Ideas for Using Leftover Thanksgiving Desserts

Cake round with coulis

Pure comfort food for fall, this Spice Cake made with Thanksgiving Leftover Desserts incorporates just a quarter cup of pumpkin puree and is made using an unusual technique.Pure comfort food for fall, these plates of leftover Spice Cake, Glazed Cranberries, and Cranberry Coulis were a hit with my family. The Thanksgiving Leftover Desserts base cake, a Spice Cake, incorporates just a quarter cup of pumpkin puree and is made using an unusual technique.

Cake round with coulis

Baking Soda in Boiling Water

Dissolving the baking soda in boiling water is an old-fashioned instruction, one that my grandmother used. Maybe baking soda was harder to dissolve or didn’t disburse as easily as it does today. I channeled Grandma Ida today, but actually, since the sweeteners are thick, I figured the boiling water would help dissolve everything.

I couldn’t find any other information about dissolving the baking soda, but I had had an opportunity last weekend to ask the master of desserts, award-winning author Rose Levy Beranbaum Levy about this odd technique. Rose said it would actually diminish the leavening power! The fact that the cake rose as well as it did is still a mystery to me, but I served this cake with a drizzle of glaze to a few friends who gave it thumbs up, and I put froze the rest to bring to my daughter’s home for Thanksgiving.

Leftover Thanksgiving Desserts

Of course, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but I got to thinking about the many articles I see with the headline: How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers. So, why not apply the same to leftover Thanksgiving desserts?

Cutting cake rounds Cranberry Coulis

This cake is mildly spiced and light tasting. It is a serve-from-the pan kind cake if you like, but I used a round cutter on half the cake and cut the rest into wedges.

Eli with Aquafaba MeringueI had both a cranberry sauce and a cranberry coulis, and I re-whipped some aquafaba meringue with the help of my 7-year-old grandson. This kiddo knows his way around the kitchen and like most first-timers to aquafaba meringue, he was in awe. Chickpea water??

Half eaten cakeThe kids in the house gave two thumbs up to these desserts.

How do you use up your Thanksgiving leftovers- savory and sweet?


  • 5 stars
    Hi Fran! I was intrigued by the ingredient “silan” so I looked up a youtube video about how to make it. Simply put – soak 1 part pitted dates in 2 parts water (it didn’t indicate the duration for soaking), then blend the water/dates on high until very smooth. That and your boiled baking soda make this an interesting new recipe! Cheers from us in Sisters

    • Hi Mac,
      Actually, what you describe– or the youtube video description is how to make date paste. Silan, aka Date Honey, Date Molasses is more like well, molasses. The dates are steamed and pressed. I am going to add a link to SOOM, which is the brand I used. They have a good description of the process. Silan is lower in sugar than honey, maple or agave too. The taste is like mild molasses. Happy holiday to you!!

  • 5 stars
    Hi Fran, I too have a very old vegan banana and blueberry cake recipe that uses boiling water with the baking soda. I always cook it in a loaf tin, i’m not sure if that helps the rising, but it works really well, and it rises fabulously.

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