Whoever coined the term “easy as pie” clearly never slaved over a homemade crust and tricky custard filling.
Thanksgiving menus are difficult enough without adding time- and labor-intensive pies to the lineup, so if you’d rather make something simpler and easier for dessert without sacrificing flavor, here are eight recipes to help you out.
8 easy Thanksgiving dessert recipes
This iconic dessert is perfect for Thanksgiving. With its blend of tart apples and spiced topping, it’s reminiscent of apple pie but doesn’t require rolling out a pie crust. It’s also easier to serve — I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been able to serve a slice of apple pie without half of it falling apart on its way to the plate. With a crumble, you just use a serving spoon and call it good.
If you really want the flavor of pumpkin pie but don’t love making the crust and trying to slice and serve it perfectly, this pumpkin crisp is a great stand-in. The contrast between its creamy spiced pumpkin filling and toasted brown-butter oat topping will make you wonder why you ever suffered through a soggy, bland pumpkin pie.
I like pecan pie, but I’ve never enjoyed the crust, and some recipes are so sticky that I’m afraid they’ll pull out the fillings in my teeth. This recipe solves both those issues. It uses a shortbread cookie crust, and the filling has no corn syrup, so it’s chewy and delicious without getting sticky. It’s also easy to serve, as you simply slice it into bars.
If you can’t decide between pumpkin cookies and snickerdoodles, why not combine the two? This recipe from Broma has gone semi-viral over the past month, and it’s easy to see why. These cookies are soft, chewy, spicy and generally delicious.
I associate molasses cookies with Christmas, but I’ve recently started baking them earlier in the season because I love them so much. Some recipes can be dry and crumbly, but this one is soft and chewy. If you’re feeling fancy, add some chopped crystallized ginger for an extra punch of flavor.
With their blend of nutty brown butter, crisp apples, spicy cinnamon and sweet maple, these blondies are like autumn in a bite. You simply mix the ingredients together, toss them into a pan and then top the mixture with chopped apples before baking. When the blondies come out of the oven, you drizzle a simple glaze on top for a show-stopping (but surprisingly easy-to-make) treat.
In a fun twist on a classic treat, these brownies have a pumpkin cheesecake swirl that makes the dish perfect for the fall months. This recipe is extra simple because it uses a boxed brownie mix, but you can always sub it out for your own brownie base if you’d prefer to make it from scratch.
Because these mini cheesecakes set in the fridge overnight, they’re a great recipe to make ahead — you can even prep them a couple of days in advance. They’re nowhere near as tricky as traditional cheesecake, and prepping them in muffin tins with cupcake liners makes serving a breeze.