13 Creative Thanksgiving Desserts

Baked Apple Roses
Photo: Ariel Liberda

There's no better time than Thanksgiving to flex your cooking muscles and try something new in the kitchen. Dessert is always a fun option to play around with, which is why we've rounded up a dozen creative recipes that are perfect for Thanksgiving. Whether you go with Mini Brownie Turkeys or Sweet Potato Cheesecake, your guests are sure to have their sweet tooth satisfied.

01 of 13

Acorn Candy Cookies

cookies with chocolate kisses

If your goal is to make some too cute cookies, then this is the recipe for you. Chocolate frosting "glues" together Hershey's Kisses®, vanilla wafers, and butterscotch chips to create edible acorns. These are great on their own, or as decorations for other desserts like cupcakes.

02 of 13

Olive Oil Orange Cornmeal Cake

Olive Oil Orange Cornmeal Cake
Linda T

It's peak citrus season during November, so there's no better time to feature oranges than at Thanksgiving. While olive oil may sound odd in a dessert recipe, it adds a rich and almost buttery taste that makes this cake stand out. Cornmeal creates a light texture, which is just what you need when you've eaten an entire Thanksgiving feast.

03 of 13

Easy Sugar Cone Cornucopias

Easy Sugar Cone Cornucopias

Make an edible ode to the classic Thanksgiving cornucopia with this easy recipe. Sugar cones are dipped in white chocolate and candied ginger before being stuffed with a variety of colorful grapes. You can change up the appearance by swapping bright sprinkles or chopped nuts for the candied ginger.

04 of 13

Nutella Star Bread with Puff Pastry

Loaf of Nutella® Star Bread with Puff Pastry featuring a star design

You only need three ingredients to bake up this impressive dessert: Chocolate-hazelnut spread, puff pastry, and an egg. The steps for making this recipe are simple, but the end result will leave guests asking how you did it.

05 of 13

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Galina Koval

Change up a classic dessert with the addition of canned pumpkin and ground cinnamon. These pumpkin sugar cookies have all the tender texture you've come to expect from the original, but with a pop of flavor from the extra ingredients. The dough can be cut into whatever shape you'd like and even iced for decoration.

06 of 13

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Loren Anthony

Skip the sweet potato casserole this year, and instead make these spuds the spotlight of your dessert. Creamy sweet potatoes are blended into the cheesecake batter before baking in a graham cracker crust. The whole thing is topped off with a decadent buttery caramel sauce and chopped pecans.

07 of 13

Carrot Cake Trifle

Layers of tender carrot cake, vanilla cream, and a nutty coconut blend come together to make a can't-be-beat dessert. Remember to use a clear trifle bowl to show off your creation.

08 of 13

Mini Brownie Turkeys

round brownies decorated like turkeys
Kim's Cooking Now

There's no better way to celebrate Turkey Day than with a flock brownie-based birds. Strategically placed candy corn and frosting easily take this dessert from basic to playful. Strapped on time? You can always use store-bought brownies and then just following the decorating directions.

09 of 13

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie in a glass pie dish
Photo by My Hot Southern Mess. My Hot Southern Mess

Make a more adult version of this classic holiday pie with the addition of heady bourbon and rich chocolate. Keep it Southern with your favorite Kentucky bourbon, or one reviewer even reported success with switching in Kahlua instead.

10 of 13

Pumpkin Cannoli

Pumpkin Cannoli
Kim's Cooking Now

Just when you thought not another dessert could be pumpkin-fied, this delicious recipe appeared. Flaky cannoli shells are stuffed with a spiced vanilla-pumpkin filling before being rolled in mini chocolate chips.

11 of 13

Cranberry Bars

Although not a traditional Thanksgiving dessert, bars make for an easy dish that's portable and perfect for retiring away from the dinner table. Fresh cranberries are cooked down into a sweet and tangy syrup before being layered in between spiced vanilla batter. If only frozen cranberries are available, they can be used but reduce the water by 1/4 cup.

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Pumpkin Truffles

Pumpkin Truffles
Kim's Cooking Now

Blend up bite-sized truffles to serve with coffee after your Thanksgiving meal. Almonds and vanilla wafers make the base, while coffee liqueur and pumpkin infuse each with flavor. If you're worried about the alcohol content, you can substitute the liqueur with strongly brewed coffee.

13 of 13

Baked Apple Roses

Baked Apple Roses
Ariel Liberda

A simple apple is transformed in this creative recipe by Chef John. By thinly slicing the fruit (plus a quick trip the microwave) it can be arranged to resemble a rose. These don't just look good though, they taste great too thanks to a base of puff pastry and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

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