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50+ Fall Desserts with a Perfect 5-Star Rating

Craving something sweet to celebrate the new season? These top-rated treats are perfect for fall. Find ideas featuring pumpkin, apple, cranberry and more.

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Purple-Ribbon Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Purple-Ribbon Pumpkin Cake

I belong to a Christmas village collectors' club and we all bring a potluck dish to our monthy meetings. The cake is always a hit. It's one of my family's favorite Thanksgiving desserts, too, and disappears before the pumpkin pie does. —Debby Powers, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

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Cranberry Pecan CookiesTaste of Home

Cranberry Pecan Cookies

These are so tasty and simple to prepare! Each delightful little cookie is loaded with cranberries, nuts and vanilla, giving them the taste of a treat that’s been slaved over. —Louise Hawkins, Lubbock, Texas

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Pear TartTaste of Home

Pear Tart

My sister-in-law brought this pretty pastry to dinner one night, and we all went back for seconds. It is truly scrumptious. —Kathryn Rogers, Suisun City, California

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Pumpkin Mousse in a PumpkinTaste of Home

Pumpkin Mousse in a Pumpkin

Rich and creamy, this mousse is a real showstopper when served in a hollowed-out pumpkin. The presentation is sure to impress. —Taste of Home Cooking School

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Sugar-Free Apple PieTaste of Home

Sugar-Free Apple Pie

This sugar-free pie is so delicious, you can't even detect the artificial sweetener in the filling. I always get rave reviews when I bring it to church potlucks. —Teresa Garlick, Glendale, Arizona

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Mocha Truffle CheesecakeTaste of Home

Mocha Truffle Cheesecake

I went through a phase when I couldn't get enough cheesecake or coffee, so I created this rich dessert. Its brownie-like crust and creamy mocha layer really hit the spot. It's ideal for get-togethers because it can be made in advance. —Shannon Dormady, Great Falls, Montana

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Butterscotch Pudding TorteTaste of Home

Butterscotch Pudding Torte

We wanted a butterscotch-flavored pudding dessert. After searching many cookbooks, I came up with this version. —Judith Kuehl, Merrill, Wisconsin

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Frosted Pumpkin Cranberry BarsTaste of Home

Frosted Pumpkin Cranberry Bars

With tangy dried cranberries tucked inside and a creamy brown butter frosting, these mildly spiced pumpkin bars are doubly delightful. It's a good thing the recipe makes lots, because once you taste one, you won't be able to resist going back for more! -Barbara Nowakowski, Mesa, Arizona

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Chocolate GingersnapsTaste of Home

Chocolate Gingersnaps

When my daughter, Jennifer, was 15 years old, she created this recipe as a way to combine two of her favorite flavors. They're great with a glass of milk. —Paula Zsiray, Logan, Utah

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Baked Apple SlicesTaste of Home

Baked Apple Slices

Nothing beats these tender baked apple slices over ice cream for satisfying harvest flavor. This old-fashioned treat gives a new twist to traditional baked apples. They are also excellent served over waffles or with ham. I make sure to save room for dessert! —Linda Gaido, New Brighton, Pennsylvania

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Date-Nut PinwheelsTaste of Home

Date-Nut Pinwheels

Pinwheel cookies with dates and walnuts are a family treasure. There are a few steps when prepping, so I sometimes freeze the dough and bake later. —Frieda Whiteley, Lisbon, Connecticut

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Pumpkin Pie CakeTaste of Home

Pumpkin Pie Cake

No one will guess this showstopper dessert with luscious cinnamon frosting starts with a mix! It's a year-round favorite. —Linda Murray, Allenstown, New Hampshire

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Apple Pear CakeTaste of Home

Apple Pear Cake

When my sister Catherine made her apple cake for me, I knew I needed the recipe. When I made it, I added some pears from the trees on our acreage. The resulting apple pear cake is so moist and tastes so good. Now every time I make it, people want my recipe. —Mary Ann Lees, Centreville, Alabama

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Cake & Berry Campfire CobblerTaste of Home

Cake & Berry Campfire Cobbler

This warm cobbler is one of our favorite ways to end a busy day of fishing, hiking, swimming or rafting. It's yummy with ice cream—and so easy to make! —June Dress, Boise, Idaho

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Walnut Pumpkin Cake RollTaste of Home

Walnut Pumpkin Cake Roll

This is one of my family's favorite dessert recipes, especially for holiday gatherings. —Mary Gecha, Center Rutland, Vermont

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Cinnamon-Raisin Bread PuddingTaste of Home

Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Pudding

This rich bread pudding recipe goes together in minutes. There’s plenty of old-fashioned flavor, so it’s sure to become a favorite! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana

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Cranberry-Apple Lattice PieTaste of Home

Cranberry-Apple Lattice Pie

Two favorite fall fruits bring out the best in each other — and rum works its own mellow magic. Few people pass up a piece of this pie. — Adri Barr Crocetti, Sherman Oaks, California

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Praline Pumpkin TorteTaste of Home

