Best Fall Desserts: Top 5 Seasonal Treats Most Recommended By Foodies

The aroma of delectable desserts emanates from many American kitchens in the fall. From pies, to cookies, to cake, autumn brings all types of tasty treats to fill up on. One of the favorite parts of all is indulging in all the warm and cozy creations while the temperatures begin to cool. Is your mouth watering yet? StudyFinds put together a list of the best fall desserts to try out as the leaves turn this season.

The fall season welcomes the classic flavors that come with it. But, can you only enjoy them once a year? A recent study says that might not be the case. Results show that many Americans choose fall flavors year-round. Study respondents’ overall favorite season is fall (32%), with 69 percent saying that time of year has the best seasonal flavors. Those in favor of having fall flavors available year-round add they indulge in pumpkin spice (43%) and peppermint (38%) all the time. Meanwhile, season-exclusive folks believe flavors like cinnamon (48%) and maple (30%) are better off in the fall.

Moreover, 74 percent of people who enjoy seasonal traditions year-round say they also enjoy doing fall activities outside of the actual season. These activities include cooking seasonal foods (43%), spending time with family and friends (41%), and going to a pumpkin patch (29%). Sixty-one percent believe pumpkin spice is an essential part of fall. Some of the strangest pumpkin-flavored things people have tried include beer, deodorant, soda, coffee, and pasta sauce.

Craving something sweet to ring in the season? StudyFinds has put together this appetizing list of the top five best fall desserts to bake or buy this year. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Fall Desserts, According to Culinary Experts

1. Pumpkin Pie

In a shock to no one, pumpkin pie tops the list as the best fall dessert. “This traditional pumpkin pie recipe from Gourmet keeps things simple: a blind-baked crust, an easy pumpkin filling, and just the right balance of spices,” writes Epicurious. “Be sure to use pure pumpkin purée here, not premade pie filling, which is already seasoned with pumpkin spice.”

Someone cutting a pumpkin pie
Someone cutting a pumpkin pie (Photo by Timothy Wolff on Unsplash)

“A classic pumpkin pie is a standard at Thanksgiving dinner, but what to do when there are more diners than slices? Or what if you’re more of a crust-lover than filling?” asks Delish. “Enter these adorable mini pumpkin pies, which rethink the ratio of crust to filling and do it in a snack-able package.”

Want to try a different take on the pumpkin pie? Give this family recipe a try. “What sets the Brown Family’s pumpkin pie apart, and the reason it has hundreds of 5-star reviews, is the walnut streusel topping,” notes All Recipes. “While the topping is optional, many reviewers love to use it and serve the pie with whipped cream. ‘There aren’t enough stars for this pumpkin pie! Everyone raved about it! The streusel topping is incredible and the pie itself makes a great presentation,’ says reviewer Jillian.”

2. Pecan Pie Bars

The mouthwatering Pecan Pie Bars have a gooey caramel-like filling which will tingle your taste buds. “Southern Pecan Pie Bars with a soft crust and classic pecan pie filling come together to make one sweet, gooey, heavenly dessert that will be the highlight of your feast!” writes The Gracious Wife.

Caramelized pecans
Caramelized pecans (Photo by Deryn Macey on Unsplash)

“This easy-to-transport version of pecan pie is a potluck perfect dessert that makes 28 squares,” says Southern Living.

Give the Pecan Pie Bars a dollop of ice cream to make it even sweeter. “These tender and delicious pecan pie bars have an effortless press-in crust and a custard-like filling,” says Food & Wine. “Once the pecan halves are mixed into the filling, all you have to do is pour it into the prepared crust and bake. You can certainly enjoy these bars plain, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t hurt, either.”

3. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The chocolate chip cookie is a dessert staple, but kick it up a notch by adding pumpkin spice to it. “Adding pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice to chocolate chip cookie dough results in a heavenly pillow-like cookie with major autumn vibes. Yum!” writes Delish.

Pumpkin pie cookies
Pumpkin pie cookies (Photo by Angela pham on Unsplash)

“Snack on these crunchy munchies for the ultimate autumn treat,” notes Insanely Good Recipes. “These cookies are perfectly sweet, moist, and fluffy. And the pumpkin flavor is just outstanding! The best part? Every bite is loaded with chocolate chips. It’s everything you can ever ask for in a cookie.”

The best part about the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies? They’re soft and chewy. “Moist cakey cookies with real pumpkin and chocolate chips for a Fall twist on a classic that everyone loves,” says The Gracious Wife.

4. Cranberry Cake

Want a bit of Thanksgiving in your dessert? Give cranberry cake a try. “This moist cake smothered with rich cream cheese frosting makes any dinner festive. Every autumn, I go to a cranberry festival in Wisconsin and load up on fresh cranberries to freeze for year-round cooking,” writes Taste of Home.

Cranberry cake slice
Cranberry cake slice (Photo by Diliara Garifullina on Unsplash)

“You’ll often see fresh cranberries pop up in the grocery stores just before Thanksgiving, so it’s the perfect time to make this beautiful cranberry cake,” says The Pioneer Woman. “Extra sugared cranberries make for a sweet-tart topping!”

Want to mix your cranberry cake up a bit? Try a cranberry upside-down coffee cake. “This coffee cake looks just as good as it tastes with a cranberry and pecan layer on top of the sour cream-based cake,” notes All Recipes on their recipe. “‘This cake is very delicious, moist, and not to mention absolutely beautiful. The tartness of the cranberries the crunchiness of the nuts and the sweetness of the gooey topping complement each other extremely well,’ says home cook ggglitch.”

5. Pumpkin Roll

Rounding out the list is one more pumpkin dessert — the Pumpkin Roll! “Featuring the flavors of a classic fall combo, this pumpkin cinnamon roll is a definite show-stopper,” writes Insanely Good Recipes. “Aside from the taste, this pumpkin roll is also perfectly moist and tender. The cream cheese frosting makes it even more phenomenal. Plus, this dessert is also a cinch to make. The recipe even teaches you how to roll the cake easily and mess-free!”

Pumpkin roll
Pumpkin roll (Photo by Summerside Creative on Unsplash)

“Once your cake layer is out of the oven, it’s best to roll it within 5 minutes to prevent it from cracking,” notes Southern Living.

The Gracious Wife calls the Pumpkin Roll a “scrumptious crowd-pleasing Fall dessert!…Moist pumpkin cake swirled with sweet cream cheese frosting looks so pretty and tastes even better!”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Matt Higgins

Matt Higgins worked in national and local news for 15 years. He started out as an overnight production assistant at Fox News Radio in 2007 and ended in 2021 as the Digital Managing Editor at CBS Philadelphia. Following his news career, he spent one year in the automotive industry as a Digital Platforms Content Specialist contractor with Subaru of America and is currently a freelance writer and editor for StudyFinds. Matt believes in facts, science and Philadelphia sports teams crushing his soul.

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