19 reasons to skip the main course and go straight to the dessert truck
When people think about food trucks burgers, hotdogs and grilled cheese tends to spring to mind.
However, the food truck industry has grown over the years into a diverse landscape that now includes a wide category of desserts and drinks.
You may have noticed the churros trucks and gelato trucks at street food markets and festivals in your area.
So if you are thinking about starting a food truck and need some ideas here are 19 popular food truck dessert ideas for inspiration.
A Spanish and Portuguese dessert and a street food favourite, Churros are a popular choice for a food truck dessert.
Churros are a deep-fried dough pastry, made from sugar, salt and flour (kind of like a long doughnut) that is served with a chocolate dipping sauce.
This time we visit Italy with Gelato.
Gelato is made a bit different from ice cream in that it is made from a lower proportion of milk and cream which means it is slightly lower in saturated fats.
3. Ice Cream Tacos
Ice cream tacos are basically Mexican tortillas filled with different flavoured ice cream with a range of topping such as chocolate chunks and nuts
Ice cream tacos trucks are a relatively new concept in the mobile catering industry and probably a good food truck desert to sell as there should be less competition.
4. Gourmet Doughnuts
Doughnuts are probably one of the most well-known and popular desserts in bakeries and other chain stores, which is a good indication for basing a dessert truck business.
And you don’t have to settle for the basic doughnut and can give it an upgrade with gourmet options from a bakery food truck.
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5. Mango Sticky Rice
This is one of my favourite street food desserts and is very popular in Thailand.
It’s a very simple dish made using sweet mango, sticky slightly salted rice, sweetened coconut milk and topped with sesame seeds.
And if you want to go out you can also have it with delicious coconut ice cream.
Mango sticky rice is a pretty rare street food desert in the west, so it may be a good idea for a food truck dessert.
6. Ice Cream Rolls
Another variation on ice cream, which is a little bit of a common theme on the food truck, but not without good reason.
Ice cream rolls are made from liquefied cream which is squirted onto a flat freezing stainless steel surface and then flatted and scarped with a spatula into rolls of ice cream.
It then comes with a wide range of toppings such as fresh fruits, chocolate, nuts and seeds.
These types of food truck desserts are popular in Thailand and Vietnam.
Crepes food trucks have been around for quite a while, which is always a good sign.
It means there is a continued demand for these sweet French desserts.
French crepes are basically thin pancakes made from a mixture of milk eggs and flour and then fried in butter.
They are served with a range of sweet toppings.
Crepes go especially well with chocolate sauce, peanut butter and banana.
8. Liquid Nitrogen Icecream
I’ve only actually seen this food truck dessert very recently on a trip to Hoi An in Vietnam and it definitely draws a crowd.
Basically, you cut out all the equipment used to make ice cream and use liquid nitrogen to freeze the cream very rapidly, making it notably silkier and smoother.
However, liquid nitrogen can be harmful without protective clothing so make sure you do your research first.
9. Thai Roti
Another popular Thailand street food dessert and for a very good reason.
Thai roti is a similar food truck dessert to a French crepe and is made using a mixture of egg, flour, water and butter, which is then fried and served with a sweet topping.
It goes particle well with condensed milk, chocolate sauce and banana.
10. Smoothie Bowls
Smoothie bowls are another relatively new concept and go well in a mobile smoothie and juice bar.
They are made by blending frozen fruits into a thick consistency and then served with a range of nuts, seeds, and fruits as toppings.
They are also very healthy so are a good food truck dessert if you are looking to serve a healthy alternative.
11. Pastel De Nata
This is a traditional Portuguese dessert which is kind of like a baked egg tart pastry which is sprinkled with cinnamon.
They are becoming very popular in bakeries now and a good candidate for a food truck bakery or street food treat.
A traditional Italian dessert, Cannolis are tubed-shaped fried pastry shells filled with sweet creamy fillings.
They come in a wide range of flavours such as chocolate, peanut butter, pistachio and amoretti to name but a few.
This wide range of flavours makes Cannolis a good food truck dessert to sell as it gives customers a range of choices.
13. Gourmet Popcorn
For a long time, popcorn was pretty basic and only came in a few flavours.
But now it has been given an upgrade which has turned it into a more gourmet affair.
Think popcorn drizzled in warm Belgian chocolate and caramel sauce topped with walnuts and sesame seeds.
Crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle, Belgian waffles are a popular food truck dessert.
Waffles are made from a mixture of flour, baking powder, eggs, and milk, and served with a range of sweet toppings, such as dark chocolate blueberries and strawberries.
The profit margin for waffles (along with other pancake mix-type desserts) is relatively high as the base ingredients are inexpensive.
15. Fruit & Veg Popsicles
A healthy twist on the traditional popsicles, veg ice lollies are made using fresh fruit and vegetables.
The fact that they are made using veg gives this dessert a unique selling point that potentially will help you stand out and make you popular with the parents.
16. Assorted Cupcakes
Most people are probably familiar with cupcakes as a dessert.
Cupcakes are small sponge cakes, topped with a range of icing flavours such as strawberry and chocolate.
Because cupcakes come in a wide selection of colours it makes them visually appealing.
This makes for a good dessert truck idea because it draws people in.
Baklava is a traditional Turkish dessert pastry made from layers of filo pastry and filled with nuts and honey.
It also comes in a wide selection of flavours such as chocolate, pistachio and classic walnut.
18. Avocado Icecream
If you are willing to try something new and stand out then avocado ice cream may be for you.
This is a healthy alternative to traditional ice cream and can be made using vegan-friendly ingredients, which is a good way to tap into the lucrative vegan market.
I’ve not seen any dessert truck serve this dessert before and it could be a good gap in the market
19. Coconut Iced Coffee
This is a Vietnamese favourite, served in the famous Cong Caphe and is somewhere between a dessert and a drink.
Coconut iced coffee is made with ground coffee, condensed and coconut milk served with a dollop of coconut ice cream.
I had one on my last visit to Ho Chi Minh city and I have to say as both a coffee and dessert lover it was one of the highlights.
If you have a tasty dessert truck idea you would like to share just leave a comment below and I will add it to the list.
Gavin D is the founder of Street Food Central and Tru Foo Juice Bar Co. and has worked in the mobile catering industry for over 7 years.