The 5 Best Frozen, Store-Bought Desserts We Tried in 2021

published Dec 8, 2021
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Different brands and flavors of ice cream on fridge shelves in a supermarket. Based on studies, half of the population in North America eat ice cream regularly.
Credit: Shutterstock/Niloo

The freezer section almost always comes through. And it especially comes through in the case of desserts. We should know: We tried a lot of frozen desserts this year. All our testing and tasting helped us realize that the freezer section has a few desserts that seriously taste as good as homemade (if not better). Need a cake, cookie, pie, or ice cream to serve a group after dinner? Just want a little nibble on something while you stand over the sink? The freezer section can help.

These are the five best frozen, store-bought desserts we tried this year.

Credit: Patty Catalano

Belgian Boys Dark Chocolate Lava Cake, $4.99 for 2 cakes

Earlier this year, we taste tested as many frozen chocolate cakes as we could find; four of them were lava cakes. These, which come in cute glass ramekins, have a super-rich, chocolatey flavor and a moist texture. Dust the top with powdered sugar and fresh chocolate curls and nobody will guess these personal-sized cakes came from the freezer.

Credit: Aliza Gans

Marie Callender’s Lattice Apple Pie, $2.20 for 42 ounces 

Admittedly, there are lots of great frozen apple pies in grocery stores. So much so, we had a hard time choosing a winner during an official taste test. Most of them were good, but one stood out as the best and the closest to homemade. It was also the prettiest pie of the bunch, which made the dessert feel even more celebratory. Oh, and it cost less than $3! So, feel free to stock up.

Credit: Hollis Miller

Levain Bakery Two Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies, $9.99 for 8 cookies

Earlier this year, Levain, a bakery native to New York City known for giant cookies and long lines, created a frozen version of their popular chocolate chip cookie. The pre-baked cookies (heat them in the oven at 350°F for five to seven minutes for optimal gooeyness) are slightly bigger in size than half a normal Levain cookie, which makes them a normal-sized cookie by chocolate chip cookie standards. They’re a bit more crumbly than the original — but then again, they’re also the easiest, most affordable way to access any Levain cookie. Find them at Whole Foods.

Credit: Heather McClees Williams

So Delicious Dairy-Free Chocolate Cookies ‘n’ Cream, $4.99 for 1 pint

If you’re the type of person who thinks traditional cookies and cream could use a little more chocolate (and maybe a lot less dairy), this is the pint for you. Aptly named, So Delicious is made with chocolate cashew milk, which adds lots of creaminess, and gluten-free, cream-filled cookies. (It’s also vegan.) We suggest you scoop some in a bowl and put the rest away; we found it too easy to eat it all in one sitting with the straight-from-the-pint technique — although there was less cleanup!

Trader Joe’s New York Deli Style Baked Cheesecake, $6.99 for 30 ounces

The sweet, vanilla flavor of this baked cheesecake stands out more than the tang of cream cheese. The rich, thick filling sits on a sweet and buttery crust that’s crisp and keeps its shape — even when cut. You would never guess that this cheesecake came from a store.

Read more: 3 Store-Bought Cheesecakes That Are (Almost) Better than Homemade