Recipe Roundups

Desserts That Guests Will Gobble Up On Thanksgiving

Kosher.com Staff November 22, 2023

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For someone used to the baking limitations on Shabbat and Yom Tov, there’s something special about preparing get-togethers like Thanksgiving when it comes to the food, specifically desserts. You’re not restricted to any baking or reheating limitations, so you can have fun frying, melting and decorating confections you don’t ordinarily have a chance to make.

So this year, try expanding your repertoire. Break out the deep fryer, candy apple maker or fondue pot and have fun making desserts that your family will go crazy for.

If you’re family waits all year for the traditional desserts like Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Muffins, don’t worry! We’ve included all the classics here too.

And whether your tradition is to celebrate Thanksgiving or not, these desserts will end any autumnal meal on a high note.

1. Pumpkin Streusel Muffin Tops by Esty Wolbe

These muffins are sweet and soft, and the streusel topping brings them to the next level.

2. Cranberry Apple Crumb Pie by Sara and Yossi Goldstein

This pie is perfect for the cozy fall weather. It’s a great mashup of crisp and pie with a graham cracker crust and a pecan crumble topping.

3. Apple Pecan Pie (Gluten Free) by Sheva Ainsworth

4. 4 Amazing Ways to Use Pie Crusts by Victoria Dwek

Add a little variety to your baked goods, using these incredible pie dough hacks. Keep some in your freezer, and cinnamon buns or hand pies are moments away!

5. Pecan Yogurt Cake (Vegan + Gluten Free) by Miriam Diamant

This super soft and moist cake is a crowd pleaser; it’s not uncommon to see guests going back for seconds. It’s a piece of heaven on a plate, if I may say so myself!

6. Pumpkin Crumb Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl by Elizabeth Kurtz

This cake is perfect for breakfast, dessert, a gift or just about anytime. I make both the pareve and dairy version, and both are delicious. I made it for years without the cream cheese layer and just couldn’t help including this decadent addition a while back. It’s a combination of crumb cake and cheesecake mixed with the moist pumpkin flavor of fall. Need I say more?

7. Paleo-Crust Chocolate Pecan Pie by Brynie Greisman

This pie is really easy to put together. Tastes like the real thing, only it’s much healthier.

8. Maple Pecan Tartlets by Tamar Teitelbaum

A caramelly, nutty tart with almost no effort? Yes, please. These rich and simple Maple Pecan Tartlets take only 30 minutes, start to finish – though no one would ever guess it looking at them!

9. Bourbon Pecan Pie by Esty Wolbe

A touch of smoky bourbon will spice up your classic pecan pie. We love this delicious way to celebrate autumn! Watch Easy Does It with Esty for more easy family cooking.

10. Butternut Squash and Cranberry Muffins by Dorit Teichman

Pair with a cup of Joe after sending the kids to school, and savor the flavor. These muffins are mildly sweet with a touch of tartness.

11. Chocolate Pecan Mini Pies by Victoria Dwek

Pecan pie is amazing, but chocolate pecan pie? Even more amazing! Using store-bought mini pie crusts, this pie has double the chocolate fun with the addition of cocoa and chocolate chips. If you’re making these for a crowd, you may want to double the recipe. These are sure to disappear super fast! Watch more Victoria on 4 Amazing Things!

12. Pumpkin Air-Fried Vegan Gluten-Free Churros by Natalya Fisher

These gluten-free, vegan churros are crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy in the inside.

13. Pumpkin Power Cookies by Chaia Frishman

Sisters-in-law are great suppliers of advice. My husband’s sister gave me a long-lasting gift when she introduced these pumpkin cookies to my family! Here’s to you, Yaffi!

14. Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel Topping by Rivky Kleiman

A spectacular muffin that is perfect in taste and texture, despite being healthier. A special shout-out to my cousin and friend Rochela W. for sharing this recipe with me.

