When you think of Thanksgiving, you are probably reminded of the friends/family that you will get to be around and all the things that you should be thankful for. However, it is safe to say that a great meal is probably on your list of amazing memories from Thanksgiving. The main courses like mashed potatoes, turkey - or whatever you prefer - , and all the extra side dishes lead up to the best part, the dessert.There are so many basic Thanksgiving recipes like pumpkin pie and apple pie, apple crisp, and many more that we all love. However, sometimes it’s nice to bring some new autumn desserts to the table! I am sure your friends and family would appreciate a little change to some of the traditional recipes, and if you think they won’t, you can always make two new desserts to share! I’ve put together a list of some tasty spin-offs of our favorite Thanksgiving treats, so get ready to dive into the land of pumpkin and apples galore! 

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 1 hr

Servings: 10



1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, from about 12 whole graham crackers

6 Tbsp 3/4 stick melted, unsalted butter

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon


24 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

15 oz can pumpkin pie mix

4 large eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp real vanilla extract

Optional Topping:

1 cup cold heavy cream beat with 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp rum or vanilla

Pumpkin pie spice to dust

Toasted pecans

Caramel sauce


How to Make the Crust: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 6 Tbsp melted butter. Transfer into a 9-inch springform pan with 3" tall walls and use a large spoon to press crumbs into the bottom of your springform pan, and going about 1/2" up the sides of the pan. Bake at 350˚F for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temp.

How to make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. In the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the 3 packages of softened cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar on med speed until light and fluffy and without lumps (5 min), scraping down the bowl once to make sure you don't have chunks of cream cheese. Tip: brown sugar is considered "packed" when it holds its shape as it comes out of the measuring cup.

Have a taste of this cream cheese frosting. It would make a super yummy frosting actually! Just don't eat too much. You need it for your cheesecake.

In a separate bowl, using a whisk, stir together 15 oz pumpkin pie mix, 4 large eggs, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp flour, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Add this mixture to the cheesecake filling and continue mixing on low speed just until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Transfer filling into pre-baked crust and bake on the middle rack at 350˚F for 1 hour. Turn off heat, prop the oven door open slightly with a wooden spoon and let cheesecake sit in the oven another 45 min. Then remove from the oven and let cool to room temp before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. Serve when fully chilled (at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, or overnight).

Before serving, carefully remove cheesecake from springform pan by running a blunt knife along the sides of the cheesecake to release from the springform mold. Add desired toppings (see list above) and serve.

To Make the Whipped Cream:

Tip: Freeze mixing bowl for 10 minutes to get the best whipped cream results.

In a cold mixing bowl, add 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream, 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp rum or vanilla. Beat on high speed until fluffy and spreadable. Don't over-beat or it will turn buttery. It only takes less than 2 min to make fresh whipped cream.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Prep time: 25 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Yield: 12-16 bars


Shortbread Crust

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

Apple Filling

2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)*

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup (70g) packed light or dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

homemade salted caramel or store-bought caramel sauce


1.Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.

2.Make the crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove from the oven. (As the crust bakes, you can prepare the filling and streusel.)

3.Make the apple filling: Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

4.Make the streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

5.Turn the oven up to 350°F (177°C). Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. It will look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.

6.Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Lift the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. I usually cut them into 16 smaller bars, but you can cut them into 12 larger bars. Once cut, drizzle some salted caramel sauce on top of each. These apple pie bars can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or even cold.

Pumpkin Brownies

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 45 mins

Servings: 16


1/2 cup butter

6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie mix

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/3 cup chocolate chips for top optional


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9 baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Spray bottom of lined pan with non-stick oil.

2.In a heavy pot on low heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth and melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

3.With an electric mixer, combine sugar and eggs and beat until very well combined. Add in flour, baking powder and salt and stir until combined, but to not overmix.

4.Divide egg, sugar and flour mixture evenly into two bowls. To one bowl add melted chocolate mixture and stir until combined. In the other bowl, add pumpkin, oil and spices to the mixture and stir until combined.

5.Layer pumpkin and brownie batters into the 9x9 pan, and use a knife to swirl the batters together. If adding chocolate chips to the top, sprinkle on top of the batter. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack prior to serving.

Apple Turnovers

Prep Time: 15 mins 

Cook time: 18 mins

Servings: 8



2 sheets Frozen Puff Pastry 1 package

2 cups diced apples 4 medium

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 pinch salt

1 tsp cornstarch optional


¾ cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp water


1.Set oven to 400F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Peel your apples then cut the flesh from the core and dice into smaller pieces about 1/4 inch thick.

2.Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat then add the apples and cook for a few minutes while stirring frequently. Add the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Mix to coat apple pieces and cook for about 5 minutes or until the apples are softened and have released juice then reduce heat to low.

3.Sprinkle in the cornstarch in and stir until the juice thickens up a bit then transfer to a bowl and refrigerate to chill.

4.Roll your thawed puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface into a 12x12 inch square then cut four into equal squares then repeat the process for the other sheet.

5.Place a few tablespoons of filling in each square. You should Imagine a diagonal line running across the square and add the filling to one side of that leaving a half inch border.

6.Mix an egg with a tablespoon of water, milk, or cream then brush it over the edge of the square. Fold the puff pastry onto itself then use a fork to seal the edge. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. I use sanding sugar but you can use turbinado or regular granulated sugar.

7.Bake at 400F for about 18-20 minutes or until golden and puffed.

8.Make a simple icing by combining powdered sugar with a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of vanilla in a bowl and mixing until smooth. You can add a bit more water if the consistency needs to be thinned out. Drizzle over the warm turnovers and enjoy!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 9 mins

Servings: 17



¾ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled (165g)

¾ cup light brown sugar firmly packed (150g)

¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)

1 cup pumpkin puree (225g)

2 large eggs lightly beaten (room temperature preferred)

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour (210g)

1 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


3 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened

6 oz cream cheese softened (170g)

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

⅛ heaping teaspoon salt

2-3 cups powdered sugar* (250g-375g)


1.Preheat oven to 375F (190C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.In a large bowl, stir together cooled melted butter and sugars. Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla and stir very well to combine.

3.Whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bow and then gradually stir into wet ingredients. Stir until ingredients are thoroughly combined and batter is smooth, but do not over-mix.

4.Drop batter by rounded tablespoon-sized scoops onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spacing scoops at least 2" apart. Bake on 375F (190C) for 9 minutes.

5.Allow to cool on baking sheet before filling with icing.


1.Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese. Gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined and mixture is smooth and creamy.

2.Stir in vanilla extract and salt.

3.Pipe or spread onto the bottom of one cooled pumpkin cookie, then top with another cookie.

4.Serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.