Dirt cake for Kansas and gooey butter cake for Missouri?

Gooey butter cake and dirt cake are Slate's picks for Missouri and Kansas.

Gooey butter cake and dirt cake are Slate’s picks for Missouri and Kansas.

Okay, it’s pop quiz time. Slate released its “United Sweets of America” results earlier this week (no duplicates, no state gets apple pie or chocolate chip cookies and a brand can’t win). Kansas Dirt Cake was selected for Kansas and Gooey butter cake captured the crown in Missouri. Kansas Dirt Cake is something you’re familiar with if you’ve ever been to a party — it’s a chilled concoction of pudding, whipped cream and cookie crumbles that eats better than it looks. Gooey butter cake is one of the St. Louis chosen, a yellow cake dusted with confectioner’s sugar, which Slate wisely notes “falls between a sheet cake and a bar.”

The business of trying to claim a dessert for each state is certainly booming. Last June, iVillage set out to map the ideal gift and dessert recipe from each state. That very specific list tabbed peppernuts for Kansas and gooey butter cake for Missouri. Business Insider cranked out a list of its own just last month. As part of the “Best Desserts in Every State,” Kansas was bequeathed Christopher Elbow chocolates (and while there is a Leawood location, they’re more likely associated with Kansas City, Missouri) and Missouri got, wait for it, Gooey Louie’s gooey butter cake. The lesson is the world is fairly certain where Missouri’s sweet tooth resides, but appears to be flumoxed by the end meal habits of Kansans. For what it’s worth, Missouri designated the ice cream cone as its official state dessert in 2008 (104 years after the ice cream cone debuted at the World’s Fair in St. Louis). Kansas has yet to claim an official state dessert.

Since everybody is taking a bite at this candy apple, we figured we might as well as settle it the way we do in 2014: crowdsourcing. So what’s it going to be Missouri and Kansas? What are your state desserts?

[Gooey Butter cake and dirt cake picture via Flickr: libAmanda and Life As A Coach’s Wife]

Jonathan Bender

Jonathan Bender is the founder of The Recommended Daily.

1 Comment

  • Reply August 27, 2014


    I’ll give butter cake to Missouri, even though I’ve never known anyone who’s not from St. Louis (or is Mennonite or Amish) to make it.

    Dirt cake is only eaten at kids’ parties with gummi worms hanging out of it, I’ve never heard of Peppernuts, and Christopher Elbow chocolates are hardly known outside of Leawood, regardless of and media writeups.

    Maybe those sunflower seeds covered in chocolate? Does that count as dessert?

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