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30 Light Thanksgiving Desserts

From fresh takes on holiday classics to light and comforting fall treats, even your pickiest guests won't believe these delicious Thanksgiving desserts are made with a healthy twist!

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Orange Pumpkin Chiffon Dessert

When pumpkin season rolls around, I like to find new ways to enjoy it in almost all my cooking. This creamy dessert feels so festive this time of year—it gives you classic pumpkin pie flavor with just a kiss of orange. —Donna Roberts, Manhattan, Kansas

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Pumpkin Brownies Exps Ft21 264850 F 1007 1 8

Pumpkin Brownies

Chocolate and pumpkin pair up to make a family-favorite fall dessert. These pumpkin brownies are fantastic for parties and picnics. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie

Even those on restricted diets should be able to enjoy a good piece of pie once in a while. This creamy, wonderful sugar-free pumpkin pie is a treat for the whole family. Folks are shocked to discover it’s sugar-free and low in fat. —Marijean Ackers, Riverside, California
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Air-Fryer Apple Fritters

An air fryer makes these easy apple fritters healthier than old-fashioned fritters, yet they are still just as delicious. They’re a quick and easy dessert that includes a scrumptious brown butter glaze! —Alyssa Castriotta, North Scituate, Rhode Island
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Swedish Apple Pie

This decadent apple pie serves up homemade flavor in every bite. This is a perfect snack with coffee or as an after-dinner treat. —Sarah Klier, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Butterscotch Pears

This grand finale simmers during dinner and impresses as soon as you bring it to the table. Serve as is, or with vanilla ice cream and a slice of pound cake. Leftover pear nectar is heavenly when added to sparkling wine or simply poured over ice. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California
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Classic Pumpkin Pie

Nothing says Thanksgiving like a slice of pie. And you can relish every luscious bite of this pumpkin pie recipe since the tender crust is made with canola oil and a mere hint of butter. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Crunchy Apricot-Coconut Balls

My Mom gave me this no-bake cookie recipe years ago when she had them on her Christmas buffet. I can’t believe how simple they are to make.—Jane McMillan, Dania Beach, Florida
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Blood Orange Upside Down Cupcakes Exps Rc21 261712 B07 21 10b

Upside-Down Blood Orange Cupcakes

Making blood orange cupcakes is my favorite way to use fresh blood oranges. I start with a cake mix and bump up the flavor with essential oil. No one knows these cupcakes are not from scratch. —Monica Chadha, Fremont, California
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Sweet Potato Cranberry Cake

This convenient recipe uses items you have in your pantry, like sweet potatoes, cranberries, coconut and chocolate chips. Everyone will enjoy this delicious dessert! —Amie Valpone, New York, New York
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Cocoa Meringues with Berries

Meringues can be challenging on a humid day, but if you’re really craving one, meringues can be purchased at your favorite bakery. Add this sweet sauce, and you’re all set! —Raymonde Bourgeois, Swastika, Ontario
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Butternut Harvest Pies

This egg and dairy-free pie is a great alternative to standard pumpkin pie! We love to make the pies with squash from our garden. Feel free to add more of your favorite spices! You’ll be glad the recipe makes two. —Juliana Thetford, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
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Creamy Butterscotch Pudding for 2

One day when I had a craving for something homemade, I tried from-scratch pudding. It’s much better than the store-bought kind! —EMR, tasteofhome.com
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Must-Have Tiramisu

This is the perfect guilt-free version of a classic dessert. My friends even say that they prefer my lighter recipe over other tiramisu. —Ale Gambini, Beverly Hills, California
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Cinnamon Roll Macarons

These macarons are a fall and winter staple for me. Inspired by the classic cinnamon roll, they are a delicious treat for a cold or snowy day. These pair well with a mug of tea, and can be eaten as a dessert or just a snack. Other fillings would taste great with this—including custard, mousse, ganache or other buttercream. —Elizabeth Ding, El Cerrito, California
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Cran-Apple Praline Gingerbread

Start with a spice-rich batter poured atop apples and cranberries in a creamy caramel sauce, then invert when done baking for a topsy-turvy dessert that’s a real beauty. The old-time holiday taste will delight family and friends! —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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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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Yogurt-Ricotta Cheesecake

I have always liked Italian ricotta cheesecakes, but they have too much sugar for me. I made a light version, and my family couldn’t even tell the difference! I serve mine with sugar-free strawberry ice cream topping and fresh strawberries. —Diane Shipley, Mentor, Ohio
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Maple-Bacon Rice Krispies Treats

Sweet with a touch of smoky flavor, these maple-bacon Rice Krispies Treats will make you fall in love with this classic flavor combo even more. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Easy Apple Strudel

My family always loves it when I make this wonderful dessert. Old-fashioned strudel was too fattening and time-consuming, but this revised classic is just as good. It’s best served warm from the oven. —Joanie Fuson, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Pressure-Cooker Cranberry Stuffed Apples

Cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts add a homey autumn flavor to these stuffed apples. What a lovely old-fashioned treat! —Grace Sandvigen, Rochester, New York
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Chai-Spiced Bread Pudding

Nothing says the holidays to me more than the warming spices of chai. This bread pudding incorporates those flavors to make a dessert that everyone raves about. —Jessie Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Oatmeal Cake with Caramel Icing

This oatmeal cake recipe tastes anything but light. The caramel icing sets up quick, so frost the cake immediately after it cools. —Summer Marks, Louisville, Kentucky
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Spiced Persimmon Ice Cream

Developing new flavors of ice cream is a passion of mine and there are very few ingredients that I won’t experiment with. This creation was inspired by a great persimmon cookie recipe that I have. —Cleo Gonske, Redding, California
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Mocha-Walnut Macarons

These mocha macarons perfectly capture the chocolate, nutty flavor of my favorite gourmet coffee. Store in an airtight container. —Christine Venzon, Peoria, Illinois
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Sweet Potato Frozen Yogurt Pops

Once I had my little girl I quickly became really creative in the kitchen, needing to have healthy foods on hand. These frozen treats turned out to be a favorite and are a staple in our home. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Soft Honey Cookies

These old-fashioned honey cookies have a subtle honey-cinnamon flavor and a tender texture. This recipe has been a favorite in my family for years and now it can be one at your house, too. —Rochelle Friedman, Brooklyn, New York
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Mocha Nut Roll

I’ve enjoyed this dessert several times at a friend’s house, and it never ceases to be delightful. The tender, impressive cake is the ultimate indulgence for anyone who loves coffee or chocolate! —Susan Bettinger, Battle Creek, Michigan
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Dark Chocolate Espresso Tapioca Pudding

I’ve been experimenting with espresso powder in different dishes. I really enjoy this chocolate tapioca pudding, and I hope you do, too! —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Pumpkin Crumble

I created this tasty pumpkin crumble dessert on a rainy fall afternoon while my son was taking a nap. It filled the house with a wonderful aroma, and I was able to make it with ingredients that I already had in my pantry. Stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the filling for a change of pace. —Sarah Graham, Independence, Missouri

Hannah Pugh
Hannah Pugh is an Assistant Editor for Taste of Home. She focuses on writing affiliate content product reviews, newsletters and recipe collections. In her free time, she can be found sipping coffee at cafes, reading or rock climbing with her husband.