Skip to main content

5 delicious Thanksgiving desserts to make if you kind of hate pie

Not a fan of pie? Try these holiday dessert alternatives this Thanksgiving

We admit it: We’re big fans of fall flavors. And come Thanksgiving, many of those fall flavors are the highlight of the dessert table — whether you prefer apple or pumpkin, there’s probably a pie to your liking. Of course, if you’re not the biggest fan of pies (we don’t judge), it can be disappointing to see this dessert dominate the Thanksgiving holiday.

The good news is, there is a variety of delectable, non-pie, fall-flavored desserts that you can integrate into your Thanksgiving holiday meal. Whether you enjoy pumpkin but not the pie, or if you prefer something different altogether, you don’t need to miss out on a delicious Thanksgiving dessert just because of your unique preferences! Here are some amazing Thanksgiving dessert dishes that you can top off your meal with this year.

Seasonings and cinnamon with pumpkin on cutting board
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What are traditional fall flavors for desserts?


You probably already know that when fall arrives, so do the pumpkin flavors. There’s a reason people run to get that pumpkin spice latte with their pumpkin muffin on the side. It’s because pumpkins are really only available in the fall season, with patches full of their vegetable yields, for pumpkin carving contests and, of course, pumpkin pie. Don’t worry, though. Pumpkin pie won’t be on our list of desserts today.


Apple orchards yield their fruit throughout the year, but fall is when the most delicious varieties are available in plenty. It’s a season of apple picking, drinking hot apple cider, and eating caramel apples.


That toasted pecan flavor is a favorite among fall tastes, and it’s why pecan pie is so popular. The combination of caramel and pecans is one that is so delicious, it’s beloved by all generations. Adding pecans to cakes and other desserts gives them a distinct fall twist.


Maple syrup becomes available at late-summer farmers markets every year, and it’s because we associate that sweet maple flavor with the taste of fall. From fall desserts to pancake toppings, that signature maple taste is forever associated with changing leaves and chilly weather.

Fall spices

If you’ve ever made applesauce, cider, or a spice cake at home, you know the fall spices we’re talking about. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger fill your home with delicious aromas and give you dreamy visions of colorful falling leaves and comfy sweaters.

Pecan and cinnamon pie slice on plate
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Thanksgiving desserts that aren’t pie

Apple crisp

While apple pie has reigned supreme when it comes to fall desserts, it doesn’t do much for those who dislike pie. That’s why apple crisp is a great alternative that is sure to please the whole crowd.

Apple crisp is apple pie filling covered with a sweet, crunchy crumble. The crumble is typically made with flour, oats, butter, sugar, and fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. You can even serve the dish a la mode like a traditional apple pie and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

If you’re not a fan of apple filling, try a different filling like berries, pears, or peaches for an alternate fall fruit crisp.

Carrot cake

A fan favorite among spice cake lovers, carrot cake is a super-moist and spicy-sweet dessert filled with aromatic fall flavors. Made with pecans, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, this cake fills your home with the delicious and familiar smells of autumn. Since it has carrots in it, you can even sneak in some veggies without the kids even tasting them.

Make sure you top off your carrot cake with the traditional cream cheese frosting for an amazing sweet addition to this beloved spice cake.

Pumpkin-cranberry bread pudding

Traditional bread pudding has raisins inside and is topped with a spiced rum sauce. This recipe adds a twist to this old classic, including dried cranberries and pumpkin puree inside, and it’s smothered with a sweet caramel sauce to give it more fall flavor.

Butter pecan cheesecake

While cheesecake has the shape and appearance of pie, this rich dessert typically has a crust made of crushed graham crackers and melted butter instead of pie crust. Cheesecake is an indulgent dessert on its own, but when you add in the delectable fall flavor of butter pecan, it’s simply irresistible.

This recipe combines the sweet tartness of cheesecake with the delicious praline flavor of butter pecan to create a fall dessert any pie-hater will adore.

Maple fudge

There’s nothing quite like homemade fudge. It’s such a dense, rich, and indulgent dessert; you only need a square inch of it to be satisfied.  While this sweet treat is often chocolate-flavored, traditional fudge doesn’t have any chocolate in it. The simple recipe is made with a base of butter, sugar, and evaporated milk. You can add any other ingredient to your fudge base to alter the flavor, but we recommend this maple fudge recipe for a delicious Thanksgiving dessert.

Thanksgiving dinner is flavorful, satisfying, and indulgent, and your desserts shouldn’t be any different. While pie has stolen the Thanksgiving spotlight for generations, you don’t need any pie crusts this year to make your holiday dessert course one that is filled with traditional seasonal flavors.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
The grilling and backyard cookout essentials you should absolutely get at Costco
Stock up on these summer grilling items from Costco
the best grill tongs aop

Grilling season is officially here, and that means it's time to stock up on items you use the most. The last thing you want to do is run out to the store for a forgotten item when you have family and friends coming over to grill. One of the best places to do the stocking up is Costco because their prices are generally lower, and you can buy in bulk and never run out. The subreddit page r/Costco has a wealth of information on all things Costco, including what you should be buying for your next cookout.

"What are your Costco grilling and cookout essentials?" asked one Redditor. "Summer's around the corner, and you’re getting ready for a cookout with friends or family. What are you picking up during your Costco run? Any recommendations or advice?" Plenty of people jumped in to help!

Read more
DIY home decor: This bathroom tray looks high end but costs less than $5 to make
We adore this inexpensive bathroom tray and how easy it is to replicate
Modern bathroom with round mirror

Everyone loves a good do-it-yourself project, especially when it saves you a ton of money and looks like it was bought at a high-end store. You don't have to be an expert builder or even that educated in DIY in general with all of the millions of YouTube and TikTok videos done by non-experts that are willing to walk us all through the steps to put something together. This DIY bathroom tray from TikToker "" is both of those, costing less than $5 and giving that high-end vibe that everyone wants in a bathroom.
How to pull it off wrote that the "plastic plate was only £1.49" and "the tea light holders only 50p each" so the total cost was £3.49 (approximately $4.34) since she already had the paint and baking soda at home. (And even if you don't have those supplies, a little paint and baking soda won't add too much to your total cost.

Read more
A Super Bowl party isn’t complete without these delicious, easy-to-make eats
These Super Bowl party foods will be a touchdown with all your guests
Football party chicken wings and dip

If you’ve agreed to be the host to watch this year’s big game, you know how important Super Bowl party food is. Along with the football pools, voting on the best commercials, and the half-time show, nothing will get the Monday morning quarterbacks talking more than the plethora of delicious snacks put forth for Super Bowl Sunday feasting.

This is one event where there is no need to go gourmet. The very best Super Bowl party foods are the traditional, beloved, comfort food classics that are synonymous with football’s biggest day of the year! From dips to wings, this is the Super Bowl party food that will make your event a hit.

Read more