The 10 Most & 10 Least Popular Desserts In America

The 10 Most & 10 Least Popular Desserts In America

Everyone loves dessert, but just because it's sweet doesn't mean it tastes good. Alongside beloved desserts like cookies, cupcakes, and doughnuts, there are also some pretty unfavourable ones. Let's explore what some of those are as we dive into 10 of the most popular and 10 of the least popular desserts in America.

1. Ice Cream

Of course, what list of most popular desserts in America would be complete without ice cream? As a childhood favourite and an adult mood-booster, ice cream is arguably one of the most beloved sweet treats around the world, not just in the US. With so many flavours to choose from, it guarantees that there's something out there for everyone. It's also so versatile too! From sundaes to floats and shakes, you can have it plain or fancy, whatever you like.

Dessertsmarqquin on Unsplash

2. Apple Pie

When we think of America and dessert, apple pie immediately comes to mind. Served as the finishing dish to many iconic American holidays like Thanksgiving and Fourth of July, apple pie is a dessert that holds a special place in many Americans' hearts. And what's not to love about it? It's got a flaky, buttery crust and a deliciously seasoned apple filling. When it's served warm with a cold scoop of sweet vanilla ice cream, that's heaven.

Danil-Aksenov-Bkxzabdt08Q-UnsplashPhoto by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash

3. Cheesecake

Cheesecake, whether it's of the no-bake variety or the New York-style classic, is the perfect dessert for those with a more mature taste bud. It's got a rich and deep flavour that's complemented by its creamy texture and crumbly graham base. While the standard flavour is arguably the most popular, there are tons of different toppings and mix-ins that give this dessert tons of customizability. From topped fruit to syrups, chocolate, and caramel, there are so many different ways to enjoy this delicious dessert.

Mink-Mingle-Lgnxqzymeuk-UnsplashPhoto by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

4. Chocolate Chip Cookies

There's nothing in this world that smells better than freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafting throughout the entire house. A household staple, chocolate chip cookies are not only easy to make, but they're so satisfying and delicious to enjoy too. It's enough to bring a smile to anyone's face. And they're pretty versatile too - they taste great dipped in milk or served as the base for ice cream sandwiches.

Amirali-Mirhashemian-X6Vueh2Nphw-UnsplashPhoto by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash


5. Brownies

If chocolate is your favourite flavour for any dessert, we'd take a guess that brownies are one of your favourite desserts. A popular baked dessert that's easy to make at home, brownies are indulgent treats that will hit the spot every time. There's a popular debate about whether the fudgy or cakey texture is better, but in all honesty, just do whatever fits your fancy best! They're so easy to customize to your liking too - throw in chocolate chips, nuts, or caramel to satisfy whatever craving you have.

Angiola-Harry-5Z1A Esys40-UnsplashPhoto by Angiola Harry on Unsplash

6. Pecan Pie

Here's a classic American dessert that stands out during the holiday season. Pecan pie is a beloved Southern dessert that is enjoyed across the country. Similar to apple pie, it's a holiday special, known for ending any big feast with a bang. Incredibly sweet, it's definitely a "treat yourself" dessert that people look forward to every year. It's rich, sticky, sweet, and tastes best when served with a healthy dollop of whipped cream.

Nikohoshi-Calyrgdn8Fa-UnsplashPhoto by nikohoshi on Unsplash

7. Cupcakes

When an entire cake is just too much, you can always count on cupcakes to save the day. This popular sweet treat is beloved for its cute, handheld size and beautiful appearance. Not only does the cake come in various flavours like chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, and so much more, the frosting is just as customizable! It can come in a rich buttercream, a cream cheese frosting, or whatever you like! Commonly served at big celebrations like birthdays and weddings, no one will ever turn down a cupcake, that's for sure.

Jennie-Brown-Oq4Ok8Ge88C-UnsplashPhoto by Jennie Brown on Unsplash

8. Doughnuts

For those days when you need a pick me up in the morning, the classic combo of a doughnut and coffee will always do the trick. But really, doughnuts are perfect for all times of the day. Popularly sold in fast food chains, bakeries, and grocery stores, there's clearly a big doughnut market in the states. And with so many different flavours and methods of preparation, we can easily see why. 

Anna-Sullivan--Tr4Fnnjw2A-UnsplashPhoto by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

9. Key Lime Pie

For those of you who love citrusy flavours in their dessert, don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you. Key lime pie is a popular choice for many Americans, especially during the summer barbecue season. It's sweet yet tart, creamy yet refreshing, and is just downright delicious. And with the wonderful contrast of the graham cracker crust, it's a crowd-pleaser that never disappoints.

American-Heritage-Chocolate-4Id4561Zfz8-UnsplashPhoto by American Heritage Chocolate on Unsplash

10. S'mores

Camping culture is huge in the US, which makes sense why s'mores is such a beloved dessert. It's the perfect way to end off any night when you're out camping - that combination of roasted marshmallow, thick chocolate, and crunchy graham cracker is something every camper looks forward to. It's a tasty dessert in its own right, but it's made even better thanks to the experience of everyone sitting around the campfire and enjoying each other's company.

