The Most Outrageous Dessert in Every State
From over-the-top milkshakes to Nutella-stuffed pizza, these are the most outrageous desserts in all 50 states.
Alabama: Cotton Candy Milkshake
One look at the popular cotton candy milkshake from K&J’s Elegant Pastries in Alabaster, and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to frosty heaven. Topped with a whole cupcake, a poof of cotton candy, whipped cream, a lollipop and plenty of sprinkles, it’s a sugar rush that tastes as good as it looks—just like all of the massive milkshake masterpieces this Alabama bakery is famous for.
Obsessed with the outrageous? Try our most over-the-top recipes at home.
Alaska: Northern Lights Truffles
Only a true artist-turned-chocolatier could capture the beauty and magnificence of the Northern Lights in a piece of chocolate. That’s exactly what Ingrid Shim has done at her Anchorage shop, Sweet Chalet. Each of her tantalizing truffles is hand-painted with the shimmering stars of Alaska’s Aurora Borealis.
Arizona: Ultimate Sundae
When ordering the Ultimate Sundae at Phoenix’s Sweet Republic, you get to choose four big scoops of the flavors of your choice. And that’s not all—handmade ice cream sits on top of a 1/4 pound chocolate chip walnut oatmeal cookie, which is then topped with brownies, almond toffee brittle and roasted marshmallow and smothered in hot fudge, salted caramel sauce and whipped cream.
Arkansas: Pie Sampler
Can’t decide which slice of heaven from the case at Fork & Crust in Rodgers you want to dig into? No worries—you can create your own perfect pie plate with the sampler. Choose seven slices of pie, each one more decadent and delicious than the last. Favorites include Cookie Dough, Ooey Gooey and Whiskey Bacon Pecan.
California: Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream Sandwich
The humble ice cream sandwich gets an elegant makeover at Christina Tosi’s trendy L.A. Milk Bar where ice cream is pressed between two halves of a French macaron, then half dipped in chocolate before being rolled in your choice of toppings. Flavors include Fruity Pebbles, Blueberry Crumble and Green Tea Rose Swirl.
Colorado: Rainbow Mille-Crepe Cake
Taste the rainbow (and no, we’re not talking about Skittles) with this colorful cake at New Saigon Bakery & Deli in Denver. Called a mille-crepe cake, each luscious layer is a pancake-thin crepe sandwiched between a light frosting. Pick from a rotating menu that includes green tea, strawberries and cream and vanilla brulee.
Connecticut: Fried Ice Cream
You really can fry anything—even ice cream. Stamford’s Drop and Fry takes a scoop, wraps it in pound cake, then drops it into the deep fryer before coating in powdered sugar or sticky-sweet syrup. The result? A unique sensation of both hot and cold inside each bite.
Delaware: Moon Pie
This sky-high dessert available at Blue Moon in Rehoboth Beach takes ice cream pie to a whole new level. Stacked eight inches high with meringue, crushed Oreo cookies and four layers of ice cream, the Moon Pie is a dessert so rich you can only have it once in a blue moon. Here are some other no-bake treats you can whip up when it’s hot outside.
Florida: Giant Chocolate HoHo’s
Diners do dessert better than anywhere else. (Check out our copycat diner dessert recipes!) Big Pink in Miami is no exception. The new-school diner specializes in over-the-top desserts like this giant cake roll modeled after Hostess HoHo’s.
Georgia: Dessert-Topped Milkshakes
At My Fair Sweets, it’s not what’s in the milkshake that counts—it’s what’s on top. While you can expect anything from cupcakes to cookies crowning your shake, the real behemoth is the Cheat Day, a glazed donut milkshake with three actual donuts and a scoop of ice cream.
Hawaii: Mahalo-Halo Drink
Say aloha to our new obsession: Makani’s Mahalo-halo drink. Not only is it incredibly Instagram-worthy (so many pretty colors!), it’s also the refreshing sugary sip we need on a hot beach day. If ice cream is more your style, nosh on the “unicone,” a brightly swirled soft-serve cone.
