131 Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes to Finish Off Your Feast

Jerrelle Guy's Salted Irish Cream-Apple Crostata
Photo: Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

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. Our solution? Share these recipes with friends and family to guarantee there will be a winning spread.

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Pumpkin Spice Magic Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

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.

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Ultimate Apple Pie

Ultimate Apple Pie from Buxton Hall
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Ultimate Apple Pie from Buxton Hall

Step aside, pumpkin pie. This picture-perfect Apple Pie is ideal for an All-American Thanksgiving.

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Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel Apple Cake
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Caramel Apple Cake

This cake will undoubtedly be the star of your Thanksgiving dessert spread.

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Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever

Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever
Photo: Greg Dupree

Recipe: Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever

Looking for a quick-fix Thanksgiving dessert that's sure to please? We've got the perfect solution.

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Kentucky Bourbon Pie

Kentucky Bourbon Pie
Antonis Achilleos

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.

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Spiced Pecan Pie Bars

Spiced Pecan Pie Bars
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

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.

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Sea Salt-Caramel Cake

Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

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.

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Caramel Pecan Tart

Caramel Pecan Tart on a blue background
Will Dickey

Recipe: Caramel Pecan Tart

Pecan pies are all the rage at Thanksgiving dessert tables, but this tart is just as impressive and even easier.

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Easy Skillet Apple Pie

Easy Skillet Apple Pie
Luca Trovato

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?

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Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

After a big Thanksgiving meal, enjoy a slice of this specialty coffee cake with a hot cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk.

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Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

Apple Cinnamon Roll Pie
Antonis Achilleos

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.

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Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies
Micah A. Leal

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.

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Arkansas Black Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce

Arkansas Black Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: 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.

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Chocolate Torte

Chocolate Torte
Micah Leal

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.

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Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Squares
Lee Harrelson

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.

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Pear Pie

Pear Pie
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Pear Pie

Sweet roasted pears get an upgrade in this decadent Pear Pie. Prepare for this recipe to become a new holiday staple.

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Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
Alison Gootee; Styling: Suzonne Stirling

Recipe: Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Switch out the pumpkin pie for this stunning Pumpkin Layer Cake, chock full of seasonal spices.

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Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake

Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake
Greg Dupree

Recipe: Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake

This cake is meant for a very special celebration, and we can't think of a better one than reuniting the whole family over Thanksgiving dinner.

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Mini Pecan Pies

Mini Pecan Pies
Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski

Recipe: Mini Pecan Pies

These Mini Pecan Pies pack all that warm, nutty pecan flavor in a bite-sized package.

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Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Crunch Cake
Micah A. Leal

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.

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Butter Pecan Layer Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

Butter Pecan Layer Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: 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 holiday showstopper. It's got all that warm butter pecan flavor packed into rich layers of sponge.

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Butterscotch Pie with Whiskey Caramel Sauce

Butterscotch Pie with Whiskey Caramel Sauce
Greg DuPree

Recipe: 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.

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Chess Pie

Classic Chess Pie
Jessica Colyer

Recipe: Classic Chess Pie

An oh-so-simple recipe for Chess Pie has always been a Southern favorite. Be sure to add this pie to the dessert spread.

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Charlotte Russe Cake

Charlotte Russe Cake
Micah Leal

Recipe: Charlotte Russe Cake

After a filling Thanksgiving meal, you'll be wanting something light for dessert. This silky-smooth, no-bake cake will hit the spot.

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Mini Pumpkin Pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies
Micah A. Leal

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!

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Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
Micah A. Leal

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.

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Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Caitlin Bensel

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.

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Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie

Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie

Once you've made a pecan pie in a cast-iron skillet, you may never go back to a pie plate. Simply press a refrigerated pie crust into the skillet, sprinkle with sugar, top with the pecan mixture, and bake. Serving it in the skillet is also easy and makes the dish even more Southern.

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Sliced Sweet Potato Pie

Sliced Sweet Potato Pie with Molasses Whipped Cream
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Sliced Sweet Potato Pie

We love the layered look of this ever-so-sweet streusel-topped treat.

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Butterscotch-Spice Trifle

Butterscotch-Spice Trifle
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Butterscotch-Spice Trifle

With homemade spice cake and butterscotch custard, this layered trifle recipe is a showstopper.

