35+ Warming Apple Desserts for Fall
Apple Cinnamon Bread
Besides being simple enough to whip up on a moments notice, as it bakes, this easy apple cinnamon bread puts off the kind of warming, buttery, spiced aromas that usher in all the fall feels. And given just how well a warm slice pairs with a cup of coffee, don’t be surprised if you find yourself making a loaf of apple cinnamon bread on a weekly basis throughout the season. The rich quick bread is incredibly moist, thanks to the apple and sour cream, but the key to ensuring it’s as tender as possible is to avoid over-mixing. In fact, once the final addition of dry ingredients has been added to the batter, it’s helpful to finish incorporating everything together by hand, using a rubber spatula, rather than continuing to whip the batter with an electric mixer. We used Granny Smith apple in testing the recipe, but you can really use any apple variety you have on hand. Feel free to substitute the pecans called for walnuts, or leave the nuts out entirely.
Easy Apple Cobbler
Usher in the fall season with a warm pan of (almost too) easy apple cobbler. For this simple and delicious apple dessert, peeling and slicing the fruit will be the bulk of your workload. The combination of brown sugar and apples yields an exceptionally gooey-rich filling that was made to team up with a buttery, golden crust and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. While we preferred hearty Granny Smith apples for the filling, you can certainly use a different variety if that's what you have on hand. Regardless of the type of apple you pick, this warm and comforting cobbler is easy enough to make at the last minute, and is always a welcome addition to the holiday dessert spread.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Few things deliver fall comfort quite like sweet apple cider doughnuts. Gaining their distinct apple flavor from four sources—apple cider, freshly grated apple, apple butter, and apple cider vinegar—these homemade doughnuts are anything but bland. And, because there’s no yeast involved, you don’t even have to wait for the dough to proof; meaning, there’s less standing between you and your hot, fresh apple cider doughnuts. For the most robust apple flavor, be sure to use cider, not juice—and always shake the cider jug before measuring. To give them a perfect finishing tough, either toss the warm doughnuts with Pumpkin-Cinnamon Spice or coat the cooled cider doughnuts with a Buttermilk Glaze or Maple-Vanilla Icing.
Buxton Hall Ultimate Apple Pie
We found the ultimate apple pie in the most unexpected place. When customers walk through the door of Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville, North Carolina, they are greeted not just by the sweet smell of smoke of whole hogs cooking over oak and hickory wood, but also by “the pie table”. Ashley Capps, the pastry chef behind the restaurant’s in-house Buxton Hall Bakery, crowns the long table’s vintage stands with flavors like Caramel Walnut Chess and her sell-out hit Banana Pudding Pie. Capps’ developed the Ultimate Apple Pie to include fresh and dried fruit along with apple butter for a deep flavor and engaging texture. This recipe is perfect for fall, but even better on Thanksgiving. Bake a few different pies this year and set up your own pie table.
Grilled Apple Pie a la Mode
Whether it’s in the backyard or around a campfire, this easy, on-the-spot recipe has all the elements of a perfect apple pie. Make sure to use apples that are the same size so they’ll cook at the same rate. The ice cream will melt quickly, so put it on the apples right as you serve them.
Surprise your guests with these cute and delicious tartlets. Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used to make the tangy filling. If using frozen berries, don’t defrost them. Frozen cranberries act more like fresh cranberries than thawed ones do; the skins burst at a similar rate and they are less juicy.
Arkansas Black Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce
The heirloom apple that makes this apple pie so tasty hails from Benton County, Arkansas. What makes it so special? The fragrant, tart, and tasty apple ripens to a deep red while still on the tree, but it continues to ripen after it is picked and transforms to a nearly black hue. Keep an eye out for these beautiful apples for your Thanksgiving pie. The Arkansas Black Apple Pie just needs a drizzle of Caramel Sauce and a scoop of ice cream to make your night perfect.
How next-level store-bought crust, smart touches of fat and flavoring, and a trio of apples fit together fabulously.
Maple Quinoa Bake with Skillet Apples and Walnuts
This hearty and comforting baked quinoa is a great healthy breakfast to make ahead for the family or serve for a brunch gathering with friends.
Pistachio-Orange Caramel Apples
Hummingbird Caramel Apples
Apple-Pear Pie with Cookie Butter Caramel
If you’re looking to go next-level for you next holiday pie, this speculoos infused apple and pear pie is exactly what you’re looking for. Featuring finely ground speculoos cookies (we used Biscoff brand) in the crust, larger crumbles in the pecan streusel topping, and a decadent salted cookie butter caramel sauce both in the filling and drizzled over top, this fruit pie is anything but boring. While it may seem like a hassle, don’t skip giving your fruit the little pre-cook described in step 5. This method of par-cooking the slice apples and pears will help your fruit achieve a delightfully tender, but not-too-mushy texture through the baking process.
Apple Pie Nachos
All of the flavors you crave from a gooey apple pie, but in an easy-to-make, highly shareable format.
Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie
Halving and rolling out the cinnamon buns ensures that they’ll stay thin and crisp like a pie crust would, rather than rising into actual cinnamon buns. Don't have a rolling pin? No problem. You can flatten the cinnamon buns using a glass.
This is apple pie's less-fussy but just-as-tasty little sister.
This 5-star cinnamon apple cake is one of our best-ever recipes and can be served as dessert or a breakfast coffee cake. The cream cheese in the batter gives the cake lots of moisture, while the cinnamon sugar topping is dense and crumbly. The cake is best warm out of the oven, and will keep for a week after you've baked it. Toss in walnuts or pecans to the batter for an added nutty crunch.
