daily californian logo


3 Thanksgiving dessert recipes to bring to your next Friendsgiving

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

NOVEMBER 16, 2022

Although the Thanksgiving dinner is usually the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving meal, who says desserts shouldn’t take center stage too? With upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations happening before we leave for November’s break, here are three fall themed dessert recipes that are perfect for any Friendsgiving and are easy to make! 

Turkey cupcakes 

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for a quick dessert that also looks nice. These tiny turkeys take less than an hour to make and are so easy anyone could whip them up with no problem. 


1 box of the cake mix of your choice

Ingredients per package instructions

16 oz pre-made chocolate frosting

24 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

1 bag Reese’s Pieces

48 candy eyes

12 red gummy worms


  1. Prepare and bake the cupcakes using the instructions on your package
  2. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely and add a flat layer of the chocolate frosting on each cupcake.
  3. Add 3 rows of the Reese’s pieces to the top half of the cupcakes to look like the turkey’s feathers. The outside layer should be orange (8 pieces of candy), then brown (7 pieces) and  finally yellow (5 pieces).
  4. Gently press a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into the center of each cupcake.
  5. Cut 12 of the orange Reese’s Pieces in half using a small knife and adhere each piece using the chocolate frosting to the mini Reese’s peanut butter cups to form the noses of the turkeys.
  6. Put 2 candy eyes above the noses on the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  7. Cut a gummy worm in half and use the chocolate frosting to adhere each half onto the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups right next to the noses to look like the wattle of the turkeys.
  8. Enjoy your creation that is almost too cute to eat! 

Mini pumpkin pies

These bite sized treats make the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving party or potluck. Since they are bite sized, you don’t have to worry about trying to finish off a whole pie if people don’t have room for dessert. You also don’t have to worry about cutting a whole pie and individually serving everyone, which is always a plus! 


1 9-inch pie crust

½ cup of canned pure pumpkin puree 

¼ cup condensed milk

¼ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend

¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg

whipped cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, brown sugar, pumpkin spice and salt. Add in the egg and whisk until you have a smooth, even mixture. 
  3. Roll the pie dough into a large circle about ⅛-inch thick. Use a 3.5-inch round cookie cutter to cut out 9 circles.
  4. Press each pie dough circle into each space in a standard 12-cup muffin pan and snuggly fit it in. It should cover half of the height of each space
  5. Use a fork to pleat the edges of the crust.
  6. Add about 1.5 tablespoons of pumpkin filling into each pie crust, filling it about ¾ of the way up to the top of the crust.
  7. Transfer the muffin pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the pumpkin filling has set. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
  8. Gently remove the mini pumpkin pies from the cavities and top with whipping cream 

Pumpkin pie stuffed cheesecake

If you’re an expert baker and are looking for a show stopping dessert to bring to your Friendsgiving, this is the recipe for you! By combining the Thanksgiving classic pumpkin pie with a cheesecake, you get a dessert that is sure to wow your friends and family. Be warned though, this recipe can take about ten hours if you factor in cooling and chilling time so you might have to set aside some time to make this recipe. 


1 stick unsalted butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch fine salt

Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

One 16-ounce container sour cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

One 8-inch prepared pumpkin pie

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 


  1. For the crust, microwave the butter in a microwave-safe bowl until melted. 
  2. Brush a 9-inch springform pan with some of the butter.
  3. Add the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar and salt to the remaining butter in the bowl and stir until the mixture is fully incorporated together
  4. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the side of the pan. Bake until lightly browned for about 15 minutes. Let cool completely and wrap the bottom of the pan and up the side with foil, put the pan into a large roasting pan. 
  5. For the filling, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. 
  6. Add the sour cream and beat until combined. Add the heavy cream and beat until combined. Mix in the eggs by hand, one at a time, until combined. Lastly, mix in the vanilla by hand.
  7. Pour half of the batter over the prepared crust. Then turn the already prepared pumpkin pie upside down and lightly press into the center of the batter. 
  8. Top with the remaining batter, smoothing out the top. Pour enough water into the roasting pan so that it comes halfway up the side of the springform pan. 
  9. Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, keep the oven shut and let the cheesecake rest for 1 hour. It will continue to set in the oven. 
  10. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and remove the foil. Run a spatula between the cake and the pan to prevent the top from cracking as it chills. 
  11. Allow it to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight.
  12. For the topping, right before serving, whisk together the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl until medium-stiff peaks. 
  13. Add the topping and serve your amazing stuffed cheesecake that you put so much work into making! 

These recipes are sure to impress your friends during your Thanksgiving get togethers! With a recipe for any skill level, we hoped you found a new dessert that you want to try baking. Although dinner is usually the star of the show on Thanksgiving, these desserts are sure to be in the spotlight! 

Contact Samantha Herrera at 


NOVEMBER 16, 2022