Disney World’s Best Snack Spot
When it comes to Walt Disney World dining, we’ve long been “staunch snacking advocates.” Obviously, attractions are the primary reason most people book trips, but the parks are much more than simply a collection of rides. (Otherwise, you might as well go to Six Flags or Cedar Point.) Among other things, there’s entertainment, themed design, and even snacking that rounds things out.
Since reopening, some of what helps define the whole of the Walt Disney World experience have been missing. Most shows are not running and atmospheric acts are on hiatus. On the dining front, some snack stands remain shuttered (at least on weekdays) and almost all others are operating with significantly scaled back menus.
Through this all, there has been one Walt Disney World snacking stalwart. A sugary oasis in a dessert desert. Okay, all of that is definitely hyperbole, but there has been one standout bakery that has delivered hit after hit for us in the last few months, and it’s time to finally give this EPCOT sweet treat spot its long overdue accolades…
We’re talking about Karamell-Küche in EPCOT’s World Showcase Germany pavilion. Despite having a wide range of dining reviews for locations as obscure as a waffle window at Tokyo Disneyland, embarrassingly enough, we have never published a Karamell-Küche review. Like many other restaurants, I’ve used the “just one more visit” excuse to justify postponing the review–and doing more “research.” In the process, several of the photos in my saved draft post have been rendered obsolete and removed due to menu changes over the years.
The delaying ends today. Not just because our review of Walt Disney World’s best overall snack spot is long overdue or given that we’ve done a few recent “meals” here. Because Karamell-Küche is currently home to the single best sweet treat in all of Walt Disney World, and anyone visiting for the Christmas season needs to know about this!
Before we dig into the desserts on the menu at Karamell-Küche, let’s begin with some quick background. In the long arc of Walt Disney World history, Karamell-Küche is still a relative newcomer, debuting roughly a decade ago in the Germany pavilion in partnership with Storck, the makers of Werther’s Original Caramels.
Karamell-Küche translates to Caramel Kitchen in German and the shop took the place of Glas und Porzellan. The intimate location is modeled after an old-world German caramel kitchen, much like the company’s first shop in Werther, Germany that opened in 1903. It opened as the only freestanding retail location in the world for Storck.
One of the main reasons we’ve been dining so much at Karamell-Küche lately is because the location has been offering the merchandise discount rate to Annual Passholders.
That discount is valid on the Werther’s Original caramel popcorn on the shelves, as well as everything in the display cases. Up until the start of this month, that meant 30% off! (Since that’s already been offered twice now, we’re hopeful it’ll return again after APs stock up on Christmas stuff.)
Normally, Karamell-Küche also participates in the Disney Dining Plan, with almost everything in the display cases being redeemable for a snack credit. While that is temporarily suspended, we’re still expecting the Disney Dining Plan to return at some point in 2021.
Aside from the Caramel Apples, most of the items at Karamell-Küche are an objectively poor use of Disney Dining Plan snack credits. That’s good for those paying out of pocket (literally anyone right now), as most other items are in the $4-5 range.
Turning to reviews of the items we’ve tried recently, let’s get the worst out of the way first: the Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookie with Pecan.
This is one of the longer-running items at Karamell-Küche, although, as with several other desserts, it has been tweaked over the years. The latest iteration is missing the generous drizzle of caramel and consequently is a bit lacking in the flavor department. (Words you’ll only see once in this review.) It’s still good by oatmeal cookie standards, but doesn’t rise to the high(ly decadent) bar of Karamell-Küche.
Continuing with cookies, we have the Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookie.
This item is also missing the drizzle right now, but a hearty amount of caramel inside (plus the general superiority of chocolate cookies over oatmeal ones) makes it a winner.
Next, the Werther’s Caramel Butter Bar. This is another item that has evolved over the years, with previous incarnations having the words “Shortbread” and/or “Chewy” in the name.
It’s definitely still both of those things, but the recipe has changed. Once a Walt Disney World fan favorite, it’s now more divisive, with some believing its too buttery and others believing it’s just right with a variety of textures and melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. I happen to fall firmly in the latter camp, and I’m not normally one for overly-indulgent Disney desserts.
