For anyone with a sweet tooth, the best part about Thanksgiving dinner is the dessert. Even for the more savory-seeking, few can argue with the tradition of finishing off the feast with a plate full of holiday sweets. With nostalgic flavors of pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, and brown sugar, no Thanksgiving gathering is complete without a sweet treat that caters to our holiday-minded palates.
When you're serving up a spread of mouthwatering sides—not to mention the turkey—mustering up the energy to bake decadent desserts can be a difficult task. Yet serving up crowd-pleasers doesn't necessitate tons of time in the kitchen. To save you from added stress—and let you get back to enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner rather than slaving away in the kitchen—we've rounded up seven easy Thanksgiving desserts that are sure to impress every guest. Not only are these recipes easy, but they put a playful spin on our favorite fall desserts. Keep scrolling for seven crowd-pleasing easy Thanksgiving desserts that are simple as pie.
Surprise guests with a twist on two dessert staples: pumpkin pie and tiramisu. While the recipe itself is rather straightforward, you do need to plan, as "it needs at least eight hours to soak up all of the pumpkin and coffee flavors," advises Heidi of Foodie Crush. "For the filling, creamy mascarpone is a must, and while it will soften once it's set out at room temperature, a quick go around in the stand mixer will result in a creamy mix-in for the pumpkin and whipped cream, avoiding all clumps that could possibly be lurking."
Apple Pie Dip
"I love pie any way I can get it, and finding it outside of the dessert context is always a fun surprise," admits Claire of The Kitchy Kitchen. Put another playful spin on a Thanksgiving dessert staple with this delicious pastry-and-dip combo. "I'm turning one of my favorites, apple pie, inside out by serving the filling as a dip, and making cinnamon sugar puff pastry spirals," Claire explains. "It's crunchy and slightly sweet, without being too heavy, making it the perfect Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving appetizer."
Brown Sugar Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich
Ready to satisfy guests who crave both sweet and savory? "I have no trouble indulging in ice cream sandwiches with a twist," states Stephanie of I Am a Food Blog. "I really love sweet and salty desserts, so it was no surprise that I fell in love a little bit." This flavor-packed recipe combines "salty, sweet, crunchy candied bacon bits with creamy vanilla ice cream and crisp wafers … these sandwiches are definitely a hit."
Easy Twisted Pumpkin Spice Danish
No fall festivity is complete without a healthy dose of pumpkin spice. "Think flaky puff pastry, cream cheese, and sweet pumpkin filling, butter, and pumpkin spice," says Half Baked Harvest's Tieghan of this twisted danish recipe. "Basically a dream combo, plus all things holiday, delicious, easy, and fun." Better yet, the recipe is super easy, making them perfect to top off your Thanksgiving feast or even to whip up on a random Tuesday this fall.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Looking for a kid-friendly staple that's decidedly fall-inspired? "This recipe is perfect," declares Heidi of Foodie Crush. "Especially if you're baking for a crowd." She says the only way she can really describe these cookies is that they're pillowy and packed with pumpkin pie flavor. "And chocolate," she continues. "Because I can never say no to chocolate."
Nutella Stuffed Pumpkin Beignets
What do you get when you combine plenty of pumpkin flavor, fried dough, and Nutella? Pure perfection is pretty close. "The combo screams fall, adds ample flavors, and creates a perfectly light and airy beignet," notes Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "The dough is really simple, but what makes it special and different from other beignet dough is the addition of apple cider and pumpkin," she says. "The best part though is the warm and gooey Nutella in the center of pillowy, cinnamon-dusted beignet—it's to die for!"
No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
Does it get any easier than no-bake dessert? How about one you can make in advance? "This is a fabulous make-ahead dessert, in the tradition of icebox cake," says Claire of The Kitchy Kitchen. "You never have to turn on an oven, and the crust is exceedingly simple to make," Claire describes the flavors as rich and creamy, but the texture as surprisingly light (due to the whipped cream that's folded in). "I love this stuff," she says. "And if you just don't feel like pumpkin pie this year, this is a delicious alternative."
Brown Sugar Walnut Apple Pie
This brown sugar walnut apple pie from Creme de la Crumb has a flaky, buttery crust, making it the perfect easy Thanksgiving pie. Simply spoon the tossed sliced apples and the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and walnuts mixture in the pie crust pressed into a pie pan and bake. "I highly recommend using a combination of red and golden apples and leaving that skin on," suggests recipe creator Tiffany Edwards. "If you absolutely can’t stand the thought of skin on your apples, peel them. But I promise you they get cooked enough that they will just melt in your mouth along with the apple flesh and please take a look at those colors."
Mulled Spiced Apple Cider Doughnuts
Want an easy Thanksgiving dessert to enjoy the night of and beyond? Try these mulled spiced apple cider doughnuts from Half Baked Harvest, which take under an hour to make. "Unlike most doughnuts, apple cider doughnuts are not made using any yeast, and instead are made with baking powder and baking soda," explains Tieghan. "Not only does this make them simpler and easier to make, but it gives them a heartier, denser texture with a soft inside, but a slightly crisp outside."
Pumpkin Skillet Cobbler
If you like cobbler, you'll love this simple pumpkin skillet cobbler from How Sweet Eats. This easy dessert can be made ahead and enjoyed at any time—so you don't have to slave in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day. "The base is a pumpkin custard-like base and then I made my own 'cake mix' (with dry ingredients only) and sprinkled them over top," explains Jessica Merchant. "It's such a cool dessert and definitely one you can make ahead of time, but in doing that, I'd be sure to reheat it so you get the melty ice cream factor."
Looking for even more inspiration? 9 Dishes to Bring to Thanksgiving Dinner.
This story was originally published on November 11, 2017, and has since been updated.