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30 Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Desserts (+ New Favorites)

Complete your holiday spread with some traditional Southern desserts like pecan and sweet potato pies as well as new favorites like upside-down cranberry cake.

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Southern Sweet Potato Tart

Our family loves sweet potatoes, so I try to incorporate them in as many dishes as I can. My secret ingredient is the bourbon—it's what makes this tart so delicious. —Marie Bruno, Watkinsville, Georgia
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Spiced Upside-Down Apple Pie

My grandma taught me to make this pie when I was 4. Over the years, I've kept it about the same with just a few changes. Flip it out the second it stops bubbling. The glaze makes it look especially delicious. —Francine Bryson, Pickens, South Carolina
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Ginger Pumpkin Pie with Streusel

Want to dress up ordinary pumpkin pie for the holidays? Give it a buttery, sugary streusel topping of gingersnaps and pecans.
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Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cinnamon Frosting

My mom made this for me, and one bite can completely take me back to my childhood. You can easily convert it into a great carrot cake recipe: just use grated carrots in place of pumpkin and add raisins. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Cranberry Pecan Upside Down Cake Exps Ugfbmz17 2505 B05 02 2b 2

Cranberry Pecan Upside-Down Cake

At our house, cranberries are a favorite. I made this dessert for the first time in the 1990s. It started out as a pineapple upside down cake—I just changed a few things around! It keeps and travels well, so it’s perfect for taking to church dinners. And we love to share it with our son and grandchildren. —Doris Heath, Franklin, North Carolina
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Hazelnut Pecan Pie

With a blend of chocolate, pecans and hazelnuts, this pie is top-level tasty. But because so it’s easy to make, you can enjoy it often. Your family and friends will think you worked for hours in the kitchen. It’s incredible plain, but a dollop of whipped cream takes it over the top. —Brenda Melancon, McComb, Mississippi
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Apple-Walnut Cake with Orange Glaze

I tinkered with a plain apple cake recipe to create this moist, delicious winner. The result: old-fashioned goodness with a heavenly aroma! This cake is the perfect fall treat or holiday dessert, but it’s also great as a special breakfast or brunch item. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Five-Spice Pumpkin Pie

I always make a pumpkin pie for our big "pie night" party on Thanksgiving Eve. This recipe is a classic with a special spiced-up twist. —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida
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Pumpkin Dessert Bars

Put a twist on traditional pumpkin pie with this recipe. It packs the spicy pumpkin flavor you love, but in a new crowd-sized form. —Tena Huckleby, Greeneville, Tennessee
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Walnut-Cranberry Pie

After this ruby red pie got rave reviews on Thanksgiving, I was happy to bake it again for Christmas dinner. The naturally tart cranberries are perfectly sweetened and accented with walnuts, raisins and lemon. —Shirley Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Cinnamon Apple Tart

I got the idea for this delicious fall dessert from a lovely Italian woman who’s also a fabulous cook. It’s so simple to make—and cleanup is just as easy! I often make two and freeze one. —Stacie Blemings, Heath, Texas
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Spiced Butternut Squash Pie

My mom always made this dessert with her homegrown squash. It was my dad's favorite after-dinner treat. I continue to make it to this day. —Johnna Poulson, Celebration, Florida.
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Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie

My husband and I are not big fans of traditional pumpkin pie, but my mother and others are, so we must have pumpkin pie as one of the desserts at Thanksgiving. I decided to meet everyone halfway with this pumpkin pecan pie recipe and it was a hit. Now I bring it to Thanksgiving every year. My mother doesn't even feel the need to bake her own pumpkin pie! —Emily Reese, Glade Hill, Virginia
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Frosted Harvest Cake

Craving brownies but want something a little bit different? Indulge in a fall-flavored version topped with a cream cheese frosting. —Iola Egle, Bella Vista, Arkansas
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Apple Butter and Pumpkin Pie

I'm proud of this pie because I made it up in my head, and it turned out very well! It's a little different from traditional pumpkin or pecan pie, which makes it a nice holiday surprise. —Sherry Little, Sherwood, Arkansas
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Apple Butter Cake Roll

This is a new take on a pumpkin roll. Her spicy gingerbread cake might make you think back fondly to Christmas at Grandma's! —Debbie White, Williamson, West Virginia
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Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

When my fiance first made this chocolate bourbon pecan pie for me, I declared it to be the best pie ever! Creamy chocolate combines with crunchy nuts in a great, gooey filling. We can't get enough of this recipe inspired by Kentucky Derby bourbon chocolate pecan pie. —Tanya Taylor, Cary, North Carolina
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Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

My improved dessert combines two things I love: pumpkin and cheesecake. This better-for-you version is the perfect ending to a wonderful meal. Visit my blog at www.HealthifiedMom.com for more great recipes like this one! Top with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, or whatever your little heart desires!—Jenny Dubinsky, Inwood, West Virginia
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Pumpkin Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Sauce

This old-fashioned treat is so warm and comforting on chilly evenings. Pumpkin gives it great seasonal appeal, and the white chocolate sauce makes it even more irresistible. —Shirley Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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No-Crust Pumpkin Pie

Baked in a water bath, this pie has a texture that's more like a custard than a traditional pumpkin pie. In place of canned or fresh pumpkin, I sometimes use cushaw, a type of crookneck squash.
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Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Although it looks like you fussed, this pretty layered pie is easy to assemble with convenient canned pumpkin, store-bought candy bars and a prepared crust. "This make-ahead dessert is delicious any time of year," reports Suzanne McKinley of Lyons, Georgia.
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Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

I am a healthy eater most of the time, but this apple spice cake is worth the splurge! Every year, I treasure the opportunity to make my own birthday cake, and I choose this. You can add a cup of raisins to the batter before baking if you'd like. —Jennifer Owen, Louisville, Kentucky
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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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Mama's Spice Cake

Whenever I get a craving for a tasty old-fashioned treat, I make this cake. Great cooks in my family have been baking it for generations, and their families have been enjoying the wonderful spice flavor and rich frosting. —Nancy Duty, Jacksonville, Florida
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Maple-Glazed Apple Pie

Even though we've lived in Florida for three years, I still feel like a Vermonter. My parents send us a bushel of Vermont apples each fall, and we try to visit in the spring to do some sugaring. —Patricia Putnam, Lakeland, Florida
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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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French Silk Pie

I first made French silk pie when I was in high school. Years later, I tinkered with the recipe until I was happy with it. Now it’s one of my husband's favorites. —Lisa Francis, Elba, Alabama
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Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake

An attractive topping of cinnamon-spiced apple slices and a homemade oat-and-walnut crust make this creamy dessert a definite showstopper. —Emily Ann Young, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Purple-Ribbon Pumpkin Cake

I belong to a Christmas village collectors' club and we all bring a potluck dish to our monthy meetings. The cake is always a hit. It's one of my family's favorite Thanksgiving desserts, too, and disappears before the pumpkin pie does. —Debby Powers, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
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Molasses-Bourbon Pecan Pie

Guests’ mouths water when they glimpse this southern charmer. Its flaky crust perfectly complements the rich, nutty filling. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.

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