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These Are the Absolute Best Desserts to Serve on Thanksgiving

With these recipes, the turkey won't be the only thing your guests are talking about this year.
These Are the Absolute Best Desserts to Serve on ThanksgivingMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it's officially time to start looking for all those recipes to impress your friends and family. Obviously, the focal point of the day is usually the turkey, but this year, we say the Thanksgiving dessert should be your priority. After all, it is the last dish people eat before getting up off the couch and slowly making their way to the door—if they don't fall asleep first.

Whether you want to stick with a classic Thanksgiving dessert or go for something a little more unique, these recipes have got you covered. Here is our list of the best desserts to serve after the turkey this year.

Apple Crumble

Apple crumble Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

An apple crumble is definitely one of the more traditional Thanksgiving dessert favorites. There's something about the cinnamon and nutmeg that just bring in all the fall vibes that you've been waiting all year to enjoy. And it doesn't even take too long to make, so your time and energy can mostly be on the turkey where it belongs.

Get our recipe for Apple Crumble.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Slice of healthy pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream and strawberries Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

We bet you never thought of having cheesecake as a Turkey Day dessert, but this pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect finishing touch on your Thanksgiving meal. It's light and creamy, and it even has that festive fall color. This dessert will have all your guests asking for the recipe.

Get our recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Warm Mocha Tart

warm mocha tart with espresso cups and napkin Waterbury Publications, Inc.

This warm mocha tart puts a new twist on a traditional dessert. If you like the combination of chocolate and mocha, this is definitely a recipe to try. Just because most people go the fruit-dessert route on Thanksgiving doesn't mean that you have to. After one bite, all of your guests will be hooked.

Get our recipe for Warm Mocha Tart.

RELATED: No-sugar-added recipes you'll actually look forward to eating.

Apple Pie with Crunch Topping

Low-calorie apple pie with crunch topping Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you do want to stick with a classic, this apple pie recipe is going to be your new best friend. Instead of that doughy topping that apple pies usually have, ours is made with a crunchy topping that makes it almost apple crisp-like. With one slice of this pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you'll be in absolute pie heaven.

Get our recipe for Apple Pie with Crunch Topping.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low-calorie chocolate chip cookies Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Another classic that's often overlooked for Thanksgiving dinner is chocolate chip cookies. Who says that cookies can't be the perfect dessert for your guests after a giant meal? Directly after stuffing yourself with lots and lots of turkey, there's something refreshing about eating something little and sweet to finish off Thanksgiving.

Get our recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

two bowls of pumpkin bread pudding with spoons on wire rack and wooden background Jason Donnelly

The thing with Thanksgiving is you're often serving a lot of people, so when it comes to dessert, the bigger the better. Bread pudding is a great option because you can make a lot of it and people can serve themselves from the giant dish. This pumpkin bread pudding recipe will make you feel completely warm inside with all of the fall flavors of orange zest, cranberries, maple syrup, and pecans.

Get our recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

Molten Lava Chocolate Cherry Cake

molten lava cherry chocolate cake with frozen yogurt and spoon on black plate Jason Donnelly

Thanksgiving is all about bringing people together. The problem is that when you have lots of people, sometimes you have differences in tastes when it comes to food. This molten lava chocolate cherry cake will satisfy chocolate-lovers and fruit dessert-lovers alike. Your guests will be licking their forks after getting a bite of this one.

Get our recipe for Molten Lava Chocolate Cherry Cake.

Fudgy Pumpkin Brownie Bites

Fudgy pumpkin brownie bites on a wooden cutting board Blaine Moats

There's just something about bite-size desserts that people tend to love. If you put these pumpkin brownie bites out on your Thanksgiving table, they're bound to be gone in a second. Not only are they mini, but the pumpkin flavor makes them the ultimate fall dessert.

Get our recipe for Fudgy Pumpkin Brownie Bites.

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

Healthy blueberry-peach cobbler Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you want to stick with a fruit dessert but don't want to go the traditional pie route, a cobbler is a similar idea. Rather than one flat pie crust, though, it has crispy tender biscuits baked right on top. This blueberry-peach cobbler will most definitely be a crowd favorite.

Get our recipe for Blueberry Peach Cobbler.

Grilled Banana Split

Low-calorie grilled banana split Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

There's something about being with family on Thanksgiving that makes you feel like a kid again. This grilled banana split will satisfy both the adults and children at your Thanksgiving dinner table. After this one, you'll never have a normal banana split again.

