50 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.

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Hummingbird Cake

This impressive hummingbird cake is my dad’s favorite, so I always make it for his birthday. It makes a memorable dessert for any celebration and is lovely with a summer meal. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Cola Cake with Strawberries & Cream

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
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Bourbon-Kissed Pecan Pie

This rich pie is always on our Thanksgiving dessert table. Find more of my recipes on my blog, A Southern Grace.—Grace Mannon, Abingdon, Virginia
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Cream Cheese Sheet Cake

This tender, buttery cream cheese cake with a thin layer of fudge frosting is perfect for a crowd. It's always popular at potlucks and parties. It's not uncommon to see folks going back for second and even third pieces. —Gaye Mann, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
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Down South Sweet Tea Cake

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
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Mississippi Mud Cake

This cake features a fudgy brownielike base topped with marshmallow creme and a nutty frosting. Serve big slices with glasses of cold milk or steaming mugs of coffee. —Tammi Simpson, Greensburg, Kentucky
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Butterscotch Pie

This pie's filling is like creamy pudding and is crowned with golden peaks of meringue. —Cary Letsche, Brandenton, Florida
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New Orleans Beignets

These sweet, square and holeless French doughnuts are known as beignets. New Orleans’ traditional breakfast always includes a few of these powdered sugar delicacies. —Beth Dawson, Jackson, Louisiana
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Key Lime Pie

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
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Banana Skillet Upside-Down Cake

My grandmother gave me my first cast iron skillet, and I've been cooking and baking with it ever since. Sometimes I add drained maraschino cherries to this banana skillet dessert and serve it with a ice cream. —Terri Merritts, Nashville, Tennessee
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Best Red Velvet Cake

It's just not Christmas at our house until this festive cake appears. This is different from other red velvet cake recipes I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina
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French Silk Pie

I first made French silk pie when I was in high school. Years later, I tinkered with the recipe until I was happy with it. Now it’s one of my husband's favorites. —Lisa Francis, Elba, Alabama
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Bananas Foster Sundaes

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
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Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Pecans and butter give this cake the same irresistible flavor as the popular butter pecan ice cream flavor. —Becky Miller, Tallahassee, Florida
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Butterscotch-Pecan Bread Pudding

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
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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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Southern Lane Cake

I just love this southern-style dessert, and so do dinner guests. With pecans, cherries and raisins in the filling and topping, this version reminds me of a fruitcake—only so much better! —Mabel Parvi, Ridgefield, Washington
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Chocolate Chess Pie

This is one of my mother's go-to recipes. It's a yummy spin on classic chocolate chess pie. — Ann Dickens, Nixa, Missouri
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Pecan Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Chock-full of berries and rhubarb, this pretty cobbler is the perfect finale for a dinner for two. Pecans in the topping and the delicious dessert sauce make it extra special. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Buttermilk Pie with Pecans

Branch out from the usual pecan pie with a creamy-crunchy version that comes out of the oven golden brown. Big pieces are even better with a generous dollop of whipped cream. —Kathy Harding, Richmond, Missouri
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Lemon Curd Cheesecake

This creamy lemon cheesecake has a lovely soft texture and cuts nicely. The curd adds a fresh, tangy flavor. —Becky West, Statesboro, Georgia
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Dark Chocolate Pudding

Life is too short to pass on dessert. This old-fashioned treat is so creamy and comforting! —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Milk Cake

This is a simple recipe—and especially easy in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. The result is a deliciously light, airy cake. —Suzanne Coelman, Rabun Gap, Georgia
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Georgia Peach Ice Cream

My state is well known for growing amazing peaches. This ice cream has been a family favorite for more than 50 years! —Marguerite Ethridge, Americus, Georgia
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Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Impressive to look at but easy to make, this cake is a good old-fashioned "Sunday supper" dessert that melts in your mouth. —Marsha Lawson, Pflugerville, Texas
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Frozen Key Lime Delight

In the middle of summer, nothing hits the spot quite like this sublime Key lime dessert. Cold, creamy and tart, it tastes like sunshine. —Melissa Millwood, Lyman, South Carolina
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Southern Peach Upside-Down Cake

