20 Thanksgiving Desserts to Wow Everyone
These Thanksgiving desserts are the most luscious, sumptuous treats for your table! Pick from ideas like pies, brownies, cheesecake and more.
Hunting for a stunning Thanksgiving dessert for your celebration? The holiday is the best time for pulling out all the stops with fall flavors to impress your guests. Here we’ve put together our top 20 fabulous Thanksgiving desserts that will wow everyone! Along with a few of our favorite recipes from this website, we’re featuring selections from two top baking experts: Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes and Tessa Arias of Handle the Heat. We know you’ll be blown away by the flavors of their no-fail baked recipes. Ready to get started?
And now…our top Thanksgiving desserts!
Let’s start with a unique and irresistible Thanksgiving dessert: Pumpkin Bread Pudding! Imagine, bread cubes baked in a pumpkin-spiced custard until puffed and golden. Drizzle it with a golden bourbon butter sauce and wowza! It’s a little bit of heaven. It’s a great Thanksgiving alternative to pumpkin pie.
Here’s a Thanksgiving dessert that we like even better than pie: Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! It’s beautifully thick and moist, scented with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The best part? A layer of tangy, fluffy cream cheese frosting is its ideal flavor match. It’s so classic and irresistible, you’ll want to make it for every gathering.
These mini pies are more than just the novelty factor: though of course, everything is more fun mini-sized! These pies are half the serving of a normal piece of pumpkin pie, and they’re incredibly tasty. Each bite has the perfect ratio of silky smooth filling to flaky pie crust.
Here’s a stunning Thanksgiving dessert: homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream! Scoop up a bowl and it’s lusciously soft and creamy, scented with just the right hit of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Each rich spoonful will make you raise your eyebrows in delight. Take it to the next level and add candied pecans for a sweet, salty crunch.
This really is Grandma’s recipe: we worked with Alex’s mom to adapt her famous fall favorite for your home kitchen. Tender, cozy-spiced apples are baked up in a flaky pasty crust with a spiced brown sugar syrup. The result is a revelation: there’s a reason Grandma is famous for these!
Another favorite Thanksgiving dessert: Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting! The bars are perfectly moist and cakey, with just the right warm-spiced interior from cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. They’re topped off with a lusciously creamy layer of cream cheese frosting that gives a tangy lift to each bite.
Want a lighter option as a Thanksgiving dessert? Try Baked Apples! It’s like a short-cut apple crumble, but lighter, easier and tastier. Stuff the sweet tart fruit with oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and allspice, then bake until sweet and tender. The tart tang of the apple against the spiced crumbles is a bit of a revelation!
Here’s our ultimate Thanksgiving dessert: Pumpkin Cookies! These sweet morsels are lusciously pillowy and chewy, scented with a burst of fall spices and a hint of molasses. The exterior has a subtle sugar crunch and a drizzle of simple sweet icing. Even better, the soft texture holds up for days.
Who says Thanksgiving desserts are only pie? This apple crisp recipe with oats is absolutely classic, harnessing all that cozy nostalgia of the season. The crumble topping is the ideal texture: crispy but not crunchy, and buttery but not soft. The fruit layer below will make your heart sing: cinnamon, a hint of ginger and allspice set off just a hint of orange and lemon zest. Take it over the top with a drizzle of Bourbon Sauce.
What makes this pie incredible? Let us count the ways. It tastes just like your favorite pumpkin pie, but it’s 100% plant based! This vegan pie is so full of pumpkin-spiced sweetness and the flavors are so delightfully elevated, no one will guess it’s not the real thing. A true stunner!
