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40 of Our Best Fall Desserts

Capture the sweet flavors of autumn in recipes for pumpkin bars, apple pies, spice cookies, cranberry cobblers and more fall desserts.

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a wonderful recipe I discovered and changed a bit to suit my taste. I love the flavor of pumpkin and the cinnamon makes ordinary cream cheese frosting extra special. When I made a batch for my husband to take to work, he said they disappeared in record time. —Debbie Wiggins, Longmont, Colorado

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Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake Exps Ugfbmz17 33485 B04 04 4b 3

Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake

An attractive topping of cinnamon-spiced apple slices and a homemade oat-and-walnut crust make this creamy dessert a definite showstopper. —Emily Ann Young, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Frosted Pumpkin Cranberry Bars

With tangy dried cranberries tucked inside and a creamy brown butter frosting, these mildly spiced pumpkin bars are doubly delightful. It’s a good thing the recipe makes lots, because once you taste one, you won’t be able to resist going back for more! —Barbara Nowakowski, Mesa, Arizona
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Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake Pie

In fall or any time of year, this nutty, rich and delicious pecan pie recipe is one I am proud to serve. While it seems very special, this caramel pecan cheesecake is a snap to make. —Becky Ruff, Monona, Iowa
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Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Pie with Sugared Pecans

This is not your typical pumpkin pie! With a smooth, creamy filling and pretty arrangement of nuts on top, it's an extra-special dessert. —Loretta Lawrence, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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Pumpkin Torte

This beautiful layered cake has a creamy filling with a mild pumpkin flavor and a little spice. It's quick and always turns out so well. The nuts and caramel topping add a nice finishing touch. —Trixie Fisher, Piqua, Ohio
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Rustic Nut Bars

My friends love crunching into these chewy, gooey bars that have a crust like shortbread and a wildly nutty topping. —Barbara Driscoll, West Allis, Wisconsin
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Air-Fryer Apple Fritters

An air fryer makes these easy apple fritters healthier than old-fashioned fritters, yet they are still just as delicious. They're a quick and easy dessert that includes a scrumptious brown butter glaze! —Alyssa Castriotta, North Scituate, Rhode Island
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Cranberry-Carrot Layer Cake

This moist cake smothered with rich cream cheese frosting makes any dinner festive. Every autumn, I go to a cranberry festival in Wisconsin and load up on fresh cranberries to freeze for year-round cooking. —Nellie Runne, Rockford, Illinois
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Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream Puffs

This extraordinary dessert showcases homemade pumpkin ice cream and cream puffs. The effort is worthwhile...and you can make the parts ahead of time for easy assembly later.—Richard Lasher, Stuarts Draft, Virginia
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Classic Sweet Potato Pie

This simple but special deep-dish pie provides a down-home finish to hearty autumn meals. Pecans and pumpkin pie spices make this a comforting seasonal classic. —Paul Azzone, Shoreham, New York
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Cinnamon Twirl Roly-Poly

My whole house smells incredible when this cake is in the oven. Change it up with other extracts—maple is heavenly. —Holly Balzer-Harz, Malone, New York
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Chai Cupcakes

You’ll get a double dose of the spicy blend that’s frequently used to flavor tea in these moist single-size cakes. Both the cupcake and frosting use the blend, which combines some of the best flavors of the season. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Apple Betty with Almond Cream

I love making this apple betty for friends during the peak of apple season. I plan a quick soup and bread meal, so we can get right to the dessert! —Elizabeth Godecke, Chicago, Illinois
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Pumpkin Pie Pudding

My husband loves anything pumpkin, and this creamy, comforting pumpkin pudding recipe is one of his favorites. We make our easy pudding all year long, but it's especially nice in the fall. —Andrea Schaak, Bloomington, Minnesota
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Chocolate Maple Bars

My family runs a maple syrup operation, and I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate maple syrup into my cooking and baking. These bars are delicious! —Cathy Schumacher, Alto, Michigan
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Winning Apple Crisp

I live in apple country, and a delicious crisp is one good way to use them that doesn't take a lot of time. —Gertrude Bartnick, Portage, Wisconsin
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Great Pumpkin Dessert

Great Pumpkin Dessert

Canned pumpkin and cake mix make these bars an effortless alternative to pumpkin pie. It's a tried-and-true dessert that always brings big smiles. —Linda Guyot, Fountain Valley, California
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Pumpkin-Butterscotch Gingerbread Trifle

There's more to pumpkin than pie, as this impressive trifle proves. It looks so elegant with alternating layers of gingerbread cake and pumpkin/butterscotch pudding. Try making it ahead of time for a fuss-free dessert when you're planning to entertain guests. —Lyla Lehenbauer, New London, Missouri
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Apple Pie

I remember coming home sullen one day because we'd lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested, "Maybe a slice of my homemade apple pie will make you feel better." One bite, and Grandma was right. If you want to learn how to make homemade apple pie filling, this is really the only recipe you need. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington
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Pumpkin Pie Custard

