Surprise your family with a Thanksgiving dessert that isn’t the same old, same old
Tired of the same old pies every Thanksgiving? We’ve got you covered. From pumpkin rolls to cranberry crisp, there are so many more ways to bring fall flavors to your spread. (Hello, no-churn ice cream!) For anyone craving Thanksgiving desserts that aren’t pie, we have some Turkey Day recipe inspiration to offer that includes gluten-free and vegan recipes for the folks in your life with special dietary needs.
Chinese Five-Spice Cake
For a festive flavor that goes beyond the usual apple or pumpkin pie, spice up your Thanksgiving dessert with a bit of ginger. This decedent Chinese five-spice cake from The Cozy Apron topped with ginger buttercream and candied ginger will invigorate your tastebuds after all of that turkey.
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins
If you’re looking for an easy Thanksgiving dessert that isn’t pie, these pumpkin mini muffins from Averie Cooks are coated with sugar and cinnamon and packed with fall flavor. Actually, you don’t need to wait until dessert — they can be a sweet way to start your Thanksgiving morning! And they’re vegan.
Cranberry Sauce Cheesecake
For a decadent Thanksgiving dessert that isn’t pie, put a twist on the classic cheesecake flavor profile with this winner of a recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron. It’s totally adaptable to your taste preferences when it comes to cranberry sauce, and the individual portions make serving a breeze.
Persimmon Winter Bundt Cake
Use a winter fruit that doesn't get a lot of love for your Thanksgiving dessert this year with this recipe from Boulder Locavore that isn't pie. It's got warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, and allspice, and is covered in a sweet glaze.
Flourless Pumpkin Spice Cake
You can still get your pumpkin fix with this spice cake we spotted over at The View from Great Island. Not only is it gluten-free, but you can still serve it with ice cream or whipped cream, just like Thanksgiving pie!
If making homemade cranberry sauce isn't your jam, you may fare better with Gimme Some Oven's Cranberry Crisp. Tart cranberries are layered under a tasty butter-pecan oatmeal topping. Make it ahead of time so you can enjoy your day even more, and then surprise your family with this festive dessert that isn't pie.
Harvest Marble Chocolate Chip Cookies
Your cookie game just went to a whole new level with Two Sisters' Harvest Marble Chocolate Chip Cookies! Use your fave recipe and then divide the dough before coloring rich fall colors. Combine and bake for these eye-catching treats that are the perfect swap for pie.
Rice Krispie Treats Turkey
Officially the coolest dessert on this list, The Life Jolie's Rice Krispie Treats Turkey is a must! Made with the traditional recipe, this perfectly shaped turkey is easier to construct than it looks. Grab a friend, and craft this hilarious dessert right before the guests arrive.
Pumpkin Cream Puffs
Dust off your baking skills this year and whip up some of Rasa Malaysia's Pumpkin Cream Puffs! A light and airy choux puff pastry is filled with a sweet pumpkin cream that will have you enjoying dessert this Thanksgiving.
Harvest M&M Cookie Bars
We can't think of a better way to use M&M's seasonally-colored harvest blend, can you? Melissa from Number 2 Pencil uses them to whip up festive cookie bars that are chewy and perfectly sweet. Great for feeding a crowd, these cookies-turned-bars are just the change your Thanksgiving dessert needs this year!
Mini Pecan Pies
We know, we know, these are "technically" pie (but so are Whoopie Pies, and we've got those here, too). These mini pecan pies from Live Well Bake Often take the work out of dessert. Made in a muffin tin with a store-bought crust, these crispy desserts are perfect for little hands or handing out as guests leave.
You can whip up this Pumpkin Roll from Tastes Better from Scratch, and then freeze it before the big day. Canned pumpkin and cream cheese are just two of the delightful ingredients that come together in this dessert that's both creative and cute. Your treat will be the talk of the Thanksgiving dinner table!
Cranberry Chocolate Cream Tart
We’re drooling over this amazing tart from Family Style Food. The chocolate cookie crust is covered with mascarpone flavored with cocoa, including a cranberry compote to top it off.
Cinnamon Apple Crumble
Keep it simple this Thanksgiving by making A Simple Palate’s tried-and-true apple crumble. It’s much quicker than making a pie, but it tastes just as good—especially when paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Italian Apple Yogurt Cake
Take inspiration from Mangia Bedda, and whip up a pretty apple cake for your holiday table. The addition of yogurt makes the cake extra moist, and if the whole thing isn’t gobbled up on Thanksgiving, it’ll taste great the next morning with a cup of coffee.
