Spectacular Seasonal Desserts for Thanksgiving
Classic pumpkin pie may be the standard confection served after Thanksgiving dinner, but there are countless other fantastic, seasonal desserts to go with a rich holiday meal. For inspiration, we put together a list of our favorites for you to try.
If you're looking for a sweet alternative to pie recipes, or just want to try out a new cake, you can't go wrong with any of these festive holiday desserts. But who says you need to wait until your Thanksgiving dinner? We say enjoy these dessert recipes all season long!
You'll find a variety of flavors and ingredients in this recipe round up—there's something for everyone. Some methods are simple, others are complex, and the required cooking or baking times vary as well. The one thing they all have in common? They'll make you want to skip the turkey and side dishes and head straight for the sweet treats.
Ready to ditch the traditional pumpkin pie yet? Read on to find your new favorite Thanksgiving recipe!
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
This recipe combines the rich flavors of caramel apple pie and cheesecake with a buttery shortbread base. Tart Granny Smith apples and a rolled oat crumble are layered on top of creamy cheesecake, then drizzled with salted caramel sauce. It's a dessert worthy of center stage at any Thanksgiving feast!
Spiced Pumpkin Roll
This year, how about swapping out pumpkin pie for a pumpkin roll? To get this recipe rolling, prepare the sugary, spicy pumpkin cake batter and bake it, then roll it up with a silky smooth blend of pudding, sour cream, and milk to temper the pumpkin spice. To finish it off, sift powdered sugar over the top to make it look like a light dusting of snow -- it's so pretty, you'll almost feel guilty about slicing it, but after one bite, you'll know you made the right decision.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Why choose from cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and brownies when you can have them all in one bite? The brownie layer is dense and chocolatey, while the pumpkin layer tames the sweetness for balance. If you're feeling really ambitious, use the entire package of cream cheese to make a double batch, which, quite honestly we guarantee you're going to want to do.
Ginger Mascarpone Crème Brûlée
Crème brûlée may sound fancy, but it's actually quite simple to make! Requiring just six ingredients, this recipe is tangy from the mascarpone and subtly spiced with ginger. You'll need to let the cream mixture steep in the fridge overnight, so be sure to set aside enough time. One recipe note: You don't need to use a kitchen torch to make these, you can just put them under the broiler to get that crispy, golden top.
Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake
Try this creamy pumpkin tiramisu layer cake, and we promise you'll never turn back to pumpkin pie. This recipe brings in pumpkin, cinnamon, and almond flavors to a classic tiramisu without taking away from its subtle Venetian charm. Pumpkin filling makes the cake moist and dense, while the light and airy filling is flavored with traditional mascarpone and amaretto liqueur. Finish it all off with crushed amaretti cookies — an Italian classic. It's a show-stopper that's sure to impress your holiday guests.
Nutella Bread Pudding
You start this recipe by making croissant sandwiches with a chocolatey hazelnut spread, so we understand if you don't make it past that point. But if you do follow through, you then cut the sandwiches into pieces, toss them in a ramekin with pecans, and then lavish it all with creamy custard before baking. This is best served warm with vanilla ice cream or topped with whipped cream.
Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
You're less than one hour away from soft, moist, perfectly frosted cupcakes. This recipe delivers all the flavor of traditional sweet potato casserole but in cupcake form! You can make it in one bowl plus cupcake liners to make clean up a cinch. To lighten your load further, bring in the kids to help fill the cupcake liners! This recipe is a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike!
Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake
Put the final heirloom apples of the season to work with this amazing upside down cake. You'll only need two or three of them, but the crisp, tart apples truly shine in this recipe. Part pumpkin cake, part apple cake, it's dense yet fluffy, with a lovely balance of sweet and spicy. Serve it plain at room temperature or warm with vanilla ice cream.
Caramel Apple Trifles
This easy Thanksgiving recipe is simple enough to assemble with minimal effort, yet elegant enough to impress your friends and family on Thanksgiving. A light caramel mousse is layered with a burnt caramel sauce and an apple crisp crumble. Sliced apples are added for a tartness and sweet fruitiness. If you're not up for making mousse, you can use pudding or yogurt instead of mousse.
Sweet Potato Cobbler with Ice Cream
This recipe is a unique twist on the classic Southern sweet potato pie. Warm spices bring a richness to the sweet, tender sweet potato filling. This recipe is much like other fruit cobblers in that the sweet potatoes are sliced and left intact, even though it's a custard-based dessert. Bonus: this one makes an excellent breakfast the day after Thanksgiving.
Surprise your Thanksgiving guests by baking outside the box: Apple Sharlotka. The traditional Russian dessert gets its structure almost entirely from apples. It comes together by filling the cake pan with peeled and sliced apples, the batter is then poured over the apples so it can seep down between the slices. After it's baked and cooled, top it off with powdered sugar and ground cinnamon to serve.
This is just the beginning of the holiday baking season! There are hundreds more dessert recipes to try.
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