The Best Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas | Handle the Heat

Thanksgiving Desserts

Here’s a collection of the very best Thanksgiving dessert recipes! Crowd-pleasing pie recipes, unique pie recipes, creative dessert alternatives – this list has it all to help you have the most beautiful Thanksgiving dessert table.

Thanksgiving How To's

No need to be intimidated by making pie crust with these how-to articles. Tons of tips, tricks, and make ahead directions inside!

1

For flaky pie crust, keep everything COLD.

Especially your butter! If your kitchen is above 73°F, you can refrigerate all of your ingredients and equipment including your bowl, rolling pin, and pie tin until it’s between 65-70°F.

2

Make your pie dough ahead of time!

Pastry dough can be shaped into a disc and refrigerated for up to 3 days, as long as it’s well wrapped in plastic.

Pastry dough can also be shaped into a disc and frozen for up to 2 months, well wrapped in plastic. Defrost in the fridge overnight.

3

Make sure to use fresh pumpkin puree in your pumpkin desserts.

Check out my article covering a taste test between fresh pumpkin puree, regular canned pumpkin, and organic canned pumpkin here.

How to Make the BEST Pie Crust

Download my free Pie Crust Troubleshooting Guide now!

Bake With Me!

Step inside my kitchen and sharpen your baking skills for Thanksgiving with these baking how-to videos.

Make Ahead Tips for the Easiest Thanksgiving Ever!

With my Make Ahead Baking Guide, you’ll learn how to prep your Thanksgiving breads, pies, and other recipes ahead of time.

All Thanksgiving Recipes

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Thanksgiving FAQ Section

Pastry dough can be shaped into a disc and refrigerated for up to 3 days, as long as it’s well wrapped in plastic. Pastry dough can be shaped into a disc and frozen for up to 2 months, well wrapped in plastic. Defrost in the fridge overnight. Pie fillings and whole pies can also be made ahead of time, too. Check out my make ahead guide with detailed instructions on preparing pies ahead of time.

Any custard-based desserts like pumpkin pie or cheesecake can be made completely the day before. You can also bake fruit pies the day before, but I personally prefer the texture of a freshly baked fruit pie. If your fruit pie filling is cooked, make that the day before, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

I would also wait topping any pies or treats with whipped cream until right before you plan to serve your guests.

Pumpkin pie and pecan pie are the two most popular pies nationally! I can see why – slices of these pies never last long at my house on Thanksgiving.

This really is up to you! I find it helpful to assign everyone contributing to a potluck a different kind of recipe. I’d make sure turkey or another protein, some sort of bread, at least 2-3 sides, and of course a dessert are covered on your potluck menu. Don’t forget about utensils, drinks, and other serving items as well.

For desserts, I recommend trying to have as many flavors as possible – pumpkin, pecan, apple, chocolate, peanut butter, etc. – so everyone has something to enjoy.

Fruit pies keep at a cool room temperature, loosely covered, for up to 2 days. Pies containing eggs (pumpkin, custard, cream pies, etc.) should be refrigerated. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Note that the crust will become increasingly soggy the longer it’s stored.

  • Fresh vanilla ice cream
  • Homemade whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce to drizzle over pies or tarts

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