Pie tends to take center stage on most Thanksgiving dessert tables, but why should the fun stop there? From pumpkin rolls to cranberry crisp, there are so many more ways to bring fall flavors to your spread. Keep reading for some Turkey Day inspiration, including several picks for the gluten-free and vegan folks in your life.
Persimmon Winter Bundt Cake
Use a winter fruit that doesn't get a lot of love for your Thanksgiving dessert this year. It's got warming spices like ginger, cinnamon and allspice, and covered in a sweet glaze. Get the recipe from Boulder Locavore by clicking here.
Flourless Pumpkin Spice Cake
You can still get your pumpkin fix with this spice cake we spotted over at The View from Great Island. Not only is it gluten free, but you can still serve it with ice cream or whipped cream, just like pie! Get the recipe over at The View from Great Island.
If whipping up homemade cranberry sauce isn't your jam, you may fare better with Gimme Some Oven's Cranberry Crisp. Tart cranberries are layered under a tasty butter-pecan oatmeal topping that is baked crispy. Make ahead of time so you can enjoy your day of Thanks even more. You can snag the entire recipe here.
Harvest Marble Chocolate Chip Cookies
Your cookie game just went to a whole new level with Two Sisters' Harvest Marble Chocolate Chip Cookies! Use your fave recipe and then divide the dough before coloring rich fall colors. Combine and bake for these eye-catching treats that are the perfect swap for pie.
Rice Krispie Treats Turkey
Officially the coolest dessert on this list, The Life Jolie's Rice Krispie Treats Turkey is a must! Made with the traditional recipe, this perfectly shaped turkey is actually easier to construct then it looks. Grab a friend and craft this hilarious dessert right before the guests arrive.
Pumpkin Cream Puffs
Dust off your baking skills this year and whip up some of Rasa Malaysia's Pumpkin Cream Puffs! Light and airy choux puff pastry is filled with a sweet pumpkin cream that will have you enjoying dessert, not regretting it, this Thanksgiving. Head to Rasa Malaysia's website to get the whole recipe.
Harvest M&M Cookie Bars
We can't think of a better way to use M&M's seasonally colored harvest blend, can you? Melissa from Number 2 Pencil uses them to whip up festive cookie bars that are chewy and perfectly sweet. Great for feeding a crown, these cookies-turned-bars are just the change your Thanksgiving dessert needs this year!
Mini Pecan Pies
We know, we know, these are technically "pie" (but so are Whoopie Pies and we've got those here, too). These Mini Pecan Pies from Live Well Bake Often take the work out of dessert. Made in a muffin tin with store-bought crust if you want, these crispy desserts are perfect for handing out as guests leave, or for little hands.
You can whip up this Pumpkin Roll from Tastes Better from Scratch and then freeze before the big day. Canned pumpkin and cream cheese are just two of the delightful ingredients that come together in this dessert that's both creative and cute. Your treat will be the talk of the Thanksgiving dinner table!
Cranberry Chocolate Cream Tart
We’re drooling over this amazing tart from Family Style Food, and we love that incorporates the sometimes overlooked cranberry. The chocolate cookie crust is topped with mascarpone flavored with cocoa, then cranberry compote finishes it all off. Get the recipe by clicking here.
Cinnamon Apple Crumble
Keep it simple this Thanksgiving by making A Simple Palate’s tried-and-true apple crumble. It’s much quicker to make than pie, but it tastes just as good—especially when paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Click here to see the recipe.
Italian Apple Yogurt Cake
Take inspiration from Mangia Bedda and whip up a pretty apple cake for your holiday table. The addition of yogurt makes the cake extra moist. If the whole thing isn’t gobbled up on Thanksgiving, it’ll taste great the next morning with a cup of coffee. To get the recipe, click here.
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Make sure there’s something for everyone on your dessert table with these gluten-free cupcakes from A Table Full of Joy. Topped with a brown sugar buttercream, they’re bound to be a hit with your whole crew. Grab the recipe by clicking here.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies
If you’ve got chocolate fans in your family, they’ll definitely fall in love with these fudgy brownies from Averie Cooks. They’re super quick to make and are topped with a yummy layer of pumpkin and chocolate chips. Click here to get the recipe.
Baked Apples with Maple Pecans
For a quick and easy dessert, you’ve got to try these baked apples from Everyday Healthy Recipes. They’re topped with a delicious mixture of pecans, maple syrup and cinnamon. To get the recipe, click here.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese
How cute are these pumpkin bars from Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts? We love the criss-cross pattern of cream cheese on top, and we’re happy to report that they taste as good as they look. To grab the recipe, click here.
Cranberry Shortbread Bars
We’ve fallen in love with these cranberry shortbread bars from Food Doodles, and we’re pretty sure you’ll feel the same way too. Rich and tender shortbread pairs beautifully with the tart cranberry filling, and a crumble topping finishes it off. Click here to get the recipe.
Raw Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
The vegans in your crew don’t need to miss out on dessert, thanks to Coley Cooks. With the help of cashews, dates and coconut milk, it’s surprisingly easy to make this vegan pumpkin cheesecake. Get all the details on how it’s made by clicking here.
Add some extra turkey to your Thanksgiving festivities with these oh-so-cute cupcakes. You can even set out the candies and decorations, and let the kids create their own sweet treats. Learn more over at The Dessert Chronicles.
Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars
These dessert bars check off lots of boxes. You get oatmeal, butterscotch and cheesecake all in one dessert—and can please a lot of dessert lovers at once. Get the recipe at Little B Cooks.
Little ones will go nuts for these cute acorn cookies. You’ll love that they don’t really involve baking and that the kids can even help assemble them. Check out the how-to from A Mom’s Impression, which includes a bonus cupcake recipe, too.
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.
Rice Krispie Turkey Drumsticks
This Thanksgiving, why not surprise the kids with a dessert that looks like dinner? These sweet drumsticks are totally creative and pretty easy to whip up. Get the how-to over at TGIF - This Grandma Is Fun.
Spiced Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Whoopie! These sweet cookies are super easy to make and look impressive on any Thanksgiving table. And did we mention they're topped with delish browned butter maple cinnamon frosting? Score the recipe from The Chunky Chef.
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.
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.
Chocolate Brownie Turkey Tart
If you have a box of brownie mix, then you're halfway to making this sweet turkey tart. The most important ingredient is M&Ms for decorating—and since you only need a few select colors, we won't tell if you snack on the blues and greens. Get the step-by-step at The First Year.
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 classic fall flavors. Find out more at The Baker Chick.
Football Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies
If your family considers Thanksgiving a big ol' football fest, then this recipe is perfect for your dessert spread. And with flavors like peanut butter and chocolate, it's sure to be a hit with mini quarterbacks and grownups alike. Find out more at Well Plated.
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 hands). Learn more at Sprinkle with Flour.
No-Churn Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Who can resist a scoop of ice cream, especially when it's bursting with fall flavors? This homemade version includes five different spices and pumpkin puree. Best of all, you don't need an ice cream maker! Get the recipe from The View from Great Island.
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.
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.
Skillet Apple Crisp
Apple crisp is one of our favorite fall desserts, and this easy recipe from Plated Cravings is bound to be a Turkey Day win. It’s super quick to make and tastes amazing paired with whipped cream or ice cream. Snag the recipe by clicking here.
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
For a super quick but impressive dessert, you’ve got to try this cake from Averie Cooks. With a boxed cake mix as its base, it comes together in no time and makes for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Click here to get the recipe.
— Abigail Matsumoto, Susie Foresman & Karly Wood
Featured image: Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash