Multiple desserts at one meal is not something I allow myself to indulge in very often. One exception: Thanksgiving.

After all, how can you possibly pick when there are so many tempting options? There are the big categories of classic ingredients, of course — pumpkin, apple, pecan, cranberry and sweet potato. That alone is enough to merit more than one dessert. But maybe you want to expand your repertoire to include a less traditional starring ingredient, such as chocolate or lemon. Perhaps you feel limited, or stressed, by the omnipresent pie. In that case, a cake, tart or bread pudding may be in the offing.

Regardless of your rationale for how many options to select, these desserts from our archives are worth expanding your menu for. They’re just a mere sampling of the more than 80 options we’ve published in recent years. So while you have the time now, pick a few recipes, make a plan and then eventually get baking. One of the many great things about Thanksgiving desserts is that they can often be made in advance. Less stress, more sweetness.

Cranberry Tassies, above. These bite-size pastries are festive and refreshing. They’re just one part of a fantastic package from my colleague Daniela Galarza, with recipes for Apple Crumble Tassies, Buttermilk Chess Tassies, Chocolate Tassies, Lemon Tassies, Pecan Tassies and Pumpkin Tassies, as well.


No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake. When you combine pumpkin pie and a no-bake cheesecake, you get an ethereal, light and easy-to-assemble dessert that caps off my simpler Thanksgiving menu. Making it even easier is a store-bought graham cracker crust.


Libby’s New-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie With Dulce de Leche and Cardamom: This isn’t the same ol’ back-of-the package recipe. We tweaked the newly updated Libby’s recipe by swapping in dulce de leche for sweetened condensed milk to achieve an ultrasmooth, flan-like texture. The spice blend is very much up to you, but we will never say no to cardamom.

Other pumpkin ideas: Pumpkin Creme Brulees (elegant, made in Instant Pot); Maple and Pumpkin Custard (just the filling, baked in a cast-iron skillet); Fluffy Pumpkin Buttermilk Pie (gingersnap crust, light and fluffy filling); Vegan Pumpkin Pie With Coconut Cream (with molasses and pureed pecans!); Pumpkin-Caramel Tart With Toasted Hazelnut Crust (featuring a short bake time and a press-in crust); Pumpkin Hazelnut Bars (easier to transport than a pie).


Whiskey-Laced Pecan Pie, above. A shot of whiskey (or rum) adds just the right amount of electricity to this recipe from Toni Tipton-Martin, the cookbook author and journalist who is now editor in chief of Cook’s Country magazine.


Creole Pecan Praline Bars. These bars are inspired by the New Orleans treat and capture the spirit of the pie in an easy, slab format.

More pecans: Bourbon Pecan Pie (vegan, sweetened with maple syrup and brown sugar); Date Pecan Pie (best served cold); Pecangipane Pear and Cranberry Tart (looks fancy, freezes well).


Caramel Apple Pie With an All-Butter Crust and Painted Cutout Topping. If lattice pie toppers stress you out, consider cutting out pieces of pastry to put on top. You can use any small shape you like, but leaves are seasonal and beautiful.


Caramel Apples. Sure, it’s a wild card, but why only eat caramel apples at Halloween? This could be a fun DIY project for kids, if you let them decorate the apples the day before.

More apples: Apple Sharlotka (one-bowl Russian cake); Apple Tarte Tatin (stunning pie alternative); Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie (from our Voraciously Baking Basics newsletter series by Joy “the Baker” Wilson); Albemarle Pippin Apple Cobbler (perfect for any tart apple); Tiffany MacIsaac’s Double-Crust Apple Pie (classic!).


Cranberry Tart With Gingersnap Cookie Crust. Elegant but approachable — and quite tart! — is how I’d describe this dessert filled with a cranberry curd. It’s the dessert you’ll find at the end of the little-bit-fancy menu this year from my colleague Aaron Hutcherson.


Roasted Cranberry Pie With Meringue and a Press-In Cookie Crust. I challenge you to find a more stunning pie to slice, with a bright-red filling and mile-high meringue.

More cranberries: Instant Pot Cranberry Bourbon Bread Pudding (makes great use of your multicooker); Tiny Tim Cranberry Tarts (two-bite tarts with a cream cheese pastry); Cranberry Apple Lattice Pie (with a red wine and cranberry compote); Apple Cranberry Brown Betty (a lighter take on a classic); Cranberry Tart With Hazelnut Crust (lets the berries really shine).


Sour Cream Maple Cake With Maple Buttercream Frosting. It’s not the first Thanksgiving ingredient you might think of, but maple syrup screams fall to us. This cake would be an unexpected yet very welcome addition to your holiday table. Also, it’s one-bowl, which is just the thing you need to cut back your dishwashing on such a busy day.

More maple: Frozen Maple Mousse (like a no-churn ice cream); Maple Bread Crust Pudding With Salted Caramel Sauce (thrifty and tasty).


Sweet Potato Pie With Macaroon Crust. Enjoy coconut two ways in this pie, incorporated into a gluten-free nut crust and piled on top with zesty crystallized ginger.


Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie. Some people may say that pumpkin and sweet potato pies are basically the same thing, but some people may also be wrong. Sweet potatoes lend more flavor, and this pie — you may recall it from its video fame — has more nutmeg than you might be used to. Go with it; it works.

More sweet potatoes: Sweet Potato Pecan Dessert Cups (individual desserts, mash-up of sweet potato and pecan pies); Brown Sugar-Sweet Potato Cake (dense and moist); Persian-Spiced Sweet Potato Pie (no precooking of sweet potatoes required).