History of Desserts
Do you ever find yourself enjoying in a decadent dessert and wondering who came up with the idea for such a delectable treat? It appears that you are not alone in your curiosity in when and why sweets were first consumed. To help you out, we’ve assembled a brief (and delicious!) history lesson for you today. Dessert is derived from the French worddesservir, which means “to clear the table,” which translates as “to empty the plate.” This is an appropriate origin for desserts, given that the initial usage of desserts was to wash away the aftertaste of a heavy meal with something sweet in ancient times.
Indeed, custard is said to have been one of the earliest sweets to be consumed throughout the Middle Ages period.
Desserts were traditionally served with savory foods and served as nothing more than palette cleansers until the 17th century.
The growth in popularity of sweets can be attributed to the large number of sugar plantations in the New World, which allowed sugar prices to fall.
It was also during this time period that sweets became exclusively designated for the conclusion of meals, rather than being offered as palate cleansers throughout the meal in multiple minor dessert courses during the meal.
Here are some additional facts about some of our favorite sweets that we can share with you today.
History of Ice Cream
Do you ever find yourself enjoying in a decadent dessert and wondering who came up with the idea for such a delectable confection? The issue of when and why sweets were first consumed has been pondered by many, and we’ve created a brief (and delicious!) history lesson for you today to help answer that question. Dessert is derived from the French worddesservir, which means “to clear the table,” which translates as “to clear the table.” Due to the fact that the earliest usage of desserts was to wash away the aftertaste of a huge meal with something sweet, this is an appropriate source of inspiration.
- It is believed that custard was one of the earliest sweets to be consumed throughout the Middle Ages.
- The sweets that followed were also documented.
- Dessert cookbooks, on the other hand, were first published in the seventeenth century.
- Instead of being restricted to a rare flavour, sugar might be employed in large quantities for sweet meals in light of lower sugar prices.
Custards gradually evolved into sweet puddings in the nineteenth century, and the industrial revolution ushered in the mass manufacturing of sweet meals such as cakes in the twentieth century. Some more interesting facts about some of our favorite sweets are provided below for your reading pleasure.
History of Chocolate
While chocolate is not a dessert in and of itself, it is a common component in a broad variety of sweet dishes and beverages. After being introduced to Europe, chocolate was mixed with sugar and milk to take on the form that we are familiar with today. Originally, chocolate was used for its bitter properties by the ancient Mayan civilization; however, after being introduced to Europe, chocolate was mixed with sugar and milk to take on the form that we are familiar with today. Chocolate was formerly held in such high regard by the Aztecs that it was utilized as a sort of money in their ancient civilization.
- Desserts have long been considered a sign of riches, royalty, and even military strength, so I suppose we should all consider ourselves fortunate to be able to indulge in these delectable treats whenever we like.
- Perhaps there are still more delicacies available that are making their way down to the lower levels of the social ladder.
- Cookie orders may be placed online, and pies can be ordered through the mail as well.
- Jenna Huntsberger is the author of this piece.
- In 2011, after recognizing that pastry was her true love, she started her own business, Whisked!, which sold baked products at a local farmer’s market.
- cookies and pies are now available in more than 100 retail locations, and the company has been highlighted in media such as the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, and National Public Radio (NPR).
History of Desserts
- Chocolate Trivia, Picnic Menus, and the Different Types of Mushrooms are all topics covered in this section.
Chocolate syrup is drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Ice cream has been traced back to 3000BC, and it is possible that it was the first “dessert” in the modern meaning of the word when it was invented. Despite the fact that ice cream was invented by the Chinese, it was much more of a flavoring for ice than it was a true ice cream in the beginning. However, while Marco Polo may have brought the method of ice cream production to Europe from his travels, it was Catherine de Medici who established sorbet as a fashionable dessert in Italy.
Although vanilla is not a dessert in and of itself, it does play a prominent role in a variety of desserts, particularly ice cream. Vanilla is the pod of a specific variety of orchid that grows in Mexico, and it is used to make vanilla extract. Natives of that region found that by picking the pod, “sweating” it, and allowing it to dry for several months, they could extract vanillin, which is responsible for the intense flavor that it is famous for.
It was not used to flavor cocoa by the indigenous people of Mexico, who preferred the spicy kick of cinnamon, contrary to common assumption at the time.
As early as the early 1300s, the thin paper-like pastry had become popular and was documented in historical records. It was typically stuffed with nuts and spices at that time. Historians, on the other hand, believe that it was more likely a spicy dish than than a dessert. Filo pastries stuffed with almonds, dates, or spices were considered to have been served as appetizers during the time.
Desserts That Weren’t
The history of desserts is fascinating to study since it reveals which items that are now considered desserts were previously something quite different.
Pie made with rhubarb Rhubarb, sometimes known as the “pie plant,” is usually regarded as a sour plant that should only be consumed in large quantities of sugar, making it the ideal dessert fruit. Rhubarb, on the other hand, was initially grown for its therapeutic properties. Only in the early twentieth century did rhubarb become well known for its usage in pies and other baked goods.
The original marsh mallow, like rhubarb, was really a white bloom from a specific species that possessed therapeutic characteristics, similar to rhubarb. Marshmallows, the sort used in s’mores, aren’t even known to have existed until the mid-nineteenth century, according to historical records.
Another medicinal plant, licorice, is linked to other legumes, such as peas, and has a bitter taste. However, it was also utilized as a flavoring agent in beverages such as beer as well as in other types of cuisine. You may rest confident that it is currently created using synthetic components that do not possess any therapeutic characteristics.
Cocoa beans are a type of bean that is used to make chocolate. Explorers from Mexico and Central America are supposed to have carried chocolate back to Europe with them after their journeys. This bitter bean was utilized in a spicy cocktail with cinnamon, and in truth, cocoa beans are bitter in their own right. It is the addition of sugar (and, in certain cases, milk) that gives the dessert its sweet taste that we are familiar with today.
