Foodies, there’s way more to the sweet life and Thanksgiving desserts than pumpkin pie. I’ve rounded up some of the most delicious recipes (two from local food bloggers) that are sure to please after your feast, or before, or the next day.

Pumpkin Dream Cake

(recipe adapted from

Jessica Merchant, author of The Pretty Dish, blog:

This cake isn’t overly spiced; feel free to add a bit more cinnamon or even pumpkin pie spice to your liking. This frosting recipe calls for two blocks of cream cheese. I found one was plenty, but if you love frosting, follow the recipe as specified.

2-cups all-purpose flour

2-teaspoons baking soda

1 ¼-teaspoons ground cinnamon

½-teaspoon salt

¼-teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

1 ¾-cups brown sugar

½-cup plain Greek yogurt

½-cup vegetable oil

Four large eggs

2-teaspoons vanilla extract

Cinnamon cream cheese frosting

Two 8-ounce blocks cream cheese

½-cup unsalted butter

2 ½-cups powdered sugar

½-teaspoon cinnamon

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, yogurt and oil. Once smooth and combined, whisk in each egg one at a time and then whisk in the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until it’s combined with no large lumps remaining. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake completely. Once the cake has cooled, frost with the cream cheese frosting, slice and serve.

Frosting instructions:

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy, then beat in the sugar and cinnamon until combined. Beat in the vanilla extract and frost the cooled cake.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Recipe by the local blogger, TeriLyn Hutcheons Adams, blog:  )

“The yummiest, healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies,” Adams said. “The cookies are light and fluffy with the perfect pumpkin flavor without being overly sweet.”

1-cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

¾-cup coconut sugar

½-cup unsweetened applesauce

One egg

1-tablespoon vanilla extract

2-cups whole-wheat flour

2-teaspoons baking powder

2-teaspoons cinnamon

1/8-teaspoon nutmeg

1/8-teaspoon ground cloves

½-teaspoon salt

1-teaspoon baking soda

1-cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together pumpkin, sugar, applesauce, egg, and vanilla and mix well. This should yield a fluffy, light brown mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry mixture to wet and mix until it’s combined. (Don’t over-mix it!) Fold in chocolate chips and use a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies and place 1 to 1.5 inches apart. (The cookies won’t spread so they can be close.) Bake for seven to 10 minutes until the cookies feel springy to the touch. (Don’t over-bake!) Remove to a wire rack to cool.

 Notes from Teri:

If you like a slightly flatter cookie, press each mound down with the back of the ice cream scoop. This required three sheet pans to bake all the dough, so the cooking time is seven to 10 minutes per round.

(The recipe notes at the top lists the total time baking so you have an accurate estimate of how long it’ll take to make the full recipe.)

I prefer to bake one sheet at a time to ensure even baking. But, I prep two sheets so I can put the second one in as soon as the first comes out. Then, I let the first pan cool a bit before reloading with dough to bake for the last round.

These are best eaten the same day but still fine in an airtight container for three to four days. However, I do recommend baking them in small batches and baking just what you need for the day.

(You can refrigerate the rest of the dough for three to four days until you’re ready to bake more.)

Nikki’s Sweet Potato Pie

(recipe by blogger Nikki Miller-Ka, blog: )

Yield: Two pies,6 to 8 servings per pie

1/3-cup unsalted, softened butter

1/3-cup Dixie Crystals extra fine granulated sugar

¾-cup dark brown sugar

Three large eggs

1 ¼-cup (10 ounces) evaporated milk

4-cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes

1-teaspoon lemon zest

2-teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½-teaspoon freshly grated ginger

½-teaspoon ground cinnamon

½-teaspoon nutmeg

¼-teaspoon salt

Two unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

In a bowl, mix the cream, butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at a time and mix until all are incorporated. Add milk, sweet potatoes, lemon zest, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and mix well. Divide mixture and pour it into two pie shells. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and cool until ready to serve.

We are so thankful for our contributors this week. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!

Kristi Maier is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.

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