There are state birds, state trees, state flowers… but did you know there are state desserts? While not all 50 states have an official state dessert, each and every state is at least known for something sweet. We’ve compiled a list of the most iconic dessert for each and every state, and reading it is enough to make you want to take one very sweet road trip.
You might have heard of Alabama Lane Cake in To Kill A Mockingbird, where it makes an appearance more than once. But that’s not its only claim to fame. Invented by Emma Rylander Lane all the way back in 1898, it’s an award-winning white cake that’s lined with bourbon-soaked raisins and coated with a snowy white marshmallow-y frosting.
Tongass Forest Cookies(Because, no, Baked Alaska is not really from Alaska.)
These sweet and chewy cookies are probably not quite like any you’ve had before. While they combine healthy-enough oats and coconut, they’re also studded with Rice Krispies and two kinds of sugar. They supposedly became popular when someone brought the recipe back with them a few decades ago after a family vacation, but they’re so good we know they’ll endure for decades more.
SopaipillasSopaipillas, a light and crispy fried leavened dough, evolved from the frybread made by the Navajo people. Popular throughout Arizona and New Mexico, it’s often served drizzled with honey for a wonderful salty and sweet treat.
Possum PieThe name might be a little bit alarming, but we can promise you that no possums were harmed in the making of this pie. It’s actually just layers of sweetened cream cheese, pecans, and chocolate pudding all hiding (or playing possum) under a heavenly layer of whipped cream.
Frozen YogurtCalifornia is known for being health conscious, so it’s no surprise that this state was at the forefront of the frozen yogurt craze. Tart or sweet, topped with fresh fruit or candy, froyo can be found all over the vast state.
Palisade Peach CobblerColorado might not be the first state you think of when it comes to peaches, but you should! Their Palisade Peach Festival is a highlight of late summer, and juicy Colorado peaches make one irresistible cobbler.
Spice CookiesConnecticut is known as the Nutmeg State, but not because nutmeg grows there. The backstory might not make a lot of sense, but Connecticut’s Spice Cookies are delicious enough to make up for it. They probably became popular in the area because some of the earliest settlers (the Dutch) loved to use baking spices and that love created these chewy cookies, filled with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
Strawberry ShortcakeDelaware declared strawberries their official state fruit in 2010, and it’s clear from the House Bill that made that change that DE is pretty serious about their strawberries. “Whereas, strawberries are an important product of Delaware’s agricultural industry; and whereas children and adults love to pick their own strawberries; and whereas strawberries can be a refreshing part of everyone’s diet …” They sure can be a refreshing part of everyone’s diet. Luckily strawberry shortcake can too.
Key Lime PieIt’s tart and sweet and refreshing as dessert gets. It’s also the official state pie of Florida, has its very own festival, and Key limes are only grown in the Florida Keys. It’s an iconic dessert if there ever was one!
Peach PieGeorgia Peach. You can’t think of one word without the other. Georgia’s coast has been home to peaches as far back as 1571, and they’ve become known for the sweet, juicy fruit. There’s simply no better place to get a peach pie.
Shave IceYes, Shave Ice, not Shaved Ice. And this is not your average sno-cone. Delicate, melt-in-your-mouth flakes are shaved from large blocks of ice and topped with any and every fruit syrup imaginable (and sometimes some sweetened condensed milk for good measure). It’s undeniable that this is Hawaii’s best treat.
Huckleberry PieYes, the state name might be nearly synonymous with potato, but Idaho has some other culinary delights as well. Take the huckleberry, which grows in the wilds of northern Idaho, and makes a darn fine pie.
BrowniesIt’s a dessert we all know and love, but brownies made their premier appearance at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The original recipe called for a pound of chocolate and a pound of butter, so it’s no wonder the entire world fell in love with it.
Hoosier Sugar Cream PieCall it Hoosier Pie or call it Sugar Cream Pie, but there’s just no other choice when it comes to choosing Indiana’s most iconic dessert. Made up of cream, sugar, vanilla, and no eggs at all, it’s rich and delicious and irresistible.
Blarney StonesThey don’t really look like stones, but it’s a catchy name nonetheless.
Small pieces of pound cake coated in vanilla frosting and rolled in peanuts, Blarney Stones are a delicious Iowan treat, no matter what they’re called.
PeppernutsThough they’re actually a traditional German Christmas cookie known as pfeffernusse, this spicy little cookie has taken root in Kansas. You can find Peppernuts in bakeries across the state.
Bread Pudding (With Bourbon..)While bread pudding is popular in many southern states, and they’re not the only state to drench theirs in bourbon-flavored sauce, nobody makes it quite like Kentucky. Only the birthplace of bourbon can claim this one as their own.
Bananas FosterLouisiana has an unfair advantage in the dessert game. From beignets to king cake, there are any number of desserts you could choose as the state’s most iconic. But since beignets are mostly eaten for breakfast, we’ve gone with the irresistibly boozy bananas foster, which was invented in New Orleans.
Wild Blueberry PieMaine is the country’s leading producer of “wild” blueberries, which grow on a low bush and are smaller and more intensely flavored than the larger variety. There are about 60,000 acres of blueberries growing in Maine, so it’s unsurprising that Blueberry Pie is their official state dessert.
Smith Island CakeSmith Island is a small island off the coast of Maryland. While they may be small, they make BIG desserts. Smith Island Cakes have anywhere from six to twelves layers of yellow sponge cake and chocolate fudge frosting.
