Home-style comfort food recipes and sweet tea are staples in the south, but when it comes to southern desserts? You really can’t beat these incredible treats.
No matter where you live in the United States, there are probably a few things that come to mind when you think of desserts from the south.
Let me guess: chess pie, peach cobbler, and anything with pecans, right? These are all quintessentially southern and always unforgettable.
I have a deep love for southern desserts, and though I didn’t grow up making them, I’ve more than made up for that as an adult!
Hummingbird cake might just be my all-time favorite cake, and I can’t resist a trip to Magnolia’s for their dreamy banana pudding.
So, whether you’re a big fan of those southern queens on the Food Network or just curious, I have 25 sensational southern desserts that you need to try ASAP!
Hummingbird cake is like carrot cake – only better!
It’s lightly spiced and full of banana, pineapple, and coconut. Then the whole thing gets covered with a tangy cream cheese frosting for good measure.
This cake is crazy tasty and super moist, not to mention irresistible.
As much as I love Magnolia Bakery, Trisha’s banana pudding is my go-to. I must make it once a month, at least!
You’ll make the pudding from scratch here, but don’t worry, it’s nice and easy.
I love the scorched meringue on top, but if that feels too much for you, just go ahead and cover it with some whipped cream.
Having grown up above the Mason-Dixon line, I didn’t have sweet potato pie every Sunday. I know, so sad!
It’s similar to pumpkin pie, but usually a little lighter, sweeter, and less spiced. So if you’re not such a big fan of pumpkin spice mix, this will be the pie for you.
Plus, sweet potatoes are always available and way easier to work with!
Peach cobbler is a Georgian classic, and you really can’t go wrong with any recipe. If it’s your first time making it, Queen Patti has you covered.
You’ll use store-bought pie dough, but it’s a little different from your average cobbler.
For this recipe, you’ll essentially make a peach pie, bake it for 15 minutes, and then add a whole new layer on top.
Crazy, but delicious!
When it comes to pecan pie, there are a few ways to go. Do you add in bourbon? Bacon? Chocolate? How about all of the above?
Pecan pie is sweet, buttery, and wonderfully nutty. Just don’t expect to get by with low-fat ingredients. You’ll need lots of corn syrup and real butter for this!
The first time you make this, it might take 15-20 minutes.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be whipping it up in minutes for everything from a pancake topping to a sweet treat with ice cream after dinner.
The key to getting the best flavor is to use dark brown sugar and dark rum. The flavors will mellow out with the sweet bananas, but you’ll get extra caramel notes.
As the name would suggest, this recipe is loaded with butter. Would you expect anything less from Ms. Deen?
Full of butter and cream cheese, this cake is super moist and super soft. Don’t expect to make this and stack it – it’ll fall into one tasty mess.
This recipe is very much like a British fruit cake, using raisins, brown sugar, warm spices, and a simple buttery batter.
I would usually suggest you soak your raisins in tea (or rum) before baking.
However, his recipe actually has you boil them with the butter, sugar, and spices. It makes them lovely, plump, and bursting with flavor.
If you’ve never made a bundt cake before, I highly recommend you start with this recipe.
It has both sour cream and buttermilk inside, so it’s extra decadent.
This cake gets the “crunch” from a delightful sugar and coconut topping that will caramelize as the whole thing bakes.
Sweet tea cake is probably the most southern of all these recipes, and I don’t think I’ve ever had it as good anywhere up north.
If you’re a sweet tea lover, this cake will knock your socks off! It’s in the cake and the glaze, making every bite nostalgic and tender.
I know that one of the first sheet cakes came out of Dallas, and they’ve been a southern staple ever since.
I love how easy they are to put together, and you won’t need to worry too much about decorations!
This cake is super chocolatey and tender, but it’s the glaze that stands out. It’s sweet, rich, and full of heavenly pecans!
For me, a good mud cake should be loaded with chocolate and have an almost brownie-like texture.
This recipe is all that and more, full of rich cocoa powder and lots of marshmallows.
