Food trends come and go, but a sweet tooth is forever! It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of dessert – cakes, pies, cookies, pudding, we love it all! Some desserts stand the test of time, while others have a brief and fleeting moment in the spotlight before being forgotten. Here are some popular food trends throughout the decades we think you’ll enjoy remembering! Which was the most popular trend the year you were born? Let us know in the comments below!
1948-1952: Chiffon Cake
Although the recipe for the light and fluffy chiffon cake was created in the 1920s, the dessert didn’t become popular till the recipe was sold to General Mills in 1947. The company announced their “new” recipe in an ad in Betty Crocker saying it was their first “really new cake” in 100 years. It came with a recipe for an orange chiffon cake. The rest, as they say, is history.
1953-1957: Bananas Foster
This now classic dessert was invented in 1953 at a restaurant in New Orleans. In the 50s, New Orleans was a major point of entry for bananas entering the US, so it makes sense that the delectable banana concoction was invented there. It didn’t take long for bananas foster to soar in popularity. It has been a staple of Creole cuisine ever since. Get our take on this classic recipe right here!
1958-1962: Baked Alaska
This was by far the most popular of the whimsical desserts to come out of the mid 20th century. If you’ve never had the opportunity to try baked Alaska, it’s a sponge cake topped with ice cream, covered in stiff peaks of meringue and browned quickly in the oven. While different versions of this dessert have been around for quite some time, the name “Baked Alaska” came in to celebrate Alaska officially becoming a state in the late 1950s.
1963-1967: Sparkling Jell-O Mold
We can’t talk about the 60s and not mention Jell-O. Part of what made Jell-O so popular was that it truly went with everything. There were a ton of different ways to prepare a Jell-O dish. One popular dinner party treat was Jell-O made with champagne and strawberries. There are even a few recipes out there that have a savory twist to the normally sweet treat. For example, this shrimp Jell-O salad!
1968-1967: Chocolate Fondue
Sure, the Swiss had cheese fondue for hundreds of years, but chocolate fondue is a pretty recent innovation. It came about in New York City in the mid 1960s. Shortly after its invention, fondue sets started popping up in stores everywhere, and it was all the rage to throw a fondue party.
1973-1977: Carrot Cake
While it has “carrot” in the name, this cake is anything but healthy. But, in the 70s, people were on a new healthy living trend – what with jogging and jazzercise. So, a cake made with carrots seemed to fit the bill. Let’s just ignore the fact that it is smothered in cream cheese frosting. It’s all about balance, right? Get our favorite carrot cake recipe here!
1978-1982: Hummingbird Cake
If you’re from the South, there’s a good chance you’ve already had the pleasure of eating this deliciously sweet banana-pineapple-pecan cake known for its very delicate name, hummingbird cake. It’s thought to have originated in Jamaica and came over to the US in the 70s. It took off in popularity after a recipe was posted in Southern Living magazine. Get our recipe right here!
1983-1987:Jell-O Pudding Pops
By far, the most popular dessert in the 80s was Jell-O pudding pops. After decades of decadent cakes and innovative dishes like bananas foster and baked Alaska, people were ready for something a little more low-key. Apparently. This dessert could be found in the frozen foods section of every grocery store. However, Jell-O pudding pops were discontinued after being licensed out to Popsicle brand.
This Italian dessert made waves in the late 80s as it became popular in red family-style Italian restaurants around the US. Tiramisu consists of layers of sponge cake soaked in coffee (and sometimes brandy) with mascarpone cheese, topped with powdered chocolate. It’s no wonder this dessert is still popular today! Get our no-bake tiramisu recipe right here!
1993-1997: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
This indulgent dessert could be found in all of the upscale, chic restaurants in the 90s. The popular dessert was actually made on accident in 1987. The inventor undercooked a batch of chocolate cupcakes and when they broke open, the warm batter spilled out. It was the best mistake he ever made. Molten lava cake took off once it was put on the menu of an upscale restaurant in New York. Try out chocolate lava cake recipe here!
While cupcakes were not invented in the 90s, by any means, they skyrocketed in popularity thanks to the enormously popular show, “Sex and the City.” The Magnolia Bakery (featured in the show multiple times) had more business than it knew what to do with. The cupcake craze hit hard with entire stores dedicated to making just the one dessert, and even shows like “Cupcake Wars” helped the trend stay strong well into the 2000s. Get our salted caramel cupcake recipe here!
This blended beverage is basically a coffee milkshake, and we love it because it’s a socially acceptable way to have ice cream on our way to work in the morning. The frappucino was actually invented by Starbucks in 1995, but it wasn’t until 2002 that the coffee titan introduced non-coffee versions like the vanilla bean frappucino or the strawberries and cream frappucino. The rest is history.