15. Pecan Pie from the Nitra Cookbook

This pie dough is super easy to work with and rolls out like a dream. The coffee glaze takes this pecan pie to the next level, or it can be omitted if you want a classic pecan pie. For an extra decorative touch, top the pie with whole pecans in a pretty pattern.

16. Pumpkin Muffins by Chayie Schlisselfeld

A few years ago, I received this pumpkin muffin recipe from my sister-in-law Rivkie. At the time, I was nervous to try a recipe that used canned pumpkin. I was sure my kids would not touch it. When I tasted them, I was surprised to find how similar they tasted to honey cake…I actually called these “honey muffins” for awhile. It was some time before my children discovered what the true secret ingredient really was. By then, they loved them anyway and it was time to take them to the next level by adding a new frosting.

17. Easy and Delicious Crock-Pot Baked Apples by Rivky Kleiman

A classic that can be enjoyed all year round.

18. Hot Oat-Chip Pie with Maple-Pecan Sauce by Faigy Grossman

Tired of the typical hot chocolate chip pie that is really good, but so common? The combination of delicious flavors in this satisfying variation brings on a cozy, content feeling that will have you adding this dessert to your list of favorites!

19. Caramelized Apple Tacos by Chavi Feldman

Who can resist warm caramelized apple filling drizzled with cinnamon-flavored caramel and sprinkled with a crunchy brown sugar crumble? And with tacos all the rage now, serve it in these quick and easy homemade shells for an adorable presentation!

20. Maple Pumpkin Pie by Rivky Kleiman

This was dubbed an all-time favorite by my daughter Sari after she graciously volunteered to be a taster the first time I served this pie, and it has remained her favorite.

21. Mini Gingersnap Yam Pies by Rivky Kleiman

What a wonderful way to savor the humble sweet potato. Special thanks to my friend Sara Z. for helping me get the perfect gingersnap crust.

22. Cinnamon Bundt Cake by Estee Kafra

I always like to have a “counter cake” on hand for visitors and guests. I tested this cake four times on four consecutive days while in the bungalow, and no one seemed too upset about that. They were all happy to share their feedback with me. This is a great counter cake, as it tastes even better the next day.

23. Cranberry-Custard Pastry Squares by Faigy Grossman

This scrumptious dessert is easy to make and definitely worth the effort. You also get the bonus of extra cranberry sauce, which is delicious as a relish for any main dish, weekday or Shabbos!

24. Chestnut Cake from the Nitra Cookbook

This chestnut cake is a special dessert and autumn classic! The preparation is a bit labor-intensive, but the results are very worth it.

25. Cookie Dough Fudge Pie by Miriam Pascal

This delicious pie, and its enormous popularity with thousands and thousands of readers, is the ultimate proof that there’s a little kid inside us all, a kid who appreciates the simple pleasures of our childhood. Things like a rich, fudgy pie. Things like chocolate chip cookie dough and fudgy chocolate, straight from the mixer. This might not be the most sophisticated dessert, but it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

26. Pecan Tarts from the Dining In Cookbook

Easy to make, easy to serve. Sweet, sticky, and sensational.

27. Oats and Honey Granola Pie by Rachel Kor

This Oats and Honey Granola Pie is simple to make, can be made gluten and nut free, and has no corn syrup. It is sweet from the honey, nutty from the granola, and will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. It is a true competitor to the classic pecan pie-and in my opinion, tastes WAY better!

28. Cranberry Crumb Muffins by Brynie Greisman

We’re all looking for a change from the typical starchy, oily side dishes we serve on Shabbos. Finally, a carb side dish that is lighter in sugar and fat, and healthier for you. Cranberries and apples always pair together well, so subbing applesauce for a good part of the fat is a smart choice. I purposely made the servings small as well. My many testers loved the result. Thanks to Simi H. for the inspiration to create this dish.

29. Butterscotch Apple Pockets by Michal Frischman

This two-ingredient butterscotch sauce is super easy and requires almost no active work. Save the extra for an amazing ice cream topping!  