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Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans

Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans
Photo: Jennifer Causey

Recipe: Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans

If you've been assigned to bring dessert to Thanksgiving, you can never go wrong with a rich pound cake recipe.

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Mississippi Sweet Potato Pie

Mississippi Sweet Potato Pie With Bourbon Whipped Cream
Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Torie Cox Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

Recipe: Mississippi Sweet Potato Pie

Like many Southern desserts, this smooth pie gets a flavor boost from a splash of bourbon.

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Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

You've got to read the sweet story behind this pecan pie recipe.

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Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These festive cookies are easy for the kids to grab and go. If you want to up the presentation, a thin layer of cream cheese icing would be divine on these.

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Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake

Heath Bar Cake
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake

When it comes to serving a crowd, there's nothing better than a sheet cake straight from your favorite 13x9.

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Pumpkin Dump Cake

Pumpkin Dump Cake
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Pumpkin Dump Cake

It's all in the name—with this easy recipe, all you have to do is dump the ingredients in, mix, and bake.

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Pecan Pie Cobbler

Pecan Pie Cobbler
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Pecan Pie Cobbler

This decadent cobbler comes together with just a few minutes of hands on time and your cast-iron skillet.

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Honeyed Plum Galette

Honeyed Plum Galette
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Honeyed Plum Galette

This elegant recipe features a homemade crust and a gooey, sweet fruit filling.

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Salted Caramel-Apple Hand Pies

Salted Caramel-Apple Hand Pies
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Katie Jacobs

Recipe: Salted Caramel-Apple Hand Pies

These cute bites are a fun Thanksgiving dessert for the kids to help you bake.

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Pecan Tassies

Pecan Tassies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Pecan Tassies

A cross between a shortbread cookie and a sweet bite of pecan pie, these mini delights are an adorable addition to the dessert table at Thanksgiving.

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Apple Stack Cake

Apple Stack Cake
Photo: Victor Protasi; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Apple Stack Cake

This vintage cake is a labor of love, but the final product is so worth it.

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Brown Butter-Maple-Pecan Blondies

Brown Butter-Maple-Pecan Blondies
Linda Pugliese

Recipe: Brown Butter-Maple-Pecan Blondies

A tip from the Test Kitchen: Choose high-quality 100% pure maple syrup for these bar cookies; the fake stuff doesn't have the same richness and aroma. The darker the syrup, the stronger the flavor.

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Cranberry-Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream

Cranberry-Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream
Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Emily Neighbors Hall Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream

No dessert feels more dressed up for the holidays than a beautiful layer cake.

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Granny Smith Apple Pie

Granny Smith Apple Pie
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Granny Smith Apple Pie

Roasting the apples beforehand makes a world of difference in the flavor of this pie.

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Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

Why choose between a slice of pumpkin pie and a slice of cheesecake when you can have the best of both worlds?

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Southern Sweet Potato Cake

Southern Sweet Potato Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck; Food Styling: Erin Merhar

Recipe: Southern Sweet Potato Cake

This fall cake will make your house smell absolutely amazing.

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Southern Living

Recipe: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

We turned old-fashioned whoopie pies into a Thanksgiving treat by adding all your favorite autumn spices and flavors.

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Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet Potato Brownies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Sweet Potato Brownies

The kids won't believe there's actually a vegetable in these fudgy brownies, and you don't have to tell them.

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Auntie's Apple Cake

Auntie’s Apple Cake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke

Recipe: Auntie's Apple Cake

We don't know what we love most about this cake—the fresh apples, pecan-studded, spiced batter, or the praline-like frosting.

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Transparent Pie with Whipped Crème Fraîche and Sugared Cranberries

Transparent Pie with Whipped Creme Fraiche and Sugared Cranberries
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Transparent Pie with Whipped Crème Fraîche and Sugared Cranberries

Sugared cranberries and whipped crème fraîche make the most elegant topper for this old-school pie recipe.

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Southern Sweet Potato Cake

Sweet Potato Sheet Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Sweet Potato Sheet Cake

Absolutely no guest will realize this sheet cake topped with bacon-cream cheese frosting (yes, bacon!) started with a box of mix.

