The Most Popular Dessert the Year You Were Born

Updated: Jul. 21, 2024

You might be a Bananas Foster baby—or were you born in the year of Hummingbird Cake? Take a look back at 60 marvelous years of dessert trends. They're our birthday gift to you!

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1940: Best-Ever Bread Pudding

The secret to incredible bread pudding with a soft middle and crisp edges starts with leftover dinner rolls. I picked up the rich brown sugar sauce recipe from my friend Kathryn Gartmann. A big drizzle of it takes this dessert over the top and really makes it the best bread pudding ever. —Maria Petrella, Taste of Home Prep Cook

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1941: Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This pineapple upside-down cake is a classic recipe that never goes out of style! It’s delicious with the traditional pineapple, but try it with peaches or a combination of cranberries and orange. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas
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1942: Glazed Lemon Chiffon Cake

This fluffy cake is a real treat drizzled with the sweet-tart lemon glaze. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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1943: Lemon Frosted Fruit Bars

I found the Lemon-Frosted Fruit Bars in a 1943 Betty Crocker cookbook titled Your Share: How To Prepare Appetizing, Healthful Meals with Foods Available Today. The recipe book was printed when the U.S. government began rationing foods like sugar and butter during World War II.  Inside there are tips for saving sugar, with recipes like these bars that used dried fruit and molasses to add sweetness instead. You don’t even miss the sugar! —Nancy Mock, Burlington, Vermont

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1944: Shoofly Pie

My grandmother made the best shoofly pie in the tradition of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Shoofly pie is to the Pennsylvania Dutch as pecan pie is to a Southerner. —Mark Morgan, Waterford, Wisconsin
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1945: Moist Lazy Daisy Cake

We always called this Mama’s never-fail recipe. I guess the same holds true for me since I’ve won contests with this lazy daisy cake. The tasty dessert always brings back fond memories of Mama. —Carrie Bartlett, Gallatin, Tennessee
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1946: Carrot Sheet Cake

We sold pieces of this to-die-for carrot cake at an art show. Before long, we sold out of all the 10 cakes we had made! —Dottie Cosgrove, South El Monte, California
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1947: Giant Molasses Cookies

My family always requests these soft molasses cookies. These chewy cookies are also great for shipping as holiday gifts or to troops overseas. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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1948: Devil’s Food Whoopie Pies

These mini cookie cakes were one of my favorite treats while I was growing up in Pennsylvania. We called them gobs because they are gobs of fun to eat! The recipe can make fewer or more, depending on how large or small you make the cookies. Place the finished chocolate whoopie pies in large cupcake liners for a professional look. —Pamela Esposito, Galloway, New Jersey
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1949: Old-Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

This old-fashioned banana cream pie recipe is full of flavor. Because it uses instant pudding, this no-bake dessert is ready in just minutes. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington
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1950: Homemade Chocolate Pudding

This delightful chocolate pudding is always a treat and easy to whip up. I usually top the pudding with M&M’s. My husband likes whipped topping on his and our daughter loves to dip fresh strawberries in hers. —Carrina Cooper, McAlpin, Florida
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1951: 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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1952: Rich Rum Cake

We like a touch of rum for the holidays, and this orangy rum cake is decadent alone or with big swoops of whipped cream. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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1953: World's Best Lemon Pie

Mother’s pies were always so memorable, with tender, flaky crusts. In summer the order of the day was lemon meringue! —Phyllis Kirsling, Junction City, Wisconsin
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1954: Icebox Cake

You don’t have to bake to serve a wonderful dessert! This icebox cake is made from chocolate wafers and whipping cream. It is so delicious.—Cindy Hawkins, New York, New York
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1955: Layered Strawberry Jell-O Mold

This refreshing treat has two layers: a pretty pink bottom that includes sour cream, and a ruby red top with strawberries and pineapple. For years, Mom has included this salad in meals she prepares for our family. —Gloria Grant, Sterling, Illinois
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1956: Coconut Chiffon Cake

Toasted coconut adds visual appeal to this tall and impressive cake. With an airy texture and heavenly coconut-ginger flavor,it’s a lovely end to meals throughout the year.
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1957: Madeira Cake

This classic British Madeira cake is often served with Madeira wine, which is how it got its name. Similar to a pound cake, it is commonly flavored with lemon and can also be served with tea or other sweet liqueurs. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin
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1958: Cherry Chocolate Marble Cake

Cherries and chocolate are natural partners that make desserts such as this simply scrumptious! The marbled effect is easily achieved by layering the two contrasting batters. —Sandra Campbell, Chase Mills, New York
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1959: Baked Alaska

