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The Best Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren’t Pie

As Thanksgiving approaches, families across the United States gather to indulge in a feast of flavors and traditions. While pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies often steal the spotlight, there’s a whole world of delightful desserts waiting to be explored beyond the confines of pie crust.

From creamy cheesecakes to spiced cakes and fruity crisps, here’s a curated selection of Thanksgiving desserts that promise to tantalize your taste buds and add a sweet ending to your holiday meal.

1. Cheesecake with Seasonal Toppings

A creamy, decadent cheesecake offers a luxurious alternative to traditional pie. Whether you opt for classic New York-style or experiment with flavors like pumpkin spice or cranberry-orange, cheesecake provides a rich and indulgent finale to your Thanksgiving feast. Top it off with seasonal fruit compotes, caramel sauce, or a sprinkle of toasted nuts for added flair.

2. Apple Crisp with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

For a comforting dessert that celebrates the flavors of fall, look no further than apple crisp. Tender, spiced apples topped with a crunchy oat crumble make for a satisfying treat.

Serve it warm with a dollop of cinnamon-infused whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast of textures and temperatures.

3. Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Pumpkin roll combines the beloved flavors of pumpkin pie with the lightness of sponge cake, resulting in a dessert that’s both festive and elegant.

A luscious cream cheese filling adds richness and tangy contrast to the tender pumpkin cake. Dust with powdered sugar and slice into pinwheels for a stunning presentation that’s sure to impress your guests.

4. Pecan Bars

For those who crave the nutty goodness of pecan pie but prefer a fuss-free dessert, pecan bars are the perfect solution.

A buttery shortbread crust provides the base for a gooey, caramelized filling studded with crunchy pecans. These handheld treats are easy to make ahead and can be sliced into bite-sized squares for convenient serving.

5. Cranberry-Orange Bundt Cake

Brighten up your Thanksgiving table with a vibrant cranberry-orange bundt cake that’s bursting with citrusy flavor and tart cranberries.

The dense, moist crumb of the cake pairs beautifully with the tartness of the cranberries, while a drizzle of orange glaze adds a sweet finish. Serve slices of this visually stunning cake as a refreshing alternative to traditional desserts.

6. Chocolate Bread Pudding

Indulge your chocolate cravings with a decadent chocolate bread pudding that’s sure to satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth.

Cubes of rich chocolate bread are soaked in a velvety custard mixture infused with cocoa and vanilla, then baked until golden and set. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of chocolate sauce for an extra dose of indulgence.

7. Maple Pecan Blondies

Maple pecan blondies offer a delightful twist on classic brownies, featuring the rich flavors of maple syrup and toasted pecans.

These dense, chewy bars strike the perfect balance between sweet and nutty, making them an irresistible treat for Thanksgiving dessert. Pair them with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa for a cozy and comforting finish to your meal.

8. Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

Incorporate the flavors of traditional Thanksgiving side dishes into dessert with sweet potato cupcakes topped with fluffy marshmallow frosting. The moist, spiced cupcakes are infused with mashed sweet potatoes and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

A billowy layer of toasted marshmallow frosting adds a whimsical touch reminiscent of holiday gatherings around the campfire.

9. Pear and Almond Tart

For an elegant dessert that showcases seasonal produce, consider a pear and almond tart adorned with thinly sliced pears and a frangipane filling.

The crisp, buttery crust provides the perfect canvas for the tender pears and fragrant almond filling, resulting in a dessert that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious. Serve slices of this sophisticated tart with a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.

10. Spiced Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits

Lighten up your Thanksgiving dessert spread with individual spiced pumpkin mousse parfaits layered with whipped cream and gingersnap crumbs. The airy pumpkin mousse is infused with warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, creating a dessert that’s both indulgent and refreshing.

Serve these elegant parfaits in stemmed glasses for an eye-catching presentation that’s sure to impress your guests.


This Thanksgiving, step outside the realm of traditional pies and explore a world of delicious desserts that promise to elevate your holiday feast. From creamy cheesecakes to fruity crisps and indulgent bars, there’s something for every palate to enjoy.

Whether you’re hosting a small gathering or a festive feast, these delectable desserts are sure to leave a lasting impression and create sweet memories for years to come.

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