Southern Desserts

Top 10 Mouth Watering Southern Desserts And Their Recipes

The South is famous for many things, and desserts are definitely among those things. Many food enthusiasts will agree that there is no shortage of delicious desserts and treats in the Southern cuisine. Here are 10 Southern dessert recipes that are not only easy on the taste buds but also surprisingly easy to make at home.

Here are 10 Southern dessert recipes that are not only easy on the taste buds but also surprisingly easy to make at home.

1. Chess Pie

This old-fashioned Southern dessert is perfect for people who do not mind indulging in some extra sweetness. It is custard based and has a caramelized top that is made from simple and easy to get ingredients. The recipe serves 1.

What is needed?

  • 1/2 a packet of refrigerated pie crusts
  • 2 tablespoons of cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter (or margarine)
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 lightly beaten eggs
  • Icing sugar


The first step is to fix the pie crust in place within a 9” pie plate as per the instructions. One should not forget to fold the edges under and to tuck. The next step is to line pastry using aluminum foil and to fill with dried beans or pie weights.

Thirdly, bake for between 4 and 5 minutes at 425 degrees F. After 4-5 minutes, remove the weights and the foil and bake for an additional 2 minutes. Leave to cool.

Combine the sugar, cornmeal, flour, salt, butter, milk, vinegar and vanilla extract and stir to satisfaction (until they blend). Next is to add the eggs while stirring well after which the mixture is poured into the pie crust.

Lastly, the pie crust (and its contents) is put to bake for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees after which it is cooled completely. Experts suggest shielding the edges with aluminum foil to prevent them from over-browning. Once the pie has sufficiently cooled, one can garnish it with powdered sugar.

2. Southern Hummingbird Cake

(Source: I Heart Recipes)

This is one of the most popular Southern desserts and considering how creamy and impossibly delectable it is, this comes as no surprise. This recipe serves 12.

What is needed?

  • one packet of yellow cake mix (18.25 ounces)
  • one packet of vanilla instant pudding mix (4 serving size)
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • four eggs
  • one mashed ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of icing sugar
  • 16 ounces of frozen whipped topping (thawed)
  • 6 ounces of red maraschino cherries, chopped and well drained (1 tablespoon for garnish)
  • 8 ounces of well drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans (2 tablespoons for garnish)


Firstly, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and use cooking spray to coat 2 round baking pans (each 8 inches). Secondly, combine the cake and pudding mixes, oil, water, eggs, mashed banana, and cinnamon in a large bowl, mix thoroughly and pour the resulting mixture into the pans. Thirdly, bake for between 30 and 35 minutes and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let it cool further after which the cakes are sliced horizontally into four halves (layers).

In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar and beat until it is smooth. Pour in the whipped topping, cherries, pineapples and pecans and stir well. The last step is to place one cake layer on a platter and to spread ¼ of the cream cheese mixture evenly. Repeat the procedure by placing the layers on top of each other and applying the cream cheese spread on the top. Garnish with the cherries and pecans that were reserved.

3. Southern Banana Pudding

So popular is banana pudding dessert that Tennessee holds an annual National Banana Pudding Festival. It is also very easy to make and is perfect for large gatherings. This recipe serves approximately 10.

What is needed?

  • 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • two pinches of salt
  • 21/2 cups of low-fat milk
  • 14 ounces of fat-free, sweetened condensed milk
  • two egg yolks
  • two teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of sliced ripe banana, divided
  • 45 vanilla wafers (preferably reduced fat), divided
  • four egg whites (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • Reduced-fat cookies


First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Secondly, combine the flour and salt in a saucepan and gradually add the milk while stirring well. Next, cook over medium heat, while stirring until the mixture is thick. Now remove from the heat, pour in the vanilla and stir.

The fourth step is to arrange a cup of the banana slices at the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish and use a spoon to pour 1/3 of the pudding mixture over the banana slices. After that, arrange 15 wafers on top of the pudding. Repeat this process twice and arrange the last 15 wafers around the edge of the baking dish. Push the low-fat cookies into the pudding randomly but carefully.

Lastly, beat the egg whites at high speed until they foam. Slowly add sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) into the whipped egg white and continue beating until tall, stiff peaks form. Spread this meringue over the pudding evenly and seal just until the edge of the baking dish. Now, bake it at 325 degrees until it turns golden or for approximately 25 minutes. Leave the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes and serve.

4. Layer Pecan Pie

There is a lot of debate regarding the history of this delightful dessert. Nonetheless, it remains one of the most classic and beloved Southern desserts. This recipe serves 8.

What is needed?

  • one refrigerated rolled pie crust (15-ounce size)
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup of sugar, divided
  • two teaspoons of vanilla extract, divided
  • four eggs, divided
  • 1 cup of corn syrup
  • 11/4 cups of pecans, chopped


Foremost, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Unroll the pie crust and fix it in place within a 9-inch pie plate. Experts suggest making sure the crust is firmly pressed into the plate.

Combine the cream cheese, ¼ cup of sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and one egg in a bowl and beat slowly until the mixture is smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat the remaining eggs and add the ¼ cup of sugar, corn syrup and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Make sure to mix well.

The fourth step is to spread the cream cheese mixture on the pie crust and garnish with pecans. Pour the corn syrup mixture over the pecans slowly then let bake for between 40 and 45 minutes. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for 4 hours or until one is ready to serve. One can also top each slice with ice cream of their choosing or even a trickle of maple syrup for extra sweetness.

