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20 Best Dessert Cocktails

Give happy hour a sweet spin with these dessert cocktails!

Are you the kind of person who checks the dessert menu before choosing a main? Me too! But sometimes, after a big dinner, I just can’t fit in another bite.

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Refreshing Iced Chocolate Cocktail

Luckily, these dessert cocktails are light enough to sip and enjoy, even after a three-course meal. 

Unlike typical cocktails, which can be strong and overly boozy (I’m looking at you, martinis!), these are sweet and loaded with all your favorite dessert flavors. 

Cake lovers should try the red velvet cupcake cocktail, and those who prefer their drinks fruity will want to make the apple pie cocktail asap.

Boozy Frozen Mudslide

1. Frozen Mudslide

This is one of the most dessert-like on the list, and that’s down to how thick it is.

This is more or less a boozy mocha milkshake, so if you’re full after dinner, you might struggle to finish it. 

But I bet you could still give it a solid try, right? Full of cream, vodka, and coffee liquor, you’ll want to save room if you can. 

As it’s like a milkshake, you’ll need a blender. Add ice cream, vodka, Baileys, Kahlua, and chocolate syrup to the pitcher and blend with ice until it’s smooth.

I like to use coffee ice cubes, so nothing gets watered down.

2. Chocolate Martini

I mentioned above that martinis are usually strong and boozy, and I wasn’t kidding.

They’re pure alcohol, and if you opt for the dirty kind, they’re even a little salty.

Not what you want if you’re looking to replace dessert with something sweet.

But this chocolate version is the perfect blend of vodka, chocolate liqueur, and Baileys, making it rich and lusciously creamy.

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3. Grasshopper Cocktail

No doubt you’ve seen these floating around come St. Patrick’s day, but I think they’re yummy enough to enjoy all year. 

If you love mint chocolate chip ice cream, this is the best dessert cocktail for you.

Crème de cacao provides the chocolate, and crème de menthe provides that refreshing minty taste we all love.

Rim the glass with chocolate shards, and this is like drinking melted ice cream.

4. Salted Caramel White Russian Cocktail

Taken from the classic vodka, coffee liqueur, and cream cocktail, this adds a salty-sweet twist that will have you reaching for more. 

Being a caramel latte drinker, this was too good not to try right away.

So I started my day with my usual hot version and ended it with its cooler, boozier sister. 

Like my latte, this starts with a generous squeeze of caramel onto the sides of the glass.

Then, you’ll add vodka and Kahlua. Finally, top it off with heavy cream and more caramel. 

To boost that flavor, try using salted caramel vodka. 

5. Banana Split Dessert Cocktail Recipe

Banana splits are a fun and delicious way to get the kids (and grown-ups) to eat some fruit with their ice cream. 

This recipe incorporates all those great flavors by adding banana liquor, creme de cacao, and vanilla vodka. 

I actually used whipped cream vodka, and it gave this an added layer of creamy goodness. 

To make it closer to the dessert itself, I like to rim the glass with freeze-dried strawberries. Although, sprinkles would be a fun choice, too.

6. Brandy Alexander

The original Alexander was a mix of gin, cocoa liqueur, and cream.

This version, while very similar, uses cognac, crème de cacao, and cream, making it much warmer and less floral.

I prefer this version as I find the gin to be overpowering and, in my opinion, it doesn’t pair well with cream.

I also prefer to use crème de cacao because it’s a little sweeter, thanks to the added vanilla.

7. Chocolate Dessert Cocktail

You’ll notice that this is larger than some of the other drinks, and that’s due to the alcohol content.

After all, as delicious as these dessert cocktails are, some are pretty strong.

This recipe does call for vodka and Bailey’s, and again, I chose the whipped cream flavor because it’s screams, “dessert!”

But apart from the booze, this is also (more or less) a big glass of chocolate milk.

You’ll make it yourself as you would ganache, only it’s much thinner, with more than half being cream. 

One excellent way to spruce this up would be to use raspberry vodka and super dark chocolate in the chocolate cream. 

8. Gooey Butter Cake Martini

Gooey butter cake is sticky, sweet, and wonderfully buttery. It’s a southern classic, and I don’t make it often enough. 

It’s kind of like a vanilla fudge brownie, as it should be dense and contain way more sugar than flour.

Some recipes all use cream cheese for a bit of tangy flavor.

Now, picture all that in a cocktail!

It’s hard to get “butter” into a cocktail, and I’m not sure the flavor would work outside of a cake.

But butterscotch schnapps, on the other hand, is the perfect alternative. 

It makes this creamy, caramel-y, and beautifully buttery. 

9. Mocha Mezcal Dessert Cocktail

You’d be surprised at how well chocolate and mezcal go together. It’s all about the char of the alcohol and its floral, earthy notes, which are pretty similar to cocoa. 

The char comes from how mezcal is made.

Upon harvesting, the hearts of agave plants are removed and roasted before being crushed and allowed to ferment with water. 

This is different from tequila which is usually steamed, and therefore, has no smokey taste.

Since this is a warm drink (it also includes cinnamon and cayenne pepper), you can drink this hot or cold. 

I love it chilled over ice, but this is the perfect winter warmer when it’s cold outside!

10. Panna Cotta Dessert Cocktail

This recipe is right on the edge of being a cocktail, in that it’s got lots of whiskey in the mix.

But it’s more of a dessert since it’s set with gelatin, and you can’t drink it. 

