Beautiful Fall Bakes

Turn on the oven and celebrate fall with cakes, bread and pies featuring the season’s finest flavors. new takes on familiar spices and autumn produce are sure to delight your family and friends.

Chocolate-Pumpkin Brioche Twists

Made with an enriched dough, French brioche is used for sandwiches and treats like this one. The intense, slightly bitter undertones of dark chocolate and the fruity sweetness of pumpkin form a contrasting, yet pleasing flavor duo especially fitting in autumn. Perfect for any time of the day, this baked good offers a tasty addition to brunch or dinner.

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  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup warm whole milk (120°F to 130°F)
  • 5 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • -
  • 5 tbsp salted butter
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • For dough, in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix ½ cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt on low just until combined. Gradually beat in warm milk; beat in butter and egg until combined. Beat in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Slowly beat in remaining 2½ cups flour, ½ cup at a time, until combined. Using dough hook attachment on stand mixer, knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape dough into a ball. Place in a large, lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface of the dough. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • For filling, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Stir in cocoa powder until smooth.
  • Line a large rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Roll into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 3 (18×4-inch) rectangles. Spread chocolate filling over the dough rectangles to within ½ inch of the edges.
  • Starting at a long edge, tightly roll up each rectangle to make an 18-inch-long rope. Cut each rope crosswise in half to make 6 (9-inch-long) ropes. Split each 9-inch rope lengthwise in half to expose layers of dough and chocolate filling. Loosely tie each split rope into a knot; tuck ends under bottom of twist. Place twists 3 inches apart in prepared baking pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let rise for 30 minutes or until puffed slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling

With an unusual name, whoopie pies originated in New England and have since even inspired their own festival. Made of pumpkin-spiced cake, our sandwich cookies are baked with vegetable oil instead of butter to make them extra light and fluffy. Prepare the rich cream cheese filling ahead of time. It stores in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • -
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two large rimmed baking pans with parchment paper; lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • For cookies, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat granulated and brown sugars, vegetable oil, pumpkin and eggs on medium until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat for 15 seconds more or until creamy. Do not overmix. Slowly beat in flour mixture just until combined.
  • Drop batter by rounded tablespoons 1½ inches apart into prepared baking pans. Smooth tops with an offset spatula or back of spoon. Bake for 13 to 17 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Transfer cookies to wire cooling racks; cool completely. Store, uncovered, at room temperature up to 12 hours.
  • Meanwhile, for filling, in a clean mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes or until combined. Reduce mixer to low and beat in powdered sugar until combined. Increase mixer to high and beat for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.
  • To assemble whoopie pies, spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large star-shape piping tip. Pipe filling on flat sides of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down; gently press together. Store in a single layer in an airtight container in refrigerator up 3 days.
Gluten-Free Pomegranate and Poached Pear Tart

Alternative flour allows guests with dietary restrictions to enjoy this flavorful bake. Poaching the pears in a blend of spice-infused pomegranate and lemon juices enhances flavor and gives the tart its signature red color. Choose pears that are ripe but slightly firm to prevent them from turning mushy during the poaching process.

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  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large vanilla bean
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • -
  • 1 ½ cups 100% pomegranate juice
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 (3¼-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 3 firm ripe Anjou pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • Pomegranate arils, for garnish
  • Lemon zest, for garnish
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  • -
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 large egg white
  • For the custard filling, stir together milk and ¼ cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into milk mixture; add vanilla bean pod. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; remove and discard vanilla bean pod.
  • In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, remaining ¼ cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk half of the hot milk mixture into egg mixture. Then whisk milk-egg mixture into remaining milk mixture in saucepan.
  • Return saucepan to heat. Cook and whisk over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil and slightly thickens. Cook and whisk for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and whisk in butter.
  • Pour custard through a medium-mesh sieve set over a medium heatproof bowl. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  • For the pears, in a medium saucepan, stir together pomegranate juice, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise. Add pear halves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; refrigerate pears in cooking liquid for 2 hours.
  • For pastry, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. Using pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Using a fork, stir beaten egg into flour mixture. Sprinkle with milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with the fork until flour mixture is moistened and begins to come together. Gather dough; gently press together to form a disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 13-inch circle. Fold dough circle into fourths; transfer to a 9½-inch-round tart pan with removable bottom. Unfold and ease dough into tart pan without stretching. Trim dough to edge of tart pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pastry for 12 minutes. Slightly whisk egg white until frothy. Remove pastry from oven. Using a fork, prick bottom and side of pastry several times. Brush bottom and side of pastry with beaten egg white; discard remaining egg white. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes more or until lightly golden brown. Slightly cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • To assemble, remove pears from cooking liquid and drain on paper towels; reserve cooking liquid. Slice pears and set aside. Spread custard filling in an even layer in pastry. Arrange pear slices in an overlapping, circular fashion on top. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, remove and discard cinnamon stick and star anise from cooking liquid. Bring cooking liquid to a boil; reduce heat. Gently boil, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Cool syrup.
  • To serve, remove side from tart pan. Lightly drizzle tart with syrup. Garnish with pomegranate arils and lemon zest; serve with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
Caramel Apple-Spiced Cake with Maple Frosting

