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35 BEST Southern Desserts (Iconic Sweet & Dessert Ideas)

35 BEST Southern Desserts (Iconic Sweet & Dessert Ideas)

It is time to get your forks ready and your belts loosened as we are about to delve headfirst into these mouthwatering Southern desserts! 

There is nothing quite like the flavor of a sweet and heavenly Southern dessert created from scratch, whether it be a traditional pecan pie or a mushy banana pudding. 

The sweets of the South continue the region’s tradition of providing home-style cooking, for which it is famous. 

A treat uniquely associated with every state, and the competition between them can become very intense. 

It’s possible that some people may claim that Beignets from Louisiana are the best dessert in the world, while others would insist that Peach Cobbler from Georgia is the dish that takes the cake. 

But let’s not forget about the buttery and fluffy biscuits from Mississippi, the Bourbon Balls from Kentucky, or the drool-worthy hot fudge cake from Tennessee, should we? 

And any discussion of Southern sweets would be incomplete without some mention of the region’s strong emphasis on community and hospitality. 

In the South, it is customary practice to give a piece of pie to a neighbor or to contribute a batch of cookies to a communal meal that is called a potluck. 

Let’s indulge and appreciate the 35 Southern Desserts, one sweet dish at a time, shall we?

Ah, pecan pie–the queen of all Southern desserts!

This iconic dessert is a staple at any Southern gathering and has been enjoyed for generations. 

With its flaky crust and gooey filling of toasted pecans and sweet syrup, pecan pie is a true art. 

Some might say that the key to the perfect pecan pie is the balance between sweet and nutty flavors. 

Others might argue that it’s all in the crust.

No holiday or special occasion is complete without a slice of this Southern classic.

Nothing says summertime in the South like a warm and juicy peach cobbler! 

This timeless dessert is a true Southern classic, with its buttery crust and sweet, juicy peaches that practically melt in your mouth. 

Whether served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, peach cobbler is the perfect treat for any occasion. 

Some might say that the key to the perfect Peach Cobbler is in the peaches themselves –they have to be perfectly ripe and bursting with flavor. 

Others might argue that it’s all in the spices used in the filling. 

Red velvet cake–the dessert that’s as mysterious as it is delicious!

This vibrant red cake with its creamy white frosting is a Southern classic that’s been around for over a century. 

The secret to its rich and velvety texture is the combination of cocoa powder and vinegar in the batter. 

It’s all in the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess. 

But whatever the secret may be, this Red Velvet Cake is a showstopper!

Whether it’s a birthday, wedding, or just a Tuesday afternoon, it’s the perfect dessert to add color and flavor to any occasion. 

Treat yourself to a slice (or two!) and indulge in the mystery and magic of red velvet cake.

Sweet potato pie is the new star of the fall dessert scene! 

This Southern classic is a sweet and savory masterpiece, with its creamy sweet potato filling and flaky crust. 

The key to the perfect sweet potato pie is in the spices used in the filling–cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice all play a vital role in creating that signature flavor. 

Sweet potato pie is a must-try dessert for anyone looking to spice up their autumnal menu. 

Gather around the table with friends and family, slice up a warm and fragrant sweet potato pie, and let the comforting flavors of the South fill your heart and soul.

Regarding Southern desserts, banana pudding is a true classic. 

This creamy and dreamy dessert is a crowd-pleaser with its layers of vanilla pudding, fresh bananas, and crumbly Nilla wafers. 

The perfect banana pudding has to be just the right amount of creamy and fluffy texture.

No potluck, picnic, or barbecue is complete without a big bowl of banana pudding. 

Whether you enjoy it on a lazy summer afternoon or as a comforting treat on a chilly winter night, banana pudding is always the perfect choice.

Key lime pie is the perfect dessert for craving something sour, zesty, and delectable. 

Not only Southerners but people all around the world enjoy this renowned Florida dessert. 

Key lime pie is a piece of beauty, with its flaky graham cracker crust and creamy filling of fresh key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. 

The ultimate key lime pie, some would argue, strikes a nice harmony between sweet and acidic notes. 

Many would claim that the secret is in the just-right amount of zing in the center. 

Pick up a fork, squeeze some more lime over the top, and savor the flavor of the tropics!

A delicious surprise awaits you if you’ve never had chess pie.

