When Thanksgiving rolls around, the dessert spotlight tends to shine most brightly on pumpkin pie. And while pumpkin pie—creamy, spiced, rich, and emblematic of Thanksgiving dinner—deserves all the praise it can get, it’s also become a little, well, played out. Everyone expects turkey (whether roasted, deep-fried, or grilled); everyone expects cranberry (whether gelatinous from a can or a tangy chutney-like condiment); and everyone expects pumpkin, almost exclusively in the form of pie. This Thanksgiving, why not try something new with that pumpkin?
To get home chefs inspired, here are five recipes for non-pie Thanksgiving pumpkin desserts.
Pumpkin Chocolate Cake by Jacques Torres and Judith Choate
Rich with the flavors of fall and winter, this sensational snacking cake is aromatic with spices, moist with mellow pumpkin, and studded with chocolate, cranberries, and nuts.
Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding by Rick Rodgers
The beauty of this warm dessert of gooey cake and sauce lies not in its homey looks, but in its rich flavor.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Named one of the top 100 tastes of 2007 by Time Out New York, these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies make the perfect small dessert with their soft, cakelike cookie and chilled cream cheese filling.
Pumpkin Brulée by David Burke
Serve this sophisticated dessert in individual mini pumpkin shells, and your guests will be so delighted they’ll forget all about pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin-and-Pear Bread Pudding by Sarah Leah Chase
While this dish takes a serious time commitment, they results will totally pay off. The bread is a homemade yeast-based pumpkin bread, which is worth making in its own right to use as a fabulous enclosure for that day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich.