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I tend to lean toward salty rather than sweets. Or at least that’s what I’ve assumed. However, looking at my Instagram posts, it appears I may have a bit of a sweet tooth.

Check out a few of my favorite places in Minnesota for some indulgent desserts and sweet snacks. This is not an exhaustive list as there are many more places I need to experience.

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Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store | Jordan, Minnesota

Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store | Jordan, Minnesota

Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store is only 24 miles from my front door. But it took me 26 years before I made a visit. Shame on me. This place is incredible – and offers way more than just candy.

There are soda pops, pies, jams, jelly, pickled goodies, smoked meat, popcorn, and even mimosa-flavored cotton candy. And I love their fairy tale- and super hero-themed rooms.

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But make no mistake…you will find rooms full of candy – several rooms where I discovered Pop Rocks from my childhood, our family’s favorite European chocolate, PEZ dispensers, mega-sized Skittles and Starbursts, and so much more.

Located south of the Twin Cities in Jordan, Minnesota, it’s definitely worth the drive and visit. Note that they do not accept credit cards. For your convenience, several ATM locations are available throughout their warehouse building.


Betty’s Pies | Two Harbors, Minnesota

Betty’s Pies | Two Harbors, Minnesota

When you’re headed to Lake Superior’s North Shore in Minnesota, plan a stop at Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors. You can order by the slice or the entire pie. Established in 1956, this iconic establishment also offers indoor and outdoor seating, takeout, and online orders.

Pie flavors range from the traditional fruit pies to cream pies to my son’s and his roommates’ favorite, Butterfinger. Our family also loves their vanilla shakes. In addition to desserts, Betty’s Pies offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Check out Betty’s Pies website for seasonal hours as well as special deals (many times they offer 10% off your order).

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Cream of the Cakes | Lakeville, Minnesota

You know the Cheers theme song with the lyrics, “where everybody knows your name?” Well, I’m pretty sure the owner of Cream of the Cakes, Liz, is on a first-name basis with my husband as I send him on a weekly cupcake run.

This bakery is only a couple of miles from where we live – dangerous, but pretty sweet.

My favorite is the chocolate-chocolate cupcake, while my husband favors the blueberry muffins. They also make whoopie pies, cake truffles, and cookies, and design pretty cool custom cakes – like this one for my son’s birthday a few months ago. He’s a Beatles fan and a Butterfinger / peanut butter chocolate fan so Liz was able to whip up this special cake for us.

Sebastian Joe’s | Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sebastian Joe’s | Minneapolis, Minnesota

My husband and I lived in Vermont for five years so Ben & Jerry’s chocolate raspberry swirl will always have a place in my heart. However, I recently discovered Sebastian Joe’s raspberry chocolate chip on a hot summer day in the Twin Cities. I will be a repeat customer.

You can find the Minnesota-based scoop shops in Minneapolis – Uptown and South Minneapolis – as well as some other locations including a seasonal shop next to the Sea Salt Eatery in Minnehaha Park.

Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar | St. Paul, Minnesota

Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar | Minnesota State Fairgrounds | St. Paul, Minnesota

No visit to the Minnesota State Fair is complete without stopping for a bucket of Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies – served warm with ice cold milk.

I may or may not go to the Great Minnesota Get-Together for this sole purpose.

I’m not aware of any other time or place they are sold so if they are, please keep me blissfully ignorant. I consume enough at the fair for an entire year.


Glam Doll Donuts | Minneapolis

You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn for some freshly made donuts at Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis (two locations). That’s because they’re open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays (or until they sell out). Check their website for other hours.

I visited on National Donut Day recently and asked for a surprise dozen – pleasantly surprised by the variety. While my go-to is the classic glazed, I absolutely loved my salted caramel donut.

Tip Top Dairy Bar | Osakis, Minnesota

Tip Top Dairy Bar | Osakis, Minnesota

For more than 60 years, Tip Top Dairy Bar has served the lakes region in Osakis, Minnesota. They must be doing something right.

