18 Delicious Desserts to Bake This Fall

It’s not surprising that fall is one of the most anticipated seasons of the year. Cool-weather, vivid colors, and delicious seasonal fall treats make their debut.

Mini sweet potato pies

I always get most excited about baking and trying out new recipes. Not only is the outcome a delightful goody, but getting in touch with my inner chef is its own reward.

I take advantage of the fall’s harvested bounties as much as possible in autumn. Crisp, juicy apples, and sweet pumpkin are usually my go-to. And, of course, plenty of spice and cinnamon.

If you’re in charge of bringing dessert to your next fall gathering, you’ll likely be looking for the perfect dish to round off the meal.

Fortunately, there are loads of recipes to choose from. Below you’ll find some of the staples I create every year. We’ll go over the basics of each recipe, significant flavors, and why I love it. 

Best Fall Desserts 

Here are the best fall desserts in my arsenal, in no particular order.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie

Whoopie pies are a favorite that throws many of us back to childhood.

Two moist cakes held together with thick cream cheese frosting. These simple sandwiches are often made with chocolate cakes, but I prefer spicy-sweet pumpkin cake in the fall. 

This dessert is easy to make and typically takes just over an hour to put together. 

Ingredients include classic baking ingredients, fall spices, pumpkin puree, cream cheese, and more.

These cakes are the perfect dessert for informal occasions. Kids love them, and they’re easy to serve.

Although they’re best when fresh, you can store them in a container for a few days.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Step aside, pumpkin pie, because pumpkin cheesecake is here to steal the spotlight.

This decadent dessert offers the best of two worlds: smooth pumpkin and rich cream cheese.

These two flavors combine seamlessly and taste best with a dollop of whipped cream and caramel drizzle.

Ingredients include classic cheesecake ingredients with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice to get that quintessential fall flavor.

This is one of the best fall desserts because it can please a crowd. So many people fall in love with this instant classic.

Apple Pie

Apple pie is a classic American favorite that your family or guests will surely miss if it doesn’t make it to the table each year.

Gooey apples spiced with plenty of cinnamon and topped with a flaky crust. I always take mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as well.

Making an apple pie is relatively easy, and you can make it as fancy or simple as you prefer.

I find creating the pie crust to be the most challenging part, but once you’ve done it a few times, it goes by quickly. Get the best baking apples and make one for yourself!

Ingredients for apple pie include a crust made from flour, butter, salt, and water, and the inside is made up of your favorite apples mixed with sugar, spices, and lemon to enhance the flavor.

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan pie tends to divide a room, but people who enjoy this sticky-sweet pie stand by it as one of the best fall desserts.

If this happens to be one of your favorites or is popular among your group, they’ll love these pecan pie bars.

This recipe is mostly combining and layering the ingredients, making it an easy recipe to follow with the baking essentials.

Ingredient include your standard baking ingredients, pecans, brown sugar, and dark corn syrup for that sticky sweet flavor.

This treat is a great option if you’re a beginner or have a large crowd to feed. Plus, they’re easy to transport and store.

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie is another dessert that guests will expect at any fall feast. Although this dish is similar to pumpkin pie, it’s lighter and slightly sweeter.

It’s also an easy recipe for novices. Boiled sweet potatoes, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon are the main stars in this humble dessert. 

Ingredients include a pie crust and baked sweet potatoes mixed with butter, milk, sugar, and spices.

Although it might be quite as popular as pumpkin pie, plenty of people prefer this sweet dish.

It’s especially worth trying if you’re someone that finds the texture of pumpkin pie to be unpleasant.

Apple Fritters

Whether you consider fritters a breakfast or dessert item, there’s one thing for certain; they go best with a cup of coffee.

All of the joyous flavors in apple pie are fried to crisp perfection. What better way to celebrate the season than with delicious seasonal flavors on the go?

This recipe isn’t too difficult but does require the fritters to be fried. If you aren’t familiar with the process, doing some research is helpful.

Ingredients in apple fritters include your standard donut ingredients as well as apples and the classic fall spices.