For a refreshing end to a rich meal, try this freezer finale. Its intriguing interior and pretty color scheme are bound to garner oohs and aahs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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1960: Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

My mom is known for her scrumptious desserts. This cherry cream cheese pie is one she’s served often. It’s one of my favorite desserts anytime of year. I love the combination of cream cheese and cherry pie filling. —Cindy Kufeldt, Orlando, Florida
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1961: Ambrosia

Because it’s so simple to make, this tropical fruit medley is great as a last-minute menu addition. Plus, this ambrosia salad requires just five ingredients. —Judi Bringegar, Liberty, North Carolina
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1962: Million Dollar Cake

Pineapple and mandarin oranges give this easy cake a refreshing, tropical twist. With cake mix and pudding mix as ingredients, it is a breeze to put together when you’re short on prep time. Plus, it needs to chill before serving, so it’s a perfect make-ahead dessert for potlucks and parties! —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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1963: Stained Glass Gelatin

Kids love this sweet, wiggly gelatin and whipped topping dessert. Use different flavors of gelatin to make color versions that are as wild as your imagination. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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1964: 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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1965: Frozen Grasshopper Torte

I first made this minty cool torte for a ladies’ meeting at our church. I’m still making it, and the compliments keep coming. —Elma Penner, Oak Bluff, Manitoba
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1966: Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

As a mother of three sons, sweets are a staple in my kitchen! I buy ripe fruit on sale and freeze it to make this cake. My banana cake with cream cheese frosting is a favorite among loved ones at my family picnics and dinners. —Bonnie Krause, Irvona, Pennsylvania
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1967: Hello Dolly Bars

These rich bar cookies will melt in your mouth! They’re ideal to have on hand for a snack. —Pauline Schrag, Theresa, New York
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1968: 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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1969: Orange Chocolate Fondue

“Invite you family and friends to dip cubes of cake and pieces of fruit into this rich, luscious fondue for a special treat during the holiday season,” writes Mary Jean DeVries from her home in Grandville, Michigan.
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1970: Creamy Pina Colada Pie

This is a family favorite and super easy to make. Some like the consistency of this pina colada pie right out of the freezer and others prefer a softer pie—either way it’s delicious! —Jenny Hales, Arcadia, Oklahoma
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1971: Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse

Let me tell you why Julia Child’s chocolate mousse recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking is one you’ll use for life: Aside from the technique of using both the egg whites and egg yolks, I love how she adds an ample amount of brewed coffee in addition to orange liqueur. Those two ingredients combined with quality chocolate and just enough sugar to balance the flavors is a true work of art. —Lauren Grant, New York City, New York

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1972: No-Bake Pudding Cheesecake

The 1972 print ad for the Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake with Pudding says this recipe is “a perfect summer dessert, because you don’t have to bake it.” Now that I’ve tried it myself, I have to agree, with one caveat: it’d be a welcome dessert any time of the year. —Nancy Mock, Burlington, Vermont

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1973: Sock-It-to-Me Cake

I like to think that when a baker asked someone if they wanted a piece of this buttery cake, the answer was “sock it to me!”—which is how this cake got its name. Duncan Hines published the “Sock It to Me Cake” recipe on the back of its boxed mix in the 1970s, and the rest is history. —Vallery Lomas, New York City, New York

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1974: Watergate Salad

This fluffy pistachio salad is a real treat since it’s creamy but not overly sweet. It’s easy to mix up, and the flavor gets better the longer it stands. It’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, served in a green bowl. —Pattie Ann Forssberg, Logan, Kansas
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1975: Berry Trifle

This Berry Trifle is a delicious salute to summer! I usually serve it during the summer when fresh berries are bountiful, but you can also prepare it with frozen cherries and light cherry pie filling during cooler months. —Brenda Paine, North Syracuse, New York
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1976: Easy Banana Pudding

I blend cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and whipped topping into instant pudding then layer it with vanilla wafers and sliced bananas. Served in a pretty glass bowl, this banana pudding with cream cheese makes for a fancy yet fuss-free dessert. —Edna Perry, Rice, Texas
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1977: Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie

For my mother’s birthday, I made this strawberry pie recipe instead of a cake. Since it was mid-May in Oklahoma, the berries were absolutely perfect. It was a memorable occasion for the whole family. —Josh Carter, Birmingham, Alabama
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1978: Black Forest Chocolate Torte