Pie, Puddings, and Custards
Pie was initially made with savory ingredients such as meat or vegetables, as it still is today. Early American colonists enjoyed making pie on a regular basis because the crust used to create it was thick and could be stretched out to fill more stomachs. Custards and puddings were likewise savory, and were created using soaked bread and different leftover meats and spices, as was the case with the previous desserts.
A Brief History of Desserts
So when did pie become packed with fruits and sugar become connected with sweets, and how did this happen? A number of the following dates may be of interest to sugar enthusiasts:
- 1381: The first documented recipe for Tartys in Applis, or apple pie, was published. A gingerbread recipe dating back to 1400 was created by soaking bread crumbs in honey and spices. Pralines were invented by a table officer of French nobility around the year 1600. 1700-Eclairs-with a cream center and a chocolate topping-had been around for some hundred years, but have only recently become popular. 1740-By this time, cupcake recipes were becoming increasingly popular. 1800s-While lemon meringue pie was not developed until the nineteenth century, meringue and lemon custards were commonplace prior to that time.
A Culinary Adventure
The history of diverse confections is a fascinating journey through the evolution of culinary culture. The history of various desserts reveals how important innovations and discovery were in the transmission of recipes, ideas, and ingredients that resulted in the development of new and tastier confections. All rights retained by LoveToKnow Media, Inc. in the year 2021.
The Invention of Dessert
Many people believe that a supper isn’t complete until there is dessert. The habit of closing a meal with a small piece of sweet food has its beginnings in the French countryside. According to French cuisine expert Maryann Tebben, the French dessert has been present for centuries, yet it has undergone significant transformations over that period. Desserts were not often seen in French recipes from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, though. Instead, they offered recipes for entremets, which are “interval” meals that are served between bigger courses and can be either sweet or savory in nature.
- Napkins and tablecloths should be replaced before the last dish, which at the time was a delicate fruit course, according to etiquette.
- According to Tebben, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the majority of the delicacies were fruit-based, with jams and preserves being often used.
- Slowly, however, the flavor of desserts began to be overshadowed by the beautiful display of the desserts.
- In other cases, elaborately made sugar figurines were the focal point of dessert presentations and were seldom if ever consumed in their whole.
Among others who have done so, according to Tebben, are those who have “created the severed head of Louis XV, a combat scenario complete with troops and cannons, and the rock of Gibraltar out of sugar, all of which is edible, but one can’t envision an elegant dinner guest nibbling on a sugar soldier.” Indeed.
“Instead of a specialized, solitary aesthetic impact,” Tebben writes, hosts offered “individual desserts, with names and common shapes that formed a shared history rather than a specialized, distinct visual impression.” In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, technological advancements and increased trade provided up new opportunities for the production of populist confections.
However, while banquets may still offer visually stunning sweets, such as the three-tiered castle-shaped cake with lakes of jam and hazelnut boats depicted in Madame Bovary, the guests are not required to consume this work of art.
Today, of course, sugar is inexpensive enough that low-quality, mass-produced replicas of French confections are readily available to people all over the world, albeit at a great cost to human health in the process.
Nonetheless, depending on your preferences, a creamy Ho Ho or Hostess fruit pie may seem like a significant step up from a plum served on a sophisticated metal sculpture of the same namesake.
JSTOR is a digital library for scholars, researchers, and students that is open to the public 24/7. JSTOR Daily readers may have access to the original research that underpins our stories for free by visiting the JSTOR website. Published in Gastronomica, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Summer 2015), pp. 10-25, by Maryann Tebben The University of California Press (UC Press)
FOOD 101: The History Of Dessert
- National Dessert Day is celebrated on October 14th. Originally from the mid-16th century French, our term “dessert” is a mix of the past participle ofdesservir, which means “to clear the table,” and the verbservir, which means “to serve.” The term refers to the fact that dessert was served after the other dishes had been cleared from the table. The term “service à la française” refers to a selection of sweets that are served at the same time on a table. As contrast to traditional meal service methods such as a buffet or groaning board, this method was known as service à la russe, or Russian style, and it was popular in the 19th and 20th centuries. Pastries, pies, and other baked goods can be sweet or savory and solid or liquid. Desserts include: beverages such as dessert wine or liqueur
- Coffee (cappuccino or espresso with or without confections)
- Cakes, pies, and other baked goods. Cheeses
- Desserts include chocolates, petit fours, and meringues
- Custard, pudding, and gelatin
- Fruits and nuts
- Ice cream or other frozen desserts
- Sweet soups (fruit, custard)
- And other sweet treats Dessert, as we know it in the West (a dish served at the end of a meal), is present in other parts of the world. However, such a custom does not exist in various regions of Africa and the vast majority of China. THE HISTORY OF DESSERTSSweets have been around since the dawn of humanity. They were sacrificed to the gods in ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, India, and others. Dried fruit and honey were most likely the first desserts, and honey was used to create increasingly sophisticated sweets in later centuries. However, when sugar cane expanded around the world, it aided in the invention of new and more intricate forms of dessert and beverages. It was in India that sugar cane, which had its origins in Southeast Asia (see the history of sugar), was first cultivated and processed into crystals before the fourth century BCE. It was traded, to Macedonia by 300 B.C.E. and China by 600 C.E. In South Asia, the Middle East and China, sugar became a staple of both main meal preparation and sweets. Sugar was a relatively unknown commodity in Europe. Those Crusaders who returned to Europe in the 12th century carried with them a cargo of sugar. Even though Europeans first began to create beet sugar in the Middle Ages, it wasn’t until the 16th century that sugar plantations in the Canary Islands and the West Indies were established, allowing more sugar to be imported into Europe. It was considered a luxury item for the elite, and it helped to make sugar planters and merchants wealthy as a result. Finally, by the 18th century, the once-luxurious commodity had become affordable to people from all walks of life. They did more than just sweeten tea and coffee
- They also prepared sweets, and plenty of them. Cake and other sweets, as well as other meals, began to be mass-produced with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Fruit in cream or other sauces, or baked with or without pastry or crusts, became extremely popular in the 1920s, when frozen foods became widely available. Simple fruit platters developed into fruit in cream or other sauces, or baked, with or without pastry or crusts, and became very popular in the 1920s (photo of Strawberries Romanoff and recipe fromOnly Best Cooking). As new techniques were developed, sweets such as thePavlovaemerged, which included the fruit within a meringue shell (photo courtesyZoe Bakes). There are many different varieties of pastries that may be used to wrap around fruit. The recipe for this strawberry cream cheese pie from Sugar Spun Run can be found here.
