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Tag: Southern desserts

Even after a big holiday meal, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Southerner who would turn down a slice of pecan pie or red velvet cake for dessert. So many memories are made around Southern food, and during the holidays, when there is nothing more cherished than feeling at home, family recipes find an extra special place in our kitchens and on our tables. We asked some of our sweet (pun intended!) baker friends to share the stories behind the desserts they come back to year after year, no matter how many cakes, pies, and treats they’ve perfected along the way.

Ashley of Ashley Cakes, Raleigh, NC

My absolute favorite thing to bake during the holiday season is my Grandma Mitchell’s homemade carrot cake. For as long as I can remember, she has been baking this yumminess for every Thanksgiving and Christmas family get-together. Since I’m a cake baker, she shared her recipe with me (of course!), and it is one that I will cherish forever! It was fun converting some of her recipe to actual measurements, because, like all great Southern cooks, hers contained instructions like “two shakes” of this and “three pinches” of that! I can’t say that mine will ever be as delicious as hers, but I love carrying on the tradition. With every bite, it takes me back to being a little girl at Grandma’s kitchen table.

Shay Cochrane

Natalie of Chic Sweets, Tampa, FL

These desserts come straight from my home, heart, and family. I have a rather large family, and one of our traditions is cooking up our favorite recipes all day and then getting dressed up to sit down and enjoy our special dishes. It may seem a bit silly that we all get dressed up, but with a house full of boys, I love getting dolled up to sit at the table with family and friends! When we wrap up dinner and our bellies are full, I get to share two of my favorite desserts with my family. I don’t ever like to go too heavy with desserts, especially after a big meal, and my heart-shaped strawberry Nutella mini-pies and white chocolate hot cocoa always hit the spot!

Natalie graciously shared her recipes with us! Download the recipe cards to add to your collection here and here.

Jocelyn of Grandbaby Cakes

This “Real Deal Caramel Cake” is my essential for all holidays because it has such a rich history in my family. The caramel was passed down from my Aunt Beverly, and has been the centerpiece of our holiday baking tradition for years. There is nothing more delicious, and nothing more beautiful, than baking this cake in the kitchen with my family.

Anna of One Belle Bakery, Wilmington, NC

One of my favorite things to bake this time of year is a to-die-for peppermint red velvet cake. Is there a more Southern cake than red velvet? It’s possible, but not according to my sweet Southern granny. In her house, the most delicious deviled eggs you’ve ever tasted always meant spring was here, fresh watermelon slices arranged just so on a polished silver platter meant summer was here, and this cake meant the the holidays were here! I can still smell the peppermint that filled her house when she would make this cake. It’s one of those recipes that will always be special to me and bring back the best memories of time spent with my family. Like most Southern families, food surely brought us together.

What dessert do you bake for the holidays every year? We’d love to hear your stories, too!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Molly reply

    I’ve been making this Chocoloate-Pumpkin Layer Cake recipe from The New York Times for 6 years now. Sometimes I cheat and use my favorite store-bought chocolate icing, though. I make this for Thanksgiving usually, and it gets me in the holiday spirit every year!

  2. avatar amy reply

    Look at that red velvet cake, doesn’t get better than t hat!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    we must try that caramel cake!

  4. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    These all look and sound delicious. Love the bite size heart pies with the touch of sprinkles. Perfect for after a large dinner or for a dessert buffet.

  5. avatar Nutella Filled Heart Shape Pies and White Chocolate Hot Cocoa with Shay Cochrane Photography – Chic SweetsChic Sweets reply

    […] recipes below. Feel free to tweek to your liking. Southern Weddings also has this posted on their blog as well, along with a printer-friendly version of our […]

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I’m pretty sure that a how-hungry-will-this-make-you score should be posted at the beginning of each Southern Delicacy column, just as a warning if we’re approaching mealtime when you happen to be reading. Of course, since they’d all rate a 10 out of 10 on the danger scale, it might not be that helpful. Still, I’ll warn you: today’s focus on the sweet Southern favorite Hummingbird Cake is entirely delicious!

