Sweet Land of Liberty

Let’s not sugarcoat the truth: Americans are sweet on dessert! An overwhelming variety of sweet treats is available in our country, ranging from chocolatey to fruity, simple to indulgent, homemade to mass-produced. According to surveys, one in six Americans has dessert every day. Whether to celebrate a special occasion or satisfy a craving, one thing is certain: Americans have a sweet tooth and consume more sugar than any other nation.

Let’s explore some of the most popular desserts enjoyed in our sweet land of liberty and discuss the cultural significance that makes them distinctively American.


This layered sweet treat is not just a dessert but a part of American history and culture. The recipe for S’mores was first published in a Girl Scout guidebook in 1927. Today, S’mores are not only enjoyed in their classic form but have inspired many variations and spin-off products. As their name implies, once you indulge in one, you’ll want some more! 


These decadent, fudgy squares have satisfied America’s chocolate cravings since they were first served in Chicago in 1893. The story goes that a chef at the Palmer House Hotel was asked to create a dessert that was smaller than a piece of cake yet still retained its rich flavor and texture. Thus, the brownie was born and has since remained an American favorite.


Cakes are not just desserts; they are one of America’s most celebrated culinary creations. Seldom will you find a special occasion like a birthday or wedding without one. Chocolate cake is a classic favorite, but today, countless delicious cake flavors exist, each a testament to the creativity and innovation in American dessert-making. Cupcakes and cake pops are alternate versions of this confection that are as delightful as they are delicious!


Cheesecakes are the epitome of sweet indulgence. Their origins have been traced back to Ancient Greece, and their long history has allowed American bakers to add their individual cultural touches. From the classic New York-style cheesecake to the Chicago-style version, cheesecake is one of America’s favorites, from sea to shining sea, each region putting its unique twist on the dessert.


Ice cream enthusiasts will tell you that the best desserts occasionally come from somewhere other than the oven. Quaker colonists are said to have brought the concept of ice cream across the ocean from England. Recent surveys show that 86% of Americans choose ice cream at least once a week for dessert or a snack. Today, Americans consume about 23 gallons of ice cream each year, with vanilla and chocolate being the most popular flavors, a testament to their timeless appeal.


From fruit pies to cream pies, pie ranks somewhere at the top of everyone’s list of go-to desserts. According to tradition, the quintessential American dessert is apple pie. It’s so patriotic that we have coined the phrase “as American as apple pie.” Served alone or a la mode, apple pie is a slice of Americana that remains one of our country’s favorite desserts year after year.


Cookies are among the most popular and portable desserts of all time. Ruth Graves Wakefield is said to have invented the chocolate chip cookie entirely by accident. This fortunate turn of events brought about the birth of this iconic American cookie that has been enjoyed for over eighty-six years. During the Second World War, chocolate chip cookies were a common staple in care packages shipped to American soldiers, providing them with a taste of home and warm memories.

Over time, the original Toll House recipe has undergone several changes, resulting in some interesting culinary variations. You’ll find one such variation on the accompanying Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe card. Consider celebrating National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day by baking a batch on August 4! ν