Instead of pumpkin pie, try this flavorful light holiday dessert. My husband’s aunt shared the recipe after she brought this treat to a family party. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Honey Cinnamon Bars

My Aunt Ellie gave us the recipe for these sweet bar cookies with cinnamon and walnuts. Drizzle with icing, and serve with coffee or tea. —Diane Myers, Star, Idaho
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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

Instead of a traditional pie, I like to surprise holiday guests with a silky cheesecake. Make it a day ahead and let it chill overnight. It's one less thing you'll have to make on the big day. —Dorothy Smith, El Dorado, Arkansas
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Honey Cinnamon Rollups

This cinnamony treat reminds me of baklava, but with only a few easy ingredients, it's a fraction of the work. My Aunt Adele shared the recipe with me, and I think of her whenever I make it. —Sue Falk, Warren, Michigan
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Fudgy Peanut Butter Cake

I clipped this easy peanut butter cake recipe from a newspaper years ago. The house smells fantastic while it's slow cooking. My husband and son enjoy the cake with ice cream and nuts on top. —Bonnie Evans, Norcross, Georgia
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Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are the ultimate fall treat. But my family likes them so much, they ask me to make them all year long! —Brenda Keller, Andalusia, Alabama
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Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars

The streusel topping that comes with this recipe for apple cream cheese bars is absolutely irresistible. If you can’t resist a “taste test” before a party, just arrange each apple bar on a serving platter and no one will know a piece is missing from the pan! —Katherine White, Henderson, Nevada
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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

My kids start begging me for these cakelike sandwich cookies as soon as autumn arrives. I haven't met a person yet who doesn't like these fun treats. —Deb Stuber, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
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Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie

My husband and I are not big fans of traditional pumpkin pie, but my mother and others are, so we must have pumpkin pie as one of the desserts at Thanksgiving. I decided to meet everyone halfway with this pumpkin pecan pie recipe and it was a hit. Now I bring it to Thanksgiving every year. My mother doesn't even feel the need to bake her own pumpkin pie! —Emily Reese, Glade Hill, Virginia
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Caramel Apple Strudel

My father, who was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, would tell us stories about how his mother covered all the kitchen counters with dough whenever she made apple strudel. This recipe is a modern, delicious way to carry on part of my family's heritage. —Sarah Haengel, Bowie, Maryland
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Fresh Pumpkin Pie

In my opinion, there’s no contest as to which homemade pumpkin pie is best. No matter how good your canned filling is, it will never match pumpkin pie from scratch. —Christy Harp, Massillon, Ohio
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Apple Dumpling Bake

I received this recipe for baked apple dumplings with Mountain Dew from a friend of mine, then tweaked it to suit my family's tastes. The soda is definitely the secret ingredient in this rich apple dessert. —Chris Shields, Monrovia, Indiana
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Pumpkin Pie Bars

These bars taste like a cross between pumpkin pie and pecan pie—yum! If you can't find butter cake mix, yellow cake mix works. —Sue Draheim, Waterford, Wisconsin
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Nutty Apple Streusel Dessert

Many people don't think of using a slow cooker to make dessert, but I like having this hot, scrumptious apple treat waiting to be served when we finish up our dinner. I start it in the morning and don't think about it all day. —Jacki Every, Rotterdam, New York
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Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These big, soft spice cookies created by our staff have a sweet frosting that makes them an extra-special treat. Enjoy! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Apple-Nut Bread Pudding

Traditional bread pudding gives way to autumn's influences in this comforting dessert. I add apples and pecans to this slow-cooked version, then top warm servings with ice cream. —Lori Fox, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
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Cran-Apple Cobbler

My cranberry-packed cobbler is the crowning glory of many of our late fall and winter meals. My family isn't big on pies, so this favorite is preferred at our Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. The aroma of cinnamon and fruit is irresistible. —Jo Ann Sheehan, Ruther Glen, Virginia
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Pear Tart

My sister-in-law brought this pretty pastry to dinner one night, and we all went back for seconds. It is truly scrumptious. —Kathryn Rogers, Suisun City, California
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Cinnamon Chip Chai-Spiced Snickerdoodles

I love cinnamon chips, and this is an intriguing way to use them. Make sure to stock up on them during the holiday season so you have plenty to last during the year. —Marietta Slater, Justin, Texas
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Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bars

If you're looking for something other than pumpkin, these sweet potato bars are a yummy alternative. Make them ahead—they're even better refrigerated overnight. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas

James Schend
As Taste of Home’s Deputy Editor, Culinary, James oversees the Food Editor team, recipe contests and Bakeable, and manages all food content for Trusted Media Brands. Prior to this position, James worked in the kitchen of Williams-Sonoma and Southern Living. An honor graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he has traveled the world searching for great food in all corners of life.
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