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The Best Thanksgiving Desserts (That Aren’t Pie)

It may be traditional to have a slice of pie (or three) after Thanksgiving dinner, but sometimes change is good! These Thanksgiving desserts are decidedly NOT pie, but they're no less delicious and special!

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Oma’s Apfelkuchen (Grandma’s Apple Cake)

My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to “Grandma’s apple cake.” They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio

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Chocolate Ganache Pumpkin TartTaste of Home

Chocolate Ganache Pumpkin Tart

I love the flavor combination of spiced pumpkin and chocolate, which inspired me to create this chocolate pumpkin tart. Sometimes I like to sprinkle chopped crystallized ginger over the chocolate ganache for extra flavor and texture. —Bernice Janowski, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

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Easy Apple CrispTaste of Home

Easy Apple Crisp

Here’s an easy apple crisp! This is a delicious dessert perfect for young cooks to prepare. It’s super simple to make since there’s no crust—just a crumbly topping. Plus, with apples and oats, it’s a wholesome treat. —Sheri Hatten, Devil’s Lake, North Dakota

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Maple Walnut Cake

Maple Walnut Cake

This maple-flavored cake with candied walnuts honors my grandpa, who made maple syrup. —Lori Fee, Middlesex, New York

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Slow-Cooked Pumpkin Apple Cobbler

Slow-Cooked Pumpkin Apple Cobbler

This spiced pumpkin apple cobbler recipe is sure to please all of your holiday guests. It's perfect for fall, but can be made year-round since it uses fresh or frozen cranberries. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Pumpkin Creme BruleeTaste of Home

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

I've never met a creme brulee that I didn't love! I'm not a big pumpkin fan, but this is fantastic. —Tamara Leonard Merritt, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Cheesecake Pumpkin DessertTaste of Home

Cheesecake Pumpkin Dessert

My family requests this dessert each Thanksgiving. For a change of pace, I sometimes use cinnamon graham crackers instead of plain ones.
—Melissa Davis, Clermont, Florida

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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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Pumpkin Cream TiramisuTaste of Home

Pumpkin Cream Tiramisu

Pumpkin isn’t only for pies. Now you can take the classic fall vegetable and enjoy it in a tiramisu-style dessert. I promise after one bite, you’ll add this recipe to keeper files. —Pam Peters, Fernie, British Columbia

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Upside-Down Pumpkin Pecan Tarts

Upside-Down Pumpkin Pecan Tarts

These treats are a great twist on pumpkin pie, and can be prepared a day ahead. You’ll love the flaky phyllo combined with the rich pumpkin filling. —Darlene Buerger, Peoria, Arizona

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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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Air-Fryer Honeyed Pears in Puff PastryTaste of Home

Air-Fryer Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry

This cozy dessert looks both elegant and decadent. Wrapped in puff pastry, the pears resemble little beehives. —Heather Baird, Knoxville, Tennessee

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Pumpkin Rugelach with Cream Cheese IcingTaste of Home

Pumpkin Rugelach with Cream Cheese Icing

This pumpkin rugelach recipe with a rich cream cheese icing is my twist on this classic pastry. The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated, which makes the recipe ideal for the busy holiday season. —Justine Duffy, Wooster, Ohio

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Pumpkin CharlotteTaste of Home

Pumpkin Charlotte

My mother-in-law gave me this recipe a while back and I just love it! I make it for my husband and his friends during hunting season and it's a big hit. —Lorelle Edgcomb, Granville, Illinois

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Chocolate-Caramel Pumpkin TorteTaste of Home

Chocolate-Caramel Pumpkin Torte

I’m pretty proud to say this is one of my first experiments in the kitchen that turned out “to-die-for” delicious. The key is to let the cake cool completely before cutting and assembling with the frostings. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon

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Heavenly Praline CakeTaste of Home

