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The Most Popular Dessert in Every State

This is what every state favors in the sweet treat department.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan
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Whether it's for a celebration or just your average Thursday, dessert is arguably the best part of any meal. Your preference in the sweet treat you crave has a lot to do with personal taste as well as what kind of foods you were exposed to growing up. A familiar dessert recipe has a way of transporting you back to childhood or conjuring up wonderful memories of simpler times. It's no wonder, then, that dessert cravings differ across various parts of the country.

Using a list of 40 popular desserts, life insurance company Coventry Direct analyzed Google Trends to see which dessert has been searched for the most in each state as of January 2022. The results show a variety of delicious favorites that Americans love to make with no one treat dominating—in fact, the most popular dessert is the winner in only five states. And unsurprisingly, many nostalgic treats lead across the U.S.

Keep reading to find out the most popular dessert in every state, and we even have some choice recipes to try when a craving strikes. For even more recipes, check out 76 Best Dessert Recipes for Weight Loss.

ALABAMA – Pound cake

sour cream pound cake
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Pound cake is a simple cake that actually used to be made with a pound of each ingredient. There are many variations now that tend to result in a lighter cake. For instance, Bigger Bolder Baking uses sour cream which helps to keep the denser-style cake very moist.

Get the recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking.

ALASKA – Baked Alaska

Baked alaska
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Is it really a surprise that this cake and ice cream confection topped with flambeed meringue is popular in its home state? If you've never had Baked Alaska and love ice cream cake, this is an old-fashioned dessert that should be on your list.

ARIZONA – Rice Krispies treats

Rice Krispies treats
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Two states love this simple, childhood-favorite. The best part about this handheld dessert is that there is no baking necessary, making it a perfect warm-weather sweet snack.

ARKANSAS – Pecan pie

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Three states adore this nutty pie. Keep this sweet treat to the holidays because just one slice can set you back over 500 calories.

RELATEDThe Best Pie in Every State

CALIFORNIA – Ice cream

bowls of ice cream
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Ice cream is the most popular dessert across the state, but not as popular as you might think. Only five states claim this as the favorite.

COLORADO – Rice Krispies treats

Rice Krispies treats
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The people in Colorado love this marshmallow-based treat. Go out of the box and play around with the cereal you use to make these squares your own.

CONNECTICUT – Icebox cake

slice of icebox cake
Courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

The easy-to-make old-fashioned icebox cake was likely the precursor to the ice cream cake. This cake is usually cookies and whipped cream layered in a pie pan and then chilled. This simple version has just five ingredients.

Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom.

DELAWARE – Funnel cake

funnel cake with powdered sugar on paper
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Three states love this state-fair favorite. Usually, a fluffy pancake-like dough is piped in swirls in hot oil and then showered in powdered sugar. As this is a deep-fried treat, funnel cake should be enjoyed only once per season.

FLORIDA – Key lime pie

Key lime pie
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Fittingly, the tangy key lime pie, made from tiny key limes indigenous to Florida, is the favorite in the state. Try our recipe to create a bit of a lighter pie than a traditional version!

Get our recipe for The Easiest Key Lime Pie.

RELATED4 Best Frozen Desserts for Weight Loss, Says Dietitian

GEORGIA – Peach cobbler

Healthy blueberry-peach cobbler
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Georgia is known for its peaches, so naturally, the Georgians turn this summer fruit into a luscious cobbler. What's the difference between a cobbler, a crumble, and a crisp? Find out: The Real Difference Between Cobblers, Crumbles, Crisps, and More!

Get our recipe for Healthy Blueberry Peach Cobbler.

HAWAII – Cheesecake

cheesecake
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In a state filled with tropical fruits, the people love a simple, creamy cheesecake. Cheesecake doesn't have to be terrible for you, there are plenty of ways to make this dessert a healthy one.

Try out our 23 Healthy and Delicious Cheesecake Recipes.

IDAHO – Jello

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There's always room for it, especially in Idaho and three other states. Jello brings out the kid in everyone, and, despite the sugar content, it is a lighter dessert worth enjoying from time to time.

ILLINOIS – Ice cream

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Illinois also loves a scoop or two of ice cream for dessert.

RELATEDWe Tasted 10 Vanilla Ice Creams & This Is the Best One!

INDIANA – Texas sheet cake

Courtesy Bigger Bolder Baking

A Texas sheet cake, popular in Indiana and in two other states, is a simple chocolate cake made in a flat pan. After baking it's spread with fudgy frosting and topped with pecans. Interestingly, this is not the most popular dessert in Texas.

Get the recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking.

IOWA – Texas sheet cake

Courtesy Bigger Bolder Baking

This easy cake is popular in Iowa too.

KANSAS – Texas sheet cake

Courtesy Bigger Bolder Baking

People hungry for dessert in Kansas are also seeking out this foolproof cake.

KENTUCKY – Fudge

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Most people have eaten fudge, most likely buying it from a chocolate shop along a shore while on vacation, but what is it? According to The Spruce Eats, fudge is a candy made from crystallized sugar, butter, and milk, along with some flavorings. Fudge is one of those things that's very easy to make but hard to make right, as so much depends on temperature.

LOUISIANA – Pralines

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Pralines are also a candy that, like fudge, is difficult to get right. Unlike fudge, traditional pralines contain pecans in a creamy, caramel-like candy shaped into a little patty.

MAINE – Chocolate chip cookies

mini chocolate chip cookies on wood serving board
Karen Culp/Shutterstock

The surprise about chocolate chip cookies on this list is that only two states consider the famous cookie their favorite dessert. Perhaps a cookie is really a snack and not a dessert? After all, a slice of cake is a commitment, a cookie is just a small treat.

