By Vanessa Greaves
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Good things come in small packages.

Put a fresh spin on your Thanksgiving feast by creating a dessert buffet filled with bite-size treats that give everyone a chance to try a variety of different desserts. I've rounded up 14 mini dessert recipes that are sure to please — there's even a gluten-free choice. But watch out — everyone might be tempted to eat dessert first.

Why Bite-Size is Wise

  • Easy to Serve. Bite-size portions means no slicing required, and no slicing means a lot less fuss.
  • Variety. Everyone gets to taste a little bit of everything, and you can include choices for guests on special diets.
  • Adorability. Bite-size desserts have cuteness built right in.

12 Bite-Size Thanksgiving Desserts

It's not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie, and these little beauties are 5-star winners. You can use an ordinary drinking glass to cut out the rounds if you don't have a cookie cutter that size, and bake them in muffin tins if you don't have mini pie dishes. That's what Hanna did, and she says they turned out great.

Photo by Rainbow Jewels

This tiny treasure can be topped many different ways. Here it is with a pastry top brushed with a beaten egg to give it gloss, and sprinkled with coarse sugar for that eye-candy effect. You could also finish it with pastry leaf cut-outs, or make a streusel crumb topping.

Photo by Reb

You know how everyone wants a slice of pecan pie but a lot gets left on the plate because it's just so sweet and rich? These minis are the perfect no-waste solution. One or two of these little bites might be just enough for some guests.

Photo by Sugarplum

Pears poached in brandy are baked in a cream cheese pie dough and drizzled with a simple glaze before serving.

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

"The lemon filling tasted great and just right," says reviewer Jmassage58. "This recipe filled 11 of my 12 mini graham cracker crust shells, but that was enough for us anyway."

VIDEO: Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

"Miniature brownies are the perfect little bite, and dressing them up for Thanksgiving makes a fun project to do with your kiddos or grands!" says recipe creator Kim's Cooking Now. "Makes a great kid-friendly addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table."

Photo by Kim's Cooking Now

So cute! So easy! This could be a hands-on project to keep kids distracted while you're cooking or watching football. Serving idea: Display them in a basket like you just went out and gathered them in the forest.

Photo by Sugarplum

A small cookie-dough scoop is your best friend for quickly and evenly portioning out the dough. For extra fall flavor, sandwich them with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.

VIDEO: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Top these two-bite cheesecakes with fruit compote, chocolate ganache, strawberry sauce, fresh berries, or anything else you like on your cheesecake. Reviewer jjonesjennifer says, "Family loved these! Great portion size for kids and made just enough so there weren't any leftovers!"

VIDEO: Mini Cheesecakes III

This recipe calls for frozen blueberries, but you could use any berries you like — even cranberries. Just be sure to adjust the sweetness to suit your taste.

Photo by Kim

"Coming from a family that has a lot of gluten intolerance, I decided to try and come up with a gluten-free cheesecake cupcake recipe that everyone can enjoy," says recipe creator Amenah. Reviewers all agree these gluten-free cheesecakes earn a solid 5-star rating.

Photo by Marianne

"After deciding against buying a springform pan, but wanting cheesecake for Thanksgiving, I combined a few recipes to get this final product. It got great reviews from all the family!" says recipe creator Cassandra.

VIDEO: Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

"OMG the kids loved it!" says reviewer Lani G. "They loved the idea of cute mini pies just for them. They rushed around me to help make them. And they couldn't wait for them to be ready."

Photo by Chef Mo

"These spiced fall cupcakes are a riff on the classic Thanksgiving casserole," says recipe creator Doughgirl8. "These days, I tend to like savory sweet potato dishes with the meal, but marshmallowy cupcakes make a terrific fall dessert! Store any leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator."

Photo by Kim

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