5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the History of Dessert
According to culinary historian Deborah Krohn and chef Yotam Ottolenghi, the modern dessert as we know it has only been around since the seventeenth century. The chef and authorYotam Ottolenghi took the stage at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a warm summer evening, dressed as a nobleman from theancien régime, as if he were hoping to meet with Louis XIV at Versailles. He was dressed instead to speak with culinary historian Deborah Krohn about Versailles and the exquisite cakes, pastries, and sugar sculptures that infused the palace with a spirit of excess and indulgence that finally engulfed it.
Oliveira, and Janice Wong, among others.
In addition, when it comes to cuisine, “Ottolenghi made the statement.
You went to see, to be thrilled and astonished, and that is exactly what you got.
Occasionally, I compare it to the movie Jurassic Park, in which dinosaurs roam freely and are completely unaware that the end is near.” During a pre-feast discussion, Ottolenghi and Krohn addressed the unexpected history of dessert through the perspective of Versailles, including the following five facts about pastry that you may not have known:
1. In the sixteenth century, “dessert” was glorified Tupperware that you wouldn’t want to eat.
Krohn said that when you look at a sixteenth-century cookbook, pastry was more about purpose than form. “It was more about function than form,” she said. “It was more about function than form.” “It was utilized as a preservative in this recipe. It was certainly edible, but it wasn’t anything you’d want to eat on its own as a meal.”
2. In fact, dessert wasn’t really a thing until the seventeenth century.
In fact, according to Krohn, the first dessert cookbook didn’t appear until the seventeenth century, when the concept of having a distinct course for sweets was first introduced. In the seventeenth century, sweet and savory foods were served on tables that were indistinguishable from one another, according to the historian. That people began to make and appreciate sweet desserts was partly due to the cultivation of New World plantations, which reduced the price of sugar and allowed it to become the primary ingredient in dishes rather than just a spice that enhanced the flavor of dishes or preserved them after they had been prepared.
GettyImages-541325463.jpg Photograph courtesy of DEA / G. DAGLI ORTI/Getty Images
3. Desserts were served in the middle of the meal.
She explained that “over time, there was the emergence of a course called “entremet” in between dishes, and that “entremet” is still served at some high-end restaurants, where a sorbet course is served, which is the final relic of the entremet.” “However, dessert began to be offered at the conclusion of the meal, and by the middle of the seventeenth century, there are cookbooks dedicated just to desserts—sweet courses eaten at the conclusion of the meal.”
4. At Versailles, out-of-season fruit was all the rage.
It was Louis the XIV who took great satisfaction in cultivating fruits in the middle of winter, at a time when they were not ordinarily cultivated, in order to display his power over nature, as noted by Ottolenghi. According to her, “fruit has always been the most significant component of the sweet course, and this has been true since the late Middle Ages.” “Fruit gets more and more sculptural, and it begins to be served in pyramids as a result of this development. It becomes a competition to show off all of the fruits you can produce.
He was a true master of the skill of growing things beneath glass bells, which was the forerunner of modern greenhouse technology.” Feast-of-Versailles-2-FT.jpeg
5. Sugar was understood as a medium for sculpting art, similar to porcelain and bronze, more than it was as an ingredient for making sweets.
Even Bernini sculpted using sugar, according to legend. According to Krohn, the material was “nearly like porcelain.” “Because it does not require firing, it was obviously far less difficult than porcelain to make. Sugar may be sculpted by mixing it with a type of gum and allowing it to set till it is practically indistinguishable from porcelain once it has hardened. Beginning in the seventeenth century, artists such as Bernini would occasionally design a sugar sculpture for a lavish dinner, using the same process that he would use to create marble or bronze sculptures.” “Sugar was the tool through which you could blur the boundaries between food and art,” Ottolenghi continued.
Who Came Up With the Modern Dessert Course?
In 1529, a lavish banquet was arranged for the wedding of a wealthy Italian nobleman to France’s Princess Renée, the daughter of King Louis XII, on a summer evening in the city of Ferrara, Italy. Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert author Michael Krondl writes that wealthy Venetians were infatuated with sugar, even going so far as to cover their dinner tables with glistening white sugar sculptures as a way of showing off their wealth. With such affluent company in town, it was natural that the provincial people of Ferrara would have to step up their game; a sugar showdown was unavoidable.
- Bone marrow fritters were fried and then dipped in sugar syrup.
- A gigantic pie was served as the ninth and last dish, as if the importance of sugar hadn’t already been established by then.
- A taste of the delicious highs and bitter lows of the magical chemical that dominates the universe The Sugar Files is a fictionalized account of a fictionalized account of a fictionalized account of a fictional character named Sugar.
- Dessert, as a sweet dish following a savory dinner, did not exist in France, Italy, or England for a lengthy period of time until the 19th century.
The sweet treats, such as sugared cakes and pastries as well as candied nuts, fruits, and flowers, were interspersed with the meats and vegetables, acting as palate cleansers and digestive aids as well as warding off “dispelling wind,” as noted by one particularly eloquent 17th-century Frenchman, Jacques Savary.
