The Sweetest Thanksgiving

Pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie, all the pies. They’re the sweet stars of Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t love making room for a slice or two after the feast? These tasty additions to those fall favorites will make your dessert table irresistible.

Frosted Pumpkin Cake
Serves 24
I baked this cake as part of my Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Cake at the 2018 World Food Championships. It won me a spot in the Top 10. This version adds a dreamy cream cheese frosting.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3¼ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 can pumpkin (15oz)
4 eggs
1½ cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup butter
¼ cup butter
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Using a stand mixer, whip butter and cream cheese 2 minutes on medium. Slowly add powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream. Whip on high 3 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray 9x13 pan with baking spray.
In medium bowl, whisk first five ingredients.
Using a stand mixer, beat remaining 6 cake ingredients. Add flour mixture. Beat until smooth.
Pour into pan. Bake15-20 minutes.
Cool. Top with frosting.

Caramel Apple Trifle
Serves 8
Layers of creamy custard, caramel drizzled spiced apples, and a crunchy pecan crumble will have apple pie fans swooning.
Pecan Crumble:
1 cup quick oats
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, melted
Combine and spread onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350º for 10-15 minutes.

Quick Custard:
4 cups milk
¼ cup cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cook milk, sugar, and cornstarch over medium heat until small bubbles appear. Whisk 4 tablespoons, 1 at a
time, into eggs. Add eggs to custard. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Add vanilla.

Spiced Apples:
3 cups sugar
¼ cup flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoons salt
4 pounds apples, peeled and sliced
½ cup butter
Cook 5-7 minutes over medium heat until apples are tender.

3 cups soft caramel candies
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Stir in small pan over low heat until melted.

Assembly: Cover bottom of a trifle dish with half the pecan crumble, reserving ¼ cup. Top with half of the apples.
Drizzle with ½ cup caramel. Add half of custard. Repeat layers. Top with whipped cream, if desired and remaining crumble.

Spiced Pear Mini Loaves
Makes 6
A few years back, I baked mini pumpkin loaves for a Thanksgiving tabletop featured in a national ad campaign. This
gingery pear version will make sweet gifts for guests at your holiday table.

2¼ cups sugar
3½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3 eggs
1¼ cups buttermilk

1 cup canola oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons orange zest
½ cup walnut pieces
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
1 cup peeled diced pears
Turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350º
Spray six 5 ½ “x 3” loaf pans with baking spray.
Using a stand mixer, beat first 5 ingredients on low. Add next 8 ingredients.
Fold in pears.
Spoon into pans. Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.
Bake 30-35 minutes.
Cool in pans 30 minutes. Cover each top gently with plastic wrap as you remove from pans to keep crackled tops

BIO: Judy Beaudin is an award-winning competitive cook/baker. Her dessert and pastry work has been featured in national marketing campaigns and on HGTV. She has been featured in local and national lifestyle and industry magazines for her food and catering work. Follow her foodie life on Instagram at @scrumptious_judyb. 

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