Need a dessert for Thanksgiving? Here’s what I made for my children’s table Thanksgiving shoot. I did all the baking, so you know it was easy!

  • Apple Cake
  • Pumpkin Pie Tartlets
  • Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Bars
  • Pecan Pie
Easy but impressive Thanksgiving desserts by The Party Teacher

Here’s an overhead view of the dessert table so you can see how I arranged everything. The other thing you’ll see is that while these desserts all come out kind of brown (not great planning on my part!), I’ve added color to the table with faux pumpkins, printables and the ribbon wreath.

If you want to see the whole party, check out this post.

Bright and Colorful Thanksgiving Children's Table by The Party Teacher-36

Grandma’s Apple Cake

The first dessert is my Grandma’s apple cake. It is so moist and needs no frosting. (It’s also great for breakfast with a cup of coffee or hot apple cider.)

Bright and Colorful Thanksgiving Children's Table by The Party Teacher-45

Grandma’s Fresh Apple Cake

A moist apple cake that needs no frosting. Great for breakfast with a cup of coffee or hot apple cider.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert

Equipment

  • Stand or hand mixer
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Sifter
  • Bundt pan
  • Non-stick cooking or baking spray like Pam OR Crisco and extra flour

Ingredients

  • cup canola oil
  • 2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups chopped apples (about 3 apples) I use green Granny Smith
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  • Mix and beat until smooth: canola oil, white sugar, eggs.
  • Stir into above mixture: apples, walnuts, vanilla extract.
  • Sift together: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt.
  • Stir flour mixture into batter in four or five portions. The batter is extremely thick and you may find it difficult to use a hand mixer except for beating the eggs, sugar and oil.
  • Grease and flour Bundt pan.
  • Spoon batter into Bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1½ hours.
  • Let cool thoroughly before removing from pan.

Notes

This is a rich, moist cake and needs no frosting.

Grandma’s Pie Crust

Bright and Colorful Thanksgiving Children's Table by The Party Teacher-46

Grandma’s Pie Crust

My grandma's no fail pie crust recipe.
Course: Dessert
Servings: 2 pie crusts

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin
  • Extra flour for your rolling surface
  • Wax paper
  • Pastry blender
  • Pie plate

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter-flavor Crisco
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp milk

Instructions

  • Sift flour and salt.
  • Blend with Crisco until small lumps appear.
  • Poke holes in dry ingredients and add water and milk.
  • Mix until dough forms a ball and sides of bowl are clean.
  • Quickly knead dough slightly and divide in half.
  • Chill dough in the fridge.
  • Roll out each half between sheets of lightly floured wax paper.

Truth telling time: For our shoot, I used Pillsbury Pie Crust — the kind in the red package that you unroll. Easy peasy.

Pecan Pie

I have tried a lot — I mean a lot — of pecan pie recipes over the years, but I think I’ve finally settled on The Pioneer Woman’s pecan pie. I do use dark Karo Syrup instead of light. And I use pecan halves instead of chopped pecans. And it freaks me out a little to bake the pie all at one temp instead of something higher for the first 15 minutes. But you know, just do what Ree tells you.

Now my other favorite version is Jack Daniels Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie. You make the same recipe, but throw in a quarter cup of JD and a half cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. (Or, follow this recipe.) Just don’t do what I did and bring it to Thanksgiving and serve it to your teetotallng Southern Baptist mother-in-law. Whoops. (More for me!!)

Pumpkin Pie or Tartlets

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Pumpkin Pie or Tartlets

Course: Dessert
Author: The Party Teacher

Equipment

  • Pie pan or tart pans

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 1 pound can of pumpkin two cups
  • 1⅔ cup 13 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • Unbaked rolled-up pie crust(s) (the tarts use more crust because of the waste)

Instructions

  • Mix dry ingredients.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.
  • To make pie: Pour into unbaked 10-inch pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40 minutes or until done.
  • To make tarts: Use a tart pan with removable bottoms. (I used two Chicago Metallic tart pans and the tarts cooked evenly and were easy to remove from the pan.) Line the depressions with pie crust. Pour in the pie filling and bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Check your tarts at 20 minutes.) If you can insert a knife into the center of a tart and it comes out clean, it's done.

Notes

Serve with whipped cream and/or a chocolate leaf.

Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Bars

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I made these from a Two Peas & Their Pod recipe. They. are. so. good. You should go buy the ingredients now.

And here’s my little stinker. Can’t you tell she’s a handful after she’s been sugared up? All. my. fault.

Bright and Colorful Thanksgiving Children's Table by The Party Teacher-131

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