- As the 15th century drew to a close, refined sugar’s price began to match its great demand, and its newfound position as a luxury product did precisely what you might expect it to do for wealthy Europeans eager to show off their wealth: it made them want even more.
- However, like with other fads, it would not persist indefinitely.
- Another articulate 17th-century Frenchman was the first to observe a shift in the trend toward sweetening our savory foods, and he did it in an expressive manner.
- Sugary cream sauces on your partridge were officially out of style in the 1980s.
- Sugar’s price, as well as its value as a status symbol, decreased as industrial refining of the commodity increased.
- As an occasion to produce more manageable, single-portion desserts to accompany tea and amuse small parties, the chefs used the salon as an excuse to prepare them.
In addition, a growing trend toward service à la russe, or Russian-style service, which is more akin to the modern practice of serving dishes one at a time rather than all at once, has resulted in a logical progression toward a meal-ending dessert dish, in which a small, sweet èclair might make its way to your plate along with a cup of tea or coffee.
During the Renaissance, as fashionable French customs spread throughout Europe, and the savory/sweet divide became more pronounced, the word came to mean a variety of things, most likely in keeping with the fashion for chilled tarts and cakes served at the end of a meal for patrons to nibble on while they washed the dishes.
Perhaps a nouveaublancmangerevival will appear on a Michelin-starred restaurant in the near future, but perhaps the eels in marzipan will remain in the 16th-century tradition.
The Most Popular Dessert the Year You Were Born
When I truly want to wow my guests, I make this delectable bread pudding to present them. I’m able to whip up this masterpiece in a jiffy using only a few basic ingredients: bread, eggs, sugar, and chocolate. — Erin Chilcoat lives in Smithtown, New York, and she is a writer. 2/61
1941: Pecan Pie
Pecans are one of my favorite nuts. To make the perfect tart, I blend them with maple syrup and vanilla extract, which is then enhanced even further by a dollop of vanilla ice cream. — Redawna Kalynchuk lives in Barrhead, Alberta, and is a writer. 3/61
When I discovered that this dish was a favorite of my husband’s, I asked my mother-in-law for the recipe. Now I bake it anytime he requests an extra-special treat, which is rather often. The combination of spice cake and lemony sauce makes us both happy. Karen Oak, of Pocatello, Idaho, sent in this message. 4/61
1943: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
There is nothing more classic than this pineapple upside-down cake, and it will never go out of style! If you don’t have pineapple on hand, peaches or a mix of cranberries and orange are also wonderful alternatives to the classic pineapple. Barbara Melton, a resident of Paola, Kansas 5/61
1944: Mincemeat Pie
When my daughter was ten years old, she used these bars to win the grand champion title at the Alaska State Fair. The topping is wonderful, although it is a little crumbly; if you want perfectly edged cookies, freeze the cookies before you cut them. • Mary Bohanan (Sparks, Nevada) — 6/61
1945: Lazy Daisy Cake
This dish was traditionally referred to as Mama’s “never fail” recipe. I’m guessing the same is true for me, given that I’ve entered this lazy daisy cake in contests and won prizes with it in the past. This delectable dessert is a family favorite, and it always brings back happy memories of our beloved Mama. Carrie Bartlett of Gallatin, Tennessee, sent in this message. 7/61
1946: Brown Betty
We referred to this dish as Mama’s “never fail” recipe since it was always successful every time. Since I’ve submitted this lazy daisy cake in contests and won with it, I’m guessing the same is true for me. Among our family members, this delicious dish is well-known, and it always brings back pleasant memories of Mama. Carrie Bartlett of Gallatin, Tennessee, sent in this message: 7/61
1947: Molasses Cookies
Whenever I make these soft molasses cookies, it becomes a family favorite. In addition, these chewy molasses cookies are perfect for delivering as Christmas presents or to military serving overseas. — Kristine Chayes of Smithtown, New York, is a writer. 9/61
1948: Chiffon Cake
My father’s favorite cake was this delicious, light lemon chiffon cake. Mom changed the original recipe to incorporate lemons, which she found online. I’m not much of a baker, but my family always raves over this dessert when I prepare it for them. Clarkston, Washington resident Trisha Kammers wrote in to say 10/61
1949: Jell-O Salad
Presented here is a visually appealing salad that my mother prepares for Christmas dinner every year.
If you want to construct additional color combinations for special festivals or other parties, you may pick other tastes to use. • Jan Hemness, from Stockton, Missouri. 11/61
1950: Rice Cream
This dish, which originated in Sweden, is well-known among our Minnesota friends who gather for church suppers. Furthermore, it makes an excellent complement to family gatherings and celebrations. Because it’s so delicious, I frequently make two batches at a time. Liri Jeane Schlecht of Wimbledon, North Dakota, sent this message. 12/61
1951: Bananas Foster
In this classic dessert made simple, the tastes of caramel, rum, and walnut harmoniously enhance the flavors of fresh bananas. —Crystal Jo Bruns lives in Iliff, Colorado with her husband. 13/61
1952: Baked Alaska
Surprise, surprise—ice there’s cream hidden within these miniature showstoppers! The beautiful presentation will be a hit with the dinner party attendees. — 14th of 61 Taste of Home Test Kitchens
1953: Peach Cobbler
I was lucky enough to get this peach cobbler recipe from my mother, who obtained it from a friend of hers many years ago and generously shared with me. Because Boise is centrally located between two major fruit-producing regions in our state, peaches are abundant throughout the summer months. —Ruby Ewart, of Boise, Idaho, says 15/61
1954: Marshmallow Creme Fudge
My sister sent me the recipe for this ridiculously simple peanut butter fudge with marshmallow cream, which I absolutely loved. When making this delectable delicacy, I prefer to use creamy peanut butter, but chunky peanut butter would do just well as well. Mary Jane Rummel of Linglestown, Pennsylvania, sent this in. 16/61
1955: Banana Pudding
It was more than two years before I saw my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, when he enrolled in the Marine Corps after graduating from high school. So, when I saw him arrive at the airport, all I did was grab his arm and break down in tears in front of him. As soon as we arrived at our destination, he devoured two servings of my simple banana pudding recipe. He’s a genuine southern gentleman! Although it is considered a dessert, you may have it for breakfast, lunch, or supper. •Stephanie Harris from Montpelier, Virginia 17/61
1956: Baked Apples
My baked apple recipe is pretty old-fashioned, but it has stood the test of time. It is, without a doubt, a comfort dish. — Rachel Hamilton of Greenville, Pennsylvania, is a freelance writer. 18/61
1957: Angel Food Cake
Angel food cake is the go-to base for creating amazing desserts since it is so forgiving. Serve it with a simple glaze, or top it with fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, or nuts sprinkling for a more festive presentation. A letter from Milwaukee, Wisconsin resident Leah Rekau 19/61
1958: Rice Pudding
This arroz con leche dish, which is sweet and straightforward, is a true comfort food in any language. The toasty raisin and cinnamon tastes will be a hit with you. It’s also delicious when served cold. — Canyon Country, California’s Marina Castle Kelley is a beautiful spot. 20/61
1959: Chocolate Cake
Years ago, I traveled 4-and-a-half hours to enter a cake contest, the entire while carrying my submission in my lap.
