Ina Garten Shared Her Favorite Thanksgiving Desserts and We’re So Inspired

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Ina Garten is sharing all of her favorite Thanksgiving desserts ahead of Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for friends, family and food. Of course, eating your favorite savory dishes during the holiday is a must, but you should also make some room for dessert.

While turkey may seem like the star of the meal—and it can be with Ina Garten’s turkey hack—dessert can also be the stand-out dish of your Thanksgiving feast. If you need some dessert inspiration, Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa) recently shared her favorite Thanksgiving desserts in preparation for the holiday.

Ina’s Favorite Thanksgiving Desserts

Ina Garten isn’t just the queen of everyday cooking. She’s also the queen of sharing the best Thanksgiving recipes. The Barefoot Contessa has been sharing her favorite dessert recipes on Instagram each day leading up to Thanksgiving.

Here’s what the beloved cook has unveiled so far:

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

Ina Garten’s first dessert pick is a twist on a classic pecan pie. “Is it already Thanksgiving next week?!! Yikes! This week, I’m posting a favorite Thanksgiving dessert each day, starting with the Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie from my new cookbook Go-To Dinners,” the cook captioned the post.

According to her description, her spin on a bourbon chocolate pecan pie calls for a store-bought pie crust, so you don’t have to worry about making your own. The recipe doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients, either. Her version calls for brown and granulated sugar, salt, unsalted butter, eggs, pecans, unsweetened chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Oh, and good bourbon.

If you’re looking for a perfect sweet treat, then check out these Ina Garten’s outrageous brownies.

Apple Crisp

If you like apple-based desserts, Ina Garten’s Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp might be your new Thanksgiving go-to. She suggests you “assemble it early in the day and pop it in the oven before guests arrive,” per her Instagram post. Imagine your guests walking into a house that smells like baked apples.

Garten’s recipe calls for McIntosh or Macoun apples, but when we tried the recipe out for ourselves, we found that it worked with Honeycrisp apples, too.

If you’re looking for a store-bought apple dessert option, one of Ina’s favorites is Trader Joe’s french apple tart.

Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits

Everyone loves a good pumpkin pie, but Ina Garten puts a fun twist on those warm pumpkin spice flavors with an unexpected, easy dessert. Her parfaits layer fluffy pumpkin mousse, crumbled ginger cookies and whipped cream.

Dessert parfaits look pretty on your table and can save you time on Thanksgiving day. We like to add a little extra crunch to ours by adding chopped pecans, like in this recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Parfaits.

Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream

In her Instagram post on Nov. 17, Ina Garten called her Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream “a show-stopper” and we see why. The cake’s filling is packed with crystallized ginger and mascarpone cheese. Yum!

Roulades, or pumpkin cake rolls, are yet another dessert you can make ahead of Thanksgiving and store in the fridge. You’ll want to take it out and let it return to room temperature before serving.

The Contessa labels this recipe as “advanced,” so make sure you’re OK with a more complicated bake. Before you give it a go, read through our Test Kitchen’s tips for how to make the perfect cake roll without any cracks or breakage!

Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisins

Another bourbon-infused recipe, Ina shared her love for Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisins. Apple cakes are easy enough for beginner bakers to master this Thanksgiving. Her recipe is packed with all of our favorite fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. We’re inspired to skip the pie this year and give this cake a go. And once one of the Barefoot Contessa’s favorites is made, make sure to serve it with Ina Garten’s cake serving hack.

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Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison is a California-based freelance writer who covers everything from food news to tech to lifestyle. Her work has appeared in Elite Daily, How-To Geek, Review Geek, Truity, and other publications. She received her Bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in 2018. In her free time, she likes to read, write fiction and poetry, and perform in live theater.