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50 Gorgeous Desserts to Make This Fall

Fall is arguably the best time of the year to be in the kitchen—delectable aromas like cinnamon, apple, and maple syrup seem to permeate the air. These particular fall desserts are as beautiful as they are delicious!

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Pumpkin Cranberry Cheesecake

One Thanksgiving, I was eating pumpkin pie and decided to have some cranberry sauce with it. I loved the combination so much, I experimented and came up with a two-tone cheesecake that has a ruby-red layer at the bottom. —John Abraham, Boca Raton, Florida
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Sweet Potato Coconut Pie with Marshmallow Meringue

My grandmother's sweet potato casserole contains coconut and marshmallows. I thought it would be even better as a pie. —Simone Bazos, Baltimore, Maryland
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Maple Walnut Cake

This maple-flavored cake with candied walnuts honors my grandpa, who made maple syrup. —Lori Fee, Middlesex, New York
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Ginger-Glazed Lemon Bundt

Tangy ginger, tart lemon and puckery cranberries make this melt-in-your-mouth cake as crisp—and gorgeous—as autumn. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Walnut-Cranberry Pie

After this ruby red pie got rave reviews on Thanksgiving, I was happy to bake it again for Christmas dinner. The naturally tart cranberries are perfectly sweetened and accented with walnuts, raisins and lemon. —Shirley Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Pumpkin Charlotte

My mother-in-law gave me this recipe a while back and I just love it! I make it for my husband and his friends during hunting season and it's a big hit. —Lorelle Edgcomb, Granville, Illinois
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Sour Cream Pumpkin Cake

The nicely spiced streusel in the center of this cake is a marvelous surprise and complement to the cinnamony pumpkin cake. It's delicious for breakfast or dessert. —Elaine Holmberg, Norfolk, Nebraska
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Mama's Spice Cake

Whenever I get a craving for a tasty old-fashioned treat, I make this cake. Great cooks in my family have been baking it for generations, and their families have been enjoying the wonderful spice flavor and rich frosting. —Nancy Duty, Jacksonville, Florida
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Sweet Potato Mini Cakes

Whenever I make these cute desserts, I think of my grandmother. She always used extra sweet potatoes from her garden in pies, breads and cakes and added black walnuts from her trees for good measure. —Joyce Larson, New Market, Iowa
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Glazed Maple Shortbread Cookies

Whenever I visit friends in Lutsen, Minnesota, I make sure to buy maple syrup there because I think it's even better than in Quebec. These delicious cookies can be decorated with sprinkles but they're just fine as is.—Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Apple Butter and Pumpkin Pie

I'm proud of this pie because I made it up in my head, and it turned out very well! It's a little different from traditional pumpkin or pecan pie, which makes it a nice holiday surprise. —Sherry Little, Sherwood, Arkansas
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Pumpkin Ice Cream Roll

This wonderfully light dessert is our standby at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The hint of pumpkin and the refreshing ice cream make a most delicious after-dinner treat. —Gayle Lewis, Yucaipa, California
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Majestic Pecan Cake

This recipe truly lives up to its name. The pecan-dotted cake is stacked in three layers, and made-from-scratch frosting is the crowning touch.—Karen R. Jones, Claypool, Indiana
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Homemade Pear Pie

I entered this pie in a local baking contest and ended up winning! Bartlett pears hold up well when baked, adding a nice layer of texture. —Darlene Jacobson, Waterford, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Spice Layer Cake with Caramel Icing

Mariann James of Ferguson, Missouri created a sweet and salty favorite with her original recipe for chocolate spice cake with caramel icing. The spicy chocolate cinnamon cane sugar was a perfect addition to her unique cake. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry

A honey of a salute to late-summer pear season, this cozy dessert looks both elegant and decadent. Wrapped in puff pastry, the pears resemble little beehives. —Heather Baird, Knoxville, Tennessee
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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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Cranberry Coconut Cake with Marshmallow Cream Frosting

Filled with a homemade cranberry curd and smothered with one of the fluffiest frostings you've ever had, this tall cake will make a memorable impression at any gathering. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Pumpkin Shortbread Dessert

My family prefers this to traditional pumpkin pie, which is just fine with me. It feeds a crowd, so I need to make only one dessert instead of several pies. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Vermont Maple Oatmeal Pie

This yummy pie has an old-fashioned feeling, but is so easy to prepare. Serve it with ice cream drizzled with maple syrup or top it with maple- or cinnamon-flavored whipped cream. —Barbie Miller, Oakdale, Minnesota
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Pears and Cranberries Poached in Wine

An elegant dessert doesn't have to take tons of work. Tart and refreshing, this simple-to-make treat is a tasty dinner finale. —Eva Amuso, Cheshire, Massachusetts
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Big Soft Ginger Cookies

These nicely spiced, big soft ginger cookies are perfect for folks who like the flavor of ginger but don't care for crunchy gingersnaps. —Barbara Gray, Boise, Idaho
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Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry Cheesecake

