Discontinued Fast Food Desserts We'll Never Eat Again

Most people readily associate fast food chains with burgers and fries, but for many fans, a trip to their favorite restaurant isn't complete without dessert. Over the years, chains have cooked up nearly every dessert patrons can imagine, from fruit-filled hand pies to delicious milkshakes. The best fast food desserts are decadent, portable, and provide just the right sweetness to bring a satisfying balance to a meal. Some of these desserts are so popular that they have remained on restaurant menus for decades, becoming part of their prospective brand's signature offerings. 

However, not every dessert is so successful, which leads restaurants to discontinue and replace them. Many factors can result in a dessert being discontinued, including supply issues or low-profit margins. Sometimes a product fails to catch on with consumers or isn't practical in a fast food setting. Some desserts fade without much fuss, but consumers miss others. Although we may never eat any of these desserts again, the people who remember them best keep their memory alive on social media. Many still hope their favorites will reappear on restaurant menus someday. 

Jack In The Box Bacon Shake

Some fast food desserts are so off-the-wall that they sound like urban legends, such as the short-lived bacon milkshake from Jack In The Box. This strange concoction made a stealthy appearance back in 2012. According to the Huffington Post, a spokesperson for the chain explained that the milkshake wasn't advertised in restaurants, making it more of a secret menu drink than an official offering. Nevertheless, the bizarre beverage piqued the curiosity of some of the restaurant chain's patrons, hoping this shake would somehow successfully balance the flavors of bacon and vanilla. 

Sadly, as an SFist reviewer reported, the bacon milkshake did not live up to the hype. The reviewer found the shake surprisingly dull, with a taste that captured the smokiness of bacon without the deliciously salty, fatty flavor. Weirdest of all, the beverage was loaded with calories but didn't contain actual bacon. Instead, it got its taste from artificially-flavored bacon syrup. The absence of real bacon was enough for Dave Zinczenko, author of "Eat This, Not That" fame, to add this product to his unofficial "Milkshake Hall Of Shame" on Twitter. The shake disappeared from Jack In The Box almost as quietly as it emerged and hasn't been seen again in over 10 years. 

Arby's Chocolate Turnover

Pastries like turnovers are typically found in bakeries, but Arby's has treated guests to this flaky confection for years. Although cherry and apple turnovers are still part of the dessert menu, one beloved flavor has been missing since 2016: chocolate. According to a Twitter post, the chain discontinued this product to introduce a new line of cookies. However, turnover fans took to the comments section in droves to protest this chain. Arby's posted the original tweet in 2016, but upset consumers continued to express their love for this long-gone dessert all the way into 2023.

One exceptionally dedicated fan even started a Change.org petition to return chocolate turnovers to the Arby's menu. The petition received 173 signatures, and the comments are just as impassioned as those on Twitter. Many signers shared how much they miss these turnovers, even years later. One supporter even explained that they haven't returned to an Arby's restaurant since the chain stopped offering this dessert. Unfortunately for fans of these pastries, the petition doesn't seem to have been enough to convince Arby's to bring them back. Although many discontinued fast food items have made a comeback thanks to fan support, we may never see Arby's chocolate turnovers again. 

Carl's Jr. Ding Dong Ice Cream Sandwich

The longstanding chain Carl's Jr. has offered some intriguing desserts over the years, including its Ding Dong ice cream sandwich. This mashup combined the popular Hostess treat with simple vanilla ice cream. The sandwich featured one of the snack cakes cut in half with the cream filling intact and hit menus in 2015. BusinessWire spoke to Carl's Jr. and Hostess representatives, who expressed excitement about the collaboration. The restaurant chain's Chief Marketing Officer, Brad Haley, explained that Ding Dongs were the ideal vehicle for this unique sandwich. 

A review for Brand Eating explained that the chocolate snack cake and vanilla ice cream blended well together. The review also notes that the cream filling adds an extra layer of surprisingly pleasant sweetness to the dessert. The ice cream's hardness ensured you could get from the drive-thru to home without it becoming a melty mess, and the sandwiches were reasonably priced at under $2.00 each. Unfortunately, this unusual concoction suffered the same fate as many fad desserts and was discontinued only a few months after its debut. These ice cream sandwiches haven't been seen again since, and the chain's dessert menu now offers much tamer options. 

McDonald's Cherry Pie

Over the years, McDonald's has offered a variety of hand pies on its dessert menu, but one longstanding flavor slowly fell off the map in 2013. Although consumers can still find apple pie on the chain's menu, its cherry pies are long gone. This classic dessert appeared in a 1979 WRTV investigative report because it lacked a crucial ingredient. According to the report, the pies didn't contain enough cherries to satisfy FDA regulations for what can be classified as a cherry pie. Nevertheless, customers' love for these pies kept them on the menu for another three decades. 

