Have you ever wondered why each state gets an official bird but not an official dessert? It seems to me like every foodie’s worst nightmare. But don’t worry, I took it upon myself to appoint each state with what should be their official dessert. Brace yourselves for the best road trip around America yet.
If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, you can check out the 50 foods that represent every state here.
Alabama – Alabama Lane Cake from The Cakerie
Alabama Lane Cake made its most notable appearance in To Kill A Mockingbird. Invented in the 1890s (thanks to Emma Rylander Lane), this cake is a sponge cake with a bourbon-raisin filling topped with a light marshmallow-like frosting. If you want to pair your dessert with a boozy beverage, check out the unofficial cocktail of Alabama here.
Alaska – Baked Alaska from Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop
Fun fact: baked Alaska wasn’t actually invented in Alaska, but the meringue-y topped ice cream resembles what we all imagine Alaska to look like (aka snowy). Celebrate Baked Alaska Day on February 1, or find out the ridiculous food laws Alaska has here.
Arizona – Date Bars from Tammie Coe Cakes
Because Arizona is known for their decadent dates, it seems only fitting that their official dessert would be date-related. You can also find the best regional foods in Arizona (and the surrounding area) here.
Arkansas – Chocolate Rolls from Misty’s Shell Station
These croissant-like desserts are staples in Arkansonions’ diets. Surprisingly, the best ones in the state are found hidden in a gas station on the side of U.S. Route 65. You can also find Arkansas’ crazy food facts here.
California – Meyer Lemon Cake from Essential Chocolate Desserts
Meyer lemons, popular in Cali, are a mix of oranges and lemons and were brought into the culinary world in the 1960s. Meyer lemon cake is moist and sweet but has a tart, citrusy kick to it (kinda like Cali). Get the most out of your Cali food experience with this list.
Colorado – Toffee from Enstrom’s Toffee
The toffee here is known statewide and you can even go in and watch them make it. You can even make your own toffee like this.
Connecticut – Spice Cookies from Mozzicato Bakery
Known as the Nutmeg State, Connecticut’s spice cookies are to die for. Connecticut’s earliest settlers, the Dutch, loved spices, so it’s only fitting. For more restaurants you should be sure to visit while in the area, we’ve got you covered.
Delaware – Strawberry Shortcake from Sweet Somethings
In 2010, strawberries were declared Delaware’s official fruit, so it’s obvious that strawberry shortcake would be the official dessert (declared in 2016, by me). If you happen to be in the area in the fall, be sure to check this spot out, or if you can’t make the trip, make your own strawberry shortcake kabobs like this.
Florida – Key Lime Pie from Kermit’s Ket West Key Lime Shoppe
Key lime pie is glorified in the Sunshine State. The pie is named after Florida’s very own Keys and Florida hosts their very own Key Lime Pie Festival every year. If you want to grab brunch before you indulge in some pie, we’ve got you covered there too. Or if you feel like making your own authentic key lime pie, you can find the recipe here.
Georgia – Fried Peach Pie from The Varsity
If it wasn’t obvious, Georgia is known especially for its juicy, delicious peaches, so a fried peach pie is clearly the most appropriate choice. If you happen to be craving brunch while you’re in town, be sure to check out one of these spots.
Hawaii – Shave Ice from MW Restaurant
Idaho – Cake Ballers from The Cake Ballers
Illinois – Ice Cream Sundae from Marge’s Candies
Although it seems like the ice cream sundae should be the official national dessert, it was supposedly created here in Illinois, so we’ll give ’em the benefit of the doubt. Make your own Insta-worthy sundae with this recipe.
Indiana – Hoosier Pie from Locally Grown Gardens
Hoosier pie is actually just a more confusing name for sugar cream pie, but by naming it Hoosier pie, Indiana rightfully claimed the dessert as their own. Smart, right? If you want to find an eco-friendly coffee shop to wash down your pie, we’ve got you covered.
Iowa – Blarney Stones from Sweetheart Bakery
Leave it to Iowa to think of the strangest name for a pretty precise dessert. Blarney stones are actually just small pieces of frosted cake rolled in peanuts that are exclusive to the state (probably because no one else was crazy enough to think of such a confusing name for a dessert). For the full list of foods you can’t miss in Des Moines, click here.
