20 Dazzling Thanksgiving Desserts to Impress Everyone at the Feast
Want to really wow 'em this Thanksgiving? Make one of these eye-catching desserts and get ready for the oohs and aahs (and the requests for the recipe). We've hand-picked 20 of our most irresistible Thanksgiving desserts so you can sweep the sweets competition, whether you're hosting at home or bringing a dessert to share. Better yet, many of them are deceptively easy to make. So go on, impress the heck out of everyone this Thanksgiving. But don't be surprised if you're asked to take charge of dessert from here on out.
Chef John's Pumpkin Pie
Chef John has cracked the code for non-cracking pumpkin pie. "The PERFECT pumpkin pie," says Sarah Jo. "Delicately spiced, lightly sweetened with absolutely NO CRACKS. VERY good. NOTE: I did cover the pie halfway through with foil to keep the crust from burning."
Traditional Pecan Pie in a Jar
Everyone's going to swoon over these easy to make and charming to serve pies in a jar. You can decorate the jars with fall-colored twine and a Thanksgiving message, the way recipe creator Culinary Envy has done.
Rustic Fall Fruit Tart
Sliced apples and sweetened cranberries are snuggled into a ready-made pastry crust that's simply folded up to make an edge for an unfussy but fabulous fall tart. Recipe creator lutzflcat used this spiralizer to easily make the thin, flexible apple slices that fill the tart.
Brandied Pear Pie Poppers
The smart thing about minis is they give everyone the opportunity to try lots of different desserts, just a bite or two at a time. These lovely minis are stuffed with ripe pears spiked with a touch of brandy. Go ahead and eat two — they're tiny.
Hasselback Pear Tart
Thinly sliced pear halves are baked atop a sheet of frozen puff pastry dough for a surprisingly easy but visually stunning dessert. "Unbelievably easy!" says Carole. "I did a trial run for Thanksgiving."
French Apple Tart (Tarte de Pommes a la Normande)
Homemade frangipane (almond paste) flavored with apple brandy is spread on pastry dough, topped with sliced apples, baked, topped with sugar, and baked again until the sugar caramelizes. But wait, that's not all. Then the whole thing is brushed with warm apricot jelly to make it glisten and shine. Oh my.
French Silk Chocolate Pie I
How do you resist something called French Silk Chocolate Pie? You don't. "This recipe is the bomb!" raves joelsa. "I followed the recipe to a T, including the beating of one egg at a time for 5 min each. I used pasteurized egg in a carton since the raw egg thing made me a little nervous. But if you are a fan of french silk pie, you will love this recipe."
Cranberry Streusel Pie
If tartness tickles your tongue, you'll love this fresh cranberry pie topped with crunchy walnut streusel crumbs. "This is a great looking pie," says Wannabe Gardener. "The food processor worked great for chopping the cranberries up. I also increased the sugar to one cup and used pecans in place of walnuts. It has a taste that I would say is a mix between a rhubarb and a cherry pie."
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
If you can't choose between pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake, there's no rule that says you can't have both. Reviewer bonniejo roberts says, "This cheesecake tasted just like the pumpkin cheesecake we used to serve at a 5-star restaurant in Washington, DC years ago. Their head pastry chef made it every fall to run through the holidays."
Cheesecake with Cranberry Glaze and Sugared Cranberries
This luscious cheesecake owes it's richly colored topping to a glaze of cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and light corn syrup. The glistening sugared cranberries and orange zest are the perfect finishing touch.
Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
It's not just cheesecake — it's marbled cheesecake on a gingersnap crust. Reviewer APRILEYER says, "I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit. It didn't last more than 24 hours. Which is saying a LOT since there were about 20 other desserts available."
Pumpkin Chiffon Slab Pie
Baked in a sheet pan, this pumpkin pie has an amaretti cookie crust to bump up the flavor. Top with dollops of cinnamon-spiced whipped cream.
Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake
"I work at a coffee shop and my favorite coffee drink is a caramel macchiato so I created a caramel macchiato cheesecake that has become my favorite cheesecake," says recipe creator Dawn.
Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
"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!" That distinctive caramelization on the towering marshmallow topping comes from running the cupcakes under the broiler.
Mini Brownie Turkeys
Itty bitty brownie bites are decorated with frosting, candy corn, candy eyes, and miniature red candies to make a flock of little turkeys. So easy, this is one the kids can help you make.
Pecan Pie Brownies
"Two favorite desserts in one!" says recipe creator Julie Hubert. "Gooey brownie with caramel pecan pie topping. Your guests will thank you! Serve with a big dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Can be made a day ahead and stored, in an airtight container, at room temperature."
Granny Kat's Pumpkin Roll
One of our most popular Thanksgiving desserts comes with its own decoration built right in. A thin layer of pumpkin cake is rolled around a cream cheese filling, then chilled and sliced to reveal its inner pinwheel.
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
It's pecan pie taken to new heights with chocolate and bourbon. Be sure to decorate the top with extra pecan halves so it looks just as good as it tastes.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
"Wow, so good!" says CookinBug. "Admittedly, I did not use the given filling... found a recipe on this site for Maple Cream Cheese frosting and thought it would be amazing with the pumpkin. Yep, it was a match made in heaven. These baked up very nicely and the taste and texture is great. I think they taste amazing right out of the fridge. Thanks!"
Easy Pumpkin Cream Trifle
This easy dessert proves that impressive doesn't mean it has to be hard to make, thanks to shortcut ingredients and eye-catching layering in a big glass bowl. "This is FABULOUS!" says reviewer smith1048. "I have made it for two parties so far and everyone loved it!"