The pie that sparks lawsuits and more of America’s best desserts
(CNN) — Buckeyes, biscochitos, marionberry pie. All over the United States, sweet concoctions have sprung up that mean a lot to locals and are must-try specialties for visitors.
Some are so delicious they’re worth fighting over.
Here are 15 of the best regional desserts to tuck into across America:
Whoopie pie, New England and Pennsylvania
The origin stories of delicious creations are often contested, and the whoopie pie is no exception.
Lane cake, Alabama
Emma Rylander Lane of Clayton, Alabama, is credited as the cake’s creator and namesake, and the recipe appeared in her 1898 “Some Good Things to Eat” cookbook. The Southern sweet also makes it into the pages of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Marionberry pie, Oregon
Key lime pie, Florida
Small, tart, yellowish key limes were once grown commercially in the Florida Keys, and the pie is Key West’s signature dish. Britannica’s online entry about the pie suggests that these days imported limes or bottled juice are used in many pies. Typically, a graham cracker crust is filled with a tart custard made with plenty of juice and sweetened condensed milk.
Gooey butter cake, Missouri
St. Louis gooey butter cake is thought to be the result of a happy accident of proportions in the 1930s.
Although not Missouri’s state dessert (that would be the ice cream cone, which has ties to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair), the dense, flat cake with a gooey center is for sale all over St. Louis — in classic form or with a twist such as lemon or butter pecan flavor. It’s often dusted with powdered sugar.
Shave ice, Hawaii
Shave ice came to Hawaii via sugar plantation workers from Japan, where kakigori had been a popular sweet dessert for centuries. Soft flakes of ice shaved from a solid block soak up the sweet syrup of your choice.
A chocolate nut pie that shall not be named, Kentucky
Legal battles have been fought over a delicious chocolate walnut pie from Kentucky. Kern’s Kitchen in Louisville says there’s only one such pie, first created in 1954, and it has a registered trademark on “Derby-Pie®.”
The business is very serious about it.
Moravian sugar cake, North Carolina and Pennsylvania
This coffee cake makes a delicious holiday brunch treat or a sweet coffee accompaniment any time of day. The cake has roots in Moravian Church settlements in North Carolina and Pennsylvania dating back hundreds of years.
The story goes that the bite-sized sweets, where all but the top of the peanut butter ball is covered in a layer of dark chocolate, were created in the 1960s by Ohio resident Gail Tabor.
They were shared at Ohio State-Michigan football games, and their simple goodness eventually spread well beyond the state.
Boston cream pie, Massachusetts
Bananas Foster, Louisiana
Smith Island cake, Maryland
Coconut cake, Southern states
Biscochitos, New Mexico
Texas sheet cake
How it came to be associated with the state is still a mystery, although its size has been put forward as one possible reason. Often baked in a jelly-roll pan, the cake is expansive. Cocoa is the standout ingredient in both cake and frosting, with nuts mixed into the latter.