Change things up from pie and serve these Thanksgiving cake recipes this year!
When it comes to exciting, elaborately decorated holiday cakes, most people think of Christmas, Halloween, and maybe Valentine’s Day.
These Thanksgiving cake recipes are pretty exciting, though!
For one thing, it’s Thanksgiving, so you’ll get plenty of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and other delightful fall flavors.
There are also plenty of Thanksgiving standards, such as pumpkin rolls, carrot cakes, and many pumpkin-flavored cakes.
And for those of you who like to show off your creativity and decorating skills, there are plenty of cute cupcakes you can make, as well.
Whatever fall treat you’re in the mood to eat, these Thanksgiving cake recipes simply can’t be beat!
30 Festive Thanksgiving Cakes That Are Prettier Than Pie
1. Pumpkin Pie Magic Cake
When it comes to pumpkin desserts, it’s tough to choose a favorite.
Luckily, with this five-ingredient pumpkin pie magic cake, you won’t have to choose!
Instead, you get the best parts of both pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice cake.
And all you’ll need to make it is a pumpkin pie mix, pumpkin spice mix, eggs, butter, and vanilla frosting.
2. Snickerdoodle Coffee Cake
If you love snickerdoodle cookies but need something a bit more “fancy” for your Thanksgiving get-together, make this snickerdoodle coffee cake instead.
It’s tender, moist, and tastes exactly like snickerdoodle cookies! It’s chewy, and there’s plenty of delicious cinnamon flavor to enjoy.
3. Autumn Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Autumn spice cake is spice cake but better. You’ll add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, brown sugar, applesauce, vanilla extract, and more.
It’s sweet and full of spice, and the cream cheese icing adds just a bit of tanginess, as well.
For extra crunch and nuttiness, add some chopped pecans on top.
4. Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
What’s the only thing better than a cheesecake? A double-layer cheesecake, of course!
You’ll get the crumbly graham cracker crust and the rich, flavorful cream cheese layer.
On top of that, you’ll add a pumpkin pie-like layer of cheesecake with cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Top it off with a few dollops of whipped cream, and you’ll have a real hit on your hands.
5. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Pineapple upside-down cake may not be the most typical Thanksgiving Day dessert, but it’s sweetly tart, fruity, and delicious, so you can make it work for practically any occasion.
Plus, you’ll make it with Duncan Hines Signature Pineapple Supreme Cake Mix, which means it’s so much easier (and faster) than trying to make something from scratch.
6. Pear Upside-Down Cake
If you prefer the less tropical, fruitier taste of pears to pineapples, try this pear upside-down cake instead.
There’s no cake mix for pear upside-down cake (that I know of), so you’ll be making it from scratch.
Even so, you’ll only need 11 simple ingredients and about an hour to make it.
It’s sweet, fruity, juicy, and incredibly yummy.
7. Pumpkin Roll
Pumpkin rolls are a holiday staple in my family; in fact, you can’t have Thanksgiving without them.
The spicy, spongy cake layer pairs perfectly with the tanginess of the cream cheese frosting in the center.
And if you’ve never made one before, don’t worry; they’re so much simpler to make than most people seem to realize.
8. Almond Cranberry Cake
This colorful, festive cake looks more appropriate for Christmas than Thanksgiving, but its butter, almond, and cranberry flavors make it ideal for Thanksgiving.
You can serve it as an after-dinner dessert or a warm breakfast pastry that Thanksgiving (or Black Friday) morning.
9. Carrot Cake
This moist, fluffy carrot cake is just like the one your gramma used to make.
It takes less than an hour to prepare and bake, and you can make it with only nine ingredients.
Eat it plain or whip up a batch of homemade cream cheese icing to top it off. Either way, people will love its rich, slightly spicy flavor and soft texture.
10. Applesauce Cake
Applesauce is another old-school cake that you might have first encountered on your grandma’s table years ago.
It’s dense and filling and works well for dessert or breakfast.
Additionally, all you’ll need to make it is butter, sugar, applesauce, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, raisins, and chopped walnuts.
It’s like banana bread, but it’s moister and has a spiced apple flavor instead of a sweet banana one.
11. Hot Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Pumpkin desserts and hot chocolate are two of most people’s favorite things about autumn, and this cake combines both into one scrumptious pastry.
It’s dense and crumbly and a bit on the dry side, making it perfect for serving alongside actual hot chocolate, coffee, or tea.
12. Chai Cake with Orange Cardamom Frosting
I like all kinds of food way too much ever to commit to going fully vegan, but that said, I do enjoy lots of vegan recipes, as well.
Vegan desserts, though, sometimes fall a bit flat for me.
That’s not the case with this Chai cake. It’s insanely good, and it looks lovely, too. It’s the orange, cardamom, and maple syrup that make it so tasty.
It’s sweet without being overwhelming, and there’s a bright citrus zest that’s undeniably delectable.
13. Chocolate Cake
I add this recipe for Hershey’s chocolate cake to just about every cake or dessert list I compile, and there’s a reason for that: It’s heavenly!
It’s moist and spongy and is every chocolate lover’s dream come true.
It’s entirely decadent, but if you can’t be a bit self-indulgent over the holiday season, then when can you be?!
14. Gingerbread Cake
This spicy gingerbread cake smells as good as it tastes, and the rich vanilla cream sauce helps soften it, both physically and in the flavor.
The melt-in-your-mouth, sugary sweetness of the cream sauce adds moisture to the cake, turning every piece of it into something that could almost dissolve on your tongue.
Plus, it tones down the spiciness of the gingerbread, making it a bit sweeter than usual.
15. Southern Sweet Potato Cake
If you think sweet potato pie is good, wait until you try this fluffy, incredible sweet potato cake.