This fall favorite will please everyone in the room. If you want a sweet treat that’s perfect for any time of the day, try out apple fritters.

Snickerdoodle Cobbler

Most years, I prepare a huge batch of snickerdoodle cookies as soon as autumn officially begins, but this year I’ll be trying my hand at snickerdoodle cobbler. 

This flawless combination brings all of the familiarity of snickerdoodles to a decadent cobbler. 

Ingredients include your standard baking necessities like flour, sugar, baking soda, as well as snickerdoodle spices like cinnamon sugar.

This recipe is a great, non-traditional dessert. You won’t find many people that don’t enjoy this simple recipe.

On top of that, did you know that there’s a difference between a cobbler and a crumble?

Pumpkin Roll

A pumpkin roll is a fresh take on a popular dish people typically create with chocolate cake.

Pumpkin, spices, and rich cream cheese filling are always a go-to option during those chilly fall days.

The recipe for this dessert is not difficult to follow, but many people find rolling the cake to be difficult, so sometimes it’s best to practice it a few times before the main event.

To make a pumpkin roll, you make a sponge cake flavored with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice, along with a sweet cream cheese filling.

This cake is lovely because not only is it super tasty, but it’s also an attractive dish for your table.

Try featuring it as your centerpiece for some mouthwatering anticipation. The signature swirl will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

You really can’t go wrong with pumpkin, and these bars are sure to satisfy your craving for classic fall flavors.

These are a great option if you need to take your dessert to a gathering because they travel and store well.

These bars can be made either swirled like marble or layered with cream cheese frosting on top.

Either way, they are not difficult to make. I prefer the consistency of these bars to be similar to brownies or fudge.

Ingredients are similar to that of a pumpkin cheesecake, with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and more.

Kids love these. Plus, they’re easy to serve and bake in large batches. If you need to prepare a dessert for a large group of people, this is one of the best recipes to do the job.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Choosing between pumpkin and chocolate shouldn’t be a dilemma during the holidays. Get the best of both worlds with pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. 

If you are familiar with making cookies, this dessert won’t be out of your range. It’s one of the very first recipes I created, so even novices will be able to pull it off.

To make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, you can add pumpkin to your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It even makes them a bit healthier by replacing some of the butter!

This dessert is perfect if you enjoy having a fall dessert around the house because they are easy to put together quickly.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

For another crowd-pleasing cookie, try out pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese frosting.

Both components are simple to create, but the result is something to knock your socks off. Another surprise – pumpkin spice doesn’t include pumpkin!

These cookies are soft and chewy in texture. They combine the perfect amount of spices and tangy cream cheese for an easy fall classic.

They are super popular among families with kids or shared with friends and coworkers.

Ingredients include pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, canned pumpkin, and you can make the sweet icing with cream cheese and powdered sugar.

This is one of the first recipes I reach for each season. The recipe isn’t tough, but I struggled with applying the frosting at first.

If you are struggling with icing the cookies, try putting the frosting in a piping bag.

Pumpkin Pie

No fall dessert list would be complete without pumpkin pie. It’s beloved for its creamy texture and simple flavor profile.

I always add a dollop of whipped cream, but there is something to be said for eating it as is.

The great thing about this classic pie is it’s easy to learn and create. I’d recommend it to any new baker as a staple they should have in mind for desserts on short notice.

Ingredients include pureed pumpkin, condensed milk, spices, and eggs baked into your preferred pie crust.

You can make a crust for this pie, but if you’re pressed for time, you won’t go wrong with something pre-made. Try it with a graham cracker crust for some extra crunch.

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is one of the original fall desserts. One of the oldest recipes was found to be from the late 1800s.

That’s a lot of history! It’s not surprising, considering how delightful crunchy, sweet pecans truly are.

Pecan pie is generally pretty easy to make. It’s also another dessert that you can easily buy a premade crust for.

Once the ingredients are combined and placed inside the crust, it only needs to be baked in the oven.

Just make sure you temper your eggs before combining them with all the hot syrup to avoid sweet scrambled egg pie. Unless you’re into that sort of thing. 

