Five Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren’t Pie

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This means so is the anticipation of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pie, and other foods to gorge yourself on. Things are different this year due to the pandemic. Because of social distancing guidelines, you may not be having your whole extended family over like you’re used to.

2020 has been tough but you don’t have to let it get in the way of having a happy Thanksgiving. I, for one, am going to be baking all the fall-themed desserts I can, starting with apple pie. My roommates are going to either love or hate me.

But maybe pie isn’t really your thing, or maybe you just want to try something different. After all, 2020 has been anything but ordinary, so why should your baking be? There are plenty of other fall-themed desserts to dazzle your family with, but these are my top five favorites.

Apple Crisp Bars

If you love apple pie, these apple crisp bars are perfect if you wanna shake things up while still keeping tradition. One thing I love about this recipe is how easy it is to make it your own. Want to impress your friends with your grandma’s award-winning apple pie recipe? Incorporate it into the filling. Use whatever spices you want (my favorite is clove). These are delicious on their own, or you can enjoy them with a scoop of ice cream.

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

I can’t recommend these more. My stepbrother said these cookies were the best I’ve ever made and It’s not hard to see why. They’re crispy on the outside, yet chewy on the inside (thanks to the brown sugar). The maple extract gives the cookies an extra hit of maple flavor that’s reminiscent of pancakes, which could potentially give you an excuse to eat them for breakfast (don’t worry, I won’t tell). The sliced pecans are optional, but I find that they add a layer of crunchy texture and nutty flavor that balances out the sweetness of the cookie.

Caramel Apple Slices

I just love how fun and easy these are. There are so many different ways to customize them to suit everyone’s taste. You can go the traditional route with caramel and nuts or you can try something different and use melted chocolate and sprinkles. My personal favorite is caramel sprinkled with crushed Butterfinger candies. They’re also a fun activity to keep your kids busy and out of your hair while you’re making dinner.

Spice Cake

I absolutely love this cake. It’s packed with spices and the molasses reminds me of the gingerbread loaf from Starbucks that you can get during the holidays. Every bite takes me back to those chilly winter mornings in New York when I would be heading to class with a peppermint latte in one hand and a gingerbread loaf in the other. It’s pure nostalgia for me, and it can help you create some great memories too! Enjoy it on a chilly fall morning with a cup of coffee and a good book (bonus points if you have a window with an amazing view). You may also enjoy sharing a slice with your significant other after the kids have gone to bed. The cake is delicious when iced with buttercream frosting, but I personally prefer cream cheese. If you’re a decorator, you can use buttercream to pipe leaves, trees, turkeys, anything you like.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Cranberry Rollups

Crescent Rolls are a holiday staple, but add a cranberry and cream cheese filling and you’ve got a dessert that’s sure to please. If you love cranberry sauce, these pastries offer another tasty way to get your cranberry fix. They’re easy and quick to whip up and are also perfect for breakfast the day of (if dessert is already covered). You can buy premade dough, or if you’re like me and you prefer to make your dough from scratch, here is an easy and tasty recipe. If you’re not a fan of cranberries but still want to give this recipe a try, you can use cherries or strawberries instead. I haven’t tried either of those options yet, but they both sound heavenly.

These are just a few of the many amazing fall dessert recipes out there for both beginners and more advanced bakers. The most important thing is to have fun exploring what tastes good. And who knows, maybe you’ll end up creating a new tradition.

How are you going to make this Thanksgiving memorable?