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14 Delicious American Desserts that You Will Never Want to Miss

By | Last Updated: 15th January 2024

America, comprising of the North, South, and Central parts, stands unique for a whole lot of lip-smacking desserts it has to offer. Pies, puddings, brownies, cakes, and fruit salads, you would get all of them in this continent. While some have evolved in the modern period, a few have its origin since time memorial. Certain dishes even originated during the colonial phase. The list of America’s popular desserts that you ought not to miss follows below.

American Desserts

1. Pecan Pie – A Popular Holiday American Dessert

Pecan Pie Popular American Dessert


What is it: A pie having pecan nuts as its main ingredient, mixed with a filling of butter, sugar, and eggs. Flavorings include chocolate, vanilla, salt, and bourbon whiskey. Whipped cream, hard sauce, and vanilla ice cream serve as accompaniments. It is a Christmas dessert famous in the southern part of the United States, also served during Thanksgiving and other special occasions.

What does it taste like: Crusty at the top, with a sweet, nutty, and buttery filling.

2. Banana Foster – A Classic American Dessert

Banana Foster Classic American Dessert


What is it: A sought-after sweet dish, made with banana and vanilla ice cream, alongside brown sugar, butter, dark rum, banana liqueur, and cinnamon. Whipped cream and nuts such as walnut and pecan serve as toppings. Banana foster derives its origination in New Orleans, named after Richard Foster, chairman of the Crime Commission of New Orleans, who was also the restaurant owner’s friend where this dish originated.

What does it taste like: Sweet, buttery, sugary, and nutty, with the smoky, aromatic flavor of vanilla dominating.

3. Cheesecake – One of the Best American Desserts

Cheesecake Best American Desserts


What is it: A delicious dessert, having a single or multiple layers, with the thickest one comprising of fresh and soft cheese, sugar, and eggs. The bottom layer (if present) has a base prepared from pastry, graham crackers, crushed cookies, or even sponge cake. Sugar is used as a sweetener, while one may add flavorings of pumpkin, lemon, chocolate, or vanilla. Toppings comprise of whipped cream, fruit, chocolate syrup, cookies, and nuts. Cheesecakes may be baked or unbaked, with its flavor and texture varying from one part of the United States to the other. The cheesecakes of New York have a smooth, dense, creamy texture, made from sour or heavy cream. Chicago-styled cheesecake is fluffy, creamy, and soft.

What does it taste like: Thick, smooth, soft, and fluffy, every bit of it melting into your mouth at an instant.

4. Alfajor – An Authentic Latin American Dessert

Alfajor Latin American Desserts


What is it: A traditional cake, popular in Chile, Argentina, Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, and Southern Brazil. The preparation process of Alfajor differs from one place to the other. In the Latin American countries, they are made from two round-shaped cookies prepared from corn starch or wheat flour. The sweet fillings within mostly comprise of dulce de leche (caramel-like confection). Grated coconut, chocolate, glazed sugar, and powdered sugar serve as coatings.

What does it taste like: Sugary, creamy, and a little sticky, a perfect snack of those with a sweet tooth.

5. Chocolate Brownie – A Famous Dessert of America

Chocolate Brownie Famous American Dessert


What is it:  A rectangular or square baked chocolate treat prepared from flour, vanilla, sugar, baking powder, and eggs. Other ingredients used as garnishing include chocolate chips, cream cheese, and nuts. Whipped cream, fudge, and powdered sugar serve as toppings. Originating in the latter half of the 19th century and gaining popularity in the 20th century, they popularly exist in the menu of most American coffeehouses and restaurants. One could team brownies with milk or even ice cream.

What does it taste like: Soft, and fluffy, with the taste either being fudge-like or cake-like depending on the density. 

6. Lane Cake – A Sought-After Dessert of South America

Lane Cake South American Desserts


What is it: A bourbon-laced baked cake popular in South America, prepared from cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and bourbon whiskey. The prize cake is its alternate name, as given by its inventor Emma Rylander Lane who secured the first position for her recipe at a county fair in Georgia’s Columbus. Her version comprised of additional ingredients such as coconut, raisins, and pecan. They are common in the menu of South American dinner, reception, or wedding parties. In 2016 it became Alabama’s official state cake.

What does it taste like: Sweet and sugary, with the pleasant, smooth flavor of bourbon whiskey dominating. The addition of pecan and coconut makes it nutty too.

7. Bread Pudding – A Native American Dessert

Bread Pudding Native American Dessert


What is it: A delicious pudding eaten in most New Mexico homes. The primary ingredients include bread pieces, cheese, hot water, granulated sugar, butter, as well as flavorings of raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and walnuts. Servings of fruit syrup or honey go along with this dish.