Panna cotta is a clean and classic dessert made with milk and gelatin.

It’s pretty light and mild in flavor, which is why you often see it with some kind of fruity topping. 

This cocktail recipe blends the warmth of an old-fashioned with those creamy flavors to make something pretty special. 

11. Key Lime Pie Martini

You know I’m on death’s door if I ever say “no” to key lime pie. It’s zesty, creamy, and simply to die for. 

I love the indulgence of the condensed milk with that terrific citrus kick you get from the key limes. Doesn’t that already sound like a cocktail?

You’ll use coconut rum for an added tropical vibe along with vodka, key lime juice, and cream. I usually make lime simple syrup for added sweetness. 

Rim the glass with crushed graham crackers, and just remember to swirl this. If you shake it, you run the risk of curdling the cream.

12. Apple Pie Cocktail

This is the perfect fall treat and would make an ideal Thanksgiving dessert cocktail. 

It’s brimming with festive flavors, from spiced apple to whiskey, and it would even be great served warm.

Just add apple cider, fireball whiskey, and vodka to a shaker and give it a good toss around. Then, serve over ice. 

Since this is an apple pie cocktail, you could rim the glass with graham crackers here too. And for something a little sweeter, try using salted caramel vodka.

13. Snickers Cocktail

Snickers combine everything we love in candy. They’re nutty, chewy, chocolatey, and full of creamy caramel. 

That’s a lot to get into a cocktail, but this recipe manages it with ease. 

I know that amaretto is almond-flavored and not peanut, but when you blend it with chocolate syrup, vanilla vodka, Irish cream liqueur, white chocolate liqueur, you can’t really tell.

Instead, you’ll just get a lovely light nuttiness that makes this just like a candy bar in a glass.

14. Candy Cane Martini

Meet your new holiday favorite! This dessert cocktail is creamy, fresh, and as Christmas-esque as it gets.

Unlike the grasshopper, which uses crème de menthe, this recipe calls for peppermint schnapps, which is less sweet and has a lot more mint flavor.

Of course, you could easily use crème de menthe, but then it might be too sweet when mixed with the whipped cream vodka and white chocolate liqueur.

15. Baileys Red Velvet Cupcake Chocolate Martini

I had no idea you could buy Red Velvet Baileys! It takes just as you’d expect, like a red velvet cupcake topped with Baileys.

Since red velvet has cocoa notes, you’ll enhance that by adding chocolate liqueur.

For the vodka, I don’t recommend using anything too sweet, as the Bailey’s can be a bit much. 

A nice way to decorate these would be to add crushed red velvet cookies to the rim.

And if you serve them with mini-red velvet cupcakes, I know they’ll be a huge hit. 

16. German Chocolate Cocktail Recipe

I know this doesn’t look super chocolatey, but one of the more prominent flavors of German chocolate cake is coconut, after all. 

The filling is a stunningly indulgent coconut and pecan blend that also includes dreamy evaporated milk and lots of brown sugar, so it has caramel notes, too.

This cocktail plays into that and uses milk, vanilla simple syrup, chocolate liqueur, coconut rum, and cream-based Caribbean rum.

But that’s not all! The rim of the glass needs to be coated in caramel so the toasted coconut and pecan bits will stick.

17. Sgroppino al Limone (an Italian Sorbetto Cocktail)

Sgroppino means “to untie” in Italian, and the idea behind the name here is that you untie or soothe your stomach after eating. 

It comes from Venice, and it’s usually made with lemon sorbet and vodka, though some places add a glug of Prosecco too.

It’s technically not a drink nor a dessert. Instead, it’s used to cleanse the palate between courses. 

This version keeps it very clean, though I prefer it thicker and still slightly frozen.

Other recipes include milk for a creamier finish and blend it like a frozen margarita.

18. Sugar Cookie Cocktail Recipe

I think this would make a terrific birthday cocktail. The sprinkles set this off perfectly, and what’s better than a thick and tender cookie to celebrate with?

You’ve likely noticed that many of these recipes include dairy-heavy liquors, like Baileys, or just straight-up heavy cream. 

This recipe, though, uses BOM BOM dairy-free liqueur, which is rich and indulgent while still being vegan-approved.

It’s made up of Caribbean rum, almond milk, and natural cookie flavors.

19. Strawberry Shortcake Martini

Here’s a Baileys flavor I’m very familiar with! Baileys Strawberries & Cream is so deceptively delicious, and after just a couple of drinks, you’ll feel the effects. 

But it takes like melted ice cream, so drinker beware!

To make this dreamy cocktail, you’ll need strawberry simple syrup.

Just add two parts strawberry to a pot with one part water and half the amount of sugar. 

That would be one cup of fruit to half a cup of water and a quarter cup of sugar.

Allow that to simmer gently until the sugar dissolves and strain away the pulp. Let it cool before using it. 

20. Peanut Butter Cup Cocktail

When I first found out we can buy peanut butter whiskey, I did a little happy dance and promptly went online to buy some.

Skrewball outdid themselves with this stuff, and it seriously tastes like peanut butter! Of course, that’s probably because it’s made with real peanuts. 

It’s thicker than regular whiskey and quite sweet, which is why it’s perfect for this yummy dessert cocktail. 

20 Best Dessert Cocktails

These dessert cocktails are a great way to treat yourself! From martinis to mudslides to salted caramel white Russians, give happy hour a sweet spin with these drinks.


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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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