These small batch desserts are perfect for keeping things small for Thanksgiving without sacrificing flavor or having too many leftovers.
Not all Thanksgivings are big gatherings of family and friends. Some are smaller, more intimate affairs with just immediate family or close friends. In those cases, you just don’t need enough dessert to feed a legion of dessert lovers. No, those are the times to turn to small batch recipes that serve two or a few.
These recipes are some of my favorites for scaled-down desserts for Thanksgiving. They range from cheesecake to cake to cookies, and from casual to more sophisticated. I hope you’ll find some baking inspiration here for your Thanksgiving meal!
Small Batch Dessert Recipes for Thanksgiving
When it comes to quick and easy desserts with big results, you can’t do much better than these Dark Chocolate Bourbon Bread Puddings. You’ll have these assembled and chilling in mere minutes. They’re a great make-ahead dessert, too, as you can prep them the day before and then pop them in the oven when it’s time for dessert. SERVES 2
Cheesecake is always a good choice for a special occasion, and this Vanilla Bean Cheesecake for Two is no exception. For Thanksgiving, you can keep the fruity topping you see here or go with something more seasonally appropriate. How about substituting some currant preserves for the swirl? Or how about a drizzle of chocolate or caramel? SERVES 2
Pudding cakes, those magical two-in-one desserts, are always a good idea in my book. And these Ginger Pear Pudding Cakes are an excellent choice for Thanksgiving. The combination of ginger, pears, nuts, and butterscotch is amazingly delicious. SERVES 4
Granted, these Double Chocolate Skillet Brownies are maybe not the fanciest dessert you could make this Thanksgiving, but there’s no denying their wonderful chocolate flavor. Add ice cream and other toppings to take them over the top! SERVES 2
The lovely layers of these No-Bake Apple Cheesecakes look so pretty! And, believe it or not, it’s really easy to make each layer and get it all assembled. No-bake desserts tend to get more love in warmer weather, but these are just so perfect for Thanksgiving! SERVES 4
These sweet, nutty Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies are a fun baking project with fall flavor. Enjoy a batch of these during dinner prep and throughout the holiday weekend. MAKES 12
When it comes to special desserts, chocolate is always a winner. And Flourless Chocolate Cakes for Two are all about the chocolate. Add some sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings for a nice finishing touch. SERVES 2
I’ll admit that I used to be less than excited about the prospect of pudding for a special dessert. But then I had this Butterscotch Pudding, and I was completely sold. Pudding is actually a really great make-ahead dessert that you can easily dress up if you like. And if butterscotch isn’t your thing, there’s always chocolate, vanilla, or peanut butter! SERVES 4
Much like those brownies I mentioned earlier, these Mini Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookies may not be the first thing that comes to mind for your Thanksgiving dessert. But they’re just so dang good that I don’t think you’d be disappointed to have the pleasure of eating one of these most any day. Again, add some ice cream and toppings for an all-out dessert! GENEROUSLY SERVES 4
Apple-Pear Biscoff Crisps are made with just FIVE ingredients. Seriously. It’s really amazing how it embodies the flavors of the season with such little effort. Simplicity is the key here. And Biscoff cookies, of course. GENEROUSLY SERVES 2
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is a classic dessert choice for good reason. Its deliciousness is welcomed all year long! This 6-inch version is a perfect way to get your taste of that classic without making enough for a crowd. Try adding some fall-inspired sprinkles to make it even more festive! GENEROUSLY SERVES 4
Salted Caramel Pots de Creme are creamy, dreamy, and delicious. They take a little more attention than a lot of desserts, but it’s so worth it. If you love all things salted caramel, you’ll definitely be on board for these. SERVES 4
It’s just not Thanksgiving with cranberries, right? These Cranberry Pear Crumbles combine those with fresh pears and a sweet crumb topping for an easy dessert that’s sure to garner lots of praise. Serve these little crumbles warm with a scoop of sweetened whipped cream or ice cream. SERVES 4
I do hope you’ve found some inspiration for small batch desserts to share this Thanksgiving. Whether you’re celebrating with two, a few, or a crowd, have a happy Thanksgiving!
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