The Best Dessert Recipe from Every State

Updated: Feb. 18, 2024

These are our highest-rated and most-loved dessert recipes from every state.

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Different desserts with fruits and coffee, top view
Shutterstock / Valentina_G

Welcome to the United States of sweets! These dessert recipes submitted be home cooks across the country may not be the most iconic dish from each state, but they are our highest-rated and most delicious. You’ll find pies, brownies, cakes, cookies, bars and more to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Still hungry for something sweet? We found the best ice cream shops in every state.

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Alabama: Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are the ultimate fall treat. But my family likes them so much, they ask me to make them all year long! —Brenda Keller, Andalusia, Alabama
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Arizona: Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Everyone who tries these beloved gems is amazed that they use only five ingredients. Baking cookies doesn't get much easier than this. —Dee Davis, Sun City, Arizona
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Arkansas: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

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California: Chunky Apple Cake

After taste testing lots of apple cakes, I've found this apple cake recipe the best. Full of old-world comfort, the yummy brown sugar sauce really makes the cake special. For a festive occasion, top with a dollop of whipped cream. —Debi Benson, Bakersfield, California
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Colorado: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I discovered this wonderful pumpkin cupcake recipe and changed a bit to suit my taste. I love the flavor of pumpkin and the cinnamon makes ordinary cream cheese frosting extra special. When I made a batch for my husband to take to work, he said they disappeared in record time. —Debbie Wiggins, Longmont, Colorado
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Connecticut: Marvelous Cannoli Cake

A luscious, chocolate-studded cannoli filling separates the tender vanilla layers of this rich cake, which starts with a package mix. It’s best when served well chilled.—Antoinette Owens, Ridgefield, Connecticut
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Delaware: Strawberries & Cream Torte

This festive strawberries and cream summer treat is one of my mom's favorites. It wows guests every time yet is simple to make. —Cathy Branciaroli, Wilmington, Delaware
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Florida: Blue-Ribbon Butter Cake

I found this Kentucky butter cake recipe in an old cookbook I bought at a garage sale and couldn’t wait to try it. I knew it had been someone’s favorite because of the well-worn page. —Joan Gertz, Palmetto, Florida
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Georgia: CokeCola Cake

We live in Coca-Cola country, where everyone loves a chocolaty, moist sheet cake made with the iconic soft drink. Our rich version does the tradition proud. —Heidi Jobe, Carrollton, Georgia
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Hawaii: Trail Mix Clusters

These delicious snacks make wonderful gifts, and although they look and taste like they came from an expensive chocolate shop, they couldn't be more guilt-free. The dried fruit and nuts are heart-healthy and full of fiber. Bet you can't eat just one! —Alina Niemi, Honolulu, Hawaii
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Idaho: Big Soft Ginger Cookies

These nicely spiced, big soft ginger cookies are perfect for folks who like the flavor of ginger but don't care for crunchy gingersnaps. —Barbara Gray, Boise, Idaho
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Illinois: Bake-Sale Lemon Bars

The recipe for these tangy lemon bars comes from my cousin, who is famous for cooking up farm feasts. —Mildred Keller, Rockford, Illinois
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Indiana: White Texas Sheet Cake

This cake gets better the longer it sits, so I try to make it a day ahead. My mother-in-law introduced this deliciously rich sheet cake to me. With its creamy frosting and light almond flavor, no one can stop at just one piece! —Joanie Ward, Brownsburg, Indiana
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Iowa: Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I make these banana bars with cream cheese frosting whenever I have ripe bananas on hand, then store them in the freezer to share later. With creamy frosting and big banana flavor, this treat is a real crowd-pleaser. —Debbie Knight, Marion, Iowa
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Kansas: Lemon Supreme Pie

A friend and I often visit a local restaurant for pie and coffee. When they stopped carrying our favorite lemon supreme pie, I got busy in the kitchen and created this version, which we think tastes even better! The combination of the cream cheese and tart lemon is wonderful. —Jana Beckman, Wamego, Kansas
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Kentucky: Mamaw Emily's Strawberry Cake

