The Best Dessert in Every State — Eat This Not That

By Ghuman


Welcome to Eat This Not That’s guide to the best dessert in every state! From classic pies to unique regional specialties, we’ve scoured the country to find the most delicious desserts in each state. Whether you’re looking for a classic treat or something new and exciting, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth. So, let’s get started!

The Best Dessert in Every State — Eat This Not That

When it comes to desserts, the United States has a lot to offer. From classic pies to unique regional specialties, there’s something for everyone. We’ve rounded up the best dessert in every state, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth no matter where you are.

Alabama: Lane Cake

This classic Southern dessert is a layer cake filled with a boozy mixture of raisins, pecans, and coconut, and topped with a fluffy meringue frosting. It’s a favorite at holiday gatherings and special occasions.

Alaska: Baked Alaska

This classic dessert is made with a layer of sponge cake topped with ice cream and meringue, and then baked in the oven until the meringue is golden brown. It’s a showstopper that’s sure to impress.

Arizona: Sopaipillas

These fried pastries are a popular dessert in Arizona. They’re made with a simple dough of flour, baking powder, and salt, and then deep-fried until golden and crispy. Serve them with honey or cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat.

Arkansas: Fried Pies

These hand-held pies are a favorite in Arkansas. They’re made with a flaky pastry crust filled with a sweet filling, such as apple or cherry, and then deep-fried until golden and crispy. Serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream for a delicious dessert.

California: Chocolate Chip Cookies

This classic cookie is a favorite in California. It’s made with a simple dough of butter, sugar, eggs, and chocolate chips, and then baked until golden and crispy. Serve them warm with a glass of cold milk for a delicious treat.

Colorado: Rocky Road Ice Cream

This classic ice cream flavor is a favorite in Colorado. It’s made with a creamy vanilla ice cream base, and then loaded with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and nuts. Serve it in a cone or a bowl for a delicious dessert.

Connecticut: Whoopie Pies

These classic treats are a favorite in Connecticut. They’re made with two soft, cake-like cookies filled with a creamy filling, such as marshmallow or buttercream. Serve them with a glass of cold milk for a delicious dessert.

Finding the best dessert in every state is a sweet kind of challenge. From decadent ice cream sundaes to slices of cake to over-the-top treats you may not have heard about yet, we scoured the country for the most iconic and truly beloved desserts that represent local flavors and tastes.

When it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth, you’re likely always looking for the freshest ingredients, great vibes, local ownership, and a spot that has a loyal local fan base. With that in mind, we scoured reviews, talked to locals, and even looked back on our own travels around the country to put together a definitive list of the best desserts across the U.S.

Please note: All of the included sweet shops, restaurants, and bakeries are open as of publication or offering takeout. However, with regulations still changing almost daily, please call or check the restaurant’s website or social media before running out the door.

Now, here is your state-by-state guide of the best desserts you can find that will surely have your sweet tooth very happy. For more, check out The Best Cheesecake in Every State.

alabama kjs elegant pastries
K&J’s Elegant Pastries/ Yelp

This massive milkshake at K&J’s Elegant Pastries marries all the flavors of banana pudding, including the crunch of ‘Nilla Wafers, into one decadent dessert.

alaska wild scoops
Cameron U./ Yelp

Ice cream in Alaska? You betcha! This micro-creamery serves up creative scoops, including this local fave featuring a sweet cream base with homemade potato chip toffee, finished off with a swirl of homemade dark chocolate fudge.

arizona john yoko
Patrick S./ Yelp

This locally-owned shop changes its menu regularly, but luckily the signature treat, a honey cake tres leches with mascarpone whipped cream and honeycomb candy—named after Beatle and his wife—is always on the menu.

arkansas loblolly creamery
Loblolly Creamery/ Facebook

Chocoholics line up for this decadent treat made with a scoop of milk chocolate ice cream, hot fudge, and chocolate chips all over a warm fudge brownie at Loblolly. The affogato—a scoop of ice cream covered in espresso—is excellent as well.

california uncle tetsu
Edward C./ Yelp

With several locations across the state, this local mini-chain has elevated dessert with its signature cheesecake. It combines the richness of American cheesecake with all the fluffiness of a souffle.

colorado the inventing room
The Inventing Room Dessert Shop/ Yelp

Inspired by the whimsy in the 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory movie, this sweet shop creates magical seeming sweets and treats for guests. The menu does change regularly, but we’re currently charmed by the creative candy sculptures. This is an experience that has to be tasted to be believed!

connecticut sift bake shop
Michael U./ Yelp

This French-inspired bakery in picturesque Mystic isn’t serving up your average croissants. The unique flavors like blackberry buttermilk and raspberry chocolate are taken to another level by the vibrant colors of these flaky treats. In-the-know locals flock to the booze and baked goods roof bar during the summer.

