If you’re like me, by the time November hits you’re already thinking ahead to Thanksgiving desserts. The holiday meal, of course, has plenty to offer, but what stands out more to your guests than the grand finale? Whether you are looking for simple or classic fall flavors, or want to try something a little different this year, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite Thanksgiving Desserts. Of course, if you want to keep it simple, you can always make a classic apple pie. Or better yet, if your guest list is big enough make the apple pie and one or two of these recipes.
These 15 desserts will help you shake things up if you are looking for something other than pie this year. And if you are looking for even more Thanksgiving Dessert ideas, check out some of these favorites:
This is a combination of my pumpkin spice bundt cake — another Midwestern classic — and a caramelly apple crisp. It’s perfect straight from the oven with a scoop of ice cream as dessert, then served warm the next morning for breakfast.
A twist on basic pumpkin cake, this pumpkin spice cake is covered in beautifully torched balsamic cinnamon meringue with bittersweet ganache between the layers. This cake is made of several recipes from my book, Zoë Bakes Cakes.
Aran Goyoaga's new book Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple includes this amazing recipe for meringue cake with roasted apples. I made it as written, except I did mine with pears. Aran has graciously allowed me to share her recipe with you.
Fanny Lam's original recipe was pure and simple, which is a lovely thing in a day of over complicated recipes, but I decided to add a bit of coffee flavor to this Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake, to recreate the flavor of my childhood memory.
This Parsnip Cranberry Cake is the sophisticated cousin to Carrot Cake. It is just as satisfying and comforting as the carrot version, but it is all its own flavor and delicious. It is perfect with the tangy-sweet cream cheese frosting and tart candied cranberry garnish.
I know pumpkin can be a divisive flavor, even inside families. Grandma may love it. Uncle Bob may hate it. But pumpkin is sure to end up on most Thanksgiving tables. I love these bars as a pumpkin compromise because they are a great way to ease into the Thanksgiving essential, and give a loving gesture to those who adore pumpkin.
A beautiful tart is a sophisticated dish to add to any table. The pears, almond cream and toasted almonds in this recipe are perfect compliments to one another visually and in flavor. I love serving this dish for the holidays because it is elegant, but simple to make. The tart dough is from SWEET by Helen Goh and Yotam Ottolenghi.
Basque cheesecake with its mahogany-colored top and super-rich custardy interior is one of my all-time favorite desserts. I was inspired by the season to add roasted pumpkin and spices to the cheesecake base and it may not be traditional, but it’s delicious.
This cake is adapted from my Zoë Bakes Cakes Yellow Cake, but with the quintessential fall spice blend added to the mix. The brown butter buttercream is the softest, richest, most luxurious buttercream I have ever made and worth the extra effort to brown the butter. I added cranberry filling to balance out the richness of the cake.
I made this Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Bundt Cake with my friend Andrew Zimmern last year. I recently made a pumpkin pie and roasted several pumpkins and squash, so I have lots of great gourd puree on hand and this is one of my all-time favorite cakes, so I wanted to share it with you.
This apple crisp can be in the oven in less than 30 minutes and emerges bubbling, crisp and the perfect landing place for a scoop of ice cream. My topping typically has rolled oats, but this time I wanted the toasted almonds to be the clear star, so I used oat flour instead of the old fashioned oats and all-purpose flour, making this crisp entirely gluten-free (and vegan).
With its perfectly moist texture, soft crumb, and depth of apple flavor, this apple cider bundt cake is perfect for any occasion. I like to use a variety of apples in this cake such as Honey Gold, MacIntosh, Haralson and Prairie Spy. Drizzle with a simple honey-cider glaze and serve.
This carrot cake is perfectly spiced, moist and unbelievably good! Using candied carrot peels as decoration (optional), cream cheese frosting and sweetened shredded coconut, this cake is simply the best — I make it all the time!
This is the apple tarte tatin I made on the Brunch Bakes episode of Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network. It is incredibly easy to make. I served this beauty alongside a spinach and cheese souffle, which made for a perfect sweet and savory brunch.