Okay, let me just put this out there for you, I could eat an entire batch of cookies, with at least half a can of icing, and then a slice of cheesecake in one sitting. Have I done this? No. Could I? Definitely, but I am showing self-restraint everyone. That being said, I had to share my favorite fall desserts that satisfy my insatiable sweet tooth. Some recipes are easy, some are healthy (sort of), some are both. I invite you to try them all at least once. Those with links are not my own, but I do suggest trying them all. Those without links are my recipes and I would love to know what you think. Let’s get started baking!
1. Apple cider doughnuts
While these would not make the most nutritious breakfast, I’m not stopping you, they’re just too wonderful! These are baked making them slightly better for you than the typical fried doughnut. Combine the main dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt. Then combine all the wet ingredients: eggs, butter, and apple cider. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Once they’re cooled, lightly cover doughnuts in a layer of butter and dip them in the cinnamon sugar. Enjoy next to a glass of apple cider! For the full recipe, grab the link here:
2. Pumpkin bread
Pumpkin bread is served best when warm, and the best part is that it can be made healthy! It is a great fall dessert to go along with your afternoon coffee. In this version, the use of greek yogurt instead of butter will keep the bread moist, while making the recipe better for you. Combine the dry and wet ingredients separately–similarly to the method used in the previous recipe. The wet ingredients are pumpkin, greek yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. The dry ingredients include brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, all-purpose flour, and oat flour. You can also choose to add in chopped pecans and chocolate chips for some added textures and flavors! Once the wet and dry are combined–avoid over-mixing–bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. When all else fails, try the fork trick–dip the fork in the center and if it comes out clean then the bread is cooked. Get the full breakdown of the recipe here:
3. Pumpkin chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies
These are all the rave this season, especially since Trader Joe’s began selling their own mix. I’m not sure about you but mash-ups of three or more different cookies into one big monster cookie is the best thing to come from baking in my opinion. I’m a cookie monster myself. To make them homemade, simply combine the brown and white sugars with softened butter, blending them together. Then, mix in the other wet ingredients including pumpkin, egg yolks, and vanilla. Next, blend together dry ingredients separately: flour, quick oats, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and powder, and salt. Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate the batter for an hour. After this, roll them into balls and place them back in the fridge for 15 more minutes, after which you will place them directly in the oven at 350 degrees. Slightly undercook them for that perfect chewy texture. (Unpopular opinion: Crunchy cookies aren’t good.) I am a huge fan of the recipes by Chelsea’s messy apron, so you can find this recipe on her page as well:
4. Pumpkin french toast
Breakfast foods are one of the very few things you will find I actually have my own recipes for, I am a huge breakfast person– I never thought I would say that. The bread we will be using is the Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl bread. Then, mixing together 1 egg, a dash of cinnamon and vanilla, and 1/4 cup of milk of choice, dip in each individual piece of bread. Place a pan on medium heat on the stovetop and prepare it with avocado oil spray (my preferred non-stick spray). Place your dipped bread slice in the pan and cook for a couple minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat for as many slices as you would like (though you may need to make more batter if serving more than two people). Drizzle 100% maple syrup over the top along with some butter and enjoy! The pure maple syrup is more of a preference but once you try it you can’t go back–fair warning.
5. Pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls
For cinnamon rolls, there are a couple ways to do them: the hard way–made from scratch; the easy way– from a can; or the semi-medium-hard way (also known as my way)–a mixture of both. I prefer to use the crescent rolls cans and roll them out, pinching together the seams. Then, melt half of a stick of butter and brush this over the opened crescent rolls. Mix together a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1/3 cup of brown sugar and spread this over the butter. Then cut them into strips horizontally and roll into mini cinnamon rolls. Bake them for around 11-13 minutes at 350 degrees. I prefer my confections dough-like so I undercook them slightly. You can opt for regular vanilla icing or a maple icing for the season!
6. Caramel apple pie cookies
These are slightly more complicated, as they end up coming out as mini apple pies. They’re delicious and perfect for a get-together! The ingredients are as follows: Caramel topping, pre-made pie crusts, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and apple filling. Rolling out the pie crusts, spread a layer of caramel over the top. Using your pie filling–which may need to be chopped up slightly for ease of serving–spread this over the caramel. Then create a lattice with the remaining pie crust. Take a circular cookie cutter and cut out individual cookies. Transfer them to a baking sheet and spread the egg wash mix–butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar–over the tops. Bake at 350 degrees approximately 22 minutes (oven depending). There you have it, keep your guests from digging into the same pie and make it simple! Get the full recipe here:
7. Candied pecans
These are the perfect little snack food to just grab a handful and go. I love throwing these in my oatmeal, yogurt, and other recipes to make them more decadent. On the stovetop, heat a pan and mix together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has begun to simmer. Throw in pecans and coat completely. Spread them over a sheet pan, separating them slightly with a spoon and allow to cool. They’re ready to serve! Refer to this recipe for the measurements and tips:
8. S’mores bars
Stepping away from the typical fall flavors to a classic, here is a different take on s’ mores that don’t involve fire. This is a no-bake recipe for s’mores bars that is so simple to make.
In a bowl, combine approximately 8 whole graham crackers crushed up with 6 tablespoons of butter (melted), and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Press this mixture down into an 8×8 baking pan and allow it to sit in the freezer for 15 minutes. Next, spread a layer of caramel topping, then a layer of jiffy marshmallow fluff. There are no exact measurements for these–use your judgment for how thick you want your layers. Then, place a bag of your favorite chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate) in a bowl with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Pour this over the top and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden before cutting. Then they’re ready to serve! Store in the fridge for leftovers.
9. Pumpkin cheesecake dip
Every holiday needs the perfect holiday dip. For Halloween, my personal favorite is the pumpkin cheesecake dip because I am obsessed with cheesecake–it’s the ideal fall dessert. I prefer to dip in Oreo’s, graham crackers, and fruit, but the options are endless.
To make this amazing dip, it only requires three ingredients. Combine a container of cool whip and one can of pumpkin puree in a bowl first. You will want to fold these ingredients together instead of just mixing so as not to ruin the fluffy texture of the cool whip. Then add one box of cheesecake pudding mix (no water or milk needed). Fold this in as well, and refrigerate until it’s ready to serve! The full recipe can be found here:
10. Fall Chex mix
You can’t go wrong with Chex mix; however, I prefer to make my own to get the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Meaning 80% sweet and 20% salty. This can really be done in whichever way you prefer, feel free to sub in different ingredients and mix it up.
For my perfect Chex mix, I just kind of eyeball it according to how much I want, so there are no precise measurements needed here. For the sweet part, I use candy corn (of course, because it’s Halloween), peanut butter cups, and marshmallows. For salty, I use pretzels, pecans, and Chex (not the mix, just the cereal). This is the perfect representation of fall and the best balance I have found for sweet and salty flavors. Also, is it just me or is the “toast” pieces in Chex mix not very good? I would happily remove them.