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The Best Thanksgiving Dessert from Every State

Fill your dessert table with nothing but the best! These are the top-rated Thanksgiving desserts from each state.

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Alabama: Butterscotch Pumpkin MousseTaste of Home

Alabama: Butterscotch Pumpkin Mousse

Guests savor every creamy, spoonful of this spiced autumn dessert. It tastes so good, no one guesses that it's actually low in fat. —Patricia Sidloskas, Anniston, Alabama

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Alaska: Festive Cranberry Cake

Each fall here in Alaska, an abundant crop of wild cranberries is ripe for cooking. This cake, a favorite in my family, makes good use of the harvest. What's more, since you can prepare it the night before your Thanksgiving celebration, this recipe is a real time-saver at a hectic time of year. —Gladys Wilson, Anchorage, Alaska

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Arizona: Caramel-Pecan Apple PieTaste of Home

Arizona: Caramel-Pecan Apple Pie

You'll love the smell in your kitchen—and the smiles on everybody's faces—when you make this scrumptious caramel apple pie recipe. It takes me back home to Virginia and being at my granny's table. —Jean Castro, Phoenix, Arizona

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Arkansas: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sour Cream ToppingTaste of Home

Arkansas: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

Instead of a traditional pie, I like to surprise holiday guests with a silky cheesecake. Make it a day ahead and let it chill overnight. It's one less thing you'll have to make on the big day. —Dorothy Smith, El Dorado, Arkansas

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California: Chunky Apple CakeTaste of Home

California: Chunky Apple Cake

After taste testing apple cake recipes, I've found this particular recipe the best. Full of old-world comfort, the yummy brown sugar sauce really makes the cake special. For a festive occasion, top with a dollop of whipped cream. —Debi Benson, Bakersfield, California

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Colorado: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a wonderful recipe I discovered and changed a bit to suit my taste. I love the flavor of pumpkin and the cinnamon makes ordinary cream cheese frosting extra special. When I made a batch for my husband to take to work, he said they disappeared in record time. —Debbie Wiggins, Longmont, Colorado

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Connecticut: Nantucket Cranberry TartTaste of Home

Connecticut: 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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Delaware: Lemony Sweet Potato Pie

Delaware: Lemony Sweet Potato Pie

For a finger-licking finale to any holiday meal, I turn to this light and luscious sweet potato pie laced with just a hint of lemon. Funny how folks always seem able to find room for this delectable dessert! —Peggy West, Georgetown, Delaware

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Florida: Purple-Ribbon Pumpkin Cake

I belong to a Christmas village collectors' club and we all bring a potluck dish to our monthy meetings. The cake is always a hit. It's one of my family's favorite Thanksgiving desserts, too, and disappears before the pumpkin pie does. —Debby Powers, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

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Georgia: William Tell's Never-Miss Apple Cake

I bake my family-favorite fall cake to usher in this abundant season. It looks so luscious that eating one piece is nearly impossible. —Jamie Jones, Madison, Georgia

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Hawaii: Trail Mix ClustersTaste of Home

Hawaii: Trail Mix Clusters

These delicious snacks make wonderful gifts, and although they look and taste like they came from an expensive chocolate shop, they couldn't be more guilt-free. The dried fruit and nuts are heart-healthy and full of fiber. Bet you can't eat just one! —Alina Niemi, Honolulu, Hawaii

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Idaho: Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin Flan

I love pumpkin and decided to add it to a traditional recipe for flan. It's an interesting change of pace from the usual holiday pie. —Alisha Rodrigues, Tetonia, Idaho

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Illinois: Pumpkin Cheesecake DeluxeTaste of Home

Illinois: Pumpkin Cheesecake Deluxe

I developed this recipe out of my love for cheesecake and my family's love for pumpkin pie. I made it for Thanksgiving and every morsel was devoured. My family wished I had made two! —Andrea Quiroz, Chicago, Illinois

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Indiana: Apple Dumpling BakeTaste of Home

Indiana: Apple Dumpling Bake

I received this recipe for baked apple dumplings with Mountain Dew from a friend of mine, then tweaked it to suit my family's tastes. The soda is definitely the secret ingredient in this rich apple dessert. —Chris Shields, Monrovia, Indiana

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Iowa: Apple Crumble PieTaste of Home

Iowa: Apple Crumble Pie

The crumb topping of this apple crumb pie recipe is awesome, which may explain why dessert always disappears fast. Or maybe it's the chunky apple filling. Either way, it's a family tradition. —Vera Brouwer, Maurice, Iowa

