The Best Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren’t Pie

Give plain pumpkin pie a rest this year. Instead, start a new tradition and try these Thanksgiving desserts that aren't pie!

Taste of Home

Pumpkin pie may be a classic, but this year we suggest trying a new tradition at the dessert table. These Thanksgiving desserts that aren’t pie still have all the fall flavors you want—think cinnamon, apples, pecans and cranberries—just in different packaging.

And if you just can’t get pie out of your head, we get it! A good pie is hard to beat. We suggest serving up your favorite alongside a new recipe. After all, who can resist a slice of pecan pie with a side of pumpkin tiramisu?

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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

Go to Recipe

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Turkey Cake

Create a simple centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dessert table. This turkey cake comes together fast with the help of a mix, and melted candy coating keeps decorating easy. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pumpkin Spice Custard

We love this traditional Crockpot pumpkin spice custard. The added espresso powder gives it a latte effect! —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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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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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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Plum Poppy Seed Cake

You can also use nectarines or even apricots in this recipe, but plums and poppy seeds are the most traditional Polish version of this dessert. One tip: Do not push the plums into the batter. Just let them sit on top. They will sink in a bit as they bake. —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, WI. Next, check out our collection of mini Thanksgiving desserts.
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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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Festive Cranberry-Topped Cheesecake

When my daughter was 4 months old, my husband and I hosted both of our families for Christmas dinner. I served this cheesecake for dessert. It’s quite festive—it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. —Stacy Dutka, Bienfait, Saskatchewan
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Apple Brandy Pecan Cake

My favorite apple cake is made with a shot of brandy and drizzled with caramel to set off the wonderful flavors. If alcohol is a no-go, use orange juice instead of apple brandy. If you’d rather follow a chocolate route, add mini chocolate chips to the cake and use chocolate ice cream topping for the drizzle. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake

This Kentucky bourbon pecan cheesecake will wow your guests and your taste buds. Serve in spring during the Kentucky Derby or at any other special occasion throughout the year. —Rashanda Cobbins, Taste of Home Food Editor
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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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Cranberry Christmas Cake

The ruby cranberries in this recipe stay bright and beautiful, and their tartness is irresistible. I've made this cranberry Christmas cake many times to share. —Marilyn Paradis, Woodburn, Oregon
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Apple-Walnut Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of those desserts that you basically can throw anything into. It’s the kitchen sink of desserts. This recipe came about because I had stale bread and apples that needed to be used. No apples? You can use dried fruit such as cranberries or apricots, or even dried apples. —Debra Keil, Owasso, Oklahoma
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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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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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Chocolate Truffle Cake

Love chocolate? Then this tender, luxurious layer cake is for you. With a ganache glaze and a fabulous bittersweet filling, the indulgence is so worth it. —JoAnn Koerkenmeier, Damiansville, Illinois
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Pecan Pound Cake

This pecan pound cake always turns out great. It’s wonderful with a steaming cup of coffee on a chilly winter day. —Fleta West, Hayes, Virginia
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Winning Cranberry Cheesecake

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without cranberries and eggnog. I use them both in this flavorful cheesecake that’s the perfect finale for a special dinner. Set it out at the start of the meal, not just to solicit “oohs” and “aahs,” but to remind folks to save room for dessert! —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Upside-Down German Chocolate Cake

This simple recipe yields a delectable German chocolate cake that folks will “flip over”! The tempting coconut and pecan “frosting” bakes under the batter and ends up on top when you turn the cake out of the pan.
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Gingered Almond Truffle Tart

Fresh ginger complements the chocolate truffle filling in this elegant, almost sinful tart. Small servings are best! —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina
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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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Southern Sweet Potato Pie

This Mississippi sweet potato pie is very popular in the South. It's a particular favorite at our house because we always have plenty of sweet potatoes in our garden. Try it with a dollop of whipped cream. —Bonnie Holcomb, Fulton, Mississippi
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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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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
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Armagnac Chocolate Almond Tart

I am a pecan pie lover...this is my twist on pecan pie. I use almonds instead of pecans and golden syrup instead of corn syrup. Both chocolate and Armagnac make this tart really special. Don't skip on toasting the almonds, it brings out the nuttiness of the pie. — Phoebe Saad, Framingham, Massachusetts

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.