30 Dessert Lovers & Recipe Creators Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

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thanksgiving dessert tray with pumpkin cheesecakes and graham crackers with pumpkins in the background

A Thanksgiving feast isn’t complete without a delectable dessert to top off the meal. As fall approaches and Thanksgiving is near, you’re on the lookout for amazing Thanksgiving dessert ideas.

Of course, planning and preparing a big Thanksgiving feast is a lot of work. So why not choose a decadent done-for-you dessert? We offer an incredible collection of Thanksgiving desserts, from mini pumpkin cheesecakes to salted caramel apple wedges and other tasty chocolate dipped fruits, fall-themed fruit arrangements, and gift bundles featuring a little bit of all your fall favorites.

Choose a delightful fall fruit arrangement that pulls double-duty as a stunning table centerpiece. With fresh strawberries, leaf-shaped pineapple slices, cantaloupe wedges, and salted caramel apple wedges, it’s a delectable selection of fall flavors. Or, opt for a party platter or a fall favorites box filled with mini cheesecakes, chocolate dipped strawberries topped with festive orange Swizzle®, and our delicious salted caramel apple wedges. With many decadent Thanksgiving desserts to choose from, you’ll find the perfect Thanksgiving dessert the whole family will enjoy.

For more delicious Thanksgiving dessert ideas you might want to try, we put out a call for ideas and curated responses below. (Note: Edible Arrangements® is not endorsing any of the companies or ideas discussed below, but we asked for suggestions to get some different perspectives.) Keep reading to find out what the contributors who responded to our query had to say about their favorite Thanksgiving desserts.


Brandon WilkesBrandon Wilkes

Brandon Wilkes is the Marketing Manager at The Big Phone Store.

“There’s something about the sweetness of the cherries and the flaky crust that just makes me feel so happy and thankful.

I’m also a big fan of whipped cream, so I always make sure to top my cherry pie with a big dollop of it. If you’re looking for a show-stopping Thanksgiving dessert, then I highly recommend giving cherry pie a try! The combination of the sweet cherries and the rich, flaky crust is absolutely delicious, and I guarantee that your guests will be impressed. Plus, who doesn’t love a big dollop of whipped cream on their pie?”


Ashley ChubinAshley Chubin

@go_flyhi

Ashley Chubin is the COO of Flyhi delivery services.

“My absolute favorite Thanksgiving dessert ideas are anything involving pumpkins. I have recently discovered some super easy and super scrumptious recipes and can thoroughly recommend them.

Pumpkin Pie S’mores

These are so yummy and so simple to make that little ones can join in too. They’re made using ingredients that can be stored in the pantry, which I also like as it means you can stock up on supplies ahead of time. They are a little messy to eat, but a lot of fun to make and super tasty.

Pumpkin Pie with Stem Ginger Cream

This one requires a little more effort but is totally worth it. Kids can still get involved in parts of the process, and everyone enjoys eating the end result. The pumpkin brittle is a little tricky to make but looks and tastes so impressive when it’s done. The pie tastes delicious on its own, but I like adding this extra touch for something more sophisticated. The stem ginger really elevates the taste and stops the dessert from being too overly sweet. I absolutely love it and highly recommend giving it a go.”


Deniz EfeDeniz Efe

Deniz is the Founder of FitnessEquipped.com. He’s also the Former Leader of a Governmental Initiative (Cooperation with the Austrian Football Association) and a Student of Molecular Biotechnology.

“One of my favorite Thanksgiving dessert ideas is apple pie. I love the sweet and tart flavors of the apples combined with the crispy crust.

Another favorite is pumpkin pie, but I don’t want to seem like I’m just mentioning pumpkin pie because it’s a traditional Thanksgiving dessert. So, I’ll mention another favorite that isn’t as well-known: sweet potato pie!”


Nick MuellerNick Mueller

Nick Mueller is the Director of Operations of HawaiianIslands.com.