My husband loved his mamaw's strawberry cake recipe. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers. —Jennifer Bruce, Manitou, Kentucky
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Louisiana: Buttermilk Pound Cake

Now that I've retired from teaching, I have more time to bake. This buttermilk pound cake is the one I make most often. It is a truly southern recipe, and one I think can't be topped—once people taste it, they won't go back to their other recipes with buttermilk. —Gracie Hanchey, De Ridder, Louisiana
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Maine: Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

If you delight in the taste of chocolate, then this is the cheesecake for you. Every creamy bite melts in your mouth. It's so impressive yet not difficult to prepare-I whip up this dessert each time I want a yummy treat for my family, friends or co-workers. —Mary Jones, Cumberland, Maine
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Maryland: Chocolate Mint Brownies

One of the best things about this recipe is that these mint chocolate brownies get moister if you leave them in the refrigerator for a day or two. The problem at our house is that no one can leave them alone for that long! —Helen Baines, Elkton, Maryland
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Massachusetts: Saltine Toffee Bark

Everyone loves these salty-sweet treasures—their flavor is simply irresistible. The bark is like brittle, but better. Get ready for a new family favorite! —Laura Cox, Brewster, Massachusetts
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Michigan: Fluffy Key Lime Pie

For a taste of paradise, try this no-bake Key lime pie recipe. It's low in fat, sugar and fuss. It truly is the best Key lime pie recipe ever! —Frances VanFossan, Warren, Michigan
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Minnesota: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I like using pretty mini muffin liners and topping these homemade peanut butter cups with colored sprinkles to coordinate with the holiday we're celebrating. People can't believe how simple it is to make this irresistible candy with gooey peanut butter centers. This is how to make homemade peanut butter cups. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
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Mississippi: Ribbon Pudding Pie

Cool, smooth and creamy, this pretty pie is a slice of heaven for people with diabetes and anyone who likes an easy yet impressive dessert. The lovely pudding layers feature a yummy combination of vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch. —Doris Morgan, Verona, Mississippi
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Missouri: Amish Sugar Cookies

These easy-to-make, old-fashioned Amish sugar cookies simply melt in your mouth! I've passed this recipe around to many friends. After I gave it to my sister, she entered the cookies in a local fair and won best of show. —Sylvia Ford, Kennett, Missouri
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Montana: Pretzel Dessert

Save both time and money with a big batch of this sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy treat. Any dessert that is left over is super the next day, too. —Rita Winterberger, Huson, Montana
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Nebraska: Chippy Peanut Butter Cookies

"Hey, these are good!" is the surprised remark I hear when I bake these for the family. As simple as it may seem, all I do is follow directions. This works exceptionally well when it comes to making cookies. —Ian Badeer, Hickman, Nebraska
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Nevada: Sour Cream-Lemon Pie

I first tasted this pie at a local restaurant and hunted around until I found a similar recipe—now it's my husband's favorite. —Martha Sorensen, Fallon, Nevada
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New Hampshire: Zucchini Brownies

A fast-to-fix peanut butter and chocolate frosting tops these moist brownies that are a sweet way to use up your green garden squash. We really like the cakelike texture of the zucchini brownies. —Allyson Wilkins, Amherst, New Hampshire
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New Jersey: Maple Carrot Cupcakes

I come from a line of family cooks and have liked to cook and bake since I was young. Mother and Grandmom were always in the kitchen cooking up something delicious. These carrot cupcakes were Grandmom's specialty, and we always have them at family gatherings. —Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio, Vineland, New Jersey
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New Mexico: Almond Pear Tart

I had never seen a "pie without a pan" until my daughter brought back this wonderful pear almond tart recipe from a Rotary Club exchange program in Belgium. It's still a family favorite after all these years. —Sherry LaMay, Capitan, New Mexico
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New York: Giant Molasses Cookies

My family always requests these soft molasses cookies. These chewy cookies are also perfect for shipping as holiday gifts or to troops overseas. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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North Carolina: Chocolate Trifle