But it was worth it. With just one mouthful, you’ll understand why this velvety beauty was chosen the greatest chocolate cake recipe and earned first place in the competition. Sandra Johnson, of Tioga, Pennsylvania, sent in this message. 21/61
1960: Lane Cake
My submission for a cake contest was on my lap the entire time I traveled 4-and-a-half hours to get there. However, it was worth it in the end! This silky masterpiece was declared the greatest chocolate cake recipe and earned first place in a competition. Take just one slice and you’ll understand why. Sandra Johnson, of Tioga, Pennsylvania, sent in this message to say 21/61
1961: Butterscotch Crunchies
This recipe was created by my grandmother, who handed them to my cousin Vonnie and me when our parents didn’t want us to eat any more sweets in the house. Christine Schwester, Divide (Colorado), writes: 23/61
1962: Apple Pie
I recall returning home after a softball game dejected one day. We had lost the game. “Perhaps a taste of my handmade apple pie would make you feel better,” Grandma said, in her infinite wisdom. Grandma was correct after all it took was one mouthful. Unless you want to learn how to create handmade apple pie filling from scratch, this is the only recipe you’ll ever need. —Maggie Greene from Granite Falls, Washington 24/61
1963: Tomato Soup Cake
The use of canned tomato soup in place of part of the oil in this spice cake helps to reduce the fat content, improve the color, and (surprise!) improve the taste. Scotts Valley, California resident Hannah Thompson shared her thoughts. 25/61
1964: Banana Split
It features the characteristic flavor of a banana split, which makes it a charming and delectable treat. It’s a refreshing, creamy delicacy that requires no last-minute preparation because it can be served straight from the freezer. It consistently receives positive feedback from our large family. — Marye Franzen, a resident of Gothenburg, Nebraska 26/61
1965: Cranberry Mallow Pie
It’s time to talk about delectable summer sweets – this one is bright, refreshing, and sweet. My favorite fruit is fresh raspberries, and my favorite dessert is pie. Fresh raspberries are my favorite fruit, and pie is my favorite dessert. Consequently, this is the ideal combo for me! I believe you will appreciate it as well. —Deanna Richter, a resident of Elmore, Minnesota. 27/61
This version of the iconic Italian dessert is really simple to put together. In addition, it is convenient in that it may be prepared the day before a dinner party or potluck event. Louisville, Mississippi resident Linda Finn shared her thoughts. 28/61
1967: Floating Islands
This exquisite dessert has been passed down through my family from generation to generation. It all started with my Russian great-grandmother, who immigrated to the United States more than a century ago. Her recipe is a wonderful way to carry on the family legacy. — Tonya Burkhard of Palm Coast, Florida, sent in this photo. 29/61
1968: Frozen Lemon Pie
Crushed lemon sandwich cookies are used to add more flavor to this creamy pie. Store it in the freezer for times when you need a low-sugar dessert on hand in a need. East Prairie, Mississippi resident Emma Overby shared her thoughts on the subject. 30/61
1969: Jell-O Mold
Everyone like this gelatin since you can’t go wrong with fresh berries, and this gelatin is no exception. —Nicole Nemeth, of Komoka, in the province of Ontario 31/61
This dish is simple to prepare while still looking elegant.
