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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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Pumpkin and Walnut Squares

The buttery crust and crumb topping plus the creamy pumpkin filling make this a popular dessert at potlucks. Try it with whipped cream, ice cream or all by its yummy self. This is the pumpkin walnut recipe to end all recipes. —Ruth Beller, Sun City, California

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The Best Sweet Potato Pie

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 CakeTaste of Home

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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Italian Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecake PieTaste of Home

Italian Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecake Pie

I first prepared an Italian-style cheese pie years ago. When I added a chocolate-hazelnut topping, it proved so popular that I had to give out copies of the recipe.—Steve Meredith, Streamwood, Illinois

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Apple Butter Cake RollTaste of Home

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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Bread Pudding Pumpkin

Bread Pudding Pumpkin

When doing my fall decorating, I'm certain to set aside a few pumpkins for this unique dessert. It adds a festive touch to our Thanksgiving table. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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Citrus Cranberry PieTaste of Home

Citrus Cranberry Pie

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

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Quick Frozen Pumpkin Pie

Quick Frozen Pumpkin Pie

“The holidays are the perfect time to try this quick twist on a traditional pumpkin pie,” suggests Marion Stoll, Dent, Minnesota. “I often make it ahead, so it goes from freezer to feast!”

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Cranberry-Almond Pound Cake

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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Sticky Toffee Rice Pudding with Caramel Cream

Sticky Toffee Rice Pudding with Caramel Cream

The once homely rice pudding gets the Cinderella treatment in this comforting dessert that delivers on the sticky toffee flavor. It has just the right amount of thickness for soaking up a hot caramel topping. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie

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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Chocolate Gingersnaps

Chocolate Gingersnaps

When my daughter, Jennifer, was 15 years old, she created this recipe as a way to combine two of her favorite flavors. They're great with a glass of milk. —Paula Zsiray, Logan, Utah

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Cran-Apple PieTaste of Home

Cran-Apple Pie

We captured the flavor and splendor of fall in this pretty lattice fruit pie.

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Walnut-Date Pumpkin Pie

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 Pie CakeTaste of Home

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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Pumpkin Pecan CustardTaste of Home

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 Pudding Pie

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

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 TiramisuTaste of Home

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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Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Pie with Sugared PecansTaste of Home

Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Pie with Sugared Pecans

This is not your typical pumpkin pie! With a smooth, creamy filling and pretty arrangement of nuts on top, it's an extra-special dessert. —Loretta Lawrence, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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Pumpkin FruitcakeTaste of Home

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

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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Dutch Cranberry-Apple Pie

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 PieTaste of Home

Persimmon Squash Pie

I created this recipe for our local persimmon festival, using homegrown squash. Make sure the persimmons are ripe! I like to use a few extra toffee bits and pecans in the garnish. —Betty Milligan, Bedford, Indiana

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Baklava CheesecakeTaste of Home

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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Butterscotch Cake

Butterscotch Cake

I get lots of compliments and recipe requests whenever I make this eye-catching cake. The filling is similar to German chocolate cake. —Judy Lamon, Louisville, Tennessee

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Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets

Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets

These adorable mini apple pie pastries make a delightful addition to a dessert buffet or snack tray. The recipe calls for convenient frozen phyllo shells, so they're surprisingly easy to prepare. The lemon curd filling adds a unique flavor twist. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York

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Chocolate Pound Cake

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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Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles

The combination of pumpkin and dark chocolate is unexpected and delectable. These delicious truffles make a pretty addition to a party plate, a sweet way to finish up a meal, or a gift your friends and family will love. —Monica Mooney, Roseville, California

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Salted Caramel Walnut TartTaste of Home

Salted Caramel Walnut Tart

It took me a while to figure out a way to convert one of my favorite ice cream flavors into a pie—one of my favorite desserts. The result took quite a few tries, but in the end, it was so worth it. —Ruth Ealy, Plain City, Ohio

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Cranberry-Cherry Nut PieTaste of Home

Cranberry-Cherry Nut Pie

This delightful, stress-free pie combines cranberries with convenient cherry pie filling for a fresh, fun flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pear Tart

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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Sweet Potato Cheesecake BarsTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars

Your whole house will be filled with the aroma of pumpkin spice when you bake these wonderful sweet potato cheesecake bars. They look complicated but are so easy, you can whip up a batch anytime. —Nancy Whitford, Edwards, New York

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Praline Pumpkin TorteTaste of Home

Praline Pumpkin Torte

Homemade pralines, big poufs of whipped cream and spiced cake make this torte decadent to the last bite. It's perfect for an autumn day. —Esther Sinn, Princeton, Illinois

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Gingersnap Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Gingersnap Pumpkin Cake

It just so happened that on the first day that really felt like fall, we were getting together with friends. I had to make this pumpkin cake. —Koni Brewer, Fort Worth, Texas

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Pumpkin Mousse TrifleTaste of Home

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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Cranberry Pineapple Upside-Down CakeTaste of Home

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

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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Squash Custard PieTaste of Home

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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Fluffy Cranberry DelightTaste of Home

Fluffy Cranberry Delight

This was originally my daughter's recipe, and she or I will make it for one or more of our holiday get-togethers. It can be served as a fruit salad along with the meal or as a light dessert. It's particularly pretty in a cut-glass bowl on a buffet. —Ruth Bolduc, Conway, New Hampshire

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Salted Pecan Shortbread SquaresTaste of Home

Salted Pecan Shortbread Squares

My shortbread squares are the ultimate go-to for cookie trays and gift-giving. The buttery caramel and toasted nuts make it tough to eat just one. —Diana Ashcraft, Monmouth, Oregon

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Cherry Pear PieTaste of Home

Cherry Pear Pie

Two of my family's favorite fruits appear in this splendid pie with a nutty streusel topping. I like to serve slices with cherry-vanilla frozen yogurt.—Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Caramel Nut Tart

Caramel Nut Tart

My mom loves caramel, nuts and cream cheese, so when I found this tart recipe I knew I had to try it. Now the dessert is a family favorite and it is served at every get-together. —Donna Urban, Glenolden, Pennsylvania

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Walnut-Filled Pillows

Walnut-Filled Pillows

These tender cookie pillows, filled with a delicious walnut mixture, are my husband's favorite. He says it wouldn't be Christmas without them. —Nancy Kostrej, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

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Toffee-Pear Crisp Bread PuddingTaste of Home

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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Honey Pecan CheesecakeTaste of Home

Honey Pecan Cheesecake

Birthdays and holidays are great times for cheesecake, and Christmas is ideal for this particular one. In our annual church bake-off, it won first place! —Tish Frish, Hampden, Maine

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Frozen Pumpkin Mousse PieTaste of Home

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie

The fluffed filling in this mouthwatering pie forms beautiful peaks and is nutmeg-colored. Rich and creamy, this popular dessert tastes so good with its buttery graham cracker crust. —Sheila Bradshaw, Powell, Ohio

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Sweet Potato Cream Cheese BarsTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bars

If you're looking for something other than pumpkin, these sweet potato bars are a yummy alternative. Make them ahead—they're even better refrigerated overnight. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas

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Butternut-Sweet Potato PieTaste of Home

Butternut-Sweet Potato Pie

If you're looking for a memorable dessert, this custardlike pie will certainly fit the bill. It's super easy to put together and slices like a dream. —Mary Ann Dell, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

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Maple Peanut Butter PieTaste of Home

Maple Peanut Butter Pie

Maple nut goodies have been a favorite candy of mine since I was a child, and I think the flavors taste just as great in a pie! This pie freezes well, too—just take it out to thaw 30 minutes before serving. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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 nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.