10 Classic American Desserts

A collection of timeless treats and sinful sweets from across the nation
Staff Writer
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Carrot Cake

Keller + Keller

This is a classic carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting.

There's nothing like a sweet finish. Seriously, what's not to love about desserts? Americans adore their sugary treats and candied confections, many of which are at the heart of our country's food culture. After all, what would birthdays be without cake? Holidays without pie? Summers without ice cream?

Click here to see the 10 Classic American Desserts slideshow.

Our sweets-loving nation is renowned for many iconic, notable indulgences — from regional specialties to tried-and-true classics. These unmistakably traditional treats are beloved by the masses, recognized around the globe as all-American, and have been referenced repeatedly in pop culture for decades. Just think about the red velvet armadillo cake in Steel Magnolias, the famous pie-eating contest scene in Stand by Me, or even Homer Simpson's doughnut obsession.

Desserts also play a fundamental role in the way we celebrate special occasions, mark memorable times throughout the year, and can signify a perfect ending to a delicious meal shared among family and friends. Plus, they serve as the ultimate reminder that we should always savor the sweetest moments in life!

So what is it about nostalgic confections that keep us coming back again and again? It seems like unwavering cravings for comfort will always keep timeless after-dinner delights relevant. And whether your palate is pining for sweet or tart, chewy or gooey, crunchy or creamy, fruity or chocolaty… there's a flavor to meet every dessert desire out there.

When indulging your sweet tooth, there's nothing quite like homemade. And really, not much can beat the smell of warm, freshly baked goods wafting through your kitchen… So if you're hungry for a taste of what makes this country so sweet, we've rounded up this list of classic dessert recipes that are as American as, well, apple pie.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Antonis Anchilleos

Serve this classic chocolate chip cookie with a glass of milk

Speckled with melty cocoa chips, this classic cookie just begs for a tall glass of milk.

Click here to see Milk & Cookies Bakery Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe.




This is a classic New York-style cheesecake.

The Big Apple is celebrated for its rich rendition of this smooth, cheese-based cake. Try this delicious twist on the classic.

Click here to see Cheesecake Factory's Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake Recipe.


Click here for more classic American desserts.

This story was originally published on January 30, 2013.

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