Call Me Cupcake

A traditional Hummingbird Cake has incredibly moist layers packed full of banana, pineapple, and coconut, with the nutty crunch of pecans and the slightly sour and salty finish of cream cheese frosting. Might sound a bit too healthy for dessert, but we promise, this one packs a sweet punch! My friend described the taste as a cross between banana bread and carrot cake!

Hummingbird cake ingredients via Hungry Gems

Like many Southern favorites, Hummingbird Cake has a confusing history. It’s also known as “granny cake” or “cake that don’t last,” and some sources have it originating in Australia or Jamaica. The first known publication, though, was in a February 1978 edition of Southern Living. Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina, submitted the recipe, and it has grown to be SL’s most-requested recipe of all time. (And it’s won many blue ribbons at country fairs along the way!)

Hummingbird cake slice via Desserts for Breakfast, hummingbird cake with pecans via Call Me Cupcake, hummingbird cake slice via Sugar & Spice by Celeste

The original recipe published in SL actually called for twice the amount of frosting that their current recipe uses (wow!), but like I said, this one’s still for the sweet tooths among us. In fact, some say the Hummingbird Cake got its name because it’s as sweet as the sugared water that attracts its flying namesake.

On the left, hummingbird cupcake with pineapple almond butter cream cheese frosting via The Cupcake Project, and on the right, hummingbird cupcake with sweet cream cheese frosting from Crave Cupcakes

The other theory about the name is that each bite makes you hum with delight :)

Hummingbird bundt cake from Southern Living, hummingbird cake pops via Broma Bakery, hummingbird mini cheesecakes via Mangoes and Palm Trees

With its sweet flavor and sweet history, Hummingbird Cake is a perfect pick for Southern showers and weddings. We love the new formats above, especially the Hummingbird Cake Pops!

Hummingbird layer cake via Southern Weddings, edible flower bitesize hummingbird cakes via Sweet Life, hummingbird cake with dried pineapple flowers via Martha Stewart, hummingbird cupcakes topped with dried pineapple flowers via Seeded at the Table

Though I firmly believe that something so delicious doesn’t even need to be pretty, we loved the addition of dried pineapple flowers to the beauties above. They’d make a hummingbird proud, don’t you think?

Desserts for Breakfast

Now that your mouth is officially watering, tell me, have you tried Hummingbird Cake? Will you include it at your big day or a shower along the way?

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    I work at Maxie B’s, a bakery in Greensboro, and our Hummingbird Cake is one of our most popular flavors, so moist and delicious!

  2. avatar Melissa Vause Feetham reply

    Our wedding cake was 4 tiers and the bottom tier was Hummingbird Cake!! We had never had any until a couple months before the wedding and we HAD to have it as our largest tier. It was DELICIOUS!

  3. avatar Taylor Elise reply

    In addition to our wedding cake we are also having a very southern dessert table with pecan pie, peach cobbler and HUMMINGBIRD CAKE! I grew up with my grandma making it all the time so it was a nice tie in. Love seeing it on your site!

  4. avatar Joanna Duff reply

    I’ve made Hummingbird bundt cake and Hummingbird cupcakes. A real crowd pleaser and it stays fresh for a few days.

  5. avatar Hummingbird Cake !! reply

    […] is a good article on the history. Sounds yummy! /2013/07/…mingbird-cake/ Lorie Reply With […]

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Unlike their fancier counterpart, the cake, pies hold all the sweetness of classic desserts but with the added bonus of nostalgia and memories. There’s something about our mama’s pie recipe, those vibrant fillings and that carefully laid crust that evokes more than just a tummy growl. The wedding pie may be humble, but it holds the best parts of the family tree that marks weddings with meaning.

We couldn’t think of anyone better than Joey and Jessica to capture the feast we were dreaming up. With dozens of pies from my favorite pie shop, PieBird and china from Replacements reminiscent of our family heirlooms, we were ready to capture the South’s favorite flavors.