All the classic flavors of fall come together in this artfully presented cake that's almost too pretty to cut. Top it with caramel sauce, fresh fig halves, sliced plums, pomegranate arils, blackberries, walnuts or other garnishes of your choice. Enjoy slices after a special family meal and pair them perfectly with steaming cups of Earl Grey tea.

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  • CAKE
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • -
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 ½ tbsp meringue powder
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 8 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp maple extract
  • -
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ⅛ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • Fresh black fig halves, for garnish
  • Baby plums, halved and pitted; for garnish
  • Blackberries, for garnish
  • Pomegranate arils, for garnish
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottoms of three 8-inch-round cake pans with parchment paper. Spray parchment with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • For cake, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition.
  • With mixer on low speed, alternately add dry ingredients and applesauce, using one-fourth of each at a time and mixing just until combined after each addition. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
  • For frosting, in a clean large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together powdered sugar, meringue powder and water until combined. Add butter and maple extract. Beat on medium for 10 to 12 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  • For the caramel sauce, combine sugar and water in a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, swirling skillet occasionally until mixture turns a deep amber color (Be careful not to burn mixture). Remove skillet from heat. Whisk in butter; slowly whisk in whipping cream and salt.
  • To assemble cake, place one cake layer, top side down, on cake stand and spread with 1½ cups frosting. Repeat with another cake layer and 1½ cups frosting. Top with remaining cake layer, top side up. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
  • Drizzle caramel along top edge of cake so caramel drips down sides of cake. Garnish with figs, plums, blackberries and/or pomegranate arils.
Triple Berry Slab Pie

This fresh and fruity crowd-pleaser packs an array of colorful berries inside a buttery, flaky crust. As an added bonus, the pie contains only a little sugar (less than ½ cup for both the filling and crust). It gains its sweet and tart flavors from the berries and warm mulling spices. Festive cutouts on top add seasonal flair to a traditional pie.

Expand Recipe
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup plus 2 to 7 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Demerara sugar
  • -
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar Smucker’s Simply Fruit strawberry spread
  • 8 cups blueberries, divided
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  • For pastry, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse small peas.
  • Drizzle flour mixture with ½ cup ice water. Toss with a fork. Sprinkle with additional ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with the fork until flour mixture is moistened and begins to come together. Gather dough; gently press together to form a ball.
  • Shape dough into a 10½×4½-inch rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Cut off a 4½×3-inch piece. Wrap the large and small dough rectangles individually in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Unwrap the larger dough rectangle. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 19×14-inch rectangle. Fold dough rectangle in fourths; transfer to a 15×10×1-inch baking pan. Unfold and ease dough into baking pan without stretching. Trim pastry to ½ inch beyond edges of baking pan. Fold dough edges under even with the edge of the pan; crimp edges as desired and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Unwrap the smaller dough rectangle. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¹⁄₈ inch thick. Using cookie cutters or a paper pattern, cut dough into leaf shapes. Place on a small baking sheet. If desired, press indentations into each dough leaf to form midrib and veins.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush pastry leaves and edges of chilled crust with Demerara sugar.
  • Prick bottom of crust with fork. Bake dough leaves for 7 to 11 minutes and crust for 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, for filling, in a large saucepan, stir together cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom. Stir in water until cornstarch dissolves. Stir in fruit spread until combined. Add 6 cups blueberries; cook over medium heat until fruit spread is melted and sauce is thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat; gently stir in remaining 2 cups blueberries, raspberries and blackberries; cool slightly. Spoon berry mixture into baked crust; cool completely.
  • To serve, sprinkle pie with orange zest. Arrange pastry leaves on top. Serve topped with whipped cream.
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