Traditional Southern Desserts

It is always a treat to return to the vintage recipes that are used to perpetuate the traditional southern desserts that have been passed down from mother to daughters and fathers to sons throughout the years. They are reminiscent of time spent at Grandmother’s kitchen, waiting in anticipation of the post supper treat. Here are a few of the most popular and beloved traditional southern desserts.

Hummingbird Cake

This southern traditional dessert is a decadent and tall cake that features moist golden layers with creamy filling of bananas, cream cheese, whipped topping, maraschino cherries and pineapple sandwiched in between. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but it’s one of the more cherished southern desserts.

Four-Layer Pecan Pie

Southern women have a knack for producing the finest pecan pies on the face of this earth. This sickeningly sweet dessert is so amazing that it’s hard to avoid going back for seconds. Drinking a cup of strong coffee to counter the heaviness of his rich pie often allays the sweetness.

Sweet Potato Pie

If you’ve never had Sweet Potato Pie, the best way that I can describe it is that it is close to a pumpkin pie, but has a lighter taste. This is one of the most famous desserts in Southern cuisine. The aroma of a Sweet potato pie cooking fills the house with a warm and welcoming aroma that makes you feel like you’re safe at home. The filling is creamy and sweet, yet a bit on the understated side that makes it less rich than traditional pumpkin pies.

Lemon Meringue Pie

This is an old southern favorite. It is generally packed with egg yolks that give the light lemony filling an exaggerated richness that is amazing beyond belief. Intense with citrus flavor and just the right amount of sweetness. This lovely confection is evenly balanced with mounds and peaks of lightly sweetened meringue that is delicately browned at the tips.

Buttermilk Pie

This classic southern dessert is as simple as it gets but melts in your mouth. Who would have thought that buttermilk could produce such an amazing confection? The ingredients include buttermilk, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, a pinch of salt and a dash of vanilla. It features a creamy center that is smooth on the tongue and a lightly browned top that gives it a slightly chewy texture for a perfect melding of the two contrasting textures. If you haven’t tried buttermilk pie, I strongly recommend it.

Chocolate Chess Pie

Chess pies have long been a Southern favorite and are well known for their richness and power of addiction. This version adds the infusion of chocolate that gives it the consistency of an undercooked brownie and a similar taste, except it’s fully cooked. This amazing southern treat is hard to resist and its richness makes a little go a long way because a thin slice usually satisfies your craving for sweet richness.

Creamy Fruit Ambrosia

This is perhaps one of the lightest desserts found in traditional southern cuisine. It features fresh fruits and a light and creamy base with the addition of coconut for added texture and a delightful Caribbean influence.

If you’re not familiar with the traditional desserts of the South, you’re missing out on a treasure trove. There are quite a few new and modern versions, and although many are truly amazing, there is no replacement for the old standard recipes. Many of them are available online if you take the time to look for them. Southern cooks are proud to share their prize-winning recipes for the enjoyment of everyone.