12 Apple Desserts to Enjoy this Fall

Apples aren't just for pie. They're also for crisps and crostatas. They are for grating and adding to a bundt cake, too! We've got 12 of our favorite ways to enjoy apples this fall.

Apple picking is an annual ritual in my family. I take the boys picking every year and thankfully, since apples are a cold storage crop, they keep well in the fridge if I store them properly.

That means you’ve got apples for pie, cake, crisp, sauce, tarts, and so forth. For days and days.


Although I think there are some general guidelines that are useful, people often worry a bit more than I think is necessary about which apples are good for which particular dessert. You’ll notice that many of the recipes in this round-up specifically call for using a variety that will provide a more complex flavor. I can get behind that!

Of course, certain apples are harder (such as Granny Smith) or softer than others (McIntosh), and that is worth considering when making an apple dessert. For example, you’d want a more tender apple for something like applesauce, while something firmer and more tart holds up better in apple pie.

Paleo and Gluten-Free Apple Tart

Photo by Sabrina Modelle

But there’s a wide gamut of flavors and textures you can choose from. I like to use my favorites from a local orchard (Honeycrisp, Evercrisp, Pink Lady, and Fuji) all of which are crispy and have a good balance of sweet and tart.

But in general, I like to tell people in recipes or in cooking classes (when I teach them) that whatever apple you like to eat out of hand is worth considering for a baking project.


You want to keep apples in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Some people like to keep apples on the countertop—and that’s certainly fine if you want a visual reminder to eat them—but if you’re looking to keep them for anything longer than a few days, refrigeration is your friend.

What are your favorite apple desserts to make this time of year?

mile high apple pie on serving plate

Everyone should have a recipe like this in their repertoire for the simple presentation factor alone—but the taste, of course, delivers.

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Apple Cobbler hot from oven

Want something with nice puffs of dough but don’t want to make a crust? Cobbler is the answer to your apple dessert prayers.

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How to Make Caramel Apples caramel apples finished product

The sticky-sweet appeal of these treats is eternal. Here’s an easy way to make them with your own caramel, from scratch.

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Applesauce cake, frosted and with a piece removed.

This is one of those simple-looking cakes that may not initially seem all that interesting, but the applesauce and the array of fall spices make it hard to resist once it's out of the oven.

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Apple Crostata served with whipped cream

Crostata is just a fancy word for a rustic tart! Use a simple butter crust or your favorite store-bought crust. A mix of apples makes for a more complex taste.

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Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

I suppose this treat gets its name from the fact that you can pull pieces off this bundt-like cake, as though you were a monkey eating with your fingers. Whatever the case, layers of fresh apples are nestled into this bread and drizzled with an apple cider caramel.

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Paleo and Gluten-Free Apple Tart

Never fear. You have the skills to make these apples look like an edible flower. Plus, it’s gluten free, too!

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Best Fresh Apple bundt cake

Ooh, here’s something interesting. Fresh apples, grated coconut, and walnuts or pecans, all in one cake. Mix up the apple types so you’ve got a more complex taste.

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Baked Apples

Core ‘em and fill ‘em with pecans, raisins, and brown sugar. What could be bad about that?

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Apple Upside Down Cake

Yes, it’s like an apple version of the beloved upside down pineapple cake, but this one is made with caramel sauce and a cornmeal batter.

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Apple crisp recipe topped with vanilla ice cream.

Every fall fruit deserves a crisp, and this is so easy that you can make it after work and have it ready for dessert. Just add vanilla ice cream.

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Apple Slab Pie

Turn a typical pie into a rectangle, layer the crust on top, and you’ve got a pie that can serve a crowd with a high crust-to-filling ratio. Bonus!

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Carrie Havranek

Carrie Havranek is a former Associate Editor of Simply Recipes and the author of the cookbook Tasting Pennsylvania (2019). She lives in Easton, Pennsylvania and goes out of her way for farmers' markets, new ingredients, yoga, and walks in nature.

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No Image12 Apple Desserts to Enjoy this Fall

  1. Von

    All of these recipes sound yummy and I love that you make these from scratch as we in Australia don’t have ready to put in the oven straight from the freezer ( I wish we did) I remember how much more fun it was to get these ready to bake treats when I lived there for 3 years, it would make life in the kitchen a little bit easier. so I have printed off quite a few and can’t wait to make them .thank you again or these great recipes. We have just started spring over here, and nothing beats the smell of apples and spices cooking.

  2. Lynda

    My family all like Apples, but my favorite fruit is PEARS.
    Do you have any Pear recipes!

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Helen

    Will try these, we love apples.

  4. Sandra

    Thank you….I am so ready for Fall and your apple recipes!

  5. Linda

    Thank you ..They all sound amazing..

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