Heavenly Praline Cake

A moist cake and generous frosting are filled with the fabulous flavor of caramel. The candied pecans are almost a dessert by themselves!—Jennifer Rodriguez, Midland, Texas

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Pumpkin Ice Cream RollTaste of Home

Pumpkin Ice Cream Roll

This wonderfully light dessert is our standby at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The hint of pumpkin and the refreshing ice cream make a most delicious after-dinner treat. —Gayle Lewis, Yucaipa, California

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Air-Fryer Apple FrittersTaste of Home

Air-Fryer Apple Fritters

These easy air-fryer apple fritters with brown butter glaze are healthier than old-fashioned fritters, yet they are still as delicious. Plus they’re made in under 30 minutes for a quick and easy air-fryer dessert! — Alyssa Castriotta, North Scituate, Rhode Island

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Apple and Squash CrispTaste of Home

Apple and Squash Crisp

Someone brought this crisp to a parish dinner at my church. I asked for the recipe, and now I make this yummy dessert all the time. —Therese Butler, Ijamsville, Maryland

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Carrot-Cranberry Spice CakeTaste of Home

Carrot-Cranberry Spice Cake

I love carrot cake and those made with cranberries. Using leftover cranberry sauce, I add carrots to make one marvelous cake that’s tangy and sweet. —Elizabeth King, Duluth, Minnesota

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Butter Pecan Cheesecake

Butter Pecan Cheesecake

Fall always makes me yearn for this pecan cheesecake, but it’s delicious in any season. You’ll want to put it on your list of favorite holiday desserts. —Laura Sylvester, Mechanicsville, Virginia

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Spiced Pumpkin Tiramisu

Spiced Pumpkin Tiramisu

I added pumpkin and subtracted some of the coffee flavor in a tiramisu I developed for a special holiday dinner. A new tradition was born! —Heather Clary, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

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Nectarine Plum CobblerTaste of Home

Nectarine Plum Cobbler

I live in northern Manitoba, where fresh nectarines and plums are usually available only at summer’s end. So I make up the fruit filling and freeze it for use all winter. My family really enjoys this nectarine cobbler and it’s wonderful topped with vanilla ice cream. —Darlene Jackson, The Pas, Manitoba

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Apple Gingerbread Skillet CakeTaste of Home

Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake

This gingerbread recipe came from my grandmother, and we always ate it with warm applesauce. I adapted it into a one-pan dessert by layering the apples around the bottom of a cast-iron skillet and topping them with the gingerbread batter. The skillet creates a wonderfully thick crust on the gingerbread. —Mary M. Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina

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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread PuddingTaste of Home

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding

Savor your favorite fall flavors with this scrumptious bread pudding, served warm with a sweet vanilla sauce. Yum! —Judith Bucciarelli, Johnson, New York

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Cinnamon-Caramel Peanut Butter TartTaste of Home

Cinnamon-Caramel Peanut Butter Tart

Peanut butter and cinnamon create a unique, upscale flavor combination. This rich and creamy creation is one of my daughter’s favorites. Keep copies of the recipe handy—everyone wants it. —Mary Hawkes, Prescott, Arizona

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Pumpkin Spice CakeTaste of Home

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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Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars

These pecan pie bars are rich and delicious – just like pecan pie! They’re perfect for gatherings…I always come home with an empty pan. —Carolyn Custer, Clifton Park, New York

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Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

For our first Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, I wanted to bring a special dish and decided I couldn’t go wrong with a dessert that combines cheesecake and pumpkin pie. It was a huge success!—Jodi Gobrecht, Bucyrus, Ohio

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Quinoa, Fresh Fig and Honey-Balsamic ParfaitTaste of Home

Quinoa, Fresh Fig and Honey-Balsamic Parfait

This quinoa yogurt parfait is special to me because of its wholesome ingredients. Quinoa is gluten-free, which is good for those who have food allergies, like my daughter. And I love fresh ripe figs when they are in season. Enjoy this for breakfast or dessert. —Dawn Hutchins, St. Johns, Florida

