Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Chocolate icebox Dessert. Linda Larsen

There are many desserts to serve on Thanksgiving other than pumpkin pie. Bake pecan pie, other fruit pies like apple pie or raisin pie, serve cake, puddings, cobblers or crisps, or something lighter like an extravagant serving dish full of fresh fruit.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

The best thing about desserts (aside from the taste), is that most of them are made ahead of time. Even last minute cutting and serving is simple when you know the glorious dessert is ready and waiting for you.

Here are some of my favorite make-ahead dessert recipes that highlight fall flavors.

  • Best Pecan Pie
  • I love pecan pie, especially with some softly whipped cream. Try adding brown sugar to the whipped cream next time.
  • My Sister's Lemon Meringue Pie
    This is the pie my little sister Lisa serves for Thanksgiving, along with Pumpkin Pie. I think it's suave, tart, sweet, creamy, and just about perfect!
  • Raspberry Walnut Torte
    This spectacular cake can be made in an easier version (see the note at the end of the recipe) but if you have the time and skill, try the four layered version.
  • Apple Crisp
  • Homey apple crisp makes a great comforting dessert for Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Apple Pecan Layer Cake
    This applesauce layer cake, with browned butter frosting, is easy and delicious. It has a fabulous texture.

Easiest Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

You can set out a tray full of bakery cookies, (or cookies that you made ahead of time and froze), garnished with edible flowers and small fruits, on your prettiest platter.

I think this is a great Thanksgiving idea, because then your guests can just nibble a bit as they wish. It's also easier on full tummies! Also serve ice cream with a choice of toppings. Kids love this dessert.

These desserts are simpler to make, and should be made ahead also. Most are made by simply assembling ingredients, including prepared foods like cookies and puddings.

  • Chocolate Filled Angel Food Cake
    Start with a purchased angel food cake and add a velvety chocolate filling and frosting for this super easy recipe. It feeds a lot of people too!
  • Simple Chocolate Cake
    This cake has been made, with great success, by my nieces. It's easy, rich, moist, and just perfect for any celebration.
  • Cherry Dessert
    This fluffy dessert is a throwback to the 1960s and is really delicious. I love the colors, along with the fabulous flavor.
  • Old Fashioned Chocolate Dessert
    One of the first make ahead desserts, all you need is some prepared chocolate cookies and whipped cream for a great retro finish!
  • Lemon Pound Cake
    This simple and well flavored cake serves a crowd, and can be dressed up with some lemon curd and whipped cream. Yum.
  • Busy Cooks Cookie Recipes