What does it taste like: Soft, sweet, and aromatic, with the various sauces enhancing its sweetness.

8. Apple Pie – A Summer Dessert of Colonial America

Apple Pie Colonial American Desserts


What is it: A tasty pie, with a double crust having an apple filling as its primary ingredient teamed with ice cream, cheddar cheese, or whipped cream. The upper crust may be solid or arranged in crosswise strips. The bottom crust is separately baked to prevent sogginess. Besides being America’s one of the most comfort foods, it is also its unofficial symbol. The English, Swedish, and Dutch people introduced it to their colonies in the 17h and 18th century.

What does it taste like: Tart, crisp, and flaky, with a sweet, syrupy flavor because of its filling.

9. Whoopie Pie – A Traditional American Dessert

Whoopie Pie Typical American Dessert


What is it: Also known as gob, and black moon, it is a baked dessert which can either be a cake, sandwich, cookie, or pie. Two round cakes in the shape of a mound go into the making of this pie. The filling within is sweet and creamy. It is Maine’s official state treat, though, at present, its popularity has spread throughout the United States. They got their unique name since leftover batter went into their preparation and children on finding this treat in their lunch boxes, would scream “Whoopie” out of joy.

What does it taste like: Light, soft, luscious, with the taste of chocolate immensely dominating.

10. Hummingbird Cake – A Popular Christmas Cake

Hummingbird Cake American Christmas Dessert


What is it: A spiced, two or three-layered cake primarily made from banana and pineapples, alongside sugar, flour, pecan, cinnamon, vegetable oil, leavening agent, and vanilla extract. This unique delicacy, mostly eaten during Christmas, is often teamed with sweet tea. A frosting of cream cheese often serves as a topping. Invented in the Jamaican island, this dessert derives its name from the national bird of its place of origin. Another alternate name for this particular cake is the Doctor Bird.

What does it taste like: Soft, sweet, and buttery, with the addition of pecan and cinnamon, giving it a nutty, spicy and aromatic flavor.

11. American Flag Cake – A Unique Dessert

American Flag Dessert


What is it: A perfect 4th of July or Memorial Day dessert prepared using a vanilla cake mix, cream cheese, raspberries, blueberries, and powdered sugar, topped with a scoop of whipped cream.

What does it taste like: Cheesy, creamy, and spongy, with the fruits adding to its sweetness.

12. Fried Ice Cream – A Special Cold Dessert of America

Fried Ice Cream American Cold Desserts


What is it: A dessert made by coating an ice cream scoop in bread, cornflakes, or cookie crumbs as well as raw eggs and then deep-frying it for a brief span to create a shelled outer layer. Whipped cream, chocolate, or caramel sauce or honey goes as accompaniments. Several contradictions exist regarding the origination of this dish, as some say that it was served for the first time at the World Fair held in 1893 in Chicago. Credit also went to a Philadelphia company in 1894 for the fried ice cream’s invention. A third theory that stemmed from the 1960s states the tempura restaurants of Japan contributed towards this dish’s existence.

What does it taste like: Warm, and crispy on the outer side, and cool as well as soft within. The addition of sauces enhances its taste further.

13. Ambrosia – America’s Breakfast Dessert

Ambrosia American Breakfast Dessert


What is it: An American version of fruit salad, comprising of fresh or canned pineapple, oranges, coconut, and marshmallows. The choice of fruits may vary, and this dessert may even include grapes, bananas, and cherries, alongside pecans, as well as other varieties of nuts. Yogurt, cream cheese, sour cheese, cottage cheese, or whipped cream serve as toppings. This platter is refrigerated overnight and served cold. Ambrosia translates to the food of Greek gods and is a popular breakfast dish in America, mostly eaten during special occasions like Thanksgiving. 

What does it taste like: A blend of sweet and sour, along with a creamy touch. The various fruits create a whirlwind in your mouth.

14. Bocado de la reina – A Traditional Central American Sweet Dish

Central American Dessert


What is it: A bread pudding prepared from leftover bread, eggs, bananas, and condensed milk. Cinnamon and raisins help to enhance its flavor. This dish gained popularity in Central American countries of Guatemala, and Panama.  

What does it taste like: It has a cake-like taste, with a smooth texture, the inclusion of raisins, and cinnamon making it all the more flavorful.

American desserts do not just end here, but the list is long indeed. Brown betty (fruit dessert), buckeye (peanut butter confection), corn cookie, and fudge (sugar candy) are some of the other interesting sweet dishes you must try during your next visit to the next continent.

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