A Guide to America's Most-Interesting Regional Desserts
Alabama: Lane Cake — Layered white sponge cake soaked with bourbon and filled with dried fruit. Usually frosted with white buttercream frosting.
Alaska: Akutaq — Sometimes called “Alaskan ice cream,” this is made out of fat whipped with berries, then beaten until it gets a foamy texture.
Arizona: Sopapillas — Sweet yeasted dough fried, then topped with honey and cinnamon.
Hawaii: Shave Ice — Ice shaved off a giant block, topped with syrups and condensed milk.
Indiana: Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie — A nutmeg-flavored custard pie sometimes topped with a little sugar for a creme brulee-like texture.
Kentucky: Derby Pie — A trademarked pie made with chocolate and walnuts.
Louisiana: Beignets — Puffy yeasted doughnuts shaken in a bag of powdered sugar.
Maryland: Smith Island Cake — Eight to 15 layers of yellow cake with chocolate fudge icing, made on an island in the Chesapeake Bay.
Michigan: Superman Ice Cream — Swirled-together red (cherry), yellow (vanilla) and blue (“blue”) ice cream.
Mississippi: Mud Pie — All chocolate everything. There's a chocolate crumb crust, a chocolate pudding filling, chocolate chunks and chocolate sauce.
Missouri: Gooey Butter Cake — Super-sweet flat coffee cake, with a rich, gooey, buttery sugar layer on top.
New York: Black and White Cookie — A half chocolate, half vanilla frosted cookie.
North Carolina: Moravian Sugar Cake — A sweet yeasted coffee cake made with mashed potatoes.
Ohio: Buckeye Candy — Peanut butter mixed with powdered sugar, then dipped in chocolate. It takes a little practice to get them to look like perfect buckeyes.
Oregon: Marionberry Pie — Marionberries are a type of blackberry unique to Oregon; they’re bigger and sweeter than usual blackberries. Marionberry pie is like blackberry pie turned up to 11.
Pennsylvania: Shoofly Pie — A molasses pie with a brown sugar crumb topping that can either be layered on top of the molasses (for a “wet” pie) or mixed in (for a “dry” pie).
Rhode Island: Coffee Milk/Coffee Cabinet — Milk with coffee syrup stirred in. If you add ice cream, it becomes a coffee cabinet.
Washington: Nanaimo Bars — Layered no-bake bars originally from British Columbia. They have a crumb layer, a custard layer and a chocolate layer on top.