Caramel Apple Blondie Pie
Buttery rich layers of tender cake and caramelized apples add up to one sweet combo. The secret to the crisp, flaky crust? Baking in a cast-iron skillet on a lower oven rack.
Warm Apple Compote and Aged Cheddar Topping
Apple Fritters with Salted Caramel Sauce
Filled with a spiced apple compote, dipped in a vanilla glaze, and topped with a homemade caramel sauce, these over-the-top fritters take a bit of time to prepare but are well worth the wait.
Apple Spice Bundt Cake with Cider Glaze
Don't be afraid to go 100% whole-grain with desserts; we use all spelt flour here with amazing results. The nutty flour boosts the taste of the butter, spices, and vanilla, unlike all-purpose flour, whose bland nature would dilute those flavors. Be sure to weigh the flour for accuracy; using too much will make the cake dry.
Ciabatta French Toast with Warm Apple Maple Syrup
Moist yet crusty ciabatta and nutty Gruyère cheese set this dish apart from traditional French toast. A vegetable peeler works great for getting thin slices out of the cheese. Rome or Fuji apples would also work.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Grated apple is the secret to a syrupy pie filling--it releases more pectin (a natural thickener) than the sliced apples alone. A quick salted caramel intensifies the apple flavor without making the dessert too sweet.
Apple and Cherry Pie Trifle
This eye-catching trifle allows you to fully embrace the convenience factor of a prepared dessert from the freezer aisle without being obvious about it. Frozen Marie Callender pies make an amazing shortcut to creating fruity layers (accented with pieces of flakey, buttery crust) in this easy dessert that’s completed with a couple of other convenience items, like pudding mix and frozen whipped topping. It’s perfect for any occasion when you’re short on time, but still need something decadently impressive. Feel free to swap apple and cherry for your own favorite pie flavors.
Mom's Rhubarb-Apple Crisp
Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious apples hold their shape well and won't get too mushy after baking. Brown sugar lends deep molasses flavor to the topping.
Apple Rose Tarts
The apple rose tart, made famous on Pinterest, does take some time to prepare, but it’s all worth it once you impress your guests. And just like that, you’ll become one of your friends’ favorite bakers.
Apple Cider Hazelnut Doughnuts
In this version from Ellen Jackson’s Portland Farmers Market Cookbook, reduced cider is replaced with applesauce, and the still-warm apple doughnuts are dunked in a cider and applesauce glaze.
This make-ahead masterpiece by Layce Smith is loaded with warm spices and wrapped up in a flaky, golden crust. Simply freeze ahead of time and pop one in the oven for a grab-and-go breakfast on a hectic weekday morning.
Mini Apple Pies with Whipped Mascarpone
These convenient handheld mini apple pies takes a few notes from the classic dessert for a delicious modern twist. The favorite childhood vanilla wafer cookie makes a comeback in the form of a crunchy crust. Similar to a graham cracker pie crust, the wafer cookies are crushed and mixed with melted butter to mold into muffin cups. Sour Granny Smith apples are cooked in a skillet on the stovetop and are warmly seasoned with staple fall spices to create the filling. Rich mascarpone becomes delightfully fluffy and when folded into a fresh batch of whipped cream for a decadent pie topper.
Cinnamon-Apple Dutch Baby
Spiced Apple Two-Bite Tarts
The nutty pastry is absolutely delicious, like pecan shortbread. You can make the tart shells and filling the day before and assemble just before serving: Place the shells in an airtight container and chill the filling, bringing it to room temperature before placing it in the shells so it's not ice-cold. The crème fraîche dollop is more than just a pretty garnish; its rich, tangy flavor makes these sublime.
These incredibly tender, jelly-filled doughnuts are a perfect treat for breakfast/brunch, snack time, or dessert. Opting for using a store-bought hot roll mix (we particularly like Pillsbury brand’s) saves a little bit of labor, but keeps this traditional sweet treat feeling homemade. If you want an even faster route to doughnut satisfaction, you can also use prepared pizza dough, which you can usually find in the bakery section of the supermarket; however, know these doughnuts will have a slightly chewier mouthfeel (which you may like better!). We loved apple jelly for this sufganiyot recipe, as it’s a delicious compliment to the cinnamon-sugar coating, but feel free use whatever flavor of jam you prefer.
Cheddar Apple-Pear Pie
If you’re not sold on the idea of adding cheese to your apple pie, well… just wait until you taste a slice of this. There’s no turning back after you experience the wow-worthy flavor combination of sweet apples and pears matched with sharp, salty cheddar, further complimented by a smoky hit from bacon in a buttery crust. This richly dynamic apple and pear pie is an impressive dessert for the holidays; and better yet, it’s absolutely delicious served with coffee as a next-day breakfast (which is a very important consideration when choosing your holiday pies). While we went with a decorative cut-out crust on top, you could also top your pie with the second crust, as is, and cut a few slits to allow steam to release.
Easy Individual Apple Crisps with Oatmeal Crumble
You can also peel and coarsely chop the apples, if you prefer. For more tender apples, decrease the heat to 400° and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Cinnamon-Cider Candied Apples
Wash apples well to remove any waxy coating, and dry thoroughly before dipping them. Work quickly, but if the syrup begins to set, you can reheat it over low heat to liquefy.