For a fabulous finale when entertaining, this lovely layered chocolate trifle is a winner! Chocolate trifle recipes are a do-ahead dessert that serves a group, and it even tastes great the next day. —Pam Botine, Goldsboro, North Carolina
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North Dakota: Speedy Brownies

Since you dump all the ingredients together for these brownies, they take very little time to prepare. There's no mistaking the homemade goodness of a freshly baked batch—they are rich and fudgy! —Diane Heier, Harwood, North Dakota
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Ohio: Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert

The desserts of my dreams have chocolate and peanut butter. So when I came up with this rich dessert, it quickly became my all-time favorite. It's a cinch to whip together because it doesn't require any baking. My family loves this chocolate peanut butter cup lasagna! —Debbie Price, LaRue, Ohio
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Oklahoma: Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

A fruity filling and fluffy coconut topping truly make these strawberry oatmeal bars one of a kind. They really dress up my trays of Christmas goodies. —Flo Burtnett, Gage, Oklahoma
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Oregon: Loaded-Up Pretzel Cookies

Coconut, M&M’s and salty, crunchy pretzels make these loaded cookies unlike any you’ve ever tasted—or resisted. —Jackie Ruckwardt, Cottage Grove, Oregon
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Pennsylvania: Moist Chocolate Cake

This moist chocolate cake recipe with coffee reminds me of my grandmother because it was one of her specialties. I bake it often for family parties, and it always brings back fond memories. The cake is light and airy with a delicious chocolate taste. This recipe is a keeper! —Patricia Kreitz, Richland, Pennsylvania
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Rhode Island: Black Bean Brownies

You’d never guess these rich, velvety chocolate treats contain a can of black beans. Who would have thought black bean brownies would be so amazing? —Kathy Hewitt, Cranston, Rhode Island
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South Carolina: Pineapple Orange Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes. It’s moist and light yet so satisfying. I’ve been adapting it for years and now it’s almost guilt-free. —Pam Sjolund, Columbia, South Carolina
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Tennessee: Peeps Sunflower Cake

The inspiration for this cake came from one of my favorite flowers, the sunflower. The yellow peeps make eye-catching flower petals, and I carefully placed chocolate chips in a circular pattern to resemble the seeds in the middle of a sunflower. This cake is easy, but looks quite impressive. —Bethany Eledge, Cleveland, Tennessee
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Texas: Blueberry Angel Dessert

Make the most of angel food cake, pie filling and whipped topping by creating this light impressive dessert that doesn't keep you in the kitchen for hours. It's the perfect way to end a summer meal. —Carol Johnson, Tyler, Texas
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Utah: Dipped Gingersnaps

I get tremendous satisfaction making and giving time-tested yuletide treats like these dipped gingersnaps. Dipping them in white chocolate makes much-loved gingersnaps even more special. —Laura Kimball, West Jordan, Utah
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Vermont: Zucchini Cupcakes

I asked my grandmother for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They're such a scrumptious dessert, you actually forget you're eating your vegetables, too! —Virginia Lapierre, Greensboro Bend, Vermont
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Virginia: Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia
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Washington: Apple Pie

I remember coming home sullen one day because we'd lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested that maybe a slice of hot apple pie would make me feel better. She was right. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington
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West Virginia: Lemonade Icebox Pie

You will detect a definite lemonade flavor in this refreshing pie. High and fluffy, this dessert has a creamy smooth consistency. —Cheryl Wilt, Eglon, West Virginia
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Wisconsin: Rhubarb Custard Bars

Once I tried these rich, gooey bars, I just had to have the recipe so I could make them for my family and friends. The shortbread-like crust and the rhubarb and custard layers inspire people to find rhubarb that they can use to fix a batch for themselves. —Shari Roach, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Wyoming: Ultimate Double Chocolate Brownies

As someone who grew up in the country, I love getting out into nature whenever I can. I also love home-style recipes, including these yummy brownies. —Carol Prewett, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Up Next: Discover the highest-rated, most-popular desserts that came out on top this year.