Ultimately, I’d strongly recommend buying it to find out where you stand on the Caramel Butter Bar, as the upside potential is incredibly high. Perhaps it’ll be too much for you–a disappointment. On the other hand, if you’re anything like me, it could be one of your very favorite snacks at Walt Disney World.
Finally, the main event. Karamell-Küche has brought back the Werther’s Pumpkin Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream for fall and kicked off the Christmas season early (by EPCOT standards) with the Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Cookie Sandwich.
And here we thought L’Artisan des Glaces was a lock for EPCOT’s pumpkin and gingerbread snack MVP award. Not since Lemieux and Jagr has the world seen this dynamic of a duo. (I was going to go with Shaq and Kobe, the more international flair of Lemieux and Jagr seems more apt for this comparison.)
Given our penchant for pumpkin, it’d be totally reasonable to assume the “best snack at Walt Disney World” title we teased above was in reference to the Werther’s Pumpkin Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream. And at literally any other park right now, this would be the #1 snack.
The buttercream is rich and delicious, the pumpkin base is fresh and flavorful, and there’s just the right amount of salt and caramel. It culminates into something special, and with a high quality unlike any other cupcake at Walt Disney World. It’s an absolute must-order…but it is not the best snack.
The undisputed MVP here is the Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Cookie Sandwich. (So maybe this duo is more like Jordan and Pippen, with both being great but one obviously better.)
This cookie sandwich is nothing short of a revelation. I cannot even fully articulate how or why this is so good, but it is.
The easiest way to describe it is probably via comparison to the Carrot Cake Cookie (pictured above), one of the most iconic and best snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Setting aside obvious differences in flavor profiles, the Carrot Cake Cookie is like the Big Mac and the Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Cookie Sandwich is like a Double Double from In-N-Out Burger (or a ShackBurger, if that’s more your style).
Don’t get me wrong, the Big Mac is addictively good and it’s a guilty pleasure that I love, but it doesn’t hold up to its upmarket rivals when compared side by side. It’s the same deal here for the Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Cookie Sandwich.
This thing is off the charts, with more nuanced flavor, better texture, and decisively higher overall quality. The sandwich features thick and chewy gingerbread cookies stacked with a heavy helping of buttercream and liberal layer of caramel. All of this melds into the superlative snack at Walt Disney World, simultaneously sweet, buttery, salty, creamy, and zingy. Again, words and photos truly don’t do it justice–you’ll just have to taste it.
Ultimately, Karamell-Küche is a snack spot without equal at Walt Disney World. While there are plenty of other great bakeries that serve up a handful of exceptional items (including Kringla Bakeri og Kafe and Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie in World Showcase), nowhere else is as consistently excellent.
There’s nowhere else at Walt Disney World where I’ll order literally anything new on the menu–no matter what it is–because it’ll probably be delicious. This has been true many times in the past even with items that didn’t sound like they’d be to my tastes. I’d say that Karamell-Küche is full of surprises…but it’s really not. Almost everything here is fantastic. Going forward, we’ll do a better job of providing regular updates on the latest menu updates at Karamell-Küche. (Its recipes and rotation do change frequently!)
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Have you tried Karamell-Küche? Favorite snacks on the menu here? Anything you think has changed for the better or worse as the menu at Karamell-Küche has “evolved” since its opening? Thoughts on the new pumpkin and gingerbread seasonal items? Considering trying this spot? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Thank you soooo much for your recommendation of the Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Cookie Sandwich!! My wife and I tried it last week and it surpassed your hype. Best thing we ate in Epcot, and we ate quite a bit of good food!
Bottom line is, chocolate trumps everything! Best ice cream on the market right now is Tillamook Mudslide. I have spoken.
What about best snack place for the savory crowd that doesn’t have a sweet tooth??
Definitely my favorite place to spend my snack credits at Disney. They turn caramel into poetry… SO. GOOD.
Most important question- How do I get an actual picture for my profile (Ex. Meghan Ray) and not have that weird virus looking thing by my name?
The gingerbread cookie sandwich is RIDICULOUS. I bought a few of the caramel butter bars to take home and got the sandwich on impulse. Immediately kicked myself for not buying more. It’s impossible to overstate how amazingly, deliciously perfect it is.
