30 Southern Desserts We’d Hop on a Plane For
Surround yourself with the delights of Hummingbird cake, pecan pie, peach cobbler and other classic Southern desserts.
This impressive hummingbird cake is my dad’s favorite, so I always make it for his birthday. It also makes a great Easter dessert and is lovely with a summer meal. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
My mother received this peach cobbler recipe from a friend of hers many years ago, and fortunately she shared it with me. Boise is situated right between two large fruit-producing areas in our state, so peaches are plentiful in the summer. —Ruby Ewart, Boise, Idaho
I think this recipe combines two of the best and most famous ingredients from the South: sweet tea and pecans! Using a cake mix simplifies prep and helps ease the holiday time crunch. —Melissa Millwood, Lyman, South Carolina
Make this tempting cake and you’ll satisfy kids of all ages! A fudgy brownie-like base is topped with marshmallow creme and a nutty frosting. Your family will be very merry when you serve up big slices with glasses of cold milk or steaming mugs of coffee.
We created this refreshing mini pie with a homemade crumb crust and a pudding-like lime filling. If you can’t find key lime juice, regular lime juice works just fine. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
I have wonderful memories of eating bananas Foster in New Orleans, and as a dietitian, wanted to find a healthier version. I combined the best of two recipes and added my own tweaks to create this southern treat. —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina
Bread pudding fans just might hoard this yummy butterscotch version. Toppings like whipped cream and a butterscotch drizzle make this dessert absolutely irresistible. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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 first saw him at the airport last fall, I just grabbed hold of him and busted out crying. Back 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
Branch out from the usual pecan pie with a creamy-crunchy version that comes out of the oven golden brown. Big slices are even better with a dollop of whipped cream.—Kathy Harding, Richmond, Missouri
A dear friend from the South gave me the idea for this peachy cake. I add bourbon and top each slice with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. —Trista Jefferson, Batavia, Ohio
A refreshing, peachy filling and a buttery graham cracker crust are the perfect pair. I’ve found that this pie can be frozen up to three days. —Athena M. Russell, Florence, South Carolina
Simple, southern and scrumptious, this pie will be a definite hit even with people who dislike grits. It has the perfect custardy texture.—Victoria Hudson, Pickens, South Carolina
We Southerners have been eating cola cake for decades. This easy version has strawberries, too. Chill it in the fridge for a dreamy summer dessert. —Peggy Walpert, Fort Worth, Texas
I grew up in Louisiana where, as in most of the South, pecan pie is a staple. this tart variation is extra good because it includes chocolate. I decided to up the decadence even more by adding bourbon and drizzling some caramel on top. —Amber Needham, San Antonio, Texas
This southern favorite is one my family can never get enough of and there are never any leftovers. My grandmother, mother and aunts always made this recipe for family gatherings. Now I make it for everyone because it’s so easy to prepare and everyone loves it! —Elizabeth Williston, Thibodaux, Louisiana
Adding a pleasant crunch, praline crumbles contrast perfectly with the smooth sweet potato filling in this recipe. It’s a fun, festive update on a classic Southern dessert. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Why limit a great dessert to just one kind of citrus fruit? Thanks to orange and lemon, this lovely pie packs a bold sweet-tart flavor! —Barbara Carlucci, Orange Park, Florida
Now that I’ve retired from teaching, I have more time to bake. This buttermilk 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
There were nine children in our family and Mother had to stretch the budget, so she made these often for dessert. I loved them when I was a child, and they’re still a special treat. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like these cookies. They’re so simple and quick to make.
Creamy Pineapple Pie is a light and refreshing dessert that’s quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
I made sweet potato cakes for my kids when they were younger and they told me in their little voices, “Mommy, you’re the best baker.” Little did they know that was Mommy’s first attempt at homemade cake! —Billie Williams-Henderson, Bowie, Maryland
There is nothing I don’t love about this pie! I adore the flavors and I like that I can sneak in some whole grains into the crust. It belongs on every holiday dessert buffet. —Mary Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina