Spectacular Seasonal Desserts for Thanksgiving

44 Spectacular Seasonal Desserts for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving desserts are about more than standard pumpkin pie! We put together a list of our favorites holiday treats.

If you're looking for a sweet alternative to pie recipes, or just want to try out a new cake, you can't go wrong with any of these festive holiday desserts. But who says you need to only enjoy these on Thanksgiving? We say enjoy these dessert recipes all season long!

You'll find a variety of flavors and ingredients in this recipe round up—there's something for everyone. Some methods are simple, others are complex, and the required cooking or baking times vary as well. The one thing they all have in common? They'll make you want to skip the turkey and side dishes and head straight for the sweet treats.

Ready to ditch the traditional pumpkin pie yet? Read on to find your new favorite Thanksgiving recipe!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars from Closet Cooking

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars from Closet Cooking by Closet Cooking
This recipe combines the rich flavors of caramel apple pie and cheesecake with a buttery shortbread base. Tart Granny Smith apples and a rolled oat crumble are layered on top of creamy cheesecake, then drizzled with salted caramel sauce. It's a dessert worthy of center stage at any Thanksgiving feast!

More bar desserts to try:

granulated sugar, rolled oats, all purpose flour, salt, ground cinnamon and 11 more
dried apples, round toasted oat cereal, smooth peanut butter and 3 more
cream cheese, whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla, cinnamon and 6 more

Spiced Pumpkin Roll

Spiced Pumpkin Roll from Daisy

Spiced Pumpkin Roll by Daisy
This year, how about swapping out pumpkin pie for a pumpkin roll? To get this recipe rolling, prepare the sugary, spicy pumpkin cake batter and bake it, then roll it up with a silky smooth blend of pudding, sour cream, and milk to temper the pumpkin spice. To finish it off, sift powdered sugar over the top like a light dusting of snow -- it's so pretty, you'll almost feel guilty about slicing it, but after one bite, you'll know you made the right decision.

More ravishing cake rolls:

large eggs, ground cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, salt, allspice and 16 more
powdered sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, full fat cream cheese and 19 more
vanilla extract, ground ginger, baking powder, all-purpose flour and 12 more

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies from Crumb

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies by Crumb
Why choose from cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and brownies when you can have them all in one bite? The brownie layer is dense and chocolatey, while the pumpkin layer tames the sweetness for balance. If you're feeling really ambitious, use the entire package of cream cheese to make a double batch, which, quite honestly we guarantee you're going to want to do.

More fall-flavored brownies:

cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, brownie mix, sugar and 1 more
ground allspice, pure pumpkin, ground cloves, cream cheese, ground nutmeg and 6 more
cool whip, coffee granules, pumpkin puree, cream cheese, milk and 6 more

Ginger Mascarpone Crème Brûlée

Ginger Mascarpone Creme Brulee from Baked Bree

Ginger Mascarpone Crème Brûlée by Baked Bree
Crème brûlée may sound fancy, but it's actually fairly simple to make! Requiring just six ingredients, this recipe is tangy from the mascarpone and subtly spiced with ginger. You'll need to let the cream mixture steep in the fridge overnight, so be sure to set aside enough time. One recipe note: You don't need to own a kitchen torch to make these, you can just put them under the broiler to get that crispy, golden top.

More crème brûlée inspiration:

pumpkin spice, egg yolks, hot water, ground allspice, granulated sugar and 7 more
cloves, crisco, ice water, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, whipped cream and 17 more
sugar, extract, vanilla extract, large egg yolks, cocoa, honey and 9 more

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake from Camille Styles

Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake by Camille Styles
Try this creamy pumpkin tiramisu layer cake, and we promise you'll never turn back to pumpkin pie. This recipe brings in pumpkin, cinnamon, and almond flavors to a classic tiramisu without taking away from its subtle Venetian charm. Pumpkin filling makes the cake moist and dense, while the light and airy filling is flavored with traditional mascarpone and amaretto liqueur. Finish it all off with crushed amaretti cookies — an Italian classic. It's a show-stopper that's sure to impress your holiday guests.