DTB readers, let me tell you how good the gingerbread cookie sandwiches are. We were at boardwalk villas last week and my daughter had got the cookie for her snack. It was 8:42 and we were back in the room and I tried a bite. It. Was. Heaven. Now as much as I love desserts (SO MUCH) I just as equally despise running but my snack-loving self ran my butt out the door, through the hallway, down the stairs, along the boardwalk, through the international gateway, and alllllll the way around the world showcase so I can make it to Germany before they closed at 9pm. So. Hot. So. Sweaty. So worth it. We brought 4 home with us.
You made it from BoardWalk to Germany in 18 minutes?! Respect.
If that isn’t a compelling testimony, I don’t know what is!
@Megan, this may very well be the best, most positive comment I’ve ever read on DTB! I agree with Tom & Jen’s comments. I’ll also add that I, too, would totally be willing to run for the cookie!
Hmm, that doesn’t allow enough time for the obligatory stop at Rose & Crown for the Guinness as required by international law…
Do they ship?
Having been fortunate to see Lemieux and Jagr on the ice together at the Igloo, I greatly appreciated the analogy and definitely will be stopping here on our next trip.
Just so we’re clear, I’m a Red Wings fan…but it was still a treat to watch them play.
Its pains me to say this as a Bruins fan but Lemieux and Jagr were an unbelievable duo. Nice analogy.
Thanks for this. Heading down in December and the wife loves anything salted caramel. Looks amazing
The butter bar is absolutely my favorite snack at Disney. I love caramel and when at EPCOT a stop at this place is essential!
It’s probably in my top 5 or 10. I get what some people say about it being too buttery, but I think it’s perfect!
I appreciate the hockey analogy. Nothing better than Epcot snacks and hockey in the same article. #gopens
This.all.day!! Let’s go Flyers!!!
I would make a derogatory comment about the Flyers, but you blessed the world with Gritty, so thanks for that. 😉
This is hands-down mine and my husband’s favorite snack spot in Epcot. It’s a must-do on every trip.
I always overindulge there! What is the first picture, that looks like a brownie?
That’s the Salted Caramel Fudge Brownie. I haven’t seen it since reopening, but it’s also possible I’ve just missed it. Previously one of the menu mainstays.
The thing that stops me from shopping there is the price of everything. Some items I can find in the grocery store; others just don’t seem worth it to me. $6 for a single cookie is just wrong. I really like caramel, but this is just to expensive for me. If I need some chocolates and caramel, I’ll just stop at Russell Stover’s Outlet.
This is the same reason I can never recommend anyone buying DVC points now at nearly $200 a point.
With all due respect, there is NO COMPARISON with Russell Stover. The caramel is made on site and could not be more delicious. Everything we have had there is so good-but our family loves caramel. I will agree with you, however, that I won’t buy the hard candy Werther’s packets there. Nothing you can’t buy at the grocery store or Target in the hard candy aisle as far as I’ve seen…..
Totally agree, Susan.
Most WDW food is overpriced–nature of the beast–but at least the quality is there on these snacks. I’d much rather spend $4-5 on one of these than the same amount of money on pretty much anything at a Food & Wine booth.
My husband and I LOST OUR MINDS over the caramel butter bars when we were there in September! Definitely to be savored as they are rich. The oatmeal cookie was yummy too. We’ll be Back on the 16th -21st and armed with what we know now, we’ll be enjoying treats back at the hotel room in our jammies nightly !
Is the Gingerbread Salted Caramel Cookie seasonal? If so, do we have any idea how long it will be available?
It is seasonal. My guess is that it stick around until early January, but no guarantee of that.
I wanted the pumpkin cupcake soooo bad on my October trip, but by time I stopped by they were sold out! I did get the gingerbread cookie sandwich though, and it took me three days to eat it because it was soooooooo sweet!
“I wanted the pumpkin cupcake soooo bad on my October trip, but by time I stopped by they were sold out!”
Due to not wanting to wait in line earlier in the day or just arriving late, this is something that happens to us often with Karamell-Küche!