Every year when the cranberries are harvested, my family looks forward to eating this cheesecake. —Nairda Monroe, Webberville, Michigan
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Toffee-Pear Crisp Bread Pudding

My son loves pear crisp, but one night I was making bread pudding. He asked if I could make both. I compromised by combining two desserts into this one dish. It's absolutely fantastic! —Kurt Wait, Redwood City, 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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Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Take these extra special cupcakes to your next event and watch how quickly they disappear! With a caramel topping and spice cake base, they're the perfect mix of two fall-favorite treats. —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
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Grilled Cranberry Pear Crumble

My husband loves it when I make dessert. Fruit crisps are easy and quick to prepare, so I make them often! I created this fall-flavored grilled version with fresh pears and items I had on hand. We loved it. —Ronna Farley, Rockville, Maryland
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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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Apple-Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake

We love the combination of classic fall fruits in this cake. I bake the apples on the bottom to keep them plump and moist, then flip the cake so they're on top. This is best served warm with vanilla ice cream, but we enjoy digging in any time of day. —Christina Yahraes, San Francisco, California
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Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake

When it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, I can never decide which one I like best: pumpkin pie or cheesecake? So, I decided to put the two together—with a special twist—and got this delicious result. —Yvonne Starlin, Hermitage, Tennessee
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Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Tart

As a teenage foreign exchange student in the south of France, I was horribly homesick. Then my host family's Grandmother Miette arrived and asked if I'd like to help her bake this nutty tart from scratch. It turned my trip around and inspired my lifelong passion for baking. Weighing ingredients, roasting nuts, kneading dough—the art of baking transcends language. —Lexi McKeown, Los Angeles, California
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Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfaits

Enjoy these lovely, light parfaits as an unforgettable finale to your holiday feast. The spiced rum adds a fun new flavor to the mix. —Lorri Hazen, Twin Falls, Idaho
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Gingerbread-Spiced Pumpkin Pie

The first time I made this was for Christmas a couple of years ago. The following year, I received a gift with all the ingredients for the pie in it and a note asking me to make it again as soon as possible. Make extra pastry if you want to decorate the top.—Rod Dombek, Mazeppa, Minnesota
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Cranberry-Almond Apple Pie

My grandmother made this treat every year for Christmas. It’s much better than everyday apple pie. The recipe is a family treasure. —Maxine Theriauit, Nashua, New Hampshire
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Olive Oil Cake

A good olive oil cake isn't overly sweet, so it can just as easily be a breakfast treat or an afternoon snack as a dessert. —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Gran's Apple Cake

My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this recipe one that we treasured. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
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Sweet Potato Pie Cake Roll

Smooth cream cheese filling is all rolled up in the cinnamony sweet potato flavor of this cake. This change-of-pace dessert looks stunning on a dessert table, and tastes just as amazing as it looks. —Bernice Taylor, Wilson, North Carolina
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Rustic Caramel Apple Tart

Like an apple pie without the pan, this scrumptious tart has a crispy crust that cuts nicely and a yummy caramel topping. —Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas
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Salted Dark Chocolate Tart

When I was little, my grandpa always had a bag of caramels in his truck and a few in his pocket. Whether we were camping or going to a movie, I enjoyed sharing caramels with him. Now I try to put caramel in as many of my desserts as possible, including this sweet and salty tart. —Leah Tackitt, Austin, Texas
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Miniature Pumpkin Cake Towers

I make these pumpkin treats every autumn and they are gone in minutes. The spice combination is perfect for fall, and it is all wrapped up in a pretty little cake.—Deb Lyon, Bangor, Pennsylvania
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Cranberry Bread Pudding

This down-home dessert takes on a touch of elegance when I serve it warm and drizzled with a thin orange custard sauce. It's so pretty that I often make it for dinner guests using either fresh or frozen cranberries. —Margery Richmond, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Coffee Maple Spritz

I like spritz cookies because they're easier to make than rolled cutouts but I can still be creative with different shapes and sizes. Feel free to substitute vanilla or rum extract for the maple flavoring. —Dierdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Easy Mini Caramel Apple Cheesecakes

Cheesecake is the ultimate comfort food, but a big slice can be too rich. These bite-sized cheesecakes topped with apples and creamy caramel dazzle the senses. —Brandie Cranshaw, Rapid City, South Dakota
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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding

Savor your favorite fall flavors with this scrumptious bread pudding, served warm with a sweet vanilla sauce. Yum! —Judith Bucciarelli, Johnson, New York
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Aunt Lou's Fresh Apple Cake

My Great-Aunt Lou made a luscious fresh apple cake recipe that became a family tradition. My mom makes it for our annual beach trip to the Outer Banks. —Cristy King, Scott Depot, West Virginia
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Cranberry Layer Cake

I adapted a Bundt cake recipe to create this layer cake. Cranberries, walnuts and homemade frosting make it taste so delicious that you'd never guess it starts with a convenient cake mix. —Sandy Burkett, Galena, Ohio
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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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Mom's Best Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin swirls not only turn this fall cheesecake into a showstopper, but they also seem to make it more delicious! —Jami Geittmann, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
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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

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.
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