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50 Five-Star Thanksgiving Desserts

If you’ve been tapped to make dessert for Thanksgiving, these top-rated sweets are guaranteed winners.

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Citrus Cranberry Pie

To showcase abundant fall cranberries, make this beautiful lattice-topped cranberry pie. A dollop of orange cream complements the slightly tart flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Molasses Pumpkin Pie

When our sons come home at Thanksgiving to hunt with their dad, I make this pie recipe from Grandma Fetting. We celebrate Thanksgiving in our cabin in the North Woods, a 40-year-old tradition. —Lois Fetting, Nelson, Wisconsin
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Rustic Honey Cake Exps Thfm19 121544 B10 03 10b 22

Rustic Honey Cake

When my boys were young, they couldn’t drink milk but they could have yogurt. This was a cake they could eat. And it’s one dessert that doesn’t taste overly sweet, which is always a nice change of pace. —Linda Leuer, Hamel, Minnesota
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Moist Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

I saw this recipe in a free booklet I got at the supermarket a few years ago and decided to try it, adding a few twists of my own. It’s pretty and so delicious. —Elmira Trombetti, Gulfport, Florida
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The Best Sweet Potato Pie Exps Cwon21 254028 B07 14 1b

The Best Sweet Potato Pie

I love this recipe's rich sweet potato flavor and irresistibly buttery crust. Sour cream makes the filling super smooth, and the brown sugar and spices make it extra cozy. There's no doubt that this is the best sweet potato pie! —Shannon Norris, Cudahy, Wisconsin
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Sour Cream Pumpkin Cake Exps Pcbz19 41398 E04 25 2b 2

Sour Cream Pumpkin Cake

The nicely spiced streusel in the center of this cake is a marvelous surprise and complement to the cinnamony pumpkin cake. It's delicious for breakfast or dessert. —Elaine Holmberg, Norfolk, Nebraska
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Creamy Apple Crumb Pie

I revised this classic apple pie recipe from a church cookbook. I knew it was a keeper when my mother-in-law asked for a copy. Linda Pawelski, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Nantucket Cranberry Tart Exps Gbhrbz17 38140 D07 13 6b 2

Nantucket Cranberry Tart

While everyone is enjoying a bountiful meal, this eye-catching tart can be baking to perfection in the oven. The pretty holiday dessert calls for very few ingredients, and it’s a snap to assemble. —Jackie Zack, Riverside, Connecticut
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Apple Butter Cake Roll Exps Tgckbz18 34051 B05 03 3b 4

Apple Butter Cake Roll

This is a new take on a pumpkin roll. Her spicy gingerbread cake might make you think back fondly to Christmas at Grandma's! —Debbie White, Williamson, West Virginia
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Spiced Eggnog Pumpkin Pie Exps Gbhrbz17 115994 D07 13 2b 4

Spiced Eggnog Pumpkin Pie

With its 10-minute prep time and lovely blend of mild eggnog flavor and spices, this is a dream dessert for a busy hostess! It’s a staple for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fact, my grown kids request it whenever they come to visit. —Patti Leake, Columbia, Missouri
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Cranberry Almond Pound Cake Exps Tohcom19 100190 C07 23 4b 13

Cranberry-Almond Pound Cake

When you want an extra-special dessert for the holidays, it’s hard to beat a seasonal homemade cake. I like to drizzle mine with a simple but elegant glaze flavored with amaretto. —Jackie Howell, Tucson, Arizona
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Pumpkin Patch Pie

If you'd like to make pumpkin pie from a fresh pumpkin, here's and easy recipe that eliminates the guesswork. Use a pie pumpkin for maximum flavor.—Jane Van Deusen, Oneonta, New York
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Creamy Cranberry Cheesecake

This creamy cheesecake is perfect for holiday desserts. The colorful topping is so good that I prepare it separately and use it as a cranberry side dish at Thanksgiving. —Mary Simonson, Kelso, Washington
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Rustic Caramel Apple Tart Exps Tgcbbz17 38374 B04 28 3b 7

Rustic Caramel Apple Tart

Like an apple pie without the pan, this scrumptious tart has a crispy crust that cuts nicely and a yummy caramel topping. —Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas
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Sticky Toffee Rice Pudding With Caramel Cream Exps Hbmz19 59018 E06 21 2b 14

Sticky Toffee Rice Pudding with Caramel Cream

Simple rice pudding gets a makeover with this upscale recipe. It has just the right thickness to soak up a hot caramel topping. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Pumpkin Pecan Praline Pie Exps Tohon19 237024 E06 12 4b 20

Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie

My husband and I are not big fans of traditional pumpkin pie, but my mother and others are, so we must have pumpkin pie as one of the desserts at Thanksgiving. I decided to meet everyone halfway with this pumpkin pecan pie recipe and it was a hit. Now I bring it to Thanksgiving every year. My mother doesn't even feel the need to bake her own pumpkin pie! —Emily Reese, Glade Hill, Virginia
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Butterscotch Pecan Dessert Exps Ft21 9291 F 0317 1 4