RELATED: The Best Breakfast Combinations for Faster Weight Loss, Say Dietitians

delaware moon pie
Mahatma R./ Yelp

Served by the slice, this giant ice cream cake is big enough for everyone at the table. It’s stacked high with vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream, all of which is covered in frosting and dripping with chocolate and caramel. So yes, it’s a lot . . . but so worth it during a trip to this fabulous restaurant!

florida vickys house
Aramis R./ Yelp

Meant to look like the owner’s mom’s place in the ’80s—wallpaper and linoleum included—Vicky’s House is a milkshake shop and beer store with an incredible milkshake menu. Try The BreakFast Club, an indulgent vanilla milkshake with bacon, Captain Crunch cereal, a glazed donut from Salt Donut,  maple syrup, a peanut butter rim, whipped cream, and a shot of colada.

georgia popcorn sundae
Theresita A./ Yelp

Popcorn and ice cream—two great flavors, made better together at Canoe in Atlanta. This sundae melds the terrific salty crunch of popcorn into house-made peanut Cracker Jack over ice cream and topped with chantilly.

hawaii makani magic pineapple shack
Sonya M./ Yelp

The craveable and unique Unicone is one you’re going to want to try at Makani’s Magic Pineapple Shack in Hilo. Ube and dragon fruit ice creams are swirled together, then speckled with sprinkles and fruity cereal.

idaho westside drive in
Ha T./ Yelp

Contrary to appearance, this trickster dessert at Westside Drive In doesn’t contain any actual potato, but it will thrill kids and kids-at-heart. It’s made with molded vanilla ice cream that’s covered in cocoa and topped with chocolate shavings and whipped cream. We can personally confirm it looks a lot like the real thing!

illinois original rainbow cone
Elisa A./ Yelp

Since 1926, this scoop shop has been serving ice cream in Chicago. The Rainbow Cone made up of chocolate, orange sherbet, palmer house, pistachio, and strawberry is an over-the-top classic.

RELATED: The Best Cheesecake in Every State

indiana pots pans
Missi R./ Yelp

This pie, available by the slice or whole at Pots & Pans, is the perfect summer treat! Made with fresh limes and tequila, the crust is a mix of graham crackers and saltines—and the whole thing is sprinkled with flaky salt.

iowa beyond the bar
Beyond The Bar, LLC/ Facebook

Basically the state dessert of Iowa, Scotcheroos are a gooey peanut butter crispy treat that somehow tastes nostalgic even if you’ve never had them before. Locals tell us the best ones you can find are at Beyond the Bar, where you’ll also find tasty little bite cakes.

kansas milkfloat
Milkfloat/ Facebook

It would be tough to go wrong with any of the baked goods at Milkfloat, but you’ll be transported back to childhood—only much, much better—with this flaky pastry stuffed with filling and topped with homemade icing.

kentucky 610 magnolia
Brad G./ Yelp

This is one sophisticated dessert that is very adults-only at 610 Magnolia. Chef Lee’s breakdown of bourbon drunken banana cake, brown butter ice cream butterscotch, chocolate Pappy maple syrup, and corn is not to be missed. Oh, and it also features smoke, too! Talk about putting on a show before you dig in…

louisiana manny randazzos
Thi N./ Yelp

Traditionally eaten to celebrate the Epiphany (or just to kick off Mardi Gras) king cake is a sweet, cinnamony round cake topped with creamy white frosting—and a tiny baby “king” is hidden within. Pick one up in the city at Manny Randazzo’s, or order one to be delivered anywhere in the U.S.

maine the parlor ice cream
The Parlor Ice Cream Co./ Facebook

This decadent ice cream is made in small batches using milk and cream from Maine along with local fruits, herbs, and sustainably sourced ingredients. When this creamery drops new flavors—like Cosmic Brownie, Luckiest Charms, Meyer Lemon & Poppy Seed — on Instagram, fans rush to local stores to scoop them up. We suggest you do the same!

maryland sweet cascades chocolate
Mac O./ Yelp

This old-school chocolate shop has loads of cute chocolate candies—even cicadas! The chocolate molded crabs seasoned with Old Bay are so addictive, you’ll be hooked in no time.

massachusetts double chin
Amanda G./ Yelp

Boston’s Double Chin does modern twists on Chinese dishes, and it happens to have over-the-top treats, too. The cube toast—which is giant French toast piled high with ice cream, mochi, M&Ms, fruit, cereal, and more—is the most craveable.

