Out of hundreds and hundreds of recipes, a simple fruit cobbler rises to the top as the most popular recipe of the year. In 2016 Southern Living celebrated her 50th anniversary, showcasing the best that the magazine has offered since 1966. We revisited some of our favorite recipes from years past and were reminded of just how many incredible recipes we have published. So it should come as no surprise that the most popular recipe of 2016 is actually an older one. A recipe published in 1997.
Southern Living is well known for creating juicy, perfectly-seasoned main dishes, sides and salads that showcase the best Southern seasonal produce, and mouthwatering sweets: from impressive desserts that are at home on an elegant holiday sideboard, to fun and tasty Christmas cookies, perfect for office parties and cookie swaps.
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Given the abundance of recipes that have collected in our database, it was a little surprising to find that the most popular Southern Living recipe this year was none other than this Easy Peach Cobbler. Readers searched online for peach cobbler, and chose this recipe. Many of you viewed this video and were inspired to bake the recipe for your own family. And, thanks to over 300 online comments, some of you were encouraged to try the recipe based upon other readers who shared their successes with the cobbler. While modern technology gives us the ability to determine that this simple cobbler is the most popular recipe of 2016, it's just plain common sense that tells us why.
Published in the month of June, this recipe was an instant hit for a number of reasons, and those same reasons hold true today. At first glance, readers were drawn to the short ingredient list and quick prep time. During the long, hot, Southern evenings, cooks are looking for recipes that are quick and easy—no one wants to spend time over a hot stove. You probably already have the ingredients needed for this cobbler, and with less than twenty minutes at the stovetop, you can pop this cobbler in the oven and walk away.
Along with short and simple, cooks also want recipes that deliver on taste and make use of seasonal produce. This recipe is definitely a winner in that category, since juicy sweet peaches are one of the most popular fruits grown in the South. When you bake with fresh fruit there just isn’t a need for a lot of extra ingredients, and this recipe allows the sweetness of the peach to shine through. Whether baked with fresh or frozen peaches, this cobbler promises a taste of summer in every bite.
Nostalgia is another reason this recipe remains so popular. A classic childhood dessert for so many people, you searched for a peach cobbler recipe that reminded you of the one Grandmother baked. Once again, this humble recipe fits the bill.
When deciding which recipes to publish each month, the editors at Southern Living like to apply these three categories to a recipe: is it seasonal—does it use in-season produce readily available to our fans; is it Southern—is there an ingredient or cooking technique that is decidedly our own; and is there service—is there an element that teaches or ensures baking success, such as quick prep times, easy ingredients, etc. While our recipes don’t always fit every description, it's interesting to note that the most popular recipe of 2016, unknowingly chosen by our readers, is a clear winner in all three categories.