Idaho: Ice Cream “Potato”
Only in Idaho can you find an ice cream potato. Don’t be turned off by the idea of a sweet spud at Westside Drive In though—the “potato” is actually just a scoop of ice cream coated in cocoa powder. And that “sour cream” you see on top? Whipped cream, of course, with chocolate shavings and fudge sauce.
You don’t have to travel to Tuscany for an Italian donut. You can find the traditional Bomboloni—a pillowy Italian donut without a hole in the center—at BomboBar in Chicago. Choose from a variety of fillings for your donut from the classic cream to salted caramel to rich Nutella.
Indiana: Donut Ice Cream Sandwich
Can’t decide between a delicious donut and a scoop of ice cream for dessert? Now you don’t have to at TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth in Indianapolis. Snag a frozen sandwich (made from 2 scoops of ice cream stuffed between two halves of a glazed donut) from TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth with your choice of toppings, too.
Iowa: Late-Night Cupcakes
Get your late-night cupcake fix at Creme in Des Moines. The dessert shop stays open until midnight on weekends. Choose from one of 36 cupcake flavors like Peanut Butter Passion or Strawberry Champagne. Or order a “caketail,” a cocktail inspired by one of the signature cupcakes.
Kansas: Homemade Pop-Tarts
Cakes, cookies, pies, oh my! There’s a lot to see at Milkfloat in Wichita but the real star of the show are the homemade Pop-Tarts. A flaky pastry shell encases strawberry filling complete with bits of juicy fruit for a grown-up version of your favorite childhood toaster strudel.
Kentucky: Maple-Bacon Donut
Bacon makes everything better… even donuts. Don’t believe us? Sink your teeth into the salty-sweet treat that is the Maple Bacon Bar at Nord’s Bakery in Louisville and you’ll realize exactly what heaven tastes like.
Louisiana: Doberge King Cake
Combine Mardi Gras’ king cake with the New Orleans classic doberge cake (a layered cake with custard filling) and you get this beaut. It has seven tiers of fluffy cinnamon-vanilla cake and cream cheese pudding, coated in a rich buttercream frosting. Find it only at NOLA’s Bakery Bar.
Maine: S’mores Burger
Holy ooey-gooey goodness! The S’mores Burger from Maine’s must-visit Nosh Kitchen Bar isn’t actually a burger—it’s roasted marshmallows, vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche on a brioche bun spread with Nutella and sprinkled with bacon dust.
Maryland: Baltimore Bomb Pie
Start with Maryland’s unofficial state dessert, the Berger cookie (a thick fudge-dipped cake-like cookie). Then crumble it up, and melt it into a decadent vanilla filling inside a flaky crust at Dangerously Delicious Pies and you get the Baltimore Bomb Pie. The name says it all: They’re dangerously delicious!
Massachusetts: Cube Toast
The toast trend has spread to the dessert menu at Double Chin, an Asian cafe in Boston. Dig into their signature Cube Toast, a massive piece of French toast that’s been hollowed out and filled with a heaping pile of sweets like M&Ms, ice cream, sugary cereal, fruit, chocolate sauce and more.
Michigan: Fruity Pebbles Cake
Have your cake and eat it too in the form of For the Love of Sugar’s famous Fruity Pebbles cake. The tiers of rainbow-hued cake shrouded in rich creamy frosting are too pretty to pass up. They have other creative cakes inspired by cereal including Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Minnesota: “All of Them”
Why order one scoop when you can order all of them? Literally, that’s what the piled-on platter at Milkjam is called: All of Them. For just $56, you’ll get 16 scoops (one of each flavor that day) sitting on crushed waffle cones and topped with chocolate sauce, marshmallow and more.
Mississippi: The Best Lemon Meringue Pie
Southern accents you’ll hear from the waitresses aren’t the only sweet thing at the Crystal Grill in Greenwood. Take a peek at the dessert case where you’ll find towering slices of creamy lemon-meringue pie, just waiting to be devoured. Take a whole one home with you on the way out.
