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On Thanksgiving, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and all the fixings are a given, but if you’re like me, all you’re thinking about is dessert. Whether you’ll be going to someone else’s house or hosting [a socially distanced] dinner, these make-ahead Thanksgiving desserts will save you time and take the stress out of the holiday.

WHY I LOVE MAKE-AHEAD THANKSGIVING DESSERTS

My husband always has to work for part of the day on Thanksgiving and although my kids are at ages where they can play together and I could feasibly pull together dinner on my own,  he enjoys the holiday so much that he pulls everything together before he leaves for work. Still, between cleaning the house, setting the table, and getting everything ready, I still feel like I’m pressed for time so I’m always looking for make-ahead Thanksgiving desserts.

KID-FRIENDLY MAKE AHEAD THANKSGIVING DESSERTS

A traditional Thanksgiving spread usually includes pumpkin pie and maybe even apple pie, so instead of including the obvious, this list of make-ahead Thanksgiving desserts includes creative kid-friendly options. 

1. PUMPKIN WHOOPIE PIES WITH MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Your kids may not like pumpkin pie, but they’ll definitely love these Pumpkin Whoppie Pies With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. This dessert is filled with a ton of pumpkin spice, gooey goodness, and is perfect for little hands.

2. DELECTABLE APRICOT AND PECAN TASSIES

If you’re looking for a portion-controlled Thanksgiving dessert recipe you can make ahead of time, these Delectable Apricot and Pecan Tassies are an excellent option.

These miniatures have a golden brown cream cheese pie shell with a

sweet apricot and pecan filling.

At only 116 calories and 10 grams of sugar, these are also the ultimate guilt-free dessert for everyone.

3. PRETZEL TURKEY TREATS

These Pretzel Turkey Treats are easy, super kid-friendly, and one of the best make-ahead Thanksgiving desserts around. With a handful of easy ingredients and simple steps, it’s a great dessert to make with your kids and one that will add a ton of festive color to your spread.

4. EASY PECAN PIE

Another traditional Thanksgiving option, this Easy Pecan Pie is one of the best to make ahead Thanksgiving desserts. With the help of Willians Sonoma’s Pecan Pie-in-a-Jar, this recipe is full of sweet pecan goodness, has a flaky, buttery crust and is so easy it takes just 20 minutes to pull together.

5. PUMPKIN PIE TRUFFLES

Truffles make any holiday table feel elegant and these Pumpkin Pie Truffles are the perfect combination of fall spices and chocolatey goodness. Portion-controlled and kid-friendly, this Thanksgiving dessert recipe is super easy to make and only takes 20 minutes to pull together. These are hands down, one of the best make-ahead Thanksgiving desserts to try this season.

6. PUMPKIN CHIA SEED PUDDING

6. PUMPKIN CHIA SEED PUDDING

Chia seeds are superfoods for kids, and this recipe for Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding is a great option for Thanksgiving, breakfast the next morning, or any time.

Since you can pull this pudding together in just 5 minutes, it’s one of the best make-ahead Thanksgiving desserts. Serve it in a small mason jar or festive mug, add some whipped cream and top it with a cinnamon stick, and you’ve got the perfect kid-friendly treat.

Related: 9 Kid-Friendly Ways To Use Chia Seeds

7. 5 INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE CAKE TURKEYS

These no-bake 5 Ingredient Chocolate Cake Turkeys double as a kids craft and Thanksgiving table decor. With easy, store-bought ingredients, and just 5 minutes to make, this is one of the best make-ahead Thanksgiving desserts.

8. PUMPKIN PIE CHEESECAKE BARS

Kids love bars and these Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars are the ultimate spin on regular ‘ol pumpkin pie. With a delicious homemade crust and decadent pumpkin and cheesecake layers, your kids (and your adult guests) will devour these up in seconds.

Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.

Julie Revelant