Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

A collage of 42 Thanksgiving Desserts.

Whether you’re looking for quick and easy Thanksgiving dessert ideas or something more impressive, these Thanksgiving pies, seasonal fall crisps, luxurious ice creams and custards, autumn cakes and pastries are the perfect ending to your holiday meal.

Many of these holiday desserts can be made a day or two ahead, freeing up time for other food preparations for your special Thanksgiving.

Let's start with the most obvious... Thanksgiving pies. These pie recipes are perfect for fall with harvest flavors and colors that will add a sweet end to any meal, particularly this one. You can use homemade pie dough if you've got time or a storebought crust if you don't. Most of these holiday pies can be made a day ahead of time.

Thanksgiving Crisps & Crumbles

Fall fruit crisps and crumbles are a perfect alternative for beginner cooks who don't want to fiddle with making or rolling out pie pastry. They have the same familiar flavors you'll find in your favorite Thanksgiving pies, but fruit crisps are simpler to make and much more forgiving. Plus, they're served warm, perfect to garnish with a scoop of vanilla.

Ice Creams for Thanksgiving

Ice cream is a universal crowd pleaser for any occasion and these deliciously different ice cream flavors are perfect for your special Thanksgiving dessert to enjoy on their own or to pair with other sweets. Make the ice creams at least a day or two before serving, so they have time to fully chill.

Puddings & Custards for Thanksgiving Dessert

Puddings and custards are unexpected Thanksgiving desserts, but they deserve a spot at the table. We love them because you can make them in advance and everyone gets their own personal dessert. Garnish with whipped cream, toasted nuts or other sprinkles for a simple but elegant end to your holiday meal.

Easy Cakes for Thanksgiving

Cakes don't come to mind as the usual Thanksgiving dessert idea, but that's an oversight. These harvest-style beauties deserve a spot at the table.

Cookies perfect for Thanksgiving

If you're doing a Thanksgiving buffet instead of a sit down dinner, why not include a cookie platter? Guests can grab their favorites and nibble away with a cup of coffee or cider (maybe spiked with brandy or cognac). Here are some of our favorite cookie ideas for Thanksgiving dessert.

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