We can’t believe it’s already here, but Thanksgiving is now less than two weeks away. That means it’s the right time to finalize your meal plans and get clear on the dishes you want to make. With all the focus going toward the turkey, the side dishes, and the wine or cocktails, the desserts can oftentimes get pushed to the side. But if you really want to impress your guests this year and have them leaving your house on the happiest note, we’ve got you covered with some Thanksgiving dessert recipes to choose from.
Finding the right dessert recipe for your holiday meal depends on your own goals for that day. Do you want an end to the meal that is on the lighter side since you know everyone will already be stuffed from dinner, or do you want to impress with a fancy, indulgent sweet treat? Or maybe, you’re just looking for the easiest recipe possible that will save you time and energy but still have your guests gobbling up every last bite. Whatever your Thanksgiving dessert goal may be, you’ll find what you’re looking for out of our 25 delicious recipes listed below.
Read on, and for more holiday hosting help, check out these 9 Cheap Wines That Taste Expensive, According to Sommeliers.
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is a great Thanksgiving dessert option because you can make a lot of it at once, and people can serve themselves from the giant dish. This pumpkin bread pudding recipe will make you feel completely warm inside with all of the fall flavors of orange zest, cranberries, maple syrup, and pecans.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding.
If you’ve been busy cooking your turkey and sides and are looking for a simple dessert that will still impress your family, this apple-cranberry crisp is the way to go because it can be done from start to finish in under an hour. There’s nothing better than a dessert that’s both simple and delicious.
Get our recipe for Apple-Cranberry Crisp.
Chocolate Pudding with Olive Oil and Sea Salt
Sometimes the last thing you want after an enormous Thanksgiving dinner is a heavy, super-rich dessert. This Chocolate Pudding is a bit lighter on the sweetness but still provides a bold chocolate flavor with a hint of salt to finish off the night.
Get our recipe for Chocolate Pudding.
Pull out the espresso and serve up this Low-Calorie Tiramisu at the end of the night. This specific tiramisu recipe is also much easier to prepare than the more intricate classic, so if you’re hosting this year, save yourself some time and effort with this one.
Get our recipe for Tiramisu.
Savory and Sweet Olive Oil Ice Cream
After preparing an entire Thanksgiving feast, dessert may seem like too much of a chore. But if you want a super easy dessert that will still impress your guests and leave them feeling satisfied, something like this Olive Oil Ice Cream is your answer. All you’ll need is store-bought vanilla ice cream, olive oil, and sea salt, and voila—a fancy end to the night.
Get our recipe for Olive Oil Ice Cream.
An apple crumble is a traditional Thanksgiving dessert favorite. There’s something about the cinnamon and nutmeg that just bring in all the fall vibes you’ve been waiting all year to enjoy. And it doesn’t even take too long to make, so your time and energy can be on the turkey, at least for the most part.
Get our recipe for an Apple Crumble.
We bet you never thought of having cheesecake as a Turkey Day dessert, but this pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect finishing touch on your Thanksgiving meal. It’s light and creamy, and it even has that festive fall color.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Warm Mocha Tart
This warm mocha tart puts a new twist on a traditional dessert. If you like the combination of chocolate and mocha, this is definitely a recipe to try. Just because most people go the fruit-dessert route on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that you have to. After one bite, your family will be hooked.
Get our recipe for Warm Mocha Tart.
Apple Pie with Crunch Topping
If you do want to stick with a classic, this apple pie recipe is going to be your new best friend. Instead of that doughy topping that apple pies usually have, ours is made with a crunchy topping that makes it almost apple crisp-like. With one slice of this pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you’ll be in absolute pie heaven.
Get our recipe for Apple Pie with Crunch Topping.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Another classic that’s often overlooked for Thanksgiving dinner is chocolate chip cookies. Who says cookies can’t be the perfect dessert after a giant meal? Directly after stuffing yourself with lots and lots of turkey, you’ll find that there’s something refreshing about eating something little and sweet to finish off Thanksgiving.
Get our recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Your Thanksgiving dinner will already leave you full and satisfied, so you may not want an overly sweet dessert. This banana Bread is the perfect choice for those wanting a sweet end to their meal that isn’t going to be too heavy on the sugar.
Get our recipe for Banana Bread.
Molten Lava Chocolate Cherry Cake
This molten lava chocolate cherry cake will satisfy chocolate lovers and fruit dessert lovers alike. Everyone will be licking their forks after getting a bite of this one.
