Beyond Pie: Thanksgiving Cupcakes, Cakes and Cookies

Pies are the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. But that doesn’t mean you can’t showcase fall flavors like pumpkin, pecan and apple in other sweets as well.
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FNK Development; Thanksgiving Cupcakes; Opener

Photo by: Armando Rafael; Armando Rafael ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Armando Rafael; Armando Rafael, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Pies are the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. But that doesn’t mean you can’t showcase fall flavors like pumpkin, pecan and apple in other sweets as well. Think outside the pie crust and take your turkey-day dessert spread to the next level this year with inspired holiday cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

FNK Development; Thanksgiving Cupcakes; Pumpkin Pie

Photo by: Armando Rafael; Armando Rafael ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Armando Rafael; Armando Rafael, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

These super-moist treats are almost like steamed pudding, topped and filled with cream cheese-thickened whipped cream. Afraid you'll miss the crust? There it is, in the form of a crunchy pie-dough garnish. Check out more recipes for pie-inspired cupcakes, like apple, pecan and even s’more.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The dough for these spiced autumn cookies is easily made in a food processor, much like pie dough, but with softened butter. Get festive with the decorating by making fall leaves or turkeys, using halved candy corns or pecans for the tail feathers.

FNK_PecanPieCheesecake_H

FNK_PecanPieCheesecake_H

Food Networks Kitchen’s Pecan Pie Cheesecake for THANKSGIVING/BAKING/WEEKEND COOKING, as seen on Food Network.,Food Networks Kitchen’s Pecan Pie Cheesecake for THANKSGIVING/BAKING/WEEKEND COOKING, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

This creamy cheesecake and its gooey pecan topping can be made in advance. Bake the cheesecake, wrap it and refrigerate it for up to two days. Do the same with the caramel sauce and reheat. When it comes to topping the cake, gravity knows best: Mound the sauce in the center, then let it naturally ooze to the edge. Check out more decadent Thanksgiving cheesecakes that just might upstage the pies.

Ina Garten's Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake for Easy Desserts as seen on Food Network's Barefoot Contessa

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Sweet and tart fruit on the bottom and a simple batter on top is the perfect combination for Ina Garten's cake that requires only 15 minutes' prep time. It turns out almost like a pudding when it's time to serve.

How To Make Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies: Making Chocolate Cookies and Pumpkin Spice Filling then Combining to Create Whoopie Pies for Holiday Baking Championship Season 2 Eatertainment, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Marshall Troy, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

"Pie" is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to the whoopie pie. The soft, nostalgic cream-filled sandwich is really more of a cake-cookie hybrid. Pumpkin spice, the beloved fall latte flavor, works perfectly in a rich cream cheese filling for this version. These hand-held treats make a fun addition to any Thanksgiving dessert spread.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Make this chilled twist on a favorite holiday pie a day in advance, so you can focus on other dishes — it tastes even better after resting in the fridge overnight. No need to worry about perfect pie crust for this one; it uses store-bought crust that’s baked, chopped up and then layered with creamy pumpkin filling. Top the whole thing with cinnamon whipped cream.

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