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Persimmon Pudding

Persimmon Pudding
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Persimmon Pudding

This richly spiced dessert is a beautiful way to showcase the season's fresh persimmons.

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Texas Pecan Pie

Texas Pecan Pie
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Texas Pecan Pie

To do the Lonestar state proud, be sure to find the best quality, freshest nuts available.

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Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake

Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Emily Neighbors Hall Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Recipe: Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake

Free up prime oven real estate on Thanksgiving and make your dessert in the Instant Pot.

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Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Classic chocolate chip cookies get a makeover that's made for Thanksgiving with canned pumpkin and cinnamon.

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Dairy-Free Coconut-Pumpkin Pie

Dairy-Free Coconut-Pumpkin Pie
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Dairy-Free Coconut-Pumpkin Pie

Family members with dairy allergies don't have to miss out on the dessert course with this pumpkin pie recipe.

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Pecan Pie Brownies

Pecan Pie Brownies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Pecan Pie Brownies

Pecan pie + brownies = your family's new favorite treat.

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Spiced Pear Hand Pies

Spiced Pear Hand Pies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Spiced Pear Hand Pies

These hand pies are a deliciously portable dessert for on-the-go kids at Thanksgiving.

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Apple-Bourbon Pie

Apple-Bourbon Pie Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Apple-Bourbon Pie

There's a reason we're still making this pie recipe decades after it ran in the magazine in 1995—it's just that good.

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Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Cake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke

Recipe: Pumpkin Cake

This classic pumpkin cake is layered with light and airy spiced whipped cream for an easy but pretty presentation.

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Persimmon Pie with Pecan Streusel

Persimmon Pie with Pecan Streusel
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Persimmon Pie with Pecan Streusel

The simple pecan streusel adds just the right amount of texture to this creamy pie.

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Brown Sugar-Rum Cake

Brown Sugar-Rum Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Brown Sugar-Rum Cake

This super-tender sheet cake is perfect for an adults-only Thanksgiving celebration.

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Apple Pie Cookies

Apple Pie Cookies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Apple Pie Cookies

These soft cookies are like mini apple pies, and the kids are going to love them.

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Pumpkin Pie Cake

Pumpkin Pie Cake
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Cake

Pie filling and cake batter meet and meld into a decadent new dessert in this recipe.

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Cushaw Pie with Vanilla Bean Custard Sauce

Cushaw Pie with Vanilla Bean Custard Sauce
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Cushaw Pie with Vanilla Bean Custard Sauce

Ever heard of a cushaw? This winter squash originates from Mesoamerica, and now you'll find it around the Louisiana area.

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Hot Cranberry Bake

Hot Cranberry Bake Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Hot Cranberry Bake

Published in our November 1992 issue, this simple, crisp-like dessert couldn't be easier or more delicious.

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Fresh Apple Cake

Fresh Apple Cake
Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Amy Burke

Recipe: Fresh Apple Cake

This vintage apple cake has everything you could ever want in a fall dessert.

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Caramel-Frosted Pound Cake

Caramel-Frosted Pound Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Caramel-Frosted Pound Cake

Caramel cake and pound cake are two of our all-time favorite desserts, so it's no wonder we love this mash-up recipe so much.

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Purple Sweet Potato Pie

Purple Sweet Potato Pie
Greg Dupree; Food Stylist: Emily Neighbors Hall; Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Purple Sweet Potato Pie

You don't even need food coloring for this naturally purple pie that adds a fun element to the Thanksgiving spread.

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Butter-Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Salted Butter-Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Butter-Pecan Shortbread Cookies

These cookies have a high yield, so there are plenty to bake for Thanksgiving and for family to take home.

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Persimmon Cake

Persimmon Cake
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Emily Hall; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Persimmon Cake

Walnuts add a hint of crunch to this super-moist cake that will introduce your family to delicious persimmons.

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Apple and Pear Crisp

Apple and Pear Crisp
Jennifer Davick; Food Styling: Vanessa Rocchio; Prop Styling: Missie Crawford

Recipe: Apple and Pear Crisp

This fall dessert comes together with the ease of your slow cooker, so you have plenty of oven and stovetop space for the rest of your Thanksgiving feast.

