Traditionally pies have been the dessert of choice for a Thanksgiving meal with the pumpkin pie being the gold standard for any meal. However there are several types of cakes that will go well with a Thanksgiving meal, many that incorporate the flavors and ingredients of similar pies.

Here are 3 great Thanksgiving cake ideas that will please your guests and your palate this holiday.


Four Layer Pumpkin Cake - This cake will be the centerpiece of your dessert table and can serve as a replacement for the pumpkin pie. This cake is semi-homemade as it does take the time saving step of using a packaged mix and other ingredients readily available.

This cake uses a yellow cake batter with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices added as well as a cream cheese/whipped topping frosting. Using 2 9" rounds, each cake layer is baked in a 350 degree oven 28-30 minutes, then cooled. After cooling, the layers are cut in two lengthwise then each layer is iced with the cream cheese filling with a generous sprinkling of pecans on each layer. Easy to prepare and not as time consuming as making a pie from scratch, this cake will be a crowd-pleaser for sure.

Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake - This cake takes the cranberry to a whole new level. Forget the cranberry sauce this year and serve this cake! This cake is a spin on the pineapple upside down cake with cranberries and oranges taking the place of the pineapple.

A yellow cake batter, made from scratch, is baked over a layer of the fruit that is combined with brown sugar and butter (375 degrees for 35-40 minutes). This cake does call for fresh whole cranberries to be halved and this can be time consuming during the preparation of the ingredients but is well worth the effort when you taste this treat.

Sweet Potato Cake - this cake takes your "yams" to higher ground. Common in the South, Sweet Potato Cake is typically a yellow cake with sweet potatoes added in the batter as well as the appropriate spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. This cake is always served with a coconut pecan icing that is a great addition to the overall flavor of this cake. Easy to bake (25-30 minutes, 350 degrees in 2 8" rounds) and prepare, this will be another prize in your dessert arsenal.

There are many more variations on the traditional desserts and flavors of Thanksgiving but these Thanksgiving cake ideas will take your ho-hum desserts and turn them into a new sensation with all your guests asking for the recipes. The main thing is not to be afraid to get away from the mundane and try one of these variations on classic desserts.

3 Great Thanksgiving Cake Ideas

Leefe Poche is the founder of