South Dakota State Dessert


German kuchen

German kuchen; photo by Ingrid Eulenfan on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike)

Official State Dessert of South Dakota

Kuchen was designated the official state dessert of South Dakota in 2000. South Dakota also recognizes a state bread and a state drink.

Kuchen desserts are of German/Russian heritage, popular in many areas of German settlement in the United States, particularly North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana, and Minnesota. All State Foods & Beverages

Different Varieties of Kuchen

Kuchen is the German word for "cake" and is used to describe a variety of different types of sweet desserts and pastries:

Pie-like pastry with a thick, "cakey" crust and a sweet custard-based filling (this is the prairie-style kuchen described in the South Dakota Legislative manual) or an apple-pie-like filling (often with sweet white icing on the top).

Rolled-pastry with a long spiral of dough filled, rolled, baked and then sliced to serve (nut roll).

Coffee cake-like pastry with veins and pockets of cinnamon and sugar baked throughout.

Cheesecake-like pastry with a yeast-raised crust filled with fruit (cherry is most popular) and a creamy custard.

South Dakota


Prairie kutchen; photo © PBS Prairie Public.org (all rights reserved; used by permission).

Prairie kutchen

Slice of kuchen; photo by Carolina Rojas (Moon) on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

Slice of kuchen

Kuchen; photo by Gourmandise on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).