Keep the supplies on hand in case you need to host a last-minute party. Christophe Bingham, from Grand Rapids, Michigan 32/61
1971: Grasshopper Brownies
It is one of the finest aspects of this recipe that these mint chocolate brownies get even more moist after being stored in the refrigerator for a day or two. At our house, the difficulty is that no one can leave them alone for that long of a period of time! She is Helen Baines, of Elkton, Maryland. 33/61
1972: Ambrosia Salad
With its delectable blend of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, my mother’s ambrosia salad is a family favorite and a wonderful complement to a backyard BBQ. Colleen Belbey of Warwick, Rhode Island, is a writer. 34/61
1973: Apple Swirl Cake
I make my family’s favorite fall cake to welcome in the bounty of the new season. It appears to be so decadent that it is practically hard to consume just one slice. Madison, Georgia, resident Jamie Jones 35/61
1974: Watergate Salad
At a family gathering, I was given this recipe by a cousin-in-law, who was also present. Since then, I’ve taken it to a number of social functions on my own. We also like to serve it as a dessert to our guests. —Kelli Giffen from Barrie, Ontario, Canada 36/61
1975: Carrot Cake
This cake, which has a pleasingly moist texture, is the one that I have requested that my mother prepare for me on my birthday every year. Sugary carrots and a dash of cinnamon are sprinkled throughout the dish. The fluffy buttery frosting is delectable, especially when chopped walnuts are included in. There is never enough of this handmade carrot cake—it is better than any other carrot cake recipe I’ve tried and tastes even better than it looks! Kim Orr, of West Grove, Pennsylvania, sent the following response: 37/61
1976: Peanut Butter Cookies
These simple peanut butter cookies, which do not include any brown sugar, have an incredible amount of taste. I prepare these on a regular basis since I always have the necessary ingredients in my pantry. —Maggie Schimmel from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 38/61
1977: 7-UP Cake
This 7UP pound cake recipe was given to me by my grandma. In addition to being tasty, this 7UP cake symbolizes family tradition, connection, and love, among other things. The following is an email from Marsha Davis of Desert Hot Springs, California. 39/61
1978: Caramel Apples
In preparation for the arrival of the caramel apple season, we wrap apples in salted pecans and sprinkle them with handmade fudge. Use honey-roasted peanuts to add a distinct level of crunch to your dish. Cori Cooper from Flagstaff, Arizona, contributed to this article. 40/61
1979: Hummingbird Cake
My father’s favorite cake is this amazing hummingbird cake, which is why I usually prepare it on his birthday. It makes a spectacular dessert for any event and is excellent with a summer dinner. — Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, Cape May County, New Jersey 41/61
1980: Oatmeal Scotchies
We don’t have time to finish a batch of cookies when we have a cookie-loving spouse and seven children! In order to produce three distinct sorts of this enormous dish, I divide it in thirds and make three separate types to delight everyone. One with chocolate chips and almonds, another with raisins, and a third with butterscotch chips are among the options. Everyone is in good spirits! LISA COOPER from Paris, Texas says: 42/61
1981: Mud Pie
The recipe for this delicacy, which appears to be time-consuming but is actually rather simple, has become a tradition in my household.
Although I favor the mocha flavor, chocolate chip ice cream may be preferred by those who want pure chocolate. Making the cookie crust is a piece of cake. Delenzini-Wilkerson of Lusby, Maryland, sent in this message: 43/61
1982: Poke Cake
This patriotic poke cake, complete with sparkling red and blue stripes, is a delicious summer treat that is easy to create with the kids. Elizabeth Schulz of Blossvale, New York sent this letter. 44/61
Even while the origins of this whimsically called dessert are highly debated, the widespread appeal of this traditional cinnamon-sugar-coated cookie is undeniably widespread! — Cooking at the Taste of Home Test Kitchen45/61
1984: Pumpkin Pie
Make no mistake, pumpkin pie does not have to be complicated to put together. This delicious Thanksgiving dessert dish is simple to prepare and will be a success at your holiday gathering. The following is an email from Marty Rummel of Trout Lake, Washington 46/61
This decadent, irresistible peanut butter brownie trifle serves a crowd and incorporates the ever-popular mix of chocolate and peanut butter as its main ingredients. Consider serving this dessert at your next get-together. Nancy Foust of Stoneboro, Pennsylvania, contributed to this article. 47/61
1986: Pineapple Dream Dessert
Easy to create and visually stunning to present, Creamy Pineapple Pie is a light and refreshing dessert that is simple to prepare. This is one of our favorite ways to bring a summer meal to a conclusion. — Sharon Bickett of Chester, South Carolina, is a writer. 48/61
1987: Coconut Custard Pie
The coconut taste in this creamy custard pie is not overpowering. Who wouldn’t like a hefty slice of cake topped with a dab of whipped cream on a cold winter day? Barbara Swain of Bear, Delaware, provided the following statement: 49/61
1988: Jell-O Jigglers
This delicious, wiggly gelatin dessert with whipped topping is a hit with kids. Color variants that are as wild as your imagination may be created by combining different tastes of gelatin. — 50/61 in the Taste of Home Test Kitchen
1989: Red Velvet Cake
When this festive dessert doesn’t materialize, it’s just not Christmas in our household. The frosting on this cake is unlike any other red velvet cake recipe I’ve tried before; it’s as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison from the city of Charlotte, North Carolina 51/61
1990: Peanut Butter Blossoms
Everyone who has tried these well-loved treats has been astounded by the fact that they only require five ingredients. The process of making cookies doesn’t get any easier than this. —Dee Davis, a resident of Sun City, Arizona 52/61
1991: Molten Lava Cake
I tinkered with a recipe that I had discovered in the newspaper years before. Immediately upon seeing the ooze of gooey chocolate oozing out, you know you’re in for a delicious treat. The writer, Genise Krause, of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin 53/61
1992: Mini Cheesecakes
Recipe that I saw in the newspaper few years ago was modified by myself. Immediately upon seeing the ooze of gooey chocolate oozing out, you know you’re in for a wonderful treat. The writer, Geneise Krause, of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin 53/61
1993: Sticky Toffee Pudding
This decadent treat is not pudding in the traditional understanding of the word in the United States.
