12 Unique Baked Goods Across The US

When it comes to tasty treats, baked goods are as universally beloved as they come. The French have their claim to fame with pain au chocolat (chocolatine to some) and the British share a singular love of Yorkshire pudding, but finding unique baked goods across the United States requires a much wider net. After all, a country as large as the U.S. with all of its geographical, cultural, and historical differences, is bound to boast some truly novel baked goods.

From coast to coast, sea to shining sea, and all the singularly American dishes in between, it's time to shine a spotlight on some of the unsung and entirely unique baked goods from across the United States, as well as the culture(s) that created them. Whether sweet or savory, hot or cold, a new take on an old classic, or an entirely peerless invention of a pastry, the U.S. has ovens full of deliciously distinctive delicacies just waiting to be discovered.

Blue corn bizcochitos

Bizcochitos may sound like a mouthful, and if one finds themselves in New Mexico with a hankering to try the state's favorite cookie, bizcochitos can be a literal mouthful as well — and a delicious one at that.

New Mexico's classic cookie of choice features a simple butter cookie base with sugar, cinnamon, and anise flavoring a combination that sets it far apart from other all-American biscuits. And if anise wasn't a unique enough addition to this baked good, Golden Crown Panaderia saw an opportunity to take the concept of the state cookie one step further. Rather than recreating the recipe, they took two great loves of New Mexico, blue corn and bizcochitos, and combined them.

Given blue corn's rich and sweet flavor profile, this combination makes a startling amount of sense. Blue corn is also rumored to possess some health benefits and, is such a stunning color that, even without the flavor and health boost, it would still make it an excellent addition to the basic bizcochito for the aesthetic alone.

Buckeye chocolate brownie

The classic chocolate brownie is a staple dessert and is a household go-to baked good across the U.S. But how a chocolate brownie is dressed can change the name of the brownie game.

In Ohio, one sweet treat stands head and shoulders above the rest as the official state candy: the humble buckeye. This decadent peanut butter fudge and chocolate candy is everything Reese's Peanut Butter Cups wishes they could be. And the logical conclusion of this delicious all-American morsel? Bake it into a brownie.

Only in Ohio can you regularly find dangerously decadent chocolate gâteau squares with a secret (not so secret) homage to the match made in heaven that is peanut butter and dark chocolate. And though the eye may see only the dark brown, near-black color of a chocolate dessert done right, hidden in and on the buckeye brownie are bites of pure gold: peanut butter fudge.

Cranberry cream puffs

Cream puffs can be found across the entire state of Wisconsin and are generally revered as the fan-favorite pastry among locals and visitors alike. The premise of this pastry is fairly self-explanatory, but for the uninitiated, a cream puff (aka chou à la crème or a profiterole) is made from a ball of choux pastry (the same dough used to make eclairs) that is baked and then filled with a sweet, creamy center.

Unsurprisingly, as the state that is known for its involvement in all things dairy — especially cheese — Wisconsin is all aboard the cream puff train. More surprisingly, Wisconsin is also the leading state when it comes to cranberry distribution. And at Warren's Cranberry Festival, Wisconsin's rich culture of cranberries and cream puffs combine to create the delightful cranberry cream puff. The flaky pastry, the sweet cream, and the tangy tartness of the cranberry combine to create one of the single most fluffy, delicious, and messy of the unique baked goods from across the U.S.

Dark chocolate sourdough bread

San Francisco sourdough is famous in its own right, with a culture as old as that of California's gold rush of the mid-1800s. But just like the city this dough claimed as its home well over 150 years ago, San Francisco sourdough is determined to continuously evolve, change form, and jump through every hoop pop culture demands in order to stay at the forefront for as long as possible.

Enter dark chocolate sourdough, most readily (and deliciously) available from Backhaus in San Mateo, California. This decadent dessert bread deftly balances the quintessential flavors of fermented sourdough tanginess with the complex bittersweetness of high-quality chocolate. And, to add the inherent intrigue, this singularly savory/sweet Blackhaus baked good is served only on the weekends — you know, as a treat for another week well spent.

Pair dark chocolate sourdough with whipped cream and strawberries for an out-of-this-world dessert sandwich experience.

Idaho's ice cream potato

Okay, it's true — a baked potato isn't technically a baked good in the traditional sense of the word. But given that it's both baked and good, the people of Idaho deserve a linguistic pass when it comes to this wholly unique dessert item.

Though the humble ice cream baked potato most likely won't be found in a high-end boulangerie, Idaho is certainly living up to its reputation as the potato state with this novelty dessert of a baked potato topped off with ice cream (found most famously at Idaho's Westside Drive-in). Before knocking the ice cream baked potato, especially without even trying it, consider how well other dairy products meld with the unassuming baked potato: Butter, sour cream, and cheese have all had their heyday atop russets. Who's to say ice cream isn't the best pairing yet? If nothing else, the ice cream baked potato proves yet again that the potato really is the perfect vessel for flavor.

Key lime pie on a stick

Everyone knows key lime pie, but how many non-Floridians have heard of key lime pie that has been put on a stick, frozen, and dipped in chocolate? Well, those who have had the opportunity to visit Key West, the most southwestern point of Florida, may be familiar with this cold citrus sweet. And those who have not are missing out on perhaps one of the most unique baked goods from across the U.S.

To understand the enchanting nature of frozen and dipped key lime pie on a stick, one must first know what makes key lime special and how it is differentiated from the average, run-of-the-mill lime. The answer to this is simple: it's a different lime variety entirely! Compared to the average lime, which can be found in any supermarket across America, key limes boast a more floral, tart, and overall aromatic flavor profile.