5. Classic Southern Chocolate Cake

Classic Southern Chocolate Cake

This is simply one of the finest Southern desserts perfect for chocolate enthusiasts. The recipe serves 12.

What is needed?

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • two pinches of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup of softened butter
  • four eggs
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • two teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Old-fashioned Southern Chocolate frosting (or preferred chocolate frosting)


To begin with, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and coat 2 round cake pans with cooking spray (9-inch pans are used in this recipe)

Secondly, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl combine the sugar, shortening, and butter and using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until fluffy. Next, beat in the eggs and mix thoroughly. Slowly beat in the flour mixture then add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix well. Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans.

Bake for between 25 and 30 minutes then leave to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto the wire rack to completely cool.

Once the cake layers have cooled, place a layer of cake upside down on a platter and frost the top. Do the same for the second layer this time placing on top of the first. Frost the top, as well as the sides, then serve.

6. Sweet Potato Pie

History suggests that a former slave wrote the very first known recipe for this sweet dessert. It is one of the most popular Southern desserts, particularly during Thanksgiving. This recipe serves 6.

What is needed?

  • 29 ounces of sweet potatoes (or yams), drained
  • 12 ounces of evaporated milk
  • two tablespoons of softened butter
  • two eggs
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of biscuit baking mix
  • two teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and coat one 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray. Next, combine the sweet potatoes (or yam) with evaporated milk and blend to a smooth mixture. Empty the mixture into a bowl.

Combine all the remaining ingredients and blend until thoroughly mixed. Add this mixture to the sweet potato mixture and mix well before pouring into the pie plate making sure to pile it up at the center.

Bake for between 50 and 60 minutes and allow it to cool adequately before serving.

7. Peach Cobbler

Summertime in the south often means a constant supply of fresh Southern peaches. This makes the peach cobbler the ideal dessert for summer. It is worth noting that one can substitute the peaches with any other fruit depending on the season. This recipe serves 10.

What is needed?

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 cups of fresh peaches, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg


The very first step is to melt the butter in a 13 x 9” baking dish.

Secondly, combine and stir the flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, salt, and milk until all the dry ingredients are adequately dampened/ moistened. Pour the batter over the butter without stirring.

Thirdly, combine the remaining sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat while stirring regularly. Pour the resulting mixture over the batter without stirring. At this point, one may garnish with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired.

Lastly, bake for between 40 and 45 minutes at 375 degrees F or until it is golden brown. One can serve this cobbler either warm or cold.

8. Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Although red velvet desserts are quite common in many other parts of the nation, the red velvet cake has earned a permanent spot among the most loved Southern treats. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it is also mouth watering tasty. This recipe serves 12.

What is needed?

  • 11/2 cups of vegetable shortening
  • 11/2 cups of sugar
  • two eggs
  • 21/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • two tablespoons of red food color
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • ¼ cup of pecans, chopped


Coat two baking pans (9” each) with cooking spray and dust lightly with some flour. Also, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the shortening, sugar, and eggs in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy. Next, add in the flour, baking soda and salt and continue beating until they mix well. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, vanilla, and vinegar while at the same time beating thoroughly. Stir in the food color with a spoon and make sure it is well mixed before separating the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.

Bake for between 25 and 30 minutes then cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto the wire rack to let cool completely. Once cooled, spread the frosting between the layers as well as on the top and sides of the cake. Use the pecans to garnish the top of the cake and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

9. Southern Pound Cake

Few Southern desserts are as simple as the pound cake. Despite its simplicity, the pound cake has emerged as a dessert that fits any occasion irrespective of the season. This recipe serves 12.

What is needed?

  • 3 cups of superfine sugar
  • 11/2 cups of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • four eggs, room temperature
  • two egg yolks
  • ¼ cup of half-and-half
  • two teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


Grease and dust a 10 inch Bundt pan and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. It is advisable to preheat with the oven rack in the center of the oven.

In a bowl, combine the sugar, butter and cream cheese and beat at medium-high speed until it pales in color and is fluffy. Slowly (one at a time) add the eggs each time beating slowly until the yellow disappears. Pour into the egg yolks, half-and-half as well as the vanilla and continue beating until it is finely blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt and stir. Slowly add this mixture to the butter mixture in 3 sets. After each addition, one should make sure to beat slowly until well mixed. Once all the batter is well blended/mixed, spoon it into the Bundt pan. It is also advisable to tap the pan gently on the counter so as to get rid of any large air bubbles.

Bake in the preheated oven until it turns golden brown. Normally this takes between 80 minutes and 90 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before letting it cool completely on wire rack. Experts suggest a 2 hour cooling period before serving.

10. Pecan Tassies

The South is famous for having pecans in abundance. This explains why many Southern dessert recipes incorporate the use of pecans. This recipe serves 24.

What is needed?

  • 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon of softened butter, divided
  • 2 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • one egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A dash (2 pinches) of salt


It starts with preheating the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine 1/2 a cup of butter and cream cheese in a bowl until the mixture is creamy. Next, add the flour slowly and beat well until it is fully mixed. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for roughly 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly until well mixed.

Take the chilled dough and divide it into 24 1” balls each placed in its mini muffin cup. Experts recommend using the thumb to press the dough into each cup (forming a crust). Next is to spoon the pecan mixture into the crusts filling them until they are half full.

Bake for between 35 and 40 minutes. Alternatively, bake until the filling is firm and the crust has turned a golden brown. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack to allow further cooling. One may serve it immediately it has cooled or chill it until one is ready to serve.

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