In addition to mincemeat and toasted walnuts, the cake is drizzled with warm buttery toffee sauce, making it a moist and delicious dessert. Our sticky toffee pudding is best served steaming hot or at room temperature. Denise Nyland of Panama City, Florida, sent in this message. 55/61
1994: Gingerbread Men Cookies
A pudding in the traditional American meaning of the word, this rich dessert is a rich, creamy treat. Served with a warm buttery toffee sauce, the delicious, spiced cake is piled high with mincemeat and toasted walnuts. It’s best served hot or at room temperature, but we like it steaming. Dennise Nyland of Panama City, Florida, contributed to this article. 55/61
1995: Eclair Cake
Eclairs are one of my favorite desserts, but preparing the actual pastry is tough for me, so I developed this recipe as a replacement. My appetites are still satisfied by the same delicious tastes found in this product. — Thelma Beam of Esbon, Kansas, is a writer. 57/61
For this delectable delicacy, you may instead use boysenberries, raspberries, or strawberries instead of the blueberries. The author, Rebecca Baird, lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1997: Coca-Cola Cake
We live in Coca-Cola country, where everyone enjoys a chocolatey, delicious sheet cake that is baked with the renowned soft drink as the primary ingredient. Our opulent rendition is a fitting tribute to the heritage. — Heidi Jobe of Carrollton, Georgia, submitted this entry. 59/61
1998: Rice Krispies Treats
My aunt used to bring s’mores-style bars to our family’s summer cabin, which we loved. They’re great for eating on the go, whether they’re plain or frosted. —Betsy King of Duluth, Minnesota 60/61
1999: Funfetti Cake
I prefer to decorate the top of this ice cream birthday cake with jimmies for the birthdays of my children. Becky Herges, of Fargo, North Dakota, sent the following response: 61/61
2000: Crème Brûlée
I was inspired by a favorite ice cream flavor when I came up with this make-ahead dish to save time in the kitchen throughout the week. This recipe may also be served as a custard if you prefer not to caramelize the top before baking it. Eleanor Froehlich, of Rochester, Michigan wrote: 30th of July, 2020 was the original publication date.
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Delicious desserts from the decade you were born
Over the last 80 years, our dessert preferences have shifted dramatically, from potluck pies and box cakes in the 1940s to cake pops and liquid nitrogen treats in the 1990s and beyond. Investigate what sweet treat everyone was eating during the decade in which you were born, and whether it is still around or has been forgotten about like the chocolate fondue set you received as a wedding gift.
1940s: banana pudding
Over the last 80 years, our dessert preferences have shifted dramatically, from potluck pies and box cakes in the 1940s to cake pops and liquid nitrogen treats in the 1990s and now. Find out what sweet delicacy was popular during the decade in which you were born, and if it is still available or has become as obsolete as the chocolate fondue set you received as a wedding gift.
1940s: pecan pie
Photograph by Marcin Jucha for Shutterstock It was during the 1940s when the popularity of this truly sumptuous dessert soared.
This sweet treat, which is crispy on top and gooey and thick on the interior, gained popularity with the creation of Karo-branded corn syrup. Sugar, molasses, butter, eggs, and vanilla essence are all included in the recipe. In addition, it is always served with a classic pie crust.
1940s: box mix gingerbread cake
1950sUnlimited/Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 When P. Duff and Sons developed the gingerbread cake flavor as a way to get rid of excess molasses, it was one of the first boxed cake mix flavors to be introduced. The firm was the first to introduce the concept of a kit in which home chefs were required to add a fresh egg. Betty Crocker and Pillsbury quickly followed suit, and by the end of the 1940s, hundreds more firms had released their own versions of the recipe as well.
1940s: key lime pie
Classic Film/Flickr/Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0 Chiffon cakes, which were advertised by General Mills as “the first truly new cake in 100 years,” were ubiquitous in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Designed to be elegant and tall, they were cooked in a cake tin with a metal tube in the centre to assist them rise to their full height. Instead of butter, they were created using oil, which provided a super-soft texture and allowed them to rise higher.
1950s: peach cobbler
Classic Film/Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Chiffon cakes, marketed by General Mills as “the first truly new cake in 100 years,” were ubiquitous in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Elegant and tall, they were created using oil instead of butter, which resulted in a super-soft texture. They were cooked in a cake tin with a metal tube in the centre, which assisted them in rising to their full height of a meter and more.
1950s: pineapple upside-down cake
Photograph by Lesya Dolyuk/Shutterstock
1950s: bananas Foster
Photograph courtesy of Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock This sticky, caramelized dessert was produced at Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans, and it was named for Richard Foster, the head of the New Orleans Crime Commission, in honor of whom it was made. Bananas are mixed to a sauce of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, which is then showered with rum and flambéed tableside — and it is still available on the menu at the restaurant today.
1950s: baked Alaska
Baked Alaska, a pudding with layers of cake, ice cream, and a crisp meringue crust, has been dubbed the most spectacular dessert of the last decade. It was originally created to commemorate the acquisition of Alaska in 1867, but it made a resurgence in the 1950s as a dinner party conversation starter.
1950s: banana split
The banana split, which was first introduced in the 1900s and remained a popular soda fountain treat until the 1950s, was a classic. Bananas are cut lengthways and served with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream. A drizzle of pineapple, chocolate, and strawberry sauce is added, as well as whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chopped almonds to finish the dish. It’s served in a boat-shaped plate, and it may still be seen on restaurant menus today as a nostalgic homage to the 1950s.
1960s: lane cake
Eunice/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0
1960s: crêpes suzette
Photograph courtesy of Natalia Van Doninck/Shutterstock
1960s: chocolate fondue
Because cheese fondue was at the height of popularity in the United States during this time period, it was only a matter of time before a chocolate version of the dish was created.
The original, created by Swiss restaurateur Konrad Egli at Chalet Suisse in New York, was prepared with cream, kirsch, and Toblerone, and served with walnut pastries and orange slices for dipping. The recipe has since been modified.
1960s: crown jewel dessert
Photograph by Food Librarian/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license Because the Jell-O cubes could be made ahead of time, this wobbling marvel was ideal for those with hectic schedules. Fruit jelly is sliced into pieces and folded into a lemon-laced cream that has been put in the refrigerator to create this dessert, which is also known as shattered glass cake. There were other variations on the basic recipe, such as using a graham cracker crust, baking it in a mold, or using cream cheese as a filling.
1960s: Texas sheet cake
Photograph courtesy of Lonnon Foster/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0 Apparently invented in the 1960s, this massive, gooey chocolate cake with icing, pecans, and walnuts on top was first served in a hotel lobby. It is commonly referred to as Texas funeral cake because of its gigantic size and soothing features, which made it the ideal dessert to feed mourners. It is also referred to as Texas memorial cake in some circles.