Once the cake is baked and the marshmallows have melted, you’ll spread over a decadent chocolate frosting.
It won’t be a clean slice, but it won’t matter. It’ll be devoured in seconds!
These New Orleans donuts are classic and perfect. I’ve never had a bad batch, and I’ve been there multiple times!
The best thing is you don’t really have any scraps with this recipe. Instead of wasting dough by cutting out circles, these get cut into squares. More donuts and more smiles!
The filling for this pie is a tangy custard made with lemon and buttermilk. It’s sweet, but not overly so.
It’s almost like a thick lemon tart, but with a more unique texture from the cornmeal in the mix. I like it with a big dollop of freshly whipped cream.
Yes, you read that right. This cake is full of mayo, and it’ll blow your mind.
Mayo is basically eggs and oil, right? So doesn’t it make sense that it will make your cake crazy-moist?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t always have sour cream in the house, but I do always have mayo.
The two are almost interchangeable and will give you a delicious chocolate cake all in one bowl.
Remember those bananas from above? This is the perfect recipe to make them for!
This bread pudding is a lot like any other recipe you may have seen, but it does insist on using French bread.
It’s thicker, crunchier, and will hold its shape far better when soaked in the custard and baked.
That being said, feel free to use whatever bread you have leftover in the house. Just be sure it’s nice and stale.
The trick to a great cobbler is the fruit filling. You want something juicy, sweet, and colorful!
As good as an apple cobbler is, you can’t deny how amazing these strawberries look bubbling up at the edges.
I love how simple this recipe is and that you just pile it all in and bake. The cobbler mix will bake around the fruit, leaving pops of color all over the top.
This southern trifle is made using beautiful layers of cake, pudding/custard, and fruit.
To make this Instagram-worthy, you’ll need to make clean layers that stand out.
I like to use whipped cream to help add a nice white break in between each different flavor.
Of course, you can use the custard, too, if you have enough!
A cross between chess pie and sugar pie, this recipe calls for brown and white sugar. This will ensure it’s wonderfully sweet with a nice, caramel flavor.
I just love the sweet and sticky filling, and if you happen to add a little bourbon to the mix, all the better!
Unfortunately, it’s so easy to ruin pound cake. It should be buttery and moist, but I’ve often over-baked and been left with something dry.
The trick is to use real butter and be sure to beat it thoroughly with the sugar to get as much air in there as possible.
When adding the dry ingredients, always alternate with the wet, and try not to over-mix.
I can’t lie; there are a few rules that come along with making this.
For example, you must start with dried apples, and it needs to sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
If you feel like you’re up for the challenge, you won’t be sorry! This cake is such a special treat and not something you see every day.
When it comes to Key lime pie, I do get a little obsessed. Lime is one of my favorite flavors (sorry, lemons), and I could eat a whole creamy, zesty pie to myself.
So, what makes this the best? It starts with a brown sugar and graham cracker crust. But it’s the filling that will have you reaching for seconds.
Be sure to get real Key limes or Key lime juice for the most authentic flavor, and don’t forget the zest!
Being totally white, this baby really stands out.
The cake itself is full of sweetened cream of coconut and buttermilk for added moisture.
Then it’s covered in a tangy cream cheese frosting and copious amounts of sweetened shredded coconut over the top.
I love the look of this all-white cake, but I can’t help but think a pineapple or mango filing would take it to the next level.
Chocolate cobbler? What?!
This self-saucing southern dessert is the epitome of death by chocolate! It’s fudgy, gooey, rich, and totally irresistible.
I would serve this right out of the pan, letting people dig in with spoons. Top with some chocolate shavings for a bit of extra creaminess.
I’m sure you’ve used applesauce in a cake before, but it’s usually as a substitute, right?
This takes it a bit further, making the cake super moist and tasty in one go. The fluffy cake is full of dried fruit and chopped nuts and is bursting with warm fall spices.
This would be perfect for breakfast or as a mid-morning snack with a cup of coffee.
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