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Pumpkin-Chocolate Brownies

Pumpkin-Chocolate Brownies
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Pumpkin-Chocolate Brownies

These super-seasonal brownies combine chocolate and pumpkin to create a beautiful marbled effect.

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Coconut-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Coconut-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Hector M. Sanchez

Recipe: Coconut-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Make and refrigerate without the topping a day ahead. Whip and add the topping just before serving.

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Cherry-Spice Cake Trifle

Cherry-Spice Cake Trifle
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Cherry-Spice Cake Trifle

The star of the spread. Thaw Holiday Spice Cake layers and prepare the recipe through Step 3. Assemble trifle in the morning, and refrigerate. Remove 1 hour before serving.

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Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Bread Puddings

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Bread Puddings
Jim Franco

Recipe: Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Bread Puddings

This recipe is a great way to use the delicious, seasonal flavor of pumpkin. If you're short on time (or dishes) you can make this in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

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Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt

Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt
Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

Recipe: Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt

The topping on this bundt—a maple glaze with sugared pecans and pumpkin seeds—will make your guests ooh and ahh.

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Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie

Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie

With a moist, crumbly crust and a decadent, creamy filling, it's hard to say no to seconds of this pie.

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Tennessee Jam Bundt

Tennessee Jam Bundt Cake
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

Recipe: Tennessee Jam Bundt

The best way to enjoy this blackberry and caramel confection is with friends—it makes 12 satisfying servings.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Honey Swiss Meringue

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Honey Swiss Meringue
Jody Horton

Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Honey Swiss Meringue

Begin with a toasted pecan crust, layer with cream cheese and a classic pumpkin filling, and then gild the lily with a creamy meringue.

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Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze

Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze

Substitute extra cream for rum in the sauce, if you like. For a thicker glaze, add the whole 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, whisking constantly, as the glaze begins to cool in the pan. For a sheer, saucy glaze, use less powdered sugar.

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Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake

Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake

You might think carrot cake is an Easter dessert, but apple pie spice, fresh apples, and a homemade apple cider caramel sauce bring this recipe into fall.

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Pumpkin Crisp

Pumpkin Crisp
Southern Living

Recipe: Pumpkin Crisp

This simple dessert recipe starts with a box of cake mix and a can of pumpkin.

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Pumpkin Spice Battenberg

Pumpkin Spice Battenberg
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Battenberg

Cut into this cake to a fun surprise for family.

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Spiced Caramel-Apple Bread Pudding

Spiced Caramel-Apple Bread Pudding
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

Recipe: Spiced Caramel-Apple Bread Pudding

Bread pudding feels special, but it's actually so easy to make.

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Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Greg Dupree

Recipe: Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

The cream cheese filling in this apple Bundt cake makes it so decadent.

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Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake

Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake

All the flavors of pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and cheesecake meet in this gorgeous dessert recipe.

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Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes

Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes

Recipe: Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes

If you weren't assigned to bring dessert to Thanksgiving, pack one of these as a hostess gift for Mama—she'll be thrilled.

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Cornbread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel

Cornbread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel
Photo: Brian Woodcock

Recipe: Cornbread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel

We bet you haven't thought to use your cornbread quite like this before.

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Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Sweet Potato Pound Cake

We're always on the hunt for inventive ways to use fall's favorite ingredient, and this pound cake is our next project.

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Pumpkin-Honey-Beer Bread Pudding with Apple Brandy-Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin-Honey-Beer Bread Pudding with Apple Brandy-Caramel Sauce
Alison Miksch; Styling: Lydia Degaris Pursell

Recipe: Pumpkin-Honey-Beer Bread Pudding with Apple Brandy-Caramel Sauce

Instead of a stale loaf from the pantry, this pudding recipe starts with our homemade Pumpkin-Honey-Beer Bread.

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Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

Each guest can grab as few or as many of these sweet bites as he or she pleases.

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Apple Bread Pudding

Apple Bread Pudding
Helen Norman

Recipe: Apple Bread Pudding

Cinnamon-raisin bread is the base for this autumn bread pudding recipe.

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Erika Kwee's Spiced Carrot Cake with Candied Pecans and Caramel Sauce

Erika Kwee's Spiced Carrot Cake with Candied Pecans and Caramel Sauce
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Erika Kwee's Spiced Carrot Cake with Candied Pecans and Caramel Sauce

There's a reason Erika Kwee was named one of our 2021 Cooks of the Year, and one bite of her towering carrot cake creation will give you a full understanding. "There are no words to describe how good this cake is," wrote one five-star reviewer.