It has everything you could possibly want in a desert – the spiced sweet potato flavor, the crunchiness of chopped nuts, and a tickle-your-tastebuds cream cheese icing.
Plus, it’s easy to make. You can have the whole thing ready for the oven in just 45 minutes, making it the perfect easy dessert to round out all your extensive Thanksgiving cooking.
16. Coconut Cream Poke Cake
Of all the coconut cake recipes out there, this one is probably my favorite because it’s so moist and creamy.
It’s also soft, cold, and delicious.
You won’t find a better recipe for coconut cake no matter how hard you look.
(But if you do, let me know about it because I definitely want it!)
17. Pumpkin Poke Cake
If you could throw everything you love about fall in a mixer and turn it into a dessert, this cake would be the result.
It’s soft and fluffy, but there’s a bit of crunch from the Heath (or Skor) candy bar chunks.
It features the wonderful fall flavors of pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, caramel, toffee, chocolate, and cinnamon.
Since you’ll make it with boxed yellow cake mix, it’s simple to bake, as well.
It takes about 5 minutes of prep, 45 minutes to cook, and another 5 minutes to add the Cool Whip and candy bar topping.
18. Chocolate Almond Acorn Cupcakes
I love fancy desserts that look as good as they taste, and these chocolate almond acorn cookies certainly fit the bill.
The cake part of the cupcakes is chocolatey and nutty, and the frosting is a spectacular combination of vanilla and almond.
The charming acorns on top are my favorite part, though.
You’ll make them with Hershey’s kisses, Nilla wafers, a sliver of almond, and mini chocolate chips.
They look almost exactly like acorns but are much sweeter (and 100% edible).
19. Caramel Apple Poke Cake
You’ll start with boxed vanilla cake mix for this cake, but the final product is nothing so plain. First, you’ll jazz it up with apple pie spice and vanilla extract.
Then you’ll add apple pie filling and cover the whole thing in fluffy whipped cream and thick, sticky caramel sauce.
Sprinkle a generous helping of toffee bits on top of that, and you’re all set.
If you love caramel-covered apples, this dessert is the Thanksgiving cake for you.
20. Lemon Sour Cream Cake
If you like light, fluffy cakes that are zesty and tart and not entirely sweet, you’ll love the lemon sour cream cake.
It takes less than an hour to make and requires fewer than 10 ingredients. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, indeed!
21. Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake
If you’re a fan of upside-down cakes, then you’ve probably enjoyed this list quite a bit.
(Spoiler alert: There’s going to be one more of them before I bring this one to a close!)
The pumpkin upside-down cake starts with a boxed yellow cake mix.
It also features pumpkin puree, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, ginger, sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, chopped pecans, and butter.
It’s spicy, and altogether divine, and if it doesn’t get you in the mood for Thanksgiving, nothing ever will.
22. Turkey Cupcakes
These may look super complicated and hard to make, but if you can frost a cupcake and assemble Reese’s Pieces and M&Ms on it, you can make them with no trouble whatsoever.
And I mean, really – what is more Thanksgiving-worthy than tiny turkeys on cupcakes?! Nothing! These are fantastically festive.
23. Apple Nut Cake
If you prefer dense, crumbly, and crunchy cakes, give this recipe for apple nut cake a try.
You’ll make it with your favorite apples (I like Granny Smith) and plenty of chopped pecans.
The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard, and you probably already have them in your pantry. It takes a little over an hour to make, but it’s worth every second.
24. Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
I told you I’d give you another upside-down cake recipe before I finished, so here you go! It’s absolutely stunning and full of tart and tangy cranberry flavor.
It has a little bit of sweetness and a lot of zest, and its gorgeous appearance makes it ideal for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
25. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake
If just looking at this devilishly decadent bundt cake is enough to make your mouth start watering, then you and I have something in common.
This cake is rich, but it’s so fantastic that you won’t want to stop eating it even when your tummy begins to protest.
Oh, and what you can’t see from the picture is that there’s a peanut butter filling on the inside of the cake, as well.
To be sure, it’s a sugar coma waiting to happen, but it’s excellent, nonetheless.
26. Pumpkin Bundt Cake
This thick, tender bundt cake is full of pumpkin spice yumminess and is ideal for breakfast, lunch, or dessert.
The cream cheese frosting is rich and gooey, and it also has a hint of pumpkin pie spice in it.
If you’re one of the famous “Pumpkin Spice Girls,” this is the dessert for you.
27. Toffee Poke Cake
This cake is heaven on a plate. Period.
It has everything – the rich triple threat of chocolate, caramel, and toffee, the light, smooth coolness of whipped cream, and the crunchy chunkiness of toffee bits.
28. Cherry Almond Bundt Cake
Of all the cakes on this list, this one is one of the prettiest, and luckily, it tastes incredible, too. It’s fluffy, moist, and overflowing with sweet cherry flavor.
And if your main complaint with bundt cake is that it’s too dry, don’t worry.
Thanks to the addition of maraschino cherry juice, this cake is as light and juicy as any you’ve ever tried.
29. Butter Cake
The real name of this cake is ooey gooey butter cake, and that describes it perfectly.
It’s like pound cake, but with more butter and a wetter, more pleasing texture.
Best of all, it’s a simple cake to make.
You can pull it together and bake it in just 20 minutes, and all you’ll need is cake mix, eggs, butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar.
30. Orange Juice Cake with Cornmeal
This cornbread has wonderfully crisp edges just like cornbread, though not it’s quite as crumbly and grainy. And its taste? 100% oranges!
It smells like oranges, it tastes like oranges, and it has an orange slice and orange zest on the top.
If you like slightly coarse desserts full of citrusy flavor, give this one a try.
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