Missouri: Butter Cake
Ooey-gooey butter cake originated in Missouri and for that, we’re eternally grateful. Every bite of “Mom’s Traditional” at Park Avenue Coffe gets dusted with powdered sugar (or one of their other 73 flavors) from Park Avenue Coffee will melt in your mouth just like, well, butter.
Montana: Super Nova Sundae
To put it simply, the Super Nova sundae (which costs over $14) at Missoula’s No. 1 ice cream shop, Big Dipper Ice Cream, is out of this world. Finish it yourself—it’s a bucket of two giant brownies, six scoops of ice cream and six toppings—and you’ll be awarded a bumper sticker boasting “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!”
Nebraska: Unicorn Bars
Everything in Omaha’s Sweet Magnolia’s Bake Shop is made entirely from hand, including the Instagram-worthy unicorn bars, blondies stuffed with cookies and cream filling and topped with colorful marshmallow buttercream and rainbow sprinkles.
Nevada: ATM Cupcakes
You’ll find one of the most extra desserts at an ATM on the Strip. No, not the kind where you deposit your winnings from the casino—but the kind that dispenses the famous Sprinkles cupcakes 24 hours a day. Yes, a cupcake ATM exists and it’s everything our red velvet dreams are made of.
New Hampshire: Popover Sundaes
Part dinner roll, part pastry, these puffy popovers are just like Grandma used to make. Except at Popovers on the Square, they’re taken to the next level, served sundae-style with giant scoops of ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, whipped cream and of course, a cherry on top.
New Jersey: Dessert Pizza
Your choice of pizza toppings at Brother Bruno’s in Wayne include cookie dough, cannoli pieces, Oreo crumbles, sprinkles, hunks of brownie and more. In fact, the decadent dessert pizza barely looks like a pizza at all when loaded with sweets and stuffed with your choice of filling (we recommend Nutella!).
New Mexico: Apple-Chile Donut
Sugar and spice and everything nice. That basically describes the menu at Rebel Donut where the specialty is an apple green chile fritter made with New Mexico’s famous hatch green chile peppers. Balanced with a sweet glaze and cinnamon apples, it hits just the right salty-sweet notes.
New York: Golden Opulence Sundae
Break out the big bucks—you’ll need them to buy this $1,000 sundae at Serendipity 3 in NYC. Served in a crystal glass (which you can keep), the luxe Golden Opulence Sundae contains Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream, chocolates imported all the way from Paris and passion fruit caviar. It literally sparkles, too, thanks to 24 karat edible gold flakes sprinkled on top.
North Carolina: One-Pound Donut
There are donuts… and then there’s “The Doughnut.” Literally, that’s what the enormous one-pound donut on the menu at Stoke has been dubbed. What’s on top? Thick pastry cream, Heath bar bits and powdered sugar—you’re definitely going to need a fork and knife for this one.
North Dakota: “Chippers”
Take everyone’s favorite junk food, dunk it in rich chocolate and you get “chippers”, cocoa-covered Red River Valley potato chips that were invented at Carol Widman’s in Grand Forks. Want more sweet and savory goodness? They even sell chocolate-dipped olives for the super adventurous.
Ohio: 21-Scoop Sundae
We don’t know what’s more exciting: Watching the Akron RubberDucks score a home run or diving headfirst into “The Screamer,” one of the many extreme eats on the menu at Canal Park. It’s a 21-scoop sundae atop a massive brownie and four whole bananas. Covered in hot fudge, it clocks in at five pounds.
Oklahoma: Roasted Pecan Ball
Everyone goes nuts over the roasted pecan ball from Cheever’s Cafe. Here the regional specialty—a sizeable scoop of vanilla ice cream coated in sticky pecans and brown sugar—is served dripping in warm caramel sauce. Eat it fast before it melts!
Love pecans? Try these 70 other recipes featuring your favorite nut.
Oregon: Hokey Pokey Custard
At Astoria’s Frite & Scoop, silky French-style custard is paired with crispy Belgian fries for dipping, making it the perfect sweet and salty snack. Ask for their signature flavor, Hokey Pokey, which is a sweet cream base with bits of homemade honeycomb toffee.
