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10 Fall Apple Recipes (and Pear!) to Sweeten the Season

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Fall in love with apples.

Fall means apple and pear season. This autumn, fill your house with sweetness with these easy, excellent fall apple recipes and pear desserts. From simple homemade applesauce to fall desserts like apple crisp, pie, spice cake and more, you’ll be inspired to make the best of these fall fruits.

best fall apple recipes

Fall Apple Recipes to Sweeten the Season

Some think of fall as prime pumpkin spice season. But me? I am apples all the way. Apples and pears are the perfect fall food — especially when baked into warming, cozy baked goods like apple pie, apple cakes, apple crisp, pear cake, and more.

Below, enjoy these best fall pear and apple recipes to sweeten the season and answer the question of what to do with lots of apples.

1. Caramel Apple Pie

This homemade apple pie recipe, made with brown sugar, cinnamon, a good amount of tart apples, and an all-butter pie crust, makes the best classic apple pie you’ll ever have. This fall apple recipe takes you step by step.

caramel apple pie recipe

2. Apple Crisp With Oatmeal Topping

This deep-dish easy apple crisp recipe with oats and brown sugar streusel topping (walnuts or pecans optional), has all the satisfaction of a homemade apple pie, in half the time and work. This apple crumble is one of the best apple dessert recipes you’ll ever make, especially topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

easy apple crisp with oat streusel topping
Finished crisp, with golden-brown topping and soft, caramelized apples.

3. Jewish Apple Cake

Of all the desserts I can make as a former pastry chef, this simple Jewish apple cake recipe baked in a tube pan remains at the very top of my rotation: a family recipe that’s requested often, devoured always. This is an all-time great cinnamon apple recipe for fall.

jewish apple cake slices

4. Apple Spice Cake

Turn that oven on. This fall apple spice cake recipe makes a big layer cake that’s moist and full of fall spices, plus “secret” ingredients to make it stand out from all the rest.

Apple Spice Layer Cake Recipe

5. Mulled Hot Apple Cider

Sometimes sweet apple treats come in liquid form. And a warm mug of mulled apple cider is the perfect fall drink to celebrate fall.

mulled hot apple cider recipe

6. A Simple Pear Cake

This easy pear dessert is a true autumn baking standout: ripe pears plus easy cake batter, kissed with cinnamon for a delicious flavor and moist, tender texture.

slice of fresh pear cake on dish
Look at those chunks of pear!

7. French Apple Custard Tart (Tarte Normande)

This classic French apple custard tart recipe (tarte Normande) offers all the deliciousness of apple pie with the classy satisfaction of a silky French custard tart piled with apple slices. This is the elegant apple dessert, finished with a shiny apricot glaze, is the new recipe you’ve been waiting for.

Classic French Apple Custard Tart slice

8. Cranberry Apple Thanksgiving Cake

The best apple recipes don’t have to mean apple pies and cobblers. True, pie often takes center stage at Thanksgiving, but this easy Thanksgiving dessert makes a case for cake. This apple dessert recipe bakes up moist and sweet, and loaded with chunky apples, cranberries, and all the right spices.

thanksgiving cake recipe

9. Homemade Applesauce

Applesauce may not count as a traditional apple dessert, but this sweet and simple recipe — made without any added sugar — tastes great and makes a simple and healthful sweet treat all on its own, or added to ice cream, yogurt, or even oatmeal.

homemade unsweetened applesauce recipe

Bonus: The Best Apples for Baking Pies and Cakes in Fall

As long as you’re baking with apples this fall, make sure you’re baking with the best ones! This article tells you all about the best (and worst) apples for baking pies, crisps, cakes, and more, including Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, and more.

diced honeycrisp apples for no sugar applesauce

apple spice cake recipe

Moist Apple Spice Cake

A big, bold apple spice layer cake recipe made with rye flour, baking spices, and orange zest for extra depth and flavor. This cake recipe can be easily halved, and keeps for several days.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords:: apple cake, christmas desserts, fall baking, layer cake, spice cake
Servings: 2 9" layers or 24 - 28 cupcakes
Author: Adapted from Monica OConnell


  • 6 or 7 (900 grams) medium-sized apples such as Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Granny Smith apples
  • 3 cups (400 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (200 grams) rye flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mace (nutmeg is the best substitute)
  • 1 1/3 cups (280 grams) sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups (280 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups (500 ml) olive oil
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (1 teaspoon vanilla extract works, too)
  • 4 large eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease two 9" cake pans and line the cake pan bases with parchment paper.
  • Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples and lightly pulse them in a food processor. The apples should look grated or in very small pieces. Alternatively, you can peel and grate the apples on the wide grate of a box grater.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Put the sugars, olive oil, orange zest, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix on medium speed until lightened and very smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined.
  • Stir in the apples and mix just until the batter is smooth and even.
  • Divide the cake batter between the cake pans and bake for 45 to 55 minutes until done. The cake will be done with the centers spring back and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean with a few crumbs, moist but not wet.
  • Let the cake cool in the cake pans on wire cooling racks for about 20 minutes or until cool enough to touch with your bare hands. Run a knife or small offset spatula around the edges of the cake pan, then turn the cake layers out onto the wire rack to finish cooling.
    PRO TIP: Why not just let the cakes cool in the cake pans? Two reasons. First, the cakes will be harder to remove once cool. Second, keeping the cakes in the cake pan will produce condensation, making the cakes a bit gummy.
  • Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack before layering with buttercream. This cake could also be served on its own as a single layer (freeze the other one) with a simple dusting of confectioner's sugar.


This apple spice cake keeps well at room temperature for up to three days. I never refrigerate cakes; the humidity tends to dry them out.
To freeze, wrap each fully-cooled cake layer separately in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Defrost, unwrapped, at room temperature.
The best apples for baking apple cake are Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Macintosh, and Granny Smith apples. Choose any apple that is firm and crisp, with a good balance of sweet and tart flavors.

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