The More Sweets, the Merrier

Zoe Francois Inspiration Board

When planning the same holiday year after year, how do you keep your celebration fresh and interesting while maintaining a sense of tradition? We asked our favorite bloggers and food people to share what’s inspiring their Thanksgiving planning this year. From ancestor’s recipes and falling leaves, to beautiful piles of ingredients and thoughtful home decor, there was no shortage of imagination. See what motivates some of the most creative minds we know, and then start planning your annual feast.

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t really complete until dessert hits the table. Preferably there will be several to choose from, and at least one should be pumpkin. It is the time of year that this orange gourd graces our plates, and it deserves to be center stage. I adore traditional pumpkin pie, but by no means should you be limited to that alone. It is also fantastic mixed with apples and streusel in a cake, or baked with brandy into a cheesecake and adorned with candied cranberries.  One of my all-time favorites is pumpkin bread pudding, which can also serve as breakfast the next morning. Next to all the pumpkin desserts there should be a caramel spice pear cake, and perhaps a spiky coconut meringue layered torte.

For more Thanksgiving ideas, visit our Thanksgiving Inspiration Board Gallery.

Zoë François, author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day, studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She now calls Minneapolis her home, where she has worked with some of the top talent in the culinary world — Steven Brown, Andrew Zimmern and many chefs at the D’Amico company. In addition to writing, Zoë teaches baking classes and consults at restaurants, and she maintains her baking blog,

Thanksgiving Desserts on Cooking Channel