Southern Pecan Pie
If there’s one person we trust when it comes to Southern pies, it’s Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes! This Southern Pecan Pie is the best classic pie that you can prepare in no time. Nutty, sweet and oh so buttery, this pie was made to be on your holiday table especially when served a la mode with vanilla ice cream! via Grandbaby Cakes
Butter Pecan Cheesecake
Here’s a Thanksgiving dessert that’s stunning and decadent: Butter Pecan Cheesecake! It gives you the best of both worlds: pie and cheese cake. A crisp graham cracker crust, salted brown sugar cheesecake filling and buttery pecan pie topping come together to create a unique, flavorful holiday dessert! via Grandbaby Cakes
Apple Tarte Tatin
Here’s a fancy Thanksgiving dessert: a French-style upside-down apple tart! This Apple Tarte Tatin starts with slow-cooked, caramelized apples that are baked into a flaky, buttery puff then topped with a spiced Baileys Apple Pie liqueur cream sauce. It’s all about fall flavors! via Grandbaby Cakes
Sweet Potato Pie
Another fantastic Southern pie from Jocelyn Delk Adams is this Sweet Potato Pie! It’s filled with tender baked sweet potato, indulgent fall flavors and baking spices in a flaky buttery crust. This is the South’s favorite pie, and it is absolutely perfect as a Thanksgiving dessert. Via Grandbaby Cakes
Brown Butter Maple Blondies
Here’s a unique Thanksgiving dessert featuring the flavors of the season: Brown Butter Maple Blondies! These blondies are easy-to-make and absurdly tasty. They’re buttery, chewy, packed with maple flavor and made with pantry-staple ingredients. via Grandbaby Cakes
Creamy, smooth, rich, and indulgent Pumpkin Cheesecake made with a Biscoff cookie crust and topped with homemade whipped cream. This sumptuous dessert by baking expert Tessa Arias is fall perfection and perfect for any Thanksgiving dessert table! via Handle the Heat
Caramel Pecan Blondies
Caramel pecan blondies for Thanksgiving dessert? Yes please! They feature an ultra chewy brown sugar blondie with a hidden layer of rich, gooey, and crunchy caramel pecan filling. Truly stunning! via Handle the Heat
Sweet Potato Pie Bars
Here’s a unique Thanksgiving dessert that will have everyone coming back for more: Sweet Potato Pie Bars! They’ve got a thick graham cracker crust, fresh sweet potato filling, and tall toasted homemade marshmallow topping. via Handle the Heat
Looking for a traditional Thanksgiving dessert? Try an Apple Galette! The rustic crust makes it much easier than apple pie. It’s got a buttery, flaky tart crust and a perfectly spiced apple filling. via Handle the Heat
Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Last up: pumpkin and chocolate make magic in these Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars! They’re luscious, thick, and smooth with a crunchy, buttery crust and swirls of chocolate. via Handle the Heat
More Thanksgiving resources
There are so many tasty Thanksgiving recipes, it’s hard to know where to start! We’ve got ideas for every type of recipe, from sides to mains. Here are some of our top Thanksgiving ideas:
All: Browse our 45 Best Thanksgiving RecipesSide dishes: Pick from 30 Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes or 10 Thanksgiving Salad RecipesAppetizers: Go to 15 Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers Drinks: Try Top 15 Thanksgiving Cocktails or Thanksgiving PunchSpecial diet: Go for 25 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes or Vegetarian Thanksgiving RecipesPressure cooker: Opt for 10 Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes
20 Thanksgiving Desserts to Wow Everyone! Pumpkin Bread Pudding & More
Author: Sonja Overhiser
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
This pumpkin bread pudding is the ideal Thanksgiving dessert! Drizzle the spiced pudding with bourbon butter sauce to take it over the top.
For the pumpkin bread pudding
1 pound loaf sourdough or artisan bread (12 cups bread chunks)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch salt
For the bourbon sauce
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup salted butter
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter or grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Cut or tear the bread into 1-inch squares. Place it in the baking dish and place in the preheating oven for 5 to 10 minutes until lightly dried but not browned.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs. Then whisk in the milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour it over the bread in the pan and mix it with your hands until fully coated.
Place in the oven and bake 45 to 50 minutes, until it is puffed and golden and you can no longer see standing liquid. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Make ahead: This recipe is great made ahead: make it day of and allow to sit at room temperature until serving, or make it 1 day in advance and refrigerate. If you’d like, you can crisp up the top by reheating it in a 350 degree oven until warmed.
Make the bourbon sauce: Prior to serving, in a small saucepan, whisk together all bourbon sauce ingredients over medium heat. When it starts to simmer, simmer lightly bubbling for 3 minutes, maintaining the heat at medium to medium low so that it doesn’t bubble heavily. Once it turns golden brown at about 3 minutes, taste and make sure the flavor is caramelly with a hint of bourbon (the bite of the bourbon should be cooked out). Remove from the heat and strain it into a pitcher. Makes ¾ cup; make up to 3 days in advance, refrigerate, and warm over medium heat before serving.
Category: DessertMethod: BakedCuisine: ThanksgivingDiet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Thanksgiving desserts, thanksgiving dessert recipes