Our Best Thanksgiving Desserts
Top off your Thanksgiving feast with our recipes for pumpkin pie, apple crisp, pumpkin cheesecake, praline layer cake and other holiday favorites.
Gerard Klass, chef and co-owner of Soul Bowl in Minneapolis, created this genius sweet-and-salty pie. It calls for pretzels, so the nut allergy folks at the table can finally have in on the goodness of pecan pie.
Hazelnut Pumpkin Cheesecake
Trot this one out at Thanksgiving and watch those pies quake in their aluminum plates. Gingersnaps in the base and tangy sour cream topping balance the pumpkin-spice sweetness.
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!"
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.
Brown Butter Apricot Bars
These deceptively delicious bars deliver the perfect, rich balance of sweet-tart fruit and buttery pastry.
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.
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.
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.
These tiny pies, baked in a muffin tin, showcase the flavors of pumpkin and pecans in a one- or two-bite dessert.
Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie
Apple butter lends extra sweetness and a slightly softer texture to classic pumpkin pie. The streusel topping adds crunch.
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!"
Gooey Pecan Pie Bars
These sweet, nutty and oh-so-buttery bars are a guaranteed showstopper on any cookie tray.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Red raspberries and blueberries join ruby-red cherries in Cherry Berry Berry Pie, 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.