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The Best Thanksgiving Desserts (That Aren’t Pie)

It may be traditional to have a slice of pie (or three) after Thanksgiving dinner, but sometimes change is good! These Thanksgiving desserts are decidedly NOT pie, but they're no less delicious and special!

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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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Ganache Topped Pumpkin Tart Exps Tohon20 247097 B06 04 1b 2

Chocolate Ganache Pumpkin Tart

I love the flavor combination of spiced pumpkin and chocolate, which inspired me to create this chocolate pumpkin tart. Sometimes I like to sprinkle chopped crystallized ginger over the chocolate ganache for extra flavor and texture. —Bernice Janowski, Stevens Point, Wisconsin
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Easy Apple Crisp Exps Ft20 2812 F 0910 1 1

Easy Apple Crisp

Here’s an easy apple crisp! This is a delicious dessert perfect for young cooks to prepare. It’s super simple to make since there’s no crust—just a crumbly topping. Plus, with apples and oats, it’s a wholesome treat. —Sheri Hatten, Devil’s Lake, North Dakota
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Maple Walnut Cake

This maple-flavored cake with candied walnuts honors my grandpa, who made maple syrup. —Lori Fee, Middlesex, New York
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Slow Cooked Pumpkin Apple Cobbler Exps Tohon20 246956 B06 05 6b 7

Slow-Cooked Pumpkin Apple Cobbler

This spiced pumpkin apple cobbler recipe is sure to please all of your holiday guests. It's perfect for fall, but can be made year-round since it uses fresh or frozen cranberries. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Pumpkin Creme Brulee Exps Pcbz18 41369 B04 25 4b

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

I've never met a creme brulee that I didn't love! I'm not a big pumpkin fan, but this is fantastic. —Tamara Leonard Merritt, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Cheesecake Pumpkin Dessert Exps Pcbz20 20176 E02 25 8b

Cheesecake Pumpkin Dessert

My family requests this dessert each Thanksgiving. For a change of pace, I sometimes use cinnamon graham crackers instead of plain ones.
—Melissa Davis, Clermont, Florida
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Exps47556 Cw143044b06 12 4b 2

Toffee-Pear Crisp Bread Pudding

My son loves pear crisp, but one night I was making bread pudding. He asked if I could make both. I compromised by combining two desserts into this one dish. It's absolutely fantastic! —Kurt Wait, Redwood City, California
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Pumpkin Cream Tiramisu Exps Bws20 168871 E09 10 16b 1

Pumpkin Cream Tiramisu

Pumpkin isn’t only for pies. Now you can take the classic fall vegetable and enjoy it in a tiramisu-style dessert. I promise after one bite, you’ll add this recipe to keeper files. —Pam Peters, Fernie, British Columbia
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Upside Down Pumpkin Pecan Tarts Exps Tohon20 249309 B06 05 3b 6

Upside-Down Pumpkin Pecan Tarts

These treats are a great twist on pumpkin pie, and can be prepared a day ahead. You’ll love the flaky phyllo combined with the rich pumpkin filling. —Darlene Buerger, Peoria, Arizona
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Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars Exps Tgcbbz 47472 D05 10 3b 2

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars

Your whole house will be filled with the aroma of pumpkin spice when you bake these wonderful sweet potato cheesecake bars. They look complicated but are so easy, you can whip up a batch anytime. —Nancy Whitford, Edwards, New York
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Honeyed Pears In Puff Pastry Exps Thso18 156278 B04 17 6b Basedon 1

Air-Fryer Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry

This cozy dessert looks both elegant and decadent. Wrapped in puff pastry, the pears resemble little beehives. —Heather Baird, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Pumpkin Rugelach With Cream Cheese Icing Exps Tohon20 247376 B06 05 7b 8

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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Pumpkin Charlotte

My mother-in-law gave me this recipe a while back and I just love it! I make it for my husband and his friends during hunting season and it's a big hit. —Lorelle Edgcomb, Granville, Illinois
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Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Torte Exps Pcbbz20 129890 B03 10 5b

Chocolate-Caramel Pumpkin Torte

I’m pretty proud to say this is one of my first experiments in the kitchen that turned out “to-die-for” delicious. The key is to let the cake cool completely before cutting and assembling with the frostings. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon
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Heavenly Praline Cake Exps Cwas18 48907 D04 05  1b 5

