Move Over Pumpkin — Caramel Is the Real Hero of Fall Flavor

There's so much more to caramel than dipped apples.

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If you’ve had your fair share of pumpkin spice treats this fall, but still find yourself craving a cozy seasonal bite, consider this your friendly PSA on caramel. Rich, gooey and oh-so-yummy, caramel is the perfect flavor to get you through the rest of October and well into the crisper days of November. Not only does it go great with juicy apples, adding a drizzle of it to everything from chocolatey brownies to salty pretzels is sure to get everyone wanting a second bite. Here are some of our favorite caramel flavored treats to try this week.

You’ve probably seen your fair share of these towering crepe cakes all over Instagram and Pinterest. Thanks to Claire Thomas, you can now make your very own right at home. And trust us, you’ll want to make it over and over again. Though you can easily do whatever flavor filling you want, we love Claire’s idea of using alternating layers of freshly made salted caramel sauce, roasted apple puree and creamy mascarpone cheese. It’s honestly everything you love about sweater weather combined into one dreamy and stunning dessert.

Ree Drummond's Individual Caramel Cakes, as seen on The Pioneer Woman.

Photo by: Kate Mathis

Kate Mathis

Kids won’t be able to resist these adorably portioned caramel cakes from Ree Drummond, and honestly, you probably won’t be able to either. Each individually sized cake contains cozy notes of allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg and is topped with a gooey caramel icing to give even the smallest of dinner guests a touch of indulgence with each and every bite. Cleaning up is also a complete breeze thanks to the mini skillets you’ll bake your cakes in, so go ahead and let the kids eat theirs in front of the TV — we won’t tell.

Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels

Though we love a glossy caramel dipped apple as much as the next person, we’ll be the first ones to admit that sometimes they’re just a bit too sweet for our liking. These fluffy pretzels are a delicious way to pay homage to that traditional flavor pairing without being even a little bit over-the-top. Each doughy pretzel is filled with tart chunks of Granny Smith apple and topped with a homemade caramel glaze to give you an irresistible sweet-meets-salty snack that pairs perfectly with a kid-friendly cup of warm apple cider or adult-friendly hot toddy.

Food Network Kitchen’s Salted Caramel Snickerdoodle Thumbprint.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Though snickerdoodles are often thought of as a Christmas cookie, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be baking them right this second. This delectable version has all the signature notes of the beloved classic including cinnamon and sugar, but a generous dollop of ooey gooey salted caramel sauce aims it up tenfold.

Eddie Jackson's Goey Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownie recipe shot for Food Network, Game-Day Playbook Season 300.

Photo by: Lucy Schaeffer

Lucy Schaeffer

“I want these brownies to be extra, extra, extra gooey,” Eddie Jackson says about this crowd-pleasing recipe. And gooey is exactly what you’ll get. To start, Eddie combines two boxes of store-bought brownie mix with vegetable oil and eggs. He then adds in crushed pretzels and a pinch of cayenne pepper to add a bit of crunch and heat to every single morsel. Luscious drizzles of handmade caramel-vanilla sauce and some dashes of coarse sea salt finish it off, leaving you with a chocolatey creation unlike any you’ve ever had before. It’s definitely a win in our book.

Commissioned   Photographer

Commissioned Photographer

Photo by: Stacy Howell

Stacy Howell

If you’ve never enjoyed banana and caramel together before, allow us to introduce you to your new favorite way to eat banana pudding courtesy of Kardea Brown. To make the quick and stress-free caramel sauce that appears in between her cookie and pudding layers, Kardea combines caramel candies with half and half and melts it down. You’ll also want to make sure you place both your beaters and your mixing bowl in the refrigerator to chill before making your whipped cream — Kardea says that’s the secret behind getting it ultra-fluffy and stable.

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