Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes that Go off Script

piece of flourless pumpkin bread with fork

Maybe you never liked pumpkin pie, and the thought of a super sweet pecan pie makes your teeth hurt. This might be the year to break with tradition and make exactly what YOU like ~ here are some non traditional Thanksgiving dessert recipes for a decidedly non traditional year.

pear crisp in a bowl with spoon

This Thanksgiving is going to be different and I’m not going to fight it. There will be exactly 4 of us around the table this year, and that’s ok, I’m actually looking forward to a relaxed meal. While some of you will be craving traditional Thanksgiving pies and desserts more than ever, others might seize the opportunity to go rogue. Since every new tradition needs an origin story, and 2020 provides a whopper ~ why not bring something new to the dessert table this year? As always, I’ve got some yummy suggestions for you 🙂


Warm Pumpkin Pudding Cakes

These soufflé-like individual pumpkin cakes are light as air, and have a custard-y, pudding like layer on the bottom that is just irresistible. Even if you absolutely hate pumpkin pie, I think you’ll love these.

pumpkin pudding cake in a bowl with whipped cream



Fall Fruit Tart with Maple and Mascarpone

With store-bought puff pastry, this sophisticated semi-homemade dessert is a breeze to make, and a lighter, refreshing break from the traditional Thanksgiving dessert spread. I used late-season plums, but this would work beautifully with apples or pears, as well. Maybe cranberries?

maple and mascarpone fall fruit tart



Perfect Pecan Sandies

Let’s say it’s just going to be the two of you around the Thanksgiving table this year, but you still want a little treat to nibble on after dinner with some decaf or tea. These pecan shortbread cookies have a surprising depth of flavor from toasted pecans, and are just about the easiest cookie ever to make.

a plate of pecan sandy cookies



Flourless Pumpkin Spice Cake

I love the texture of the flourless cakes I have experimented with here on the blog. Almond flour lends a lovely moist crumb and pumpkin adds richness to this simple but yummy cake.

flourless pumpkin spice cake



Gingerbread Ice Cream

This stuff is outrageous. I love the unexpected combination of rich molasses and warm spices in a cold, creamy ice cream. It makes a fantastic dessert on its own, but the à la mode possibilities are crazy good.

gingerbread ice cream in a bowl



Apple Galette

Don’t think of it as a substitute for apple pie ~ I actually prefer this rustic galette. When the apples are tart and the crust is light and flakey (like this one) it’s heaven on a plate.

an apple galette, sliced



Flourless Belgian Chocolate Cake

If you’ve always sort of resented that chocolate isn’t part of the traditional Thanksgiving repertoire (raising hand) ~ this year is your year! Make it part of YOUR Thanksgiving repertoire, and do it in a big way with this rich flourless chocolate cake. You’ll return to this recipe again and again.

flourless chocolate cake



Salted Caramel Pot de Crème

Not a pie person? More of an I crave something creamy after dinner kind of person? I got you. This salted caramel pot de crème is impossibly smooth and rich with bold caramel flavor. Potted in little individual servings, it won’t be too much after your Thanksgiving meal.

thick creamy salted caramel pot de creme



Easy Pear Crisp

I love a good fruit crisp. You just can’t beat bubbling hot seasonal fruit topped with a sweet, buttery, crunchy topping. Pears and cardamom make a lovely flavor combination here, and you can make this recipe gluten free or not.

pear crisp in a vintage bowl



Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream

Make this glorious cake once and you’ll be making it for the rest of your days, it’s that good. The combination of flavors is unique and wonderful.

sliced chocolate cake with cranberry frosting


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1 Comment

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    November 15, 2020 at 6:48 am

    You are so creative! I am dying to try the chocolate cake with cranberry frosting next week! Thanks for all the great recipes.

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