“I really can’t say no to a classic Thanksgiving pie. Pumpkin, pecan, and apple are my three favorites, but I’m always open to trying something new in this category. Pies are easy desserts to offer variety on since you can make the crusts for all of them in one batch, and the filling can be easily made ahead of time. Another good idea is to assign a different flavor of pie to each guest so that there’s more to share.”


Chelsea Mae PlummerChelsea Mae Plummer

Chelsea is a dog-loving foodie and the sole recipe developer, food photographer, Founder and content creator behind Mae’s Menu. As an aspiring intuitive eater, she believes there’s room in a healthy diet for both veggies and treats.

“One of my absolute favorite desserts to serve on Thanksgiving is dairy-free pumpkin pie! It’s a little bit healthier than traditional pie because it’s made with coconut milk, but my family never knows! After the huge family meal, it’s nice to have a slightly healthier version of traditional pumpkin pie that tastes just like the original!”


Sondra BarkerSondra Barker

@CuisineTravel

Sondra Barker is the founder of Cuisine & Travel and a culinary writer, photographer, recipe developer, and nutritionist.

“Every Thanksgiving I try to make a unique pumpkin dessert, and so far my favorite has been this Pumpkin Panna Cotta.

After a huge Thanksgiving feast, many desserts can be too heavy, but this Pumpkin Panna
Cotta was light, creamy, and the perfect ending to a wonderful meal.”


Jacquelyn KennedyJacquelyn Kennedy

Jacquelyn Kennedy is a canine behavioral specialist, professional dog trainer, and the founder and CEO of PetDT. She created PetDT to provide dog owners with a readily accessible archive of breed-specific information and experience and to act as a go-to guide to canine health, nutrition, care, and more.

“Though it might be a little nontraditional, our family’s favorite thanksgiving dessert is key lime pie. It’s an absolute classic when it comes to American desserts. It is sweet while not being overwhelmingly so, as the zingy lime flavor balances it out well. Overall, it is the perfect complement after a very filling Thanksgiving dinner!

Though there are plenty of key lime pie recipes out there, this one from Live Well Bake Often is our absolute favorite — and pretty simple too!”


Christian KjaerChristian Kjaer

Christian Kjaer is the CEO and Co-Founder of ElleVet Sciences. Prior to ElleVet Sciences, he was a senior executive at IDEXX Laboratories: President of OPTI Medical Systems; VP and GM of Water Division; and VP and GM of South Asia/Middle East/Africa Region.

“Pecan pie is one of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts.

But, if you want to add a twist, I suggest a bourbon pecan pie instead. The recipe is pretty much the same, but you add two to four tablespoons of bourbon in addition to the standard ingredients. The bourbon makes the pie even more decadent, perfect for a holiday known for its rich menu.”


Michael BellMichael Bell

Michael Bell is the Founder and CEO of Manukora. His ambition, alongside a deep passion for net-positive business, has resulted in Manukora developing into the brand of choice in the fast-growing Mānuka category.

“While most people are all about the pies on Thanksgiving, I love a moist, sweet cornbread.

All you need is flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, an egg, milk, and vegetable oil. These are ingredients that you probably already have at home. Set aside about 30 minutes to make this delicious treat and then drizzle with a generous dose of manuka honey to make it extra sweet.”


James “Jimmy” WattsJames “Jimmy” Watts

James “Jimmy” Watts is a lifelong grilling fanatic and devotee of the outdoors lifestyle. After graduating from college with an honors degree in journalism, Jimmy cut his barbecuing and smoking teeth working in the kitchens of various smokehouses in his native Texas before founding Own The Grill to combine his enduring passions, writing and cooking.

“My wife is from Georgia, and every Thanksgiving we have the same dessert, peach pie. It’s a Georgia staple, and my wife makes the best peach pie I’ve ever tasted. As I’m kind of a traditional guy and love Southern tradition, I’d always have to go with peach pie for Thanksgiving. If I didn’t, Lord knows what my wife would do to me…”


Rob GreeneRob Greene

Robert Green is a sustainability expert and the co-owner and CEO of Price of Meat, an information archive dedicated to sustainability and changing the way people think about food and its economic and environmental impact.

