50 States of Dessert: Gifts & Recipes From Across America

If we could plan the foodie road trip of our dreams, it'd start with a dessert from all 50 states. Luckily, we've done the legwork -- and no travel is actually required to try all of these treats

We love dessert -- so much so that we searched for (and found!) amazing, sweet American desserts from all 50 states. Check out our picks -- and get your oven -- and credit card -- ready.

 

Alabama

Maple Buttermilk pie american desserts

Casey Barber

In the pantheon of sweet Southern delicacies, nothing tops buttermilk pie -- a simple, single crust pie with a tart, custard-like filling.

To buy: Pie Lab's buttermilk pie, $20 at pielab.org

Get a recipe for: Maple buttermilk pie (shown) 

Alaska

Flaming Baked Alaska cupcakes american desserts

Heather Baird/sprinklebakes.com

Baked Alaska dates to the 1860s and legendary New York City restaurant Delmonico’s. The confection, traditionally composed of a sponge cake and ice cream filling with a baked meringue shell, is named for the nation's then-recent purchase of the Alaska Territory.

Get a recipe for: Flaming Baked Alaska cupcakes from sprinklebakes.com

Arizona

Sphinx Date Ranch Medjool date nut bread oatmeal date cookies

Sphinx Date Ranch

It's only natural that dates thrive in this land of deserts. In fact, the scientific name for the palm species that bears the sweet fruit is Phoenix dactylifera, which just so happens to be a perfect, coincidental nod to the Grand Canyon State's capital city.

To buy: Sphinx Date Ranch's Medjool date nut bread & oatmeal date cookies (shown), $46.95 for two loaves & one dozen cookies at sphinxdateranch.com

Get a recipe for: Decadent date bars

Arkansas

Arkansas possum pie american desserts

Kat Robinson/arkansaspie.com

Try your hand at making a classic Arkansas treat: the possum pie. The confection starts with a crumbly bottom crust, cream cheese, chocolate custard and a whipped topping.

Get a recipe for: Arkansas possum pie recipe from arkansaspie.com

California

Orange Clementine Meyer lemon cake

Christos Watson of Stos Photography/Orange Clementine

Fragrant citrus cakes made with this small, sweer Meyer lemons, widely grown in the state, are a fitting tribute (in dessert form) to the Golden State.

To buy: Orange Clementine's Meyer lemon cake (shown), $43.95 at orangeclementine.com

Get a recipe for:
Martha's Meyer lemon cupcakes

Colorado

Ginger biscuits with peaches american desserts

macheesmo.com

The Western Slope of Colorado (the portion of the state west of the Great Divide) is renowned for it sweet, juicy peaches; come August, the town of Palisade celebrates its famed fruit with a multi-day festival.

Get a recipe for: Ginger biscuits with peaches from macheesmo.com

Connecticut

Old Hartford Election Cake american desserts

ourheritageofhealth.com

Dating to the 18th century when Connecticut colonists traveled to Hartford to cast votes for governor, this yeasted fruit and spice cake is studded with raisins and currants, and traditionally included a little bit of booze.

Get a recipe for:
Old Hartford Election Cake from ourheritageofhealth.com

Delaware

Grown up strawberry shortcake

Casey Barber

The General Assembly of Delaware recognized that the strawberry was an important local agricultural product when, in 2010, it bestowed the sweet edibles with official state fruit status. Whip up a recipe of strawberry shortcake to show your appreciation.

Get a recipe for: 
"Grown up" strawberry shortcake

Florida

Randy Paradise Shrimp Key lime pies

Jim Matzke/Randy’s Paradise Shrimp

Nothing says Florida like the tart, custard-filled creation known as Key lime pie -- in fact, it was elevated to state pie status in 2006. The classic combination of condensed milk and the tang of real Key lime juice is paired with a sweet crust.

To buy: Randy's Paradise Shrimp Key lime pies (shown), $79.99 for a two-pack at paradiseshrimponline.com

Get a recipe for:
Key lime pie

Georgia

Mercier Orchards peach pie american desserts

Mercier Orchards

Georgia and peaches -- you know the two go hand in hand. Show your respect with a delectable, iconic pie packed with juicy peaches.

To buy: Mercier Orchards' peach pie (shown), $11.25 at mercier-orchards.com

Get a recipe for:
Honey caramel peach pie

Hawaii

Hawaiian Happy Cake pineapple and macadamia cake

Hawaiian Happy Cake

Pineapple and macadamias are synonymous with this Pacific island state, and when paired in a fruit and nut cake, supplemented by fresh coconut, you've got one emblematic edible.

