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7 Mouthwatering Fall Desserts That’ll Help You Forget Summer Is Over

posted: 09/10/15
by: Blythe Copeland

We love pumpkin as much as the next person, but fall has plenty of other flavors that make for rich, sweet, delectable desserts: Sweet potato and molasses, apple and cinnamon, pear and brown sugar, chocolate and pecan. Expand your dessert horizons with these seven recipes for cakes, pies, donuts, cupcakes, and more delicious treats that take fall baking far beyond pumpkin pie.

1. Spiced pear upside down cake

Classic pineapple upside down cake gets a cool-weather makeover in this spiced pear version from Love Grows Wild. Start with butter, brown sugar, pears, and pumpkin pie spice in the bottom of the pan; then top with a prepared boxed yellow cake mix for a shortcut to a delicious -- and gorgeous -- dessert.

2. Mini apple pies

Apple pies are a fall staple, and these six-ingredient minis from Pillsbury are the perfect portion size -- plus, you can prep them in just ten minutes. Use a large round cookie cutter to make circles out of a refrigerated pie crust, and then place those in a muffin tin. Mix chopped apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla and fill each mini crust; then serve with your favorite whipped topping or ice cream.

3. Sweet potato layer cake with molasses buttercream icing

With sweet potato season in full swing, this moist three-layer cake from Love and Olive Oil is a mouthwatering way to use up your garden's harvest. It's also the perfect vehicle for a rich molasses buttercream icing, allowing you to combine two of fall's most iconic flavors into one no-fail treat. (Don't be surprised if it replaces sweet potato pie on this year's Thanksgiving spread.)

4. Baked apple cider donut holes

Whether you're serving them for breakfast with your favorite coffee; as a snack after pumpkin picking alongside homemade hot chocolate; or as a treat for family movie night, these apple cider donut holes from Little Spice Jar will be your family's new favorite. Roll them in cinnamon sugar and bake them in a mini-muffin pan for bite-sized treats that are healthier than the fried versions.

5. Chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes with butter pecan frosting

Chocolate lovers, rejoice: You can still get your fix, even during this season of pumpkin-cranberry-gingerbread-spice everything. The recipe for these chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes from Half Baked Harvest calls for a cup of bourbon, making the cupcakes almost impossibly moist, and the center of each cupcake is stuffed with thick, sweet, pecan pie filling. Then each cupcake is topped with a swirl of butter pecan frosting and a sprinkle of chopped nuts for crunch.

6. Cranberry orange scones

Scones aren't usually an overwhelmingly sweet pastry, which makes them perfect for brunch or mid-afternoon tea. This recipe from the Barefoot Contessa incorporates two essential fall flavors -- the tartness of cranberries and the sweetness of fresh oranges -- into a simple, classic scone you can serve for any occasion. A drizzle of orange glaze on top finishes the scones with an extra burst of flavor.

fall desserts cranberry scones

fall desserts cranberry scones

7. Pumpkin snickerdoodle cookie bars

Pumpkin snickerdoodle cookie bars from A Kitchen Addiction are a twist on classic pumpkin pie -- and traditional snickerdoodles -- topped with pumpkin buttercream frosting. Pumpkin puree turns basic sugar cookies a fall-flavored base for the bars, while adding cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the bars and frosting lets you incorporate the season's best spices.