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Think outside the pumpkin pie this year as you plan the sweet side of your Thanksgiving feast: Guests will delight in any of our seasonal desserts, from sweet potato cake with marshmallow meringue icing, praline sauce, and candied pecans, to pears poached in spiced port wine, to a simple but elegant maple pot de crème.

Crepes Cajeta

Crepes Cajeta
Crepes Cajeta Helen Rosner

Cajeta, a homemade caramel used in traditional Mexican desserts, is a terrific sauce to have on hand for drizzling over ice cream or baked treats.

Pecan Cream Cake

Pecan Cream Cake
Pecan Cream Cake Landon Nordeman

Packed with coconut and pecans and covered in cream cheese frosting, this cake is a specialty of Georgia home cook Cile Ellis.

Pumpkin Halvah (Assidat al-Boubar)

Pumpkin Halvah (Assidat al-Boubar)
Pumpkin Halvah (Assidat al-Boubar) Todd Coleman

Like many traditional Emirati desserts, luscious pumpkin porridge (in Arabic it’s a halvah, or sweet food) straddles the line between sweet and savory. The dish thickens as it cools, so be sure to serve it while it’s still quite warm.

Pumpkin Pecan Gingersnap Ice Cream

Pumpkin Pecan Gingersnap Ice Cream
Pumpkin Pecan Gingersnap Ice Cream Anna Stockwell

Use up leftover pumpkin or squash puree in a sweet, spiced ice cream.

Sweet Potato Cake

Sweet Potato Cake
Sweet Potato Cake Todd Coleman

Layers of spiced sweet potato cake alternate with marshmallowy meringue icing in a rich dessert that’s a riff on the classic Thanksgiving side.

Pumpkin and Bourbon Mousse

Pumpkin and Bourbon Mousse
Pumpkin and Bourbon Mousse Todd Coleman

All the traditional flavors of pumpkin pie combine in this satisfying, creamy mousse.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Beth Rooney

Rum and gingersnaps add a spicy, warming flavor to this rich fall dessert.

Nutmeg Ice Cream

Nutmeg Ice Cream
Nutmeg Ice Cream Todd Coleman

Serve this spiced ice cream on its own or scooped on top of warm fruit crisps, cobblers, or pies, particularly apple or pumpkin.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap and Hazelnut Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap and Hazelnut Crust
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap and Hazelnut Crust Todd Coleman

The dessert’s delicate texture is achieved by cooking the cheesecake in a bain-marie, a water bath made by surrounding the springform pan with boiling water.

Navy Bean Pie

Navy Bean Pie
Navy Bean Pie Andre Baranowski

The silky, custardlike base of this autumnal pie is made from sweetened navy bean purée spiced with nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Pumpkin Bread (Fein Tau Weiyema)

Pumpkin Bread (Fein Tau Weiyema)
Pumpkin Bread (Fein Tau Weiyema) Penny De Los Santos

A dense, pudding-like pumpkin bread makes a rich and satisfying dessert. Use leftover butternut, acorn, or pumpkin squash purée.

Maple Pot de Crème

Maple Pot de Crème
Maple Pot de Crème Todd Coleman

Creamy custard sweetened with maple syrup makes a lovely ending to any meal.

Spice Applesauce Cake

applesauce cake recipe
Spice Applesauce Cake Tim Mazurek

Applesauce adds moisture and sweet apple flavor in a lovely cinnamon-spiced, autumnal cake.

Mexican Bread Pudding (Capirotada)

Mexican Bread Pudding (Capirotada)
Mexican Bread Pudding (Capirotada) Todd Coleman

This satisfying dessert uses piloncillo, a type of brown sugar used in Mexican cooking.

Roasted Sugar-Glazed Pears

Roasted Sugar-Glazed Pears
Roasted Sugar-Glazed Pears Beth Rooney

Roasted pears stuffed with almonds, currants, and raisins make a simple yet elegant dessert.

Carrot Rice Pudding

Carrot Rice Pudding
Carrot Rice Pudding Anna Stockwell

Shredded carrots turn soft and sweet in this cardamom-spiced rice pudding.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mascarpone

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mascarpone
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mascarpone Anna Stockwell

This batter also makes delicious muffins, perfect for a day-after-Thanksgiving brunch.

Walnut Spice Cake

Walnut Spice Cake
Walnut Spice Cake Todd Coleman

For this striking two-toned dessert, alternating layers of snow-white and mahogany-brown spiced cakes are sandwiched with a rich, chocolate fudge icing and decorated with walnut halves.

