33 Vintage Fall Desserts Just Like Grandma Used to Make
When the leaves change color and the air gets crisper, all we want to do is settle in with a cozy treat and a cup of coffee. These recipes are healthy takes on the autumn classics we love, from custardy pumpkin pies to apple crisps and seasonal cakes. Recipes like our Cinnamon Swirl Apple Pie and Sweet Potato Pie with Cream Cheese Swirl are delicious desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth every time.
Sweet Potato Pie with Cream Cheese Swirl
This creamy sweet potato pie recipe is seasoned like a pumpkin pie with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg and gets nice ginger flavor from the gingersnap crust. For the best results, roast sweet potatoes in the oven; in a pinch, microwave them instead.
These healthy apple cookies made with oats, shredded apples and brown sugar make snack time enjoyable for everybody.
Deep-Dish Apple Pie
With all that delicious fruit an apple pie should be healthy, but the truth is a slice can have as much as 750 calories and 30 grams of fat. For the most part, the culprit is the crust. We use whole-wheat pastry flour to add fiber and lower the saturated fat by replacing some of the butter with canola oil. The brown sugar-sweetened filling in this pie is made with two kinds of apples for the perfect balance. A slice has half the calories of a typical version and only 10 grams of fat--sweet!
Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie
While pumpkin pie deserves respect as a Thanksgiving icon, it's fun to shake up tradition. Surprise your family and friends with a frozen pie this year--it just might become one of their holiday favorites. No need to let them know how easy it is.
Cider-Sweetened Apple Pie
Reducing already-sweet apple cider into a syrup adds concentrated flavor to this pie and sweetens it with less than half the added sugar of a typical apple pie recipe.
Cinnamon Swirl Apple Pie
Instead of topping your apple pie with a full crust, cover the dough in cinnamon sugar, roll it up and slice it like cinnamon rolls to make beautiful cinnamon swirls to top the pie. The fragrant cinnamon bun-like topping makes homemade apple pie even more special!
Phyllo-Wrapped Apple Dumplings with Apple Cider Sauce
In this apple dumpling dessert recipe, apples are sprinkled with raisins, brown sugar and spice then wrapped in lightly buttered phyllo dough before being baked into a gorgeous parcel. For the sauce, apple cider is reduced to create a sensational accompaniment for these crispy apple dumplings.
Baked Cinnamon Apple Slices
These baked cinnamon apple slices have just the right level of tenderness and bite and a gooey apple caramel that forms at the bottom of the pan. Enjoy this healthy dessert spooned over ice cream, with biscuits or served over yogurt—the options with these are endless!
Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings
These old-fashioned apple dumplings are a comforting dessert that will remind you of something your grandmother would make Although the dough is healthier, thanks to whole-wheat flour, the pastry still comes out flaky and tender like a traditional dough would. The apples are the perfect texture and melt in your mouth, and the cream-yogurt mixture is the element that completes this dessert. Be sure to buy smaller apples; a bag of snacking apples--like the ones you would buy for your kids--are the perfect size for this recipe.
Pumpkin Roll Cake with Pecan-Cream Cheese Filling
Many pumpkin roll cakes have the starring ingredient only in the cake, which is a missed opportunity to enjoy all the flavor, plus you end up with leftover canned puree sitting in your fridge. Here, the remaining pumpkin is whipped with cream cheese, pecans and crystallized ginger for a tangy filling.
Cranberry Buttermilk Pie
This custard filling is what takes this buttermilk pie recipe to the next level. It tastes like a panna cotta with a bit of attitude from the tang of the buttermilk and a generous sprinkling of cranberries on top.
Maple Pecan Tart with Dried Cherries
This pecan tart gets added tang from dried cherries. Instead of corn syrup, which is found in most pecan pie recipes, we've opted for maple syrup. If you can find it, choose dark amber or grade B, because it has the richest maple flavor. The crust, made with heart-healthy pecans and canola oil, couldn't be easier to whip together. Just blend it in the food processor and pat it into your tart pan.
Holiday Pumpkin Pie
This lighter pumpkin pie has the rich, subtle spices of the classic and a delicate, faintly sweet crust.
Carrot Cake with Candied Carrot Curls
Our 30th anniversary deserved a cake, and what cake better represents EatingWell than one with vegetables? While many homemade carrot cakes include pineapple in the batter, we made a jammy filling with it instead to tuck between the layers.
