Desserts change, but our sweet tooth doesn’t. Our taste for fatty, sweet, creamy, salty, chocolatey treats is hardwired into our DNA. Here are some of the most popular desserts broken down by decade.
One of the most notable inventions to come out of the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri was the ice cream cone. It was invented when a vendor ran out of cups and had to get creative.
The modern concept of strawberry shortcake, layering slices of strawberries with sponge cake and whipped cream, came about when a French pastry chef replaced the customary sugary frosting topping with heavy whipped cream instead.
You can thank the Girl Scouts for inventing camping’s favorite bonfire treat. The first recipe for s’mores was found in the 1927 Girl Scout guidebook “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.”
Depression-era cooks trying to stretch their ingredients relied on Jell-O to make food last longer. Lime-flavored Jell-O worked well for many sweet and savory salads.
Did you know that, before the 1940s, Twinkies had banana cream filling? But a banana shortage during World War II forced the company to develop a vanilla filling instead.
Ants on a log is another invention of the Girls Scouts of America. The first recipe, simply called “celery sticks,” can be found in a Girl Scout cookbook from 1946.
The gorgeous presentation of caramelized pineapples adorned with cherries atop a vanilla cake made it a popular dessert for parties in the 1960s.
Carrot cakes became very popular in the 1970s, during what’s referred to as the “Hippie Food” era. Though not quite considered health food, it was still one of the decade’s most popular desserts.
Cheesecakes are in no way new, but in the 1980s, there was a cheesecake renaissance. Several cookbooks were published focusing solely on cheesecake and the many ways it can be made and enjoyed.
For millennials, nearly every childhood birthday party memory involves an ice cream cake. Ice cream cakes were all the rage during the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to companies like Friendly’s and Carvel.