Our Easiest-Ever Fall Desserts

Apple-Spice Bundt Cake with Caramel Frosting
Photo: Greg DuPree

Fall is a favorite time in the South to bake desserts. The days are shorter, and the temperature outside becomes more manageable, so you can fire up the oven without running everyone out of the house. Along with homemade bread, bakers love to pull out their pedestal cake stands and create mile-high layer cakes this time of the year. But, you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen to bake a fabulous fall dessert.

With a bit of prep and hands-on time, the following recipes for easy fall cakes and fall pies can be in the oven in no time, most baking while you and your family sit down to a satisfying dinner. So, pick up some apples, pecans, and sweet potatoes from your market and start baking an easy fall dessert.

01 of 25

Apple-Spice Bundt Cake with Caramel Frosting

Apple-Spice Bundt Cake with Caramel Frosting
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Apple-Spice Bundt Cake with Caramel Frosting

It doesn't get any easier than a bundt cake. The hardest part of making this fall favorite is waiting for it to cool down enough to eat it. It takes around two hours to completely cool before you can drizzle the caramel frosting on top.

02 of 25

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie

Reduce hands-on time by using a refrigerated pie crust. Browning the butter with fragrant cinnamon and cloves gives this classic Southern pie a new twist. Even better, this recipe makes two pies for the prep time of one.

03 of 25

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Combine lunchtime favorites, bananas, and peanut butter, into one easy fall treat. Peanut butter, vanilla, and salt whip together to make a fluffy buttercream frosting. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts for a crunchy topping.

04 of 25

Apple Upside-Down Pie

Apple Upside-Down Pie
Jennifer R. Davick

Recipe: Apple Upside-Down Pie

A buttery mix of brown sugar and pecans caramelizes as it bakes beneath the bottom crust of this pie. Apple anything is ideal for fall baking, and this crunchy upside-down pie uses all the classic ingredients. This pie looks as beautiful as it tastes.

05 of 25

Sweet Potato Soufflé

Sweet Potato Soufflé
Micah Leal

Recipe: Sweet Potato Soufflé

If you like pumpkin bread, you will love this sweet potato soufflé, loaded with favorite fall spices. A brown sugar mixture and pecans top this dish that stands on its own as a dessert or can accompany your Thanksgiving dinner. Adding a significant amount of vanilla extract will give this soufflé a notable sweetness.

06 of 25

Salted Irish Cream Apple Crostata

Jerrelle Guy's Salted Irish Cream-Apple Crostata
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Salted Irish Cream Apple Crostata

Adding Irish cream liqueur to this apple tart's dough and the buttery sauce topping the fruit is a beautiful combination. Create the pastry dough using a food processor but still expect the light flakiness associated with piecrust or biscuits. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you'll have a new favorite version of apple pie.

07 of 25

Gingered Carrot Scones

Sweet Potato-Ginger Scones
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Gingered Carrot Scones

Prepped and baked in half an hour, these flavorful scones, with bits of diced crystallized or ground ginger, are perfect for brunch, after school, or an afternoon treat with tea or coffee. For some extra sparkle, add Turbinado sugar on top for texture.

08 of 25

Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake

Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake
Brian Woodcock

Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake

This pudding cake, best served warm, will have your family crowding around the table. As soon as you pull this pan of chocolatey goodness out of the oven, your family or guests will be waiting for it. The sliced almond topping adds a unique texture to this decadent cake.

09 of 25

Fresh Apple Cake

Fresh Apple Cake
Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Amy Burke

Recipe: Fresh Apple Cake

This cake batter is incredibly thick, but the thin apple slices keep it moist and flavorful. This cake will soon become your new favorite fall baking recipe, using apples, cinnamon, and nuts in an easy-to-bake sheet cake.

10 of 25

Praline Apple Bread

Praline Apple Bread
Jennifer R. Davick

Recipe: Praline Apple Bread

Sour Cream is the secret to this bread's rich, moist texture, which is ideal for brunch, an afternoon treat, or dessert. Only the glaze uses butter and oil for its batter, so this quick bread will be great to eat alongside another dish or as a stand-alone dessert. Toasted pecans add the perfect amount of crunch.

11 of 25

Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting

Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Apple Butter Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting

Caramel frosting and apple chips top this apple butter pound cake. You can make your own Slow-Cooker Apple Butter or use a store-bought version, but either will add thickness to your bundt cake. Don't skip the step to toast your pecans. You can even make extra and store them in the freezer if you plan to do a lot of fall baking.

12 of 25

Apple Butter Cobbler with Drop Biscuits

Apple Butter Cobbler with Drop Biscuits
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Apple Butter Cobbler with Drop Biscuits

Cobbler is a more straightforward dessert than pie. This recipe, topped with biscuits, especially doesn't require as much attention to detail. If you are short on time, substitute canned biscuits for homemade. Also, this recipe calls for Granny Smith and Honeycrisp or Gala apples, but any variety will do.