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Kansas: Contest-Winning Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

A touch of cinnamon helps blend the flavors in this tender pumpkin chocolate chip bread. And since the recipe makes two loaves, you can send one to a bake sale and keep one at home for your family to enjoy. —Lora Stanley, Bennington, Kansas

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Kentucky: Cran-Apple Pecan CrispTaste of Home

Kentucky: Cran-Apple Pecan Crisp

Even folks who claim not to like cranberries rave about this dish. I cherish the recipe from my mother, who inspired my love of cooking. —Debbie Daly, Florence, Kentucky

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Louisiana: Carrot Cake with Pecan Frosting

My husband constantly requests this homey, old-fashioned version of carrot cake. The frosting is still tasty even without the pecans. —Adrian Badon, Denham Springs, Louisiana

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Maine: Glazed Apple-Maple Blondies

My 6-year-old son and I conjured up this recipe to use up the last of the apples we picked from the local apple orchard. Serve it with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. —Heather Bates, Athens, Maine

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Maryland: Pecan Goody CupsTaste of Home

Maryland: Pecan Goody Cups

These miniature tarts feature whole pecans, a caramel-like filling, and a butter and cream cheese crust that melts right in your mouth. —Janice Hose, Hagerstown, Maryland

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Massachusetts: Deep-Dish Apple Pie

Massachusetts: Deep-Dish Apple Pie

This recipe is a winner! The crust is so flaky and the filling is sure to please everyone. —Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, Massachusetts

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Michigan: Cranberry Cookies with Browned Butter GlazeTaste of Home

Michigan: Cranberry Cookies with Browned Butter Glaze

I won a baking contest with these chunky glazed cookies that are so easy, even novice bakers can pull them off. What makes them special? Fresh cranberries. —Laurie Cornett, Charlevoix, Michigan

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Minnesota: Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake

Minnesota: Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake

Over the years, this has become my favorite recipe for pumpkin cheesecake. It has a unique gingersnap crust and rich, luscious swirls of cheesecake and pumpkin. If you want something extra special for the holidays, you have to try this recipe. —Sharon Skildum, Maple Grove, Minnesota

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Mississippi: Pumpkin Bread Pudding with White Chocolate SauceTaste of Home

Mississippi: Pumpkin Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Sauce

This old-fashioned treat is so warm and comforting on chilly evenings. Pumpkin gives it great seasonal appeal, and the white chocolate sauce makes it even more irresistible. —Shirley Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

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Missouri: Pumpkin-Butterscotch Gingerbread TrifleTaste of Home

Missouri: Pumpkin-Butterscotch Gingerbread Trifle

There's more to pumpkin than pie, as this impressive trifle proves. It looks so elegant with alternating layers of gingerbread cake and pumpkin/butterscotch pudding. Try making it ahead of time for a fuss-free dessert when you're planning to entertain guests. —Lyla Lehenbauer, New London, Missouri

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Montana: Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

The aroma of baking gingerbread stirs up such warm memories. This cake looks festive and is even on the lighter side. —Nancy Beckman, Helena, Montana

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Nebraska: Pumpkin Chip Cookies

Nebraska: Pumpkin Chip Cookies

These golden cakelike cookies are my favorite, especially around the holidays. They disappear quickly from my dessert trays. The subtle pumpkin and cinnamon flavors pair nicely with chocolate chips. —Tami Burroughs, Salem, Oregon

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Nevada: Gingersnap Rum Apple Crisp

My mother makes incredible apple crisp, and I've added a few twists of my own. We think it's best warm with vanilla ice cream. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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New Hampshire: Pumpkin Pie CakeTaste of Home

New Hampshire: 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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New Jersey: Maple Carrot Cupcakes

I come from a line of family cooks and have liked to cook and bake since I was young. Mother and Grandmom were always in the kitchen cooking up something delicious. These carrot cupcakes were Grandmom's specialty, and we always have them at family gatherings. —Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio, Vineland, New Jersey

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New Mexico: Contest-Winning German Chocolate Pie

Thanksgiving dinner at our house includes an average of 25 guests and a dozen different pies. This one has all the luscious flavor of German chocolate cake. A friend who tried it told me he wanted it to be his birthday pie from now on.—Debbie Clay, Farmington, New Mexico

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New York: Classic Sweet Potato Pie