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Gingered Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan-Crumb Crust and Ginger-Honey Whip

Gingered Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan-Crumb Crust and Ginger-Honey Whip
Johnny Autry; Food Styling: Keia Mastrianni; Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Gingered Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan-Crumb Crust and Ginger-Honey Whip

North Carolina-based writer and baker Keia Mastrianni knows what she's talking about when it comes to seasonal pies. Swap your usual pumpkin pie for this ginger-studded sweet potato one this year—you won't regret it.

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Apple-and-Pear Cornmeal Galette

Apple-and-Pear Cornmeal Galette
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Apple-and-Pear Cornmeal Galette

Galettes are a favorite of Southern holiday hosts, since they look stunning but don't take quite as much hands-on time as a lattice pie crust. Just don't forget a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of your serving!

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Mini Pumpkin Pies with Maple Whipped Cream

mini pumpkin pies with maple whipped cream
David Malosh; Prop Styling: Robyn Glaser; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Pies with Maple Whipped Cream

Leave the dough kneading to someone else this Thanksgiving. These adorable mini pies start with frozen phyllo pastry sheets for a picture-perfect (and oh-so-easy) result.

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Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting

Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting

Bundt cakes are always a beautiful way to finish a meal, but the real beauty is on the inside of this one, where each slice will reveal a luscious ribbon of homemade apple butter.

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Pecan Pie Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

Pecan Pie Cake
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke Food Stylist: Rishon Hanners

Recipe: Pecan Pie Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

Our readers went bonkers for this layer cake-version of Thanksgiving's most popular dessert, pecan pie. It's a labor of love (and worth it).

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Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Melissa Gray Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

Recipe: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake and caramel-apple pie meet in these portable bars—need we say more?

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Apple Pie with Rye Crust and Cider Caramel

Apple Pie with Rye Crust and Cider Caramel
Johnny Autry; Food Styling: Keia Mastrianni; Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Apple Pie with Rye Crust and Cider Caramel

You haven't had an apple pie like this one from Keia Mastrianni before! A rye-spiked crust and cider caramel take the flavors over the top. Take the advice of one five-star reviewer and reserve some caramel (or make extra) for drizzling over individual slices—genius!

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Pumpkin Cobbler

pumpkin cobbler
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey

Recipe: Pumpkin Cobbler

You might think of cobbler as a summer dessert made with fresh fruit, but this version makes the argument for a fall cobbler. With just 15 minutes of hands-on time, our Test Kitchen says this will be the easiest thing you bake all season.

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Pear Upside-Down Cake

pear upside down cake
Photographer: Isaac Nunn, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Recipe: Pear Upside-Down Cake

Our Test Kitchen recommends Bosc pears for this recipe, as they're tender but don't fall apart during baking. A mandolin slicer makes quick work of getting perfectly thin and even slices for this upside-down delight.

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Sorghum Custard Pie with Cornmeal Crust

Sorghum Custard Pie with Cornmeal Crust
Johnny Autry; Food Styling: Keia Mastrianni; Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Sorghum Custard Pie with Cornmeal Crust

"Sorghum syrup is the currency of the mountains, and this product bears the signature of the land from which it came as well as the hand of its maker," notes North Carolina writer and baker Keia Mastrianni. "This pie tries to capture the essence of sorghum with its notes of grass and cane in a delicate custard filling."

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Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen, Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Our Test Kitchen described this new dessert as "everything you love about about chocolate torte and pumpkin pie all in one delicious package," so yes, your family is going to gobble it up this Thanksgiving. Since it needs to chill well before serving, it's the perfect make-ahead option for the holiday.

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Apple Butter Cobbler with Drop Biscuits

Apple Butter Cobbler with Drop Biscuits
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Apple Butter Cobbler with Drop Biscuits

This warm and cozy apple cobbler might be the best thing you make in your cast-iron skillet this fall. It starts with our homemade Slow-Cooker Apple Butter, which can be made up to one month in advance and stored in the fridge.

