For anyone with a sweet tooth, the best part about Thanksgiving dinner is 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. Though it doesn't have to be. To save you from added stress, we've rounded up 11 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.
Here are our picks for the easiest Thanksgiving dessert recipes to try this season.
The Recipe: Pumpkin Tiramisu
Why We Love It: 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."
Pro Tip: Chill for 8 to 24 hours before serving.
Brown Sugar Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich
The Recipe: Brown Sugar Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich
Why We Love It: 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. 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."
Pro Tip: Wrapped sandwiches should keep for up to 7 days in the freezer.
Easy Twisted Pumpkin Spice Danish
The Recipe: Easy Twisted Pumpkin Spice Danish
Why We Love It: 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 Gerard of this twisted danish recipe.
Pro Tip: "Serve warm with a light dusting or sprinkle of coarse sugar, if desired," suggests Gerard.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Why We Love It: 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."
Pro Tip: "Add only a cup of the flour at a time (otherwise it’ll puff up into your face and won’t get properly mixed into the cookie dough)," writes Heidi.
Nutella Stuffed Pumpkin Beignets
The Recipe: Nutella Stuffed Pumpkin Beignets
Why We Love It: 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 Gerard, 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," Gerard says.
Pro Tip: Heads up, "It is VERY important that the beignet is well sealed. If not, it could pop open while it fries and all the filling will spill out!" advises Gerard.
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
The Recipe: No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
Why We Love It: Does it get any easier than no-bake dessert? How about a dessert like Julie Blanner's recipe, where it all comes together in 5 minutes with little more than pumpkin, cheesecake, spices, and graham cracker crust? Whip up the pie filling, scoop into the pie tin, then wait at least 2 hours before serving.
Pro Tip: For best pumpkin flavor, "Use 100 percent pure pumpkin," Blanner writes.
Brown Sugar Walnut Apple Pie
The Recipe: Brown Sugar Walnut Apple Pie
Why We Love It: This brown sugar walnut apple pie from Creme de la Crumb has a flaky, buttery crust, making it the perfect easy Thanksgiving pie. Spoon tossed sliced apples and brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and walnuts mixture in the pie crust pressed into a pie pan, and bake.
Pro Tip: "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
The Recipe: Mulled Spiced Apple Cider Doughnuts
Why We Love It: 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 Gerard. "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."
Pro Tip: "These are best eaten slightly warm," writes Gerard.
Pumpkin Skillet Cobbler
The Recipe: Pumpkin Skillet Cobbler
Why We Love It: 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 toil 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, of How Sweet Eats.
Pro Tip: Serve with ice cream, a dusting of cinnamon, and chopped chocolate for the works.
Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie
The Recipe: Black Botton Oatmeal Pie
Why We Love It: According to Hummingbird High, this recipe is like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie–in pie form! You'll need ingredients like rolled oats, dark chocolate, dark brown sugar, heavy cream, ginger, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract, in addition to some other baking staples.
Pro Tip: The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days, or 2 days at room temperature.
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Bars
The Recipe: Brown Butter Sweet Potato Bars
Why We Love It: Hummingbird High's sweet potato pie-inspired bar recipe offers a slight twist with a brown butter shortbread crust, rather than traditional flaky pie crust. You'll need sweet potatoes, all-purpose flour, confectioners sugar, unsalted cultured butter, heavy cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, and more.
Pro Tip: While Hummingbird High breaks out the recipe steps across four days, she assures readers that most of the time you're waiting for something to happen, like waiting for the sweet potatoes to roast and cool.