Butterscotch Pecan Dessert

Light and creamy, this butterscotch dessert never lasts long when I serve it. The fluffy cream cheese layer topped with cool butterscotch pudding is a lip-smacking combination. —Becky Harrison, Albion, Illinois
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Spiced Upside Down Apple Pie Exps Sdon18 112949 E06 12 3b 1

Spiced Upside-Down Apple Pie

My grandma taught me to make this pie when I was 4. Over the years, I’ve kept it about the same with just a few changes. Flip it out the second it stops bubbling. The glaze makes it look especially delicious. —Francine Bryson, Pickens, South Carolina
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Pecan Cake With Cookie Butter Frosting Exps Sdon18 223814 E06 14 2b 4

Pecan Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting

My mom and I bought a jar of cookie butter to try it out, and we fell in love with it. I knew the flavor would go well with maple syrup and pecans, so I came up with this cake. I like to make a pretty design on the top of the cake with pecan halves. —Natalie Larsen, Columbia, Maryland
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Chocolate Hazelnut Torte Exps Hbmz18 40859 E07 12 5b 15

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

Most cake recipes feed a crowd. So we came up with this elegant little cake that serves six. That’s enough for two…with just the right amount of leftovers! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cran Apple Pie Exps Tgcbbz19 29610 B05 23 1b 2

Cran-Apple Pie

We captured the flavor and splendor of fall in this pretty lattice fruit pie. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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Walnut Date Pumpkin Pie Exps Pcbz19 19079 B05 10 1b 7

Walnut-Date Pumpkin Pie

I'm forever looking for a little something extra to add to a favorite recipe. In this case, crunchy walnuts and chewy dates take traditional pumpkin pie to a new level. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Pumpkin Spice Cake Exps Ft20 583 F 0916 1 10

Pumpkin Spice Cake

We sometimes call this pumpkin spice cake “Thanksgiving Cake” because it’s a tasty alternative to pie, but we don’t relegate it to just that holiday. I think you’ll agree it’s delicious any time of the year. —Kathy Rhoads, Circleville, Ohio
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Maple Glazed Apple Pie Exps Cwon18 3718 D05 24 1b 1

Maple-Glazed Apple Pie

Even though we’ve lived in Florida for three years, I still feel like a Vermonter. My parents send us a bushel of Vermont apples each fall, and we try to visit in the spring to do some sugaring. —Patricia Putnam, Lakeland, Florida
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Pumpkin Pie Cake Exps Pcbz19 36934 C04 25 1b 3

Pumpkin Pie Cake

No one will guess this showstopper dessert with luscious cinnamon frosting starts with a mix! It's a year-round favorite. —Linda Murray, Allenstown, New Hampshire
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Buckeye Pie Exps Ppp18 126462 B04 18 1b 3

Buckeye Pie

Everyone who eats this pie raves about it! You can cover the whole top with ganache, but leaving part of the filling bare is the traditional way to make it. —Mary Northrup, Alpine, New York
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Pumpkin Pecan Custard Exps Pcbz19 130563 E04 25 3b 4

Pumpkin Pecan Custard

My family loves pumpkin pie flavor, but this is a delicious, creamy, healthier alternative—and we don’t miss the crust at all. It firms up as it cools. —Abby Booth, Coweta, Oklahoma
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Bread Pie Exps Toham20 244686 E11 08 9b 28

Bread Pudding Pie

This unique dessert is a bread pudding-pie combo. It was created by my paternal grandmother's family. They had a farm and made their own bread, which made this a low-cost dessert. — Kelly Barnes, Lexington, Indiana
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Walnut Mincemeat Pie Exps Ft19 1708 F 1018 1 16

Walnut Mincemeat Pie

As a cold and tasty finishing touch, my husband and I usually put a dip of ice cream on top of our mincemeat pie slices. The recipe comes from my mother. Each year, I make it for Christmas and for my sister-in-law's New Year's party. —Laverne Kamp, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
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Caramel Pumpkin Tiramisu

I'm not fond of traditional tiramisu, so I used pumpkin and in place of coffee, bourbon, and it's absolutely fabulous. I always make extra sauce and eat it over vanilla ice cream. It's so good, I don't want to leave it alone! – Mary Filipiak, Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Maple Cream Meringue Pie Exps Tgbz21 38669 E05 26 1b 12

Maple Cream Meringue Pie

This dessert won first place in the pie category at the annual Vermont Maple Festival. It’s simple to make and uses more maple syrup than most other maple cream pies.
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Pumpkin Fruitcake Exps Thas19 30893 B04 25 8b 3

Pumpkin Fruitcake

I make this fruity cake many times between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The dense cake has wonderful pumpkin flavor and is flecked with pecans, dates, raisins and cherries. —Janet Hradsky, Three Rivers, Michigan
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Cranberry Apple Lattice Pie Exps Thca19 161463 B01 31 4b 13

Cranberry-Apple Lattice Pie

Two favorite fall fruits bring out the best in each other — and rum works its own mellow magic. Few people pass up a piece of this pie. — Adri Barr Crocetti, Sherman Oaks, California
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5 Spice Pumpkin Pie Exps Thn18 229936 B05 31 4b 2

