43 Easy and Unique Thanksgiving Desserts That Go Beyond the Basic
Year to year, your Thanksgiving meal probably doesn't change much. You'll likely eat a turkey, some mashed potatoes, and maybe some vegetables on the side — but your dessert can be anything you want it to be. If you're hosting Thanksgiving this year or on dessert duty for Friendsgiving or the holiday itself, this is the part of the meal where you can really shine.
Sure, you could buy a premade pie, but with such delicious-looking and unique Thanksgiving dessert ideas out there — like the 42 recipes below — it's hard to skip on making something homemade. That doesn't mean you need to sweat over the oven or stove for hours, either. Some of the recipes listed here are no-bake, make-ahead, and easy for even the biggest of groups.
You can stick with fall flavor staples, like pumpkin and apple, or venture into the untraditional, like peanut butter, chocolate, or even chai. We rounded up Thanksgiving dessert options across all these flavors and more, whether you're looking for a pie, cookies, truffles, cakes, or even ice cream. Read through to see the best unique Thanksgiving desserts, and don't forget to save room — you'll want it when these dishes hit the table.
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
These adorable no-bake pumpkin cheesecake dessert cups can be put together in no time and require zero baking.
Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Crunch Cake
Evoke the flavors of fall with this sweet and salty pumpkin crunch cake cake.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding
The best part about this slow cooker pumpkin pecan bread pudding?You can throw these ingredients into your slow cooker, and forget about it while you work on the rest of your Thanksgiving meal.
Pumpkin Pie With Graham Cracker Crust
The traditional pumpkin pie gets an update with the graham cracker crust in this recipe for pumpkin pie.
Apple Crumble Bars
These apple crumble bars are just like an apple crisp, but they don't require any apple peeling and are bite-sized for a handy Thanksgiving dessert.
You can also stick with the classic apple crisp with this recipe — which pairs so well with vanilla ice cream.
Pecan Pie Cookies
These pecan pie cookies are a great bite-sized dessert after a big Thanksgiving meal, and they're especially handy if you want to take a few on the road with you.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bar Cookies
These pumpkin cream cheese bar cookies are like all your favorite desserts in one — pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and cookies — and make for a really unique Thanksgiving dessert.
Pecan Pie Bars
Deconstruct your pecan pie to make these yummy pecan pie bars instead.
Coconut Oil Apple Crisp
Switch up the apple crisp recipe by making it with coconut oil, like this recipe does. It may not be completely untraditional, but this coconut oil apple crisp is sure to please everyone at your table.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
Surprise all your Thanksgiving dinner guests with a completely different dessert, like this no-bake peanut butter pie. Who says you have to serve something autumnal?
Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie
The marshmallow in this
pumpkin pie recipe makes for an extra fluffy filling.
No Bake Caramel Swirl Apple Butter Cheesecake
When it comes time for Thanksgiving dessert, serve cheesecake with a fall twist with this no bake caramel swirl apple butter cheesecake.
No Bake Pumpkin Cookies
If your oven is tied up with other dishes all day, these no bake pumpkin cookies are a great Thanksgiving dessert option.
Pumpkin Pie Truffles
Truffles are great for Thanksgiving dessert since everyone can find room in their stomach for at least one. These pumpkin pie truffles use seasonal flavors to stay festive.
Mason Jar Salted Caramel Cheesecake
The best part about these mason jar salted caramel cheesecakes is that they're single-serve, so you can pop any leftovers in the fridge for later or send extras home with guests.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Gingersnap Ice Cream
Ice cream is perfect after any meal, and this pumpkin cheesecake gingersnap ice cream is even better; making your own with these fall flavors turns the classic frozen treat into a special Thanksgiving dessert.
No Bake Apple Pie Cheesecake Phyllo Cups
Who doesn't love a tiny dessert that you can eat with your hands? In leiu of making a whole pie, try these little no bake apple pie cheesecake phyllo cups.
Butternut Squash Pie
This may look like pumpkin pie, but it's a different fall flavor. Say hellow to butternut squash pie, your new favorite unique Thanksgiving dessert.
Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
This recipe for pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is a refreshing departure from pumpkin pie, but still packs all the same classic flavors.
Rose Apple Pie With Bourbon Glaze
Your guests will be floored with how gorgeous this rose apple pie with bourbon glaze is.
Orange Chiffon Cake With Sparkling Cranberries
This beautiful orange chiffon cake with sparkling cranberries will make a beautiful centerpiece — and a delicious Thanksgiving dessert.
Cranberry Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread isn't just for cookies! Try it as a cake with a hint of cranberry in this recipe for cranberry gingerbread cake.
Cranberry Curd Shortbread Tart
This cranberry curd shortbread tart will be a refreshing follow-up to your hearty Thanksgiving meal.
Walnut and Angostura Pie
This walnut and angostura pie is a truly unique Thanksgiving dessert. Your guests won't expect the flavor combination — but they'll love it.
Ginger Apple Crumble Pie
Try adding ginger to your apple desserts and see just how much better they taste. That's certainly the case with this ginger apple crumble pie.
Bourbon Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is a classic for Thanksgiving dessert, but this bourbon pecan pie has a little something extra.
Caramel Apple Pecan Tart
The apple and caramel flavors really meld together in this caramel apple pecan tart, offering a rich finish to your holiday meal.
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Make your pumpkin pie into mini servings so they're easier to eat on the fly — and too cute to resist. Try this Thanksgiving dessert recipe mini pumpkin pies.
Apple Galettes With Caramel Sauce
Top these beautiful apple apple galettes with caramel sauce with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
Pumpkin Cookies With Walnuts
Make these simple pumpkin cookies with walnuts as a treat all fall long, including on Thanksgiving.
Sticky Bun Pumpkin Spice Cake
Your guests won't be able to resist this ooey gooey sticky bun pumpkin spice cake,
Roasted Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Cheesecake gets a rich lift with the addition of sweet potatoes in this recipe for roasted sweet potato cheesecake.
Flourless Pumpkin Brownies
If you believe no dessert spread is complete without chocolate — but you still want to make something festive — give these flourless pumpkin brownies a try.
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Combine two of the best desserts into one with this pecan pie cheesecake.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Sandwich decadent frosting between two pumpkin cookies for fun handheld pumpkin whoopie pies.
Apple Streusel Cake
Apples are so versatile! Try baking them into an apple streusel cake for your Thanksgiving feast.
Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Bars
Pair the tang of the cranberries with luscious chocolate for a lovely end to your holiday meal when you make these chocolate chunk cranberry bars.
Masala-Chai Carrot Cupcakes With Spiced Maple Frosting
These masala-chai carrot cupcakes with spiced maple frosting are packed with flavorful spice, and make a rich and truly unique Thanksgiving dessert.
Pumpkin Butterscotch Bars
These pumpkin butterscotch bars are somewhere between a cake, a pie, and a brownie, and they taste absolutely divine.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake With Spiced Candied Walnuts
You can make this pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake with spiced candied walnuts in whatever shape bundt pan you have, but how cool is this square one?
Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread
Turn monkey bread on its head by adding pumpkin and spices, as is done with this pumpkin spice monkey bread, and suddenly you have a stellar Thanksgiving dessert.
Pumpkin Spice Cannoli
Talk about a fun way to cap off your Thanksgiving meal. Serve these pumpkin spice cannolis and everyone will find room for dessert.