Praline Pumpkin Torte

Homemade pralines, big poufs of whipped cream and spiced cake make this torte decadent to the last bite. It's perfect for an autumn day. —Esther Sinn, Princeton, Illinois

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Snickers CookiesTaste of Home

Snickers Cookies

Though you wouldn't know by looking, you'll find a sweet surprise inside these Snickers cookies. My mother got this recipe from a fellow teacher at her school. It's a great way to dress up refrigerated cookie dough. —Kari Pease, Conconully, WA

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Sticky Toffee Rice Pudding with Caramel CreamTaste of Home

Sticky Toffee Rice Pudding with Caramel Cream

The once homely rice pudding gets the Cinderella treatment in this comforting dessert that delivers on the sticky toffee flavor. It has just the right amount of thickness for soaking up a hot caramel topping. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Sour Cream Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Sour Cream Pumpkin Cake

The nicely spiced streusel in the center of this cake is a marvelous surprise and complement to the cinnamony pumpkin cake. It's delicious for breakfast or dessert. —Elaine Holmberg, Norfolk, Nebraska

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Citrus Cranberry PieTaste of Home

Citrus Cranberry Pie

To showcase abundant fall cranberries, make this beautiful lattice-topped pie. A dollop of orange cream complements the slightly tart flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pumpkin Patch PieTaste of Home

Pumpkin Patch Pie

If you'd like to make pumpkin pie from a fresh pumpkin, here's and easy recipe that eliminates the guesswork. Use a pie pumpkin for maximum flavor.—Jane Van Deusen, Oneonta, New York

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Peanut Caramel Brownie BitesTaste of Home

Peanut Caramel Brownie Bites

With their multiple decadent layers, these brownies are my family's absolute favorite. —Ella Agans, Birch Tree, Missouri

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Pumpkin Pecan CustardTaste of Home

Pumpkin Pecan Custard

My family loves pumpkin pie flavor, but this is a delicious, creamy, healthier alternative, and we don’t miss the crust at all. It firms up as it cools. —Abby Booth, Coweta, Oklahoma

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Best Ever Bread PuddingTaste of Home

Best Ever Bread Pudding

The secret to incredible bread pudding with a soft middle and crisp edges starts with leftover dinner rolls. I picked up the rich brown sugar sauce recipe from my friend Kathryn Gartmann. A big drizzle of it takes this dessert over the top and really makes it the best bread pudding ever. —Maria Petrella, Taste of Home Prep Cook

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Sweet Potato Cheesecake BarsTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars

Your whole house will be filled with the aroma of pumpkin spice when you bake these wonderful sweet potato cheesecake bars. They look complicated but are so easy, you can whip up a batch anytime. —Nancy Whitford, Edwards, New York

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Apple Cornbread CrispTaste of Home

Apple Cornbread Crisp

With its hearty ingredients and quick prep time, this warm apple crisp makes a smart dessert for any fall night. It reminds me of the recipe my grandmother would serve after our big family seafood dinners. It's absolutely wonderful topped with ice cream. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

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Peanut Butter Popcorn BallsTaste of Home

Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

Friends and family are always happy to receive these tasty peanut butter popcorn balls. I love making them as well as eating them! —Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania

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Squash Custard PieTaste of Home

Squash Custard Pie

Acorn squash has been a favorite of mine since I was little and my mother baked it with sugar and cinnamon. This particular pie was something I improvised. We love pumpkin pie, but had fresh squash in excess. So I came up with this new variation! It's good to take to potlucks, to pie or cake walks at school, or to serve as a different dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas. —Mary Kelly, Hopland, California

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Caramel Pumpkin TiramisuTaste of Home

Caramel Pumpkin Tiramisu

I'm not fond of traditional tiramisu, so I used pumpkin and in place of coffee, bourbon, and it's absolutely fabulous. I always make extra sauce and eat it over vanilla ice cream. It's so good, I don't want to leave it alone! – Mary Filipiak, Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Creamy Apple Crumb PieTaste of Home

Creamy Apple Crumb Pie

I revised this classic apple pie recipe from a church cookbook. I knew it was a keeper when my mother-in-law asked for a copy. Linda Pawelski, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Honey Walnut DelightsTaste of Home

Honey Walnut Delights

Even after being frozen, these no-fail cookies stay moist and taste freshly baked. They are among my best holiday giveaway treats and are so easy to make. If you prefer, you can use other nut varieties, such as pecans or almonds. —Jessica Clemens, Wimbledon, North Dakota

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Nutella Hand PiesTaste of Home

Nutella Hand Pies

These pint-size Nutella hand pies made with puff pastry are too good to keep to yourself! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Chocolate Chunk Walnut BlondiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Chunk Walnut Blondies

Put a stack of these beauties out at a potluck and you'll find only crumbs on your platter when it's time to head home. Everyone will be asking who made those scrumptious blondies, so be sure to bring copies of the recipe! —Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor

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Chocolate Hazelnut GateauTaste of Home