Dominique Ansel may have started the hybrid food trend with the cronut but Frangelli’s in Philadelphia may have topped it with the franolli. Half donut, half cannoli, it’s the best of both dessert worlds. You need one of these chewy donuts filled with cannoli cream and mini chocolate chips in your life.
Rhode Island: Push Pop Cupcakes
Featured on Cupcake Wars, Cupcake Charlie’s in Newport claims to have New England’s best cupcakes—and we don’t disagree. Amidst the rotating menu of dreamy gourmet cupcakes, you’ll even find frosting shots (exactly what it sounds like: cups of straight icing) and push pops, layers of cake and rich frosting served popsicle style.
South Carolina: 12-Pound Coconut Cake
Gather 25 of your closest friends for the ultimate dessert experience—after all, that’s how many people the famous 12-pound coconut cake at Peninsula Grill serves. Each slice of the 12 layers of pound cake and coconut buttercream frosting contains almost a whole stick of butter.
Good news: Butter could be healthier than you think.
South Dakota: Tableside S’mores
Bring the bonfire inside at Crawford’s Bar and Grill in Sioux Falls where, if you order the s’mores off the dessert menu, your waiter will bring a plate of marshmallows and chocolate-covered graham crackers… and an open flame. Yes, you’ll roast your marshmallows tableside to create your own gooey summer sandwich.
Tennessee: 100-Layer Donuts
Would you wait four whole days for a donut? Trust us, you would for the 100-layer one from Five Daughters Bakery in Nashville. In flavors like Chocolate Sea Salt, King Kong (maple bacon) and The Purist (plain glazed), each of these special pastries weighs about the same as five regular donuts.
Texas: Three-Pound Cinnamon Roll
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the cinnamon rolls at San Antonio’s own Lulu’s Bakery. Weighing in at a whopping three pounds, the massive frosted cinnamon buns at Lulu’s are a favorite among both tourists and locals. The restaurant is even open 24 hours so you can indulge any time of the day!
Utah: Bananas Foster Taco
The next time Taco Tuesday rolls around, head to Utah’s sweetest dessert bar, Last Course, for Foster’s banana taco. Inspired by the classic bananas Foster, this decadent dish is made of three shells dusted in cinnamon sugar and filled with warm caramel pecan banana slices. Ask for it a la mode with a scoop of Tahitian vanilla ice cream.
Vermont: Cinnamon Roll Cake
As if one cinnamon roll wasn’t enough, the bakers at Sticky Fingers Bakery have invented the cinnamon roll cake, a tower of three sticky-sweet buns smothered in a homemade glaze.
Feeling inspired? Whip up this recipe for the best cinnamon rolls on a Sunday morning.
Virginia: Mile-High Cakes
We never understood love at first sight until we walked past the window at Shyndigz in Richmond where each heavenly slice of cake features mile-high airy layers and thick whipped frosting. Ask about the cake du jour or go with the popular salted caramel chocolate sprinkled with fleur de sel.
Washington: Molten Lava Cakes
Picture warm melty chocolate pouring out of a dense cocoa cake and you’ve just imagined the scene at Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Seattle. “Get your hot cakes” with the Dark Decadence, an uber-rich bite topped with salted caramel and toffee nibs.
West Virginia: Dessert Hot Dogs
Hot dogs for dessert? Sure thing. At Spring Hill Pastry Shop in Charleston, “hot dogs” are really cream-filled eclairs. Order them plain or “everything” style, drizzled with thick fudgy frosting.
O&H Danish Bakery has been crowned king of the kringle, a Wisconsin specialty that is essentially a flaky pastry ring coated in cream cheese frosting. The ones at O&H take a full three days to be prepared but they’re worth the wait when you sink your teeth into the 36 buttery layers.
Wyoming: Eskimo Bars
Take a tip from celeb chef Giada de Laurentiis: The Eskimo Bars at Snake River Grill in Jackson Hole are one of the best things she’s ever eaten. The cold confection consists of a fudgy brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, coated in chocolate and then frozen. Dip it in the caramel sauce served on the side.