25 Vintage-Inspired Chocolate Desserts

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Photo: Alison Miksch; Prop styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food styling: Mary-Claire Britton

A good dessert stands the test of time, especially if it's a chocolate one. Passed down through word of mouth or placed in trusty cookbooks, vintage desserts continue to grace the table at Southern family functions, holiday celebrations, and weekly Sunday dinners. Adults and children alike swoon over their heavenly scents and decadent tastes. You'll be hard pressed to find someone who dare pass on a slice or bite of one of these classic chocolate recipes. Some of our favorites were developed as a twist on a sweet treat that was more cost-effective in trying times. Others started as a tribute to regional ingredients for bakers across the South. From Mississippi Mud Cake to Chocolate Pudding Pie, these are bound to be crowd-pleasers for the chocolate enthusiasts in every bunch. These vintage chocolate recipes may just take you right back to your childhood or offer you a new twist on a beloved staple. Either way, we know they're finger-licking good and near impossible to resist!

01 of 25

Coca Cola Chocolate Cake

Coca Cola Chocolate Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Coca Cola Chocolate Cake

The sweet flavor and carbonated bubbles of Coca-Cola are the magic ingredient that makes this sheet cake light and moist.

02 of 25

Chocolate Peanut-Butter Fudge Bars

Peanut Butter-Fudge Bars
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut-Butter Fudge Bars

Chocolate and peanut butter are an age-old sweet and savory combination. These bars have three delicious layers topped off with crunchy peanuts.

03 of 25

Kentucky Bourbon Pie

Kentucky Bourbon Pie
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Kentucky Bourbon Pie

Inspired by pecan pie, this twist has layers of pecan and chocolate chips, creamy bourbon filling, and whipped cream to make for an unexpected delight.

04 of 25

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Alison Miksch; Prop styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food styling: Mary-Claire Britton

Recipe: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Mayonnaise might be an unexpected ingredient, but hear us out... Replace oil with mayo in this layered cake and it's sure to shine on your dessert table.

05 of 25

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Jennifer Causey

Recipe: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are few desserts more universally loved than chocolate chip cookies. Browning the butter before adding it into the mix is what gives these favorites an extra chewy, crisp texture.

06 of 25

Classic Chocolate Pound Cake

Classic Chocolate Pound Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck; Food Styling: Erin Merhar

Recipe: Classic Chocolate Pound Cake

An easy-to-make pound cake is already a crowd-pleaser. This decadent chocolate version will wow your lot even more.

07 of 25

Mississippi Mud Cake

Mississippi Mud Cake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke

Recipe: Mississippi Mud Cake

Like many iconic chocolate desserts, this one incorporates marshmallow and pecans for a balance of flavor and texture in every bite.

08 of 25

Over the Moon Chocolate Pie

Over the Moon Chocolate Pie
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Over the Moon Chocolate Pie

This pie—with its graham cracker crust, Tennessee whiskey-chocolate filling, and marshmallow-like meringue—is a take on the beloved MoonPie.

09 of 25

Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines

Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines

These pecan pralines are a prime example of a dessert rich in both flavor and history: These trace their roots back to the 1700s in New Orleans.

10 of 25

Chocolate Lasagna

Chocolate Lasagna
Southern Living

Recipe: Chocolate Lasagna

If you grew up often eating savory lasagna for Sunday supper, this sweet rendition may just be for you. This layered dessert is a cinch to make and the perfect after-dinner indulgence.

11 of 25

Mamie Eisenhower's Chocolate Fudge

Mamie Eisenhower’s Chocolate Fudge
Southern Living

Recipe: Mamie Eisenhower's Chocolate Fudge

A go-to recipe for bakers in the 1950s and '60s, it's simple as can be thanks to the use of packaged products like chocolate chips, evaporated milk, and a jar of marshmallow cream.

12 of 25

Little Layer Chocolate Cake

Ivy Odom 18-Layer Chocolate Cake Still

Recipe: Little Layer Chocolate Cake

While they may be thin, these 18-layers are perfectly baked and give this cake some impressive, gravity-defying height.

13 of 25

Chocolate Water Cake

Chocolate Water Cake
Micah Leal

Recipe: Chocolate Water Cake

Water Cake gets its name from the incorporation of hot water in the ingredient list instead of milk. It's sometimes referred to as Depression Cake because of its basic pantry ingredients. The hot water helps loosen the batter when it mixes with the cocoa powder so that the flavor can flourish without any lumps.

14 of 25

Fudge Cake

Fudge Cake Recipe
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Fudge Cake

Simple instructions, few ingredients, and a square pan that's easy to transport make this one of the most appealing and hassle-free chocolate recipes we know.

15 of 25

Lemon-and-Chocolate Doberge Cake

Lemon-and-Chocolate Doberge Cake
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Lemon-and-Chocolate Doberge Cake

Half lemon, half chocolate, all irresistible. This cake is not only a visual masterpiece primed for the dining room sideboard, but its flavor combination is unmatched as well.

16 of 25

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: German Chocolate Cake

German cakes are known for their richness, and this one's no exception. Finish it off with chocolate-pecan frosting and a bit of whipped cream.

17 of 25

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
Caitlin Bensel

Recipe: Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Stack some ice cream sandwiches, whipped cream, and your topping of choice, and you'll have a dessert that transports you back to hot summer days spent eating the classic treats.

18 of 25

Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Wacky Cake

No cake is easier to make than this one — you don't even need a bowl. Throw all your ingredients together in the baking pan and mix them together.

19 of 25

Milky Way Cake

Milky Way Cake
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Milky Way Cake

When you taste the frosting on this candy bar cake, it'll remind you of all your days spent drinking chocolate Ovaltine malts as a kid.

20 of 25

Pecan Pie Brownies

Pecan Pie Brownies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Pecan Pie Brownies

This confection takes everything we love about traditional pecan pie and combines it with everything we love about brownies.

21 of 25

Chocolate Pudding Pie

Chocolate Pudding Pie
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Chocolate Pudding Pie

Add chopped dark chocolate to this homemade pudding base for richer flavor. The addition of instant coffee is the secret that enhances the flavors even more.

22 of 25

Grandma's Chocolate Drop Cookies

Grandma's Chocolate Drop Cookies
Katie Strasberg Rousso

Recipe: Grandma's Chocolate Drop Cookies

We'll say it again, Grandma knows best. This recipe has double the chocolate goodness, with a soft chocolate dough and chocolate frosting. They're as easy to make as they are to eat!

23 of 25

Texas Skillet Cake

Texas Skillet Cake
Photo: Stephen DeVries, Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Texas Skillet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake has been associated with the Lone Star State since the mid-20th century. We decided to try it out in a cast iron skillet. Spoiler: It's even more delicious.

24 of 25

Rebecca's Black-Bottom Icebox Pie

Rebecca's Black Bottom Icebox Pie
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Rebecca's Black-Bottom Icebox Pie

This chilled treat is a refreshing combination of creamy chocolate filling topped with thickly layered whipped cream and perched on top of a chocolate wafer crust.

25 of 25

Chocolate-Buttermilk Pudding

Chocolate-Buttermilk Pudding
Alison Miksch; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe: Chocolate-Buttermilk Pudding

Chocolate pudding most likely made an appearance at your table when you were growing up. This version adds a flair of sophistication with the addition of buttermilk and mint garnish.

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