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40 Midwestern Thanksgiving Desserts

From cozy apple crisp to fresh pumpkin pie, we can't get enough of these Thanksgiving desserts hailing from America's heartland.

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Winning Apple Crisp

I live in apple country, and a delicious crisp is one good way to use them that doesn’t take a lot of time. —Gertrude Bartnick, Portage, Wisconsin

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Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

In my opinion, there’s no contest as to which homemade pumpkin pie is best. No matter how good your canned filling is, it will never match pumpkin pie from scratch. —Christy Harp, Massillon, Ohio

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Ginger-Glazed Lemon BundtTaste of Home

Ginger-Glazed Lemon Bundt

Tangy ginger, tart lemon and puckery cranberries make this melt-in-your-mouth cake as crisp—and gorgeous—as autumn. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pumpkin Mousse

Pumpkin Mousse

If you've had your fill of pumpkin pie, this cool and creamy pumpkin mousse is perfect for you. Its light and fluffy texture won't make you feel "stuffed" after your favorite turkey dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Honey Cran-Raspberry PieTaste of Home

Honey Cran-Raspberry Pie

This cranberry raspberry pie is my son Michael's recipe. It was passed down to him when he got married in 2002. The pie is quite tart, but it pairs well with a favorite vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. —Beverly Batty, Forest Lake, Minnesota

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Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

For our first Thanksgiving with my husband's family, I wanted to bring a special dish and decided I couldn't go wrong with a dessert that combines cheesecake and pumpkin pie. It was a huge success!—Jodi Gobrecht, Bucyrus, Ohio

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Caramel ApplesTaste of Home

Caramel Apples

Nothing tastes better at this time of year than a sweet-to-eat caramel apple! That rich homemade flavor just can't be beat. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas

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Pumpkin Fudge

Pumpkin Fudge

I look forward to the taste of pumpkin every Thanksgiving. This easy pumpkin fudge recipe lets me do that and everyone loves it.—Marlene Fudge, Rushville, Indiana

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Pistachio-Cherry S’more BarsTaste of Home

Pistachio-Cherry S’more Bars

Here’s a fun spin on campfire treats. The graham cracker crust and golden-toasted marshmallow topping surround a rich filling of chocolate, fruit and nuts in these yummy bars. Or feel free to add 3/4 cup coconut to filling if desired. I’m certain that St. Nick will give his jolly stamp of approval to these goodies. &mdashJeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

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Oma's Apfelkuchen (Grandma's Apple Cake)Taste of Home

Oma's Apfelkuchen (Grandma's Apple Cake)

My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to "Grandma’s apple cake." They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio

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Snappy Pumpkin Dessert

Snappy Pumpkin Dessert

Our town has a pumpkin-canning factory, so we're known as the "Pumpkin Capital of the World." New pumpkin recipes are always welcomed by our family, and this has become a favorite. The gingersnap crust is the perfect flavor pairing to the pumpkin. —Nilah Fischer, Morton, Illinois

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Cranberry Layer CakeTaste of Home

Cranberry Layer Cake

I adapted a Bundt cake recipe to create this layer cake. Cranberries, walnuts and homemade frosting make it taste so delicious that you'd never guess it starts with a convenient cake mix. —Sandy Burkett, Galena, Ohio

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Black Bottom Brandy BitesTaste of Home

Black Bottom Brandy Bites

The idea for these bite-sized tarts started with little chocolate bottles of brandy. For an extra dash of fabulous, I place chocolate in the bottom of each pastry cup. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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The Best Sweet Potato Pie

The Best Sweet Potato Pie

I love this recipe's rich, sweet potato flavor and irresistibly buttery crust. Sour cream makes the filling super smooth, and the brown sugar and spices make it extra cozy. There's no doubt that this is the best sweet potato pie! —Shannon Norris, Cudahy, Wisconsin

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Pumpkin Rugelach with Cream Cheese IcingTaste of Home

Pumpkin Rugelach with Cream Cheese Icing

This pumpkin rugelach recipe with a rich cream cheese icing is my twist on this classic pastry. The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated, which makes the recipe ideal for the busy holiday season. —Justine Duffy, Wooster, Ohio

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Citrus Cranberry PieTaste of Home

Citrus Cranberry Pie

To showcase abundant fall cranberries, make this beautiful lattice-topped pie. A dollop of orange cream complements the slightly tart flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Sour Cream Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Sour Cream Pumpkin Cake

The nicely spiced streusel in the center of this cake is a marvelous surprise and complement to the cinnamony pumpkin cake. It's delicious for breakfast or dessert. —Elaine Holmberg, Norfolk, Nebraska

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Caramel Pumpkin TiramisuTaste of Home

Caramel Pumpkin Tiramisu

I'm not fond of traditional tiramisu, so I used pumpkin and in place of coffee, bourbon, and it's absolutely fabulous. I always make extra sauce and eat it over vanilla ice cream. It's so good, I don't want to leave it alone! – Mary Filipiak, Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Cherry Cranberry PinwheelsTaste of Home

Cherry Cranberry Pinwheels

“With the combination of cranberries, cherries, orange zest and cinnamon, these festive cookies are as fragrant as they are flavorful,“ promises Deb Perry from Bluffton, Indiana.

