Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

No matter how big the spread is at Thanksgiving dinner (and we’re willing to bet it’s pretty impressive!), everyone always manages to save room for dessert. That’s because Thanksgiving desserts are some of the best baked goods you’ll eat all year, from quintessential pumpkin pie to a variety of fall-inspired (and pumpkin spice-flavored!) cakes, cookies, crumbles, and more. Cooks of all skill levels and ages can contribute to the offerings, thanks to quick and easy dishes such as broiled apples a la mode, and more advanced creations like our Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake. We also love that the dessert table can be made up of a mix of classic recipes and new ones, so grandma’s sweet potato pie can be plated up next to a sliver of Chocolate-Whiskey Pecan Pie. And if you’re still craving pumpkin long after the pies are gone, we’ve got 12 pumpkin-pie inspired recipes (think pancakes and puppy chow) to enjoy all season long.

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars

These gorgeous bars are much easier to prepare than a whole cheesecake—but just as tasty. For starters, they have a speculoos cookie crust (what cookie butter is made from), which pairs deliciously with the spiced pumpkin filling. If you have gingersnaps or graham crackers laying around, feel free to sub those in instead. To make these just the right amount of sweet, we swirled in some of the tangy original cheesecake mixture, which also creates that pretty swirl on top. Bring them to a holiday potluck, or serve them at Thanksgiving for a stress-free dessert. They'll keep in the fridge overnight, so feel free to make them a day in advance.

How to Tell If Pecan Pie Is Done Without Cutting Into It

Here’s an easy way to tell if your pecan pie is done and ready to come out of the oven. Plus, information about how long pecan pie is good for. 

10 Easy Pie Recipes That You’ll Want to Try This Weekend

From the classics (chocolate cream) to the unexpected (raspberry buttermilk), these simple pie recipes are definite crowd-pleasers.

5 Mini Pies Made in a Muffin Tin

These individually-sized pies are the perfect addition to your holiday spread. They’re made with easy press-in crusts or prepared pie dough so assembly is a cinch. All you’ll need to consider is whether to serve whipped cream or ice cream alongside (but we think it’s OK to have both).

5 Fabulous No-Bake Holiday Desserts

Main course monopolizing your appliance space? Treat your guests to one of these delicious desserts—no oven required.

Pumpkin Bread in a Pumpkin Can

Warmly spiced pumpkin bread is a fall-baking must: it’s easy to whip up, it’s crowd-pleasing, and it makes your kitchen smell incredible. This recipe uses the entire can of pumpkin, which acts as an adorable baking vessel for our pumpkin bread batter. The bread rises up over the top of the can, creating a puffy muffin top sprinkled with a nutty brown sugar streusel. To serve, slide the loaf out of the can, cut into round slices, and enjoy while still warm. Alternatively, wrap a ribbon around the can and give it as a hostess gift. You’ll have some extra batter but you won’t need extra cans: bake the overflow in a loaf pan, or divided in a muffin tin. All of Libby’s cans are BPA-free.

9 Easy Thanksgiving Desserts

Each of these delicious Thanksgiving desserts—from a cherry cheesecake to a chocolate tart—takes 20 minutes or less to prep.

No-Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream With Cranberry-Raspberry Compote

This semifreddo-style frozen custard provides all the satisfaction of your favorite slow-churned pint without the need for a bulky ice cream machine. The only special equipment you’ll need is a candy thermometer (about $10 and great for frying too, so go ahead and invest in one). Serve this creamy treat with caramel sauce or hot fudge but we think it’s especially pretty with the cranberry raspberry compote. Make them both ahead of time and a lovely seasonal dessert will be ready and waiting for you when guests come calling. And here you thought you couldn’t make ice cream at home.

Sweet Potato Pie Bars

Our friend Dorie Greenspan was kind enough to share her recipe for Sweet Potato Pie Bars with us. They’re just one of several Thanksgiving-inspired bar cookies featured in her new book Dorie’s Cookies. We were lucky to chat with Dorie as part of our Real Simple Thanksgiving podcast series. She offered some great tips and tricks for getting dessert on the table without starting a fire.