Heavenly Praline Cake

A moist cake and generous frosting are filled with the fabulous flavor of caramel. The candied pecans are almost a dessert by themselves!—Jennifer Rodriguez, Midland, Texas
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Exps4112 Hb143427c07 17 2b 1

Pumpkin Ice Cream Roll

This wonderfully light dessert is our standby at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The hint of pumpkin and the refreshing ice cream make a most delicious after-dinner treat. —Gayle Lewis, Yucaipa, California
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Air Fryer Apple Fritters With Brown Butter Glaze Exps Ft20 245433 F 0225 1 4

Air-Fryer Apple Fritters

These easy air-fryer apple fritters with brown butter glaze are healthier than old-fashioned fritters, yet they are still as delicious. Plus they’re made in under 30 minutes for a quick and easy air-fryer dessert! — Alyssa Castriotta, North Scituate, Rhode Island
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Apple and Squash Crisp

Someone brought this crisp to a parish dinner at my church. I asked for the recipe, and now I make this yummy dessert all the time. —Therese Butler, Ijamsville, Maryland
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Carrot-Cranberry Spice Cake

I love carrot cake and those made with cranberries. Using leftover cranberry sauce, I add carrots to make one marvelous cake that’s tangy and sweet. —Elizabeth King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Butter Pecan Cheesecake Exps Toham21 133406 E11 18 6b 8

Butter Pecan Cheesecake

Fall always makes me yearn for this pecan cheesecake, but it’s delicious in any season. You’ll want to put it on your list of favorite holiday desserts. —Laura Sylvester, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Spiced Pumpkin Tiramisu

I added pumpkin and subtracted some of the coffee flavor in a tiramisu I developed for a special holiday dinner. A new tradition was born! —Heather Clary, Downingtown, Pennsylvania
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Nectarine Plum Cobbler Exps Fttmz20 27847 E03 06 4b

Nectarine Plum Cobbler

I live in northern Manitoba, where fresh nectarines and plums are usually available only at summer’s end. So I make up the fruit filling and freeze it for use all winter. My family really enjoys this nectarine cobbler and it’s wonderful topped with vanilla ice cream. —Darlene Jackson, The Pas, Manitoba
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Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake Exps Cimzw20 242321 B09 01 8b 1

Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake

This gingerbread recipe came from my grandmother, and we always ate it with warm applesauce. I adapted it into a one-pan dessert by layering the apples around the bottom of a cast-iron skillet and topping them with the gingerbread batter. The skillet creates a wonderfully thick crust on the gingerbread. —Mary M. Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding Exps Thca17 49355 D03 17 3b

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding

Savor your favorite fall flavors with this scrumptious bread pudding, served warm with a sweet vanilla sauce. Yum! —Judith Bucciarelli, Johnson, New York
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Cinnamon Caramel Peanut Butter Tart Exps Tohca20 128266 B02 26 4b

Cinnamon-Caramel Peanut Butter Tart

Peanut butter and cinnamon create a unique, upscale flavor combination. This rich and creamy creation is one of my daughter’s favorites. Keep copies of the recipe handy—everyone wants it. —Mary Hawkes, Prescott, Arizona
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Pumpkin Spice Cake Exps Ft20 583 F 0916 1

Pumpkin Spice Cake

We sometimes call this pumpkin spice cake “Thanksgiving Cake” because it’s a tasty alternative to pie, but we don’t relegate it to just that holiday. I think you’ll agree it’s delicious any time of the year.—Kathy Rhoads, Circleville, Ohio
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Pecan Pie Bars

These pecan pie bars are rich and delicious – just like pecan pie! They’re perfect for gatherings…I always come home with an empty pan. —Carolyn Custer, Clifton Park, New York
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Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake Exps Pcbz20 24557 E08 19 1b

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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Quinoa Fresh Fig And Honey Balsamic Parfait Exps Tohca20 88942 B02 21 5b 1