“By the time my family has finished the multiple main courses that we have for Thanksgiving, we’re usually close to entering a food coma. If any of us want something sweet, I usually make the 50s favorite, vanilla milkshakes.

All you need is a blender, a cup of milk, a generous scoop of ice cream, a teaspoon of vanilla, and four tablespoons of malt powder. Tip them all into the blender, switch it on, and five minutes later you’ve got your shake. Simply pour it into a glass and enjoy the sweet treat that won’t tip you over the edge and into a food coma at Thanksgiving.”


Bobby PritchardBobby Pritchard

Bobby Pritchard is the Owner and Grillmaster at Smokey Grill BBQ. Over the last 20 years, Bobby has had an extreme love and passion for backyard barbecues! He’s a professionally trained BBQ chef and runs a BBQ event business alongside his educational website.

“Nothing screams Thanksgiving quite like Pumpkin Pie — and when you do it on the grill outside, it really adds a level of poetry and wonder to the entire day.

My family absolutely loves this dessert — and we do it every year.

Mix a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice with black pepper, a dash of hot sauce, and a pinch of salt. Brush the outside of the pumpkins with melted butter, then rub with the spice mix. Place pumpkins in the center of the grill (non-fire side) directly into the crust — store-bought or homemade — on a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Baste with melted butter or olive oil. Grill for about an hour, then turn and baste with butter or olive oil. Grill for another hour, then serve with whipped cream on top.

Bonus points if you use hickory woodchips for your fire! It is absolutely magical!”


Isla ZyerIsla Zyer

Isla Zyer is a Nutritionist and Blogger at the Obesity Controller Association.

“Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving dessert ideas.

Vegan Apple-Bourbon Cake

This fall dessert is the perfect combination of a warm spiced apple cake, decadent bourbon-apple filling, and creamy cinnamon-scented buttercream.

Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Decadent and light. This vegan pumpkin pie is comfort and nostalgia in one. Plus, it’s gluten, dairy, and guilt-free.

Pumpkin Pie Parfait

This fun dessert is guilt-free and full of tropical flavors. The layer of pumpkin smoothie, crunchy granola, and coconut cream is a match made in Thanksgiving heaven.

Vegan Chocolate Pie

You won’t believe that this silky and gooey vegan chocolate pie only uses five ingredients and is so easy to make.”


Andre KazimierskiAndre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski is the CEO of Improovy Painters Plano.

“My favorite Thanksgiving Dessert is hands-down my grandmother’s chocolate pie recipe.

It’s unlike anything I’ve found in a bakery or restaurant, and I look forward to it all year long in the lead-up to the big day. It has a graham cracker crust and is filled with layers of chocolate mousse with chocolate pieces on top. A dollop of whipped cream makes it the perfect dessert.”


Heather KingHeather King

@GoGlutenFreely

Heather King is the owner of the blog GoGlutenFreely.com. Heather’s gluten-free journey began when her three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease and her own celiac diagnosis quickly followed. Raised primarily in Europe, with a love of quality food and a wanderlust that has led her around the world, Heather is dedicated to inspiring and equipping those needing to eat, connect, travel, celebrate and live “gluten-freely.”

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are my favorite Thanksgiving dessert. For years, I used to make a gorgeous pumpkin cheesecake that was beautiful and delicious, but it was So. Much. Work. Plus, if everything was not just right, there would be this giant crack in the middle of my labor of love.

Then I discovered the pumpkin cheesecake bar. It is just as yummy, but so simple and forgiving. It takes 20 minutes to make, 40 more minutes to bake and can be made and refrigerated a couple of days early, freeing up valuable time and kitchen space on Thanksgiving. As a celiac, the best part is that it is undetectably gluten-free, just by using gluten-free ginger cookies or graham crackers for the crust.”


Jod KapilakanJod Kapilakan

@Abundance1973

Jod Kapilakan the CEO of Abundance No limits, a company that deals with mental well-being and positivity and healing of the community. Jod is a certified life coach who holds knowledge and perspective in lifestyle, energy healing, health care, and fitness.

