Five Fall Desserts That Don’t Involve Pumpkin Spice

Hey, no shame to anyone who lives for the day pumpkin spice is finally available each year, but we also know some autumn lovers aren’t fans of the classic fall flavor, and that’s okay. Here are five fall desserts without it!

Apple Braid

It doesn’t get easier than frozen puff pastry and canned apple pie filling. This recipe from Tornadough Alli only takes 30 minutes, but your guests don’t have to know that! This dish is best served warm and gooey.


  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed per directions on the box
  • 8 oz apple pie filling
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of water
  • 2 tsp coarse sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. On a parchment-lined sheet tray, unfold the puff pastry sheet.
  2. Spread apple pie filling down the center of the pastry between the two lines. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top.
  3. Make 8 diagonal cuts facing the bottom of the pastry on each side of the filling. Cut off the bottom and top parts of the pastry flaps, leaving the center pieces intact. Fold the top over the filling, then alternating sides, lay the pastry pieces on top of each other to mimic a braid. When you get to the bottom, before the last two braid sections on each side, fold the bottom part of the pastry over the filling. Continue with the last two braided sections.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk egg with a splash of water to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash all over the pastry. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top. Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve

Maple Cinnamon Baked Pears

Snuggle up with a bowl of warm, sweet pears covered in cozy spices, maple syrup, and toasted pecans. Not only will these treats taste incredible, but your home will smell amazing as they bake. We recommend eating them fresh from the oven, topped with vanilla ice cream and a caramel drizzle. Check out this recipe from Eating by Elaine.


  • Coconut oil or avocado oil for greasing the pan
  • 2 ripe pears
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a cast-iron skillet with coconut or avocado oil.
  2. If desired, peel pears. Slice each pear in half vertically through the stem. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds. You can leave the stems on for presentation if desired. Set aside.
  3. In a small glass, whisk together maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract. Lightly brush all parts of each pear half with the mixture.
  4. Place pears cut-side down in the greased skillet. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Use tongs to flip the pears so the cut side faces up. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and drizzle any leftover maple glaze on top. Serve warm with vanilla yogurt or ice cream. Top with chopped candied pecans or cinnamon-vanilla granola. Serve with coconut whipped cream if desired.

Maple Butter Bars

Think shortbread bars with a thick, creamy topping and a decadent maple flavor in every bite. Drooling yet? Check out this recipe from Inspired by Charm.


  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 1½ packages (12 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp maple extract
  • 20 cinnamon sugar pie crust cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray a 9-by-13 pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together butter, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until evenly combined. Using your hands, press this mixture into your prepared pan.
  4. With a mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, eggs, maple syrup, and maple extract. Beat until smooth. Pour this mixture over the base layer in the pan.
  5. Bake 50-55 minutes or until the edges start to brown and the center is set but still slightly jiggly.
  6. Optional: Once removed from the oven, top with cinnamon sugar pie crust cookies.
  7. Allow the bars to cool completely. Slice into 20 small rectangles.
  8. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Chai Spiced Rice Krispie Treats

Take the ease of preparing Rice Krispies treats and combine it with the satisfying crunch. These chai-spiced treats from Cooking Therapy are perfect for curling up on a rainy fall day.


  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground star anise
  • 1 Tbsp Earl Grey tea powdered
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 10 oz marshmallows


  1. Line a 9-by-9 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, star anise, and Earl Grey tea to a spice grinder or food processor. Pulse to break down spices into powder. Set aside.
  3. Add Rice Krispies cereal to a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Melt butter over medium heat. Add chai spice mixture and marshmallows. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
  5. Pour chai spice marshmallow mixture over the Rice Krispies cereal. Mix until cereal is well-coated.
  6. Spoon Rice Krispie treats into the prepared baking dish and press down with a spatula to distribute them evenly.
  7. Set aside and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Snickerdoodle Bread

This recipe from Lil Luna is just like the cookie, except the cinnamon sugar topping is crunchy, and the interior is buttery and thick. Make one big loaf or divide your batter into mini loaves.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups + 3 Tbsp sugar divided
  • 3½ tsp ground cinnamon divided
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 (10 oz) package Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two large (5-by-9-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter, 2 cups sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, and salt until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Add cinnamon chips and stir into batter. Set aside.
  5. Spoon batter evenly into the prepared loaf pans.
  6. Mix the remaining 3 Tbsp of sugar and 1½ tsp of cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over the batter in each loaf pan.
  7. Tent pans with foil and bake 40-45 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean). Let cool before removing from pan and slicing.
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