The origin of the name of this Southern dish, as well as the reason for its incredible deliciousness, remain a mystery. 

One thing is certain: chess pie is a time-honored Southern staple. 

Chess pie is a sweet and gooey filling composed of eggs, sugar, butter, and cornmeal with a buttery crust.

It’s all about striking a nice harmony between sugar and fat. 

You’ll fall in love with chess pie if you want a sweet treat that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. 

Cut yourself a thick slice, brew a pot of coffee, and enjoy the sweet simplicity of this classic Southern delicacy.

Mississippi Mud Pie is the perfect sweet treat for any chocolate lover. 

Traditional in the South, this dessert has a chocolate cookie crust, a velvety chocolate center, and a topping of whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 

The secret to a great Mississippi mud pie, some would argue, is using high-quality chocolate; after all, the more chocolate, the better, right? 

Others could say it’s all about the harmony between the crisp cookie base, the silky filling, and the airy topping of whipped cream. 

Indulge in the pinnacle of chocolate decadence; a fork is ready.

Hummingbird cake is the best option if you crave something sweet and exotic. 

Bananas, pineapple, pecans, and cream cheese frosting combine in this Southern classic to create a sweet and delicious masterpiece. 

The sweetness of the bananas and the tanginess of the pineapple make this dish stand out. 

Therefore using ripe fruits may be considered essential to making the best hummingbird cake possible. 

The nuts’ crunch, the frosting’s creaminess, and the cake’s juiciness have all been praised as contributing factors, while some say it’s all about the balance of tastes and textures. 

With each mouthful, you may imagine yourself in a faraway tropical paradise.

If life gives you lemons, make lemon bars!

This zesty and refreshing dessert is a true crowd-pleaser with its buttery shortbread crust and tangy lemon filling. 

Some might say that the key to the perfect lemon bar is in using the freshest and juiciest lemons–after all, the tartness of the lemon is what gives this dessert its signature flavor. 

Others might argue that it’s all in the perfect balance of sweetness and sourness–too much sugar and the bars will be cloyingly sweet, but too little and they’ll be too tart to enjoy. 

Pucker up and prepare for a burst of citrusy goodness with every bite of these tangy treats!

The layers of light white cake and the filling of rum-soaked raisins, pecans, and coconut make this Southern staple a work of art, and the luscious frosting on top seals the deal. 

Considering that the dessert’s unique appeal stems from the decadent combination of its cake and filling, it stands to reason that using only the finest ingredients is essential for making the best possible Lane cake. 

Others would say it’s the combination of the cake’s sugary sweetness, the filling’s nutty richness, and the frosting’s velvety smoothness that makes this delicacy so memorable. 

Get into a piece of this Southern staple and indulge in the opulent and delicious flavors that make Lane cake so popular.

You can’t go wrong with a blackberry cobbler as a sweet-and-sour dessert option. 

Blackberry pie is a Southern favorite that is easy to make and great to eat because of the fresh, ripe blackberries and buttery, flaky dough. 

The sweetness of the berries gives this delicacy its distinctive taste, so using the freshest, most ripe blackberries possible is essential. 

Others could say it’s the combination of crisp pastry, juicy berries, and smooth ice cream that makes the dish so memorable. 

Blackberry cobbler is a warm and soothing dessert that will surely please your taste senses.

Coconut cake is a great option if you’re craving something tropical and rich. 

Layers of light white cake, creamy coconut filling, and light whipped cream icing combine to form this Southern favorite. 

It has been said that using only the finest coconut goods is essential for achieving the ideal coconut cake taste and texture. 

For others, it’s all about the harmony of tastes and textures: how the tender cake, rich filling, and airy icing combine to form a beautiful whole. 

With this dessert, you may take your mind on a tropical getaway.

Bread pudding is the best dessert option if you want something warm and hearty to end a meal with. 

Chunks of bread are drenched in a luxurious custard concoction and cooked till brown in this Southern favorite. 

The bread in bread pudding gives it its characteristic texture; hence it could be said that choosing the appropriate bread is essential. 

Others would say it’s the combination of the sweet custard, spicy chai, and velvety sauce that makes this dish so memorable. 

Taste the love in this Southern traditional dessert and feel the love in your heart.

Bourbon balls are the ideal treat for those who want something sweet but not too heavy on alcohol. 