“A great Thanksgiving dessert idea is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.

This dessert will prove to be a favorite of adults and children alike. It’s made using fresh ginger and freshly baked bread. The addition of chocolate chips keeps it sweet and delicious. The pumpkin touch also adds to the festive charm.”


Matthew OsbornMatthew Osborn

Matthew Osborn is the CEO of Legionary, a site dedicated to discussing and reviewing tactical products, such as body armor and holsters. Matthew is an expert in this field and has carried out extensive research into its roots in stoicism.

“My favorite Thanksgiving dessert idea is Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie. This dish, a staple at our family’s gatherings, is tied so firmly to my memories of Thanksgiving that I am not sure if I could ever have a proper Thanksgiving without it. Here is our family recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 500g of all-butter shortcrust pastry
  • 5 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 egg beaten egg white
  • 6 dessert apples, as fresh as possible
  • 3 tablespoons of superfine white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar

How to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a sheet pan with parchment.
  2. Divide the pastry into halves, setting one half aside. Roll the other half into a large circle for your pie dish. Trim away any excess, and pop it in the fridge.
  3. Make the cinnamon roll pinwheels by mixing the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Roll out the second half of the pastry into a large rectangle. Brush the surface with egg white, and then sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll the rectangle up into a long sausage, and then slice it into disks. Move these onto the lined sheet pan, and chill in the fridge.
  4. Mix the chopped apples with a little cinnamon, white sugar, cornflour, and vinegar. Pile this into your lined pie case, laying the pinwheels on top. Brush with egg, and sprinkle with any extra sugar.
  5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes and serve with cold custard.”

Brandon LiBrandon Li

Brandon Li is the co-founder of Power which was created to allow patients to directly access up-to-date and relevant clinical trials, research, and data conducted and collated by a broad spectrum of healthcare operators and providers.

“Peach and blueberry crumble is always my go-to — both for Thanksgiving and for any other event I have to take a dessert to.

It is easy to whip up and has two of the nation’s favorite fruits in it. It is actually so fruity, it feels basically healthy — making it perfect after a very stodgy Thanksgiving feast. You can follow basically any recipe to get a great peach and blueberry crumble, though I will always recommend that you top it with crumbled up shortbread and oats, rather than the traditional topping!”


Chris MartinChris Martin

Chef Chris Martin is the Founder of Savor The Passion where he uses his 17 years of hospitality experience in the kitchen, behind the bar, and on the floor to bring value to personal chefs & dinner parties in 20+ states to make intimate events, unique, personal, and memorable.

“My ideal Thanksgiving dessert is not a classic by any means, but when you think about it, will make perfect sense.

I elect Baklava. Think about it: the nuts are perfect with turkey, and the honey in its layers pairs so well with sweet potatoes and doesn’t fight with mashed potatoes.”


Brittany KlineBrittany Kline

Brittany Kline is the owner of the blog The Savvy Kitchen where they are on a mission to help other families Eat Better, Save Money, and Waste Less.

“Thanksgiving dinner at our house just wouldn’t be the same without my pumpkin pie! I love the traditional recipe with a homemade crust.

For a fun twist on pumpkin pie, I make Pumpkin Pie Parfaits when we have a Thanksgiving potluck dinner. They are easy to make ahead of time and are always a hit!

Another favorite Thanksgiving dessert is a classic Apple Crisp. Apple Crisp perfectly combines sweet and tart, and the crumble topping is irresistible. My favorite way to serve Apple Crisp is while it is warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.”


Abbey McDermottAbbey McDermott

Abbey is the creator and foodie behind the blog, My Casual Pantry. Abbey loves casual and comfortable food — the food she shares with her family on a daily basis. She started My Casual Pantry to share her love of food with you so you can build memories with your family.

“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The season, the smells, the colors of fall — and of course the food. I’m sharing one of my favorite dessert ideas — a no-bake, make-ahead pie.