Y’all, we just have to tell you — your screen cannot do these horizontal shots justice. Get a copy of the magazine to see just why we made them cover a full two pages. A hint? You’ll also get to read the the “Love Pie” poem that our own Emily hand lettered below, written by a childhood friend of Lara’s.

We just love the idea of using these monogrammed hankies from Bumblebee Linens as a way to mark seating and demonstrate some Southern hospitality. Tucked under each plate and accompanied by a stamped fork from Silverware Creations with each guests’ name, we were ready to feast!

Oh my. How gorgeous is the crust detailing on these pies?

We had a blast pairing each pie flavor with china that represented the pie’s “personality.” The key lime pair ranks among our favorites.

When it came to Texas, there was only one thing to do. We asked Elizabeth at Hardink Calligraphy to hand letter a plate with lyrics from a song close to every Texan’s heart. The little star cutouts as the crust only made this Texas two-step pie even cuter!

Rah, rah, Carolina! We adore the collegiate preppiness of this Carolina blue plate with its decadent dessert.

This Southern classic just kills me! We were so enamored with the sugary pecans, deep colors and beautiful details of this pie that we had to close the feature with a full page shot of it.

Don’t forget to get your copy right here. Just be warned: when you come across this feature in print, you’ll want to dig your fork right into the pages.

Now that y’all have seen our full bounty of pies, how about spreading some love with a giveaway? We’re thrilled to give some of our props from this shoot a new home, including rings from Mary John, bracelets from Georgie Jewelry and Alexis K Jewels, an adorable dipped cake server set that reads “Your love is sweet as a peach” from Jagged Edge Designs and the cute mini cake stand trio from Aedriel Originals!

To Enter: Leave a comment below telling us what your favorite pie is and which of these items you’d love to win.

Win: Five people will win the item of their choosing!

Good luck y’all!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Audrey reply

    I absolutely love the key lime pie! Being a born and raised Florida girl, key lime pie is a staple in my mama’s home!
    I’m getting married May 11th, 2013 and would love to adorn my wrist with the pearl bracelet by Georgie Jewelry.

  2. avatar Ashley reply

    This shoot has me craving pie in any form! Good thing Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Those mini cake stands are cute as a button! Would love to have those to celebrate my baby girl’s first birthday next year.

  3. avatar Brittany reply

    Pecan Pie will always be my favorite because I remember picking pecans at my grandmother’s house as a little girl and making the best pies you could ever imagine!

  4. avatar Mariel reply

    I love the Key Lime Pie…that plate is GORGEOUS! Love the styling of the WHOLE shoot!!

    I would love to win the engraved servers!

  5. avatar Laura reply

    I would love any of these, but the Georgie bracelets are lovely!

  6. avatar Liz Rotz reply

    I think key lime is one of the yummiest pies around! And I’m dying over that infinity sign bracelet! Love y’all! -Liz

  7. avatar Jen reply

    Peh-Kahn or Pee-Can Pie is my favorite southern pie! ;) I baked two last night trying to get a jump start on my Thanksgiving prepping. What better way to serve pecan pie slices than with the cute and colorful engraved pie server?! Happy Thanksgiving SW ladies!!

  8. avatar Courtney Cross reply

    Key lime pie is always my favorite! I would love to win any of the items really! I do love the two bracelets!

  9. avatar Jessica Clinch reply

    I have to admit, apple pie will forever hold a place in my heart as my all-time favorite pie. But, from the pies featured above I would undoubtedly choose the strawberry rhubarb pie. It’s my mom’s favorite pie and will forever remind me of her and of home. I’d love to win that adorable mini cake stand trio! They would be a fabulous addition to any dessert table.

  10. avatar Ashleigh reply

    Oh my stars! I LOVE the Tarheel Pie… because it’s chocolate, of course! Chocolate is most definitely the way to this girl’s heart. The mini cake stand trio would be perfect at our August 2013 wedding since we’re planning on doing an array of mini-desserts sure to delight all of our guest’s tastebuds.

