Guide to Gingham’s All-American Desserts


There’s a barbecue smoker working overtime in La Mesa.

It’s in Brian Malarkey’s new ‘cue joint, Gingham - Early reports say a hungry mob continues its week-long dinner assault on the pork shoulder, brisket, beef ribs and baby backs.

And what you’re reading now will inform your sugar raids there.

At Gingham, executive chef Rachel King updates all-American desserts. Everything’s $6.

Here’s my quick rundown of her dessert menu:

Candy Bar Cake: You need a glass of milk with this dense take on a Snickers. Swiss buttercream frosting clings to a wedge - sounds safe enough. But wait. That’s alternating layers of devil’s food cake and a peanut butter mousse so substantial, so heavy, you could enrich it and make a nuclear weapon. Let’s hope Iran doesn’t get King’s mousse recipe (cream cheese, butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar).

Double Cream Pie: A bed of custards - chocolate and vanilla - upon a crushed cocoa-nib frame. A sheet of whipped cream. After indulging in a bite of pie, hit that little chocolate cigarette garnish. Swipe a bit of caramel off the plate. Salty, sweet, fluffy. This is a fine ode to Coco’s chocolate cream pie, which King is a fan of.

American pie: A mix of Gala and Granny Smiths inside, this apple pie has bacon and cheddar in the handmade crust! If you like cheese plates and prosciutto, you’ll tell everyone I said this was the perfect Gingham dessert for you. (But really King said this.)

Fudge Pretzel Sundae: Scoops of brown-sugar-swirl ice cream, mainly. But there’s dessert drama going on up top. Those pretzels dipped in white chocolate are waving at you like climbers trapped on a mountain. Below them, a drop into a hot fudge river, and whipped cream clouds are quickly moving in...

Lemon Meringue Cake: Like fruity, airy cakes? Take a palate-freshening waltz with this lemon-poppyseed cake. There’s raspberry-blackberry-blueberry jam inside, and, up top, lemon mousse and toasted meringue. For texture, toasted cake scraps are strewn everywhere, sticking to crème anglaise sauce. This cake is way prettier than I’m making it sound. There are photos of all these beauties on the way.

*King’s desserts are cheapest at Gingham, btw. You can order a whole cake or pie here with 24-hour notice.

Gingham is located at 8384 La Mesa Blvd. La Mesa. (619) 797-1922 or They’re participating in Restaurant Week, then introducing brunch after that.

Read more of Keli Dailey’s San Diego dining reviews on

Pictured: Rachel King, executive pastry chef for all of Malarkey’s restaurants. Photo by Peggy Peattie

Source: DiscoverSD