State dessert how-to

Sara Bertsch News Editor


 The German-Russian heritage is very prominent in South Dakota. However, many people don’t know of the many delicious foods that are of the German-Russian background. This includes knoephla, strudels, and kuchen just to name a few. 

South Dakota’s state dessert is kuchen. Kuchen, (pronounced coo-KEN) is somewhere between a pie and a custard. Basically, like a custard pie. It comes in several flavors including sugar, peach, apple, cottage cheese, chocolate chip and many others. 

It is a very common dessert we have at all church potlucks, graduation ceremonies, or any other gathering. The fruit kuchens are crowd favorites, but one of the most popular of all is the cottage cheese kuchen. I know it doesn’t sound too appetizing but trust me, it will surprise you. 

Here is a recipe that comes from one of many hometown cookbooks passed down several generations and I’m here to share it with you so everyone can enjoy our delicious state dessert: kuchen. 



 2 cup warm milk 

. cup sugar 

1 package yeast 

. cup oil 

1 teaspoon salt. 

2 eggs, beaten 

6 cup flour 

Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the milk. Add salt and eggs. Add flour as needed to make a soft dough. Set aside in a covered bowl to rise until doubled, about an hour. 


1 quart cream 

6 eggs 

1 cup sugar 

Dash salt 

Fruit of your choice

teaspoon cinnamon 

1 teaspoon sugar 



  Mix the cream, eggs, sugar and salt and stir until thickened. 

• Cool. 

• Divide the dough into 8 balls, roll them out and press into greased pie tins. 

• Add the cut up, drained fruit of your choice (apples, peaches, rhubarb, prunes, etc) and pour the custard on top. 

• Sprinkle the top with a little cinnamon and sugar. 

• Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until slightly browned, about 20 minutes. 

• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.