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Photographer: Alison Miksch Food Stylist: Erin Merhar Prop Stylist: Prissy Lee

Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Prepare these cute mini cheesecakes up to two days in advance and top them with fresh whipped cream before serving. Fair warning: You might want to make a double batch.

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Apple Rose Tart

Apple Rose Tart
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Melissa Gray Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

Recipe: Apple Rose Tart

If you're asked to bring dessert to this year's Thanksgiving celebration, and you're really looking to impress the whole crew, look no further than this gorgeous dessert.

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Pam Lolley's Pecan Pie

Pam’s Pecan Pie
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Pam Lolley's Pecan Pie

Southern Living readers know to trust a dessert recipe from Test Kitchen pro Pam Lolley. Since this pie came from her own mother's kitchen, it's doubly trustworthy.

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Pumpkin Soufflé

pumpkin souffle
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Pumpkin Soufflé

Airy, creamy, and wonderfully spiced for the fall season, these Pumpkin Soufflés will dazzle your Thanksgiving crowd. Pair them with a hot cup of coffee after the big meal.

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Mini Cranberry-Cheesecake Pies

Mini Cranberry-Cheesecake Pies
David Malosh; Prop Styling: Robyn Glaser; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

Recipe: Mini Cranberry-Cheesecake Pies

These lovely tiny pies add a nice bit of color to a Thanksgiving dessert lineup that can often look a bit bland when it comes to the color wheel. Our Test Kitchen recommends serving any remaining cranberry compote over turkey, muddled into cocktails, or spooned over biscuits or hot sandwiches.

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Amanda Mack's Apple-Almond Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Amanda Mack’s Apple-Almond Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
Gabriela Herman

Recipe: Amanda Mack's Apple-Almond Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

You might not think to serve a loaf cake for dessert on Thanksgiving, but this recipe from Maryland bakery owner and one of our Southern Living 2021 Cooks of the Year Amanda Mack will convince you otherwise. Brown butter frosting, apple chips, and toasted almonds make for holiday-worthy presentation.

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Caramel Apple-Pear Pie

Caramel Apple-Pear Pie
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Caramel Apple-Pear Pie

Apples shouldn't get all the attention at Thanksgiving. This pie recipe will prove they were meant to be paired with pears (no pun intended).

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Mini Chocolate-Pecan Pies

Mini Apple-Cinnamon Pies, Mini Cranberry-Cheesecake Pies, and Mini Chocolate-Pecan Pies
David Malosh; Prop Styling: Robyn Glaser; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

Recipe: Mini Chocolate-Pecan Pies

"Everyone really liked these and this will go in my 'keeper' file," wrote one reviewer of these mini pies. They make the sweetest gifts, so bake a double batch and give a few to neighbors or teachers.

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Apple Spice Cake

Apple Spice Cake
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Apple Spice Cake

If you're over everything pumpkin spice, try this Apple Spice Cake out this Thanksgiving. The ingredient list isn't too extensive for a holiday dessert, but the flavor is impressive.

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Brown Sugar Baked Pears

Brown Sugar Baked Pears
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Brown Sugar Baked Pears

These baked pears are the perfect blend of elegant and easy for a dressy Thanksgiving dinner. Try a scoop of our editors' favorite vanilla ice cream on top.

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Caramel Apple Blondie Pie

Caramel Apple Blondie Pie
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Caramel Apple Blondie Pie

Caramel apples are one of fall's greatest pleasures, and this decadent skillet pie takes their flavor to new heights. A drizzle of Apple Cider Caramel Sauce on top makes this dessert almost too good to be true.

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Dark Chocolate-Pear Cake

Dark Chocolate-Pear Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Dark Chocolate-Pear Cake

This cast-iron skillet dessert is a rich addition to the usual pies of Thanksgiving. Because of its crisp edges and gooey center, our Test Kitchen called this a "brownie cake."

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Apple Pie with Salted Pine Nut Streusel

Apple Pie with Salted Pine Nut Streusel
Ann Pittman

Recipe: Apple Pie with Salted Pine Nut Streusel

If you don't have time to fuss with a lattice crust this Thanksgiving, try this apple pie recipe that's topped with a sweet-and-salty streusel. Plus, it's gluten-free!