30. Apple-Caramel Streusel Bars by Brynie Greisman

These apple bars are perfect for a kiddush or dessert. You don’t even need a mixer for these, which make them even more appealing.

31. Cinnamon Bun Pie by Miriam Pascal

This recipe was originally intended for my first cookbook, Something Sweet. Sadly, under tight deadlines, I didn’t have the time to give this recipe the time and attention it needed. Luckily, I didn’t forget the idea completely, because once I had the time to develop this recipe properly, it became an instant hit and a family favorite!

32. Flourless Pumpkin Pie by Rachel Goodman, RD CDN

Tis the season for pumpkin pie! This version of pumpkin pie is loaded with fiber, made with natural ingredients and is full of nutrients that will nourish your body.

33. Best Gluten-Free Apple Crisp by Rorie Weisberg

Desserts don’t have to be full of sugar to deliver on flavor. This one will surprise you with its simplicity and its absolute deliciousness.

34. Crock-Pot Candied Pecans by Melinda Strauss

The combination of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and orange zest will fill your house with the classic aromas of the winter season. 

35. Baked Apples with Maple Sauce and Walnut Crunch by Estee Kafra

These baked apples are worthwhile just for the smell they produce. This is a great Friday night or cold winter evening dessert.

36. Caramelized Chestnuts by Faigie Davidowitz

These sweet, sticky, and nutty chestnuts are a uniquely, delicious dessert that will have everyone running for more!

37. Orange Pumpkin Streusel Muffins by Brynie Greisman

This muffin smacks of fall. fantastic taste and flavor, fabulous texture, and so filling. Freezes well too.

38. Rich Chocolate “Babka” Pudding by Estee Kafra

Bread pudding has become a favorite way to use leftover challah. It’s an incredibly rich and tasty dessert, and so simple to make! Check out my favorite recipe for bread pudding in my cookbook Cooking Inspired. Last week I actually had a whole babka left over from Shabbos (hard to believe, I know), and I didn’t want it to be thrown out, so I decided to treat it like I do any other leftovers… to remake it. Let’s just say there were no leftovers of this one.

39. Cranberry-Pear Pie by Tamar Teitelbaum

Cranberry-Pear Pie is a delicious fall dessert with full cranberry flavor, tart and tangy with a hint of spice from cardamom. I know that I’m not the first person to stick pears with cranberries. But, there is a reason for that. Pears are the perfect fruit to gently, subtly moderate the bright, tart cranberry taste. Pears don’t try to be the hero. They are happy sidekicks. I carefully formulated the ratio to ensure that this is a cranberry-forward pie. Think of the best ever cranberry sauce expertly crafted into a thick slice of buttery pie.

40. Pumpkin Brownies by Nechama Fiddle

When I was asked to create diet desserts for this issue of Whisk, I thought that was an oxymoron. But I had a few tricks up my sleeve….

41. Vegan Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins by Batsheva Kanter

These muffins combine the flavors of Thanksgiving but are healthy and vegan.

42. Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Buns by Brynie Greisman

You won’t regret these fall-flavored confections, topped with a coffee glaze. Watch the magic happen in the Shortcuts episode. Based on Brynie Greisman’s original cinnamon Danish recipe.

43. Peanut Brittle by Victoria Dwek

This easy brittle technique can use any nut. The best part is, there’s no pot to watch!

44. Butternut Fritters by Estee Kafra

45. Sweet Squash Muffins by Estee Kafra

Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, which gives this muffin a warm, spicy undertone.

46. Apple Crumb Squares by Zehava Krohn

Some people enjoy a sweet side dish, and others, like myself, think that these totally belong in the dessert course. Mini apple crumb pies would be very time-consuming. These squares taste exactly the same, with much less prep time.

47. Honey Caramel Dipped Apples by Chaya Lichtenstein

Dip the apple in the honey … taken literally! These honey-caramel coated apples are a delicious and very seasonally appropriate treat for the holidays.

Originally published November 2019. Updated and improved November 2023.