Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Pies, tarts, cakes, and cookie -- any of these easy to make recipes will be a perfect addition o your Thanksgiving dinner. Apples, cinnamon, cloves, and, of course, pumpkin are the stars of our pumpkin spice cupcakes, classic pumpkin pies, pecan pies, traditional apple pies, or creative sweet potato pies. We also have a ton of make-ahead desserts.

Staff Picks

Pumpkin Pie

Want to master a classic pumpkin pie this fall? Try this recipe, which can be made with canned pumpkin purée or homemade pumpkin purée. The filling is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves and enriched with eggs, brown sugar, and evaporated milk. The crust is a Martha favorite—pâte brisée is her go-to all-butter pie pastry.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Rating: 3.5 stars 1388
Who says pumpkin is just for pie? Our pumpkin cheesecake recipe creates a rich and creamy dessert that's a delicious ending for any meal but is especially memorable for a holiday dinner. There's a graham cracker crumb crust under the dreamy pumpkin-cream cheese filling, and yes this recipe calls for pumpkin pie spice!

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie

Rating: 3.5 stars 248
This recipe for Libby's famous pumpkin pie is courtesy of Libby's.

Cranberry Bread

Rating: 3 stars 800
For a fall breakfast, afternoon tea, or an anytime snack, this cranberry bread can’t be beat. It's an easy quick bread that's studded with fruit and has just the right balance of sweet and tart thanks to the fresh cranberries and brown sugar.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Rating: 3.5 stars 1495
The words "apple pie" conjure warmth, aroma, taste, and togetherness. This apple pie recipe is filled with Granny Smith apples and is tucked into a buttery pie crust. To make this apple pie recipe even sweeter, serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Canned pumpkin purée is quick and easy to use. Don't substitute fresh pumpkin purée in this pie; it will be too watery.

Apple Pie

Rating: 3.5 stars 293
Baking a pie from scratch takes a little patience, but watching your friends and family enjoy the results makes it all worthwhile.

Pecan Pie

Rating: 3.5 stars 443
Rich, buttery, and oh-so-simple, the classic pecan pie has earned its place as a Thanksgiving mainstay. It's also a wonderful choice to make ahead of time since it will need several hours to cool before serving. Dollop with freshly whipped and barely sweetened cream to balance out the bold sweetness of this pie. 

Best Apple Pie

Rating: 3 stars 121
To ace this American tradition, we combine different varietals of apples that each have their own nuanced flavors and textures in the filling for this apple pie. The sublime result is a bold, aromatic filling bubbling inside a golden-brown double crust. This pie takes about an hour of hands on making and an hour to bake but allow time for the apples to meld with the sugar and spices before prepping the filling and making the pie—and allow plenty of time for the pie to cool before slicing and serving.

Cinnamon-Swirl Apple Slab Pie

This fun, cinnamon-scented twist on apple pie can feed a crowd while wow-ing them at the same time. The same homemade pie dough forms both the base crust and the topping—the magic happens when a sweetened cinnamon-butter is spread on half of the dough and rolled up like a log and chilled. Once sliced into swirly rounds, they're shingled on top of the baking sheet of spiced apples and baked until golden brown and bubbly. You can find a step-by-step photo guide to assembling the top crust here

Pumpkin Bars

In between bars and a crowd-friendly sheet cake is this autumnal dessert. Moist and tender pumpkin spice cake is lavished with cream cheese frosting for bars that are simply irresistible. 

Brown-Butter Bourbon Pecan Pie

In this classic with a twist, the complex flavors of brown butter and bourbon breathe new life into sweet and nutty pecan pie. Traditionalists and modernists alike will appreciate the enhancement of familiar flavors, especially when finished off with a dollop of whipped cream.

Inspiration and Ideas

40 Sensational Thanksgiving Pies and Tarts
At Thanksgiving time, dessert is just as important as a perfectly cooked turkey. Bake these American classics, old and new, for the holiday table.
Unexpected Thanksgiving Desserts Your Entire Family Will Love
Pie is far from your only Thanksgiving dessert option! While there's no denying the seasonal popularity of pumpkin pie, why not surprise your guests with something out of the ordinary on the dessert table instead?
Pumpkin Pie Made with Roasted Fresh Pumpkin
Rating: 3.5 stars 236

While you can use either fresh roasted sugar pumpkin or canned pumpkin purée for this recipe, skip the canned pumpkin pie filling—it won’t work in this pie. You won't need it: Yield a rich custard by adding eggs, evaporated milk, and light-brown sugar to the pumpkin, along with warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Fresh whipped cream is the perfect accompaniment.