Leave it to Trader Joe’s to know exactly what we want this Thanksgiving—a slate of drool-worthy desserts that require zero cooking whatsoever. That’s right, the supermarket chain that has millions of loyal customers thanks to an array of tasty creations that require little to no effort, has blessed us with several ready-to-eat treats just in time for Turkey Day.
Whether you’re planning to make an entire turkey dinner with all the fixings this year, or are slated to bring just one dish to your neighborhood potluck, TJ’s has your back. The 2021 lineup of Thanksgiving-themed desserts includes returning favorites like the delectable Pumpkin Cobbler, as well as welcome newbies such as Cranberry Orange Bars.
And as always, Trader Joe’s has done its best to make sure there’s a little something for everyone. While there are certainly quite a few pumpkin-focused options, this year’s dessert haul also includes items with cranberries, chocolate, and even gingerbread. I’ve certainly got my eye on those authentic Pumpkin Spiced Madeleine Cookies.
A favorite in years passed, this pumpkin-flavored dessert has once again been spotted in many Trader Joe’s outposts. The rich pumpkin filling is complemented by an array of fall spices (think cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove), and the whole delicious dessert is topped with a crumbly streusel laced with plenty of crushed pecans. Serve it warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top, or simply enjoy it straight out of the container as you settle into that post-turkey food coma.
Nantucket Style Cranberry Pie
If you’ve been tasked with bringing dessert to this year’s Thanksgiving festivities and can’t decide what confection you want to bring, Trader Joe’s has you covered. Sure, this classic New England dessert has “pie” in its name, but it’s really more a combination of pie and cobbler, with a few cake-like characteristics thrown in. The buttery base boasts walnut pieces along with hints of almond and vanilla, while a mess of tart cranberries rests on top. After you give this dessert some time to defrost, serve it at room temperature with a bit of whipped cream or powdered sugar on top for a touch of sweetness.
Pumpkin Spiced Madeleine Cookies
Even if you’re “not a dessert person,” we suggest you give these fall cookies a try. They don’t rely on chocolate, frosting, or anything overly sweet, but they still pack plenty of flavors that will pair perfectly with the first portion of your Thanksgiving dinner. Straight from a California bakery with over three decades of experience making French pastries, these cookies are made with dried pumpkin flakes, ginger purée, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and clove.
Cranberry Orange Bars
Fans of TJ’s beloved lemon bars will likely enjoy this new autumnal take on that sweet treat. Made with that same buttery shortbread the lemon bars are known for, this version is topped with a silky-textured curd that combines tart cranberry purée and sweetened orange peel. The result is a dessert that isn’t overly sweet, but will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth. The best part is, all you have to do to “cook” these bars is take them out of the freezer so they can thaw. And all 12 bars are already pre-sliced, so you don’t even need to worry about cutting individual perfect squares for your guests.
Gingerbread Turkey Trot Cookie Decorating Kit
This seasonal offering seamlessly combines Thanksgiving and Christmas because it includes four turkey-shaped gingerbread cookies that you can decorate with colorful candies, sprinkles, and icing, just like a typical gingerbread house. This dessert can be decorated (and then eaten) straight from the box, and is a great way to keep the little ones entertained while you actually sit down and enjoy your Turkey Day dinner.
Chocolate Mousse Pumpkins
Since no meal is complete without some chocolate, we’re pleased to see that these mousse-filled desserts have made their triumphant return this year. Each pumpkin features an apropos bright orange exterior made of icing. Inside, there are two distinct layers—a layer of velvet chocolate cake and a layer of silky chocolate mousse. These treats come six to a pack, and would be great for a smaller holiday gathering so each person can have one all to themselves.
Spiced Pumpkin Goat Cheese
Yes, cheese makes a great dessert. Don’t believe us? Just ask the Europeans, who have been enjoying cheese at the end of their meals for thousands of years. What’s great about this all-new flavored goat cheese, is that it’s sweet enough to still leave you feeling satisfied at the end of your Thanksgiving feast. This sweet and savory cheese is made with real pumpkin along with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and even includes a dash of lemon juice for some zest. Enjoy it on a cracker at the end of the night, or simply eat it solo.