I was staying with friends at their cabin on Lake Osakis earlier this week so of course I had to check it out. Such a quaint place where tourists and locals alike go not only for the desserts, but also for a meal (I had a vanilla shake and chili cheese dog – something I haven’t indulged in for years…very tasty!). Friendly and fast service!

You can order outside at the window or go inside to order where they have a small seating area and restrooms for customers. They also offer outside seating.

Jacobs Lefse Bakeri & Gifts | Osakis, Minnesota

Now it wouldn’t be a true Minnesotan post if I failed to mention lefse (a Norwegian potato bread with cinnamon and sugar). When I heard that a bakery in Osakis (where I was staying earlier this week) has the best in the state, of course I had to check it out.

It’s quite possible their lefse is the best in the world. Sooooo good!

Jacobs Lefse Bakeri & Gifts is a charming place just a couple of blocks away from Tip Top Dairy Bar. Not only do they offer lefse to go, but they also feature a really cute gift shop where I purchased an adorable summer hat. The also sell other Nordic sweets as well as jewelry, handbags, crafts, and more. If you’re heading up north and in the Alexandria area, it’s worth a visit.

Cookies and More by Lisa | Apple Valley, Minnesota

Cookies and More by Lisa | Apple Valley, Minnesota

If you’re looking for some delicious and customized cookies for your special celebration, check out Cookies and More by Lisa. They are almost too pretty to eat (but I do). This image is from a recent grad party I attended, and she makes some adorable baby shower cookies. I ate mine before I remembered to take a photo.

All her decorated sugar cookies are custom-made and homemade in her own kitchen. See her Instagram profile for more details and to place an order.

Again, this is not an exhaustive list of all the great sweet treasures in Minnesota, but it’s a good start. Which will fix your cravings?

This is the second in a series. See my initial Exploring my own backyard: Minnesota post.

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Exploring my own backyard series

Here are my other posts in this series.

Exploring my own backyard: 24 hours in Osakis, Minnesota

Exploring my own backyard: Embracing winter at the beautiful Ice Castles in Excelsior, Minn.
Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior, Minnesota North Shore
Exploring my own backyard: My top 11 places to visit in Minnesota


Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller


  1. The unglazed Old Fashion and French Cruller donuts from Cardigan is pretty good in Minne. I’ll have to check out Glam Dolls. Betty’s Pies is calling my name. Perfect timing too as we’re heading to North Shore on the 4th.

    1. I’ll have to try Cardigan…I heard that Mojo Monkey in St. Paul is pretty good also (sounds like a follow-up series). Definintely check out Betty’s Pies…so good! Enjoy the North Shore!

  2. Payton would be in heaven here! She has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know! Exploring our own backyard is something I need to put more effort into as well. It does seem we are always traveling far away to find our next adventure!

    1. 🤣 I know! I may or may not have already consumed the entire bar of my favorite chocolate from Finland that I purchased from Minnesota’s largest candy store earlier this week.

  3. I totally love treats! You have made it so hard to choose! Probably the pies, but the raspberry ice cream and the cookies look amazing too! And I’ve never tried lefse, but I’m always up for a new treat!

  4. LOL!! My girlfriend and I were just talking about all the sweets I post about on social media!! Honestly, other than ice cream, we throw a lot of sweets out. But it never stops us from keeping buying it!!

  5. Now I need to make a visit there. Just for the pie. Lol. I love a good fresh pie!
    I saw your quest for the best Mac, should you find yourself in San Diego go 30 min north to a little beer bar by my house. Best Mac and cheese ever and has ruined other Mac for me for ever. It’s called sublime ale house, should be called Mac and cheese house though…

  6. Now you’re talking!! I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth so this article really speaks to me. I would love some of the Sebastian Joe’s ice cream!

    1. It is a fun place…and, yes, Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes…technically, we have 11,824 lakes that are 10 acres or more.

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