This simple but special deep-dish pie provides a down-home finish to hearty autumn meals. Pecans and pumpkin pie spices make this a comforting seasonal classic. —Paul Azzone, Shoreham, New York

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North Carolina: 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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North Dakota: Caramel Apple CheesecakeTaste of Home

North Dakota: Caramel Apple Cheesecake

This apple cheesecake won the grand prize in an apple recipe contest. With caramel both on the bottom and over the top, every bite is sinfully delicious. —Lisa Morman, Minot, North Dakota

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Ohio: Pumpkin TorteTaste of Home

Ohio: Pumpkin Torte

This beautiful layered cake has a creamy filling with a mild pumpkin flavor and a little spice. It's quick and always turns out so well. The nuts and caramel topping add a nice finishing touch. —Trixie Fisher, Piqua, Ohio

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Oklahoma: Pumpkin Mousse TrifleTaste of Home

Oklahoma: 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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Oregon: Pretty Cranberry Coffee Cake

Oregon: Pretty Cranberry Coffee Cake

Cranberries make this coffee cake a beautiful quick bread that's perfect for the holidays. For extra shimmer, we add a drizzle of almond-flavored glaze. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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Pennsylvania: Cream-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes

Here's a charming use for pumpkin. Bursting with flavor and plenty of eye-catching appeal, these sweet and spicy filled cupcakes are bound to dazzle your family any time of the year. —Ali Johnson, Petersburg, Pennsylvania

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Rhode Island: Silky Chocolate PieTaste of Home

Rhode Island: Silky Chocolate Pie

Chocolate makes the world go round! We have a family that loves chocolate pies, and this version with a splash of brandy is smooth as silk and oh, so special. —Kathy Hewitt, Cranston, Rhode Island

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South Carolina: Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Pie with Sugared PecansTaste of Home

South Carolina: 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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South Dakota: Easy Mini Caramel Apple CheesecakesTaste of Home

South Dakota: Easy Mini Caramel Apple Cheesecakes

Cheesecake is the ultimate comfort food, but a big slice can be too rich. These bite-sized cheesecakes topped with apples and creamy caramel dazzle the senses. —Brandie Cranshaw, Rapid City, South Dakota

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Tennessee: Pumpkin Dessert BarsTaste of Home

Tennessee: Pumpkin Dessert Bars

Put a twist on traditional pumpkin pie with this recipe. It packs the spicy pumpkin flavor you love, but in a new crowd-sized form. —Tena Huckleby, Greeneville, Tennessee

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Texas: Candied Pecans

Texas: Candied Pecans

I pack these easy candied pecans in jars tied with pretty ribbon for family and friends. My granddaughter gave some to a doctor at the hospital where she works, and he said they were too good to be true! —Opal Turner, Hughes Springs, Texas

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Utah: Dipped Gingersnaps

I get tremendous satisfaction making and giving time-tested yuletide treats like these soft, chewy cookies. Dipping them in white chocolate makes much-loved gingersnaps even more special. —Laura Kimball, West Jordan, Utah

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Vermont: Maple Syrup Pie

Folks in New Hampshire apparently appreciate maple syrup almost as much as we do in Vermont. When my husband and I took a road trip through New Hampshire, we discovered this pie at a number of diners and restaurants. We loved it so much we created our own version. —Laurie Herr, Westford, Vermont

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Virginia: Contest-Winning Pumpkin Cheesecake DessertTaste of Home

Virginia: Contest-Winning Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert

With its gingersnap crust and maple syrup drizzle, this rich and creamy spiced pumpkin dessert never fails to get rave reviews. It cuts nicely, too. —Cathy Hall, Phoenix, Arizona

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Washington: Easy Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie does not have to be difficult to make. This easy Thanksgiving dessert recipe has a wonderful taste and will be a hit at your holiday meal. —Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington

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West Virginia: Graham Streusel Coffee Cake

I use this sweet coffee cake recipe often. It's quick and easy to make. —Blanche Whytsell, Arnoldsburg, West Virginia

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Wisconsin: Winning Apple CrispTaste of Home

Wisconsin: Winning Apple Crisp

I live in apple country, and a delicious crisp is one good way to use them that doesn't take a lot of time. —Gertrude Bartnick, Portage, Wisconsin

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Wyoming: Wyoming Cowboy Cookies

These cookies are very popular here in Wyoming. Mix up a batch for your crew and see why. —Patsy Steenbock, Shoshoni, Wyoming

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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