15 Fabulous Fall Treats That Aren't a Mouthful of Pumpkin Spice

apple pound cake on a cake stand beside apples
Photo: foodpornographer

It's that time of year when it seems like anything flavored with pumpkin spice gets all the love and attention. But if you're just not feeling it, you'll be glad to have these alternative treats for your autumn enjoyment. You'll still taste all the best fall flavors — apples, pears, caramel, maple, nuts, and dark chocolate — without that overwhelming pumpkin spice vibe.

01 of 16

Almond and Pear Cake

cake topped with thin slices of pears and almond slivers
Buckwheat Queen

Almonds, pears, and a touch of amaretto liqueur make this tender cake an autumn standout. Kerry Rodgers raves, "Very simple and tasted great! Will definitely make this again."

02 of 16

Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crisp

Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crisp in a silver dish
Bridget Shirley

You're going to want to serve this crisp while it's warm from the oven, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

03 of 16

Chef John's Chili Chocolate Cookies

chocolate cookies on a cooling rack
Chef John

The merest pinch of cayenne pepper intensifies the chocolate in this boldly flavored cookie. Chef John shows you how to pull it all together in this video.

04 of 16

Pecan Cardamom Bar Cookies

stack of Pecan Cardamom Bar Cookies
House of Aqua

Cardamom is quickly gaining in popularity as a substitute for cinnamon. Not that there's anything wrong with cinnamon, but why not expand your taste horizons? Kari says, "Amazingly good. I love cardamom. Also had a great shortbread-type texture."

05 of 16

Apple Harvest Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze

apple pound cake on a cake stand beside apples

This easy-to-make apple and walnut Bundt cake drizzled with homemade caramel sauce is perfect for fall parties. Jenn says, "Absolutely delightful! I added 1 cup of chocolate chips as well. Worked wonderfully with the cinnamon."

06 of 16

Maple Pecan Shortbread Squares

plate of Maple Pecan Shortbread Squares

Smart tip: Toast the pecans before making this recipe to deepen their flavor. Reviewer jvoigt says, "Giving this five stars because even the people who don't normally eat dessert enjoyed this. Easier than pecan pie."

07 of 16

White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Dreams

two White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Dreams on a plate

These delectable cookies are going to go fast, so stash a few away just for yourself. Larrlach says, "This is the only cookie recipe I now use."

08 of 16

Fudge Walnut Brownies

plate of Fudge Walnut Brownies

How good are they really? Yoly says, "These are the best tasting brownies ever. I have been making this recipe for over 30 years now and I won't change a thing. Fudgy, nutty, chocolatey, what's not to like?"

09 of 16

Maple Walnut Pralines

plate of Maple Walnut Pralines

Use real maple syrup in this super simple candy so the flavor really shines through. "Fantastic! Love, love, love these! This was so quick and simple to make and tastes so delicious. This is a definite keeper, " raves Christina.

10 of 16

Chai Cupcakes

Chai Cupcake on a white plate

If you love the warm and spicy flavors of chai tea, you've got to try these chai-kissed cupcakes. "I was a bit skeptical the first time I made these for a family gathering! They were an instant hit! Have made them numerous times since then, including as a dessert item for a nephew's wedding!" —babaloo53

11 of 16

Apple Brownies

homemade Apple Brownies on a plate
Alberta Rose

"This was my Mom's recipe," says Baker Jim. "Easy and quick to make. Apples and walnuts are packed into a cinnamon spiced blonde brownie. Always a hit when I bring it to parties. Very moist and great to make in the fall when apples are plentiful."

12 of 16

Pear and Chocolate Tart

overhead view of pear and chocolate tart
Buckwheat Queen

"My version of a recipe found on a free supermarket recipe card! It's chocolaty, juicy, and scrumptious. The tart is best served warm with crème fraîche." — vicki oliver

13 of 16

Chef John's Apple Dumplings

apple dumpling with sauce and ice cream in bowl
Chef John

"This is one of America's oldest desserts. The flavor profile is almost identical to an apple pie, but instead of having a bunch of slices about, we have one beautifully roasted, tender, sweet apple inside--which while still covered in the same crust we use for a pie, is far superior because we basted and baked it with a sugar sauce. I highly recommend these get served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream." — Chef John

14 of 16

Kheer (Rice Pudding)

bowl of Kheer (Rice Pudding)
Michelle Marques

This Basmati rice pudding is made fragrant with cardamom and rose water. Home cook jeninAZ offers this suggestion: "As others have said, trust the rice quantity and don't add more! And use golden raisins instead of regular — it's more traditional and much nicer looking."

15 of 16

Apple Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

slice of Apple Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce in front of the cheesecake

With apples, caramel, and pecans in the mix, this is the perfect dessert to end any fall feast.

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