Sweet Potato Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
Instead of those puffed up mini-marshmallows, this Ode to a Casserole Cake is mounded with a spiced and spiked, pecan-flecked Italian meringue frosting that bronzes and crisps under the blaze of a hot flame. Get the recipe!
Apple Cider Doughnut Cake
Tiny and chubby apple cider doughnuts herald the fall season at the farmers' markets. This cake version is the 2.0 version.
Apple pie is great, but for those who like a buttery crumb topping, nothing beats apple crisp. With no crust to worry about, it will also save you some time on the big day.
Caramel Apple Flan with Toasted Pepitas
Cooking apples in a rich buttery caramel and adding a scattering of toasted pepitas ensures this dessert really screams out "autumn" on the plate. For even more apple flavor and sticky goodness, add a little apple cider reduction to the plate: simply reduce cider in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbly and thick, then allow to cool to an almost jellied set.
Cranberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding
This pudding, inspired by the highly delicious White Chocolate Bread Pudding at the Palace Cafe, has the soul of a New Orleans bread pudding. But it's gussied up for the season with cranberries, which add a wonderful tart contrast to the white chocolate in the butter and cream-rich custard, and a nice glug of bourbon, which certainly doesn't hurt anything.
Spiced Sweet Potato Cookies
Don't just use sweet potatoes during your savory course—they make a great addition to dessert, too. Molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger boost these soft cookies' autumnal flavor.
This tender brown butter cake is smothered in brown butter-sour cream caramel. Making the cake in a sheet pan makes it easy to portion and serve as part of your Thanksgiving dessert spread.
Pear and Frangipane Pie
OK, so this is a pie, but it is outside the traditional pumpkin/pecan/apple box. It's a good combination of rustic and elegant, and the combination of spiced, poached pears and frangipane, a custard-like, almond confection is harmonious. The slightly bitter almonds offset the sweetness of the pears perfectly.