Karamell-Küche in EPCOT’s World Showcase Germany pavilion is the best snack spot in all of Walt Disney World. This review takes a look at some of our favorite decadent desserts and sweet treats on the menu at this spot that’s sponsored by Werther’s Original Caramel. (Updated June 12, 2023.)
When it comes to Walt Disney World dining, we’re “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. Among other things, there’s entertainment, themed design, and even eating that completes the experience.
All of that is doubly true in World Showcase at EPCOT. Although it’s added two of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World in the last decade with Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the main draw of World Showcase is–and will always be–exploring the countries of the world in a day.
Suffice to say, World Showcase has a formidable culinary lineup–from fine dining in France and Japan to food kiosks. Snacks are one of the strong suits of EPCOT, with great bakeries in Norway and France, plus excellent options and compelling draws at pretty much every country in between. That’s precisely why we have a Guide to Snacking Around World Showcase at EPCOT.
Through this all, Karamell-Küche has been one of Walt Disney World’s snacking stalwarts for the last decade-plus. It has delivered hit after hit for us in the last few years, and it’s time to finally give this EPCOT sweet treat spot its long overdue accolades…
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.
For the month of June 2023, that means 30% off! So if you’re an Annual Passholder dropping into EPCOT for the free Figment magnet or to take advantage of the lounge in Sunshine Seasons, you should also head back to Karamell-Küche in Germany.
Normally, Karamell-Küche also participates in the Disney Dining Plan, with almost everything in the display cases being redeemable for a snack credit. Although temporarily suspended right now, the Disney Dining Plan returns for 2024.
Prior to its suspension, most of the items at Karamell-Küche were an objectively poor use of Disney Dining Plan snack credits. There were a few exceptions to this, like the Apples, but most of the “good” treats at Karamell-Küche were inexpensive.
However, that’s now past tense. Due to a few menu additions discussed below, now some of the more expensive items are also the tastiest options. The only question is whether these will be eligible for DDP credit redemption. If so, look for Karamell-Küche on our list of Best Uses of Snack Credits on the 2024 Disney Dining Plan!
To that point, the best option for the Disney Dining Plan is going to be the Werther’s Original Snickerdoodle Sandwich ($6.99). This isn’t just the best option for the DDP–it’s the best option for anyone. The Werther’s Original Snickerdoodle Sandwich is a new addition for Summer 2023 at Karamell-Küche.
This addition might sound or look familiar, and that’s for good reason: it’s a remix of the fan-favorite Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Cookie Sandwich. This snickerdoodle sandwich replaces the gingerbread option, which was always meant to be seasonal, but had stuck around by popular demand.
Like its predecessor, this consists of caramel and buttercream sandwiched between two cookies. In this case, gooey and freshly-made snickerdoodle ones. The individual components here were as good as always, with quality and preparation being off the charts. As a whole, it’s very sweet–to the point that I ate half when I got it and the other half a few hours later. (The warmth of my backpack made it even better–truly ooey gooey good!)
If forced to choose between the Werther’s Original Snickerdoodle and Gingerbread Sandwiches, I’d pick the latter. These are both elite tier Walt Disney World snacks, and are must-eat treats. For now, only one is available at a time, so your choice is obvious: get whichever is there.
By a slight margin, I prefer the gingerbread version. Although I favor snickerdoodle cookies, generally, the sandwich is a sweetness overload, whereas the gingerbread sandwich has a bit of better balance. With that said, if snickerdoodle is the only option next time I’m at EPCOT, I’ll absolutely be buying it again. (Our full review of the gingerbread version is further down in the post.)
Turning to reviews of the other items we’ve tried in the last couple years, 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 serves up the Werther’s Pumpkin Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream from around October through December. For the last several years, they’ve also offered the above-mentioned Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Cookie Sandwich during that same timeframe.
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 just about anywhere else, 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.
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!)
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!