Kansas – Peppernuts from Helmuth Bakery
Although actually traditional German Christmas cookies, these spicy cookies are an essential in Kansas. You can find more international Christmas traditions here.
Kentucky – Bourbon Cake from Pie Kitchen
Fun fact: 95 percent of the world’s bourbon is made in Kentucky. Makes sense that they’d put it in their cake, too. In case you need some more clarification on the difference between bourbon and whiskey, we’ve got you covered.
Louisiana – King Cake from Sucré
Maine – Whoopie Pie from Wicked Whoopies
Maryland – Smith Island Cake from Smith Island Baking Co.
Smith Island is a small island off the coast of Maryland where people seemingly spend all of their time baking cakes with a minimum of six layers. Maryland agreed that these guys deserved credit for all of their hard work in 2008 when Smith Island Cakes were proclaimed the state’s official dessert, and I’m going to have to agree. If you need a food fix but don’t know the area, here are the best delivery spots.
Massachusetts – Boston Cream Pie from Lyndell’s Bakery
As if this is any surprise to you. Boston cream pie was invented in 1856, and Bostonians have since embraced their relation to the sweet treats. Here’s some other treats you need to try next time you’re in Boston.
Michigan – Cherry Pie from Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe
Michigan is famous for cherries, in fact, it produces 75 percent of the US’s cherries annually. Throw ’em in a pie and you’ve got your very own Michigan official dessert. These pies aren’t the only porny food in Michigan though: here are some others.
Minnesota – 7-Layer Bars from Salty Tart
Minnesota and potlucks go hand in hand, potlucks and seven-layer bars go hand in hand, so by the transitive property, Minnesota and seven-layer bars must go hand in hand. For more regional foods you can’t miss, check out this list.
Mississippi – Mud Pie from Mary Mahoney’s
Mud pie was most likely derived in Mississippi years ago, and the dense cake underneath the layers of gooey chocolate sauce apparently represent the Mississippi River’s banks. For more desserts your taste buds will thank you for, check these out.
Missouri – Butter Cake from Missouri Baking Company
Although this cake was supposedly made by mistake, Missourians were sure not disappointed by this gooey perfection. For St. Louis spots that were featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, click here.
Montana – Huckleberry Fudge from The Montana Chocolate Co.
Huckleberry season is one of the most important in Montana, and when mixed into fudge, it’s devoured by both locals and tourists. To see the unofficial cocktail of Montana, click here.
Nebraska – Kolache from The Coffee Pot Bakery
These Czech pastries are famous in Nebraska. Stuff them with whatever fruit filling your heart desires. If you want to find out what Nebraska’s unofficial food is, we’ve got you covered.
Nevada – Basque Cake from The Martin Hotel
The state of Nevada is densely inhabited by the Basque people originally of northern Spain. Turns out they liked it so much, they made a celebratory cake (ok, maybe that’s not totally historically accurate) and it was a hit. To find out what alcohol is actually illegal to buy in Nevada, click here.
New Hampshire – Pumpkin Pie from Pie Guy
As pumpkin is New Hampshire’s official fruit, it’s no surprise that we’d pick pumpkin pie as the state’s official dessert. Make your own rockin’ pumpkin pie here.
New Jersey – Salt Water Taffy from Shriver’s
Salt water taffy is probably New Jersey’s most valuable contribution to America, right? If you’re from New Jersey, you probably miss salt water taffy and a few other things a whole lot.
New Mexico – Bizcochito from Golden Crown Panaderia
New Mexico declared these sweet, cinnamony cookies their official state cookie almost 20 years ago, so I’d say the cookies deserve to graduate onto the official dessert.
New York – Cheesecake from Eileen’s Special Cheesecake
Although a close tie with cannolis, cheesecake’s classic presence in such a rapidly modernizing state offers some safety (through that soft cream cheese filling, yum) within all of the craziness. Next time you’re in New York, be sure to try these foods, too.
