Anti-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Go ahead, start a new tradition

I really have nothing against pie.  It is a frequent guest to our Thanksgiving, and it's always welcome.

Maybe you're not a lover of pie, or maybe you would like to end your meal with something new this year.  Well you've come to the right place!  After this introduction there will be no more mention of pie!

Below are a few of my favorite dessert recipes that perfectly complement a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  After your dinner guests get a taste of these, they'll be saying "Pie who?"

Turkey Cupcake Flickr Photo Credit: Bisayan lady

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin doesn't have to lay flat - let it roll!

Pumpkin Roll Cake Recipe


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipped topping
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs on high for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in white sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Add pumpkin and lemon juice.

3. In another bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; fold into the pumpkin mixture.

4. Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan; line with waxed paper. Grease and flour the paper. Spread batter into pan; sprinkle with walnuts.

5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

6. Immediately turn out onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Peel off paper and roll cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Cool.

7. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup whipped topping, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.

8. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread filling over cake to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again. Cover and chill until serving. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar, if desired.


Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

If the bowl was any bigger you would dive right in

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle Recipe


  • 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup gingersnap cookies, optional

Picture credit: Colleen Greene on Flickr


1. Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool.

3. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding.

4. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a trifle bowl.

5. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping.

6. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping.

7. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight.

Don't let the shape fool you... It's a cake.

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake



  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cups finely ground ginger cookies
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 4 - 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.

2. Butter (or spray with a non stick spray) an 8 inch spring form pan.

3. For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, finely ground ginger snap cookies, sugar, and melted butter. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared spring form pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the cheesecake filling.

4. For Cheesecake: In a separate bowl, stir to combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.

5. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), on low speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth (about 2 minutes).

6. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until creamy and smooth (1 to 2 minutes).

7. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition.

8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.

9. Pour the filling over the chilled ginger crust and place the spring form pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips.

10. Place a cake pan, filled halfway with hot water, on the bottom shelf of your oven to moisten the air.

11. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake the cheesecake for another 10 - 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center is still wet and jiggles when you gently shake the pan.

12. Meanwhile whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract and sugar.

13. Pour the sour cream mixture over the top of the baked cheesecake and rotate the pan slightly to evenly distribute the topping.

14. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake about 8 minutes to set the topping.

15. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the cake from the pan by running a sharp knife around the inside edge (this will help prevent the cake from cracking). Then place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan so the cheesecake will cool slowly.

16. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate at least eight hours, preferably overnight, before serving this gourmet cheesecake.

Anti-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Maple Praline Cheesecake Recipe

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle chips


  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • 1/4 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle chips


1. In a bowl, combine the pecans, coconut, flour, and brown sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack (leave oven on).

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Combine brown sugar and flour; add to cream cheese. Add the cream, syrup, vanilla and salt; beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs just until combined. Stir in toffee bits. Pour over crust. Return pan to baking sheet.

3. Bake until center is almost set, 50-55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

4. Remove sides of pan. In a small bowl, combine the syrup and whipped topping; carefully spread over cheesecake. Sprinkle with toffee bits. Refrigerate leftovers.

Bake a perfect cheesecake - Give your cheesecake a bath

I'm Thankful for Chocolate

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart Recipe

Shell Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Bleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, preferably superfine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 large egg (beat before measuring)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

Shell Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine well.

2. In a food processor, with the metal blade, process the sugars for several minutes or until very fine.

3. With the motor running, add the butter cubes then add the peanut butter and process until very smooth and creamy, about 10 seconds.

4. With the motor running, add the egg and vanilla extract and process until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl.

5. Add the flour mixture and pulse until just combined.

6. Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

7. Press dough evenly into pan.

8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

9. Bake shell in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. It will puff at first and then settle down toward the end of baking. The sides will be soft, but spring back when touched gently with a finger.

10. Cool on wire rack.

Peanut Butter Mousse Ingredients:

  • 7 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 liquid cup heavy cream, softly whipped

Peanut Butter Mousse Directions:

1. In a mixer bowl, preferably with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar until uniform in color.

2. On low speed, beat in the vanilla. Beat in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream just until combined.

3. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream until blended but still airy.

4. Scrape the mousse into the prepared tart shell and smooth the surface so that it is level.

5. Refrigerate the tart while preparing the ganache.

Milk Chocolate Ganache Topping Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces milk chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/3 liquid cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Milk Chocolate Ganache Topping Directions:

1. Chop chocolate until very small.

2. Bring the cream to a boil.

3. Pour cream over chocolate, let sit for a minute, then stir until emulsified.

4. Add vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.

5. Pour the ganache over the peanut butter mousse in a circular motion, so that it does not land too heavily on any one spot and cause a depression.

6. With a small metal spatula, start by spreading the ganache to the edges of the pastry, then spread it evenly to cover the entire surface.

7. Refrigerate the tart for at least 2 hours to set.

Store at room temperature up to 1 day, refrigerated up to 5 days, frozen up to 3 months. (Wrap after freezing to preserve shiny coating on ganache).

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