Gingersnap Icebox Pie is a delicious blend of gingersnap cookies layered with cinnamon whipped cream. The warm spiced flavors are perfect for a fall celebration. After refrigerating overnight, the cookies soften and take on a cake-like consistency. This easy, fuss-free dessert is always a crowd-pleaser!”


Jessica RandhawaJessica Randhawa

Jessica Randhawa is the head chef, recipe creator, photographer, and writer behind The Forked Spoon.

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites are made with mini bite-size pieces of cheesecake covered in a delicious chocolate shell coating.

They are the perfect Thanksgiving treat, as they are small yet satisfying for your sweet tooth after the big meal!”


Natasha Khan KaziNatasha Khan Kazi

@NatashaKhanKazi

Natasha Khan Kazi writes and illustrates books for young readers, including her debut picture book, MOON’S RAMADAN. Her creative work is rooted in empathy, diversity, and childhood joy. Natasha is the blogger behind IslamiMommy, where she shares ways to celebrate holidays from an Islamic perspective through arts & crafts.

“Our family loves making fruit cornucopias for Thanksgiving. The ingredients include waffle cones, white chocolate chips, and assorted fresh fruit. This dessert can be made in a few simple steps.

First, we make the pointed ends of our waffle cones curved like a cornucopia. After dunking the ends of the cones into a bowl of water for a few seconds, we microwave the cone for about 20 seconds to soften. That makes it pliable enough to bend slightly.

While the cone is drying. We microwave a bowl of white chocolate chips. When it’s at a nice gooey consistency, we dip the opening of the waffle cone into the white chocolate. Lastly, fill the cornucopia with fresh fruit. Cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapes are a favorite in our home.”


Fred BakerFred Baker

Fred Baker is the Senior Travel Editor of Travelness.

“When it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, I always like to do something a little bit different.

After all, the holiday is all about tradition, so why not mix things up with a new twist on an old favorite? Here are three of my favorite Thanksgiving dessert ideas:

  1. Pumpkin Pie Bars: These easy-to-make bars are a delicious alternative to traditional pumpkin pie. Simply bake a pumpkin pie filling in a shortbread crust, then cut it into bars and enjoy!
  2. Cranberry Cheesecake: This rich and creamy cheesecake is the perfect way to show off seasonal cranberries. The tart berries are a perfect balance to the sweet cheesecake filling.
  3. Maple Pecan Pie: This classic pie gets a seasonal twist with the addition of maple syrup. The rich syrup enhances the flavor of the pecans and gives the pie a truly unique flavor.

So if you’re looking for something a little bit different this Thanksgiving, give one of these recipes a try!”


Amy WeiherAmy Weiher

Amy Weiher is the Founder and Creative Director at Weiher Creative.

“It might not be considered traditional, but I love making a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving.

I tried the recipe on a whim several years ago, and it was so popular that I am no longer allowed to show up without it. The secret to the best pumpkin cheesecake is to spice your graham cracker crust with pumpkin pie spices.

The cheesecake cuts down on the spice taste, so you don’t get the normal pumpkin pie flavors as strongly in the cheesecake. Adding those spices to your crust will make those flavors that we all love and equate with Thanksgiving come through stronger.”


Dr. Alice WilliamsDr. Alice Williams

Alice Williams is a physician by profession and an avid gardener at heart. She works to maintain the best possible health so she can thrive in her own life. She wants to encourage others to lead healthy lives by imparting what she knows.

“When it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, I like to keep things healthy. That doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor, of course. Here are three of my favorite healthy dessert ideas for a holiday:

  1. Roasted pears with honey and cinnamon. Pears are a great source of fiber and antioxidants, and they pair perfectly with honey and cinnamon. Roasting brings out their natural sweetness, making them a perfect healthy alternative to sugary pies or cakes.
  2. Pumpkin spice smoothie. This is a great way to get your pumpkin fix without overindulging. Simply combine pumpkin puree, almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a dollop of whipped cream on top for an extra special treat.
  3. Cranberry-apple crisp. This dish is full of healthy ingredients like cranberries, apples, oats, and nuts. Plus, it’s naturally sweetened with honey instead of sugar. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, and you’ll have everyone begging for seconds.”

