80 Splurge-Worthy Thanksgiving Desserts
Forget all the fuss about Thanksgiving turkey. The real showstoppers of the day are the Thanksgiving desserts. From traditional pumpkin pie to easy-to-transport pecan pie bars, there are so many options to finish off your Thanksgiving feast.
When it comes to crafting a stellar Thanksgiving spread, there are a few holiday party tips you should keep in mind to prepare a balanced selection. We love potluck-style dessert tables (there’s no way you have time to bake all those different pies!), but be sure to have each guest sign up for a dessert ahead of time so you don’t end up with three pumpkin pies and no pecan. Yes, of course Grandma Sue can bake her famous Peanut Butter Kisses, but organizing and coordinating ahead of time will save lots of hassle later. Present lots of different choices that range from lighter to heavier dishes and vary in scale, from bite-sized bars to decadent cakes, and be sure to accommodate any dietary restrictions with at least one dessert. You can’t go wrong making too many Thanksgiving desserts, but it’ll be a tragedy if you have too few–even after all of that turkey! Share these recipes with friends and family to guarantee there will be a winning spread.
Pumpkin Spice Magic Cake
Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Magic Cake
Don't be the guest who brings another store-bought pumpkin pie to the table. This Pumpkin Spice Magic Cake is one of a kind.
Ultimate Apple Pie
Step aside, pumpkin pie. This picture-perfect Apple Pie is ideal for an All-American Thanksgiving.
Caramel Apple Cake
Recipe: Caramel Apple Cake
This cake will undoubtedly be the star of your Thanksgiving dessert spread.
Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever
Recipe: Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever
Looking for a quick-fix Thanksgiving dessert that's sure to please? We've got the perfect solution.
Kentucky Bourbon Pie
Recipe: Kentucky Bourbon Pie
If it's good enough for the Derby, it's certainly good enough for our Thanksgiving table. This pie takes everything we love about pecan pie and ramps up the flavor with chocolate and bourbon.
Spiced Pecan Pie Bars
Recipe: Spiced Pecan Pie Bars
These Spiced Pecan Pie Bars are perfectly portioned for no-hassle serving. For a larger group, you can cut them into bite-sized squares so everyone's sure to get a taste.
Sea Salt-Caramel Cake
Recipe: Sea Salt-Caramel Cake
Salted caramel is one of our favorite holiday flavors, and you'll get a double-dose of that warm richness in this Sea Salt-Caramel Cake.
Gingerbread-and-Pear Upside-Down Cake
Easy Skillet Apple Pie
Recipe: Easy Skillet Apple Pie
The only pan you need to complete this rustic Apple Pie is a cast iron skillet. Does it get any easier than that?
Caramel Apple Blondie Pie
Recipe: Caramel Apple Blondie Pie
This dessert is as pretty as it is delicious. It's rich without being overly sweet.
Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
Recipe: Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
After a heavy Thanksgiving meal, enjoy a slice of this specialty coffee cake with a hot cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk.
Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Recipe: Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Because we all know the filling is the best part, anyways. This Crustless Pumpkin Pie is actually much easier to make than a pie with a crust, and it's certainly a winner in terms of rich pumpkin flavor!
Apple Cinnamon Roll Pie
Recipe: Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie
A cinnamon roll crust brings sweetness and warm spice to your favorite apple pie. Plus, a slice of this pie makes for a sweet leftover breakfast the next morning.
Mini Apple Pies
Recipe: Mini Apple Pies
These pies are just cute as a button! Bake a variety of mini pies for your Thanksgiving spread, from pecan to apple, so your guests can get a small taste of all those beloved holiday flavors.
Arkansas Black Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce
Your classic apple pie just got an upgrade. A drizzle of caramel sauce complements the caramelized cinnamon-sweetness of the apples inside the pie.
Recipe: Chocolate Torte
You'll only need one slice of this decadent Chocolate Torte. It's naturally gluten-free, so it's a great option for those with dietary restrictions.
Pecan Pie Bars
Recipe: Pecan Pie Bars
These bars are mess-free and portable, making them a perfect hostess gift. Plus, the crowd will devour these nostalgic bars.
Recipe: Pear Pie
Sweet roasted pears get an upgrade in this decadent Pear Pie. This inventive recipe will become a new holiday staple.
Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
Switch out the pumpkin pie for this stunning Pumpkin Layer Cake, chock full of seasonal spices.
Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake
This cake is meant for a very special celebration, and we can't think of a better occasion than reuniting the whole family over Thanksgiving dinner.