These bite-sized morsels of decadence are rolled in a combination of crushed vanilla wafers, chopped nuts, cocoa powder, and bourbon. 

After all, the whiskey’s taste gives this dish its trademark kick, so it stands to reason that using high-quality bourbon is essential. 

The combination of the nuts’ crunch, the cocoa’s richness, and the bourbon’s smoothness, say others, makes for a dessert that is unlike any other. 

Snack on one of these delectable morsels and let the warmth of the bourbon and the aromas of the South wash over you.

From their 1912 introduction in Nashville, Tennessee, these candy bars have been a regional favorite across the South. 

They’re covered in a thick layer of milk chocolate and stuffed with peanuts, caramel, and marshmallow nougat. 

The Goo Goo Clusters’ irresistible taste and texture come from carefully blending its many components.

Thus it stands to reason that using only the finest ingredients is essential. 

Some may say it’s because eating a Goo Goo Cluster brings back fond memories of excursions to the corner shop as a kid, while others would counter that it’s all about nostalgia. 

Taste the heritage of the South in every mouthful as you unwrap one of these tasty morsels and indulge in the perfect balance of flavors.

The secret to this cake’s unusual taste and light, airy texture is a large pour of Coca-Cola into the batter. 

High-quality ingredients are often cited as the secret to making a delicious Coca-Cola cake, as the soft drink is responsible for the cake’s recognizable flavor. 

The sweetness of the cake, the richness of the chocolate, and the subtle tang of the Coca-Cola, say others, provide a great taste balance that makes for a memorable treat. 

If you cut yourself a slice of this one-of-a-kind cake, you’ll get a little taste of the warm hospitality of the South.

This Southern favorite starts with a peanut butter foundation, then sweetened and indulgently flavored with sugar and vanilla. 

It has been said that the secret to making excellent peanut butter fudge is to get the right consistency. 

Others would say it’s the combination of the peanut butter’s nutty overtones with the sugar’s sweet undertones that makes this delicacy so irresistible. 

Try a piece of this thick and creamy fudge; it’s like a little touch of home-cooked Southern cooking in your mouth.

Anybody who wants to end their meal with a sweet, tropical taste should try ambrosia. 

Fruit, coconut, and occasionally marshmallows or whipped cream come together in this Southern staple. 

The sweetness of the fruit, the richness of the coconut, and the creaminess of the whipped cream all join together to produce a distinctive and wonderful taste, which may be the secret to the ideal ambrosia. 

Others may say it’s because of the contrast in textures, the sweet, gooey marshmallows, and the fresh, crisp fruit mix for a very enticing treat. 

Enjoy the one-of-a-kind and delectable tastes; it’s like a little piece of paradise in the South in your mouth.

The sweet potato basis of this Southern staple is blended with butter, sugar, and cinnamon for an opulent and decadent taste. 

A crispy and buttery coating of nuts, brown sugar, and butter on the sweet potato casserole is the ideal finishing touch.

The sweetness of the sweet potatoes and the creaminess of the butter, along with the warmth and spice of the cinnamon, maybe the secret to this dish’s indelible impression on diners. 

Scoop up some of this dish and indulge in the rich, delectable taste like a little touch of the South in every mouthful!

If you’re a fan of sweet tea, you’ll really like this novel take on a Southern favorite: the Sweet Tea Sorbet. 

Strong brewed tea and sugar come together in this frosty dessert to create a sweet and tangy treat that is excellent for hot summer days. 

The sweetness of the sugar and the bitterness of the tea produces a distinctive and memorable taste, and this, some would argue, is the secret to the ideal sweet tea sorbet. 

It has been said that the combination of the frigid coldness of the tea and the smoothness of the sorbet is what makes this dish so enjoyable. 

Enjoy the unusual and refreshing tastes of this zesty sorbet with a spoonful—like it’s a mouthful of Southern sunshine!

A popular Southern treat, these deep-fried dough balls have a light and airy structure ideal for absorbing any number of sweet and delectable toppings. 

The dough for a beignet is said to be crucial; when flour, sugar, and yeast are combined, the resulting dough is light and airy, making it ideal for deep-frying. 

Others would suggest that the secret to the irresistibility of these sweets is in the toppings: sugar, honey, or even a rich chocolate sauce. 