Melanie UnderwoodMelanie Underwood

Melanie Underwood has worked as a Culinary Educator for 25 years, teaching at The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. Her book, Making Artisan Cheesecake, was published in 2015 (Quarto Books), and she has contributed to numerous cookbooks. Melanie is working on her next book, Rule Breaking Baking — Baking without Recipes.

“My favorite Thanksgiving dessert is an Upside Down Cranberry Cake.

Made with a bit of cornmeal, it has a buttery crunch around the edges and is slightly tart from the cranberries. People are surprised by how delicious cranberries can be when presented as a dessert, and I love that it pushes people outside of the typical Thanksgiving dessert ideas. You can have something nontraditional, and it still is fun and delicious.”


Michelle MoreyMichelle Morey

Michelle is a Maine native food blogger, wife, and mom. She has a degree in culinary arts and has worked for years in the food industry — she even met her now husband working in a bakery! Her favorite things include autumn in Maine, spooky podcasts, and hiking the trails of the Maine woods.

“My favorite dessert for Thanksgiving (and life in general) is a No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake.

The chocolate filling has a lovely light texture, the Oreo crust is nice and crunchy in contrast, and the flavor of each slice is super chocolatey and rich. This cake is perfect with a dollop of whip cream and a cup of coffee after dinner.

Besides tasting delicious, chocolate cheesecake can be made several days in advance or even frozen a month ahead and thawed the night before serving. So it’s super low-stress and doesn’t require any precious oven space.

This recipe is made without eggs, NO whipped topping, and no gelatin. Just good quality chocolate, heavy cream, and cream cheese.”


Arthur WorsleyArthur Worsley

Arthur Worsley founded TAoL to discover, write and share the internet’s best FREE book recommendations, book summaries, quotes, and articles on how to live long and prosper. Before that, he studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey.

“My favorite Thanksgiving dessert idea is Pistachio and Cranberry White Chocolate Hedgehog.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 75g Australian unsalted butter
  • 1 cup toasted shredded coconut
  • 300g good quality white chocolate
  • 170g roughly chopped shortbread biscuits
  • 25g Australian unsalted butter (extra)
  • 250g good quality white chocolate (extra)

Instructions:

  1. Gently melt together chocolate and butter in a heavy-based saucepan. You can also microwave on low heat until smooth and thick.
  2. Stir in the biscuits, cranberries, pistachios, and coconut. Then, press into an 18cm square, baking paper-lined cake pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Gently melt extra chocolate and butter until smooth. Pour over hedgehog and refrigerate until set.
  4. Cut into small squares before serving.”

Dee MartinDee Martin

Dee is a busy mom to 5 and the creator of the food blog Meatloaf and Melodrama, where she shares easy and delicious recipes.

“When it comes to Thanksgiving dessert ideas, not everyone loves pumpkin pie, so we always include this easy Eggnog Pie on our Thanksgiving dessert table. It’s easy to make, and even my picky eaters love it.”


Whether you’re looking for traditional Thanksgiving desserts or out-of-the-ordinary Thanksgiving dessert ideas, these ideas are delicious and crowd-pleasing, perfect for the season. Give one (or several) of these delicious Thanksgiving dessert ideas a try this Thanksgiving for a decadent treat your family is sure to love.

If you’re looking for easy, delicious, done-for-you Thanksgiving dessert ideas, Edible Arrangements® offers an amazing collection of Thanksgiving desserts. Choose a box of chocolate dipped strawberries and other tasty treats featuring all your favorite fall flavors, such as mini pumpkin cheesecakes, apple wedges dipped in caramel and chocolate with sea salt, and white and semisweet chocolate dipped bananas topped with scrumptious hazelnut crunch. Or, consider a delightful fall fruit arrangement featuring salted caramel apples and leaf-shaped pineapples paired with a box of pumpkin cheesecakes. With so many Thanksgiving desserts to choose from, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.