Thanksgiving dessert recipes

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These recipes follow a Thanksgiving or autumn theme, but they are unique enough to fit the bill when looking for something different
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Try one of these Thanksgiving dessert recipes and start a new family tradition.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings to mind very specific foods: turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie. While it's wonderful to serve those old favorites, I often find myself searching my cookbooks for new Thanksgiving dessert recipes to try. The following recipes follow a Thanksgiving or autumn theme, but they are unique enough to fit the bill when looking for something different.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake


1 can apple pie filling (20 oz.)

1 graham cracker crumb crust (9-inch)

2 packages cream cheese (16 oz. each), softened
cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
cup caramel ice cream topping
1 dozen pecan halves
2 tablespoons chopped pecans


First, set aside half of the pie filling and spoon the rest into the piecrust.

Next, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Pour this over the apple pie filling.

Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until center is set. Cool completely.

Combine the rest of the apple pie filling and the caramel ice cream topping in a small saucepan and heat over medium just until it softens. Spoon this over the cheesecake and spread evenly.

Place the pecan halves around the outside of the pie and sprinkle the chopped pecans over the center. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Serves twelve.

Cranberries Jubilee


2 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar
1 cups water
cup brandy
1 quart vanilla ice cream


In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Place on high heat and bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes.

Add berries and bring back to a boil; boil for 5 more minutes.

Empty into a heatproof bowl. Pour brandy over the top and ignite. Then stir the brandy through the berries mixture.

Serve by dishing cup of berries over a dish of vanilla ice cream. Makes 5 cup servings.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares


1 white pound cake mix (16 oz.)

3 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 package cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 can pumpkin (16 oz.)
teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans


First, place cake mix, one egg, the melted butter, and 2 teaspoons of the spice in a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until crumbly. Press this into the bottom of a 9x13 pan or baking dish.

In a separate large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sweetened condensed milk, remaining eggs, pumpkin, remaining spice and salt, beating after each addition until mixed well. Pour this mixture over the crust and sprinkle with pecans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, then it's done. Cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator before cutting into squares.

Pumpkin Upside Down Cake


3 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon nutmeg
teaspoon salt
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1 yellow cake mix (18.25 oz.)
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
teaspoon nutmeg
teaspoon ground ginger


First, line a 9x13 baking pan or dish with wax paper.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl until slightly thickened. Add the sugar, pumpkin, spices, and salt. Mix well, and then add the evaporated milk, stirring gently.

Pour this mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the top. Next, sprinkle the pecans over the cake mix, and pour butter over the entire dish.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The cake should spring back when gently pressed with a fingertip. Cool thoroughly and then remove from the pan by turning it upside down onto a serving tray.

Whip the cream until light and fluffy. Fold in one tablespoon sugar, one teaspoon cinnamon, teaspoon nutmeg, and teaspoon ground ginger.

Serve each slice of the cake with a dollop of the spiced cream.

As you can see, Thanksgiving dessert recipes don't have to begin and end with the traditional pumpkin pie. Try one of these less traditional recipes, and you just might start a new tradition.

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