Have yourself a handful of these light and airy dough balls and enjoy the seductive and decadent tastes; it’s like a taste of New Orleans in your mouth.

A warm, crispy fried apple pie is one of the most soothing and delectable Southern sweets. 

A flaky pastry shell is filled with sweet and spiced apples before being cooked to a golden crisp. 

Some would argue that the filling is the most important part of a fried apple pie and that getting the sweetness and spice just right is the secret to that classic, comforting taste. 

Although some may say the sweet and spicy filling steals the show, others may insist that the flaky, buttery crust is the real star. 

Indulge in a hot slice of fried apple pie and take a bite out of the South!

Strawberry shortcake is a classic delicacy that mixes a buttery, light biscuit with sweet, luscious strawberries and a dab of freshly whipped cream. 

The important part of a strawberry shortcake is that its airy, buttery texture pairs well with the dish’s signature sweet and luscious strawberries. 

A liberal scoop of freshly whipped cream balances out the sweet and fruity tastes of the dish with a rich and decadent creaminess. 

Enjoy the flavorful and energizing bites, each one like a small burst of Southern daylight.

Who says you need a campfire to enjoy the classic taste of s’mores?

S’mores bars provide all the flavor of the traditional delicacy to you whenever and wherever you want it. 

These bars are delicious, decadent, and very addicting because of the layers of crisp graham crackers, sweet and sticky marshmallows, and creamy chocolate. 

A great s’mores bar lies in the marshmallow layer, which must have just the right amount of sweetness and stickiness to provide the classic s’mores taste. 

The dessert’s success is a coating of creamy chocolate, which gives it a rich and luscious taste and takes it to the next level. 

S’mores bars may be served as a fanciful and exciting dessert to guests at a dinner party, or they can be enjoyed as a sweet and delicious snack on a rainy day.

Brown sugar pound cake is a dessert that’s all about indulgence. 

With its rich, buttery flavor and tender crumb, this cake is a true Southern classic that’s perfect for any occasion. 

Whether you’re serving it up at a family gathering or enjoying it as a decadent treat with your morning coffee, brown sugar pound cake is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

The secret to the cake’s irresistibly moist texture and deep, caramel-like flavor is in the brown sugar–this sweet and rich ingredient adds a depth of flavor that simply can’t be beaten. 

And with its dense and satisfying crumb, brown sugar pound cake is a dessert that’s perfect for sharing–so bake up a batch and spread a little sweetness to those you love.

Buttermilk, eggs, sugar, and a dash of vanilla are the star ingredients in the filling of this traditional Southern dish. 

A well-baked dessert is velvety smooth, flavorful, and impossible to refuse.

An excellent buttermilk pie will have a silky smooth filling that is firm enough to keep its form after baking. 

Buttermilk pie is a versatile dessert that works well whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just looking for a sweet way to conclude your meal. 

Try it out, and you’ll discover why this traditional Southern dessert has been loved for so long.

If there’s one thing that can make your house smell like a cozy and inviting bakery, it’s the delicious aroma of banana bread. 

This classic Southern treat is a favorite for a good reason–it’s moist, flavorful, and perfect for breakfast or afternoon snacks. 

Made with ripe bananas, flour, sugar, eggs, and a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, it’s a simple yet satisfying treat that’s easy to whip up and even easier to enjoy. 

Some folks like to add nuts or chocolate chips to their banana bread for extra flavor and texture, while others prefer it just as it is–warm and gooey straight out of the oven.

Next time you have a few overripe bananas on your counter, why not give banana bread a try?

In the South, we have a sweet version that’s sure to make your taste buds dance–the Chocolate Gravy! 

This rich and velvety sauce is made with cocoa powder, sugar, flour, milk, and a pinch of salt and is typically served over freshly baked biscuits. 

Some folks like to add a pat of butter or a splash of vanilla for an extra touch of flavor.

It might sound a little unconventional, but one bite of this decadent treat, and you’ll be hooked.

Go ahead, pour it on thick, and savor every bite!

There’s nothing quite like a warm and comforting dessert, and when it comes to fall favorites, apple crisp takes the cake (or, uh, the crisp). 

Made with juicy, cinnamon-spiced apples and a crunchy, buttery topping of oats, flour, and brown sugar, this dessert is the perfect way to celebrate the changing seasons. 

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top for an extra touch of decadence.