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
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Marshmallow-Almond Key Lime Pie

Summer is peak season for Key limes—a must for this pie’s distinctive sweet-tart flavor. Unlike other Key lime pies, mine has a smooth marshmallow layer on top. This makes it stand out as a crowd favorite. —Judy Castranova, New Bern, North Carolina
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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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Frozen Peach Pies

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
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Pink Velvet Cupcakes

My daughter loves all things pink, so this recipe was just right for her birthday. Even my teenage son (not a fan of pink) ate his share, too. —Paulette Smith, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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Grits Pie

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
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Hazelnut Cake Squares

When one of my daughters is asked to bring a dish to a church function, a birthday party or any special occasion, she asks me for this recipe. It is so easy to prepare because it starts with a cake mix. It doesn't need icing, so it's perfect for bake sales too. —Brenda Melancon, McComb, Mississippi
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Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream

My mother's family owned peach orchards in Missouri. I live in Tennessee, a top consumer of buttermilk. This summery ice cream combines my past and present. —Kim Higginbotham, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

When my fiance first made this chocolate bourbon pecan pie for me, I declared it to be the best pie ever! Creamy chocolate combines with crunchy nuts in a great, gooey filling. We can't get enough of this recipe inspired by Kentucky Derby bourbon chocolate pecan pie. —Tanya Taylor, Cary, North Carolina
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Chocolate Chip Bars

People are always surprised when I tell them these chocolate chip bars come from the microwave. Chockfull of chocolate chips, the bars are especially good served with a big glass of cold milk. —Shirley A. Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Grilled Peach Sundaes

These peaches with a hint of grill flavor are sweet and juicy. We serve them in a waffle bowl with ice cream. That’s jackpot at our house. —Nancy Dentler, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Mississippi Mud Pie

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
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Mom's Citrus Buttermilk Cake

Everyone raves over this lovely lemon cake. It's divine with fresh raspberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Pineapple Upside-Down Dump Cake

This dump cake recipe is wonderful topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It works well with gluten-free and sugar-free cake mixes too. —Karin Gatewood, Dallas, Texas
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Lemon Chess Pie with Berry Sauce

This is one of those old-fashioned Southern desserts that makes everyone feel good. The easy-as-pie berry sauce gives it color and a tantalizing tang. —April Heaton, Branson, Missouri
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Amaretto Cake with Buttercream Frosting

I came up with this amaretto cake recipe because I was craving something that tasted like wedding cake. The texture is similar to pound cake, which is exactly what I wanted. Everyone who tastes it LOVES it. —Megan Dudash, Youngsville, North Carolina
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Snickerdoodle Cheesecake

My maternal grandmother preferred sewing and quilting to cooking and baking, but there were some things that she cooked and baked really well. She was the only person I knew who made snickerdoodles, simple but yummy cookies that I've always enjoyed. Since cheesecake is my very favorite dessert, I couldn't resist coming up with one that re-creates those flavors. I think of my grandmother each time I make it! Sometimes I'll drizzle the slices with maple syrup. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie

When I first made the original recipe for this bourbon-splashed pie, I added some vanilla extract and eliminated the flour. We loved the result. —Paul Falduto, Efland, North Carolina
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Decadent Fudge Cake

Everyone loves the rich flavor in this decadent cake made with four types of chocolate. —Anna Hogge, Yorktown, Virginia
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Creamy Pineapple Pie

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
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Chewy Pecan Pie Bars

This treat is one of my husband's favorites. I've been making these bars for many years, and we still can't get enough. I never mind making this recipe—it's about as easy as baking can be! —Judy Taylor, Shreveport, Louisiana
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Texas Pecan Pralines

My pecan praline recipe is special to me for I received it from my mother, who was an excellent cook! I also am a Texas Aggie Mom and I use pecans from a South Texas Aggie grower that our Aggie Mom's club has purchased from for many years. The quality is outstanding and far better than you will find in any grocery store. —Carol Jones, Blue Ridge, Texas
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Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie

There is nothing I don't love about this pie! I adore the flavors, and I like that I can sneak some whole grains into the crust. It belongs on every holiday dessert buffet. —Mary Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.