Good Thanksgiving Desserts


Everyone knows about the classic pumpkin pie. If you like traditions, this dessert must be on your Thanksgiving to-do-list already.

While we all enjoy the sweetness and freshness of a good pumpkin pie, it doesn’t mean you should make just one dessert. If you’ve been a hostess for a couple of years in a row, maybe it’s time for a change, or at least some sprinkles of something new.

It will help break the monotony of cooking the same courses every year. And, it will also bring some surprise and joy to your dinner guests. Here are some other great Thanksgiving desserts for you to try next time around.

Lemon Thyme Pear Tart

Just because you’re looking at alternatives doesn’t mean you can’t still delight your family and friends with something sweet. The pear gives the dessert more than enough sugary goodness.

The lemon gives it a bit of tanginess that always works well with thyme. The apricot glaze on top will help bring all the flavors together. It’s a bit heavier than your classic pumpkin pie but it’s bursting with flavor and takes under two hours to make.

Cream Puff Pastry with Pumpkin Cream

Ok. Just because you want alternatives to pumpkin pie doesn’t mean you should steer clear of pumpkin as an ingredient. Small puff pastries filled with pumpkin cream might be just what you need for a lighter dessert that retains the same Thanksgiving feel.

Now, you can cheat and buy premade puff pastry or make your own. The choice is yours. Either way you should end up with lots of little dessert pastries that are light, sweet, and around 140 calories per serving. It’s a lot but with everything else going on, who’s counting?

Sweet Potato Pie

If you really want to make a pie but don’t want to use pumpkin or apples, why not go for the next best thing? The sweet potato pie hits the sweet spot if you’re not particularly looking for the traditional dessert taste.

The combination of cornmeal, sweet potato, butter, cinnamon, and coconut milk should have your guests licking the plates clean. You won’t have to worry about baking seconds for anyone either since this dessert is quite enough.

A minor downside is that it will require more time. From prep to finish, a good sweet potato pie takes well over five hours to make. But if you want to wow your dinner guests with something new, you won’t be sorry with this choice.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Cream cheese, heavy cream, homemade salted caramel, and fleur de sel. This combination will surely shock and delight your Thanksgiving dinner guests. Its taste doesn’t resemble traditional Thanksgiving desserts in any way shape or form.

It takes under an hour to make but it also requires some skill in the kitchen. Making caramel is not as easy as it looks on paper and getting the ratios perfect for the cheesecake is very easy to mess up.

However, if you get it right, you better make a second one too. This dessert is lighter than it looks and people will surely be raiding the kitchen to find some more servings.

Individual Pear and Cranberry Pies

If you want to keep the Thanksgiving theme without the pumpkin, why not go for a cranberry dessert instead? Ok, we know you already have cranberry sauce, so make it a pie.

The pear and cranberry pies are made in individual servings. They combine a sweet and sour core with a flaky crust on top for a massive burst of flavor in every spoon.

What’s even better is that everyone can enjoy this wherever they want. Also, there will be no fighting over who got the bigger piece of the pie since everyone is getting the same amount guaranteed. And, unlike other recipes on this list, this should only take you around an hour and 30 minutes to complete.

Orange Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Let’s say you’re feeling festive. If you’re worried about your mother-in-law making comments about no pumpkin or pecan pie, here’s a good way to shut her up. The orange cranberry upside-down cake.

It takes under two hours to make, requires very little kitchen know-how, and it can be an awesome centerpiece on the table. If you’re doing it the old-fashioned way with the turkey in the middle, then just put it near the bar.

That way everyone will keep drooling and plow through the dinner to get a piece of that citrus goodness. Because not only does it taste great, it looks amazing with all the cranberries, oranges, and grated ginger on top.

Pumpkin Mousse

You haven’t noticed chocolate in this article. That’s because you can have chocolate any day and at any holiday. Thanksgiving is just a bit too special to fall into the old chocolate trap.

However, if you’re craving for some mousse, why not use pumpkin instead and save yourself the trouble of baking a pie? What’s even better is that a pumpkin mousse can also be made with sweet canned pumpkin.

If you want to cover your bases, be sure to spice it up with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and why not some shavings of dark chocolate at the end. Oh, don’t forget some dark rum. No one’s probably driving home after the dinner right?

This dessert is sweet, somewhat spicy, and with just a hint of alcohol to make it more grown-up. As long as you’re capable of beating cream, there’s nothing technically challenging to it.

Final Thought

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. And, if you’re tired of making the same pumpkin or pecan pie every year, these desserts will get you all the praise you want.

Some are more complicated than others, but each and every one of them is packed with flavor. Whether you’re doing a tart, mousse, cake, or pie, as long as the turkey’s on the table, changing the dessert menu is not a bad idea.

Who knows? Maybe the others are tired of the same old thing too.