Even though it’s a high of 80 degrees today, the calendar says it’s the start of fall. And I’m itching to do a bit of baking. So, in no special order, here are a few of my perennial fall favorites. These are recipes that I go back to again and again every autumn.
1. Mom’s apple cake. Deb Perlman of Smitten Kitchen is right up there with Ina Garten in my book. And it’s because her recipes work. This apple cake is delish. It’s dense and moist. It’s also a pretty easy recipe, but you need to give yourself time to peel and core the apples.
Speaking of peeling apples… I love this heavy duty apple corer/peeler for fall baking & applesauce making.
Final note about Smitten Kitchen: If you’re baking for a crowd, Deb’s apple slab pie is also delicious. This recipe makes a half sheet pie and is so good.
2. And speaking of Ina, this crostata is amazing. In the fall I use apples, but she also has a version with peaches and berries. I’ve been making the apple version for years and it’s always a crowd pleaser.
I also love her apple crisp recipe, which I have been making for nearly 20 years. If you are only feeding a few people, cut the recipe in half because it’s made to serve a crowd!
You can serve either of these with ice cream, or homemade whipping cream, which is super easy to make in my Kitchen Aid. For that, I use very cold heavy whipping cream and whip it until it has stiff peaks. Then I add sugar (or powdered sugar) to taste, along with vanilla flavoring. The key to successful whipping cream is using very cold cream and a cold bowl for mixing. I sometimes throw my mixing bowl in the freezer for a couple minutes beforehand.
3. What would a fall recipe round-up be without pumpkin? For years I made a family pumpkin roll recipe, but then a friend brought these pumpkin bars to my house last year and I fell in love. The bars are so good and easy to make. No baking, filling and having to roll the sponge anymore! It’s one of those recipes that people always ask me for. I make it in a half sheet pan, and it also feeds a crowd. So good, that when it was served alongside pies at Thanksgiving, I chose it over pumpkin pie.
The one change I make to the recipe is that I use this banana bar frosting recipe instead of the one included in the original recipe.
4. These chocolate chip cookie bars via Martha Stewart. This is not exactly a fall recipe, but I tend to make it more in the fall and winter. It also feeds a crowd (are you sensing a theme here?). Quick note, it gets mixed reviews, but I think it may have something to do with the baking time. I bake it for half the time that the recipe calls for (more like 18-20 minutes).
Martha’s soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies are also a go-to recipe. I have tried others, but these are the best when I need something quick and uncomplicated. We host and feed a lot of people (including many college students), so good and simple is the name of the game for me.
So these are just a few of my stand-by fall favorites. What are some of yours? I’m always looking for some new recipes, so I would love to hear a few of your favorites!