North Carolina – Sweet Potato Pie from CC’s Pies and Café
Since North Carolina grows the most sweet potatoes in the country, they get dibs on this scrumptious dessert. For more foods to try in NC, check these out.
North Dakota – Berlinerkranser from Nichole’s Fine Pastry
This delicacy is a holiday favorite in North Dakota. To find out North Dakota’s crazy food fact, click here.
Ohio – Buckeye Candy from Krema Nut Company
Clearly Ohio loves to love itself. Its state tree, the Buckeye, inspired these peanut butter chocolate bites. Plus, shout out to Ohio State, the Buckeyes.
Oklahoma – Fried Pecan Pie from Field’s Pies
If you thought regular pie was good, you’ll think these are even better. Invented in 1893 by ranchers, frying pies is now a habit in Oklahoma. For the official state food, click here.
Oregon – Marion Berry Pie from Willamette Valley Pie Company
BTW, marionberries are just a prettier way of saying blackberries. Blackberries are abundant in Oregon, making this pie the perfect official dessert for the state. If it’s raining while you’re in town, these are the restaurants you should be hitting up.
Pennsylvania – Shoofly Pie from Dutch Haven
Made of molasses and brown sugar (um, wow) by the Pennsylvania Dutch, this pie gets its name because its scent attracts flies, which you obviously have to shoo away (ha). But if you’re craving brunch beforehand, these are the most underrated spots.
Rhode Island – Doughboys from Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House
Doughboys, aka fried dough, are classics in Rhode Island, especially at carnivals and fairs (where they belong). If you only have one day in Providence, this is where you should be eating.
South Carolina – Benne Wafers from Southern Sisters Bakery
South Carolina is home to these crispy treats and has been for over 100 years. SC knows what’s good. If you’re looking for a date spot before making your way to dessert, you should go here.
South Dakota – Kuchen from Grandma’s Kuchen
Kuchen, a yeast cake with a fruity filling is of German descent but was named the official dessert of South Dakota in 2000. To find out what South Dakota’s unofficial signature cocktail is, click here.
Tennessee – Mountain Stack Cake from The Village Bakery
Texas – Strudels from Naegelin’s Bakery
Strudels are of great importance to the people of Texas since they’ve been working with the same recipes for a century or two. It seems only fair to declare strudels as their official state dessert. For everything you need to eat in Texas before you die, click here.
Utah – Scones from The Soup Kitchen
Swiss Days, an annual festival in Heber Valley, Utah, gets most of its business from the scones.
Vermont – Apple Pie from Poorhouse Pies
Apple pie is a true classic. But since apples are Vermont’s official fruit, it seems only fair to match the two up to represent Vermont. If you’re looking for a vegetarian spot, we’ve got you covered.
Virginia – Anything with PB & Chocolate from Bakeshop
Virginia knows what’s good. Peanuts are staples in Virginia, so why not be brilliant and pair them with chocolate? Get on Virginia’s level with this list of recipes. But if you want to take a food tour of the DMV, these are the foods you need to eat.
Washington – Raspberry Pie from A la Mode
Washington is America’s largest producer of raspberries, so it makes sense that their official dessert would be a scrumptious raspberry pie. For more foods you can’t miss while you’re in Washington, check out this list.
West Virginia – Molasses Cookies from Spring Hill Pastry Shop
Molasses cookies are formally recognized as West Virginia’s state cookie, so it doesn’t hurt to grant them the position of state dessert, too. To find out what food unofficially represents West Virginia, click here.
Wisconsin – Cream Puffs from Le Reve Patisserie & Café
The original cream puff was first served in 1924 at the Wisconsin State Fair. Wisconsin, you started a movement. And if you were curious, this is Wisconsin’s unofficial cocktail.
Wyoming – Truffles from Meeteetse Chocolatier
Wyoming is known for their delectable truffles. Indulge in chocolate heaven. You can make Pop-Tart cheesecake truffles with this recipe, or go for something more traditional with these salted caramel truffles.
If the Insta-worthy national parks aren’t enough reason to travel across the country in an RV, this certainly should be. These top-notch desserts are surely the reason that America is called The Land of Opportunity (aka the Opportunity to eat).