12 Essential Midwestern Desserts
From Bumpy Cake to scotch-a-roos
By Shauna Sever
The Midwestern dessert canon can be tricky to define, even for a native Midwesterner. Although the coasts stick us with the generic label of “flyover country,” the truth is that there’s so much ground to cover here—so much history and such a cornucopia of native ingredients immigrant influences—that it’s foolish to think that any one list could distill the best sweets into one tidy package.
As I note in my book Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland, I am Chicagoland born and bred, and so the Great Lakes are the hub of my Midwest and shape my personal definition of Midwestern baking. The view from where you live might look quite different. But overall, in this great heartland—a place that brought the world such all-American inventions as brownies and banana bread—one thing is for sure: We know comfort food, especially for dessert.