FALLing in Love: Our Favorite Autumn Desserts

With the onset of fall and its cooler weather, we’re all spending a little more time indoors, and the urge to head into the kitchen and do some serious baking has really begun to take hold. After all, it’s the season of apples, pears, pumpkin, maple and warm spices, ingredients that naturally lend themselves to baked treats. As a service to our followers, we’ve scoured the internet to round up some of our favorite ways to showcase these ingredients in treats ranging from bars to cakes to tarts and pies. Each one below captures the essence of the season in just one bite, so get your apron on and enjoy some of the fruits of fall!

Apple Spice Baked Vegan Donuts

These Apple-Spiced Baked Vegan Donuts from Nisha of Rainbow Plant Life are made with prepared applesauce, leavened with baking powder (as opposed to yeast) and baked, not fried, so they are relatively easy to make. Topped with a maple sweetened cardamom glaze and then garnished with pumpkin seeds, pistachios and coconut shavings, they also happen to be as delicious as they are pretty.

Easy Apple Tart with Apple Butter

This gorgeous tart comes from Tatyana of Tatyana’s Everyday Food, and it’s a winner on many levels. It’s super-easy to make, as the filling is composed of apple butter which is topped with an artful arrangement of concentric apple slices. You can either buy the apple butter or make your own, using Tatyana’s recipe.

Caramelized Pear and Almond Crumble Cake

Created by Tish at Pastry at Home, this cake combines some of our favorite fall flavors, including ripe pears, caramel, cinnamon and almonds. It’s basically an upside-down cake, with a base of caramelized pear slices and a tender almond buttermilk cake on top. A layer of oat and almond streusel is tucked in the middle, which adds cinnamon-almond flavor and some texture and crunch. After baking, the cake is inverted so that the glistening spiral of pears is on top, making an impressive presentation.

Cranberry Gingersnap Pie

We love the dramatic appearance as well as the flavor of this vibrant, fuchsia colored pie. The recipe comes from Sue of The View From Great Island blog, and it features a spicy gingersnap crumb crust, encasing a silky cranberry curd filling. Sue garnishes the pie with sugared cranberries and fresh thyme sprigs, a garnish that enhances the pie’s natural beauty.

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

A generous drizzle of salted caramel sauce is the secret to this pumpkin cheesecake, elevating it to ‘holiday dessert showstopper’ status. It comes from Tessa of Handle the Heat blog and we love it because it’s a sure-fire crowd pleasure that is easy to make, and can be made well ahead of serving. Perfect for the holiday season, but we’ll be making it year-round, for sure.

Butternut Squash Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze

Butternut squash is so often used in savory applications that we almost forget it makes a sweet treat! This bundt cake from Port and Fin is the perfect example. The squash gives it an incredibly moist crumb and of course, a delectable flavor. Top it off with a thick maple glaze, and you’ve got an irresistible autumnal flavor combo!

Bakery-Style Cranberry Orange Muffins

Orange and cranberry make a great flavor combination no matter the season, but it’s particularly delectable in fall. These muffins from the blog Baker by Nature have big crackly tops, bursting with flavor. Though the orange glaze is optional, it adds a sweet extra zing that makes these muffins more than a simple breakfast bite. And if you can’t find fresh, frozen cranberries work just as well so make them all year round.

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing

A family tradition for AnnMarie at Pastry at Home, these old-fashioned cookies are soft, lightly spiced and absolutely addicting. She barely changed a thing from her mom’s recipe (other than swap out the margarine for real butter) because it’s just that good. The brown sugar icing sets very quickly, so you’ll be chowing down on these in no time.

Glazed Oatmeal Maple Scones with Pecans & Currants

Is there anything more comforting than maple oatmeal in the morning? Turn that into pastry thanks to the blog Once Upon A Chef with this simple scone recipe adapted from Joanne Chang. Speckled with currants and pecans and drizzled with maple glaze for good measure, these will actually make you want to wake up on a chilly morning.

Pumpkin Pudding from Scratch

Throw that box away and make pumpkin pudding from scratch with Elizabeth from Bowl of Delicious. Think the flavors of pumpkin pie but lighter and creamier. Plus, you don’t have to wait for a holiday to chow down! Eat as is or top with whipped cream and some crumbled gingersnaps. Cook right on the stove top and it comes together in just minutes.

Pastry at Home is a hub for elevated dessert recipes for home bakers. Our editors Tish Boyle and AnnMarie Mattila strive to bring you the best curated content to help make you a smarter baker and dessert maker. If you want to be a part of our community, please contribute on the Submit a Recipe page. Or if you have another contribution idea or product you think we would like, shoot us an email at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!

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