South Dakota State Dessert


German kuchen

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


Kuchen was designated the official state dessert of South Dakota in 2000. Kuchen is the German word for "cake" and is used to describe a variety of different types of sweet desserts and pastries. Kuchen desserts are of German heritage, popular in many areas of German settlement in the United States, particularly North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana, and Minnesota.

Different Varieties of Kuchen

Pie-like pastry with a thick, "cakey" crust and a sweet custard-based filling 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).