If you’re thinking about pulling out all the stops for a dessert that says wow, look no further. This cherry-crowned beauty—stacked layers of chocolate cake and cream filling—will have everyone talking. —Doris Grotz, York, Nebraska
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1979: New York Cheesecake

Light, creamy and smooth, this traditional New York cheesecake will melt in your mouth. It is made with a shortbread crust and topped with a triple berry sauce. The recipe takes time but is not hard. It is well worth the effort. —Karen Nielson, St. George, Utah
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1980: Lemon Pudding Dessert

After a big meal, folks really go for this light lemon treat. The shortbread crust is the perfect base for the fluffy top layers. I’ve prepared this sunny dessert for church suppers for years and I always get recipe requests.
—Muriel DeWitt, Maynard, Massachusetts
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1981: Mud Pie

Here's one of those "looks like you fussed" desserts that is so easy it's become a standard for me. I love the mocha version, but pure chocolate lovers may prefer using chocolate chip ice cream. The cookie crust is a snap to make. —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
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1982: Strawberry Poke Cake

That classic spring treat—strawberry shortcake—takes on a wonderful new twist with this strawberry poke cake recipe. Strawberry gelatin and strawberries liven up each pretty slice of this lovely layered cake that’s made from a convenient boxed mix. —Mary Jo Griggs, West Bend, Wisconsin
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1983: 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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1984: 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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1985: Frozen Yogurt

It’s so simple and easy to make your own frozen Greek yogurt, you might even want to get the kids in on the fun. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
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1986: Easy Four-Layer Chocolate Dessert

Out of all the easy chocolate desserts I make, these nutty, chocolaty layered treats have become my family’s favorite. I make sure to whip up my mom her very own batch, since she loves this chocolate delight so much! —Kristen Stecklein, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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1987: Pecan Pumpkin Bars

I always make this treat for Thanksgiving. A friend gave me the recipe, and I’ve since shared it with many others. —Sue Williams, Mount Holly, North Carolina
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1988: Lava Chocolate Cakes

True decadence at its best, these chocolate lava cakes created by the Taste of Home Cooking School feature a warm, gooey chocolate center that oozes out onto the dessert plate. Whether you enjoy it garnished with a dollop of whipped cream or sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, you’ll want to lick the plate clean!
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1989: Tiramisu

No one can resist this quick and easy tiramisu recipe. Make it ahead for added mealtime convenience. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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1990: Classic Lemon Bars

These bars are simple enough for a no-fuss dinner yet elegant enough for a special celebration. Regardless of when you serve them, they’ll be a hit. —Melissa Mosness, Loveland, Colorado
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1991: Mudslide Cheesecake

Change up cheesecakes with different liqueur flavorings. This “mudslide” version with coffee and Irish cream is my husband’s favorite. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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1993: Rocky Road Ice Cream

My daughters always want to put this rocky road ice cream in cones just like the ice cream shops do. We especially like the marshmallows, chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Sometimes we even add extra chips on top…and whipped cream, too.
-Dale Langford
Atwater, California
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1993: Flourless Chocolate Torte

Here’s the perfect dessert for chocoholics—like me! I bake this melt-in-your-mouth torte all the time for special occasions. For an elegant finish, dust it with confectioners’ sugar. —Kayla Albrecht, Freeport, Illinois
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1994: Puppy Chow

This easy puppy chow recipe uses a whole package of cereal, so there’s less messy measuring. And it makes enough to feed a hungry crowd. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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1995: Cookie Cake

This oversized cookie cake recipe is so easy and quick that I just might make it instead of traditional cookies from now on. I don’t miss portioning out dough or shuffling pans in and out of the oven. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week. —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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1996: Dirt Cake

With layers of crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and creamy filling, this is definitely a rich dessert. You can decorate the top with a few wrapped chocolate coins or gummy worms. —Betty Jean Jordan, Monticello, Georgia
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1997: 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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1998: Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

These chewy bars are the perfect no-fuss contribution to a potluck or bake sale. I’ve discovered the trick is to get them into the refrigerator so the chocolate can set before they disappear! —Lorri Speer, Centralia, Washington
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1999: Confetti Cake

This is a moist and fluffy vanilla cake with lots of sprinkles and a whipped vanilla buttercream. It’s almost impossible not to feel happy when you see the fun pop of rainbow confetti! —Courtney Rich, Highland, UT
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2000: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

My son loves these vanilla bean cupcakes! Flecks of vanilla bean in the moist, tender cupcakes give them special-occasion status. —Alysha Braun, St. Catharines, Ontario