Thanksgiving Desserts

The best fall desserts for your Thanksgiving feast.


Mattie Smith

A dessert my family always has for our Thanksgiving feast is a chocolate chess pie.

Relaxing next to the fireplace, I sip my hot apple cider. Between the warm mug in my hand and the warmth from the fireplace, I am content. I look down at my empty plate and think, “That was one good apple pie.”

Thanksgiving is a time for family gathering. It’s a time for recognizing your blessings and all that you are thankful for. One of the most anticipated events of Thanksgiving is dessert time. Some people stick to the traditional desserts of pumpkin pie, apple pie, and sweet potato pie. However, some people take it up a notch to create extraordinary and epic desserts.

The first of our epic desserts are pumpkin cannoli. I like to use the recipe from and was able to make this pretty easily. The recipe calls for pre-made cannoli shells, which is what I use, but if you want to make this more homemade, you could make the shells yourself using this recipe from The ingredients are as follows:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 12 large cannoli shells
  • 1 tablespoon sprinkles, or as desired
  • 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Pumpkins are a unique ingredient in a lot of Thanksgiving desserts including the classic pumpkin pie, pumpkin doughnuts, and pumpkin cakes.


  • Step 1: Stir 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, pumpkin, mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, pudding mix, and pumpkin pie spice together in a bowl until smooth.
  • Step 2: Beat cream in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into pumpkin mixture. Spoon pumpkin mixture into a resealable plastic bag and snip a 3/4-inch hole in 1 corner. Pipe pumpkin mixture into each cannoli shell. Garnish the ends with sprinkles and confectioners’ sugar.

Another yummy dessert is pecan pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies. The recipe I used is from These were absolutely delicious and were a fan favorite among my family. Pair this treat with some hot apple cider and you will be in autumn heaven! The ingredients list and directions are below.

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1½ tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

¾ tsp. ground cloves

3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour

1¼ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt

1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened until just slightly firm

1½ cups (packed; 300 g) light brown sugar

Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves are distinctive spices for fall baking. You can use them in a variety of desserts including any sort of pie and some cookies.

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

3 large eggs

¼ cup canned pumpkin purée

1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

4 oz. (112 g) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1½ cups (9 oz./255 g) dark chocolate chips

1½ cups (174 g) coarsely chopped pecans


  1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Mix cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a small bowl to make pumpkin spice. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and 1 Tbsp. pumpkin spice in a medium bowl; set remaining pumpkin spice aside for making pies, quick breads, or another batch of cookies.
  2. Combine butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and with motor running, add eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition before adding the next. Beat in pumpkin purée and vanilla paste. Gradually add dry ingredients and beat just until combined (be careful not to overmix). Set aside a handful or so of each of the chopped chocolate, chocolate chips, and pecans. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold remaining chopped chocolate, chocolate chips, and pecans into dough.
  3. Using a No. 20 cookie scoop (about 3 Tbsp.), drop balls of dough onto two parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing at least 4″ apart. (If using a half-sheet pan, bake 2 cookies per sheet. For a full sheet, you can fit about 4.) Gently press reserved chocolate and nuts into tops of dough balls.
  4. Bake cookies, rotating pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until golden brown around the edges, 11–13 minutes (subsequent batches may take 2–3 minutes longer). Let cookies cool on baking sheets 5 minutes.
  5. Using a thin metal spatula, carefully transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.
Chocolate Chess pie is a classic and flavorful dessert for Thanksgiving. With a gooey center and lots of chocolate, it’s one of my favorite Thanksgiving treats.

Some more recipes you might want to consider for your Thanksgiving feast are:

  • Gingerbread Bundt cake with maple cinnamon glaze: this recipe is for the ones that like to celebrate the holidays a bit earlier. This one combines the Christmas flavor of gingerbread and the Thanksgiving flavor of a maple cinnamon glaze. A perfect dessert for transitioning over to Christmas. You can find the recipe here.
  • French silk chocolate pie: this is easily one of my favorite Thanksgiving dessert. It’s usually served cold and can be quite
    refreshing on those random hot Virginia days in November. You can find a quick and easy recipe here.
  • Chocolate Chess Pie: this recipe is another classic, but so delicious! You can find a simple recipe here.

What do you think? Are you more of a classic desserts person or an epic desserts person? Which dessert is the best? Let me know in the poll below:

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert or what is one you are willing to try?

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