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10 delicious holiday desserts that are not pumpkin pie

10 delicioius holiday desserts that are not pumpkin pie
Posted at 7:30 AM, Nov 17, 2023

Once upon a time, pumpkin foods and drinks were reserved for the holiday season. These days, pumpkin spice season gets a build-up starting in late August as people eagerly anticipate the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes and other seasonal favorites.

With a prolonged pumpkin season now an annual tradition, some people might want to enjoy an alternative dessert to the classic pumpkin pie during the holidays.

Whether you’re one of those people who don’t prefer pumpkin pie or are just looking for something different for Thanksgiving, we connected with Erin Clarke of Well Plated for a list of delicious pumpkin alternatives.

MORE: This food prep timeline will take some stress out of Thanksgiving dinner


“Pumpkin pie is the most traditional choice for Thanksgiving, but we know that this classic squash isn’t everyone’s favorite (and honestly, it gets boring year after year!),” Clarke said during our interview. “I grew up in a family with multiple desserts during the holidays. We also enjoyed twists on traditional dishes, making the meal more exciting.”

Whether you enjoy a slice of pie or want something completely different this holiday season, we know at least one of Clarke’s recipes will satisfy your sweet tooth and offer something special for your festive meals.

And don’t worry if you can’t get enough pumpkin; we’ve included a couple of non-pie recipes for you, too!

MORE: You’ll want to spread this 5-ingredient pumpkin dip on everything

1. Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallows

This is Clarke’s favorite holiday pie, and she loves making this recipe for her friends and family. It has that silky texture people love and the perfect balance between sweet and savory flavors.

Well Plated

2. Bourbon Buttermilk Pie

Clarke calls this pie “underrated.” It’s a dessert she serves throughout the year because it is so easy to make. Custard pie lovers will gobble this pie up in no time.

Well Plated

3. Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie

Well Plated

Instead of basic brownies, how about serving up a big slice of this brownie pie infused with a little extra holiday “spirit.”

Like a proper pie, the crust is coffee-infused, buttery, and flaky. And, the filling? If you love an ooey-gooey brownie, this is your dessert!

4. Pecan Pie Cobbler

Well Plated

Here’s one of those traditional twists Clarke talked about during our interview. Thanks to the casserole cooking method, you get a mound of the classic pecan pie flavor, but with less work and hassle. It doesn’t get much better than that!

5. Pecan Pie Bars

Well Plated

These decadent pecan bars are another melt-in-your-mouth dessert option. A shortbread-style crust disappears with the first bite, and the filling is heavenly. Each batch yields 36 bars.

6. Vegan Apple Crisp

Well Plated

Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy dessert. This can be a challenge for people who follow a vegan diet. But this easy apple crisp fills the bill! The best part? The recipe takes only 5 minutes to prepare before baking. So simple!

7. Fresh Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Well Plated

You might not think of cake as Thanksgiving or holiday dessert. But why not whip up this fall-inspired cake filled with fresh apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice? The cream cheese frosting with caramel notes makes this cake a winner.

8. Chocolate Bourbon Balls

Well Plated

These little bonbon-style treats pack a flavorful punch!

We love that this no-bake recipe only requires a food processor to bring together. And if there are any leftovers (we doubt it) or you want to make them as gifts, they will last for weeks, either in or out of the fridge.

9. Hasselback Apples

Well Plated

Clarke calls this the recipes she prepares when she’s too lazy to make apple pie.

All you need to do is slice apple halves, put them in a cooking dish, and coat them with some butter, sugar, oats and a few other ingredients for a tasty dessert with an irresistible streusel-like topping.

10. Chocolate Pecan Pie

Well Plated

Why settle for chocolate or pecan pie when you can have both?

Clarke’s Chocolate Pecan Pie combines the best of both dessert worlds with a recipe that tips its hat to holiday tradition while serving something different. The standout ingredient in this recipe? You use maple syrup instead of corn syrup for the delicious filling.

Bonus: Pumpkin Recipes with a Twist

Well Plated

As promised, Clarke included a few pumpkin recipes that give a twist to the classic holiday flavor.

  • Fluffy Pumpkin Sheetcake: A thin layer of cream cheese frosting is ideal for the light pumpkin cake that only needs one bowl to prepare.
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies: Part childhood favorite cookie, part pumpkin perfection. A maple glaze takes these cookies from ordinary to something worthy of a holiday table.
  • Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler: Forget the pumpkin or pecan pie! This cobbler will tempt anyone to sit with a spoon and eat it right out of the baking dish.

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10 delicious holiday desserts that are not pumpkin pie originally appeared on Simplemost.

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