To buy: Hawaiian Happy Cake's pineapple and macadamia cake, $39.95 for two loaves at happycake.com

Idaho

Cake Ballers Idaho Tribute cake balls

Cake Ballers

This Rocky Mountain state is known for potatoes, sure, but the sweet and tart huckleberry is its official fruit. Cake Ballers in Boise incorporates these ingredients, into its state-flavor cake balls.

To buy: Cake Ballers' Idaho Tribute cake balls, $22 for one dozen by special order only at thecakeballers.com

Illinois

Capannari Ice Cream Best of Chicago sampler

Capannari Ice Cream

Illinois is among a few states that lay claim to the origins of the ice cream sundae -- with the term dating to 1890 and the city of Evanston. We think the cold, sweet combo of is a treat no matter where it started.

To buy: Capannari Ice Cream's Best of Chicago sampler of six pints, six flavors, with black raspberry chip (shown), from $160 to $190 (includes overnight shipping) at capannaris.com

Get a recipe for:
Strawberry-raspberry sundae

Indiana

My Sugar Pie's sugar cream pie american desserts

My Sugar Pie

Sugar cream pie, also known as Hoosier pie, is an iconic Indiana dessert. Sugar, cream and butter are transformed into this classic dessert that is so loved it is heralded as the state pie.

To buy: My Sugar Pie’s sugar cream pie (shown), $23 at mysugarpie.com

Get a recipe for: Hoosier sugar cream pie from savingdessert.com

Iowa

Sweetheart Bakery Blarney Stone cake squares

Sweetheart Bakery

Clinton, Iowa is home to Sweetheart Bakery, where Blarney Stones, a sweet treat unique to the area, are made. We're talking squares of homemade yellow cake covered in buttercream frosting and a coating of ground, salted Spanish peanuts.

To buy: Sweetheart Bakery's Blarney Stone cake squares (shown), $38.99 for one dozen at sweetheartbakeryclinton.com

Get a recipe for: Blarney Stone from ladarraheats.wordpress.com

Kansas

Prairie Harvest traditional peppernuts

Prairie Harvest

Peppernuts, also known as pfeffernusse, are small cookies with a Germanic history, and popular in Kansas. The spice-laden dough (anise figures prominently) is cut into small circles, or rolled into ropes and sliced into rounds.

To buy: Prairie Harvest's traditional peppernuts (shown), starting from $5.99 at prairieharvestnewton.com

Get a recipe for:
Peppernut from loridanelle.blogspot.com

Kentucky

Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel cake

Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Cake

Kentucky is bourbon country, so it's only natural that a rich, brown sugar cake, accented with the taste of bourbon, chocolate, walnuts and caramel, hails from this state.

To buy: Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel cake, $24.95 at kentuckywoods.com

Louisiana

Haydel's Bakery traditional king cake

Haydel's Bakery

Mardi Gras and New Orleans wouldn't be the same without a king cake -- a ring or oval of cinnamon-rich dough that's traditionally eaten in the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday. Glazed with customary Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold, the cake contains a tiny plastic baby -- and whoever is served a slice with the trinket is obligated to buy the next cake.

To buy: Haydel's Bakery traditional king cake (shown), starting from $40 at haydelbakery.com

Get a recipe for:
King cake

Maine

Wicked Whoopies classic whoopie pies

Wicked Whoopies

Whoopie pies are a big to-do in Maine, so much so that the dessert, traditionally composed of two chocolate cakes with a fluffy, cream-filled center, is the formally recognized state treat.

To buy: Wicked Whoopies' classic whoopie pies (shown), $26 for one dozen at wickedwhoopies.com

Get a recipe for: Chocolate whoopie pie

Maryland

Smith Island Baking Company nine-inch cake with tin

Smith Island Baking Company

The state dessert of Maryland, Smith Island cake has nineteenth century origins from its namesake Chesapeake Bay isle. The treat consists of numerous thin layers of cake separated by icing, and while the traditional combo is yellow cake and fudge icing, modern flavor combos are also available.

To buy: Smith Island Baking Company’s nine-inch cake with tin (shown), $56 at smithislandcake.com

Get a recipe for:
Smith Island cake

Massachusetts

Legal Sea Foods individual-size Boston cream pies

Legal Sea Foods

The Parker House Hotel created the Boston cream pie in that city in 1856, and today the pie (it's actually a cake) is hailed as Massachusetts' signature dessert. The pie is customarily made up of two layers of sponge cake with pastry cream in the middle, and glazing of chocolate ganache.

