While you can’t go wrong with a traditional pumpkin pie, this year go beyond the norm with a list of alternative dessert recipes that are true to autumn and bursting with delicious flavors. From acorn cookies to caramel-dipped pears, these desserts are just what your Thanksgiving meal needs. Scroll through the recipes below and have a sweet holiday.

1. Acorn Cookies
Little ones will go nuts for these cute acorn cookies—and you’ll love that they don’t really involve baking and the kids can even help assemble them. Check out the how-to from A Mom’s Impression, which includes a bonus cupcake recipe, too.

Acorn Cookies

Photo credit: A Mom’s Impression

2. Mini Pumpkin Pies with Waffle Crusts
What could be better for little hands than these mini pumpkin pies? The kids will also love that the crusts are made from frozen Eggo waffles–a twist that saves time in the kitchen while keeping that pumpkin pie tradition going strong. Get the recipe at Food Family & Finds.


Photo credit: Food Family & Finds

3. Pumpkin-Nutella Swirl Cake
Did somebody say Nutella? Combining the sweet goodness of Nutella and the traditional spice of pumpkin, this cake looks as good as it tastes. Find out more at The Savvy Kitchen.

pumpkin-nutella cake

Photo credit: The Savvy Kitchen

4. Fruit Turkey
If you’re looking to skip the super-sweet desserts this Thanksgiving, opt for a turkey-inspired fruit platter. The creativity is sure to delight the kids and you won’t have to worry about saving room for a heavy dessert. Learn more at The Happy Raw Kitchen.

thankful turkey_fruit

Photo credit: The Happy Raw Kitchen

5. No-Bake Pumpkin Parfait
The oven is already going to be working overtime on Thanksgiving Day so why not take advantage of these creamy, no-bake parfaits and their layers of spiced pumpkin, Chantilly cream, and honey-graham crumble? Worried about your fancy stemware? Serve up the kids’ desserts in plastic cups. Get the recipe at The Cozy Apron.


Photo credit: The Cozy Apron

6. Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars
These dessert bars check off lots of boxes so you get oatmeal, butterscotch and cheesecake all in one dessert–and can maybe please a lot of dessert lovers at once. Get the recipe at Little B Cooks.

butterscotch cheesecake bar

Photo credit: Little B Cooks

7. Cinnamon Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies
These pumpkin spice cookies get bonus points because you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it until you need it. Same goes for the creamy spread on top. With just a few simple steps you’ve got a dessert that combines two delish fall flavors. Find out more at The Baker Chick.

Soft Cinnamon Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Photo credit: The Baker Chick 

8. Cherry Kuchen Bars
Thanksgiving desserts are extra special when they add color to your holiday table. These bars are cheery and bright and perfect for little cherry fans. Score the recipe over at Dear Chrissy.

Cherry Kuchen Bars

Photo credit: Dear Chrissy

9. Caramel-Chocolate Dipped Pears
Talk about a statement dessert–these caramel-chocolate dipped pears are downright beautiful and incorporate a fall fruit favorite. (Psst! Use mini pears–they’re the perfect size for your little one’s little hands.) Learn more at Sprinkle with Flour.

Caramel-Chocolate Dipped Pears

Photo credit: Sprinkle with Flour

10. Gluten-Free & Vegan Maple Nut Cake
If you need to consider certain dietary restrictions at your Thanksgiving meal–but still want the wow-factor when it comes to dessert–this maple nut cake might just be the answer. Get all the details at Fragrant Vanilla Cake.
glutenfree maple nut cake

Photo credit: Fragrant Vanilla Cake

11. Pumpkin Flan
Caramel-covered pumpkin flan? Yes, please! Trade your pie for a velvety flan that’ll be the rockstar of the dessert table. Easy for little ones to chew and melt-in-your mouth tasty. Get the how-to at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy.


Photo credit: Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy

12. Pumpkin-Pecan Pie in a Jar
Can’t decide between pumpkin pie and pecan pie? There’s no need thanks to this dessert that combines the two. This treat is made for jars–too cute!–so it’s good for saving or giving as gifts, too. Get the recipe at Glorious Treats.

pumpkin pecan pie

Photo credit: Glorious Treats

Does your family have an all-time dessert served on Thanksgiving? Tell us about it (if it’s not a family secret)!

–Abigail Matsumoto