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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

7 Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren’t Pie

Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s generally centered around tradition. Year after year we surround the table giving thanks and eat, more or less, the same dishes — mashed potatoes, some sort of stuffing, turkey, maybe a green bean casserole, and pies. Sticking to tradition is great but it can be claustrophobic for those of us that like to experiment and really don’t like making the same recipes over and over again. While you might meet some resistance from guests that are more tradition focused, I say this year we throw caution to the wind and make some desserts that aren’t pies. Here are seven pie-replacement worthy recipes:

Applesauce {via skinnytaste}
This might seem like a strange choice if you are only familiar with the store bought kind, but homemade applesauce is in a class of it’s own. It is almost completely unrecognizable from its store bought counterpart. The best part about making it for Thanksgiving is that it’s very low maintenance and can be made ahead of time, two very appealing qualities in a dessert made for a day where there already aren’t enough hours to get done what you need. This recipe makes things even easier by using a slow cooker, so the longest time you will spend here is peeling and slicing the apples.

Image Credit: aaron burden

Fein Tau Weiyema (Pumpkin Bread) {via saveur}
Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but I don’t think that’s reason to limit ourselves to making desserts with American origins only. I’m making this Honduran pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving for the first time this year so while I can’t personally attest to it’s deliciousness (yet) — what is there not to love in a pumpkin bread that seems to have pudding-like qualities? This is a nice alternative if you want to have a pumpkin pie-esque dessert without actually making the pie. It would also pair really nicely with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

Vanilla Poached Pears {via alton brown}
Poached pears are an unassuming treat. They seem simple, I mean — it’s just fruit, right? What could be so special about that? Well, when fruit is slowly cooked until just softened in a mixture of white wine, vanilla, and sugar, then the latter is turned into a syrup which is poured over it, lots of things are fantastic about fruit. This is certainly a recipe that has holiday spirit and, like the pumpkin bread above, would be taken to the next level paired with french vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream.

Salted Caramel Apple Cake {via brown eyed baker}
This cake is out of this world and that is not hyperbolic speak. That is a very serious statement. Even the most pie-loving guests won’t be missing those desserts if you make this as the centerpiece of the dessert table. Caramel and apples is a classic combination but one that is rarely used in cakes, making this one even more intriguing. I fall under the category of people that aren’t crazy about whole pieces of cooked fruit in cakes, so if you share this opinion this is the cake for you. It has all of the apple flavor, plus a ton of moistness from the applesauce, without any of those distracting pieces of fruit. Coupled with the caramel buttercream frosting, it’s truly one of the best cakes I’ve ever had.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse {via two peas and their pod}
Cheesecakes are as delicious as they are intimidating, which is to say they are extremely intimidating. I love the idea of serving a pumpkin cheesecake at Thanksgiving but I don’t love the idea of making a dessert that I need to worry about, especially when there are so many other unavoidable dishes to worry about on that day (Turkey, I am looking at you and hoping you don’t come out dry). This solves the problem in a very delicious way…a way that I might even say I enjoy more than a standard pumpkin cheesecake. Single serving desserts automatically come across as fancier than home-style ones, which makes this the perfect choice for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Image Credit: michelle lettrich

Maple Walnut Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting {via martha stewart}
Due to pumpkin and apple taking over absolutely everything this time of year, maple is an under-appreciated Fall flavor. But it really shouldn’t be, because it’s got plenty to offer itself, and can fit into loads of different dishes. In this cake it’s particularly yummy, especially in combination with the cream cheese brown sugar frosting which is one of those frostings that you’ll have trouble not eating with a spoon — totally and completely addicting. I’ve actually made this cake without the walnuts because I am allergic, but with the holiday season being a particular nutty time (pun absolutely intended) and plenty of people out there that do not share my nut allergy, I’d suggest including the walnuts on this one.

Cranberry Sorbet {via david lebovitz}
This is one of those recipes you’ll need some extra equipment for (an ice cream maker is required) so if you have one than this sorbet is here exactly for you. While cranberry sauce is associated with Thanksgiving, cranberries themselves tend to be more linked with Christmas, but I think we should start a little early with them this year. This sorbet is so tasty, and has such a clean, tart cranberry flavor without being too much to handle. It’s a great contrast to end a very heavy Thanksgiving meal.

What desserts are you making for Thanksgiving this year?

Featured image is from ginnerobot on flickr.

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