It’s a breeze to make–toss everything in a baking dish and let the oven work its magic. 

Whether you’re curled up by the fire or hosting a fall gathering with friends, apple crisp is a classic dessert that’s sure to please.

This classic Southern concoction starts with a tall glass of ice-cold Cheerwine–a cherry-flavored soda that’s been a staple of the region since the early 1900s. 

Next, you scoop a generous serving of vanilla ice cream into the glass, watching as the soda froths up and overflows with deliciousness. 

The result is a creamy, dreamy concoction perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. 

Add a drizzle of chocolate syrup or a sprinkle of chopped nuts on top for an extra indulgence. 

A fun twist on a classic float, this Southern treat will surely hit the spot.

Nothing screams “summertime in the South” like a scoop of homemade peach ice cream. 

This sweet and creamy treat is made with ripe, juicy peaches that have been pureed and mixed with a rich custard base, then churned in an ice cream maker until thick and velvety. 

The result is a flavor that’s both refreshing and comforting–perfect for hot afternoons spent lounging on the front porch.

Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or a drizzle of honey on top for extra sweetness.

This Southern classic has layers of yellow cake that have been soaked in buttermilk and are then covered in a thick coating of caramel frosting. 

The frosting’s usual ingredients—caramelized sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla—give it a decadent, elegant taste that’s excellent for special events. 

To counteract the sugariness and create depth, some bakers prefer to put a little sea salt on top. 

This cake will make your taste buds do a happy dance, whether you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or simply a love of all things caramel. 

Enjoy a piece and appreciate the finer things in life.

Calling all chocoholics!

If you’re looking for the ultimate indulgent dessert, look no further than hot fudge cake. 

This Southern classic features a warm, gooey chocolate cake that’s smothered in a rich and creamy hot fudge sauce. 

It’s the perfect dessert for a chilly winter evening or a special occasion when you want to spoil yourself or your loved ones. 

Some bakers like to serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top to balance out the richness of the chocolate and add a cool, refreshing contrast. 

Dig in, and let the chocolatey goodness melt all your cares away.

What’s better than a scoop of delicious vanilla ice cream on a hot summer day? 

How about a bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream that’s so creamy and flavorful that you’ll want to eat the whole batch in one sitting? 

The key is to use high-quality ingredients like fresh cream, whole milk, and real vanilla extract, which will give your ice cream that rich and velvety texture that’s hard to find in store-bought varieties. 

Making your ice cream is a fun activity you can do with family or friends, and the best part is you customize it to your taste by adding in your favorite mix-ins like chocolate chips, fruit, or nuts.

The bottom line

Southern desserts are a sweet and savory experience that should not be missed.

These delectable treats have a rich history and are deeply ingrained in Southern culture. 

From the iconic Pecan Pie to the timeless Peach Cobbler, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Southern desserts are not just about satisfying a sweet tooth; they’re about community, hospitality, and tradition. 

Whether sharing a slice of cake with a neighbor or baking a fresh batch of cookies for a potluck, Southern desserts unite people.

Bake one of these classics or take a trip down South to taste them yourself!

More Southern Recipes

35 BEST Southern Desserts

35 BEST Southern Desserts

It is time to get your forks ready and your belts loosened as we are about to delve headfirst into these mouthwatering Southern desserts!


  • Pecan Pie
  • Peach Cobbler
  • Red Velvet Cake
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Banana Pudding
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Chess Pie
  • Mississippi Mud Pie
  • Hummingbird Cake
  • Lemon Bars
  • Lane Cake
  • Blackberry Cobbler
  • Coconut Cake
  • Bread Pudding
  • Bourbon Balls
  • Goo Goo Clusters
  • Coca-Cola Cake
  • Peanut Butter Fudge
  • Ambrosia
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Sweet Tea Sorbet
  • Beignets
  • Fried Apple Pies
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • S'mores Bars
  • Brown Sugar Pound Cake
  • Buttermilk Pie
  • Banana Bread
  • Chocolate Gravy
  • Apple Crisp
  • Cheerwine Floats
  • Peach Ice Cream
  • Caramel Cake
  • Hot Fudge Cake
  • Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream


  1. Scroll for your favorite recipe from our list of Southern Desserts.
  2. Pick out the ingredients needed for the dessert.
  3. Make then enjoy immediately!

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