RELATEDWe Tested 3 Celeb Chefs' Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes & This Is the Best

MARYLAND – Funnel cake

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In Mayland, funnel cake is the most popular dessert.

MASSACHUSETTS – Ice cream

strawberry ice cream
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In Massachusetts, folks favor a scoop or two of ice cream after a meal.

MICHIGAN – Carrot cake

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Carrot cake is the dessert of choice in Michigan and in three other states. There's so much you can do with the nutty, sweet flavors of carrot cake. You can also take this treat to a whole new level with recipes like Gooey Cinnamon Carrot Poke Cake and Carrot Cake Marshmallows.

Get 25 carrot cake recipes from Flour on My Face.

MINNESOTA – Jello

Courtesy Cupcakes & Kale Chips

Jello reigns supreme in Minnesota. If you want to go outside of the box and recreate an iconic old-fashioned dessert, try this Creamsicle Orange Jello Salad.

Get the recipe from Cupcakes & Kale Chips.

MISSISSIPPI – Banana pudding

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If you've been to New York, the thought of banana pudding automatically brings up the treat from Magnolia Bakery. It just happens they shared the recipe and it's super easy to make.

Get our recipe for Magnolia Bakery's Famous Banana Pudding.

MISSOURI – Coconut cake

Courtesy Half-Baked Harvest

In Missouri and one other state, light and fluffy coconut cake is the favorite. One to try is a Coconut Pecan Caramel Butter Cake since it's both delicious and stunning!

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

RELATED: The Most Popular Cake Flavor in Every State

MONTANA – Pumpkin pie

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Old-fashioned pumpkin pie is the favorite dessert in Montana.

NEBRASKA – Brownies

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Surprisingly, there are only three states where brownies are the favorite dessert.

Get our recipe for The Best Fudgy Brownie.

NEVADA – Blondies

coffee chocolate chip blondies
Courtesy of Cookie and Kate

Nevada on the other hand favors brownies cousin the blondie. These delicious treats are made without chocolate or cocoa powder. Try these Coffee Chocolate Chip Blondies for a fun twist!

Get the recipe from Cookie & Kate.

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Jello

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The folks in New Hampshire also love Jello.

NEW JERSEY – Icebox cake 

graham crackers topped with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles
Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

Old-fashioned icebox cake has a following in the Garden State. You can even try this recipe using a box of Funfetti cake mix.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

RELATEDThe Most Iconic Desserts in America

NEW MEXICO – Bananas Foster

Bananas foster
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Flambeed bananas Foster is a popular dessert in New Mexico but the place to try this dessert in its birthplace: Brennan's in New Orleans.

NEW YORK – Black & white cookies

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More cake-like than cookie-like, these iconic cookies are a staple in New York City.

NORTH CAROLINA – Coconut cake

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They are also fans of coconut cake in North Carolina.

NORTH DAKOTA – Banana split

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The iconic ice cream sundae made with a split banana, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice creams, and variety of other toppings is popular in North Dakota.

OHIO – Texas sheet cake

Courtesy Bigger Bolder Baking

Flat and fudgy Texas sheet cake is a popular treat in Ohio.

OKLAHOMA – Pecan pie

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In Oklahoma, pecan pie is on everyone's minds.

OREGON – Carrot cake

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In Oregon, carrot cake is the dessert of choice.

RELATEDThe Best Dessert Menu in Every State

PENNSYLVANIA – Ice cream

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People in Pennsylvania opt for a scoop or two of ice cream when dessert time comes. But if you're looking for these premium discontinued flavors, sadly, you'll never see them on the shelves again.

RHODA ISLAND – Donuts

mini glazed donuts
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It is shocking that Rhode Island is the only state that turns to donuts for something sweet. Perhaps, these are considered more of a breakfast treat, than a dessert.

SOUTH CAROLINA – Jello

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The jiggly sweet stuff is a favorite in South Carolina.

SOUTH DAKOTA – Brownies

brownies
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In South Dakota, home bakers are whipping up pans of brownies more than any other dessert.

TENNESEE – Chess pie

Courtesy Cooking Classy

This easy pie doesn't contain any fruit. It is a mixture of eggs, milk or buttermilk, flour, sugar, and something sour to cut the sweetness like lemon. According to the Cooking Classy blog, one secret to the perfect chess pie is to use browned butter which will also help cut the sweetness of the pie.

Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.

TEXAS – Pecan pie

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As we stated above, the popular Texas sheet cake is not the most popular dessert in Texas. That spot is reserved for pecan pie.

UTAH – Chocolate chip cookies

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Utah is the other state that favors a simple chocolate chip cookie for dessert.

RELATED30 Worst Supermarket Cookies in America

VERMONT – Brownies

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The last state to have brownies as its favorite dessert is Vermont.

VIRGINIA – Funnel cake

funnel cake with powdered sugar on paper
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Sweet and doughy funnel cake is the favorite dessert in Virginia.

WASHINGTON – Carrot cake

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The folk in Washington love a slide of carrot cake for dessert.

WEST VIRGINIA – Fudge

chocolate fudge cubes topped with flaky sea salt
Courtesy of Creme de la Crumb

In West Virginia, fudge rules as the state's favorite sweet. Did you know you could make fudge using a slow cooker?

Get the recipe from La Creme De La Crumb.

WISCONSIN – Cherry pie

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The people of Wisconsin are the only ones to favor a slice of cherry pie over all other desserts.

RELATED: I Tasted 6 Chocolate Cake Mixes & This Is the Best

WYOMING – German chocolate cake

Courtesy Sally's Baking Addiction

German chocolate cake is a sweet chocolate cake with a pecan-coconut filling and a thick, chocolate frosting.

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Meaghan Cameron is Deputy Editor of Syndication at Eat This, Not That! Read more about Meaghan