Chocolate Hazelnut Gateau

Gateau (pronounced ga-toe) is the French word for any rich and fancy cake. I think you'll agree that this dense chocolate dessert fits the bill, with just the right amount of sweetness. —Michelle Krzmarzick, Torrance, California

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Maple-Glazed Apple PieTaste of Home

Maple-Glazed Apple Pie

Even though we've lived in Florida for 3 years, I still feel like a "Vermonter". My parents send us a bushel of Vermont apples each fall, and we try to visit in the spring to do some sugaring. —Patricia Putnam, Lakeland, Florida

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Easy Apple StrudelTaste of Home

Easy Apple Strudel

My family always loves it when I make this wonderful dessert. Old-fashioned strudel was too fattening and time-consuming, but this revised classic is just as good. It's best served warm from the oven. —Joanie Fuson, Indianapolis, Indiana

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Tillie's Ginger Crumb CakeTaste of Home

Tillie's Ginger Crumb Cake

This recipe goes back at least as far as my grandmother, who was born in the early 1900s. Our sons and I enjoy eating it in a bowl with milk poured on it—much to the dismay of my husband, who prefers it plain! —Kathy Nienow Clark, Byron, Michigan

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Dark Chocolate-Caramel Macchiato PieTaste of Home

Dark Chocolate-Caramel Macchiato Pie

One of my first entries in the National Pie Championship was this impressive pie with coffee flavor and cool chocolate curls on top. —Amy Mills, Sebring, Florida

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White Chocolate Pumpkin CheesecakeTaste of Home

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

Although my family enjoys all of the dishes I serve on Thanksgiving Day, it's this rich and creamy cheesecake they look forward to the most. — Joyce Schmidt, Lilburn, Georgia

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Caramel Creme BruleeTaste of Home

Caramel Creme Brulee

This recipe comes out perfect every time and it's always a crowd-pleaser! A torch works best to get the sugar caramelized while keeping the rest of the custard cool. You may want to use more sugar to create a thicker, more even crust on top. —Jenna Fleming, Lowville, New York

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Chocolate Chip & Pecan Meringue BarsTaste of Home

Chocolate Chip & Pecan Meringue Bars

I've had recipes for chocolate chip cookies and pecan meringues in my collection for a number of years—and I combined them to make these bars! They're a lovely addition to any holiday cookie tray. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

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Black Forest TartTaste of Home

Black Forest Tart

Cherry pie filling and a melted chocolate drizzle top a rich, fudgy cake made from chocolate cookie crumbs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Cherry Pear PieTaste of Home

Cherry Pear Pie

Two of my family's favorite fruits appear in this splendid pie with a nutty streusel topping. I like to serve slices with cherry-vanilla frozen yogurt.—Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Best Coconut Pecan CookiesTaste of Home

Best Coconut Pecan Cookies

I gave cookies to friends every year, and these are a favorite. Freeze the dough in logs, then slice and bake the crisp, buttery, coconut pecan cookies when you need them. —Betty Matthews, South Haven, Michigan

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Toffee-Pear Crisp Bread PuddingTaste of Home

Toffee-Pear Crisp Bread Pudding

My son loves pear crisp, but one night I was making bread pudding. He asked if I could make both. I compromised by combining two desserts into this one dish. It's absolutely fantastic! —Kurt Wait, Redwood City, California

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Cherry Hand PiesTaste of Home

Cherry Hand Pies

There's nothing better than a sweet, from-scratch delight like traditional cherry pie. These precious little hand pies always go fast when I sell them at my pie bakery! —Allison Cebulla, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Apple ComfortTaste of Home

Apple Comfort

Years ago, we were without electricity for nine days during an ice storm, but I was able run the slow cooker from our generator. The situation called for a treat, and this has been a favorite ever since.

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Frozen Pumpkin Mousse PieTaste of Home

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie

The fluffed filling in this mouthwatering pie forms beautiful peaks and is nutmeg-colored. Rich and creamy, this popular dessert tastes so good with its buttery graham cracker crust. —Sheila Bradshaw, Powell, Ohio

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Chocolate Beet CakeTaste of Home

Chocolate Beet Cake

The first time I baked this cake, my son loved its moistness, and he couldn't taste the beets.—Peggy Van Arsdale, Crosswicks, New Jersey

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Chocolate Cheesecake BarsTaste of Home

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

When you don't have time to bake a real cheesecake, reach for this easy recipe. An almond-flavored dough serves as both crust and topping for a soft fudgy filling. —Louise Good, Flemington, New Jersey

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Sweet Potato Cream Cheese BarsTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bars

If you're looking for something other than pumpkin, these sweet potato bars are a yummy alternative. Make them ahead—they're even better refrigerated overnight. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas

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Spiced Cranberry Crisp CakeTaste of Home

Spiced Cranberry Crisp Cake

This cake is a cross between a fruit crisp and a moist cake. We love the festive cranberry filling with its sweet-tangy flavor and the combination of soft cake, tender fruit and crunchy topping. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

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