Apple Cider-Cinnamon Ice Cream

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Apple Cider-Cinnamon Ice Cream Penny De Los Santos

A spiced, autumnal ice cream that tastes like the essence of apple season.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

Spiced Pumpkin Cake
Spiced Pumpkin Cake Todd Coleman

A welcome addition to the holiday table, this simple frosted layer cake can be made with either canned or homemade puréed pumpkin.

Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes

Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes
Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes Khushbu Shah

This recipe, from Fore Street restaurant in Portland, Maine, calls for using six 4″ steel blini pans. But you can make a single cake in an 8″ cast-iron skillet, if you prefer. If fresh or frozen cranberries aren’t available, use reconstituted dried berries.

Cinnamon Rice Pudding

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Cinnamon Rice Pudding Todd Coleman

There’s nothing like homemade rice pudding—creamy, sweet, and comforting. The brown sugar lends a caramel-like sweetness, while cinnamon and rum-soaked raisins add warmth and depth.

Macerated Fruit Conserve (Rumtopf)

Macerated Fruit Conserve (Rumtopf)
Macerated Fruit Conserve (Rumtopf) Todd Coleman

This sweet-tart conserve is a luscious accompaniment to ice cream. It also adds a fruity dimension when stirred into champagne.

Olive Oil Quatre Quarts with Chopped Fruit

Olive Oil Quatre Quarts with Chopped Fruit
Olive Oil Quatre Quarts with Chopped Fruit Todd Coleman

This variation on a classic French pound cake, in which ingredient quantities are determined by relative weight, uses olive oil instead of butter for a light, fresh flavor. The recipe was developed by SAVEUR contributor Nancy Harmon Jenkins, who recommends using a Polder Kitchen Scale for accurate measure.

Bratapfel mit Walnusseis (Baked Walnut-Stuffed Apples with White Wine)

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Bratapfel mit Walnusseis (Baked Walnut-Stuffed Apples with White Wine) Todd Coleman

Apples roasted in wine and butter are a staple of holiday markets throughout Germany.

Rum Bundt Cake

rum bundt cake recipe, rum cake recipes
Rum Bundt Cake Helen Rosner

A supremely moist, boozy Southern bundt cake fitting for any holiday spread.

Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies Helen Rosner

Dough studded with dried cranberries and a drizzle of sweet, cinnamon-spiced glaze take oatmeal cookies from ordinary to perfect.

Pecan Pie Brittle

Pecan Pie Brittle
Pecan Pie Brittle Todd Coleman

This twist on traditional pecan pie provides a snack-able ending to any holiday feast.

English Sticky Toffee Pudding

English Sticky Toffee Pudding
English Sticky Toffee Pudding Eilon Paz

In this version of the classic English dessert, adapted from one in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Rose’s Heavenly Cakes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), dates are soaked in stout beer and then pureed, resulting in a super-moist crumb.

Chocolate Spice-Cake Pudding

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Chocolate Spice-Cake Pudding Guy Kloppenburg

Replacing bread with chocolate spice cake adds richness and dark chocolate flavor to this pudding.

Honey-Nut Tart with Chocolate Rye Crust

Honey-Nut Tart with Chocolate Rye Crust, Late Winter Feast
Honey-Nut Tart with Chocolate Rye Crust Bill Phelps

The gooey filling in this tart is held together by a rye flour crust that gets its structure, and depth, from chocolate.

Maple Syrup Dumplings

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Maple Syrup Dumplings Landon Nordeman

The warm flavor of maple syrup enhances rich dumplings in a super-simple, comforting dessert.

Acadian Syrup Cake

Acadian Syrup Cake
Acadian Syrup Cake Landon Nordeman

Ken Smith, the executive chef at Upperline restaurant and an avid home baker, often serves this spiced, cane syrup-sweetened cake. On special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas he pairs it with a sauce made from satsumas, a clementine-like citrus fruit that grows in Louisiana and is available in the late fall.

Russian Punch Cake

Russian Punch Cake
Russian Punch Cake Landon Nordeman

Impress your guests with a show-stopping layer cake stuffed with a luscious custard filling and topped with meringue frosting.

Honey Ice Cream

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Honey Ice Cream Chris Granger

Serve this simple, elegant ice cream with fresh fruit or on top of warm bread pudding.

Baked Apples with Caramel Sauce

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Baked Apples with Caramel Sauce André Baranowski

Fuji apples hold their shape perfectly when baked and coated in caramel.

Indian Pudding

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Indian Pudding Landon Nordeman

Vanilla ice cream makes the perfect topper for a warm, molasses-sweetened Indian Pudding.

Squash Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

Squash Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce
Squash Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce Landon Nordeman

This Mexican take on a Cajun-style bread pudding is studded with cubes of squash and plump raisins.

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