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25 Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes Your Guests Will Gobble Up

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

Jason Donnelly

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.

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

apple cranberry crisp in while bowls with spoons and red gingham napkin on wooden background
Jason Donnelly

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.

RELATED: 40 Thanksgiving Sides That Will Steal the Turkey’s Thunder

Chocolate Pudding with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Chocolate pudding with olive oil and sea salt
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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.

Low-Calorie Tiramisu

Low-calorie tiramisu
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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

Low-calorie olive oil ice cream
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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.

RELATED: Trader Joe’s Just Unveiled All the Best Thanksgiving Foods Coming To Stores

Apple Crumble

Apple crumble
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Slice of healthy pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream and strawberries
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

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

warm mocha tart with espresso cups and napkin
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

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

Low-calorie apple pie with crunch topping
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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

Low-calorie chocolate chip cookies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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.

RELATED: BJ’s Is Giving Away Free Butterball Turkeys—Here’s the Best Way to Score One

Banana Bread

Banana bread
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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

molten lava cherry chocolate cake with frozen yogurt and spoon on black plate
Jason Donnelly

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

Fudgy pumpkin brownie bites on a wooden cutting board
Blaine Moats

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

Healthy blueberry-peach cobbler
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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

Low-calorie grilled banana split
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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.

Pumpkin Bars

keto pumpkin pie bars
Beth Lipton / Eat This, Not That!

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.

Fudgy Brownies

Low-calorie fudgy brownies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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

cinnamon orange lava cakes on white plates with forks and coffee and cinnamon pinch bowl
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

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.

Carrot Cupcakes

carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

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

Molten chocolate cake
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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.

RELATED: Does Eating Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Coffee and Chocolate Meringues

chocolate coffee meringues on baking tray with chocolate chips and dish towel
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

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

Sticky Toffee Date Cake
Jason Donnelly

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

individual bowls of key lime cheesecake on serving tray with lime slices and spoons
Jason Donnelly

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

Low-calorie crispy apple turnover
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

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.

RELATED: 25 Delicious Apple Recipes That Are Perfect for Fall

Poached Pears with Spiced Chocolate Sauce

poached pear with spiced chocolate sauce in white bowl with fork
Jason Donnelly

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.

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