Get our recipe for Grilled Banana Split.

Pumpkin Bars

keto pumpkin pie bars Beth Lipton / Eat This, Not That!

These pumpkin bars are pretty much like individual servings of pumpkin pie, but even better. The crust is buttery, while the filling truly melts in your mouth. The pumpkin season won't last forever, so this recipe is a great excuse to take full advantage of Thanksgiving in the best way.

Get our recipe for Pumpkin Bars.

Fudgy Brownies

Low-calorie fudgy brownies Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you're looking for something to satisfy those chocolate-lovers this Thanksgiving, these fudgy brownies are the move. They would accompany the pumpkin bars nicely and keep with the individual dessert trend, which we are all about. This brownie recipe actually taps into a new level of fudgy richness that will have even your grandma ready to switch up her recipe.

Get our recipe for Fudgy Brownies.

Cinnamon-Orange Lava Cake

cinnamon orange lava cakes on white plates with forks and coffee and cinnamon pinch bowl Waterbury Publications, Inc.

This flavor combo will take your Thanksgiving dessert to the next level. With cinnamon, bittersweet chocolate, and orange zest, this lava cake recipe will create a treat you and your guests won't soon forget.

Get our recipe for Cinnamon-Orange Lava Cake.

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

apple cranberry crisp in while bowls with spoons and red gingham napkin on wooden background Jason Donnelly

If you've been busy cooking your turkey and sides and are looking for a simple dessert that will still impress your guests, this apple-cranberry crisp is the way to go because it can be done from start to finish in under an hour. There's truly nothing better than a dessert that's both simple and delicious.

Get our recipe for Apple-Cranberry Crisp.

Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten chocolate cake Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you're having a smaller Thanksgiving dinner, there's no reason why you can't break out the ramekins to make some lava cakes. If your guests thought the turkey put them over the edge, this dessert will take them to the next level of Thanksgiving fullness. There's always room for dessert, right?

Get our recipe for Molten Chocolate Cake.

Coffee and Chocolate Meringues

chocolate coffee meringues on baking tray with chocolate chips and dish towel Waterbury Publications, Inc.

If you don't anticipate your guests saving room for dessert, these meringues are the way to go. Sometimes it's hard to pace yourself, especially at Thanksgiving dinner, but with these coffee and chocolate meringues, your guests can have a little something even if they're "too full for dessert." They're so light and fluffy, and they'd be great to put in to-go containers for a road snack for the trip home.

Get our recipe for Coffee and Chocolate Meringues.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake

Jason Donnelly

Looking at this cake just reminds us of the holiday season. With the pear on top, you know it's going to taste like autumn. And filled with nutmeg, dates, vanilla, and applesauce, it truly delivers. There are so many layers of flavor with this recipe, your guests will be dreaming about it while in their turkey coma.

Get our recipe for Sticky Toffee Date Cake.

Individual Key Lime Cheesecake

individual bowls of key lime cheesecake on serving tray with lime slices and spoons Jason Donnelly

Pie is great, but there's one thing about having a lot of people to your house for the holidays eating a lot of pie: It can get messy. Between the crumbs and sticky fillings, it could be a recipe for disaster. This individual key lime cheesecake ensures that your couch will endure minimal mess this holiday season, and your guests will absolutely love them.

Get our recipe for Individual Key Lime Cheesecake.

Crispy Apple Turnover

Low-calorie crispy apple turnover Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Continuing on the individual dessert trend, these crispy apple turnovers are the perfect balance of crispy outer layer with a soft, sweet inside. This dessert brings in all the flavors of fall: apple, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Your guests will undoubtedly be eating more than one of these.

Get our recipe for Crispy Apple Turnover.

Poached Pears with Spiced Chocolate Sauce

poached pear with spiced chocolate sauce in white bowl with fork Jason Donnelly

This pear dessert is absolutely beautiful, and the fact that it's cooked in red wine and topped off with spiced chocolate…we're sold. Your guests will be licking their plates with this combo of the light pear and the rich chocolate sauce.

Get our recipe for Poached Pears with Spiced Chocolate Sauce.

Whatever you decide to serve on your Thanksgiving table this year, these desserts are the perfect way to end the meal on a sweet note.

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Rachel Linder
Rachel Linder is an intern at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and product coverage. Read more
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