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Pumpkin Pound Cake

pumpkin pound cake
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey

Recipe: Pumpkin Pound Cake

This moist Pumpkin Pound Cake can hold its own on the Thanksgiving dessert table as-is, but the maple-butter glaze on top lands it in the No. 1 spot. A tip from the Test Kitchen: Don't overbeat the eggs, as that can cause a soufflé effect in your cake.

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Mini Pear-Cranberry Pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Maple Whipped Cream and Mini Pear-Cranberry Pies
David Malosh; Prop Styling: Robyn Glaser; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

Recipe: Mini Pear-Cranberry Pies

We used leaf cookie cutters to make for an unforgettable presentation with these seasonal mini pies, but you could top them with a lattice crust or simply a dollop of whipped cream instead.

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Pear-Plum Tartlets

Pear-Plum Tartlets
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Pear-Plum Tartlets

Not only do these pretty little tartlets make a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread, they'd fit in just as well with brunch and coffee the next morning.

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Blackberry-Apple Butter Pie Bars

Blackberry-Apple Butter Pie Bars
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Blackberry-Apple Butter Pie Bars

These fruity pie bars are basically like a slab pie, which is one of the best ways to feed dessert to a crowd. The ingredient list and instructions are simple, but the recipe is beautiful and tastes more complex than you might think.

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Caramel-Apple Cookies

Caramel Apple Cookies
Photographer: Alison Miksch Food Stylist: Erin Merhar Prop Stylist: Prissy Lee

Recipe: Caramel-Apple Cookies

These pretty cookies will travel well to your Thanksgiving supper, but be sure to make them the day of, as the apples will brown.

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Apple Pie Cake

Apple Pie Cake
Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

Recipe: Apple Pie Cake

With this easy 13x9 dessert recipe, even Mama won't realize you used a boxed cake mix. It will become a family favorite at Thanksgiving.

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Maple-Pecan-Pear Cheesecake

Maple-Pecan-Pear Cheesecake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Maple-Pecan-Pear Cheesecake

This light and smooth cheesecake features fresh fall pears in the filling and the topping. The best news for busy Thanksgiving hosts is that this makes a great make-ahead dessert; simply bake the cheesecake up to 3 days in advance, then make the topping day-of and top just before serving.

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Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

Recipe: Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

We have a knack for making mash-ups of some of our favorite recipes (looking at you, Margarita Cake!), and this Pecan Pie Bread Pudding is a stroke of Test Kitchen genius. Don't ignore the standing time—it allows the bread to soak up the custard mixture for perfect, non-soupy texture.

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Mini Cinnamon-Apple Pies

Mini Cinnamon-Apple Pies, Mini Cranberry-Cheesecake Pies, and Mini Chocolate-Pecan Pies
David Malosh; Prop Styling: Robyn Glaser; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

Recipe: Mini Cinnamon-Apple Pies

No kids will fight over who got the biggest piece of pie when they all receive their own perfectly portioned ones! We saved time by using refrigerated pie crusts, but feel free to use your favorite homemade recipe instead.

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Salted Irish Cream Apple Crostata

Jerrelle Guy's Salted Irish Cream-Apple Crostata
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Salted Irish Cream Apple Crostata

Dallas-based food stylist, photographer, author of Black Girl Baking, and one of Southern Living's own Cooks of the Year in 2020 Jerrelle Guy dreamed up this cover-worthy dessert. "Really just a decadent and perfect dessert!" wrote one five-star reviewer.

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Simplest Pear Tart

Simplest Pear Tart
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Simplest Pear Tart

Though the preparation for this Pear Tart is simple, the presentation wows. Frozen puff pastry makes for quick work of this dessert that needs just a few more ingredients.

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Black Walnut-Buttermilk Pie with Hibiscus-Cranberry Relish

Black Walnut-Buttermilk Pie with Hibiscus-Cranberry Relish
Johnny Autry; Food Styling: Keia Mastrianni; Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Black Walnut-Buttermilk Pie with Hibiscus-Cranberry Relish

"Hibiscus flowers, grown by my farmer husband, make a mouth-puckering stand-in for cranberries, which don't grow in our region. I like to mix the two in this holiday relish, but you can use all cranberries just the same," says North Carolina writer and baker Keia Mastrianni.

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