15 Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Desserts
Thanksgiving is all about spending time bonding with loved ones over a festive dinner. But after putting so much energy into the turkey and meticulously developing a menu of festive side dishes, dessert can become an afterthought in the seemingly endless cook-a-thon that is Thanksgiving. Yet everyone is still waiting for the pumpkin pie to make an appearance. The good news is, if you want a dessert that's quick and easy to make, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the taste. These easy and delicious dessert recipes range from classic pumpkin pies to delicate pecan tarts. And after all, you don't have to labor for hours over a recipe for it to taste great. Read on to discover our best quick and easy Thanksgiving desserts.
Two Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
Yes, you read that right. All that it takes to make this top-rated dessert is spice cake mix and canned pumpkin. Recipe creator Chickentarian says, "It can't get any easier than this! Just two ingredients and you have a moist delicious cake. Great when frosted with your favorite cream cheese frosting. Plan ahead; tastes best after chilling." Many reviewers suggest adding three eggs to make the batter more spreadable. You can bake this simple recipe in a 9x13 pan, a Bundt pan, or as cupcakes.
Mini Southern Pecan Pies
No need to take time to slice a pie when you make individually portioned pies instead! Reviewer Lindie Vandiver says, "I made these for a company Thanksgiving potluck, and everyone raved! They were the best tasting (and best textured) pecan pies I've ever made, and they were the perfect serving size for a gathering with lots of desserts to try."
Easy Apple Crisp
Reviewer CandysGlassesRock says, "My teenage daughter made this for our Thanksgiving dessert, and it turned out wonderful! We added two packets of cinnamon brown sugar instant oatmeal on the top before baking and it was fantastic! Really easy and very tasty!" This simple dessert is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Easy Pumpkin Cream Trifle
"Made this for the first time this Thanksgiving and everyone loved it," says reviewer 2232. "Out of all the desserts we had, this was the one gone first." This dish can be made ahead of time and left in the refrigerator, helping to cut down on time spent in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day.
Chef John's Easy Apple Pie
Chef John describes this apple pie as, "Not your traditional apple pie, this filing is caramelized apples held together with a very glossy, just-thick-enough apple syrup." This recipe also uses a ready-to-use crust, putting the easy in this easy apple pie.
Pumpkin Dump Cake
Dump cakes are ideal when you're looking for something quick and easy. As the name suggests, simply combine all your ingredients and "dump" them into a pan. Reviewer MRSO says, "This is a time saver if you want pumpkin pie but don't have time to make a crust. The crunchy topping is a nice change."
Simple Pumpkin Pie
You can't go wrong with a classic, especially when it's ready in an hour. Reviewer agirl60614 says, "Made this pie twice now — once for a party and again for my roommates by request. It is super easy and by far the most delicious. I'm a terrible baker, and you know when I don't screw it up, it's easy!"
Reviewer lutzflcat says, "All of the flavor of a traditional pumpkin pie with all of the spices and just a hint of citrus from the orange extract. The filling firms up enough after cooling a bit that you can cut it into squares to serve. The filling is creamy, and the top of the cobbler is a soft and buttery crumble, just delicious... I served it warm with a little whipped cream sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice." If you wish, you could sprinkle chopped pecans over the top before baking.
Quick and Easy Pumpkin Mousse
Between all the heavy pies and cakes, your guests will be thanking you for a light and refreshing mousse on the dessert table. This recipe can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Recipe creator Kristin_California says, "This is a fast easy treat around the holidays. Pour into chocolate shells purchased at any kitchen store for an elegant touch or with graham crackers for dipping. You can also heat ingredients in the microwave on high for 30 second intervals if you are short on time."
Cinnamon Roll Apple Crisp
Two fall desserts come together to make this fantastic holiday treat. Reviewer lutzflcat says, "The house smelled wonderful while this was baking, and we could barely keep ourselves from cutting into it after it came out of the oven. This was a sweet and juicy apple crisp with a flavorful cinnamon roll base; just delicious."
Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt® Cake
The chocolate lovers in your life will appreciate this fall Bundt cake, and they'll have no idea it only took you 45 minutes to make it. Reviewer Melanie says, "Super quick and easy! Not too many ingredients to overcomplicate. Took it to the office and it was a big hit! Will keep this one in my back pocket for sure."
Easy Thanksgiving Cookies
Recipe creator Kristie Ramsey says, "These are so simple, yet so delicious. Your friends will think that you spent all day with dozens of ingredients." This cookie recipe uses orange cake mix and dried cranberries to make a speedy (ready in 25 minutes!) yet festive dessert.
Easy Pumpkin Pie Squares
"I have made these for Thanksgiving dinner several times," says reviewer TRISH. "They are small and nice to serve when there are several desserts to choose from. Tastes just like pumpkin pie with a 'nutty' crust that is better than pie crust." You can cut them into squares or use a fluted biscuit cutter to make rounds, as shown. Dress up each piece with a dollop of whipped cream before serving.
Pumpkin Crumb Cake
This easy dump cake has a layer of pumpkin pie filling in the middle. "My family gave this a thumbs up! We are trying pumpkin desserts each weekend before Thanksgiving and this one was their favorite! Excellent!!" raves reciewer BARBIE0492.
Extra Easy Pumpkin Cookies
Expect a fluffy, cake-like texture rather than a crispy cookie texture. "I made these into pumpkin 'gobs' by sandwiching these cookies with cream cheese frosting in between. They were a HUGE hit at a party I brought them to," says reviewer AmandaPGH.