  11. avatar Elizabeth @ HobbyLobbyist reply

    I love the bracelets by Alexis K! And my favorite pie is strawberry rhubarb.

  12. avatar Liz reply

    My all time fave pie is the PECAN PIE!!! I’m obsessed…seriously! I would love to win the engraved server set! It’s exactly what I need. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’m a lucky winner :)

  13. avatar Sarah H. reply

    I love Strawberry Rhubarb pie. It is the perfect combination of sweet and tart. I would love to win anything on this page, but if I had to pick just one it would be the lovely engraved serving set.

  14. avatar Jan reply

    My favorite pie is banana cream. All the prizes look amazing…my favorite would have to be the mini cake stand trio.

  15. avatar Meghan P. reply

    My absolutely favorite pie from above is the Coconut Cream Pie! My grandmother used to make them for me during southern summers I would spend at her house in Virginia. I have such wonderful memories from those summers, and especially of that delicious homemade pie! I would be thrilled to win the Engraved Server Set! I am engaged and would love to start by building my collection with that so I could serve any of those amazing pies! Nothing is as southern as a fresh pie enjoyed by family and friends.

  16. avatar Laura reply

    It was actually really hard for me to pick a favorite. But I’m going to have to say that my favorite is the Texas Two Step and I’m not even from Texas :) but I love the calligraphy on the plate! And I would love to win the bracelets from Alexis K jewels.

  17. avatar Jennifer reply

    I love Blackberry Pie. It reminds me of picking blackberrys with my family in the woods when I was little. I’d love to win the Engraved Server. It would be perfect for my upcoming wedding!

  18. avatar Liz M reply

    Strawberry pie, a recently discovered favorite! I would love to win any of the items, but the Alex K Jewels bracelets are my favorite.

  19. avatar Meredith Maher reply

    I couldn’t help eating a very delicious piece of chocolate chess pie while slowly flipping through every page of the new issue. Receiving it in the mail today made a horrible, terrible, no good very bad day – amazing! I have so been looking forward to looking through it!

  20. avatar Michelle reply

    Being raised in SC, I’m a Pecan Pie kinda girl :).

    And I’d love to have one of the rings by Mary John. So sweet!


  21. avatar Kristy reply

    Why Texas Two Step of course :) love the rings by Mary John!!!

  22. avatar Southern Weddings V5 Launch Party | Simply Jessica Marie reply

    […] these mini apple pies. How could I not? There were plenty of pies to choose from in honor of their Blue Ribbon Bounty editorial, but the apple pie was calling my name. It’s my all-time favorite sweet and this […]

  23. avatar Amanda reply

    My favorite pie is apple pie!! There is nothing better than my aunt’s homemade apple pie! My favorite item is the engraved server set!

  24. avatar Laura F reply

    Nothing beats a Georgia peach pie – although that Key Lime looks like a close second! And what could be better than eating pie with those gorgeous Alexis K bracelets on your wrist?

  25. avatar megan reply

    i think the pearl bracelet is so sweet and i LOVE banana cream pie!!

  26. avatar Gabi reply

    I love all the items! But my fav is the engraved serving set!

  27. avatar Marisa reply

    The pearl bracelets are amazing! Love!

  28. avatar Anna ( reply

    These all look beyond delicious- Definitely worth getting my hands on a copy of V5 for this shoot!

  29. avatar Friday Favorites | Elizabeth Ashleigh reply

    […] case you have a craving for a little more pie…. or a lot more pie (+ a […]

  30. avatar Sandryte reply

    I like sweet and sour desserts, so Key Lime pie is my favourite! Along with bracelets by Alexis K Jewels :) Thank you! What a great photoshoot – I got lot’s of ideas how to shoot food!

  31. avatar Roman reply

    The pies all look so delicious! My favorite would have to be the Key Lime Pie and I would chose the engraved serving set.

