Thanksgiving is one of those days when you have to wait a little bit between the hors d’oeuvres and dinner, as you’re usually full before the meal begins. Then you eat. THEN you pause (perhaps you drink a bit more or clean the kitchen) and it’s time for dessert. If you are going to eat dessert after all that food, it had best be worth every last calorie! We’ve scouted out a few recipes from some of our favorite chefs that fit this need nicely.

We’ve specifically chosen Thanksgiving desserts high on flavor and different from the expected, yet still completely filled with holiday flavors.

Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Pumpkin Squares

This handheld pumpkin dessert comes from Nashville, TN’s own Miss Daisy King, known throughout the South for her down-home cooking. Her cookbooks are ones that become battered over time for all the use they get. Enjoy this fabulous holiday dessert.

Pumpkin Squares by Miss Daisy

These pumpkin squares are favorites throughout the fall. Image: Miss Daisy

Pumpkin Squares

Miss Daisy
If you are tired of pumpkin pie, try a new twist on a pumpkin dessert! Be sure to ice with the cream cheese frosting recipe that follows.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12 -15 servings


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt 1/8 teaspoon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups pumpkin pie filling


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Assemble your ingredients and utensils.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs sugar and oil.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
  • Add to the egg mixture.
  • Blend in the pumpkin pie filling.
  • Pour into a greased 12x18-inch pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Cool the cake and then ice with the Cream Cheese Frosting (below).
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Cream Cheese Frosting

Miss Daisy
Add this on your pumpkin bars to complete!
No ratings yet
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1/2 cup 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1-pound box confectioners sugar
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts.


  • Combine the ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly with a hand mixer. Spread over the pumpkin cake and cut into squares to serve.
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

These are a rich treat to enjoy after your meal. Brittany Whisenant Cabigao, co-owner of Memphis’ South of Beale, says her stepmom makes these little bites of heaven every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Brittany and her siblings always joined in. “It’s become a special tradition,” she says. “Now that I live in a different state, she’ll still make them with my nieces and send them to me around the holidays. And I also make them myself sometimes!” Careful — it’s easy to pop them in your mouth and lose count of how many you’ve consumed. You’ve been warned!

These chocolate balls are sure the perfect after-dinner treat!

These chocolate peanut butter balls are the perfect after-dinner treat!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Brittany Whisenant Cabigao
These yummy bites are simple to make and pack a lot of sweetness into a single morsel. Perfect for popping in your mouth while prepping the Thanksgiving table. You know, if you just can't wait till dessert.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 30 balls


  • 1 box confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 8 ounces graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 small can coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 sticks 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 sheet of paraffin


  • Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl; mix well.
  • Form the mixture into small balls.
  • Melt the chocolate chips and 1/2 sheet of paraffin over a double boiler.
  • Dip the balls in the chocolate and paraffin and place on waxed paper to dry.
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Apple Crostata with Burnt Honey Frozen Yogurt

“Fall always signifies apple season to me,” says Sedesh Boodram, chef de cuisine of OvenBird and Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, AL. “Being in the height of the season, it’s just the perfect choice. With the crostata, we pair it with our in-house frozen yogurt, flavored with local burnt honey that adds a rich creamy element to the dish, topped with bee pollen which gives it a playful feel.” These local flavors, however simple, are taken to the next level with this complex dessert!

Apple Crostata with Burnt Honey Frozen Yogurt. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle bee pollen over this gorgeous dessert for added wow factor.

Drizzle with honey and sprinkle bee pollen over this gorgeous dessert for added wow factor.

Apple Crostada with Burnt Honey Frozen Yogurt

Sedesh Boodram
The dough and the yogurt can be made ahead.
No ratings yet
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • For the dough:
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cold cut butter
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • For the compote:
  • 1 pound small apples diced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom divided
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar
  • For the frozen yogurt:
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • cups milk
  • 3 sheets gelatin softened
  • 3 cups yogurt
  • Bee pollen garnish


  • For the dough:
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor; pulse until the mixture is pea size.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic and let chill for 30 minutes.
  • Roll into 6-inch circles on a sheet pan lined with Silpat.
  • For the compote:
  • Combine the first five ingredients and 1 teaspoon of the cardamom; mix well. Divide the apple compote mixture evenly among the dough circles, leaving 2 inches around the edges. Fold over the edges and brush with heavy cream.
  • Combine the turbinado sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon cardamom and sprinkle over the crust and apples.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crust is golden. Serve warm.
  • For the frozen yogurt:
  • Spoon the honey into a saucepan. Cook until reduced by one-third.
  • Let cool for a bit, then whisk in the milk.
  • Add the softened gelatin.
  • Whisk in the yogurt and strain.
  • Spin in an ice cream machine.
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!


And if you’d like to see one of our most popular Thanksgiving and all-around perfect holiday treats of all time, our readers come back time and time again for these Pecan Pie Truffles.

Happy Thanksgiving!