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Signature desserts in every state

  • Signature desserts in every state

    Who doesn’t love a great dessert to cap off a delicious meal? According to Technomic, 41% of consumers say that they enjoy dessert at least once per week after a meal. And if you’re traveling the country, there’s no better way to enhance your knowledge of a region than through its native foods—including its signature desserts!

    Whether you’re tucking into a slice of tangy key lime pie at a beach bar in Florida, fluffy chiffon cake at a wedding in California, or an airy cream puff at the Wisconsin State Fair, there’s no denying the effect. Indulging in a location-specific sweet treat will create a special memory that stays with you, connecting you to a place forever. Knowing what a significant role dessert can play in linking taste to memory, Stacker compiled a list of signature desserts in every state, combing through regional newspapers, blogs, and homemade recipe collections.

    Some states, such as Delaware, Maine, and Maryland, have “official” desserts, while others, such as Connecticut, Hawaii, and Nevada, adopted desserts that were brought to the U.S. through immigration. Still other states have popular desserts that blossomed out of an agricultural bounty, such as pumpkins in Illinois and marionberries in Oregon.

    Some signature dessert recipes take more time—and more ingredients—to make than others. Many recipes were created during hard times when not much was available in the pantry, while others took advantage of bountiful fruit harvests. “Depression cakes” swap out ingredients like butter for oil, and some recipes can be made without milk, butter, or eggs.

    Whether you want to don your apron and make some of these signature desserts or you’re just in the mood for a few minutes of drooling, settle in and prepare yourself for the tastiest read of the week.

    Think you know the signature dessert in your state? Read on to find out.

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  • Alabama: The Lane Cake

    This super-moist cake screams “Southern” with its toasted pecans, coconut flakes, dried peaches, and frosting infused with peach schnapps. Originally created by Alabamian Emma Rylander Lane for a baking competition more than 100 years ago, this is one cake that has stood the test of time.

  • Alaska: Baked Alaska

    Baked Alaska did not begin in Alaska, but it has made a home there. The classic Baked Alaska was created in 1867 at Delmonico’s restaurant in New York by chef Charles Ranhofer to celebrate the U.S.’s purchase of Alaska from Russia. The original recipe features walnut cake, apricot jam, banana gelato, and toasted meringue.

  • Arizona: Sopaipillas

    Served throughout the Southwest, fry bread originated with Native Americans. Making the dessert version, sopaipillas, involves tossing the fry bread in cinnamon and sugar or drizzling it (while still warm) with honey.

  • Arkansas: Possum pie

    Possum pie is so named because it “plays possum” with its ingredients, not because it features an actual possum. Under a crowning layer of whipped topping, you might find a layer of chocolate, cherries, apple, or peaches before getting to its decadent cream cheese and crunchy pecan-cookie-crust levels.

  • California: Chiffon cake

    Fluffy, light, and most commonly frosted and layered with whipped cream and strawberries, the chiffon cake is a cross between a sponge cake and oil cake. Invented in 1927 by a Los Angeles insurance agent, the cake was served to Hollywood stars and guests at the famous Brown Derby restaurant.

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  • Colorado: Peach pie

    Peach season means peach pie in Colorado. The town of Palisade grows some of the tastiest peaches around, which fans eat whole and integrate into a plethora of peach-centric desserts, most famously peach pie.

  • Connecticut: Snickerdoodles

    The official state cookie of Connecticut, snickerdoodles are believed to have arrived in the U.S. with immigrants from England, Scotland, and Denmark. The name is said to have come from the German “schnecke knödel,” meaning “snail dumpling.” A traditional drop cookie that’s rolled in sugar and cinnamon, snickerdoodles also contain cream of tartar, giving them a unique, chewy texture.

  • Delaware: Peach pie

    The people of Delaware love strawberries, but peach pie was designated as the state’s official dessert in 2009. Peaches hold a historical and agricultural significance to the state that dates back to colonial times.

  • Florida: Key lime pie

    Originating in the Florida Keys, the recipe for key lime pie varies depending on who is making it. Basic, traditional ingredients for the filling include key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk. This mixture is spread on top of a graham-cracker crust before being topped with meringue and torched.

  • Georgia: Peach cobbler

    Peaches may only be in season for 16 weeks in Georgia, but they’ve sure made an impression on locals. Not only are more than 50 streets in Atlanta named after peaches, but peach cobbler has become a favorite dessert. Topped with crumble or quick-baked into a mixture of flour, butter, sugar, and milk, peach cobbler is a Georgia favorite.

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