To buy: Legal Sea Foods' individual-size Boston cream pies (shown), $13.95 for two at legalseafoods.com

Get a recipe for:
Boston cream pie from dainty-chef.com

Michigan

Grand Traverse Pie Company Old Mission cherry pie

Grand Traverse Pie Company

Touted as the cherry capital of the world, Traverse City, Michigan, revels in this fruit. Desserts made with cherries can take on many forms, of course, but none is so tried and true as a cherry pie.

To buy: Grand Traverse Pie Company's Old Mission cherry pie (shown), $26.99 at gtpie.com

Get a recipe for: Michigan cherry pie from janessweets.com

Minnesota

Wuollet Bakery lemon bars

Wuollet Bakery

Minnesotans love a good dessert bar -- whether it's fruit-, nut- or chocolate-based or a fruity variety like lemon, almond, pumpkin or apple.

To buy: Wuollet Bakery's lemon bars (shown), $4.05 each at wuollet.com

Get a recipe for: Lemon bars

Mississippi

Sugaree caramel cake

Sugaree’s Bakery

Caramel cake is considered a signature sweet at Sugaree's Bakery in New Albany, where the Southern culinary tradition is upheld with a three-layer butter cake draped in an old-fashioned cooked caramel icing.

To buy: Sugaree's caramel cake (shown), $55 at sugarees.com

Get a recipe for: Caramel cake recipe

Missouri

Ann Allen Baking Company traditional gooey butter cake

Ann & Allen Baking Company

Gooey butter cake got its start in the 1940s when St. Louis baker Johnny Hoffman accidentally created the dessert by misjudging the proportion of ingredients for a cake. It's since become a beloved local baked good.

To buy:
Ann & Allen Baking Company's traditional gooey butter cake (shown), starting from $14.99 at annandallen.com

Get a recipe for:
Pumpkin gooey butter cake

Montana

Montana Chocolate Company wild huckleberry swoon fudge

Montana Chocolate Company

Huckleberries are in no short supply in Montana -- indeed, the wild fruit is prevalent in many of the mountain states. Montana Chocolate Company's handcrafted fudge takes on a delightful, fragrant tone with the presence of local, sweet berries.

To buy:
Montana Chocolate Company's wild huckleberry swoon fudge, $13 at mtchocolatecompany.com

Nebraska

Verdigre Bakery’s kolache pastry

iVillage

Kolache are beloved Czech pastries made of yeasted dough with fruit fillings -- like apricot, cherry, prune and even poppyseed. And, in the town of Verdigre, Nebraska, where Czech roots run deep, the annual Kolach Days festival can be traced back to 1939.

To buy: Verdigre Bakery's kolache pastry (shown), $11.75 for one dozen at verdigrebakery.com

Get a recipe for: Kolache from recipestudio.com

Nevada

Gateau Basque

Julius Kuhn-Regnier/davidstable.com

The Silver State claims a significant Basque-American population, and along with that culture comes a rich culinary heritage. For a state-proud dessert, bake a traditional Basque cake (or gateau Basque), an almond cake enhanced with a filling of vanilla cream or fruit preserves.

Get a recipe for: Gateau Basque from davidstable.com

New Hampshire

Crunchy pumpkin caramel pie

Casey barber

The pumpkin is the official fruit of this New England state, so put a spin on traditional pumpkin pie by baking a version that's accented with caramel, and has a crunch, thanks to crushed pretzels.

Get a recipe for: Crunchy pumpkin caramel pie

New Jersey

Delicious Orchards blueberry pie

Delicious Orchards

The Garden State is a major producer of blueberries, and celebrates the fact; in 2003 the state granted the blueberry with official fruit status. As if that isn't enough, legislators introduced a bill to declare that blueberry pie become the state dessert.

To buy: Delicious Orchards' blueberry pie (shown), $11.99 at deliciousorchardsnjonline.com

Get a recipe for: 
Blueberry pie from bakedbree.com

New Mexico

Celina Biscochitos

Courtesy of celinasbiscochitos.com

Originating with Spanish colonials in the region, the biscochito -- a cinnamon and anise flavored cookie traditionally made with lard and brandy or wine -- is deeply entrenched in New Mexico history. In fact, it's the state cookie).