Key limes are practically synonymous with Floridian culture, as is the hot and humid weather that undoubtedly led locals to the rather ingenious invention of freezing this fan-favorite pie to create this crave-worthy popsicle of a pastry.

King cake French toast

King cake is about as traditional as baked goods come, with a rich history and a richer flavor (almond, for those who are wondering). Also called Three Kings Cake, this multicolored green, purple, and yellow pastry is originally believed to have come to New Orleans from France and has since become an unstoppable staple in celebrating Mardi Gras, or, in the literal translation, Fat Tuesday. The short, non-contextualized history of this dessert is as follows: the day before Ash Wednesday, a king cake is baked. The cake usually has a fève (a small figurine, usually of a baby) baked inside. When the cake is eaten, whoever finds the figurine in their slice, hopefully without attempting to eat it first, wins a prize.

Naturally, an establishment in New Orleans (aptly called French Toast) made the decision to give this traditional baked good a modern twist ... by making it French toast, stuffing it with cinnamon cream cheese, and topping it with Mardi Gras-colored sprinkles Whether or not king cake french toast comes with a fève is to be determined, though the French toast-ification seems like a worthy prize in and of itself.

Lilikoi cheesecake

As far as baked goods go, cheesecake stands much closer to the category of an age-old classic rather than contemporary — but the flavor combinations of this simple confection are seemingly endless. From chocolate cheesecake covered in candied cherries or pumpkin cheesecake smothered in whipped cream, all the way to a crème brûlée cheesecake with a satisfyingly caramelized crust, this humble cake can carry any twist thrown its way.

The perfect example of this is the lilikoi cheesecake, a popular dessert from the tropical islands of Hawaii. This sweet treat features lilikoi (aka yellow passionfruit) in all its tart and tangy glory and pairs it with the creamy sweetness of traditional cheesecake. The flavors combine and meld to become a full-flavor experience that's bound to excite every tastebud. And, because this is Hawaii's take on the classic cheesecake, the crust has got to be absolutely nuts — macadamia nuts, that is.

Maple baklava

Vermont is known for many a sweet treat, but the award for the most unique baked good across this part of the U.S. goes to the maple baklava. Traditionally, this buttery, nutty, and flaky dessert is made with honey syrup but, since Vermont is the home of all things maple, a local establishment called Tuckerbox Cafe combined the two sweets into a glorious new gastronome's delight.

The process behind the making of baklava is deceptively simple, though the ongoing dispute over this dessert's exact country of origin is anything but. Regardless, the recipe remains the same — layer upon layer of flaky, buttery phyllo dough is stacked on top of a bed of spiced nuts in a pan and baked. Though the shapes of baklava may vary, the pan is typically divided into diamonds, each of which is topped with a clove, before the entire pan is absolutely drenched in sweet and sticky honey syrup.

Of course, leave it to the famously maple-minded state to take this age-old dessert and make it maple.

Marionberry pie

In the Pacific Northwest, and especially throughout Oregon, one pie reigns supreme above all others. No, it isn't the classic apple, nor is it cherry, strawberry rhubarb, or even pumpkin pie that holds the top spot in the hearts of Oregon-goers. Instead, the marionberry pie won out against all others to become Oregon's official state pie.

But what is a marionberry? By any other name, the marionberry is simply a blackberry variety (called the Marion blackberry) with the sweetest, most succulently juicy, and downright desirable of blackberry flavor profiles from anywhere across the U.S. Naturally, an ingredient as famously delicious as Oregon's marionberry found its home between two sheets of sweet, flaky pie dough, baked to crispy perfection. This pie is best served hot or at room temperature, with or without vanilla ice cream, alone or with company. In short, this pie is the best and well worth a trip to the Beaver State.

Peanut butter, banana, and bacon blondies

Elvis Presley may have been one of the most famous singers of all time, but his favorite flavor combination of peanut butter, bananas, and bacon just may outlive his music — especially since purveyors of baked goods in Memphis, Tennessee (where Elvis famously lived and died) keep finding ways to keep this unique union of savory, sweet, and sticky alive, as they have with peanut butter, banana, and bacon blondies.

For those who are hesitant to give this unique baked good a shot, consider all the other amazing sweet and savory flavor combinations: apple and cheddar, salt and caramel, and just about any good barbecue sauce out there all toe that fine line between dessert and dinner that, if done right, can make the taste buds sing ("Can't Help Falling in Love," of course).

Depending on personal preference, these Elvis-inspired blondies can be made with peanut butter that's chunky or as silky smooth as the voice of the King of Rock and Roll and the alleged inventor of this flavor combo himself.

Pueblo green chili hand pie

Not all baked goods have to be sweet, and in Colorado, there is no more delicious or iconic baked good than a pueblo green chile hand pie. Though the state name Colorado literally translates to "color red," this state is notorious for its pervasive love of green chiles. That said, it's no mystery why Colorado loves the mildly spicy, flavorful palate that comes with a properly cooked green chili.

As part of the pie-loving United States, it makes sense to take the state's most beloved stew and stick it inside some delicious pie crust. This combination of green chili and America's love for pie makes for a perfect savory snack on the go. This is especially true when the weather gets cold, as it tends to in Colorado, and locals and visitors alike find themselves craving a uniquely Coloradan baked good to heat up their hands, bellies, and hearts with flavors and errant pie flakes aplenty.