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The Quick 10: 10 of the Most Expensive Desserts Ever

For me, there's nothing better than warm chocolate chip cookies out of the oven to satisfy a sweet tooth. If your tastes run a little more expensive, don't worry - there's something for you, too.

1. Golden Opulence Sundae. Long touted as the most expensive sundae in the world, this sweet treat from Serendipity 3 in New York will set you back $1,000. Instead of toppings like sprinkles (jimmies, to some of you) and cherries, Serendipity serves up candied fruits, gold-covered almonds, chocolate truffles, Grande Passion caviar, a gilded sugar flower and syrup made from one of the world's most expensive chocolates.
You also get to keep the Baccarat crystal goblet the Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream is served in.

2. Sometimes, though, a $1,000 sundae just seems a little too plebeian, doesn't it? On days when you really want to blow a your salary on some sweet, check out the $3333.33 banana split offered by Three Twins in Napa. It comes drenched in syrups made from rare dessert wines, and if you give the shop advance notice that you're going to purchase it, they'll hire a cellist to play while you nosh. Three Twins donates $1111.11 of every banana split purchase to a local land trust.

3. That's not even the most expensive offering from Three Twins. They also offer a $60,000 ice cream sundae ($85,000 for two) made from glacial ice from Mount Kilimanjaro. Oh, yeah - purchase price also includes first class airfare to Tanzania, five-star accommodations, a guided climb, all the ice cream you can eat and an organic T-shirt. "Five figures" of your purchase goes directly to an African environmental non-profit.

4. If you have a cool grand burning a hole in your pocket, but ice cream isn't really your thing (what?!), never fear: the Sultan's Golden Cake can satisfy your urges. It's a dish at the Ciragan Palace, a five-star hotel in Istanbul, and it takes 72 hours to make. It includes figs, quince, apricot and pears that have been enjoying a two-year dip in Jamaican Rum. It's then topped with caramel, black truffles and a gold leaf.

5. Serendipity 3 offers another luxury dessert called the "Frrozen Haute Chocolate," a blend of 28 cocoas, including 14 of the most expensive powders from around the world. It also includes five grams of edible 23-karat gold, but the kicker is probably the 18-karat gold bracelet with a carat of diamonds that decorates the base of the goblet. You don't eat that part, of course. Another non-edible is the golden spoon studded with white and chocolate-colored diamonds, and yep, you get to take that home.

6. More for the chocolate lovers - Chocopologie is a store that sells what we think is the most expensive chocolate truffle in the world. It's $5,000 a kilogram, but you can buy a single truffle for just $250. They're located in Norwalk, Connecticut.

7. The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence dessert at the Fortress Sri Lanka hotel sounds amazing - it's gold leaf cassata containing mango and pomegranate with a fisherman sculpted out of chocolate on the side. But something tells me most of the $14,500 purchase price is going toward the 80-carat aquamarine stone the chocolate fisherman is holding.

8. Likewise, I'm sure the bulk of the $130,000 price of the Platinum Cake designed by a Japanese pastry chef is due to the fact that the multi-tiered confection is adorned with platinum jewelry, including necklaces, brooches, pendants and hair pins. I feel like draping a dessert with jewelry and calling it "The world's most expensive cake" or whatever is sort of cheating. What's to stop someone from plopping the Hope Diamond down on top of a bowl of Jell-O and declaring it "The world's most expensive gelatin snack endorsed by Bill Cosby"?

9. Along that same line of thinking is the ROX cupcake, a $150,000 bite-sized cake created for the "Glam in the City" consumer show in Glasgow last year. It's an average cupcake, but it's sprinkled with diamonds.

10. A lesser cupcake indulgence is the Decadence D'Or from Las Vegas' Sweet Surrender. It doesn't pull the cheap "regular cupcake sprinkled with priceless jewels" trick. First of all, the cake is topped with Louis XIII de Remy Martin Cognac, a 100-year-old vintage. The chocolate is made from the rare Porcelain Crillo bean, and then there's the Tahitan Gold Vanilla Caviar, believed to be the most labor-intensive agricultural crop in the world. And, OK, there are gold flakes.

Would you buy any of these if you had the cash? I might actually go for the $60,000 ice cream if money were no object. I mean, you get an awesome trip out of the deal and a good chunk of your spend goes to charity. That's not so bad.

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Yes, You Can Put Your Christmas Decorations Up Now—and Should, According to Psychologists
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We all know at least one of those people who's already placing an angel on top of his or her Christmas tree while everyone else on the block still has paper ghosts stuck to their windows and a rotting pumpkin on the stoop. Maybe it’s your neighbor; maybe it’s you. Jolliness aside, these early decorators tend to get a bad rap. For some people, the holidays provide more stress than splendor, so the sight of that first plastic reindeer on a neighbor's roof isn't exactly a welcome one.

But according to two psychoanalysts, these eager decorators aren’t eccentric—they’re simply happier. Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown told UNILAD:

“Although there could be a number of symptomatic reasons why someone would want to obsessively put up decorations early, most commonly for nostalgic reasons either to relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect.

In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood.

Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extend the excitement!”

Amy Morin, another psychoanalyst, linked Christmas decorations with the pleasures of childhood, telling the site: “The holiday season stirs up a sense of nostalgia. Nostalgia helps link people to their personal past and it helps people understand their identity. For many, putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods.”

She also explained that these nostalgic memories can help remind people of spending the holidays with loved ones who have since passed away. As Morin remarked, “Decorating early may help them feel more connected with that individual.”

