- We list the most iconic desserts from every state in the US.
- Some states even have their own official state desserts, such as Alabama’s lane cake and Maryland’s Smith Island cake.
- Others are unofficial state desserts that are world renowned, such as the New York cheesecake and the Pennsylvania whoopie pie.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
From shave ice to Boston cream pie, here is each state’s favorite dessert.
Alabama – Lane cake
Lane cake was made the official state dessert of Alabama in 2016. Its filling typically includes pecans, coconut flakes, raisins, and a generous amount of bourbon.
Alaska – Akutaq
Indigenous people would mix seal oil, animal fat, fish, berries, or other available ingredients to make Akutaq. A modern adaptation of the recipe uses vegetable shortening instead of animal fat and adds sugar.
Arizona – Sopaipilla
The sopapilla is a cross between Latin American fried pastry and Navajo fry bread. This fried pastry can be served savory or sweet. To serve it as a dessert, drizzle honey or sift powdered sugar on top.
Arkansas – Possum pie
Possum pie can be found at diners and restaurants throughout Arkansas. Its layers consist of a crust, a cream cheese mixture, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream.
California – Doughnuts
Doughnut shops are a quintessential part of California. Whether you like them plain, over the top, or packed to the brim, you’re guaranteed to find one you like here.
Colorado – Duffeyroll
Duffeyrolls are extremely popular in Denver. They look like cinnamon rolls, but are lighter and have a flakier texture.
Connecticut – Snickerdoodle
The snickerdoodle is a classic cinnamon sugar cookie, but cream of tartar is the key ingredient to a true, classic snickerdoodle.
Delaware – Peach pie
Peach pie is Delaware’s state dessert. In the 19th century, Delaware was the country’s leading producer of peaches. Even today, residents love making and eating the state dessert.
Florida – Key lime pie
Key lime pie is synonymous with Florida. The pie filling consists of key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolk.
Georgia – Peach cobbler
Restaurants and home bakers alike love making peach cobblers in Georgia. To make it extra special, add ice cream on top.
Hawaii – Shave ice
Shave ice is an iconic dessert in Hawaii. A block of ice is shaved and then drizzled with rainbow syrups. You can add toppings such as adzuki bean paste or condensed milk.
Idaho – Ice cream potato
It may look like a potato, but it’s actually ice cream. The ice cream potato can be found at Boise’s Westside Drive In. Vanilla ice cream is shaped like a potato and dusted in cocoa powder. Then it’s topped with whipped cream, crushed Oreos, and peanuts.
Illinois – Popcorn
Popcorn became the Illinois state snack food in 2004. Garrett Popcorn serves its popcorn fresh to customers and can make anywhere from 30 to 150 batches every day. Popular flavors include CaramelCrisp, CheeseCorn, and a mix of the two.
Indiana – Sugar cream pie
The Indiana sugar cream pie is a regional specialty. Characterized by its buttery crust and rich vanilla custard filling, the pie originated from the Amish and Shaker communities that settled in Indiana in the 1800s.
Iowa – Ice cream
Le Mars, Iowa, is the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.” Home to the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor & Museum, you can find over 50 ice cream sculptures throughout the city.
Kansas – Frozen custard
Frozen custard is a denser, creamier version of ice cream. Frozen custard has pasteurized egg yolk, which gives it its smoother texture. Sheridan’s specializes in frozen custard and has seven location in Kansas and Missouri. Get it in a cone or a cup and make sure to add toppings.
Kentucky – Bourbon ball
Bourbon balls are a sweet and boozy delight. The bite-sized confection is made of Kentucky bourbon-soaked pecans, butter, and powdered sugar and then dipped in chocolate.
Louisiana – Beignets
No Louisiana trip is complete without trying beignets at Café du Monde. Square-shaped pieces of dough are deep-fried and generously sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Maine – Wild blueberry pie
The blueberry pie, made with wild Maine blueberries, became the state dessert in 2011. Maine is one of the world’s top suppliers of wild blueberries, not to be confused with cultivated blueberries. Wild blueberries are smaller and have a sweeter and tangier taste.
Maryland – Smith Island cake
The Smith Island cake is a layered cake named after Smith Island, in Chesapeake Bay. Traditionally, it consists of eight to 10 layers of cake with frosting between each layer.
Massachusetts – Boston cream pie
The Boston cream pie is a decadent cake filled with custard or cream. And the chocolate glaze is a must. It’s also the Massachusetts state dessert.
Michigan – Mackinac Island fudge
Michigan is well known for its Mackinac Island fudge. Visitors can watch it being poured onto a marble slab and worked into solid fudge as it cools and hardens.
Minnesota – Blueberry muffin
While a muffin may be considered more of a breakfast food, you can certainly eat it for dessert. Especially since Minnesota’s state muffin is the blueberry muffin.
Mississippi – Mississippi mud pie
The Mississippi mud pie is a rich, chocolaty dessert. The pie consists of a chocolate crust, one to three chocolate layers, and a whipped cream topping.
Missouri – Gooey butter cake
The gooey butter cake is a St. Louis original. It has a yellow cake bottom with a cream cheese, egg, and powdered sugar filling.
Montana- Huckleberry pie
Huckleberry pie is a favorite dessert in Montana. Huckleberries are grown in the northwestern United States, especially in the mountainous parts of Montana. They’re sweet and tart, similar to a blueberries. And perfect for a dessert pie.