Ingredients in the pecan pie filling include corn syrup, molasses, brown sugar, butter, and of course pecans!

I highly recommend you serve your pecan pie with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Pumpkin Bread

Bread is often one of the first recipes many new bakers learn to master.

Pumpkin bread is a great option throughout autumn because it can be served as a dessert, afternoon treat, or even breakfast. I prefer to make mine as miniature loaves and pass them out as gifts!

There are several variations of this recipe, and you can try different techniques, like adding chocolate chips. Serve it with butter for added flavor.

Ingredients include the basics like butter, sugar, and flour, as well as pumpkin puree and plenty of fall spice.

There are also plenty of healthy versions of this dessert if you want to avoid the sugar rush over the season.

Caramel Apple Pie

Caramel apple pie is a luxurious take on a classic. Rather than giving cinnamon the front-row seat, this recipe puts caramel front and center. I love this dessert when I am craving a caramel apple at the fair. 

This pie isn’t any more difficult to make than a regular apple pie. If you are looking for a real kick, try salted caramel.

The ingredients are similar to that of a classic apple pie, but you can add in homemade or store bought caramel for that extra sweet flavor. Top it with salted caramel if you want more of a salty-sweet finish!

Serve this pie with ice cream or whipped cream, and your guests will be blown away.

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is a great option if you are in the mood for fall flavors but are getting tired of pumpkin and apple.

Carrots are a naturally sweet vegetable, and spiced with cinnamon can be just as satisfying as pumpkin pie.

Carrot cake isn’t difficult to make. Some might feel intimidated by adding a vegetable to their dessert, but you can trust the process and know that it will be delectable in the end.

Ingredients include lots of fall spice, which makes a carrot cake feel more like fall even though you can make it all year long.

I always recommend that carrot cake be topped with a cream cheese frosting. The tangy cream cheese helps bring out the sweetness of the cake.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite treats. I always order them with a cup of coffee and plenty of sweet glaze. With this dessert, cinnamon gets the spotlight.

Cinnamon rolls are fun to learn how to make. The process looks more challenging than it is, and once you get the hang of rolling the dough, you will want to make these every day.

Ingredients for my favorite cinnamon rolls include a yeasted dough made with flour, and a cinnamon-brown sugar and butter filling. Don’t forget plenty of icing on top!

Cinnamon rolls are a great dessert, but you can enjoy them at any time of the day.

They are also perfect for large events and picky eaters.

Sticky Buns 

Sticky buns are similar to cinnamon rolls, but caramel or honey is the key player instead of highlighting spice.

This dessert is easy to make and especially tasty when topped with chopped nuts.

If you don’t want to make dough from scratch, there are premade doughs that you can use and top with caramel and pecans.

Ingredients to make sticky buns include the stick-sweet topping made with brown sugar and honey, or with molasses!

These are the ideal option if you are looking for a fun fall goodie that doesn’t feature pumpkin. Serve them with coffee, tea, or à la mode.

Best Fall Desserts 

  1. Pumpkin Whoopie Pie
  2. Pumpkin Cheesecake
  3. Apple Pie
  4. Pecan Pie Bars
  5. Sweet Potato Pie
  6. Apple Fritters
  7. Snickerdoodle Cobbler
  8. Pumpkin Roll
  9. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
  10. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  11. Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
  12. Pumpkin Pie
  13. Pecan Pie
  14. Pumpkin Bread
  15. Caramel Apple Pie
  16. Carrot Cake
  17. Cinnamon Rolls
  18. Sticky Buns 

Final Thoughts

The best fall desserts should do one important thing: bring to mind crisp autumn days. Fortunately, the cool weather accommodates plenty of opportunities to practice baking. It’s also a great way to spend some quality time with people you love.

The ideal way to choose the best fall dessert for your table is by considering your skill level and what you are most interested in trying.

Get creative, and use the opportunity to celebrate the season. There are so many new flavors to experience!

Pair these desserts with a fall cocktail!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 3 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.