56% Of People Prefer This Dessert To All Others

Dessert questions like cake or death and pie or cake draw heated debates. However, when we removed cake and pie from contention in a recent poll and left it to cookies, brownies, ice cream, and other, we found a clear majority rallied behind one undisputed dessert king.

When Mashed asked 40,000 people worldwide what their go-to dessert was, of this large group only 8 percent suggested "Other." In addition to a few calling for all of the above, cheesecake appeared with a strong contingent as well as a few calling for specific pies (like apple and key lime), or specific cakes, many of which were chocolate-based.

Struggling for a contested second place, brownies lost to cookies with 16 percent to 20 percent respectively. This, as you may have gathered, means just one dessert is the undisputed favorite of our poll with 56 percent, roughly equal to 22,400 of the votes cast.

Ice cream: A perfect combination of sugar and nostalgia

It was ice cream that won the hearts of that many survey respondents. And with that many fans showing up for one dessert above all others, you might be wondering why.

In 2018, CNN pushed researchers who studied the chemical appeal of ice cream to explain the widespread love for the product. The main factors, perhaps unsurprisingly, are sweetness, butterfat, and the melt of the ice cream. The sweetness is the drive for the craving, but the fat gives weight to the flavor, delivering the impression of having been satisfied by the scoop.

More interestingly, however, is that people can grow addicted to a specific brand's take on the ice cream flavor. Even if a competitor attempted to exactly recreate and ice cream recipe, it would likely fail to sway devotees.

On a psychological level, Jessica Gross explores a pet theory of hers in Food & Wine that the reason behind our obsession is that eating ice cream transports us back to memories from childhood or infancy: "I think ice cream is the grown-up version of breast milk, what many of us turn to for the ultimate solace in moments we feel lost or overwhelmed or afraid." Perhaps that is a bit much for some, but it is clear that for whatever reason, most of us would reach for a bowl of ice cream over any other dessert if given the choice.