Fall Desserts That Aren't Pumpkin or Apple

Because variety is the spice of life.

October 01, 2020
By: Katherine Lok

Maple Buttermilk Tart

Photo by: Matt Armedariz ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armedariz, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Fall flavors are back in season, and while pumpkin and apple may be everyone's favorites when it comes to desserts, that doesn't mean they should get all the glory. Whether you're itching for something different or not a fan of either flavor (or perhaps allergic), there are plenty of other seasonal flavors that deserve to be the stars of your festive spreads this year. Featuring naturally sweet ingredients like maple and sweet potato and warm spices like cinnamon and ginger, these delicious fall desserts don't have one bit of pumpkin or apple.

Maple

Maple syrup often gets lost in the mix when treated as a substitute for sugar in a recipe, but this Maple Buttermilk Tart truly shines by using the more concentrated flavor of maple sugar. A cornmeal crust and buttermilk filling give this tangy tart a wonderful contrast in textures.

This Maple-Walnut Cheesecake packs double the flavor by using both maple extract and maple syrup, though it doesn't overpower the cheesecake; instead it provides the perfect complement to the walnut and graham cracker crust.

Whole Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Whole Pecan Pie

Photo by: Matt Armedariz ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armedariz, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Pecan

There's something so comforting about a warm slice of pie, and Food Network Kitchen's Pecan Pie hits all the right notes with plenty of nutty toasted pecans, hints of bourbon and vanilla, and a simple crust that can be worked by hand or in a food processor.

Sweet Potato

Trisha Yearwood's Sweet Potato Pie is a Southern classic that allows for some store-bought shortcuts like canned sweet potatoes and the pie shell, though you can opt to go the extra mile and make everything from scratch. Either way, it's worth making!

Kardea Brown's Mini Sweet Potato Pies are the perfect solution to not sharing dessert. Her addition of pineapple in the filling and as part of a Pecan Pineapple Topping gives these mini pies an extra-sweet and unique twist.

Warm Spices

Ina Garten's Carrot Cake with Ginger Mascarpone Frosting is not your average carrot cake. The addition of crystallized ginger in the frosting adds plenty of heat and pairs well with the cooling mascarpone and cream cheeses, while the ground cinnamon in the cake adds warmth throughout.

Trisha Yearwood's Spice Cake with Lemon Sauce is a great make-ahead dessert that's perfect for any holiday spread. The addition of sour cream keeps the cake nice and tender, and the combination of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg will have your kitchen smelling like fall.

Cranberry

Molly Yeh's Cranberry Stuffed Cupcakes with Cranberry Cream Cheese Frosting are filled with cranberry flavor throughout and include some unexpected ingredients, like corn kernels, coconut oil and rosemary sprigs for decoration.

For a more rustic presentation that also packs the tartness of cranberries, try Food Network Kitchen's Cranberry-Pear Crisp that calls for both fresh and dried cranberries. The assembly of the cranberry and pear filling and the oat and pecan topping takes no time at all, and all the cooking is done in the oven.

Related Content:

Next Up

Easy, Healthy Apple Desserts to Make Before Fall's Over

Use up those extra apples to make something sweet.

9 Peachy-Keen Recipes (That Aren’t Dessert)

Get the most out of summer with these peachy-keen recipes.

Pumpkin-Shaped Pumpkin Bread Is Your Fall Weekend Project

It doesn’t get cozier (or cuter!) than this.

5 Pumpkin-Centric Dishes to Make This Fall

Check out Food Network's top-five pumpkin recipes to find inspired ideas for using this fall ingredient in lunch, dinner and dessert dishes.

10 Savory Ways to Use Pumpkin This Fall

There's more to pumpkin than pie and lattes.

6 Valentine’s Day Desserts for People Who Just Aren’t That Into Chocolate

If you don't click with the classic Valentine's Day flavor, aim for a fruity pink and red dessert instead.

7 Essential Apple Gadgets You Need This Fall

These tools make it easy to peel, core and slice your fruit — and more!

These Pumpkin-Shaped Serving Dishes Are Perfect for Fall

Your fall soups, stews and pot roasts just got a little more festive!

Fall Is Officially Here: Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes Return August 30

There’s also a new Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato on the menu, and we got an advance taste.

Peaches Aren’t the Only Fruit You Can Grill — and These 5 Desserts Prove It

Give everything from berries to mango a major flavor upgrade.