A former McDonald's staff member took to Quora to explain the story behind this pie's demise. According to their answer, it was purely an issue of popularity. Using the restaurant they worked in as an example, the former employee explained that customers bought about 30 apple pies a day but only four cherry pies. Another user and fellow former employee agreed with this answer, stating that their restaurant stopped offering several seasonal pie varieties in favor of stocking more popular options. McDonald's briefly offered cherry and creme pies at some locations in 2017, but the original cherry pie has not been seen since its discontinuation. 

Burger King Bacon Sundae

Ice cream sundaes are beloved by many, but they aren't necessarily everyone's first choice at fast food restaurants. Many chains make their sundaes out of basic soft-serve vanilla, and the toppings aren't always inventive enough to attract consumers' attention. For example, for years, Burger King has offered simple sundaes with toppings such as hot fudge and caramel. Although these sundaes are tasty, they aren't very exciting. However, the chain had a unique idea with its now-discontinued bacon sundae, which appeared for a limited time in 2012. 

Unsurprisingly, this dessert earned plenty of attention — and mixed reviews. A Brand Eating reviewer had high hopes for the sweet-salty combination but ultimately thought the sundae would have been better without the bacon. Meanwhile, a HuffPost reviewer found that the strange sundae became more and more enjoyable as they continued eating it. Both agreed that, for better or worse, the sundae had plenty of bacon. Whether they loved or hated it, this sundae attracted plenty of consumer attention, which may have partially motivated its creation. The sundae's release date coincided with when the restaurant's then-owner, 3G Capital, planned to return Burger King to its previous status as a publicly-traded company.  

Chick-fil-A Cheesecake

While some discontinued desserts maintain a widespread fan base, some have a much tinier (but just as dedicated) following. For example, as one TikTok user points out, many people have completely forgotten that Chick-fil-A used to offer cheesecake. For years, consumers could enjoy this New York-style cheesecake or lemon pie by the slice. However, the chain discontinued these treats in 2012 to make room for new desserts, including cookies and brownies. While those more basic desserts have stuck around for over a decade, the chain's cheesecake hasn't made a single reappearance — not even as a seasonal offering. 

Cheesecake isn't exactly synonymous with fast food, and it was likely difficult to serve and store this dessert in restaurants. However, those who remember it insist it was a delicious treat. Although Chik-fil-a cheesecake nostalgia isn't widespread on social media, there are a select few who still keep its memory alive. For example, soon after this dessert left restaurant menus, one particularly heartbroken fan created a Facebook community imploring Chik-fil-A to resurrect this classic dessert. The community's small but passionate group of members posted multiple requests for the brand to bring this dessert back, but so far, it appears it won't be returning to restaurants. 

Zaxby's Milkshakes

Some products are discontinued without much fanfare, but Zaxby's patrons did not let the chain's milkshakes slip away quietly. In December 2017, the brand tweeted an announcement that the beloved shakes were officially coming off the menu, and fans took to the comments section to express their discontent. Although the statement included a lighthearted joke, it didn't offer an explanation. Therefore, most fans were not laughing. Some even threatened to stop frequenting the chain unless their favorite shakes returned. 

The chain offered multiple milkshake flavors, but the birthday cake shake was popular enough to launch a Change.org petition for its return. The petition went live in 2019, and signatures continued trickling in over the years. Sadly, it appears the chain does not intend to bring milkshakes back to the menu. In 2023, the chain tweeted: "Got asked to bring back milkshakes yesterday. Got asked to bring back milkshakes today. Will get asked to bring back milkshakes tomorrow." Frustrated patrons once again begged the chain to heed its customers' requests, but the chain hasn't acknowledged these comments. At least for now, Zaxby's milkshakes will remain merely a tasty memory for those who got a chance to try them.

Pizza Hut Hershey Chocolate Dunkers

Breadsticks from pizza restaurants are delicious in their own right, but Pizza Hut offered consumers a unique twist on this classic with its Hershey's Chocolate Dunkers. This sweetened version of pull-apart breadsticks featured a chocolaty crust and came with a cup of chocolate dipping sauce. It hit Pizza Hut menus in 2008 and enjoyed a solid run — while it lasted. Unfortunately, the chain discontinued this dessert to make room for other sweet treats, such as the massic chocolate chip cookie the brand rolled out in 2014.  

