15 Unique Thanksgiving Desserts

Candied Yam Cupcakes
Photo: MarinaHoliday

Although most of us look forward to Thanksgiving every year, having the same old dishes each time can be more monotonous than nostalgic. If you're wanting to change things up, but don't want to totally rock the boat, then try serving a unique dessert! Say goodbye to basics like pumpkin pie or plain cheesecake, and instead whip up some rich Candied Yam Cupcakes or go even more decadent with Kentucky Butter Cake. No matter what you choose, you're sure to have guests clamoring for the recipe.

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Nutty Caramel Apple Pops

Nutty Caramel Apple Pops
The Gruntled Gourmand

While caramel apples are delicious, they're equally messy. Avoid the fuss and instead serve these adorable mini-sized apple pops. The apple pieces are swirled with caramel before being rolled in chopped nuts. If you're wanting an extra cute presentation, use Thanksgiving-themed cupcake liners.

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Orange Cake with Semolina and Almonds

Orange Cake with Semolina and Almonds
Magda

November is peak citrus season, so there's no better time to make an orange cake. Semolina and almond give it a rich texture, while using two entire oranges infuses the baked good with a strong flavor. Serve with a little dollop of whipped cream for extra decadence.

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Acorn Candy Cookies

cookies with chocolate kisses
Sugarplum

These incredibly cute cookies are much easier to make than they appear. By piping prepared frosting, you can "glue" together Hershey's Kisses®, vanilla wafer cookies, and butterscotch chips to appear like acorns. These can be served as-is or be used to decorate other desserts like cupcakes.

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Kentucky Butter Cake

Kentucky Butter Cake
copykat

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to go buckwild with butter. Over a cup of it goes into this incredibly rich and moist Southern cake recipe. The best part is that if you use an ornate bundt pan, you won't even need to decorate dessert!

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Galina Koval

While the texture of sugar cookies is divine, sometimes their flavor ends up lacking. Serve up a plate of these tasty pumpkin sugar cookies to shake things up. Canned pumpkin and ground cinnamon add an orange-y hue along with a large dose of flavor.

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Hasselback Pear Tart

pear tart in a square pan
Nicholio

Pears often get overlooked when Thanksgiving rolls around, so give these sweet fruits a chance to shine in this elegant tart. Hasslebacking the pears lets them keep their shape while cooking through evenly over a layer of cream cheese frosting and puff pastry.

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Cinnamon Palmiers

Cinnamon Palmiers
emendy613

Need a quick dessert that looks like it took you all day to make? Palmiers are the perfect solution. Puff pastry is thinly coated in a buttery spice mix before being rolled, sliced, and baked. You can also roll the dough into a full spiral to make things even easier.

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Quick and Easy Pumpkin Mousse

glasses full of pumpkin mousse topped with whipped cream
Mackenzie Schieck

Serving up individual jars of this deliciously light mousse is the perfect way to end Thanksgiving dinner. If the thought of washing all those containers fills you with dread, you can make a larger dish of the recipe and serve out scoops to guests.

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Candied Yam Cupcakes

Candied Yam Cupcakes
MarinaHoliday

You'll already be cooking yams for a side dish, so you might as well just add a few extra for dessert too. Steamed yams add a rich flavor and color to cupcake batter, which after baking is topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting. No piping bag? No problem! Decorate the top of these with a quick sprinkle of chopped nuts.

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Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies
footballgrl16

Pie is to be expected at Thanksgiving, but mini pies are sure to wow guests. Everyone will enjoy having their own personal dessert, plus anything that's miniaturized is automatically more cute. Granny Smith apples keep the filling tasting bright, while a blend of spices give it that classic apple pie flavor.

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Persimmon Cheesecake

persimmon cheesecake adorned with whipped cream pipettes and garnished with sliced persimmon in center
Lorn Randall

Thanksgiving is during the height of persimmon season, so this cheesecake is the perfect use for the sweet fruit. The persimmon cheesecake batter is baked atop a crunchy walnut crust before being topped with a vanilla cream layer in the last few minutes of cooking.

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Apple Frangipane Cake

An apple frangipane cake sliced and topped with toasted almonds
Meredith Food Studios

"This is a dense, moist, and very flavorful apple frangipane cake that is very almond-forward in a yummy way," says culinary producer Pam Lolley. "The apples complement it nicely and I loved the crunch of the toasted almonds on top."

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Chef John's Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

FIve of Chef John's Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles on a white dish
Chef John

Looking for a low-maintenance Thanksgiving dessert that your guests can eat with their hands? Try Chef John's cozy snickerdoodles with pumpkin pie spice.

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Pear and Chocolate Tart

overhead view of pear and chocolate tart
Buckwheat Queen

Here's a fancy French dessert that'll impress everyone at your Thanksgiving table. "It's chocolaty, juicy, and scrumptious," according to recipe creator vicki oliver, who suggests serving warm with creme fraiche.

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Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie

Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie
Melissa Goff

The Allrecipes community can't get enough of this top-rated cheesecake pie that's shockingly easy to make with cream cheese and refrigerated crescent rolls.

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More Inspiration

mini pecan pies on a white dish
sugarplum

Try one of Our Favorite Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Desserts. Plus, explore our entire collection of Thanksgiving Desserts.

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