A couple of years ago, Chatelaine magazine offered up a recipe collection titled 25 of our favorite old-fashioned desserts.  Ever late to the party, I just came across the article and, while scrolling through the various pics and recipes, thought it might be fun to put together a list of my top 10.  Only problem – I was really hard-pressed to come up with five favorites from the list of candidates, much less ten!  I considered switching to a list of my bottom 10 but, again, was stymied.  There are A LOT of really middling old-fashioned desserts.

Anyway, after several reviews, I was finally able to come up with five candidates on both sides of the scale.  The many not making the list include the mediocre likes of lemon loaf, oatmeal-raisin cookies, and rice pudding.

My Bottom Five Old-Fashioned Desserts

#5. Date Squares

You won’t believe the number of times I’ve glimpsed these at various farmer’s markets and, overcome with excitement, stepped up to purchase what I assumed were blondies or pecan squares only to discover the horrifying truth.  They’re the brownie’s less popular con artist cousin.

#4. Sponge Cake

This aptly named creation sucks the joy out of eating dessert.

#3. Ginger Cookies

A dessert only someone’s aunt could love.

#2. Angel Food Cake

A disaster of texture and taste, I’d be more inclined to use it as insulation.

#1. Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Oh, don’t get me started on ice cream-less pies – but the inclusion of rhubarb here (a.k.a. the devil’s stalk) is particularly reprehensible.  THIS is the type of dessert you can expect to be served in a  prison cafeteria.

My Top Five Old-Fashioned Desserts

#5. Pound Cake

It makes the list by virtue of the fact that I needed to round out this list and I had to choose from a fiercely average bunch of contenders.  It also gets the nod for its unapologetic density and audaciously defiant moniker.

#4. Coconut Cake

One of the few fruit-based post-dinner creations that make for good dessert.  The other being…

#3. Banana Cream Pie

One of the few fruit pies that doesn’t require an ice cream accompaniment.

Doesn’t hurt though.

#2. Chocolate Cake

A classic that may vary in consistency but remains a perennial favorite like the Dallas Cowboys, skull rings, and aviator jackets.

#1. Pecan Pie

My Death Row Dessert.  Or, barring a capital punishment sentence, one I’d happily special order from blog regular Jeff Wilson.  His southern version is killer.

I leave you today with a picture of the best of both worlds, old meets new, in this “piecaken” dessert Akemi and I made to accompany the turducken we roasted for a Super Bowl party a few years back…

April 16, 2018: My Top (and Bottom) 5 Old-fashioned Desserts! April 16, 2018: My Top (and Bottom) 5 Old-fashioned Desserts!

A pecan pie baked inside a giant brownie.

And, yes, there was ice cream.

15 thoughts on “April 16, 2018: My Top (and Bottom) 5 Old-Fashioned Desserts!

  1. I remember the blog that had the “piecaken”!

    I can’t argue with any of those top five, though I would definitely put the chocolate cake at #1. It’s just an all-purpose, never fail, delicious standard.

    I do admit to liking ginger cookies and strawberry-rhubarb pie, though I’ve massive quality differences in versions of both from good to horrifying.

  2. Living in rural Pennsylvania, I can accurately say that strawberry-rhubarb is definitely something found frequently in this area, especially at social functions and bake sales. Also, my mom grows rhubarb. She makes it into not only the dual fruited pastry, but also in a custard. Growing up with the stuff, I like it.

    Just wondered if you’ve ever tried a shoo-fly pie? It’s an Amish/ Pennsylvania German pie, also served without ice cream.

  3. What constitutes “old fashioned”? Invented before 1800?

    Ice cream (by itself) would be in my top 5. However, I hate the combination of hot and cold food on the same plate (this applies to salad and hot food as well) and can’t stand ice cream on a hot pie. Cream is bearable, warm custard is better.

    Cheesecake would also be in my top 5. Preferably baked, preferably without fruit flavours like lemon, strawberry or raspberry. I prefer vanilla and chocolate flavours.

    Chocolate cake and all its cousins (pudding, souffle, etc) are on the list, too.

    I’m with you on the fruit thing, can’t stand fruit in/as dessert. Unlike you, though, I include all forms of banana in that list.

  4. How rude! All these delicious pictures and not one recipe! Not even a blog date reference! Mean! Outrageous! Cruel…… Wait a minute…… I got a killer banana pudding recipe from work a couple years ago. I’ll make that. Yeah!! 🙂

  5. I like date squares, ginger cookies, and rhubarb. Not a big fan of banana cream pie, and loathe pecan pie.

  6. I understand your dislike for strawberry-rhubarb pie (without the masking flavor of ice-cream). I only place raspberry and the only one upper. I have often walked by the cookie/desert section lamenting the empty hand. Anything masked with cream rates low in my wishes of treats.

    I did see an advertisement of the SiFFee cannel for their new line up: Stargate: SG-1 and Atlantis and 4 more. Is that worth a mention?

  7. My Aunt has a killer pecan pie recipe and I dare say pecan pie would be my number 2 pick. My first is Lemon Icebox pie with graham cracker crust. None of that flakey white crust! I used to help my mom make those pies. Now I wish I’d paid more attention and written down the recipe. Nothing comes close to that pie of my childhood. Three would be a good sticky chocolate fudgie brownie (no nuts). Four and five would be a toss between Key Lime truffles/pie and a good old fashioned cheesecake. Six, strawberry shortcake.

  8. My fave is Pineapple Upside Down cake, which my sister in law and brother make as a team with fresh pineapple and actual lard (Crisco is still in stores surprisingly), in a tie with Pecan Pie with pecans all the way down to the crust, not that cheapo kind with pecans on the top and hidden goo below. It has to be chock full of pecans.

  9. I think what one calls an old fashioned desert certainly depends on the culture
    they grew up with.

    My top 5:
    *Almost any kind of moist chocolate cake.

    *Chocolate chip cookies.
    (This ones universal. Who doesnt adore a really good chocolate chip cookie?)

    *Homemade Ice Creams & sherbets
    (especially pistashio almond ice cream and orange-vanilla cream sherbet)

    *Kataifi

    *Tiramisu

    Top 6-10: Pecan pie, Mini chocolate cream puffs, Pistachio macaron, italian zepole puffs (donuts), Flan.

    Not on the very top of the list but definitely enjoyed:
    Melomakarono (greek cookies), Hot apple pie, Brownies
    (especially, cream cheese brownies), Orange marmalade cookies, Annisette toast, Cream cheese layered carot cake,
    Turtle pie, Chocolate-almond biscotti, Banannas on a stick soaked in sweetened condensed milk then sealed in a chocolate shell,
    soft coconut macaroons.

    On my not so fond of list:
    The forever re-gifted christmas fruit cake loaf and any desert cake, pie or bar made with dates, kiwi, prunes, peaches or lime.

    Never had Rhubarb pie. Albeit, not something I’m terribly eager to try.

  10. My favourite dessert has always been pavlova, topped with passionfruit or peppermint crisp or toasted almonds and mint cream. Next is Lemon Meringue pie, Strawberry Tart, Jelly (jello), however please don’t spoil the jelly by putting it in a trifle (I don’t like Trifle!) Followed by Chocolate Cake.

    I do like rhubarb, so I’ll eat your rhubarb ie, if you eat the trifle. Sounds fair.

    Cheers, Chev

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