Impress your family and friends with these incredible pie decorating ideas!

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It’s an unspoken rule that you must serve pie on Thanksgiving. After the turkey has been carved and all the mashed potatoes are gone, there’s no better way to end the meal than with a delicious pumpkin dessert. Of course, you’ll want to follow up an impressive Thanksgiving dinner with a pie that’s just as good—and if there’s anything I’ve learned after years of signing up to bring dessert, it’s that presentation is key. 

As long as you’ve got a solid recipe, your pie will taste great. But what people will remember most about your Thanksgiving dessert is how it looks. And you don’t have to be a master pie baker to make a good impression! A few extra pieces of pie crust cut with miniature cookie cutters go a long way. To inspire you, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite Thanksgiving pies to help you get started. And don’t forget to make these adorable Thanksgiving pie boxes for your leftovers!

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Leafy Lattice

If you've never made a lattice pie topper before, this gorgeous apple pie might seem intimidating, but it's actually easier than it looks! It's pretty easy (though a little tedious) to make an easy pie crust lattice which you can top with leaves cut from fall pie punches ($20, Williams Sonoma). Add an egg wash over the top and sprinkle with sugar for a perfectly browned crust.

Acorn Crust

Turn any ordinary pumpkin pie recipe into a gorgeous fall masterpiece with a miniature acorn cookie cutter ($5, Etsy). While you can add crust embellishments to any kind of pie, I find it easiest to use them atop pumpkin pie because the surface is flatter than that of fruit pies. I recommend baking the pie at least half way before adding the toppers; once the pie filling has set up, take it out and add the decorations, then put it back in the oven.

Powdered Sugar Pumpkin

With so many things happening in the kitchen on the day of Thanksgiving, you don't always have the luxury of time when it comes to your desserts and side dishes. If you're crunched for time, use a stencil and powdered sugar to add a simple fall image to the top of your pie. Purchase a pumpkin stencil ($5, Etsy)—or cut your own out of cardstock—and sprinkle powdered sugar over the top.

Spiral Leaves

If a lattice feels too complicated, here's another way to cover your pie that will make a big statement. All you need is an extra frozen pie crust and a set of miniature leaf cookie cutters ($10, Amazon). Once you've made the classic apple pie, spread out the extra pie crust and use the cookie cutter to punch out as many leaves as you can. Start layering leaves around the edges and work your way inward to create a stunning fall design on top of your pie.

Thankful Pie

This pecan pie makes a clever play on the classic Thanksgiving tradition of going around the table and saying what you're thankful for. This year, it's pie and elastic waistbands. To recreate the look, use small alphabet cookie cutters ($10, Amazon) or freehand the letters yourself.

Turkey Crust

Nothing will have your family members gobble-gobbling up your dessert faster than this adorable pie crust turkey. To get the look, prep and bake a classic pumpkin pie as normal. While it's in the oven, cut out the turkey shape from an extra store-bought pie crust—you'll need a turkey body and a half-circle for the top of the pie, then you can use a leaf cookie cutter to create the feathers around the edge of the pie.

Sugared Berries

Sometimes the simplest details can make the biggest statement. Re-create this look by adding a few sugared berries and crust cutouts to the top of your pie. If you've never sugared fruit before, it's easy but it does require a bit of extra time for the fruit to dry so I suggest planning ahead. To make the sugared fruit, brush the berries with desired juice (cranberry or orange juice would work nicely), then coat generously in white sugar. Let the fruit air dry for several hours before adding to the top of your pie.

Artful Apple Pie

This might be the most detailed apple pie we've ever seen, and we're head over heels for this gorgeous lattice work. It looks intricate, but you can re-create the look by layering several simple pieces. Start by making a simple lattice to go over the top of your pie (this is the hardest part!). Then, use thicker pieces to create two wide braids and add one horizontally and one vertically on top of the first lattice and finish with two more braids around the edge of the pie. The pie crust leaves and flowers are just icing on the cake—er, pie—after that.

Fall Colors

By now, you've seen how adding a few leaf cutouts to the top of a pie can really make a statement. But we love the way this baker took it one step further by adding fall colors to the top of her apple pie. To make your own colorful pie crust leaves, use a clean paint brush to paint various shades of food dye ($8, Amazon) onto the cutouts before baking the pie.

Pumpkin (Patch) Pie

If we didn't know better, we'd think this pie was a scene from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This traditional pumpkin pie is topped with dyed green leaves and 3-D pumpkins created from pie crust, and the result is stunning. We call dibs on eating the biggest crust pumpkin!


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