Our Best Thanksgiving Desserts

  • Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

    A whipped-cream-based spiced filling creates a lighter-tasting version of traditional pumpkin pie; the gingersnap crust adds more kick than classic crusts. “This is a fantastic recipe,” writes one of our website reviewers. “You get the wonderful pumpkin in a light chiffon pie! A holiday must!”

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  • Paradise Pumpkin Pie

    A cheesecake layer and nut topping help this pumpkin pie stand out from its peers. This recipe was a winner at the Morton, Illinois, Pumpkin Festival baking competition.

    Paradise Pumpkin Pie

  • Pumpkin-Pecan Tassies

    These tiny pies, baked in a muffin tin, showcase the flavors of pumpkin and pecans in a one- or two-bite dessert.

    Pumpkin-Pecan Tassies


  • Mommy's Pumpkin Pie

    Mommy’s Pumpkin Pie

     “This recipe is adapted from my mother’s classic pumpkin pie,” says Linda Hundt, owner of Sweetielicious Bakery Cafe in DeWitt, Michigan. “I added cream to make it a bit richer and orange zest for flavor.” The result is a dark, mahogany pumpkin pie with ginger-cinnamon-clove spiciness.

    Mommy’s Pumpkin Pie


  • Triple Pear Pie with Walnut Crust

    Triple Pear Pie with Walnut Crust

    You can’t mistake the fruit in this cardamom-spiced beauty. Pear nectar and dried pears complement thick slices of fresh, juicy Bosc pears.

    Triple Pear Pie with Walnut Crust

  • Pumpkin Trifle

    Pumpkin Trifle makes a spectacular ending to a Thanksgiving meal, with layers of cranberries, cake and pumpkin. Packaged ingredients such as canned pumpkin, frozen pound cake, canned cranberry sauce, candy bars and instant pudding mix speed prep time.

    Pumpkin Trifle

  • Caramel-Pecan French Silk Pie

    Caramel and pecans form a gooey base for this chocolate dream pie. Make this decadent pie at least a day ahead so it has plenty of time to chill before guests arrive. Leaf-shape pastry bits create a festive finishing touch.

    Caramel-Pecan French Silk Pie

  • Pumpkin-Praline Layer Cake

    This nutty layer cake has a whipped cream topping over a moist filling of pumpkin, brown sugar, pecans, butter and more whipping cream. “What a beauty! Very impressive and pretty easy, too,” writes a website reviewer. “The praline layer is awesome!”

    Pumpkin-Praline Layer Cake

  • Gooey Pecan Pie Bars

    Gooey Pecan Pie Bars

    These sweet, nutty and oh-so-buttery bars are a guaranteed showstopper on any cookie tray.

    Gooey Pecan Pie Bars

  • Red Velvet Cheesecake

    We took the red velvet cake that we love and gave it a creamy twist. Don’t let the red color fool you: The flavor is all chocolate.

    Red Velvet Cheesecake

  • Pumpkin-Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    This make-ahead bar cookie offers an irresistible stack of flavors: sweet graham cracker crust, rich chocolaty cheesecake, spicy pumpkin cheesecake and a topping of sour cream.

    Pumpkin-Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

  • Cornmeal Pumpkin Cake with Dried Fruit Compote

    Cornmeal Pumpkin Cake with Dried Fruit Compote

    Riesling-poached fruit and billowy whipped cream crown a dense spice cake inspired by ingredients from the first Thanksgiving.

    Cornmeal Pumpkin Cake with Dried Fruit Compote

  • Crumb-Topped Apple Trio Pie

    Crisp on top, sweetly tender inside, this quintessential Thanksgiving dessert blends tart and sweet apples—Granny Smith, Jonagold and Braeburn—with sugar and cinnamon under a brown-sugar and walnut crumb topping.

    Crumb-Topped Apple Trio Pie

  • Chocolate Chess Pie

    Fort Wayne, Indiana, cookbook author Marcia Adams loves this standout treat. “It’s so easy to prepare,” she says. This is Marcia’s rendition of the Southern classic chess pie: a basic dessert made with eggs, sugar, butter and a little flour.

    Chocolate Chess Pie

  • Danish Pastry Apple Bars

    Danish Pastry Apple Bars

    This recipe for Danish Pastry Apple Bars comes from an Indiana teacher. “Excellent recipe!” says a website reviewer. “It’s just like apple pie in a cake pan.”

