A Sweet History of Our Favorite Desserts

From banana splits and Eskimo pie to cake kits, ambrosia, and bacon-laced cupcakes, American society has always craved something to satisfy its ever-present sweet tooth. But what defines our taste in desserts? Cleverly packaged free “recipe books” published by companies like Pillsbury and Del Monte, for starters. While ingredients come from a brand level, recipes have always belonged to the consumers. From 1900 through the present day, Americans have been as much seduced by homemade, labor-intensive creations as they have by the much less time-consuming candy bar, and more often than not, the categories overlap. Here are just a few highlights of the most popular desserts of the last eleven decades.

 

1900-1910: Devil's Food Cake & the Hershey Bar

 

1910-1920: Biscuits & Penny Candies

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1920-1930: Nuts about Candy Bars

 

1930-1940:Semi-Instant Baking

 

1940-1950: The Age of Pies & Cakes

 

1950-1960: Donuts & Hot Fudge Sundaes

 

1960-1970: Wild 'n' Crazy Cakes

 

1970-1980: Anything Goes

 

1980-1990: Fro-Yo & Pudding Pops

 

1990-2000: Cookies & Brownies

 

2000-2010: Cupcakes

cupcakes

 

2010-2020: ?

 

 

 

(Originally published on LA Weekly.)