Mikki-Speid-Juryutqtsbu-UnsplashPhoto by Mikki Speid on Unsplash


1. Fruitcake

Fruitcake is often joked as being one of the worst desserts out there, but is it really a joke if it's true? We're just kidding, that's subjective of course! But it shouldn't come to you as a surprise that fruitcake is one of the most unpopular desserts in America - and that's despite it being a Christmas tradition! It's simply too dense, has a strange texture, and just has too much going on.

Traditional English Fruitcake (Cropped)TheMightyGrog on Wikimedia Commons

2. Divinity

Have you ever heard of this unique sweet treat before? Believed to have originated from the South, Divinity is a nougat-like dessert that's made with just a handful of ingredients. Despite being so easy to make, it's not very popular, perhaps due to the fact that it's seen as an old-fashioned dessert. Not to mention, it's often criticized for being far too sweet, and having the unpopular grainy and sticky consistency that most people don't like. 

Divinity CandyEjm225 on Wikimedia Commons

3. Mincemeat Pie

The funny thing about mincemeat pies? Modern day ones don't even contain any meat! Might want to consider changing the name if that's the case, because the name can really throw people off. Instead of biting into a savory pie, you'll be surprised by a mix of fruit, nuts, and sometimes alcohol. It's not exactly the type of dessert that suits American taste buds.

Sweets At The Street Market In Marsaxlokk 02Kritzolina on Wikimedia Commons

4. Ambrosia Salad

Another dessert with a misleading name, no Ambrosia salad isn't actually a salad. There's no lettuce, croutons, or dressing involved! Instead, it's a very eclectic mash of various ingredients like fruit, coconut, marshmallows, yogurt, and whipped cream. There's certainly a lot going on in this dessert! And with such a mushy texture, it's not exactly something many Americans look for in when closing out a delicious meal.

Ambrosia SaladMarshall Astor on Wikimedia Commons

5. Baked Alaska

On a technical level, Baked Alaska is a true feat of culinary art; it's an impressive dessert that consists of ice cream, cake, and a browned meringue. While it's certainly got the visuals to back it up, it's not exactly a popular dessert. When you ask people what their favourite dessert is, how often do you hear "Baked Alaska?" Too complicated to make at home, expensive when ordered in restaurants, and sometimes too overwhelming for the tongue, it's more often seen as an occasional dessert rather than a commonly had one.

Baked Alaska At Gage And TollnerRhododendrites on Wikimedia Commons

6. Rice Pudding

Rice pudding might throw you off given the sound of it (rice as a dessert?), but it's actually quite comforting and tasty once you've had it. And being so simple to make, you might be wondering why it's not a more popular dessert. For one, its texture is less than appealing - it's got a porridge-like consistency that doesn't exactly do it any favours. Not to mention, it's a dessert often associated with seniors, making it a much less popular choice for teens and young adults.

1024Px-Rice Pudding Vanilla CinnamonRudi Riet from Washington, DC, United States on Wikimedia Commons


7. Grasshopper Pie

Never heard of a Grasshopper Pie before? Don't worry, you're probably not alone! This strangely green-coloured dessert is mint-flavoured, which already makes it a pretty polarizing dessert. Mint is just one of those flavours you either love or hate, meaning people either love or hate this dessert.

Grasshopper Pie (14105460720)Julia Payne from Manchester, USA on Wikimedia Commons

8. Spumoni

While it's fun to say, spumoni isn't something you see very often on dessert menus. This Italian-American dessert combines three different flavours of ice cream and is sometimes mixed with fruits and nuts. While it's got a fun appearance to it, it's not really something that speaks to the American crowd. If you don't hear it much, it's safe to say it isn't popular!

SpumonipicGimlifangirl, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

9. Jell-O Salad

Okay, we'll never get over how weird this dessert is. Is it even a dessert if it sometimes contains vegetables or even seafood? Jell-O Salad is one of those unique American creations that confuses the modern generation. It just kind of feels like anything can be thrown into it! And for people who are big on texture, the gelatinous texture of the Jell-O combined with the weird add-ins is definitely not for everyone.

Congealed Salad CranberryShadle on Wikimedia Commons

10. Lady Baltimore Cake

Now this one is a visually stunning dessert that is simply unpopular because it's lesser known. The Lady Baltimore Cake (what a name!) is a Southern specialty that has a lot going on. And we mean a lot. If you've never heard of it before, it consists of white cake that's filled with dried fruits and nuts, topped with a meringue-type frosting. You can practically taste the sweetness! It might not have a flavour profile that suits everyone, but it certainly is a work of art to behold.

Lady Baltimore Cake (8326511799)jeannetteyvonne on Wikimedia Commons