As Thanksgiving approaches, the anticipation of indulging in a feast of traditional dishes fills the air. While pies often steal the spotlight during this festive occasion, there’s a world of delectable desserts beyond the pastry crust.
For those looking to switch things up and surprise their taste buds, we’ve curated a list of the best non-pie Thanksgiving desserts that will leave your guests craving more.
1. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
What’s Thanksgiving without a touch of pumpkin? Elevate the classic pumpkin flavor by serving up pumpkin cheesecake bars. The creamy texture of the cheesecake complements the spiced pumpkin layer, creating a harmonious blend of fall-inspired goodness. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dollop of whipped cream for an extra touch of indulgence.
2. Apple Crisp
Celebrate the bounty of fall with a comforting apple crisp. This dessert captures the essence of a traditional apple pie without the fuss of a pie crust. Sliced apples, tossed in warm spices, are topped with a crunchy oat and brown sugar crumble. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a heavenly combination of textures and flavors.
3. Pecan Bars
Pecan pie lovers will adore the portable and shareable version – pecan bars. A buttery shortbread crust serves as the perfect base for a gooey pecan filling. The nutty richness combined with the sweet caramel-like layer creates a dessert that’s both familiar and exciting. These bars are a convenient way to enjoy the essence of pecan pie without the need for utensils.
4. Maple Bourbon Blondies
Infuse a touch of sophistication into your Thanksgiving dessert spread with maple bourbon blondies. These rich, buttery bars are elevated with the warmth of bourbon and the sweetness of pure maple syrup. The result is a decadent treat that’s sure to be a hit among adults. Consider adding a sprinkle of sea salt on top to enhance the complexity of flavors.
5. Cranberry Orange Trifle
For a light and refreshing Thanksgiving dessert, consider assembling a cranberry orange trifle. Layers of fluffy sponge cake, zesty orange custard, and tart cranberry compote create a visually stunning and palate-pleasing dessert. The balance of sweetness and acidity makes this trifle a delightful way to end a hearty Thanksgiving meal.
6. Sweet Potato Cupcakes
While sweet potatoes often find their place on the Thanksgiving dinner table in savory dishes, they can also shine in dessert form. Sweet potato cupcakes offer a unique twist on the classic Thanksgiving flavor. Moist and spiced cupcakes, topped with cream cheese frosting, capture the essence of sweet potato casserole in a handheld treat.
7. Chocolate Pecan Tart
Combine the richness of chocolate with the nutty goodness of pecans in a chocolate pecan tart. This dessert is a luxurious alternative to traditional pecan pie, featuring a flaky tart crust filled with a velvety chocolate and pecan filling. The contrast of textures and flavors makes it a standout addition to any Thanksgiving dessert lineup.
8. Pumpkin Mousse
Lighten up the Thanksgiving dessert table with a luscious pumpkin mousse. This airy and creamy dessert captures the essence of pumpkin pie in a spoonable form. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg or a swirl of whipped cream for an elegant presentation. Served in individual glasses, pumpkin mousse is both visually appealing and a breeze to portion.
9. Caramel Apple Hand Pies
For a fun and portable twist on the classic apple pie, consider baking caramel apple hand pies. These handheld treats feature a flaky pastry filled with cinnamon-spiced apples and gooey caramel. The individual portions make them ideal for a Thanksgiving gathering, allowing guests to enjoy the perfect ratio of crust to filling with every bite.
10. Chocolate Hazelnut Torte
Indulge your chocolate cravings with a sophisticated chocolate hazelnut torte. This flourless dessert is a dense and fudgy masterpiece, combining the rich flavors of chocolate and hazelnuts. A smooth ganache glaze adds a layer of indulgence, making it a decadent way to round off your Thanksgiving feast.
This Thanksgiving, break away from tradition and surprise your guests with a delightful array of non-pie desserts. From creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars to the sophisticated chocolate hazelnut torte, these alternatives offer a fresh perspective on classic flavors. Whether you’re a fan of fruity trifles, nutty bars, or spiced cupcakes, there’s a non-pie dessert that’s sure to satisfy every sweet tooth at your Thanksgiving table.
Embrace the creativity in the kitchen and make this holiday season one to remember with these delicious and diverse Thanksgiving desserts.