Tired of the same pies you have every year at Thanksgiving? Start a new tradition with these 13 delicious ideas for Thanksgiving desserts!

A fresh take on Thanksgiving desserts

Yes, I know Thanksgiving is sacrosanct (at least it is for me). Certain food must be there… you know, roast turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce. And then there are the usual suspects for dessert…pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie (hmmm, we’re sensing a theme here). And while long-time readers know how much I love pie (we know, we know!), maybe it’s time to introduce some new guests to the dessert table? Here are some ideas to get you started…

Pumpkin Desserts

If pumpkin has to make an appearance, consider chocolate chip Pumpkin Bread (use the same recipe for muffins), a pumpkin-spiced, chocolate-studded Sourdough Pumpkin Cake (and no, you can’t tell there’s sourdough starter in the batter), or for the indecisive, there’s Praline Pumpkin Pie (from my OutlanderCast blog post).

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread...pumpkin and chocolate team up in this update of a fall classic. This quick bread comes together fast and tasty!
Adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen
Get the recipe
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread sliced
Sourdough Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Glaze
This pumpkin cake, bursting with pumpkin spice flavor and rich chocolate chunks topped with a yummy pumpkin spice glaze, is a sure-fire hit...and no one will know there's sourdough starter in the batter!
Adapted from King Arthur Flour 
Get the recipe
sourdough pumpkin cake on cake stand with plated slice
Praline Pumpkin Pie
Can't decide between pumpkin pie and pecan pie? Praline Pumpkin Pie is the answer...a marriage of pumpkin custard and candied pecans in a flaky pie crust.
Get the recipe
praline pumpkin pie with slice lifted

Pecan Desserts

Dress up that pecan pie for a change (and eliminate the corn syrup), or bring the pecan pie in finger-food-friendly pecan bars. And don’t forget pecans as pralines!

Black Bottom Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie
Robust maple syrup, a hint of bourbon, and a layer of chocolate take pecan pie to new flavor heights...a classic pie improved!
Adapted from Epicurious
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Black Bottom Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie overhead
Not Derby Pie Bars (aka Pecan Bars)
Pecan bars, Not Derby Pie bars...whatever you call them, they are delicious!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
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pecan bars stacked & plated with sunflowers
Homemade Pecan Pralines
Pecans embedded in a creamy, brown sugar blanket that slowly and luxuriously melts in your mouth? That's what you'll get with homemade pecan pralines!
Adapted from Art Institute of California, American Regional Cuisine Curriculum
Get the recipe
Homemade pecan pralines closeup

Fruit Desserts

Give the lowly cranberry a chance to shine in a delicious Orange-Glazed Cranberry Bread. And even the all-American Apple Pie can get a rustic makeover with an Apple Galette or Apple Almond Tart.

Cinnamon Streusel Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread
Holiday baking is made that much better when you use fresh cranberries. That's what I did when making Cinnamon Streusel Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread!
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Get the recipe
orange glazed cranberry bread sliced
Apple Galette in Phyllo Dough
This simple, rustic tart is loaded with rich apple flavor in a crisp, buttery phyllo dough crust. The tart may look rustic, but it's an elegant dessert that's sure to impress!
Adapted from Epicurious and The Messy Baker
Get the recipe
apple galette in phyllo dough closeup with apples
Apple Almond Caramel Tart
Make a whiskey caramel sauce with Rattlesnake Rosie’s Apple Pie corn whiskey, drizzle it on an Apple Almond Caramel Tart, and you’ve got a memorable treat!
Adapted from See and Savour
Get the recipe
Apple Almond Tarts closeup

Start a new tradition

It’s time to introduce friends and family to new choices for Thanksgiving desserts…Butterscotch Pie, Brown Sugar Pie, and Shoofly Pie, for starters. If the recipe is for a mini pie, just double the filling ingredients and use a standard  9-inch pie pan.

Mini Butterscotch Pie
Mini Butterscotch Pie (like Pecan pie minus the pecans) has a gooey, caramelly filling and flaky crust that begs for whipped cream. Plus, it's perfectly sized for two!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Get the recipe
Butterscotch Pie slice plated closeup
Southern Brown Sugar Pie
Southern Brown Sugar Pie is quick to make (only 5 ingredients!), richly flavored, and pleasingly sweet. Served with fresh whipped cream, this pie is a real crowd pleaser!
Adapted from Pizzerie.com
Get the recipe
Southern Brown Sugar Pie sliced closeup
Southern Brown Sugar Pie Bars
Southern Brown Sugar Pie Bars are easy to make, easy to eat, and wonderful to pair with whisky. It’s like having a portion-controlled piece of pie in your hand!
Adapted from Pizzazzerie
Get the recipe
Southern Brown Sugar Pie Bars, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, slab pie, Southern Brown Sugar Pie
Shoofly Pie
A "dry" version of this traditionally Pennsylvania Dutch treat, Shoofly Pie is not too sweet, not too firm, and has just the right amount of delicious molasses flavor in every slice!
Adapted from Land O'Lakes
Get the recipe
mini shoofly pie slice plated closeup

Back to Basics

In case you’re needing a refresher on making a pastry or cookie-crumb pie crust, or giving that double-crust pie a pretty lattice

Homemade Pie Crust
Pies are so versatile, and making pie crust needn’t be intimidating. Just remember a simple formula and be chill about it. 
Adapted from Epicurious' Our Favorite Pie Dough
Get the recipe
unbaked pi pie
Graham Cracker Pie Crust
Cookie crusts...a fun way to use cookie crumbs. They're pre-sweetened bits of food hugs, waiting to be mixed with melted butter and pressed into a pie pan. Graham Crackers are classic, but other cookies can be used as well.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Get the recipe
slice of chocolate cream pie plated
Making a Lattice Pie Crust
Making a pie beautiful is easier than you think, espcially with clear instruction on how to make a lattice pie crust.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Get the recipe
process to make a lattice pie crust

Thanksgiving dinner may be all about the food (and there’s nothing wrong about that!), but the holiday is really about stopping for a moment of appreciation. Whatever you have for dinner (or dessert) at Thanksgiving, I hope you get to have it surrounded by people you love and who love you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!


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