Pecan pie is a popular Thanksgiving dessert, but for those who don't care for the gooey pie (or don't want to fuss with it), here's a collection of delicious and easy pecan desserts that aren't pie. From pecan cakes and bars to candies and ice cream-based pecan treats, everyone will go nuts when you share these pecan dessert recipes!

By Karla Walsh
Updated September 28, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

We’re nutty for nearly any sweet recipe spiked with pecans. But we don’t always have the time (or energy, to be honest!) to make a pecan pie from scratch. Enter: these easy pecan desserts that aren't pie. As Thanksgiving pecan desserts, small family gatherings, or birthday treats, these pecan dessert recipes will inspire you to think beyond the slice. So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and prepare to upgrade your pecan dessert recipe repertoire.

Sweet Potato Pecan Bars
Credit: Jason Donnelly

Sweet Potato-Pecan Bars

Sweet potato casserole meets pecan pie in this pecan dessert recipe. With a big graham cracker-pecan crust and a warmly spiced mashed sweet potato filling, these bars exude major fall vibes. To take things over the top, sprinkle on mini marshmallows and whole pecan pieces, and allow them to bake for the final 3 to 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.

Get the Recipe
Vanilla Bean Cake with Pecan Praline Glaze
Credit: Con Poulos

Vanilla Bean Cake with Pecan-Praline Glaze

Pecan pralines are a traditional Southern confection jam-packed with rich, sweet flavor. Instead of pie this holiday season, try this equally showy bundt cake as your Thanksgiving pecan dessert. A splash of almond extract in the buttermilk-vanilla bean cake batter really amplifies the nutty qualities of the praline topping.

Get the Recipe
Caramel-Pecan Ice Cream Squares
Credit: Andy Lyons

Caramel-Pecan Ice Cream Squares

Yes, easy pecan dessert recipes for summer do exist! To create this semi-homemade salted caramel treat, layer a pudding-infused mousse with store-bought ice cream sandwiches, toasted pecans, hot fudge, and caramel sauce. Don’t skip the extra sprinkle of sea salt on top to balance out the sweet sauces stacked inside this indulgent frozen dessert.

Get the Recipe
Brown Sugar and Pecan Air-Fryer Apples
Credit: Alison Miksch

Brown Sugar and Pecan Air-Fryer Apples

This healthy-ish pecan treat is remarkably versatile, plus it’s gluten-free and can be vegan (just sub in plant-based butter), so it’s one of our favorite air-fryer ($100, Target) desserts to share with a crowd. Take 20 minutes to assemble and “bake” the air-fryer desserts, then spoon the apples atop a bowl of yogurt, ice cream, or shortcake. Enjoy à la mode, if you like (we sure do!).

Get the Recipe
Pecan-Crusted Mojito Bars
Credit: Jason Donnelly

Pecan-Crusted Mojito Bars

For a refreshing twist on the concept of pecan desserts that aren't pie, take some inspiration from a classic cocktail. Although these dessert bars don’t actually include any alcohol, the generous amounts of lime and fresh mint sure make you feel like you’re sipping on the tropical drink. A just-salty-enough pecan-based crust pairs surprisingly well with the sweet-tart topping.

Get the Recipe
Chocolate, Caramel, and Pecan Cupcakes
Credit: Karla Conrad

Chocolate, Caramel, and Pecan Cupcakes

Turtle candies meet moist chocolate cupcakes. The result? One of the most kid-friendly pecan desserts that aren't pie. This classic recipe will teach you how to make cupcakes from scratch, then take them over the top with a DIY chocolate ganache, toasted pecans, and caramel ice cream topping.

Get the Recipe
Ms. Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers
Credit: Andy Lyons

Ms. Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers

Call it a bar cookie, call it a cake finger. Whatever you call it, we call these brown butter icing-topped treats delicious. A meringue base lightens up the texture of this pecan dessert recipe, so with each bite, you’ll experience loads of nutty goodness amid a cloud-like slice of cake. Each batch yields 36 servings, so this is a delightful dessert to make for a potluck.

Get the Recipe
Caramel-Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
Credit: Blaine Moats

Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

These mini muffin tin ($14, Bed Bath & Beyond) treats pack big flavor. That’s because the easy pecan dessert recipe combines three fall flavors in one bite-size package. Canned pumpkin, toasted pecans (in the dough and on top), and caramel sauce team up for one cozy autumnal delight. Bet you can’t eat just one!

Get the Recipe
Browned Butter Pecan Sandies
Credit: Andy Lyons

Browned Butter Pecan Sandies

We’ll let BH&G home baker Sandy J. explain why you should consider baking these sandies. “These cookies are amazing. Browning the butter gives delicious flavor,” she says of these pecan cookies. “Five stars aren't enough!” For a showy finish, garnish the pecan-laced cookies with coarse sugar ($3 for 3, Target) and a whole pecan “glued” on with a stroke of maple syrup.

Get the Recipe
Pecan-Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Credit: Blaine Moats

Pecan-Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies

We can’t be the only ones who enjoyed chocolate oranges during childhood. This easy pecan dessert recipe takes that concept and turns it into crowd-pleasing chocolate cookie form, then adds toasted pecans to the cocoa party. With both melted chocolate and chopped chocolate in the dough, these pecan cookies will steal the show on the dessert table.

Get the Recipe

Comments

Be the first to comment!