At Dairy Dip Diner in Mulberry, AR, we take pride in our legacy of serving delectable treats since the early 1950s. From legendary shakes to irresistible sundaes, our mission is to continue to provide guests with delicious meals and ice cream for generations to come. The South is renowned for its mouthwatering country-style comfort food and has also left a lasting impact on the world of desserts. Join us as we explore the fascinating history of how Southern cuisine influenced some of the most beloved desserts worldwide.
German Chocolate Cake
The first dessert on our journey might surprise you – the German chocolate cake. Despite its name, this cake originated in Dallas, Texas, not Germany. Samuel German, an English-American chocolate maker, created a formula for dark baking chocolate, which was used in the cake recipe. Around 105 years later, a Texas homemaker named Mrs. George Clay published a cake recipe in The Dallas Morning News, calling it “German’s Chocolate Cake” due to the use of this specific brand’s sweeter chocolate variety.
While not technically a Southern creation, lemon bars have found their way into the hearts of many Southerners. The history of shortbread dates back to 12th-century Scotland, and in 1492, lemon seeds were brought to North America. Lemon curd gained popularity in England during the 19th century, and in 1962, the first lemon bar recipe was widely distributed in the “Chicago Daily Tribune.” These tangy delights have become a staple at Southern gatherings, making them a cherished treat.
The chocolate-mayonnaise cake might sound unusual, but it has an interesting history. The first chocolate-mayonnaise cake recipe appeared in print in 1927, gaining popularity in the 1940s when dairy and sugar were rationed during World War II. An editor and cook marketed it as a “$100 Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cake.” Later, columnist Winnifred Jardine shared a version of the recipe. Interestingly, the original $100 Cake from New York City’s Waldorf Astoria had no mayonnaise, but the mayonnaise cake version became well-known due to a mix-up of stories. Regardless, this cake is now a cherished Southern dessert.
For many Southerners, banana pudding is not just a dessert; it’s a cherished memory. Whether served at holiday gatherings or made by a beloved grandmother, it’s the most humble of classics. Its comforting flavors and creamy texture have made it a Southern icon.
No discussion of Southern desserts would be complete without pecan pie. Pecans are a signature Southern ingredient, and pecan pie is enjoyed on various occasions throughout the year, not just Thanksgiving. The name “pecan” itself has roots in the French and Algonquian languages. The earliest printed pecan pie recipes appeared in Texas cookbooks in the late 1800s, with a closer version to the modern-day recipe published in a church charity cookbook in St. Louis in 1898, thanks to a contribution from a Texas woman.
Southern desserts have a rich and surprising history, blending influences from different cultures and time periods. At Dairy Dip Diner, we’re thrilled to celebrate and continue this legacy by offering delightful sweet treats to our cherished guests. When you find yourself craving a hearty meal and an ice cream treat, come visit us at either of our locations in Mulberry or Van Buren, Arkansas. We look forward to having you as our guest and sharing in the joy of beloved Southern delights!