Nebraska – Kolache
The kolache is a pastry roll popular in the Midwest and Texas. Soft dough is filled with fruit or cream cheese. It originated in Eastern Europe and was brought to the US in the 1800s.
Nevada – Chocolate
You can find chocolate treats all over Nevada at chocolate shops and all-you-can-eat buffets. Las Vegas also has one of the largest chocolate fountains in the world at the Bellagio, at 27 feet (8.23m) tall.
New Hampshire – Cider doughnuts
Cider doughnuts are a New England favorite, especially in the fall. New Hampshire is home to many apple orchards, including the oldest continuously operated one in America, Applecrest Farms.
New Jersey – Saltwater taffy
Saltwater taffy is a sweet treat you can enjoy on many Jersey boardwalks. It’s made by mixing and stretching corn syrup, sugar, and butter. There are dozens of flavors to enjoy, including vanilla, strawberry, and bubblegum.
New Mexico – Bizcochitos
Bizcochitos are New Mexico’s state cookie. The anise-flavored shortbread cookie is often eaten at special celebrations like weddings, baptisms, and holidays. This recipe was influenced by locals and immigrants from other Hispanic countries.
New York – Cheesecake
New York-style cheesecake is characterized by its dense and rich texture, made possible by using lots of cream cheese and extra eggs and egg yolks. It’s great by itself, but putting strawberries on top adds an extra-sweet flavor.
North Carolina – Sweet potato pie
Sweet potato pie is a Southern classic. But instead of empty calories, the pie is filled with mashed sweet potatoes, which are full of fiber and vitamin A.
North Dakota – Krumkake
The krumkake is a Norwegian waffle cookie. The cookie is rolled into a cone while hot and can be filled with cream. It was brought to the Midwest by Scandinavian immigrants.
Ohio – Buckeye
Buckeyes are peanut-butter balls dipped in chocolate. They are meant to resemble the nut of the buckeye tree, which is Ohio’s state tree.
Oklahoma – Fried pie
Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies are famous throughout Oklahoma. These handheld treats are perfect for on the go, and there are over a dozen flavors to choose from, including chocolate and cherry.
Oregon – Marionberry pie
The marionberry pie is an Oregon favorite. The marionberry was created by Oregon State University and the US Department of Agriculture in a berry-developing partnership in the early 1900s.
Pennsylvania – Whoopie pie
Amish people in Pennsylvania invented the whoopie pie. Marshmallow fluff or buttercream is sandwiched between two pieces of cake-like cookies.
Rhode Island – Doughboy
The doughboy is similar to a zeppole but local to Rhode Island. It starts out as a flattened pizza dough that is deep-fried and then topped with powdered sugar.
South Carolina – Coconut cake
Coconut cake is a must-have in the South. It’s made up of coconut cake, coconut filling, coconut cream cheese frosting, and is covered with toasted coconut flakes. The Peninsula Grill in Charleston even has a 12-Layer Ultimate Coconut Cake that weighs about 12 pounds (5kg).
South Dakota – Kuchen
The word kuchen roughly translates to “cake” in German. The pastry has a dough crust and custard and fruit filling. German immigrants brought it to South Dakota in the 1880s.
Tennessee – Banana pudding
Banana pudding consists of layers of vanilla wafers, pudding, and bananas. This simple but delicious dessert is a Southern staple. There’s even a National Banana Pudding Festival held in Centerville, Tennessee, annually.
Texas – Pecan pie
Texans love their pecan pie so much they made it the state pie. You can find the nutty treat at restaurants, dessert shops, and many family gatherings.
Utah – Jell-O
Jell-O is Utah’s state snack food. It’s popular among the state’s large Mormon population. To make it a sweeter treat, add whipped cream on top.
Vermont – Apple pie
Nothing warms the heart and stomach like apple pie. Sliced Vermont apples are placed inside a pie crust with a lattice top and baked to perfection.
Virginia – Chess pie
Virginians love their chess pie. The simple pie is made up of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs and on occasion an acid such as vinegar, buttermilk, or lemon juice.
Washington – Nanaimo bars
While the Nanaimo bar is Canadian by birth, it was made popular in the US by Starbucks, whose headquarters are in Seattle. This no-bake dessert bar is decadent and delicious.
West Virginia – Shoofly pie
While invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch, the shoofly pie is very popular in West Virginia. The star of the decadent pie is molasses. There’s even an annual West Virginia Molasses Festival in Arnoldsburg.
Wisconsin – Cream puff
Original Cream Puffs are popular at the Wisconsin State Fair. The puff pastry is piled high with cream and extremely fun to eat.
Wyoming – Cowboy cookie
Cowboy cookies are packed with a bunch of flavors and textures. This cookie contains chocolate, pecans, coconut, oats, and cinnamon.
While they aren’t states, here are the favorite desserts in Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
Washington, DC – Cupcakes
Cupcakes reign supreme in Washington, DC. Local favorites are Georgetown Cupcake and Baked & Wired.
Puerto Rico – Flan
Flan is a popular custardy dessert in Puerto Rico and other Spanish-speaking countries and territories. Most Puerto Rican flans are milk-based.
What foods do you think we should cover next? Let us know in the comments.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in October 2020.