The Thanksgiving dessert recipes that have never let us down

You’ll probably have pumpkin pie on your table this week, but there are plenty of other ways to do dessert on Thanksgiving.

As 225 recipe writer Tracey Koch was working on her dessert recipes for our November issue, she asked the rest of our team to add our go-to’s.

These are our favorite no-fail desserts to impress your family.

Easy Chocolate Mousse Pie 

Adapted from Yammie’s Noshery

“This has been my go-to holiday dessert for years, and I’ve even convinced some of my friends to start making it for their families. Mousse feels like such a light, airy dessert after a heavy holiday feast. But I like to use dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips for the mousse, which gives it that touch of decadence. Topping with tart berries keeps things fresh, but you can top yours with anything you’d like.”

—Jennifer Tormo Alvarez, 225 editor

Serves: 6

1 box Oreos or Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe’s cookies

3 tablespoons melted butter

3 cups + 6 tablespoons heavy cream

12 ounces chocolate chips

Toppings (berries, Magic Shell or chocolate sauce)

    1. Crush the cookies. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a plastic bag with a rolling pin or canned food.
    2. Mix in the melted butter and press into the bottom of a pie pan. 
    3. Beat 3 cups of the cream until stiff peaks form. Split into two separate bowls. Put one in the refrigerator to save the whipped topping.
    4. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the 6 tablespoons of cream and chocolate. Melt on low power for 30 seconds at a time, stopping to stir. Repeat until the chocolate is melted.
    5. From the unrefrigerated bowl of whipped cream, whisk about 1/3 into the the chocolate. Once combined, fold all of the chocolate mixture into the remaining whipped cream from the first bowl. 
    6. Pour the mousse into the prepared crust and chill for at least 6 hours.
    7. Using a spatula, spread the remaining whipped topping across the pie. Decorate with berries and drizzles of chocolate sauce. Enjoy!

Pumpkin pie cheesecake with Oreo crust

Adapted from The New York Times

“Before the big Turkey Day meal, my family spends days prepping all the sides and main dishes so store-bought pies are an easy and delicious go-to. Recently, I’ve been super into baking and can’t stop thinking about this pumpkin pie that my brother made once when I was younger. It was a homemade pumpkin pie with an Oreo cookie crust. Simple, yet tasty. Now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with cooking up confections, I plan on introducing a homemade pie to the dessert lineup this year.”

—Olivia Deffes, 225 digital staff writer

Simple peach cobbler

Similar recipe

“I always look forward to my granny’s peach cobbler. Most years, she’ll bake two because it’s a fan favorite.”

—Katie Dixon, 225 contributing writer

Blake’s Rich and Creamy Cheesecake

“Pies are not my thing, but cheesecake sure is. And my beloved Uncle Blake knows this. Every holiday—and sometimes just because—he whips up a decadent treat that’s, I dare say, better than restaurant-quality. The center is oh-so creamy with just the slightest tart kick. He often adds fresh raspberries a top or a scrumptious chocolate drizzle. But the homemade crust made of finely crushed graham crackers or Oreos is what really takes the cake (pun intended) for me. The tasty crunch against the soft cake makes for the perfect last bite of a holiday meal. And now, seeing all the work that goes into creating each cheesecake, this holiday dessert tradition feels even sweeter.”

—Laura Furr Mericas, 225 managing editor

Blake bases his recipe on The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Below is an adapted version. Or click here for a similar recipe I found from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Serves 12 to 14

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker (Blake often swaps this with Oreos)

2 pounds cream cheese

1 1/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon zest from small lemon, minced

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup sour cream

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with foil. Tuck foil under the pan bottom and wrap it around the side of the pan. Brush the pan’s bottom and sides with butter. Coat the pan evenly with crumbs of graham cracker. Cover pan underneath and along the side with a sheet of heavy-duty foil and set in a large roasting pan. Bring kettle of water to a boil nearby for a water bath (in step 3).

2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar until dissolves. While still beating, add eggs one at a time. Add zest and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and add in heavy cream and sour cream.

3. Pour mixture into pan with crust. Then pour boiling water into the roasting pan, about halfway up the springform pan. This will help the cake keep its moisture.

4. Place all in oven on the middle rack. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until perimeter of cake is set. Turn off heat and leave oven ajar for one hour longer.

5. Once out of the oven, carefully remove springform pan from water bath. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.