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Pumpkin Fudge

Pumpkin Fudge

I look forward to the taste of pumpkin every Thanksgiving. This easy pumpkin fudge recipe lets me do that and everyone loves it.—Marlene Fudge, Rushville, Indiana

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Pear Bundt CakeTaste of Home

Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota

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Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread PuddingTaste of Home

Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread Pudding

For fans of pumpkin and bread pudding, this sensible recipe is a marriage made in Heaven. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert with a dollop of yogurt—autumn comfort food at its best! —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina

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Caramel Apple StrudelTaste of Home

Caramel Apple Strudel

My father, who was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, would tell us stories about how his mother covered all the kitchen counters with dough whenever she made apple strudel. This recipe is a modern, delicious way to carry on part of my family's heritage. —Sarah Haengel, Bowie, Maryland

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Fluffy Raisin Pumpkin BarsTaste of Home

Fluffy Raisin Pumpkin Bars

Chocolate-covered raisins are a fun surprise inside these moist pumpkin bars. The traditional cream cheese frosting never fails to please. —Margaret Wilson, San Bernardino, California

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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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Pumpkin Spice CustardTaste of Home

Pumpkin Spice Custard

We love this traditional Crock-Pot pumpkin spice custard. The added espresso powder gives it a latte effect! —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon

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Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow BarsTaste of Home

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

I’ve been asked to share this marshmallow chocolate bar recipe more than any other in my collection. It’s a longtime favorite of our three daughters. How many times we’ve all made these, I can’t count. — Esther Shank, Harrisonville, Virginia

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Rustic Orange-Rhubarb TartTaste of Home

Rustic Orange-Rhubarb Tart

This rustic rhubarb and orange tart is the perfect light dessert. We love it with fresh rhubarb in the spring, but it also tastes fantastic with frozen fruit. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Gingerbread Pumpkin TrifleTaste of Home

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle

I like to spice up our Thanksgiving dinner with this special dessert featuring two popular holiday flavors. A delicious alternative to pumpkin pie. —Deborah F. Hahn, Belle, Missouri

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Spiced Cranberry Crisp CakeTaste of Home

Spiced Cranberry Crisp Cake

This cake is a cross between a fruit crisp and a moist cake. We love the festive cranberry filling with its sweet-tangy flavor and the combination of soft cake, tender fruit and crunchy topping. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California

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Ginger Tea Pumpkin CustardTaste of Home

Ginger Tea Pumpkin Custard

I created this recipe when I was first attending photography school. I realized I didn’t have any of my usual spices, so out came the ginger tea. The result was wonderful and subtle. Even though I missed my kitchen at home, it was nice to have this comforting pumpkin custard. —Rhonda Adkins, Great Falls, Montana

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Southern Sweet Potato TartTaste of Home

Southern Sweet Potato Tart

We love sweet potatoes, so I try to incorporate them in as many dishes as I can. My secret ingredient in this sweet potato tart is the bourbon—it’s what makes it so delicious. —Marie Bruno, Greensboro, Georgia

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Orange Cranberry Cookie BarsTaste of Home

Orange Cranberry Cookie Bars

These cranberry cookie bars combine two beloved holiday flavors and top a delicious soft crust with cream cheese icing. We enjoy these during the holiday season. —Jennifer Blakely, Visalia, California

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Cranberry-Apple Nut CrunchTaste of Home

Cranberry-Apple Nut Crunch

This dessert is especially pretty and appropriate for the holidays. I updated my mother's recipe using instant oatmeal to make it even easier to fix. —Joyce Sheets, Lafayette, Indiana

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Pumpkin Mousse

Pumpkin Mousse

If you’ve had your fill of pumpkin pie, this cool and creamy pumpkin mousse is perfect for you. Its light and fluffy texture won’t make you feel “stuffed” after your favorite turkey dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.