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12 Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas for Non-Bakers

There's no rule that says all great Thanksgiving desserts have to come from an oven. If baking's not your bag, or your oven will be otherwise occupied (looking at you, turkey), check out these no-bake Thanksgiving desserts you can make without touching that oven dial.

Mousse, Parfait, Tiramisu, and Trifle

1. Chef John's Dark Chocolate Mousse

A pinch of chile powder intensifies the chocolatey goodness of this rich and creamy dessert. After a quick 20-minute stovetop prep, you can spoon the mousse into individual glasses, ramekins, or cups to chill in the fridge. Top with extra whipped cream and shaved chocolate to make it photo-ready.

If you've never made mousse before, just watch the video and let Chef John show you how it's done. Home cook dannimachile83 says, "This was my first attempt at making mousse and I found the video and instructions easy to follow."

Chef John's Dark Chocolate Mousse

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

2. Pumpkin Parfaits

Easy to make and lovely to behold. Recipe creator Jodster describes this dessert as "a lighter alternative to pumpkin pie." Reviewers recommend you double the marshmallow creme mixture so you get plenty for layering in individual bowls or glasses.


Pumpkin Parfaits

Photo by Qckbdc

3. 5 Ingredient Tiramisu

Layer in a glass bowl for a show-stopping centerpiece on your dessert buffet, or create individual servings, as shown in the photo. Top with espresso powder, dark cocoa powder, or chocolate curls.

AngieO says, "This was my first attempt at tiramisu, and I thought that it turned out well. It was fast, and easy."


Tiramisu Cups

Photo by Meredith

4. Easy Pumpkin Cream Trifle

Here's a prep tip from Cook Kerri, who says, "I have been making various trifles for years and am so excited to have a new yummy trifle recipe which is a party hit. I have found the trick to a trifle is to always work from the outside-in of the bowl. Keep each individual ingredient evenly distributed. Make it look pretty and it looks more scrumptious."

Easy Pumpkin Cream Trifle

Photo by Holiday Baker

Pies and Cheesecake

5. No Bake Pumpkin Pie I

A super-quick prep and three hours in the fridge, and this easy pie is ready to serve. Reviewers rave that they'll never make a baked pumpkin pie again after trying this one

It saved the day for MYHORSENUTMEG, who says, "WOW! Just bought an antique stove, but it wasn't installed for Thanksgiving. So for the holiday dessert, we decided to try a couple no-bake pies. This pumpkin pie is absolutely delicious."


No Bake Pumpkin Pie I

Photo by Debbie Furey

6. Peanut Butter Pie

You can use a ready-made graham cracker crumb or Oreo cookie crumb pie crust for this recipe. MARPRINC went totally rogue and froze the pie before adding a layer of hot fudge sauce, and then topped it with whipped cream.


No Bake Pumpkin Pie I

Photo by Debbie Furey

7. Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Chocolate-coated crispy rice cereal forms the crust for this no-bake cheesecake. Even though it's quite rich, you'll be surprised by how quick and easy the whole thing is to prep.

JIXJAX recommends taking it out of the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving to make it easier to slice through the chocolate.

Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Photo by naples34102

Cookies and Bars

8. Buckeye Cookies III

Looking like they just dropped off a chestnut tree, these chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls would make an eye-catching addition to a dessert buffet.

Home cook ~Kandi~ gives this recipe her stamp of approval, saying, "I am the mother of 7 boys and the wife a an Ohio State Buckeye fan...buckeyes have been a favorite in our family...I tried this recipe and must confess that it is WONDERFUL ! it is easy and the measurements are perfect."

Buckeye Cookies III

Photo by Dianne

9. No-Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

You're going to want to save room for these kind-of-good-for-you layers of oats and dark chocolate and peanut butter.

Home cook KRANEY raves, "What a great dessert! Took me only 15 minutes, start to finish. Very rich - a small bar goes a long way!"

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

Photo by SavedByGrace


10. Boardwalk Quality Maple Walnut Fudge

Guess what? You can make this creamy rich fudge in your microwave. For another layer of flavor, pan-toast the walnuts and let them cool before adding them to the mix.

House of Aqua declares, "Best. Fudge. Ever! Seriously, this stuff is amazing! I got the idea from another who made this recipe to use some candy cup papers and I used a small cookie scoop to measure fudge into each cup. The papers peel off easily and you have perfect looking and even tastier fudge!"

Boardwalk Quality Maple Walnut Fudge

Photo by Dianne

11. Pumpkin Truffles

Allrecipes Allstar Kim's Cooking Now! took these pumpkin-flavored truffles a step further and made them look like pumpkins. Read Kim's review to get all her tips and suggestions.


Pumpkin Truffles

Photo by Kim's Cooking Now!

Fancy Fruit

12. Poached Pears Belle Helene

If you want to impress the heck out of your Thanksgiving guests, dish up these elegant (and surprisingly easy) poached pears. Just serve them with ice cream and a pool of ready-made chocolate sauce, and take your compliments like a grown-up.

Home cook Judylee says, "Definitely will make this dessert again. Easy, pretty and delicious."

While We're Talking Thanksgiving

About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Find me as foodelicious on Allrecipes and vanny.gee on Instagram (but only if you don't mind cat pics and cocktails).