More tiers of tiramisu to try:

liqueur, lady fingers, pumpkin, granulated sugar, brewed coffee and 4 more
pure vanilla extract, instant espresso, water, salt, amaretto and 14 more
apple pie spice, bourbon, lemon, cinnamon, lady fingers, maple syrup and 13 more

Nutella Bread Pudding

Nutella Bread Pudding

Nutella Bread Pudding by Steamy Kitchen
You start this recipe by making croissant sandwiches with chocolatey hazelnut spread, so we understand if you don't make it past that point. But if you do follow through, you then cut the sandwiches into pieces, toss them in a ramekin with pecans, and lavish it all with creamy custard before baking. This is best served warm with vanilla ice cream or topped with whipped cream.

More fall-flavored bread puddings:

heavy cream, milk, nutmeg, unsalted butter, sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar and 5 more
light brown sugar, large eggs, vanilla extract, fresh cranberries and 7 more
ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, caramel sauce, half-and-half and 12 more

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cinnamon Whipped Cream from Picky Palate

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting by Picky Palate
You're less than one hour away from soft, moist, perfectly frosted cupcakes. This recipe delivers all the flavor of traditional sweet potato casserole but in cupcake form! You can make it in one bowl plus cupcake liners to make clean up a cinch. To lighten your load further, bring in the kids to help fill the cupcake liners! This recipe is a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike!

More cupcakes:

cinnamon, fresh lemon juice, baking powder, granulated sugar and 17 more
salt, large eggs, cream cheese, milk, brown sugar, vanilla extract and 14 more
unsalted butter, large eggs, all purpose flour, unsalted butter and 16 more

Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake from La Tartine Gourmande

Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake by La Tartine Gourmande
Put the final heirloom apples of the season to work with this amazing upside down cake. You'll only need two or three of them, but the crisp, tart apples truly shine in this recipe. Part pumpkin cake, part apple cake, it's dense yet fluffy, with a lovely balance of sweet and spicy. Serve it plain at room temperature or warm with vanilla ice cream.

More cakes:

large eggs, unsalted butter, chopped walnuts, kosher salt, granulated sugar and 16 more
vanilla, water, bisquick, packed brown sugar, pecan halves, milk and 6 more
spice mix, maple syrup, maple syrup, sea salt, coconut oil, oat flakes and 6 more

Caramel Apple Trifles

Caramel Apple Trifles from Baker's Royale

Caramel Apple Trifles by Baker's Royale
This easy Thanksgiving recipe is simple enough to assemble with minimal effort, yet elegant enough to impress your friends and family on Thanksgiving. A light caramel mousse is layered with a burnt caramel sauce and an apple crisp crumble. Sliced apples are added for a tartness and sweet fruitiness. If you're not up for making mousse, you can use pudding or yogurt instead.

More tremendous trifles:

gingerbread mix, ground cinnamon, frozen whipped topping, instant vanilla pudding mix and 3 more
granulated sugar, vanilla extract, cream cheese, candied pecans and 5 more
pecan pie, chocolate fudge ice cream topping, whipping cream and 3 more

Sweet Potato Cobbler with Ice Cream

Sweet Potato Cobbler with Ice Cream from Homesick Texan

Sweet Potato Cobbler with Ice Cream by Homesick Texan
This recipe is a unique twist on the classic Southern sweet potato pie. Warm spices bring a richness to the sweet, tender sweet potato filling. This recipe is much like other fruit cobblers in that the sweet potatoes are sliced and left intact, even though it's a custard-based dessert. Bonus: this one makes an excellent breakfast the day after Thanksgiving.

More cozy cobblers:

corn syrup, milk, melted butter, butter, sugar, baking powder and 6 more
cinnamon, dried cranberries, yellow cake mix, milk, unsalted butter and 1 more
pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, chopped pecans, coconut oil and 9 more

Apple Sharlotka

Apple Sharlotka from Smitten Kitchen

Apple Sharlotka by Smitten Kitchen
Surprise your Thanksgiving guests by baking outside the box: Apple Sharlotka. The traditional Russian dessert gets its structure almost entirely from apples. It comes together by filling the cake pan with peeled and sliced apples, the batter is then poured over the apples so it can seep down between the slices. After it's baked and cooled, top it off with powdered sugar and ground cinnamon to serve.

More flavorful cakes:

large eggs, white sugar, unsalted butter, chopped walnuts, brown sugar and 6 more
orange extract, spice, spice, light brown sugar, The Spice Hunter Vanilla Extract and 8 more
medium eggs, vanilla extract, icing sugar, light brown sugar and 11 more

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