It’s that season again… pumpkin spice everything! From lattes to muffins, candies, breads, pancakes, pasta, sauces, and everything in between. When I say everything… I mean everything. Can I be honest? Don’t hate me, but I’m not a pumpkin fan. Sure, I can take it in small doses here and there. I usually eat an obligatory slice of pumpkin pie during the fall, but really, I shy away from most things pumpkin. It just isn’t my thing.

But fall… Fall IS my thing! I love the colors, the smells, the crisp days. Breaking out my scarves and boots and all my comfy sweaters. I love it all!  I especially love all the sweet treats of the Fall Season.

How can I enjoy seasonal fall treats and not love pumpkin? Never fear! Just because I don’t love pumpkin doesn’t mean there aren’t some absolutely delicious fall recipes to enjoy. Here are my top 5 sweet fall recipes sans that (in my opinion) overdone pumpkin flavor.

Applesauce cake

  • 3 C flour
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 T nutmeg
  • 2 C applesauce
  • ½ lb butter
  • Chopped pecans optional

Mix the first 6 ingredients.  Heat applesauce and butter until butter melts.  Add to dry ingredients and mix well.  Add nuts (if using) and mix again.  Put batter into greased and floured tube or bundt pan.  Bake at 300 degrees for 1 ¼ hours.

*An absolute favorite for breakfast or dessert!

Pecan dainties

Let 3 oz cream cheese and ½ C butter soften. Blend together. Stir in 1 C flour. Chill dough for 1 hour. Shape into 2 dozen 1-inch balls. Place in greased muffin pan. Press dough against bottom and sides.

Filling:  Beat together 1 egg, ¾ C brown sugar, 1 T softened butter, 1 tsp vanilla, dash of salt. Add 1/3 to 2/3 C chopped pecans (I have used walnuts, too).

Divide mixture among the tarts. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until filling is set.  Cool and remove from pans.

*We make these EVERY fall!  These bite-size pecan pies are a wonderful afternoon treat or fabulous at potlucks. I almost always double the recipe!

Cranberry Clafloutis

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 C half-n-half
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 C fresh cranberries
  • 1 C walnuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter pie pan. Sprinkle with sugar to evenly coat; remove excess.  Beat eggs, add sugar, beat until smooth. Add flour and beat until smooth again.  Add half-n-half and salt and whisk until smooth.

Slice cranberries in half and chop nuts. Put cranberry/nut mixture in bottom of pie dish and pour better over it. Bake 20-30 minutes until nicely brown and knife is clean after inserting it. Cover with sifted powdered sugar if desired.

*This is a perfect Fall weekend breakfast idea!  My family loves it topped with vanilla Greek yogurt, too!

Apple cider doughnut cake

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • ¾ C apple cider
  • ¼ C water
  • ½ C applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 C cinnamon
  • ¼ C sugar
  • ¼ C melted butter
  • Apple Cider Glaze
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • ¼ C apple cider

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl beat the dry cake mix, apple cider, applesauce, water, and eggs. Add in the brown sugar and vanilla. Pour the mixture into a greased bundt pan. Place pan on center rack and bake for 45 minutes. Test with toothpick by sticking into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean it is ready. Remove from heat and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

While the cake is cooking, prepare the glaze by adding powdered sugar and ¼ C apple cider to a small bowl and whisk to desired consistency.  In a separate bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar.  Once the cake has cooled, brush the entire surface of the cake with melted butter.  Rub cinnamon sugar mixture until the whole cake is evenly coated.  Serve the cake with the apple cider glaze dipping sauce or feel free to drizzle over the cake.

*Ummm….doughnuts, cake, and apple cider!  What’s not to love?  A favorite of my kids!

Cranberry Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 C sugar
  • ¾ C butter, softened
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 C flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  With a mixer beat eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color; about 5-7 minutes.  The mixture should almost double in size.   The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step.  This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.  Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes.  Stir in the flour until just combined.  Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

Spread into buttered 9×13 pan.  Bake 40-50 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool completely before cutting into slices.

*This works for both Fall and the holidays!  It melts in your mouth!


I’m not a complete pumpkin hater, though… I do have a fall favorite that includes pumpkin. The cake below is delicious and I’ve yet to meet anyone who didn’t love it.

Pumpkin caramel sheet cake

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 C oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Frosting
  • 6 T butter
  • ½ C heavy cream
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 15x10x1 baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, sugar, and oil. Mix well. Add eggs and beat again.  Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until done. Cake should spring back when touched. Cool on rack.

While cake is cooking combine sugar, cream, and brown sugar in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and cool for 6 minutes.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well. Spread over cake. Let set and cut into pieces.

“Leaves and falling and Autumn is calling!” Cheers to the fall season and enjoying the sweet treats it brings! As for me… I’ll take fall… just hold the pumpkin, please!

fall pumpkin