And that neighbor of yours who has already been decorated since Halloween? Well, according to a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, homes that have been warmly decorated for the holidays make the residents appear more “friendly and cohesive” compared to non-decorated homes when observed by strangers. Basically, a little wreath can go a long way.

So if you want to hang those stockings before you’ve digested your Thanksgiving dinner, go ahead. You might just find yourself happier for it.

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11 Black Friday Purchases That Aren't Always The Best Deal
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Black Friday can bring out some of the best deals of the year (along with the worst in-store behavior), but that doesn't mean every advertised price is worth splurging on. While many shoppers are eager to save a few dollars and kickstart the holiday shopping season, some purchases are better left waiting for at least a few weeks (or longer).

1. FURNITURE

Display of outdoor furniture.
Photo by Isaac Benhesed on Unsplash

Black Friday is often the best time to scope out deals on large purchases—except for furniture. That's because newer furniture models and styles often appear in showrooms in February. According to Kurt Knutsson, a consumer technology expert, the best furniture deals can be found in January, and later on in July and August. If you're aiming for outdoor patio sets, expect to find knockout prices when outdoor furniture is discounted and put on clearance closer to Labor Day.

2. TOOLS

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Unless you're shopping for a specific tool as a Christmas gift, it's often better to wait until warmer weather rolls around to catch great deals. While some big-name brands offer Black Friday discounts, the best tool deals roll around in late spring and early summer, just in time for Memorial Day and Father's Day.

3. BEDDING AND LINENS

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Sheet and bedding sets are often used as doorbuster items for Black Friday sales, but that doesn't mean you should splurge now. Instead, wait for annual linen sales—called white sales—to pop up after New Year's. Back in January of 1878, department store operator John Wanamaker held the first white sale as a way to push bedding inventory out of his stores. Since then, retailers have offered these top-of-the-year sales and January remains the best time to buy sheets, comforters, and other cozy bed linens.

4. HOLIDAY DÉCOR

Rows of holiday gnomes.
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If you are planning to snag a new Christmas tree, lights, or other festive décor, it's likely worth making due with what you have and snapping up new items after December 25. After the holidays, retailers are looking to quickly move out holiday items to make way for spring inventory, so ornaments, trees, yard inflatables, and other items often drastically drop in price, offering better deals than before the holidays. If you truly can't wait, the better option is shopping as close to Christmas as possible, when stores try to reduce their Christmas stock before resorting to clearance prices.

5. TOYS

Child choosing a toy car.
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Unless you're shopping for a very specific gift that's likely to sell out before the holidays, Black Friday toy deals often aren't the best time to fill your cart at toy stores. Stores often begin dropping toy prices two weeks before Christmas, meaning there's nothing wrong with saving all your shopping (and gift wrapping) until the last minute.

6. ENGAGEMENT RINGS AND JEWELRY

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Holiday jewelry commercials can be pretty persuasive when it comes to giving diamonds and gold as gifts. But, savvy shoppers can often get the best deals on baubles come spring and summer—prices tend to be at their highest between Christmas and Valentine's Day thanks to engagements and holiday gift-giving. But come March, prices begin to drop through the end of summer as jewelers see fewer purchases, making it worth passing up Black Friday deals.

7. PLANE TICKETS AND TRAVEL PACKAGES

Searching for flights online.
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While it's worth looking at plane ticket deals on Black Friday, it's not always the best idea to whip out your credit card. Despite some sales, the best time to purchase a flight is still between three weeks and three and a half months out. Some hotel sites will offer big deals after Thanksgiving and on Cyber Monday, but it doesn't mean you should spring for next year's vacation just yet. The best travel and accommodation deals often pop up in January and February when travel numbers are down.

8. FOOD AND SNACK BASKETS

Gift basket against a blue background.
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Fancy fruit, meat and cheese, and snack baskets are easy gifts for friends and family (or yourself, let's be honest), but they shouldn't be snagged on Black Friday. And because baskets are jam-packed full of perishables, you likely won't want to buy them a month away from the big day anyway. But traditionally, you'll spend less cheddar if you wait to make those purchases in December.

9. WINTER CLOTHING

Rack of women's winter clothing.
Photo by Hannah Morgan on Unsplash.

Buying clothing out of season is usually a big money saver, and winter clothes are no exception. Although some brands push big discounts online and in-store, the best savings on coats, gloves, and other winter accessories can still be found right before Black Friday—pre-Thanksgiving apparel markdowns can hit nearly 30 percent off—and after the holidays.

10. SMARTPHONES

Group of hands holding smartphones.
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While blowout tech sales are often reserved for Cyber Monday, retailers will try to pull you in-store with big electronics discounts on Black Friday. But, not all of them are really the best deals. The price for new iPhones, for example, may not budge much (if at all) the day after Thanksgiving. If you're in the market for a new phone, the best option might be waiting at least a few more weeks as prices on older models drop. Or, you can wait for bundle deals that crop up during December, where you pay standard retail price but receive free accessories or gift cards along with your new phone.

11. KITCHEN GADGETS

Row of hanging kitchen knives and utensils.
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Black Friday is a great shopping day for cooking enthusiasts—at least for those who are picky about their kitchen appliances. Name-brand tools and appliances often see good sales, since stores drop prices upwards of 40 to 50 percent to move through more inventory. But that doesn't mean all slow cookers, coffee makers, and utensil prices are the best deals. Many stores advertise no-name kitchen items that are often cheaply made and cheaply priced. Purchasing these lower-grade items can be a waste of money, even on Black Friday, since chances are you may be stuck looking for a replacement next year. And while shoppers love to find deals, the whole point of America's unofficial shopping holiday is to save money on products you truly want (and love).

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