Delicious in Mississippi: Iconic Desserts and Where to Find Them

How do we describe Southern food? It’s comforting-the flavors that remind you of being home with your family, surrounded by loved ones, or coming in off a long day. And it’s authentic-homemade and crafted with fresh ingredients, recipes handed down through generations, techniques taught with patience and care. Simply put, it’s the best-and we all know to save the best for last, right? Mississippi is a dessert-lover’s dream, the heart of signature Southern sweets and iconic indulgences. If you’re looking to satisfy that sweet tooth, these landmark treats are guaranteed to do the trick and then some.

What: Lemon Ice Box Pie
Where: Crystal Grill, Greenwood

We begin with simple perfection: smooth, tart, lemon filling poured into crumbly graham cracker crust and topped with a decadent layer of whipped cream. So what makes the Crystal Grill’s version so special? Pastry cook Annie Johnson says it’s because she “always puts one cup of love.” That’s enough to make world-renowned celebrity chef Cat Cora call this pie “chilled perfection.” You can see it featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate!”

What: Mississippi Mud Pie
Where: The Chimneys, Gulfport

Any good foodie must-eat list has to include the state’s signature dessert: Mississippi Mud Pie. Perhaps no two families make it exactly the same, but the main idea is this: a gooey chocolate sauce glazed over melted marshmallows and a crusty brownie base. The Chimneys in Gulfport calls it Mississippi Mud Cake, and you can enjoy it while you’re taking in the restaurant’s lush green surroundings and waterfront views.

What: Black Bottom Pie
Where: Weidmann’s, Meridian

Mississippi’s oldest restaurant was established in 1870 by Swiss immigrant Felix Weidmann. And in all those 150 years since he stepped off his steamboat and set up shop, this place has perfected heaven on a plate. The black bottom of this pie is a silky dark chocolate cream on ginger snap crust, with a layer of fluffy, whiskey-spiked custard. They top it off with whipped cream and shavings of bitter chocolate-a Southern classic that’ll make your taste buds sing.

What: Pecan Praline Pie
Where: Walnut Hills Restaurant, Vicksburg

Walnut Hills Restaurant is a storied institution, nestled in Olde Town Vicksburg. The handsome old house is famous for its good old-fashioned traditions, stellar fried chicken, and, of course, its pecan praline pie. Two downhome staples come together like family in this dreamy dessert, crafted with a special praline pecan liqueur.

What: White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Where: Crescent City Grill, Hattiesburg

Chef Robert St. John knows that Mississippians just can’t get enough white chocolate bread pudding. After trying the dish for the first time in New Orleans, St. John immediately started working on his own recipe, which is served proudly at his Crescent City Grill in Hattiesburg. This ethereally smooth pudding is a surprising and delicious Creole twist on an old Southern favorite and a perennial member of the clean plate club.

What: Bananas Foster Banana Pudding
Where: Pig & Pint, Jackson

Barbecue, beer, and banana pudding-the trifecta of Southern comfort food. After you’ve sampled one of the Pig & Pint’s 105 beers and chowed down on plenty of locally sourced barbecue, you’ve got to save room for this sweet and scrumptious foster-style banana pudding. The brown sugar rum sauce really kicks this regular backyard favorite up a notch; it stays humble, though, served with vanilla wafers in the signature Styrofoam cup.

What: Sugaree’s Layer Cakes
Where: Sugaree’s Bakery, New Albany

What’s more fundamental than a layer cake? If you thought this treat couldn’t be improved upon, you’ve got to sink your teeth into one of Sugaree’s. Their rich, moist layer cakes have made such a splash that you can order them from across the country, and many have. They’ve even been featured in Oprah Magazine, Southern Living, and the New York Times. Popular choices include caramel, strawberry, and rainbow, though there’s plenty to discover here-this dessert simply can’t be skipped.

What: Cotton Blues Cheesecakes
Where: Cotton Blues, Hattiesburg

Cotton Blues Kitchen & Marketplace is home of the four-pound cheesecake-yes, you read that right. Of course, you can also buy by the slice… but you’re guaranteed to want more. Lovingly crafted in small batches with only seven high-quality ingredients, these cheesecakes give their New York cousins a run for their money. Choose from original, strawberry, sea-salted caramel, and blueberry. A local, kitchen-fresh delicacy: no factories involved.

For everyone out there who decides what to order for dinner based on what they want for dessert, Mississippi is your dream foodie destination. Plan your visit today at VisitMississippi.org.