To buy: Celina's Biscochitos (shown), $6 for one dozen at celinasbiscochitos.com

Get a recipe for: Biscochito from the northernnewmexicoranchito.blogspot.com

New York

Veniero cannoli

Veniero's

Italian-American heritage is strong in New York, and cannoli a quintessential dessert reflecting that aspect of the state's makeup. But you don't have to be Italian to enjoy the crispy, fried pastry shells that are formed into tubes and filled with a ricotta-based cream.

To buy: Veniero's cannoli (shown) kit, $32.50 for one dozen at venierospastry.com

Get a recipe for: Cannolis from theitaliandishblog.com

North Carolina

Sweet Cheeks Bakery’s sweet potato pie

Sweet Cheeks Bakery

More sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina than in any other part of the country, so it seems only fitting that in this state, a sweet potato pie be dished out for dessert.

To buy: Sweet Cheeks Bakery's sweet potato pie, $16, at sweetcheeksbakerync.com

Get a recipe for: Bourbon sweet potato pie

North Dakota

Sonja Old-Fashioned Delicacies Berliner kranser cookies

Sonja's Old-Fashioned Delicacies

From the Norwegian culinary repertoire -- many a North Dakotan claims Scandinavian heritage -- comes the Berliner kranser. This delicate cookie is rich with butter and egg yolks, traditionally tied in knots, and is a favorite during the holidays.

To buy: Sonja's Old-Fashioned Delicacies' Berliner kranser cookies (shown), $10 for one dozen/four dozen minimum, availability starts in July at sonjasbakeshop.com

Get a recipe for: Berliner kranser recipe from pilgrimpurse.blogspot.com

Ohio

Dutch Valley turnovers american desserts

Dutchman Online Store/Dutchman Hospitality

Johnny Appleseed figures large in Ohio history, and was responsible for planting apple trees in this and neighboring states. Compound that with a rich Amish presence, and you have many an apple-based delight, such as the classic turnover.

To buy: Dutch Valley turnovers (shown), $4.49 for three at dhgroup.com

Get a recipe for: Spicy apple cinnamon turnover

Oklahoma

Fried pecan pies american desserts

Original Fried Pie Shop

The fried pie, both sweet and savory, is beloved in the Sooner State. Not content with a single official food, Oklahoma has a formally recognized meal, which includes a dessert of pecan pie -- one of the many varieties that the Davis, Oklahoma-based Original Fried Pie Shop bakes.

To buy: Fried pecan pies, $36.36 for one dozen at theoriginalfriedpieshop.com

Oregon

Willamette Valley Fruit Company marionberry pie

Willamette Valley Fruit Company

Blackberries are a huge deal in Oregon, and none so famous as the marionberry cultivar. The juicy, sweet berries are a beloved fruit found in preserves, ice creams, and other desserts -- most certainly jam-packed into pies or cobblers.

To buy: Willamette Valley Fruit Company's marionberry pie (shown), $34 for a two-pack at wvfco.com

Get a recipe for: Marionberry pie from cookshootblog.com

Pennsylvania

Shoo-fly pie american desserts

Maple Springs Farm

A staple of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, the shoo-fly pie is a humble, hearty dessert made with molasses and brown sugar. Due to its flavorful gooey bottom, it's also known as a wet-bottom pie, and comes covered with a crumb topping.

To buy: Shoo-fly pie (shown), $16.95 at maplesprings.com

Get a recipe for: Maple Springs Farm's shoo-fly pie at maplesprings.com

Rhode Island

Doughboy recipe american desserts

olives-n-okra.com

An Ocean State essential, doughboys are a satisfying sweet treat that consist of dough that's been fried, then topped off with a dusting of granulated or powdered sugar.

To buy: Iggy's doughboys, $9.99 for one dozen at iggysdoughboys.com

Get a recipe for: Doughboys (shown) from olives-n-okra.com

South Carolina

Olde Colony Bakery benne wafer cookies

iVillage

Unique to the Low Country, the benne wafer is a thin, crispy sesame seed-based cookie. The history of the wafer dates to the colonial era when benne, or sesame in the Bantu language, was brought from East Africa and planted in the region.

To buy: Olde Colony Bakery's benne wafer cookies (shown), starting from $3.99 at oldecolonybakery.com

Get a recipe for: Benne wafer from thewednesdaychef.com

South Dakota

Dakota Thyme kuchen

Dakota Thyme

German immigrants brought kuchen to South Dakota in the late nineteenth century, and since then the cake, traditionally made with sweetened yeast dough, with a custard and fruit filling, has garnered the title of the state's official dessert.

