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7 Delicious Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

With Thanksgiving coming up quickly, it’s officially the holiday season. You may load up on mashed potatoes, dive into the stuffing and carve up the turkey, but it’s undeniable that everyone’s favorite part of the meal is really the dessert. What could you want more than five thousand different pies amid a massive pile of desserts? Here are some recipes for both skilled and beginner bakers. They range from super healthy to super sweet, so the perfect combination of these recipes will make sure you impress everyone at your Thanksgiving feast!


1. Maple Glazed Pumpkin Donuts

Yields: Six donuts

Prep and Cook time: 40 minutes

These donuts sound like the perfect treat to serve as a dessert to your Thanksgiving brunch or as a pre-meal snack. Try making these donuts in a double batch: one batch to eat on Thanksgiving morning and one to freeze for later (pop those out during finals!) Since it’s still autumn, adding in pumpkin and maple flavors will make the donuts taste like fall.


2. Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Scones

Yields: Eight scones

Prep and Cook time: 30 minutes

These chocolate chip gingerbread scones make for another delicious dessert to be eaten as breakfast or as a snack. This Thanksgiving dessert is a healthy alternative to rich, heavy pies because they are made with wheat flour and greek yogurt. Of course, there are other tasty sweets in the recipe too, including real molasses, pure maple syrup and plenty of chocolate chips! Whip these up to pair with your favorite coffee in the morning, or bring them to share for Thanksgiving dinner.


3. Chai Spiced Apple Pie

Yields: One 9” pie

Prep and Cook time: Six hours

Speaking of coffee and spices, try this amazing chai spiced homemade apple pie! Start this perfect apple pie off with a flakey, buttery crust and add in some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and black pepper. If you have time, try making a pie crust from scratch; but don’t feel bad grabbing a pre-made pie crust if you’re short on time. This chai spiced apple pie is definitely the dessert to bring to Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving if you want to wow all of your friends and family with your amazing baking skills.


4. Cranberry Almond Cookies

Yields: One dozen cookies

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Pies are not the only Thanksgiving desserts! These cranberry almond cookies look absolutely delicious, and they’re the perfect treat to go along with your Thanksgiving meal. These cookies are made with almond flour and real maple syrup and are packed with all sorts of dried fruit, including cranberries and even mango! These cranberry cookies will become a quick favorite, even for those who don’t like cranberry sauce with  their meals.


5. Candy Pretzel Turkey Bites

Prep and Cook Time: Eight minutes

These quick and easy candy pretzel turkey bites make for another tasty Thanksgiving dessert. These treats are very simple to make and only require a couple of ingredients: pretzels, candy corn, Rolos and Reese’s Pieces. Simply stack the candies on top of each other, and arrange the pretzels so it resembles the shape of a turkey. Stick them in the oven for a bit, and voila, you’re done! You could wrap a handful of these bites in a cute bag to pass out to friends or serve them as a snack on Thanksgiving day. In any case, they will definitely be snatched up quickly!


6. Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Yields: One pie (serves eight)

Prep and Cook Time: Five to six hours

Just by looking at this mega-dessert that fuses the pecan pie, pumpkin pie and cheesecake into one, you can tell that it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser. This cheesecake simply looks amazing. Try getting your family or friends to help you make this Thanksgiving dessert, though — there are some complex steps. Baking a cheesecake can be pretty tricky; but with patience and attention to detail, your hard work will be rewarded! This cheesecake will hopefully taste as good as it looks. It might just be the perfect addition to the dessert table.


7. Pumpkin Pie

Yields: One pie (serves ten)

Prep and Cook Time: Two hours

Alright, after listing all of these wonderful, creative desserts, it’s imperative that we also include the ultimate classic, the pumpkin pie — it’s Thanksgiving after all! This pumpkin pie has only ten ingredients, and it’s  vegan-friendly and gluten-free; basically, it’s perfect for anyone! If you’ve never made a pie or baked before, this recipe would be a great place to start. The recipe is very simple and easy, but it’s a foolproof formula to a delicious Thanksgiving dessert!


Thanksgiving is not only a wonderful time surround yourself with friends and family, but also the perfect time to try baking some new desserts! Any desserts would be great to make, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned or amateur baker. These cookies and pies don’t just taste good, though — they look good, too! So make sure to get some great Instas!

Katherine is a senior studying Communication Arts and Journalism.
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