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.
Pumpkin Halvah (Assidat al-Boubar)
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.
Sweet Potato Cake
Layers of spiced sweet potato cake alternate with marshmallowy meringue icing in a rich dessert that’s a riff on the classic Thanksgiving side.
Nutmeg Ice Cream
Serve this spiced ice cream on its own or scooped on top of warm fruit crisps, cobblers, or pies, particularly apple.
Shredded carrots turn soft and sweet in this cardamom-spiced rice pudding.
Walnut Spice Cake
Alternating layers of white and brown spiced cake are delicious sandwiched with a rich, chocolate fudge icing.
Spiced Pumpkin Cake
A welcome addition to the holiday table, this simple frosted layer cake can be made with either canned or homemade puréed pumpkin.
Olive Oil Quatre Quarts with Chopped Fruit
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.
Rum Bundt Cake
A supremely moist, boozy Southern bundt cake fitting for any holiday spread.
Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
Dough studded with dried cranberries and a drizzle of sweet, cinnamon-spiced glaze take oatmeal cookies from ordinary to perfect.
English Sticky Toffee Pudding
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.
Maple Syrup Dumplings
The warm flavor of maple syrup enhances rich dumplings in a super-simple, comforting dessert.
Russian Punch Cake
Impress your guests with a show-stopping layer cake stuffed with a luscious custard filling and topped with meringue frosting.
Vanilla ice cream makes the perfect topper for a warm, molasses-sweetened Indian Pudding.