    Danish Pastry Apple Bars

  • Fantasy Chocolate Pie

    Dream about all the ingredients you’d like to see in a dessert, and you’ll see why we named this Fantasy Chocolate Pie. It’s made with three kinds of chocolate pieces (milk chocolate, semisweet, and semisweet-and-white- chocolate swirled) — plus coconut, pecans and almonds. For extra indulgence, top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

    Fantasy Chocolate Pie

  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Sandwich Cake

    A cream cheese layer and rich chocolate frosting make this pumpkin cake a crowd-pleaser. 

    Pumpkin Cream Cheese Sandwich Cake

  • Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

    Top cake-like pumpkin cookies with a smooth brown sugar and butter frosting, then dust with cinnamon for a bite-size Thanksgiving treat.

    Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

  • Chocolate Cream Pie

    Chocolate Cream Pie

    The filling of this chocolate-crust pie is luscious, but not too rich. (Think old-fashioned chocolate pudding.) A bit of sour cream in the whipped topping balances the chocolate perfectly.

    Chocolate Cream Pie

  • Caramel Heavenlies

    Graham crackers form the base for this bar cookie with layers of marshmallows, brown sugar, almonds and coconut. It’s a holiday favorite from Georgine Simmonds of Genesee, Michigan. “I’ve made these cookies since 1984,” Georgine says.

    Caramel Heavenlies

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake

    This creamy, cool cheesecake is lightly flavored with pumpkin and spices, perfect with a cup of coffee after your Thanksgiving meal. The recipe comes from a Seeley, Wisconsin, restaurant.

    Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Fantasy Chocolate-Caramel Delights

    “I love caramel, nuts and chocolate,” says the Mandan, North Dakota, reader who sent this recipe to a Midwest Living cookie contest. Fantasy Chocolate-Caramel Delights were one of the highest-rated cookies in the contest.

    Fantasy Chocolate-Caramel Delights

  • Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

    Apple butter lends extra sweetness and a slightly softer texture to classic pumpkin pie. The streusel topping adds crunch.

    Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

  • Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee

    This creamy, rich dessert comes from Courtright’s Restaurant in Willow Springs, Illinois. Although the restaurant puts a solid crust of caramelized sugar on its creme brulee, we made it easier for you and drizzled it on.

    Pumpkin Spice Creme Brulee

  • Cider-Spiked Apple and Pecan Tart

    Cider-Spiked Apple and Pecan Tart

     Apples are gently cooked in butter, then arranged in a prebaked crust and brushed with jelly. The result is an edible work of art.

    Cider-Spiked Apple and Pecan Tart

  • Ginger-Cinnamon Apple Crisp

    “This is a twist on a popular dish and is one of my personal favorites,” says April Osburn from the Clabber Girl Bake Shop in Terre Haute, Indiana. Thinly slice the apples so they get done in the allotted baking time.

    Ginger-Cinnamon Apple Crisp

  • Double Chocolate-Espresso Truffle Pie

    Double Chocolate-Espresso Truffle Pie

    Do you have a chocoholic in your family? Give them something to love with this über-rich pie. For pretty chocolate curls, warm a bar of milk chocolate in your pocket or hand, then shave with a sharp vegetable peeler.

    Double Chocolate-Espresso Truffle Pie

  • Fresh Apple Cake

    This nutty comfort cake from Sharon Buckner of Rhineland, Missouri, gets a sugary top and caramelized gooey bottom as it cooks. Don’t be surprised by the thick batter; it will bake into a moist, dense cake.

    Fresh Apple Cake

  • Almond Toffee

    Milk chocolate and toasted almonds coat a crunchy toffee base. Be sure to use real butter in the toffee; with margarine, the fat separates out onto the candy’s surface.

    Almond Toffee

  • Cherry-berry pies

    Red raspberries and blueberries join ruby-red cherries in Cherry Berry Berry Pie (left), a favorite from Sweetielicious Bakery Cafe in DeWitt, Michigan (just north of Lansing). The trio yields a dark, rich filling crowned with a crunchy streusel topping.

    For another twist, try Cherry Apple Crumb Pie. At Grand Traverse Pie Company in Traverse City, Michigan, cooks use tart Michigan Northern Spy Apples with the local tart Montmorency cherries for this pie to satisfy both apple and cherry lovers.

    Cherry Berry Berry Pie

    Cherry Apple Crumb Pie

  • Autumn Cutouts

    A hint of pumpkin adds flavor to festive Autumn Cutouts, a sugar cookie dough we tinted with orange and green paste food coloring. Our instructions show how to create marbled leaves, patchwork pumpkins and polka-dot pumpkins.

    Autumn Cutouts

  • More decadent dessert ideas

    Favorite Fall Pie Recipes

    Irresistible Apple Dessert Recipes

    Fabulous Fall Cookie Recipes

    Our Best Bar Cookies

    35 Best Holiday Desserts