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Signature desserts in every state

  • Hawaii: Shave ice

    Shave ice has been a staple in Hawaii for over half a century. Ice is shaved into edible bits, packed into a paper cone, and topped with flavorful syrups and an optional cream that’s made with condensed milk. The origins of shave ice in the Hawaiian Islands can be traced back to the mid-1800s, when Japanese immigrants working in the sugar and pineapple fields ate ice flakes to cool off.

  • Idaho: Huckleberry pie

    Named the official fruit of Idaho in 2000, huckleberries are a popular pie ingredient throughout the state. In 2018, there was talk of making huckleberry pie the official state dessert, but ultimately lawmakers decided not to pass the official dessert bill.

  • Illinois: Pumpkin pie

    Pumpkin pie was designated the official state pie of Illinois in 2015. The move was prompted by the fact that the state of Illinois produces more pumpkins than any other state, providing 85% of America’s pumpkins.

  • Indiana: Sugar cream pie

    Also referred to as “Hoosier Pie,” this easy-to-make pie was brought to Indiana with the Amish in the 1800s. It’s designed to use whatever you have in your kitchen, especially when your fresh produce may be running low. The custard base sits atop a traditional butter-pie dough and is dusted with nutmeg.

  • Iowa: Cherry pie

    Cherry season in Iowa means cherry pies with lattice, crumb, or traditional pie toppers. Iowa State University has held an annual cherry pie sale every year since 1920, when it was first held to celebrate George Washington’s birthday.

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  • Kansas: Peppernuts

    Peppernuts, or German Pfeffernusse cookies, are common at holiday gatherings throughout Kansas. The cookies, which were introduced to the state by the Mennonite community, are nut-size, crunchy cookies peppered with spices such as anise, cinnamon, sugar, white pepper, and clove.

  • Kentucky: Chocolate bourbon walnut pie

    A classic pie for Kentucky Derby day or any celebration, chocolate bourbon walnut pie is similar to pecan pie but swaps out the pecans for walnuts and tosses in bourbon and chocolate. Sometimes referred to as “Derby Pie” because of its popularity on Derby Day, the name was trademarked by the pie’s original creator, George Kern.

  • Louisiana: Bananas Foster

    Originating at Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter in the 1950s, Bananas Foster is a feast for the eyes and the palate. Servers light this dessert composed of bananas, brown sugar, rum, and banana liquor aflame in front of guests before serving it over ice cream.

  • Maine: Blueberry pie

    Almost all of America’s low-bush blueberries come from Maine, with harvest season taking place from July through September. Because of the abundance of blueberries, the Maine State Legislature decided to make blueberry pie the official state dessert in 2011.

  • Maryland: Smith Island cake

    The traditional eight-to-10-layer Smith Island cake became the official dessert of Maryland in 2008. While it can be topped with a variety of frostings from coconut to strawberry, the classic recipe calls for chocolate fudge between layers of moist yellow cake.

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