Boston Cream PieThough it’s actually a sponge cake layered with pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache, Boston Cream Pie has been declared the “dessert emblem” of Massachusetts. Invented by the Parker House Hotel in 1856, it’s now known and loved across the nation.
Cherry PieMichigan produces over 75% of the cherries in the United States, so it’s no wonder the state is famous for its tart cherries, which happen to make perfect pies!
Seven Layer BarsYou might call them “magic cookie bars” (and they are pretty magical) but seven layer bars are a potluck staple throughout Minnesota. A graham cracker crust layered with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, walnuts, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk makes them pretty hard to resist.
Mississippi Mud Pie
It gets its name from the way the Mississippi River looks after a rainstorm: brown, dirty, and muddy. The pie itself may be messy, but it’s a really just a sweet, chocolatey treat with a cookie crust, coffee liqueur, some whipped cream, and even more chocolate.
Gooey Butter Cake
Gooey Butter Cake hails from St. Louis and it’s a little hard to describe. Somewhere between a sheet cake and a bar, it has a layer of buttery yellow cake topped with a sweet cream cheese filling. And it’s gooooood.
S’Mores Montana doesn’t have an OFFICIAL state dessert and we already gave the huckleberry pie to Idaho, but calling S’Mores your own is nothing to complain about. In Montana’s beautiful backcountry, it’s the perfect sweet treat.
It may be a Czech treat in origin, but Nebraska is equally well known for these tasty pastries.
Nevada has its fair share of sinful indulgences, but it’s hard to beat chocolate fondue. The Bellagio Hotel is home to the world’s largest chocolate fondue fountain, which is extravagant enough for us!
It may be more of a sandwich cookie than a pie, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. Though they’re popular throughout New England, New Hampshire claims to be the birthplace of the Whoopie Pie.
Salt Water Taffy
It’s popular in many coastal locations, but nobody does salt water taffy quite like New Jersey. It’s been sweetening up the Jersey Shore since the 1880s.
A sweet, buttery cookie flavored with cinnamon and anise, Bizcochitos became the official state cookie of New Mexico almost 30 years ago.
New York does cheesecake right. Simple as it may be, with its incredibly rich and dense cream-cheese filling, it’s always hard to pass up a New York-style cheesecake.
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie is a southern favorite, but North Carolina gets to lay claim to this one because they grow more sweet potatoes than any other state. (And they just might make the sweetest sweet potato pies out there.)
No, not crumb cake. This is pronounced kroom-cacka, and while it’s Norwegian in origin, it’s mighty popular in North Dakota. It’s a thin, rolled-up cookie, similar in texture to a waffle cone.
Buckeye candy gets its name because of its resemblance to the Ohio buckeye tree, which is the official state tree. (The Buckeye State, anyone?) A creamy peanut butter ball dipped in chocolate… what’s not to love?
A good slice of pie is about as American a dessert you can get, but over in Oklahoma, they’ve got a special trick up their sleeve… they serve it fried!
Blackberries grow like weeds in Oregon, but the Marionberry is a hybrid berry developed by the USDA and Oregon State University over six decades ago. And it makes a very fine pie!
This verrrry sweet Pennsylvania Dutch pie (it includes both molasses and brown sugar) gets its name because you supposedly end up shooing away flies who are attracted to the filling.
Doughboys, which are basically just fried hunks of pizza dough topped with some sugar, are a classic in Rhode Island.
Benne wafers are a thin and crispy sesame cookie. They were brought to the United States by slaves, but the Olde Colony Bakery in Charleston has been serving them up for over a decade.
Though in Germany, “kuchen” just means cake, in South Dakota it refers to a sweet cake made with yeasted dough, and filled with custard and fruit, such as apples.
Mountain Stack Cake
This cake is made up of thin, firm layers with a sweet dried apple filling in between. It was traditionally a wedding cake in the Appalachian mountains, where each guest would bring one layer of the cake, and they’d assemble and fill the cake right there at the wedding. The more layers of cake a bride had, the more popular she was!
Though this pie is popular throughout the United States, Texans don’t wait for a certain holiday to indulge in this treat. The official state tree is the pecan tree, so it’s no wonder that this is Texas’ favorite pie.
Jello Pretzel Salad
It’s said that Salt Lake City consumes more Jello per capita than any other place in the U.S., and Jello happens to be the official state snack of Utah. In Utah, whether it’s a jiggly snack, salad, or creamy dessert, Jello fits the bill.
Vermont is the original home of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and also a whole lot of delicious maple candy… but if someone gets to lay claim to the most quintessential American dessert, Vermont is it! The apple is their state fruit, and you sure can’t have apple pie without apples.
Chess Pie is a southern classic, and it’s what is known as a pantry pie, because it uses simple pantry ingredients. It’s made up of just sugar, cornmeal, flour, and milk, but it makes for one incredibly tasty custardy pie.
Though they originally come from British Columbia, Washington state is known for Nanaimo bars too. They’re a layered bar that consists of a graham cracker crust, vanilla pudding, and chocolate.
Chewy, sweet Molasses Cookies are the official state cookie of West Virginia.
This large circular pastry is originally a Danish dessert, but Wisconsin has made it its own. Flaky, and filled with custard and fruit, don’t even think of passing this one up if you’re in The Cheese State.
It’s hard to improve upon a chocolate chip cookie, but Wyoming has managed it. Packed with pecans and oatmeal, Cowboy Cookies have it all: they’re chewy, soft, crunchy, and oh-so-chocolatey.SKM: below-content placeholder