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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Key Lime Pie
Condensed milk and Key lime juice serve as the base of this Floridian classic.