The Most Iconic Dessert from Every Decade
Step back in time with these vintage dessert recipes.
1900s: Banana Split
Today we take the delicious combo of ice cream, fruit and hot fudge for granted. But back in 1904, the sundae made its historical debut at a pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Light and airy, sponge cake was a popular treat in early America. It was often paired with a fruit flavor, such as strawberry, orange or lemon.
During the Depression years, budgets were tight and food was scarce—so home cooks had to be as frugal as possible. Enter the baked apple. A sweet treat made with cheap pantry staples.
Cooks in the ’40s were still feeling the effects of the Depression—plus dealing with new war rations. So for a sweet treat, many turned to a thrifty bread pudding that made good use of stale bread and other leftovers.
Fondue gained popularity in the 1960s as a fun way to enjoy a meal. The emergence of chocolate fondue took the trend over the top.
Fad diets emerged in the 1970s—along with the idea that a cake containing carrots had to be healthy, right? Let’s just say ignorance is bliss.
Talk about a chocolate overload. The lava cake—characterized by its ooey-gooey molten center—could be found everywhere from swanky New York restaurants to Disney World.
For just one or two indulgent bites, turn to a cake pop. This trendy treat was an offshoot of the early 2000s cupcake trend.