  32. avatar Christy Ann reply

    The Tar Heel Pie looks amazing, and I want to win the rings!!

  33. avatar Ashley Elaine reply

    My favorite is sweet potato pie & since I am a Tar Heel love the idea of that pie & love the plate it is served on. I like the engraved server.

  34. avatar Taylor J reply

    PIE!!!!!!! Why, my beau and I love pie so much, we’re having a pie bar at the reception! Our favorite pie is the classic southern pea-can pie. And I do have to say, we love the engraved server set by jagged edge!

  35. avatar Lindsey reply

    My favorite pie is Key Lime Pie! Love the rings by Mary John!

  36. avatar amanda reply

    OH my! I’d have to say my favorite pie is actually the tomato pie!!! My friend makes it every summer and I absolutely love it! There’s also nothing finer than going to the farmers market in the summer and getting tomatoes that have never been put into the fridge to use in your tomato pie. MMmmm! I also think those adorable mini cake stands are amazing! I’d love to utilize those in my home!

  37. avatar Natalie reply

    Could you put some of the china patterns up? I LOVE the pattern that is displaying the delicious looking pecan pie. I also really liked the delicate gold pattern, any idea of where I could find them?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Natalie! Thank you so much! And YES, we are working on adding the china patterns and should have them up by tomorrow!

  38. avatar Taylor reply

    Pecan pie is without a doubt the best pie ever! I’d love to win any of the rings by Mary John – I love the way they look stacked!

  39. avatar Abby reply

    The Tar Heel Pie looks so scrumptious I could die! I’d love to win any of them, but the pie stands are too cute.

  40. avatar Marisa reply

    The Blackberry Pie looks wonderful! I would love one of the Georgie Peal Bracelets in gold, it’s gorgeous!

  41. avatar Katie reply

    Pecan pie and butterscotch pie! One time I dragged my friend all up and down bourbon street around midnight, searching for some pecan pie. I sure wish I could win a plate with that beautiful calligraphy, but those rings are equally gorgeous.

  42. avatar LaShanda reply

    I love pumpkin pie. I would get the pearl bracelet as a gift for my flower girl. Thanks!

  43. avatar Amber Sloop reply

    My favorite pie is the Tar Heel Pie, I love anything chocolate. I would like to win the mini cake stands they are so cute.

  44. avatar jade reply

    I’d love, love, love to win the rings- beautiful! and my favorite pie is actually Key Lime- growing up in Florida we ate it at Thanksgiving over pumpkin!

  45. avatar Marybeth Whalen reply

    My favorite pie is Tarheel Pie, a pecan/chocolate combo that graces our holiday tables every year. As for which item I’d love to win, well all of it of of course! Between my niece who is getting married and my own daughters I know I’d find welcome homes or each item!

  46. avatar susie flores reply

    Pecan pie is my favorite!!
    I’d love to win the engraved server <3

  47. avatar Kelly E. reply

    I love the pearl bracelets or the engraved server set. My favorite pie is PECAN for sure! I was just in Texas, visiting my folks, and we found a gazillion pecan trees, and were able to pick up fresh pecans from the ground. BEST.THING.EVER!! In fact, I have a bag full of pecans just waiting to be cracked and put in a pie. YUM! Thanks for the chance to win!

  48. avatar Caron reply

    Favorite Pie: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust. I would love to win the rings for my nieces.

  49. avatar Jillian Wist reply

    My favorite pie is the Pecan Pie because my fiance’s family are pecan farmers! I would love love love to win the braclets by Alexis K Jewels!

  50. avatar Jennifer C reply

    My favorite pie is Derby pie. I would love to win the engraved server set!

  51. avatar Mood Board #96: Heirloom Tomato | Limn & Lovely | Daily Wedding Inspiration reply

    […] by Kellan Studios (via Style Me Pretty) / Tomato pie slice > Photo by Joey and Jessica (via Southern Weddings) / Tomato bouquet > Photo by Annabella Charles (via Southern Weddings) / Tomatoes and flowers […]

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