13 of 25

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Apple pie is a classic for a reason. This old-fashioned, double crust pie is a comforting way to welcome fall. Remember to chill the dough for at least two hours or overnight.

14 of 25

Persimmon Pudding

Persimmon Pudding
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Persimmon Pudding

Persimmons, the red-orange fruit, is in-season during the fall and winter, so take advantage by baking this pudding. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger complement the orange zest and toasted pecans. Serve with homemade Cinnamon Whipped Cream for an extra special fall dessert.

15 of 25

Coconut-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Coconut-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Hector M. Sanchez

Recipe: Coconut-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Who said tropical fruits are only for summer? This variation of classic pumpkin pie uses toasted coconut to make a fluffy chiffon topping. The pie is also a Thanksgiving Day timesaver as you can make it the day before and refrigerate it until serving.

16 of 25

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Honey Swiss Meringue

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Honey Swiss Meringue
Jody Horton

Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Honey Swiss Meringue

This dessert, starting with a toasted pecan crust, combines creamy cheesecake ingredients with classic pumpkin filling. Topping the traditional sweet is a creamy honey swiss meringue. Clover honey, egg whites, and salt are all it takes to make this fluffy topping.

17 of 25

Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie

Ultimate Apple Pie from Buxton Hall
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie

A pecan pie in a cast-iron skillet spells out a Southern staple. Use store-bought pie crust for a quick solution to a fall baking day. After, sprinkle with sugar and your pecan mixture and bake. This dish is so easy to make that you may never need another pie recipe.

18 of 25

Arkansas Black Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce

Arkansas Black Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Arkansas Black Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce

Hailing from Benton County, Arkansas, this pie uses apples that ripen to a deep red while still on the tree, continuing to ripen into a hue or near black once picked. This unique apple variety gives the pie its tasty, tart, and fragrant flavors. Add caramel sauce on top and have a perfect Thanksgiving Day pie.

19 of 25

Double-Decker Pecan Cheesecake Pie

Double-Decker Pecan Cheesecake Pie Recipe Image
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Double-Decker Pecan Cheesecake Pie

Instead of pie or cheesecake, combine these desserts into this delicious dish. This pecan pie hides layers of creamy cheesecake and brown sugar filling.

20 of 25

Skillet Caramel Apple Pie

Skillet Caramel Apple Pie
Photo: Stephen DeVries, Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Skillet Caramel Apple Pie

Ensure a golden, crispy pie crust by using a cast-iron skillet. Combined with a bourbon and caramel sauce, the apple filling balances the sweet glaze with its tart flavors. Feel free to use a store-bought crust, but the Test Kitchen recommends Fuji apples as it complements the other ingredients best.

21 of 25

Sock It To Me Cake

Sock It To Me Cake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey

Recipe: Sock It To Me Cake

Named for the "sock it to me" catchphrase popular during the 1960s, this rich and tender bundt cake is as classic today as it was then. This cake uses vanilla to add sweetness to the buttery sour cream mixture. The best part of this dessert is the ribbon of brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans swirled throughout the cake.

22 of 25

Pumpkin Layer Cake Recipe with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
Alison Gootee; Styling: Suzonne Stirling

Recipe: Pumpkin Layer Cake Recipe with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

New Orleans-based cookbook author and food blogger Joy Wilson shares the recipe for this layer cake. Pumpkin spice fans will love this cake paired with homemade caramel and cream cheese frosting. You can make the cake up to three days in advance, so it's perfect for the holidays when you expect guests.

23 of 25

Praline Cake

Praline Cake
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Emily Hall; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Praline Cake

Praline, or a confection with sugar, vanilla, and nuts, elevates this sponge cake. The praline glaze and pecans, used as toppings, add texture and interest to this fluffy, vanilla cake. Sweet cream or ice cream perfectly complements this sweet and salty dessert.

24 of 25

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

salted caramel cheesecake
Will Dickey; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

Recipe: Salted Caramel Cheesecake

The creamy cheesecake filling on this decadent salted dessert is only beat by the caramel cookie crust. While baking this cheesecake might take a little longer, the steps are still relatively simple to follow. As an extra tip, substitute the dulce de leche for caramel sauce, which you can purchase in-store.

25 of 25

Blackberry Jam Cake

Blackberry Jam Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Blackberry Jam Cake

Blackberry jam makes this cake sweet, but the caramel cream cheese frosting balances it by adding a savory quality. Remember to switch to a paddle attachment before combing the jam, oil, and vanilla extract when using an electric mixer.

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