6 Thanksgiving Desserts You Need to Try (That Aren’t Pie)

This Thanksgiving, be grateful for all the amazing dessert options on the East End.

Photo by Estefany Molina

Yes, Thanksgiving is the unofficial Pie Holiday, in which many of us feel bound to our allegiances of tradition (be those apple or pumpkin). But what about all of those desserts that aren’t pie?

Don’t they deserve a slot at the holiday table, too? The answer, of course, is a resounding yes. Yes, you can serve something that isn’t pie for Thanksgiving, and yes, your efforts will be rewarded. Here are some of our non-pie favorites.

The Apple Strudel at Junda’s Pastry Crust & Crumbs

Photo by Estefany Molina

Step into this Jamesport bakery and take a trip back in time (I’m reminded, particularly, of the New York City bakeries of my youth). Junda’s does serve some great pies, to be clear, but the real go-to item here is the apple strudel, a traditional German pastry of rolled dough stuffed with apples, sugar, flour, and butter. Junda’s uses local apples in their incarnation of this European tradition. It’s a long, tubular, flaky crust boasting layers of perfect pastry and tender fruit. And it’s well worth the calorie count.

Junda’s Pastry Crust & Crumbs, 1612 Main Road, Jamesport, open Tuesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., (631) 722.4999. 

The Pumpkin Cannoli at Rocco’s Pizza and Pasta

It’s not always on the menu, but when it is, you’re in luck. If Thanksgiving is all about pumpkin, the pumpkin cannoli is the pinnacle of all that is good in the world. Imagine your relatives’ surprise when you show up with pumpkin cannolis in lieu of a hackneyed pie? Because of the limited nature of these delights, make sure you call in advance to special order them. You won’t be disappointed.

Rocco’s Pizza and Pasta, 1285 Old Country Road, Riverhead, open daily, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., (631) 727.4992. 

The Cinnamon Sugar Donuts at Grindstone Coffee and Donuts

Pillowy is the best word to describe these Sag Harbor donuts, which are pretty much just fried brioche dough. On any given day, donut lovers are sure to be treated to surprising and fun flavors du jour (I’m fond of the cannoli donut), but the old school cinnamon sugar, a fluffy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet confection, is the perfect end to a rich Thanksgiving meal. Of course, the added bonus to serving donuts with your Thanksgiving dinner is that you’ll have breakfast ready to go in the morning—should you find yourself tired of leftover stuffing (for shame!).

Grindstone Coffee and Donuts, 7 Main Street, Sag Harbor, open daily 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., (631) 808.3370. 

The Special Dark Fruit and Nut Bark at the North Fork Chocolate Company

Who says that Thanksgiving dessert has to involve pastry? For my money, dessert is best served enrobed in chocolate. And I can’t think of a more holiday-eque chocolate treat than the special dark fruit and nut bark from the North Fork Chocolate Company. It’s a 65 percent Belgian dark chocolate cocoa mix, with pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cranberries, and raisins—think fruit cake without the cake (and with lots of extra chocolate). Serve it with coffee or on its own, but definitely serve it.

The North Fork Chocolate Company, 740 Main Road, Aquebogue, open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., (631) 779.2963. 

The Pumpkin Amaretto Tiramisu Cake at Sag Harbor Baking Company

Say that one three times fast. Are you interested in a combination of cream, mascarpone, liqueur, and pumpkin? Do you like cake? Are you tired of pie as the de rigueur holiday dessert? Then this is the dessert for you. It’s a towering creation of confection, made even more perfect by its holiday theme. It’s hard to imagine a more Thanksgiving-worthy dessert than this one. Don’t believe me? Test it out for yourself.

Sag Harbor Baking Company, 51 Division Street, Sag Harbor, open daily 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., (631) 899.4900. 

The Pumpkin Ice Cream at Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe

If everyone’s expecting pie, why not bring them ice cream instead? At Riverhead’s iconic Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe, pumpkin ice cream is offered—in season—in both soft serve and hard pack. Bring your cooler bag with you and take home enough to feed the crowd. The creative among us will even set up a make-your-own pumpkin ice cream sundae station, a true mark of indulgence on an already decadent holiday.

Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe, 1148 West Main Street, Riverhead, open daily 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., (631) 727.4394. 

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Hannah Selinger

Hannah Selinger is a freelance food and wine writer and sommelier living in East Hampton. Her work has appeared in the such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and RawStory.com. She is the wine columnist for the Southampton Press.