With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start making meal preparations. Regardless of whether you’re entertaining, feeding your family, or just having a small intimate dinner, one of the crucial ingredients in any Thanksgiving feast is the dessert. Of course, pumpkin pie is the obvious choice. But what if like me, you’re not particularly partial to that gourd-based treat? Fortunately, there are any number of fall-themed desserts from which to choose. Here are three of my favorites!
Gingerbread sheet cake
I’ll be the first to admit that ginger is more closely associated with Christmas than Thanksgiving. However, I absolutely love ginger and can’t think of any reason why it shouldn’t be part of the Thanksgiving celebrations!
Gingerbread sheet cake is a perfect dessert for when you’re entertaining. Not only will it feed a large group of people, but the bold combination of sweet and spicy flavors will perfectly complement the fall flavors of Thanksgiving food.
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 five-spice powder
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large rectangular baking pan with greased parchment paper.
Combine all ingredients apart from the flour and buttermilk in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. The combination should be fairly thick and foamy once ready.
Add the flours and buttermilk and mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into the baking pan and cook for about 30 minutes.
Salted caramel apple cake
While pumpkin may be the quintessential fall vegetable, let’s not forget its equivalent in the fruit family, the humble apple. No fruit better encapsulates the flavor of fall, so why not go all on the apples when putting together a dessert for your Thanksgiving feast? One thing that always goes well with apples is salted caramel, so why not try this decadent salted caramel apple pie?
- 6 large apples
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce (with extra to drizzle over the top)
- 2 pie crusts
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Line your pie dish with the pastry.
Place apples, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon into a large bowl. Gently combine.
Pour the mixture into the pie crust, compress slightly to fill all the gaps. Drizzle about 1/2 a cup of caramel over the mixture.
Slice the second pie crust into 16 1/2 inch wide strips. Thread the strips over the filling.
Combine the egg and milk and using a brush lightly coat the lattice.
Bake the pie for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes turn the temperature down to 375°F and cook for an additional 40 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool. Drizzle caramel sauce over the pie just before serving.
Pecan pie cheesecake
There are few things in the world more wonderful than pecan pie and cheesecake so why not combine the two?
- 3 cups cream cheese
- 1 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers
- 9 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 3/4 cup pecans.
Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a cake pan.
Combine cream cheese, 1 cup brown sugar, eggs, sour cream, flour, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl and mix using a stand mixer or whisk.
In a separate bowl combine the graham crackers, 5 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and a pinch of kosher salt. Mix until combined and press into the cake pan.
Pour the filling into the crust, cover with foil and bake for about 90 minutes. Remove from oven and refrigerate overnight.
Melt 4 tbsp butter in a skillet over low heat. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and cook until the mixture is bubbling. Add the cinnamon, heavy cream, and pecans. Mix until combined and remove from heat and allow to cool.
Remove cake from pan and coat the top with the pecan mixture.