Get our recipe for Molten Lava Chocolate Cherry Cake.
Fudgy Pumpkin Brownie Bites
There’s just something about bite-size desserts that people tend to love. If you put these pumpkin brownie bites out on your Thanksgiving table, they’re bound to be gone in a second. Not only are they mini, but the pumpkin flavor also makes them the ultimate fall dessert.
Get our recipe for Fudgy Pumpkin Brownie Bites.
Blueberry Peach Cobbler
If you want to stick with a fruit dessert but don’t want to go the traditional pie route, a cobbler is a similar idea. Rather than one flat pie crust, though, it has crispy tender biscuits baked right on top. This blueberry-peach cobbler is sure to be a crowd favorite.
Get our recipe for Blueberry Peach Cobbler.
Grilled Banana Split
This grilled banana split will satisfy both the adults and children at your Thanksgiving dinner table. After this one, you’ll never have a normal banana split again.
Get our recipe for a Grilled Banana Split.
These pumpkin bars are pretty much like individual servings of pumpkin pie, but even better. The crust is buttery, while the filling truly melts in your mouth. The pumpkin season won’t last forever, so this recipe is a great excuse to take full advantage of Thanksgiving in the best way.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Bars.
If you’re looking for something to satisfy those chocolate-lovers this Thanksgiving, these fudgy brownies are the move. They would accompany the pumpkin bars nicely and keep with the individual dessert trend, which we are all about. This brownie recipe actually taps into a new level of fudgy richness that will have even your grandma ready to switch up her recipe.
Get our recipe for Fudgy Brownies.
Cinnamon-Orange Lava Cake
This flavor combo will take your Thanksgiving dessert to the next level. With cinnamon, bittersweet chocolate, and orange zest, this lava cake recipe will create a treat you won’t soon forget.
Get our recipe for Cinnamon-Orange Lava Cake.
With ingredients like carrots, walnuts, nutmeg, ginger, and maple syrup, carrot cake is a classic fall dessert that will put anyone in the festive spirit with just the smell alone. Make these beloved autumn flavors into something more easily shared by making carrot cupcakes.
Get our recipe for Carrot Cupcakes.
Molten Chocolate Cake
If you’re having a smaller Thanksgiving dinner, there’s no reason why you can’t break out the ramekins to make some lava cakes. If your family thought the turkey put them over the edge, this dessert will take them to the next level of Thanksgiving fullness. There’s always room for dessert, right?
Get our recipe for Molten Chocolate Cake.
Coffee and Chocolate Meringues
If you don’t anticipate saving room for dessert, these meringues are the way to go. Sometimes it’s hard to pace yourself, especially at Thanksgiving dinner, but with these coffee and chocolate meringues, your family can have a little something even if they’re “too full for dessert.” They’re so light and fluffy, and they’d be great to put in to-go containers for a road snack for the trip home.
Get our recipe for Coffee and Chocolate Meringues.
Sticky Toffee Date Cake
Looking at this cake just reminds us of the holiday season. With the pear on top, you know it’s going to taste like autumn. And filled with nutmeg, dates, vanilla, and applesauce, it truly delivers. There are so many layers of flavor with this recipe that your family members will be dreaming about it while in their turkey coma.
Get our recipe for Sticky Toffee Date Cake.
Individual Key Lime Cheesecake
Pie is great, but there’s one thing about having a lot of people at your house for the holidays eating a lot of pie: It can get messy. Between the crumbs and sticky fillings, it could be a recipe for disaster. This individual key lime cheesecake ensures that your couch will endure minimal mess this holiday season, and your family will absolutely love it.
Get our recipe for Individual Key Lime Cheesecake.
Crispy Apple Turnover
Continuing on the individual dessert trend, these crispy apple turnovers are the perfect balance of crispy outer layer with a soft, sweet inside. This dessert brings in all the flavors of fall: apple, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Your family members will undoubtedly be eating more than one of these.
Get our recipe for Crispy Apple Turnover.
Poached Pears with Spiced Chocolate Sauce
This pear dessert is absolutely beautiful, and the fact that it’s cooked in red wine and topped off with spiced chocolate…we’re sold. Your family members will be licking their plates with this combo of the light pear and the rich chocolate sauce.
Get our recipe for Poached Pears with Spiced Chocolate Sauce.
A previous version of this story was published on November 23, 2020. It has been updated to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, as well as updated contextual links.