1960s: Tunnel of Fudge cake
When this cake won the long-running American Pillsbury Bake-Off contest in 1966, it was the catalyst for millions of bundt tin recipes (which are baked in the characteristic ring-shaped moulds). As the cake bakes, the butter, sugar, cocoa, and almonds in the batter combine to produce a “tunnel” of oozy fudge that runs through the cake.
1970s: frozen yogurt
Stockcreations/Shutterstock Are there any days when you can’t picture your existence without smooth, delicious, low-calorie frozen yogurt? In order to understand where it came from, you simply have to go back to the 1970s when Hood Dairy in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, invented it. At first, many felt it was too sour and tasted too much like regular yogurt, so it took a few years and several tweaks to the formula before it became popular.
1970s: carrot cake
Photograph courtesy of Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock
1970s: Mississippi mud pie
Excursionista.net/Shutterstock The history of Mississippi mud pie is a little hazy. However, we do know that in the 1970s, individuals were creating and writing recipes for this decadent chocolate dessert, which consisted of layers of pudding, cake, biscuit, ice cream, whipped cream, liqueur, and a cookie crust as a foundation.
1970s: watergate salad
Photograph courtesy of Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock Watergate salad, which became one of the decade’s most iconic meals, was made using canned pineapple, micro marshmallows, whipped cream, chopped almonds, and Kraft pistachio instant pudding mix, among other ingredients. Probably created shortly after Jell-O released pistachio pudding mix, it earned its name from the Watergate political crisis of the 1970s and the parallels between it and watergate cake (a green pistachio cake).
1980s: Black Forest gâteau
Anna Pustynnikova/Shutterstock A well made Black Forest gâteau, or schwarzwälder kirschtorte as it is known in Germany, is a light, creamy layer cake with bitter chocolate, tart cherries, and alcoholic kirsch as the main ingredients. It was an obvious option to serve as the last course at a 1980s dinner party since it was both visually appealing and tasty.
In the 1980s, the popularity of tiramisù appeared to have sprung out of nowhere. So much so that The New York Times ran a story examining how the previously obscure Italian pudding became so widely available.
Considering that it’s created with mascarpone, sponge fingers, and chocolate and contains a dash of espresso in addition to having a texture as light as air, we believe it has something to do with that.
1980s: Impossible Pie
Photograph courtesy of Ana-Maria Tegzes/Shutterstock In this decade, Bisquick Impossible Pies were quite popular, with the recipes for them being written on the back of Bisquick baking mix boxes. Their recipes called for Bisquick (which is essentially a blend of flour, baking powder, salt, and shortening), as well as other ingredients like as eggs, milk and desiccated coconut, to create simple sweets in which the mixture miraculously divided into crust and filling as it cooked.
Eggs, sugar, and Marsala fortified wine are whisked together to create this light and sweet custard that is often served as an Italian dessert. Beginning in the 1980s, it began appearing on restaurant menus in the United States, where it is the perfect light sweet dessert after a long, expensive meal.
Photograph courtesy of Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock Trifle is a classic British dessert made out of sponge fingers, fresh, canned, or stewed fruit, liquor, jelly, custard, and whipped cream. It is a very traditional British dish. Using store-bought, ready-made ingredients grew more widespread throughout this decade, as convenience food reigned supreme, and no celebration was complete without a show-stopping (but simple to create) trifle.
Photograph courtesy of Nataliya Arzamasova/Shutterstock Ruby red cake with cream cheese icing and an interesting backstory is served. Although the origins of red velvet cake may be traced back to the Victorian era, the cake achieved broad popularity when it was served at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York in the 1930s. Despite this, it was seen as a gimmick throughout the better part of the twentieth century. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Magnolia Bakery in New York created red velvet cupcakes, which quickly became a bestseller and a global sensation.
1990s: molten chocolate cake
Photograph courtesy of Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock After serving it at his New York restaurant JoJo, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s luscious chocolate cake with a molten chocolate center became an overnight sensation. Within a few months, copies of the dish emerged on menus all over the world. It is still commonplace and beloved today, but it is no longer as fascinating as it once was.
1990s: Rice Krispies cakes
Shutterstock image courtesy of Anna Hoychuk. After serving it at his New York restaurant JoJo, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s rich chocolate cake with a molten chocolate centre became an instant sensation. Several months later, variations might be found on menus all around the world. While it remains popular and well-liked today, its novelty value has waned.
1990s: Funfetti cake
Since 1989, when Pillsbury released the white cake mix with rainbow sprinkles (which were used to blend into the batter rather than to decorate the top of the cake), the world’s adoration for Funfetti has only gotten stronger. Having been an immediate hit at children’s birthday parties in the 1990s, those same youngsters are now adults with a penchant for Funfetti macarons, croissants, and wedding cakes, to name a few treats.
2000s: crème brûlée
2000s: cake pops
2000s: liquid nitrogen desserts
Photograph courtesy of Gecko Studio/Shutterstock
2000s: Nutella desserts
Photograph by Aleksandar Bradaric/Shutterstock In a little hamlet in Italy, approximately 60 years ago, a spread made of hazelnuts and chocolate was developed. Nutella gained popularity fast, and by the 2000s, enthusiasts all over the world were using it not just to spread over toast, but also to bake into a variety of sweets such as cheesecake and banana bread. Its popularity was so widespread that it resulted in a worldwide shortage of hazelnuts.
Photograph courtesy of Marie C Fields/Shutterstock When Carrie Bradshaw and Miranda Hobbes were seen devouring cupcakes on our television screens in an episode ofSex and the City in 2000, the entire nation wanted to be like them, and these sweet pleasures quickly became the decade’s most popular dessert. There have been an increase in cupcake shops, handmade versions have been presented to events, and cupcake towers have taken the place of traditional wedding cakes. Now, take a look at the fast food favorites that were popular in the year you were born.
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