Delicious Desserts You Can Throw Together Thanksgiving Morning
As the closing act of the annual Thanksgiving meal, dessert is often anticipated as much as the turkey and stuffing. If you’re the one in charge, though, it’s not always your top priority leading up to the day. So, if you’ve ever really been in a pinch to whip up a dessert for the post-meal spread, you’ll be more than relieved with these quick dessert options you can make the morning of the big feast—we’re not joking—and that don’t require nearly as much prep time as your family will think after taking a bite. When it comes to Thanksgiving, we don’t blink twice at store-bought pie crusts, we favor easily frosted sheet and Bundt cakes, and we happily serve up easily cut (and grabbed) bars. These delicious, yet easy recipes are the trick to whipping up your last-minute surprise. Our only other tip: beware making these sweet treats the morning of Thanksgiving in your busy kitchen because we guarantee sneaky fingers will try to grab a taste before the meal even begins!
Fresh Apple Cake
Recipe: Fresh Apple Cake
Toasted pecans and thinly sliced apples speckle this sheet cake, and you can top this with any quick frosting of your choice (we love it with cream cheese frosting or browned butter frosting).
Salted Caramel-Pecan Bars
Recipe: Salted Caramel-Pecan Bars
Watch these bars disappear from the dessert tray, no matter how “full” everyone said they were! The finishing sprinkle of kosher salt cuts the sweetness of the bar perfectly. Even better, you’ll have these ready in an hour.
Recipe: Pumpkin Crisp
You’re going to thank us for this new pumpkin dessert idea. This crisp gives the topping you love from summer berry crisps, but the fall favorite flavor of pumpkin. You’ll have time to finish your to-do list as this bakes for an hour (after just a few minutes of prep), but don’t forget about it! When you're tired of pumpkin pie, whip up this easy, buttery rich dessert.
Pecan Pie Bars
Recipe: Pecan Pie Bars
After trying this tasty bar, you might not want to go back to the old pie dish next year. Just 20 minutes of prep time will get you going with these chewy, bite-sized bars that are inspired by the Thanksgiving staple: pecan pie.
Decadent Cream Puffs with Praline Sauce and Toasted Pecans
These decadent cream puffs don’t take long to whip together with only 30 minutes of hands-on prep, and we love the idea of setting them out with an array of ice cream for guests to choose from. Make our easy signature Praline Sauce to drizzle on top, and serve with toasted pecans that can be made ahead.
Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever
We won’t tell if you use a store-bought crust—it’ll make the morning less stressful without a doubt! You’ll whip these ingredients together so quickly and easily, and then pop them right in the oven for about 45 minutes. We mean it when we say easiest ever.
Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake
Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake
We aren’t ones to turn down chocolate any day, and Thanksgiving is no exception. This cake incorporates chocolate cake, pudding, and spice for a dynamic flavor, while a sliced almond topping adds awesome crunch to the soft, warm cake. You’ll have this dessert completely finished and ready to serve in an hour.
Apple Upside-Down Pie
Recipe: Apple Upside-Down Pie
Pecans, apples and brown sugar are the stars in this decadent upside-down pie. The gooey texture and fall flavors are enough to make us find extra room in our full stomachs! You’ll get everything ready to pop in the oven in about 25 minutes, and then it’ll be tucked in the oven for an hour to allow you time to get yourself and the rest of the meal ready.
Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie
We like to warn that once you’ve made this pie in a cast-iron skillet, you may never go back to a pie plate. It only takes 10 minutes of hands-on prep, but keep in mind a couple hours of cushion for slow cooling in the cast-iron skillet (which can be while the other eating festivities are occurring!). Simply press a refrigerated pie crust into the skillet, sprinkle with sugar, top with the pecan mixture, and bake.
Pecan Bourbon Balls
Recipe: Pecan Bourbon Balls
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill bourbon balls. This no-bake recipe coats them in spiced toasted pecans for a sweet-salty variation, so it takes just one bite until you’re a convert for life. You’ll have these ready in record speed, too!
Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
This sweet treat is straight from the kitchens of New Orleans and only takes about 20 minutes of prep time before popping it in the oven. Top with a quick bourbon sauce that’s been made deliciously creamy with a touch of whipping cream.
Apple Butter Pie
Recipe: Apple Butter Pie
Switch up your pie selection this year with this quick apple butter treat that has such a lovely sweet fall flavor that you and your guests will love. Gingersnaps are the hidden gem in this dessert. With the smooth, creamy texture of a pumpkin pie and the tart flavor of apples, this pie comes together in a flash.
Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake
Recipe: Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake
Nothing like a sheet cake for an easy turnover. Toffee bits take this pumpkin spice cake to this next level, and you make and serve this dessert in a baking sheet pan for ultimate ease. A simple spiced cream cheese frosting can be spread on easily the day-of.
Pecan Pound Cake
Recipe: Pecan Pound Cake
You can have this moist pound cake ready for the oven in less than a half hour. This nut-filled pound cake isn’t overly sweet, so the quick citrus glaze gives the perfect finish.
Anne's Quick Apple Dumpling Bundles
These little spiced apple dumplings are the perfect finish to your Thanksgiving meal. They’re fun and festive, and only take 40 minutes total from start to finish. To make these delicious apple bundles, you only need six ingredients, including a refrigerated piecrust, frozen spiced apples, and jarred caramel sauce.
Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze
You’ll need to get up and going on this cake—but it’s worth it. While the prep time is very short, it needs to bake for a little over an hour and then given time to cool. Lucky for you, you can be doing other preparations for the Thanksgiving meal during that time!
Recipe: Bayou Brownies
While not a traditional Thanksgiving dessert, these sweet brownies will still take the cake for fastest-disappearing dish! Pecans and a sweet cream cheese topping give these their sweet indulgent taste, while yellow cake mix makes the recipe extra convenient for busy cooks to whip up in minutes.
Hummingbird Bundt Cake
Recipe: Hummingbird Bundt Cake
A Bundt cake is such a great way to go for an easy dessert—it’ll stay moist and doesn’t require laborious frosting like a layer cake. This twist on a traditional Hummingbird Cake is a surefire winner any holiday, and it takes only 20 minutes of hands-on time.
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
Recipe: Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
Pop this in the oven after 15 minutes of prep, but leave time for baking and cooling as you finish getting ready for the meal. While sweet potatoes are the conundrum of Thanksgiving (whether served with the meal as a side or after as a dessert can rely upon very small deviations), this pie makes it into the dessert category thanks to its browned, spiced butter component.
Recipe: Chocolate-and-Almond Macaroons
These handheld dreams only take six simple ingredients and less than an hour to make. Put these on a dessert platter the next day, and watch them disappear.