12 Regional American Desserts to Make Right Now

Ever had cookie salad? Or persimmon pudding? Dig into America's weird sweet tooth

Persimmon pudding is to Indiana as Turtleback cookies are to Alabama as key lime pie is to Florida—it goes on and on. While every region, every state, every city across the United States loves a little something sweet at the end of a meal (or between meals, or for breakfast), not all people eat dessert the same way. Above, our favorite regional American desserts.

Indiana Sugar Cream Pie
Indiana Sugar Cream Pie
As Indiana's state pie, this rich, nutmeg-dusted custard pie also goes by the name "Hoosier Pie." Get the recipe for Indiana Sugar Cream Pie »Farideh Sadeghin
Buttermilk Cookie Salad
Buttermilk Cookie Salad
The addition of buttermilk in this ultra-retro dessert keeps it from being too cloying and renders cookie salad totally appropriate for the adult palate. Get the recipe for Buttermilk Cookie Salad »Matt Taylor-Gross
Persimmon Pudding
Persimmon Pudding
Eva Powell, a former elementary-school librarian in Mitchell, Indiana, has won the town's pudding contest five times with her recipe for persimmon pudding with a crispy, cake-like crust. Get the recipe for Persimmon Pudding »Helen Rosner
Lane Cake
Lane Cake
The recipe for this indulgent layered cake with a bourbon-butter-raisin-coconut-pecan filling and billowy egg-white icing first appeared in Emma Rylander Lane's self-published cookbook, Some Good Things to Eat, in 1898. Get the recipe for Lane Cake »Todd Coleman
Turtleback Cookies
Turtleback Cookies
Traeger's Bakery in Demopolis, Alabama first popularized these soft spice cookies, which are named for their hard cinnamon glaze that glistens like a glossy turtle shell. Get the recipe for Turtleback Cookies »Farideh Sadeghin
Mashed Potato Fudge
[Mashed Potato Fudge](/article/recipes/mashed-potato-fudge)
The unexpected addition of mashed potatoes adds an exceptional creaminess to dark chocolate fudge in this recipe adapted from Patty Pinner's cookbook Sweets. Get the recipe for Mashed Potato Fudge »Helen Rosner
Brennan's Bananas Foster
Banana Fosters
Banana liqueur heightens the flavor of the bananas in this flambeed dessert from the New Orleans restaurant Brennan's. Get the recipe for Brennan's Bananas Foster »Matt Taylor-Gross
Black and White Cookies
Black and White Cookies
These generously iced, cakelike cookies are as cherished by New Yorkers as bagels and cream cheese. To quicken the setting of the glazes, place the cookies in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes after each coating. Get the recipe for Black and White Cookies »SAVEUR
Hot Milk Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
Hot Milk Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
Scalded milk produces a moist texture in this simple Virginian dessert, an ivory-hued cake that's so straightforward it's often referred to, even in vintage cookbooks, as "old-fashioned." Get the recipe for Hot Milk Cake with Vanilla Buttercream »Andre Baranowski
New England Hermits
New England Hermits
These classic bar cookies, spiced with cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg and studded with raisins, are adapted from a recipe in the 1880 New Cook Book. Get the recipe for New England Hermits »SAVEUR
Navy Bean Pie
Navy Bean Pie
The silky, custardlike base of this autumnal pie is made from sweetened navy bean purée spiced with nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Get the recipe for Navy Bean Pie »Andre Baranowski
Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie
Condensed milk and Key lime juice serve as the base of this Floridian classic. Get the recipe for Key Lime Pie »Maxime Iattoni