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Make sure there’s something for everyone on your dessert table with these gluten-free cupcakes from A Table Full of Joy. Topped with a brown sugar buttercream, they’re bound to be a hit with your whole crew.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies
If you’ve got chocolate fans in your family, they’ll definitely fall in love with these fudgy brownies from Averie Cooks. They’re super quick to make and are topped with a yummy layer of pumpkin and chocolate chips.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Get inspired by Insolence & Wine to combine your love for chocolate and pumpkin into one delicious cookie. They’re topped off with a pretty pumpkin spice glaze—yum!
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese
How cute are these pumpkin bars from Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts? We love the criss-cross pattern of cream cheese on top, and we’re happy to report that they taste as good as they look.
Cranberry Shortbread Bars
We’ve fallen in love with these cranberry shortbread bars from Food Doodles, and we’re pretty sure you’ll feel the same way too. Rich and tender shortbread pairs beautifully with the tart cranberry filling, and a crumble topping finishes it off.
Raw Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
The vegans in your crew don’t need to miss out on dessert, thanks to Coley Cooks. With the help of cashews, dates, and coconut milk, it’s surprisingly easy to make this vegan pumpkin cheesecake.
Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars
This dessert bar recipe from Little B Cooks checks off lots of boxes. You get oatmeal, butterscotch, and cheesecake all in one dessert—and can please a lot of dessert lovers at once.
Little ones will go nuts for these cute acorn cookies. You’ll love that they don’t really involve baking and that the kids can even help assemble them with the how-to from A Mom’s Impression, which includes a bonus cupcake recipe, too!
Pumpkin-Nutella Swirl Cake
Did somebody say Nutella? The Savvy Kitchen combines the sweet goodness of Nutella with the traditional spice of pumpkin for a cake that looks as good as it tastes.
Rice Krispie Turkey Drumsticks
This Thanksgiving, why not surprise the kids with a dessert that looks like dinner? These sweet drumsticks are totally creative and pretty easy to make, and you can get the how-to over at TGIF—This Grandma Is Fun.
Spiced Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Whoopie! These sweet cookies from The Chunky Chef are super easy to make and look impressive on any Thanksgiving table. And did we mention they're topped with a browned butter maple cinnamon frosting?
Gluten-Free & Vegan Maple Nut Cake
If you need to consider certain dietary restrictions at your Thanksgiving meal—but still want the wow factor when it comes to dessert—this maple nut cake from Fragrant Vanilla Cake might just be the answer.
Chocolate Brownie Turkey Tart
If you have a box of brownie mix, then you're halfway to making this sweet turkey tart, courtesy of The First Year. The most important ingredient is M&Ms for decorating—and since you only need a few select colors, we won't tell if you snack on the blues and greens.
Cinnamon Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies
These pumpkin spice cookies from The Baker Chick get bonus points because you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it until you need it. The same goes for the creamy spread on top. With just a few simple steps you've got a dessert that combines two classic fall flavors.
Football Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies
If your family considers Thanksgiving a big ol' football fest, then this recipe from Well Plated is perfect for your dessert spread. And with flavors like peanut butter and chocolate, it's sure to be a hit with mini-quarterbacks and grownups alike.
No-Churn Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Who can resist a scoop of ice cream, especially when it's bursting with fall flavors? This homemade version from The View from Great Island includes five different spices and pumpkin puree. Best of all, you don't need an ice cream maker!
No-Bake Pumpkin Parfait
The oven is already going to be working overtime on Thanksgiving Day, so why not take advantage of these creamy, no-bake parfaits from The Cozy Apron? If you're worried about your fancy stemware, serve it up the kids' desserts in plastic cups. Either way, your guests will be impressed by your creative Thanksgiving dessert that isn't pie.
Pumpkin-Pecan Pie in a Jar
Can't decide between pumpkin pie and pecan pie? There's no need, thanks to this dessert from Glorious Treats that combines the two. This treat is made for jars, which is perfect for saving or giving as gifts, too.
Skillet Apple Crisp
Apple crisp is one of our favorite fall desserts, and this easy recipe from Plated Cravings is bound to be a Turkey Day win. It’s super quick to make and tastes amazing paired with whipped cream or ice cream.
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
For a super quick but impressive dessert, you’ve got to try this cake from Averie Cooks. With a boxed cake mix as its base, it comes together in no time and makes for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
This pumpkin crisp from Sara at Bitz & Giggles is not only delicious—it's also super simple to make. You probably already have the ingredients you need! Make it à la mode for an extra special Thanksgiving dessert that isn't pie.
Maybe you have so much on your plate cooking the big meal that the idea of adding dessert to your to-do list is a tad too much. That's where Chelsea from Chelsea's Messy Apron comes in. These treats are not only no-bake, but they're also really creative. Recruit the kids to do them, and you have dessert and activities crossed off with one "recipe."