To buy: Dakota Thyme's kuchen, $12.95 at dakotathyme.com

Get a recipe for: Rhubarb kuchen from dakotathyme.com

Tennessee

United Cakes of America

As the name implies, the Tennessee mountain stack cake is a layered creation: multiple, thin cakes separated by spiced apple filling. Rooted in Appalachian food traditions, it's said that the cakes were originally intended for weddings; the resulting stack an accumulation of the layers guests brought to the event.

To buy: The Village Bakery's mountain stack cake, $22.95 at villagebakeryknoxville.com

Get a recipe for: Tennessee mountain stack cake (shown)

Texas

Naegelin Bakery apple strudel

Naegelin's Bakery

Strudel has significance in Texas -- it's been officially recognized as a regionally important pastry, and at the oldest still-in-operation bakery in the state, Naegelin's Bakery in New Braunfels, apple strudel is made from a turn-of-the-last century recipe.

To buy: Naegelin's Bakery apple strudel (shown), $39.25 at naeglins.com

Get a recipe for: Apple strudel from tastespace.wordpress.com

Utah

Utah scones american desserts

make-it-do.com

In this state, a scone is not what you'd typically expect. A Utah, or Mormon, scone is fried yeasted dough made with butter, akin to fry bread or sopapillas. The fritters can be dressed with sweet toppings such as jam, honey butter (take note: the state's official emblem is the beehive!) or powdered sugar.

Get a recipe for: Utah scones from make-it-do.com

Vermont

Ma Bean Vermont Pie Company’s apple pie

Ma Bean's Vermont Pie Company

With the apple as its official fruit, it makes sense that the time-honored apple pie is also this state's formally recognized pie. Ma Bean's Vermont Pie Company at Red Fox Inn in Bondville bakes pies with juicy, local Macintosh apples and a crumb topping.

To buy: Ma Bean's Vermont Pie Company's apple pie (shown), $25 at redfoxinn.com

Get a recipe for: Apple pie

Virginia

The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg peanut butter brownie cake

The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg

In addition to the peanut’s significance to Virginia history -- it's long been an important crop -- when the flavors of peanut butter and rich chocolate come together, it makes for a winning combination.

To buy: The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg's peanut butter brownie cake (shown), $55.99 at thepeanutshop.com

Get a recipe for: Peanut butter hot fudge cake

Washington

Blackberry-raspberry pie american desserts

Shoofly Pie Company

Sure, this northwestern state is famous for apples, but don't ignore the fact that Washington also produces more raspberries than any other state. Take pleasure in the flavors of this luscious, little red fruit with berry-based pies and tarts.

To buy: Blackberry-raspberry pie (shown), $22 from shooflypiecompany.com

Get a recipe for: Gluten-free raspberry tart

West Virginia

Clover Dew Cookies Grandme ginger molasses cookies

Clover Dew Cookies

The classic sugar cookie is officially recognized by the state of West Virginia as a favorite sweet treat. Consider the ginger and molasses cookie as a spiced-up riff on that tradition.

To buy: Clover Dew Cookies' Grandme’s ginger molasses cookies (shown), $16.95 for one dozen at cloverdewcookies.com

Get a recipe for: Ginger molasses cookies from simplyscratch.com

Wisconsin

Danish kringle american desserts

O&H Danish Bakery

The city of Racine, Wisconsin is renowned for the Danish delight known as kringle -- a flaky, buttery pastry, commonly shaped into an oval or ring, with tasty fruit or nut fillings (cheese or chocolate are also used), and topped with icing.

To buy: Danish kringle (shown), assorted flavors starting from $18.95 at ohdanishbakery.com

Get a recipe for: Danish kringle from Mommie Cooks

Wyoming

Taste of Meeteetse truffles american desserts

Meeteetse Chocolatier

Showcasing local flavors, Meeteetse Chocolatier, situated in the town of the same name, pays homage to its Wyoming locality with a selection of truffles enriched with tastes of prickly pear, huckleberry, sarsaparilla, sage -- even whiskey and beer-accented chocolates.

To buy: Taste of Meeteetse truffles (shown), $24 for one dozen (shipping from November to March) at meeteetsechocolatier.com

Get a recipe for: Homemade truffles from notwithoutsalt.com

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