Five-Spice Pumpkin Pie

I always make a pumpkin pie for our big “pie night” party on Thanksgiving Eve. This recipe is a classic with a special spiced-up twist. —Shawn Barto, Palmetto, Florida
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Dutch Cranberry Apple Pie Exps Ppp18 97373 B05 16 3b 6

Dutch Cranberry-Apple Pie

Fresh cranberries bring tongue-tingling tartness and festive Christmas color to classic apple pie. With orange peel, spices and a crumb topping, this is a warm and wintry favorite. —Jerri Gradert, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Persimmon Squash Pie Exps Ppp18 36694 D05 08 2b 2

Persimmon Squash Pie

I created this recipe for our local persimmon festival, using homegrown squash. I like to make two pies, with toffee bits and pecans for garnish. —Betty Milligan, Bedford, Indiana
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Baklava Cheesecake Exps Tcbbz18 136914 C05 04 2b 3

Baklava Cheesecake

With sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs, my unique baklava cheesecake makes a grand display for office parties and other special events. —Aryanna Gamble, New Orleans, Louisiana
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Chocolate Pound Cake Exps Tohx18 2622 D10 27 1b Sliced 9

Chocolate Pound Cake

You'll find that this cake goes well with ice cream, but it's also delicate enough to serve in small pieces with tea. —Ann Perry, Sierra Vista, Arizona
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Orange Sweet Potato Pie with Ginger Streusel

Flecks of orange zest add a pleasant texture and zip to this classic sweet potato pie. Cook and mash the potatoes a day ahead to save time on pie-making day. —Lindsey Cook, Dallas, Texas
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Pear Tart Exps Hcka18 19924 D05 11 4b 15

Pear Tart

My sister-in-law brought this pretty pastry to dinner one night, and we all went back for seconds. It is truly scrumptious. —Kathryn Rogers, Suisun City, California
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Pumpkin Mousse Trifle

You can speed up this recipe by using a store-bought pound cake or baking and freezing one ahead of time. The sugared pecans can also be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container.—Becky McClaflin, Blanchard, Oklahoma
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Mama S Coconut Pie Exps Tohdj21 212345 E07 29 8b 23

Mama’s Buttermilk Coconut Pie

My mama showed me how to make this pie about 40 years ago, just as her mama showed her how to make it. I was 6 when Mawmaw passed away, but I can still remember her cooking in the kitchen in her beautiful cotton dresses dusted with flour. I am honored to teach my daughter how to make this dessert, too. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
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Cranberry Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Both kids and grown-ups like this gorgeous dessert. It'll keep a few days and is actually better the second day, so you can make it a day ahead. —Sherry Conley, Noel Hants County, Nova Scotia
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Walnut Pumpkin Cake Roll Exps Fbmz16 18913 A05 18 5b 7

Walnut Pumpkin Cake Roll

This is one of my family's favorite dessert recipes, especially for holiday gatherings. —Mary Gecha, Center Rutland, Vermont
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Spiced Apple Cake With Caramel Icing Exps Tohca23 167685 Dr P3 09 30 5b

Spiced Apple Cake with Caramel Icing

Easy to prepare and popular with my friends and family, this apple cake is one of my all-time favorite autumn recipes. A slice of this soft treat is delicious with a hot cup of coffee or tea.—Monica Burns, Lusby, Maryland
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Exps2473 Hb143427a07 18 3b 1

Squash Custard Pie

Acorn squash has been a favorite of mine since I was little and my mother baked it with sugar and cinnamon. This particular pie was something I improvised. We love pumpkin pie, but had fresh squash in excess. So I came up with this new variation! It's good to take to potlucks, to pie or cake walks at school, or to serve as a different dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas. —Mary Kelly, Hopland, California
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Pumpkin Icebox Cake Exps Pcbz19 176857 E04 24 1b 8

Pumpkin Icebox Cake

This tube cake is a fun, simple way to make a quick dessert. Pumpkin, chocolate and spice are very nice. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
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Hazelnut Pear Cake Exps173579 Th143190b09 25 9bc Rms 7

Hazelnut Pear Cake

From the hazelnuts to the yummy browned butter glaze, this dessert is a little different from an everyday pound cake. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Exps47556 Cw143044b06 12 4b 2

Toffee-Pear Crisp Bread Pudding

My son loves pear crisp, but one night I was making bread pudding. He asked if I could make both. I compromised by combining two desserts into this one dish. It's absolutely fantastic! —Kurt Wait, Redwood City, California
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Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Pie

I love chocolate, caramel and hazelnuts, so I came up with a recipe that has all three. If you don’t have a food processor, place crust ingredients in a zip-top freezer bag and smash with a rolling pin. —Debbie Anderson, Mount Angel, Oregon

Peggy Woodward, RDN
Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. In addition to curating recipes, she writes articles, develops recipes and is our in-house nutrition expert. She studied dietetics at the University of Illinois and completed post-graduate studies at the Medical University of South Carolina to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Peggy has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.