Icing On the Cake: The Best Thanksgiving Desserts

Even though turkey may be the main event, everyone loves an encore. Both figuratively and literally, the right dessert can be the perfect icing on the cake for any Thanksgiving menu. From long-running classics to mouthwatering modern treats, here are some of our favorite desserts to celebrate the holiday.

Pecan Pie

You can’t have Thanksgiving without pecan pie. It’s a rule, and the culinary police will indubitably fine you for it. Jokes aside, the flavor profile, texture, and aroma are perfectly lined up for the fall holiday, plus it’s simple to make. Preparing the proper pie crust is essential, so be sure to use an egg wash and blind bake your crust (partially baking it before adding your filling) for better texture and color!

Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows 

Without a doubt the most savory item on this list, sweet potato casseroles are another constant companion on Thanksgiving menus. The beauty in this dish comes from its duality; the sweet potato, marshmallows, and pecans crate a casserole that’s sweet, savory, crunchy, and creamy all at once. 

Cranberry Tart

There are ways to implement cranberries into your Thanksgiving menu outside of cranberry sauce. We’re in love with cranberry tarts here at Colorful Plates because they offer a wonderful combination of taste and aesthetics wrapped up in one perfectly compact package. When cooking your cranberries make sure to take them off the heat once they begin to pop, otherwise, you’ll end up with an overly mushy mixture. 

Chai Pumpkin Pie

We’re big fans of standard pumpkin pies, but that doesn’t mean we’re afraid to spice things up a little (pun intended). A typical chai spice mixture shares similar spices to a standard pumpkin pie recipe, but adds in a generous dose of allspice and cardamom to your pie for unexpected herbal and peppery notes. If you really want to lean into the chai side of things, top it with a chai spice infused whipped cream!

Pumpkin Tiramisu

Love pumpkin but sick of pumpkin pies? We’ve got your back. Unlike their more famous counterpart, pumpkin tiramisu offers a silky texture that truly melts in your mouth. Avoid fresh pumpkins if you can; you’ll have an easier time getting the proper texture if you use a pumpkin puree. Garnish your tiramisu with shaved milk chocolate for an aesthetically pleasing dessert that would make Alton Brown blush.

Apple Pie Cake Pops

For a non-traditional dessert that appeals to both kids and adults alike, reach for some apple pie cake pops! If you haven’t made cake pops before, we’d recommend doing a few trial runs to make sure you get a finished product that isn’t too soft. To prepare, bake your apple pie cake mixture and allow to cool, then coat in frosting before tossing them in the freezer for a half hour or so. Add a light caramel drizzle to finish things off and get started on the next batch; they’re going to go out quick.