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

As Indiana’s state pie, this rich, nutmeg-dusted custard pie also goes by the name “Hoosier Pie.”

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 »

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.

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.
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.

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 »

Brennan’s Bananas Foster

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 »

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.

Hot Milk Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Hot Milk Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

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 »

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 »

Key Lime Pie

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