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Easy and Tasty Thanksgiving Desserts to Make if You Hate Pie

There is no denying that Thanksgiving prep marks the beginning of the holiday season. In fact, maybe you have already put up your mini Christmas tree, strings of bright lights, and have Mariah Carey’s oh so famous Christmas songs on repeat at all times. There is nothing more exciting than getting ready to spend some quality time with the ones we cherish and love—part of what makes Thanksgiving so great. Another thing that makes Thanksgiving so great are the traditions that have been a part of our Thanksgiving routine for as long as we can remember. For my family, our tradition is that each recipe is unique and homemade by all of us, a challenge we all face each Thanksgiving, especially when it comes to deciding which recipe to craft. Being the dessert lover I am, every year I choose to handle the desserts. For most families, this certainly means pie. It’s hard to imagine a Thanksgiving meal complete without a tasty slice of pumpkin pie to finish it off. But if you are like me, and just do not love that traditional pumpkin pie—or any pie at all—then making a dessert to please everyone can be very tricky. So for all of us who would rather have a chocolate cake or a bowl of ice cream, here are some Thanksgiving dessert ideas that are not pie, super easy, equally as festive, and sure to please!

The first recipe I chose to make was a Pumpkin Cheesecake Icebox Cake. Icebox cakes have been made in my family for generations, they are super simple and so delicious! So when I found this recipe it immediately sparked my interest. Also, how could you ever go wrong with pumpkin cheesecake? 



Cake Mixture: 

  • 1 (8 ounces) package of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or allspice
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Graham Crackers
  • Caramel Sauce (optional)

Whipped Topping:

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Allspice or Pumpkin Pie Spice (or any other spices you want to add)

The prep for the recipe was super easy. Nothing is this recipe requires baking, just mixing! I really enjoyed making this dessert. It was so super easy, low mess, did not require any baking, and is seriously so tasty. It was a little rich so I am glad I did not make use of the caramel sauce, any more sweetness would have been too much for me but you are welcome to add more sweetness to your dessert if you prefer! Not to mention its all of the awesome fall flavors we love combined into one dish. My favorite part about the cake is the simplicity of it. I have never made a dessert so straightforward and simple, so this is a great recipe for some of us who are not so keen to cooking and baking for hours. It’s also easy to interchange. For example, you could use chocolate graham crackers in this recipe to make a chocolate pumpkin icebox cake, or change the base flavor of the pudding from pumpkin to something else you might prefer. This is the perfect non-traditional holiday dessert to bring to your Thanksgiving that will surely make everyone happy! 




The next recipe I made was a little more complex, but looked delicious so how could I resist? Pumpkin Spice Truffles, I mean, how mouthwatering do those sound? And like the icebox cake, they are quick, low mess, and do not require baking. These could be served as a treat to tie your little cousins over until the big meal, a diversion from talking about school with your grandparents, or simply if you’re just craving something sweet and festive to celebrate fall. 



  • 2 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cups of crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 4 ounces of melted white chocolate
  • 10 ounces of semi-sweet or white chocolate (whichever you prefer)

The prep for this dessert was even easier than the icebox cake! I took a quick study break to make the truffle filling for these and it was the perfect amount of time. This recipe is great because it is so easy to prepare on short notice, but you can really make them whenever. The filling mixture is allowed to be refrigerated for at least 24 hours so if you’re looking for something to quickly prep—but not fully make—during the Thanksgiving chaos, then this is the recipe for you. Not to mention they taste awesome! I was hoping they would taste just like pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and they did! They came out not too sweet, not too bitter, and just the right amount of pumpkin. I would definitely recommend these to anyone who wants to make a sweet treat for Thanksgiving or any other time in the holiday season. These are perfect for a business or family holiday party, making them for holiday gift baskets, or as a homemade gift for someone special. My favorite part of these little desserts was how well they came out. This recipe was so easy to follow and now I can proudly say I know how to make quick and easy truffles that taste like they could be sold at a true candy shop. 




All in all I had a really great time getting into making these desserts. For non-traditional Thanksgiving treats they sure would fit right in next to the pumpkin and apple pies. You can certainly see these desserts on my Thanksgiving table this year, and maybe even the year after that. I cannot wait to share these sweet treats with my friends and family during our visit, which is, after all, what Thanksgiving is all about. 


Photos: 1, rest courtesy of author

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