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Slow-Cooker Apple Pudding CakeTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Apple Pudding Cake

A satisfying dessert, pudding cake is a superb treat on a chilly night. It has three separate layers—apples, cake and sauce—and I like to serve it in a bowl. —Ellen Schroeder, Reedsburg, Wisconsin

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Gingersnap Sweet Potato Praline PieTaste of Home

Gingersnap Sweet Potato Praline Pie

This luscious mix of sweet potatoes, spices and nuts is like serving pecan pie and sweet potato pie together. Bake it and watch everyone devour it. —Emily Hobbs, Ozark, Missouri

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No-Bake Apple PieTaste of Home

No-Bake Apple Pie

We always have an abundance of apples in the fall, so I like to make this easy pie. My husband has diabetes, and this recipe fits into his diet...but everyone enjoys it. —Shirley Vredenburg, Ossineke, Michigan

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Pumpkin Pecan SundaesTaste of Home

Pumpkin Pecan Sundaes

My family enjoys anything with pumpkin so I knew this recipe would be well-received. Butter pecan ice cream is a perfect partner for the spiced pumpkin sauce.—Fancheon Resler, Bluffton, Indiana

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Buttermilk Pie with PecansTaste of Home

Buttermilk Pie with Pecans

Branch out from the usual pecan pie with a creamy-crunchy version that comes out of the oven golden brown. Big slices are even better with a dollop of whipped cream.—Kathy Harding, Richmond, Missouri

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Honey-Date Pumpkin CookiesTaste of Home

Honey-Date Pumpkin Cookies

Just in time for harvest, here are some delicious drop cookies, plump with dates, pumpkins and nuts. The old-fashioned cream cheese frosting will remind you of Grandma’s kitchen.—Eunice Stoen, Decorah, IA

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Michigan Cherry PieTaste of Home

Michigan Cherry Pie

This tart Michigan cherry pie is delicious with the streusel topping but even better crowned with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. —Diane Selich, Vassar, Michigan

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Pretzel Puppy ChowTaste of Home

Pretzel Puppy Chow

This variation on regular puppy chow replaces peanut butter with Nutella and chipotle for a delicious spicy-sweet combination. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Cookie Crust Deep-Dish Apple PieTaste of Home

Cookie Crust Deep-Dish Apple Pie

One of my favorite make-and-take desserts, this deep-dish pie is based on an old Hungarian recipe that's popular in this part of Ohio. The easy cookie crust is the best part. —Diane Shipley, Mentor, Ohio

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Easy Pecan Pie BarsTaste of Home

Easy Pecan Pie Bars

I'm always searching for fast and easy recipes to take to the teachers lounge. The staff goes nuts for these shortcut pecan pie bars. —Kathro Yoder, Defiance, Ohio

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Apple Dumpling Roll-Ups

Apple Dumpling Roll-Ups

A family friend gave me a simple way to make apple dumplings without lots of steps. I love the sticky cinnamon topping. —Jenny Leighty, West Salem, Ohio

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Cranberry Mocha CheesecakeTaste of Home

Cranberry Mocha Cheesecake

I've made this delicious dessert for quite a few occasions, and it is always a hit. The cranberries make it a perfect finale to a holiday dinner. —Anissa Bednarski, Oronoco, Minnesota

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Honey Pecan Pie

Honey Pecan Pie

Looking for a sweet ending to a special meal? This attractive pecan pie is bound to please with its traditional filling and honey-glazed pecans. —Cathy Hudak, Wadsworth, Ohio

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Pumpkin Pie SquaresTaste of Home

Pumpkin Pie Squares

The first time my husband and two daughters tried this dessert, they thought it was delicious. It has all of the spicy pumpkin goodness of the traditional pie without the fuss of a pastry crust. —Denise Goedeken, Platte Center, Nebraska

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Caramel Apple CheesecakeTaste of Home

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

This apple cheesecake won the grand prize in an apple recipe contest. With caramel both on the bottom and over the top, every bite is sinfully delicious. —Lisa Morman, Minot, North Dakota

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Praline Pumpkin TorteTaste of Home

Praline Pumpkin Torte

Homemade pralines, big poufs of whipped cream and spiced cake make this torte decadent to the last bite. It's perfect for an autumn day. —Esther Sinn, Princeton, Illinois

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Chocolate Caramel Turkey LegsTaste of Home

Chocolate Caramel Turkey Legs

Mention turkey legs made of pretzels and chocolate, and the kids come running. Let them help by unwrapping caramels for this easy, no-bake treat. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Apple Stack Cake

Apple Stack Cake

My mom loved to bake this sky-high apple stack cake. Layer the apple goodness two days before serving. Later, a dusting of confectioners' sugar is the only topping you'll need. —LeVa Clement, Jackson, Missouri

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Homemade Pear PieTaste of Home

Homemade Pear Pie

I entered this pie in a local baking contest and ended up winning! Bartlett pears hold up well when baked, adding a nice layer of texture. —Darlene Jacobson, Waterford, Wisconsin

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Rustic Cranberry TartsTaste of Home

Rustic Cranberry Tarts

I like to serve colorful desserts for gatherings with family and friends. These beautiful tarts are filled with cranberry and citrus flavor, and they’re easy to make and serve. —Holly Bauer, West Bend, Wisconsin

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Caramel Apple FondueTaste of Home

Caramel Apple Fondue

I serve this warm caramel dip with sliced apples while we're watching football games on Sunday afternoons. It really warms us up. —Katie Koziolek, Hartland, Minnesota

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.