Pumpkin Dump Cake
This pudding-like pumpkin cake has a luscious cream cheese swirl amid the spiced pumpkin layer. Organic cake mix is "dumped" on top, then the cake is smothered with butter. Once baked and cooled, the mix forms a sweet and crispy topping.
Apple Pie Cake
This easy apple pie cake, with a layer of tender apples cooked with brown sugar and cinnamon and topped with a crunchy oat streusel, is perfect as a fall dessert, or for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea.
Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
The basic recipe for this cake is very versatile and can be made with apples, pears, peaches or any full-flavored, slightly acidic fruit. The cake is best served warm. (Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.)
Slow-Cooker Apple Crisp
Let your Crock-Pot do the work for this easy slow-cooker apple crisp. It tastes just like a classic apple crisp, with the apple combination adding a sweet and tart balance in each bite. It's sure to become a new fall favorite.
Spiced Apple Bread Pudding
This silky apple dessert recipe--a spiced apple bread pudding made with apple cider in place of the usual custard--gets a double hit of apple flavor from both the cider and plenty of sliced tart apples. Mace, the lacy red spice that coats the nutmeg fruit, adds a particularly lovely floral note, but you can substitute nutmeg if you don't have any mace on hand.
Spiced Pumpkin Pie
This boldly spiced classic pumpkin pie recipe can be made with canned pumpkin puree, a roasted pie pumpkin or roasted squash. Make your own healthy pastry dough or look for a store-bought frozen pie crust without any partially hydrogenated oils.
Give classic pecan pie a healthy makeover--this recipe replaces some of the corn syrup and uses a whole-wheat flour crust for a delicious dessert. Top with whipped cream to make it extra-special.
Lattice-Topped Apple Pie
Apple pie has never been so quick to put together. After tossing unpeeled apples and spices in a baking dish, you'll assemble a quick lattice from pastry strips. This lattice topping is not woven like a traditional one--it takes less time to assemble this way but is just as eye catching!
Apple-Crisp-Stuffed Baked Apples
This apple dessert marries the best parts of apple crisp with a baked apple to make an adorable and tasty sweet treat. Cooking an apple crisp inside an apple is a wonderful treat in summer with a scoop of ice cream, or in fall after an apple-picking trip.
Pumpkin Tart with Pecan-Shortbread Crust
A pleasant tang, courtesy of Greek yogurt in the filling, and a mascarpone cheese whipped cream topping take this healthy pumpkin dessert recipe above and beyond classic pumpkin pie.
Patti LaBelle's Free-Form Apple Tart
It's no secret that one of Patti LaBelle's favorite places to be is in the kitchen. We love her Free-Form Apple tart, which uses light sour cream and just a little butter to keep calories in check. Anyone can make it--the best part about this recipe is that its beauty comes from imperfection.
Cranberry Bread Pudding
This delicious cranberry pudding recipe is diabetic-friendly.
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potatoes make a mouthwatering, creamy custard for the filling in this lightened-up pie with an easy gluten-free cookie crust. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert.
5-Layer Homemade Pecan Pie
The "magic" ingredient in the filling of this chocolate-bourbon pecan pie (and many gooey baked goods) is sweetened condensed milk, which delivers that craveable texture. This pecan pie recipe without corn syrup is a wonderful Thanksgiving dessert. A little bourbon adds its complex, oak-aged perfume to the sweet mix but, if you prefer, vanilla extract tastes great too.
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel
This riff on the Thanksgiving favorite combines a traditional pumpkin pie filling with swirls of sweetened cream cheese. And since it's only Thanksgiving once a year, we've topped it all off with a buttery spiced-pecan topping. This easy pie recipe will please anyone at your table this holiday.
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie
Some sweet potato pies call for boiling these root vegetables, but here they're roasted to concentrate their flavor. This helps the earthiness come through, which we enhance with the nuttiness of browned butter. The overall effect is a sweet potato pie that's more complex and a little less sweet.
Sticky Toffee Pudding with Maple Sauce
This is a healthier version of the gooey-rich sticky toffee pudding recipe served in the winter at Joanne Chang's Asian restaurant Myers+Chang in Boston. Lightly sweetened with maple syrup, the cake is chock-full of rich, naturally sweet dates. Adapted from Baking with Less Sugar by Joanne Chang (Chronicle Books, 2015).
Our Best Traditional Pumpkin Pie
Get the classic creamy pumpkin taste but less saturated fat and sugar with this lightened-up recipe.
The aroma of baked apples filled with dried fruit and toasted nuts will brighten up any cold winter's day.