. It was sweet enough to feel like a special treat, but not so that you felt you had over-indulged.
I was anxious to see what was on the menu for the winter season. Offerings included Coconut Cream Pie, Bread Pudding with caramel sauce, Blackberry Cobbler, and a nutball sundae. I chose the Southern Spice Cake with homemade caramel sauce. Served warm, it was perfect for a chilly day. The sweetness of the caramel balanced out the spice of the cake to perfection. This rich dessert could be shared by two.
Just a few steps away, The Cake Diva beckoned. While the shop primarily does specialty cakes, they also offer a variety of cupcakes and brownies. The top selling cupcakes are the
Red Velvet and White Cake with raspberry filling. On my visit, I chose the Cherry Cheesecake cupcake. Yum! The cake was moist and overall, not as sweet as I expected, which left me feeling like I had enjoyed a scrumptious creation without over-doing it. And the cupcake was big enough to share! I also had to try a unique Lemon Brownie. This tasted like lemon meringue pie with the crust mixed in – and I enjoyed each and every delicious bite!
Making my way down the path, past so many antique and unique shops that I lost count, I had my eye on Braden & Sons Sweet Shoppe. I knew this shop had called Waynesville home for many years, but I learned that they got their start making “ice cream candy” – now called taffy – and selling it at local fairs in the 1920s and 1930s. Lucky for us, they still make that taffy right on site today. Originally only offered in vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, it is now available in additional flavors and I chose the peppermint. This taffy is a hard candy that turns to a chewy texture as you savor it.
For this tasting, I relied on my 15 year old son. He thought he would try just a taste, but ended up eating the whole piece (about 2×4”) and asked for more. Need I say more? Braden & Sons is also known for their fudge. On this day, I tried the peanut butter/chocolate – a popular flavor. On nearly every vacation, we seek out local fudge shops – that’s how much we like our fudge. I am not sure we will bother with that any longer though, since it turns out the best, creamiest fudge we have tasted is right in our own backyard.
I capped off my sugary journey with a stop at the Cobblestone Café. Desserts here vary each day according to the whims of the wonderful Chef Jessica who likes to experiment with different flavor pairings. Some favorites she told me about include a Gingerbread Pear Upside Down Cake and a Pavlova dessert. Popular in the 1950’s, this is a baked meringue served with fresh fruit. During my visit, the dessert tray included Lemon Curd Cream Cake, a Tuxedo Cake, “Elvis” Pie (so-named because it contains peanut butter, chocolate, and banana), and a Triple Chocolate Cheesecake–my pick for the day. This milk chocolate cheesecake is topped with chocolate ganache and raspberry coulis. It was light, airy, and simply delicious.
Now obviously, I wouldn’t normally indulge in so many sweets in one day. But it’s nice to know that when I want a special treat or a blissful indulgence, I don’t need to go far.