Cranberry-Apple Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust
Savor the flavors of cranberries and apples as they come together with a holiday favorite—pecan shortbread—in this stunning presentation.
Recipe: Pumpkin-Chocolate Brownies
These super-seasonal brownies combine chocolate and pumpkin to create a beautiful marbled effect.
Mini Pecan Pies
Recipe: Mini Pecan Pies
These Mini Pecan Pies pack all that warm, nutty pecan flavor in a bite-sized package.
Pumpkin Crunch Cake
Recipe: Pumpkin Crunch Cake
With layers of fluffy pumpkin sponge, rich pumpkin frosting, and a pumpin crumble to top it all off, this cake makes the most of our favorite seasonal flavor.
Butter Pecan Layer Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
While we'll never tire of a classic Pecan Pie, this cake may just be our new favorite Thanksgiving showstopper. It's got all that warm butter pecan flavor packed into rich layers of sponge.
Butterscotch Pie with Whiskey Caramel Sauce
Nobody can resist a slice of sweet and salty butterscotch pie. This is a great lighter, yet still decadent option to add to your Thanksgiving dessert spread.
Recipe: Classic Chess Pie
This recipe may be oh-so-simple, but the Chess Pie has always been a Southern favorite. If we're being honest, we may even choose this classic over pecan pie this year. Or, a better solution: we'll just have a slice of both!
Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Cups
Recipe: Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Cups
In a spread of extravagant pies and cakes, these bite-sized cookie cups are a great pre-portioned, mess-free option.
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
For a large party, cupcakes are a great way to avoid the haphazard cake slicing that inevitably results in dramatically different portion sizes.
Charlotte Russe Cake
Recipe: Charlotte Russe Cake
After a heavy Thanksgiving meal, you’ll be wanting something light for dessert. This silky-smooth, no-bake cake will hit the spot.
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Pies
Everything you love about pumpkin pie, but in miniature form. Be sure to finish them off with a dollop of whipped cream!
Coconut-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Recipe: Coconut-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Make and refrigerate without the topping a day ahead. Whip and add the topping before serving.
Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
Recipe: Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
This crème brûlée-cheesecake fusion is a dessert made in heaven. Homemade cheesecake is impressive all on its own, but it will really wow with this caramelized sugar crust.
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Recipe: Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Would any holiday spread be complete without a tray of Grandma's signature Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies? We think not.
Coconut-Butter Pecan Sheet Cake
Recipe: Coconut-Butter Pecan Sheet Cake
With smooth, cool coconut, this lighter, yet still indulgent take on a butter pecan cake will be a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving spread.
Recipe: Pumpkin-Espresso Tiramisù
Make Ahead: Loosely wrap baked and cooked tiramisu in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Chocolate-Pecan Mousse Tart
Recipe: Chocolate-Pecan Mousse Tart
You can make and freeze crust ahead of time; thaw in your refrigerator overnight before preparing the filling.
Decadent Cream Puffs with Praline Sauce and Toasted Pecans
It may be tempting to use a stand mixer for the cream puff batter, but it pays to mix by hand. You need to see when the mixture is smooth and shiny, which will prevent overmixing. Top with Praline Sauce.
Recipe: Pecan-Espresso Toffee
Take a crack at this intensely rich and buttery holiday treat.
Pumpkin Pie Spectacular
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spectacular
This gorgeous pie will win first prize on any dessert buffet. Make it for Thanksgiving with the family or a special night in. The pie crust garnishes add a decorative flair.
Recipe: Blackberry-Apple Pie
This apple-and-berry-packed pie is extra-tasty because of the white-Cheddar cheese crust that provides a sigh-worthy companion for the sweet fruit filling.
Bananas Foster Upside-Down Cake
Recipe: Bananas Foster Upside-Down Cake
One quick flip and this cake tumbles from the skillet perfectly golden and party ready.
Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue
Recipe: Caramel-Pecan Tart
Surprisingly easy to make, this pecan and caramel dessert recipe pairs the cookie-like crispness of shortbread with a buttery-rich brown sugar-and-honey topping.
The Ultimate Carrot Cake
Sweet Potato-Pecan Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
Keep this family favorite around for the holiday season. Mashed sweet potatoes give the cupcakes extra moistness, while a myriad of spices including cinnamon and nutmeg, spice up the traditionally sweet dessert. A simple Cream Cheese Frosting and a sprinkle of chopped pecans is all that's needed on top.