When talking of desserts, while many believe that we inherited this habit from the Americans (our Spanish masters had no equivalent to desserts during the colonial period), it was the French who actually originated the concept. The word comes from the French word, “desservir,” meaning “to clear the table.” As early as 1600 the French practiced serving sweets or coffee after the table had been cleared of the main meal. But it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that many western and European countries began to practice of having dessert after a main meal. In the UK, the word dessert is not used, being replaced instead by “pudding” or other alternatives like “sweets” or “afters.”
As for the Filipino or Kagay-anon, well, it has become almost common fare to have dessert after a meal, or as some have “re-adapted,” desserts are sometimes eaten as snacks. But whatever the craving or sweet tooth, Cagayanons will always look for their specific delights such as biscuits or cookies, cakes, chocolates or sweets, custards or puddings, deep-fried desserts, frozen desserts, jellied desserts, pies, pastries, cobblers, clafoutis (fruit-based fillings, and dessert coffees or wines. As they would often say in card games, “choose your wild.”
This is the newest modern Filipino and heritage cuisine restaurant to open in Cagayan de Oro that offers its own twist with dishes from Northern Mindanao, including the desserts.
It is located on Capistrano and Mabini Streets (formerly Thai Me Up). The restaurant gets its name from “Cucina,” the Spanish word for “kitchen, while “Higala” is a vernacular word that can mean either “friends” or “family.”
Its top beverage is called the Magic Potion, a drink made from the Blue Ternate flower extract which is known for its health benefits, the perfect ending for any meal.
Their dessert bestseller is a local and different Sizzling Binaki with caramel sauce. Every Cagayanon knows what Binaki is as a type of steamed sweet corn tamales. This one really gives a twist with its own caramel sauce and ice cream on top.
Cecil’s Snack Inn and Bakeshop
Probably one of the oldest restaurants in the city that first opened in front of Xavier University in the 1970’s.
Now they have 2 branches at the corner of Tirso Neri and Pabayo Streets in Divisoria and at the corner of Corrales Avenue and J.R. Borja Street.
They’ve always been known for their desserts that everyone converts to snacks like their delectable cakes, pastries, egg pie, pineapple pies, fruit pies, and éclairs.
Mango Mania Healthy Dessert Restaurant
The city’s primary source of healthy desserts and snacks using only fresh fruits, mostly mangoes, with no artificial ingredients added.
With their original branch at the lifestyle District along Corrales Avenue Extension, they also have branches at the lobby of Cinema 1 and 2 at the Limketkai Mall and at Ayala Centrio Mall. Mango Mania has become popular all over CDO as a healthy dessert restaurant that’s open for everyone of all ages.
It’s the first of its kind to open in Cagayan de Oro and the Philippines as well. Their desserts and snacks are all served up using only fresh fruits, but their lineup is mostly composed of anything with mangoes in it. You need to try out their Mango Ice Choco Banana, a modern day banana split.
Chocolates and Creams
As their tagline suggests, “the taste of dreams,” as soon as you walk into this pastry café, you’ll find an area that’s made for the beach, complete with the inflatable inner tire tubing, a playhouse, and what almost looks like a tree house.
You can order your pastry and drinks and literally sit and lie around and just muck around, talk, study, or fiddle with your gadgets. As the name implies, most of their pastries, sweets, and desserts are either chocolaty or creamy in variety.
Their pastry bestseller is their Sans Lava, a different sort of sans rival with a creamy chocolate filling inside. But you need to try out all of their desserts and sweets – especially the “fondue” – so you can get your “taste of dreams.” You can find this playhouse, or rather, pastry shop, at the corner of Don A. Velez and Gaerlan Streets.
MBB Frozen Factory
Miss Bon Bon (MBB) Frozen Factory makes the best gelato ice cream in Cagayan de Oro.
Heck, they make the best ice cream in town, whether it’s at MBB at the Limketkai Center or the new Frozen Factory in Ayala Centrio Mall. From among the many selections of gelato variations they have, the Berry Merry and Choco Overload are their bestsellers.
Served in a special glass, the Berry Merry is filled with whipped cream, strawberry gelato, chocolate cubes, grated chocolate, blueberry gelato, and topped with a fresh strawberry on top.
The Choco Overload is cutely served in a large cone and inside is an overload of chocolate and vanilla gelato topped with a fresh cherry. Both are sure to melt away the heat of summer once you touch your lips and tongue on the gelato.
Candy’s Café serves a lot of really delicious desserts, but the Tartufo is actually the café’s most popular dessert. Try to imagine a bowling duck ball (that’s the size of it) that’s actually a spherical chocolate cake and inside is pure vanilla ice cream.
When served, it’s already sliced, so you need to eat it fast lest the ice cream just melts and goes to waste. It’s perfect for a snack or dessert for four people.
The cake, ice cream, and overall sweetness are just right. If there was a dessert that can be tagged as dessert of the gods, Tartufo would be it.
Of course, you might have your own choice of a fast food place or restaurant that serves really great desserts or sweets that we haven’t mentioned here, but do feel free to try out the abovementioned if you haven’t yet. You might want to also try some of the new restaurants that have sprouted up along Corrales Avenue or Center Point Arcade since we heard they have really good desserts as well.