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10 Unique Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

By Nellie's Kindness Crew

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Cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes are must-haves this time of year, but anyone with a sweet tooth can agree that the best part of Thanksgiving comes after the turkey. And while we'll never turn down a slice of pumpkin pie with a generous dollop of whipped cream, this food-focused holiday is the time to go all out with dessert. This year, stray from tradition and give one of these unique Turkey Day treat recipes a try. With options like sticky sweet caramel apple cake and creamy sweet potato ice cream, your entire family will be glad you did!

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1. Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes

What happens when you turn an all time favorite Thanksgiving side dish into a dessert? Answer: you get the tenderest, moistest sweet potato cupcake ever. Like sweet potato casserole, it's spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and each bite has a hint of maple. No frosting needed for these beauties: just top with mini marshmallows and pop them back in the oven to get all toasty and golden!

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Chocolate chip cookie pie pops are the cuter, sweeter version of the Thanksgiving turducken—because no one should have to choosen between cookies and pie when it's time for dessert. With a leaf-shaped cookie cutter and some foliage-colored sanding sugar, you can make these pops even more festive.

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3. Mini Pumpkin Hand Pies

It's time to tap into your inner child, because miniature handheld food is where it's at, and these mini pumpkin hand pies are as fun to make as they are to eat. Each little pie pocket is stuffed with a traditional pumpkin pie filling, then baked to crispy, flaky perfection. Both the kids and adults at your Thanksgiving table will adore them!

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4. Fresh Cranberry Orange Bread

November is the height of cranberry season, so why not showcase these fresh, tart, deep red berries in your Thanksgiving dessert? This cranberry orange bread is bright in flavor and holds up well when made ahead of time, freeing up oven space for your turkey and giving you less to worry about on Thanksgiving day.

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5. Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

The messiest, stickiest sweets are always the most delicious. Add this caramel apple upside-down cake to your Thanksgiving dessert lineup, and it's pretty much guaranteed to be gobbled up before it's even had the chance to cool. Think of it as the a mashup of warm, slightly caramelized apple pie filling and cinnamon-spiced cake.

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6. 4 Ingredient Hazelnut Brownies

Chocolate is an oft forgotten ingredient in Thanksgiving desserts, and usually reserved for other holidays when mousse and cheesecakes are on the menu. But who doesn't want a gooey, rich brownie after finishing off that plate of stuffing and squash? These hazelnut brownies are sure to hit the spot. They only require 4 ingredients and 25 minutes to make, so you can forgo the labor-instensive homemade pie crusts this year and feed the entire extended family with ease.

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It's time to break out your cookie cutter collection and make some memories in the kitchen! These wreaths are made from a simple sugar cookie dough, but you'd never guess how easy the recipe is to follow just by looking at them. Get the kids involved by having them help paint and arrange the colorful leaves before baking.

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8. Sweet Potato Pie Ice Cream with Graham Cracker Toffee

If you're up for a more hands-on recipe, this ice cream is the way to go. You can serve it with a slice of pie, but given how packed it is with swirls of brown sugar and pockets of toasted marshmallows, it can be a showstopper all on its own—especially when enjoyed alongside crunchy and sweet homemade graham cracker toffee.

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Decked out in icing feathers and sprinkles, these sugar cookie turkeys are almost too pretty gobble up (almost)! Just like the paper and hand tracing activity you did in elementary school, the recipe is a craft in and of itself. Get the whole family involved to make a collection of adorable edible keepsakes on Thanksgiving eve.

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10. Pecan Pie with Holly Decorations

Pecan pie is a pretty traditional choice for Thanksgiving, but adding an unexpected finishing touch can make yours a little more special. Instead of a one-crust pie, this recipe yields a stunning dessert centerpiece topped with flaky pie crust holly and cranberries in the center.

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