RELATED: The Best Waffles in Every State

michigan street sweets
Street Sweets/ Yelp

This choose-your-own-adventure sweet starts with a regular, chocolate, or red velvet waffle on a stick. You can load it up with anything from like birthday cake Oreos to Butterfingers. Street Sweets also leans into its heritage and offers delicious Middle Eastern sweets, including heavenly baklava. Can’t go wrong with any of these menu items!

minnesota milkjam
Rick T./ Yelp

If you just want a scoop, this creamery is packed with tons of flavors. But if you really want to indulge, the Salted Caramel Crunch is packed with all of your favorite sweets: ice cream, salted caramel, caramel whip, and caramelized Rice Krispies.

mississippi crystal grill
The Crystal Grill/ Yelp

We aren’t the first to call this pie epic, and we won’t be the last! On a hot day, you’ve got to stop by The Crytal Grill to try this uniquely southern treat for yourself.

missouri gooey louie
Jose C./ Yelp

Beloved by Missourians, this cake has two layers—often yellow cake on the bottom and a buttery cream cheese layer on top. Gooey Louie offers traditional, plus flavors like blueberry and turtle. Bonus? They ship nationwide!

montana big dipper ice cream
Paul L./ Yelp

Huckleberries grow wild in the mountains of Montana, and locals have very strong feelings about who makes the best ice cream from these sweet berries. The answer is Big Dipper, which has been serving up homemade scoops since 1995.

nebraska sweet magnolias
Sweet Magnolias Bake Shop/ Yelp

This locally owned bakery makes everything by hand, and it all looks amazing. But the Unicorn bars—blondies sandwiched with cookies and cream and topped with rainbow buttercream—are the real showstopper.

Mark F./ Yelp

The Capello, also known as the “Sinatra Hat” at the singer’s namesake restaurant at Encore, Las Vegas, is a tiny Valrhona chocolate mousse fedora with panna cotta. It’s adorable—and so rich!

new hampshire la maison navarre
La Maison Navarre/ Facebook

This French restaurant and patisserie is a local favorite for crepes and quiches, but the real star of the show is the pastry selection—especially the coconut flecked tart.

new jersey brother brunos
Stephany C./ Yelp

This family-owned pizzeria in New Jersey makes a sweet pizza pie so popular you can order it nationwide. Pick your topping—red velvet and s’mores are both favorites—and get this indulgent treat delivered to your home if you can’t swing by and pick it up.

new mexico rebel donut
Krystle P./ Yelp

Yes, this vanilla cake donut with blue cotton candy icing and topped with rock candy is a nod to the TV series, Breaking Bad. It happens to be sweet, delicious, and a lot better for you than anything they were ever cooking up on the show. Get it at Rebel Donut.

new york big gay ice cream
Sarah S./ Yelp

There’s no shortage of sweet treats in New York City, but our pick is a hometown favorite. The Salty Pimp is a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone that’s injected with dulce de leche, then lightly salted, and dipped in chocolate shell. It’s the perfect mix of salty and sweet from Big Gay Ice Cream.


north carolina stoke
Alexa D./ Yelp

You’ll probably want to share this enormous donut topped with whipped cream, Heath bar bits, and powdered sugar. If you don’t, the restaurant often offers a half-pound version, as well.

north dakota carol widmans candy
Alma C./ Yelp

These sweet and savory bites at Carol Widman’s Candy Co. are pretty much what they sound like: Red River Valley potato chips covered with delicious chocolate. They’re available in milk chocolate, dark chocolate (semi-sweet), and white almond.

ohio annies signature sweets
Lauren K./ Yelp

This award-winning cheesecake from the locally-owned shop is a decadent delight. The creamy cheesecake is surrounded by homemade salted caramel sauce in a pretzel crust.

oklahoma cheevers cafe
Cheever’s Cafe/ Yelp

Locals go nuts for this dish at Cheever’s Cafe! A hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream is coated in sticky, crunchy pecans and brown sugar—all swimming in a warm caramel sauce.

