What Desserts Should I Have for Thanksgiving?

When you’re trying to be the host with the most it can be difficult to try and pick a menu that will satisfy everyone you’re entertaining. This is especially true when you’re talking about an event as special as Thanksgiving. Choosing Thanksgiving desserts that you can enjoy can be quite daunting if you’ve never hosted before. However, there are some things that you could keep in mind to make your selection much easier. Some of those factors might include the theme of the food, the type of meal it would be (casual, formal, or buffet style), your traditions, and availability of the desserts.

Factors to Consider

When deciding on which type of dessert you should choose for your meal there are a few factors you want to keep in mind to make your guests happy. You should think about how many people you’re inviting, the types of foods you’re creating for the dinner, how much preparing you want to do, how complex it will be to make the dessert, and most importantly health concerns of any of your guests. (this is important for diabetics and those who might have nut allergies.)

Homemade vs. Store-bought

There is always a lot of debate over Thanksgiving dinner and how to make it easier to host. If you have the time on your hands, homemade desserts are obviously a good idea. They smell up the home, taste fresh, and you can control what ingredients you put in the foods. However, homemade products can take a lot of time that you may not have. If time is a factor for you, going with store bought products does not mean that the dessert will taste horrible. You can opt to go with frozen pies, bakery pies, or pick one up from your local grocery store. Whichever works best for you will ultimately have to work best for your guests.


At the top of the list for Thanksgiving desserts you will find pies. Pies are like the American symbol for Thanksgiving and most households have them as an option. There are so many different pies you can choose from however the favorite few are: apple, pumpkin, pecan, and sweet potato. You can again get your pies frozen, from a local bakery, or your grocery store.


Cakes are another favorite for Thanksgiving desserts. Though not as popular as pies, cake is a great choice for your guests to have. You can be very basic with the cakes and go with a classic yellow cake with white frosting, or you could go a bit more “seasonal” with a spice cake, pumpkin cake, or pineapple upside down cake which many guests love.

Ice Cream

There is no cake or pie without their companion ice cream. Keep it simple getting only vanilla and chocolate so there are not too many options.

These are just a few desserts you could have at your Thanksgiving dinner. You should keep in mind those who cannot have sugar and consider getting a sugar free option so that they too can enjoy a bit of dessert. Other than that, consider asking guests to bring their favorite dessert choices, that way you don’t have to do all the work yourself.

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