Quinoa, Fresh Fig and Honey-Balsamic Parfait

This quinoa yogurt parfait is special to me because of its wholesome ingredients. Quinoa is gluten-free, which is good for those who have food allergies, like my daughter. And I love fresh ripe figs when they are in season. Enjoy this for breakfast or dessert. —Dawn Hutchins, St. Johns, Florida
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Pumpkin Fudge Exps Pbzr21 40527 E04 29 1b

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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Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
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Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread Pudding

For fans of pumpkin and bread pudding, this sensible recipe is a marriage made in Heaven. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert with a dollop of yogurt—autumn comfort food at its best! —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina
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Caramel Apple Strudel Exps Fbmz18 83900 B05 09 8b 3

Caramel Apple Strudel

My father, who was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, would tell us stories about how his mother covered all the kitchen counters with dough whenever she made apple strudel. This recipe is a modern, delicious way to carry on part of my family's heritage. —Sarah Haengel, Bowie, Maryland
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Fluffy Raisin Pumpkin Bars Exps Pcbbz20 29668 E01 15 8b 1

Fluffy Raisin Pumpkin Bars

Chocolate-covered raisins are a fun surprise inside these moist pumpkin bars. The traditional cream cheese frosting never fails to please. —Margaret Wilson, San Bernardino, California
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Butterscotch Cake Exps Thca19 27271 C02 21 4b

Butterscotch Cake

I get lots of compliments and recipe requests whenever I make this eye-catching cake. The filling is similar to German chocolate cake. —Judy Lamon, Louisville, Tennessee
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Pumpkin Latte Custard Exps Thedscodr20 239064 B01 10 6b 6

Pumpkin Spice Custard

We love this traditional Crock-Pot pumpkin spice custard. The added espresso powder gives it a latte effect! —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars Exps Ft20 253 F 0327 1 Home 1

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

I’ve been asked to share this marshmallow chocolate bar recipe more than any other in my collection. It’s a longtime favorite of our three daughters. How many times we’ve all made these, I can’t count. — Esther Shank, Harrisonville, Virginia
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Rustic Orange Rhubarb Tart Exps Thca20 47793 B10 31 7b 1

Rustic Orange-Rhubarb Tart

This rustic rhubarb and orange tart is the perfect light dessert. We love it with fresh rhubarb in the spring, but it also tastes fantastic with frozen fruit. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle Exps Pcbbz20 41718 B08 19 4b

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle

I like to spice up our Thanksgiving dinner with this special dessert featuring two popular holiday flavors. A delicious alternative to pumpkin pie. —Deborah F. Hahn, Belle, Missouri
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Spiced Cranberry Crisp Cake Exps Thjca17 159517 C09 15 1b 4

Spiced Cranberry Crisp Cake

This cake is a cross between a fruit crisp and a moist cake. We love the festive cranberry filling with its sweet-tangy flavor and the combination of soft cake, tender fruit and crunchy topping. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California
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Ginger Tea Pumpkin Custard Exps Pcbbz20 170349 B08 19 1b

Ginger Tea Pumpkin Custard

I created this recipe when I was first attending photography school. I realized I didn’t have any of my usual spices, so out came the ginger tea. The result was wonderful and subtle. Even though I missed my kitchen at home, it was nice to have this comforting pumpkin custard. —Rhonda Adkins, Great Falls, Montana
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Southern Sweet Potato Tart Exps Hca20 172973 B11 01 1b 1

Southern Sweet Potato Tart

We love sweet potatoes, so I try to incorporate them in as many dishes as I can. My secret ingredient in this sweet potato tart is the bourbon—it’s what makes it so delicious. —Marie Bruno, Greensboro, Georgia
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Heavenly Orange Cranberry Bars Exps Thca20 55691 B10 31 6b 1

Orange Cranberry Cookie Bars

These cranberry cookie bars combine two beloved holiday flavors and top a delicious soft crust with cream cheese icing. We enjoy these during the holiday season. —Jennifer Blakely, Visalia, California
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Cranberry-Apple Nut Crunch

This dessert is especially pretty and appropriate for the holidays. I updated my mother's recipe using instant oatmeal to make it even easier to fix. —Joyce Sheets, Lafayette, Indiana
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Pumpkin Mousse Exps Ft20 7309 F 0916 1

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

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.
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