oregon voodoo doll
Elaine W./ Yelp

He’s meant to be scary, but we think the Voodoo Doll donut at Voodoo Donuts is just adorable. The raspberry-filled yeast doll-shaped donut with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake in its heart is deliciously creepy.

pennsylvania franklin fountain
Carissa K./ Yelp

Philly is an ice cream town, and Franklin’s has been serving up scoops and milkshakes since 1900. From the traditional to the gut-busting Mt. Vesuvius, the revolving menu makes it hard to pick just one. You’ll surely enjoy the rich toppings on top of ice cream packed in an easy-to-carry take-out box.

rhode island cupcake charlies
Courtesy of Cupcake Charlie’s

With a motto like “Life is Short, Eat a Cupcake” it’s no surprise this sweet shop makes it easy for you to indulge, thanks to the push pops filled with layers of cake, filling, and frosting.

RELATED: The Best Cupcake in Every State

south carolina peninsula grill
Greta Z./ Yelp

On the menu at Peninsula Grill since Valentine’s Day 1997, this iconic cake has been called the best coconut cake by just about every major food publication. It’s actually two cakes cut into three layers each, with fluffy filling, cream cheese icing, and toasted coconut.

south dakota grandmas kuchen
Grandma’s Kuchen/ Facebook

The official state dessert of South Dakota (yes, that’s a thing!), Kuchen is sort of a mashup of cake and pie—it’s the German word for cake—topped with custard. Grandma’s is the local favorite, and this treat is available in flavors like chocolate chip and mixed berry.

tennessee five daughters
Macy S./ Yelp

You’ve probably tried a cronut, but these fluffy layered treats at Five Daughters are something far different. Each pastry contains about the same amount of dough as five traditional donuts in flaky layers flavored with chocolate sea salt, triple raspberry, vanilla cream, and more.

RELATED: The Best Donut in Every State

texas bananarchy
Bananarchy/ Yelp

Yes, this food truck only serves frozen bananas—and they do them right! You’ll find frozen bananas dipped in chocolate or vegan chocolate, peanut butter, and vanilla. They’re then rolled in toppings of your choice, including coconut, sprinkles, toffee, and more. Don’t forget a drizzle of chocolate and marshmallow to finish!

utah dodo
Katie N./ Yelp

The Dodo has been a staple for great desserts in Salt Lake since the ’80s, and the classic Tollhouse pie has been a local favorite for years. The chocolate chip cookie dough baked right into a pie crust topped with whipped cream is a must for sweets lovers, but everything on the menu is truly a treat.

vermont poorhouse pie
Sarah C./ Yelp

This self-serve pie shed is legendary among northeastern pie aficionados, and the apple pie—made from Vermont’s state fruit—is incredible. Pick up a pie at its shed using the honor system, and take it back to your country house (or rental) for a perfect ending to your Vermont escape.

virginia propoer pie
Wyatt G./ Yelp

The oh-so-delicious options at this pie shop sell out fast, so be sure to order early! You can pick up everything from slices of savory pie to entire sweet pies at this eatery. Go for the Southern favorite chess pie, which is made with Meyer lemon and buttermilk.

washington deep sea sugar salt
Serena L./ Yelp

This special order cake shop offers up slices at the counter every day, so what’s available often varies. However, a beloved favorite is the ricotta cake, along with the black currant and blackberry poppyseed cake.

west virginia shepherdstown sweet shop
Shepherdstown Sweet Shop Bakery/ Facebook

This cute little bakery and café offers a huge selection of cookies, but locals rave that the ginger molasses cookies are simply “the best.” Don’t miss the cute cupcakes, either!

wisconsin oh danish bakery
O&H Danish Bakery/ Yelp

If you’ve ever spent time in the Northern Midwest, you’ve probably tried Kringle, a Wisconsin favorite of flaky pastry with decadent cream cheese frosting. With fillings like cherry cheese and mimosa, O&H Danish Bakery makes the best.

wyoming snake river grill
Sheri R./ Yelp

We’ve already highlighted the Snake River Grill as the most romantic restaurant in Wyoming, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s also home to the best dessert in the state, thanks to its legendary Eskimo bars. This chilled dessert has a bottom layer of fudge-like brownies that are topped with vanilla ice cream and coated in a chocolate shell. The bars are then drizzled with salted caramel sauce. Talk about pure bliss! They were also featured as one of Giada de Laurentiis’ favorite desserts on an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

Plus, don’t miss these other delicious spots:

The Best Bar Food in Every State

The Best Dessert Menu in Every State

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