Although this dessert was delicious, a former employee explained to Quora users that the product wasn't cost-effective enough to keep on the menu. For example, according to the former employee's answer, the chocolate topping posed some storage challenges because it would melt at room temperature, which made preparing this treat a messy job. Nevertheless, this discontinued dessert still has a loyal fan base on social media. One Twitter user created an account for the sole purpose of begging Pizza Hut to bring back this product, and several users commented on their love and support for the Dunkers. Furthermore, multiple people have launched Change.org petitions focused on this dessert, one of which has received almost 2,000 signatures and counting. 

Shake Shack Concretes

With a name like Shake Shack, serving delicious milkshakes and ice cream is a must, and the brand certainly lives up to its moniker. One of the best dessert options on the chain's menu were concretes, frozen treats made from thick custard generously combined with creative toppings. Many of the concretes had catchy names and featured fun, seasonal ingredients. For example, when the brand first came to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2014, an Atlanta Eats review included a concrete called Campfire S'mores with all the flavors of this summery treat. 

Unfortunately, concretes did not survive menu changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting in 2020, they slowly disappeared from the chain's dessert lineup. This change was supposed to be temporary, but the concretes have not returned since. One Vegas Message Board user created a thread about their inability to find concretes at one local restaurant, asking other users if this was an isolated issue. Another user explained that a Shake Shack manager advised that the chain offered a limited menu in response to the pandemic. However, the dessert hasn't been seen since, and it's unclear if it will ever return. The chain continues to offer basic frozen custard flavors on its list of desserts, but the delicious mix-ins are no more.

Burger King Dutch Apple Pie

Apple pie is among the most popular desserts around, and many fast food chains have offered their own versions of it. Unfortunately, Burger King fans in the U.S. stopped being able to enjoy the restaurant's Dutch apple pie back in 2020. Many restaurant chains had to cut items from their menus due to supply chain issues from the COVID-19 pandemic, and this dessert was no exception. According to Fox Business, a restaurant spokesperson explained that the pies were no longer available through the chain's supplier, which fueled the choice to discontinue them.

This fast food pie had plenty of fans who were unhappy to hear this news. For example, one Reddit user posted a thread hoping their local Burger King staff were wrong about the pies leaving the menu. Still, employees from other locations confirmed the original poster's fears. Several comments express disbelief that such a popular menu item could be discontinued so abruptly. A few other fans of the pies even joined the conversation to ask if anyone knew the supplier's name so they could buy them directly. So far, it appears that Burger King has not found a supplier that can reproduce this dessert.

Wendy's Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty

Plenty of fast food new releases are featured in commercials, but few get their own music video. When Wendy's released its Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty in 2008, the accompanying ad (via YouTube) looked like a '90s boy band music video, complete with a catchy jingle and silly choreographed dancing. It wasn't the only version of this frozen treat, which featured toppings mixed into a classic Frosty, but it was arguably the most unique. Unlike the other flavors (which included M&Ms and Oreos), this Frosty gave coffee fans a perfect way to combine their favorite beverage with a delicious dessert. 

Unfortunately, this dessert only stuck around for a few years before Wendy's discontinued it — most likely for good. As Second Scoop reported, the chain quickly introduced a line of Frosty parfaits when they discontinued the twisted variety, but this replacement only stuck around for a limited time. Like many beloved fast food desserts, this frozen drink inspired one disappointed fan to create a Change.org petition asking for its return. However, the petition gained minimal traction and likely won't convince the chain to bring this dessert back to life.

Taco Bell Caramel Apple Empanada

While Taco Bell is best known for its tacos and burritos, the chain has also offered several desserts over the years. Sadly, one fan-favorite sweet treat gradually disappeared from the menu in 2019: caramel apple empanadas. A Taco Bell representative told Brand Eating that the empanadas were indeed discontinued, but the brand would continue offering other desserts, such as its classic cinnamon twists. The brand also continued carrying its Cinnabon Delights, which first appeared in 2013 and have remained on the menu ever since. The representative didn't provide a specific reason for discontinuing the empanadas, but it's likely they had gradually become less popular.

Although the empanada has been unavailable for several years, many consumers still remember it fondly. This discontinued dessert even has some friends in high places. For example, when Taco Bell invited its Twitter followers to share their hot takes in 2023, T-Mobile tweeted about missing it. Several other empanada lovers commented in support of this tweet, asking Taco Bell to bring the dessert back to its menu. The brand has repeatedly brought its popular nacho fries back to its limited-time lineup thanks to consumer requests, so perhaps there's hope for this dessert in the future.