15 Old-Fashioned Fall Desserts Like Grandma Used to Make

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople recipe ina gray pie plate
Photo: Allrecipes Magazine

There's nothing quite like walking into your grandma's house during the fall, with the smell of sugar and spice wafting from the kitchen, a cool breeze blowing through the leaves outside the window where she rests her pies. Whether she'd normally be baking an apple pie, rolling out a batch of snickerdoodles, or slicing up a freshly-made carrot cake, you can't beat grandma-approved desserts this time of year. Try one of these grandma dessert recipes today to really celebrate the autumn season.

01 of 16

Grandma's Iron Skillet Apple Pie

top-down view of a golden brown crust of an apple pie in a cast iron skillet
Kim's Cooking Now

A cast iron skillet is the perfect tool for creating a mouth-watering apple pie. The crust gets ultra flaky and golden brown, perfect for encasing the layers of spiced Granny Smith apples.

02 of 16

Grandma Bonnie's Cinnamon Rolls

Grandma Bonnie's Cinnamon Rolls on a baking sheet
Priscilla

Somewhere between cinnamon rolls and pecan swirls, these tasty treats are irresistibly buttery. "These are my grandma's cinnamon rolls. A favorite at Christmas or just a Saturday morning," shares Priscilla.

03 of 16

Grandma's Caramel Popcorn Balls

caramel popcorn balls in a red bowl
Derbakermom

You can't go wrong with the combo of popcorn and caramel. "My mom made these delicious popcorn balls when I was growing up," says Kim1520. "I made the family recipe for the first time this year. My daughters, grown with their own families, asked why I hadn't made these sooner."

04 of 16

Nana's Apple Crisp

apple crisp
GLORIA LEE

Spend an autumnal afternoon picking apples, then come home to whip up this easy apple crisp. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, just like grandma would.

05 of 16

Granny's Sweet Potato Bread

sliced sweet potato bread on a tray
Rae

Falling between a dessert and a snack, this sweet potato bread can do it all. "One of my favorite recipes made by my grandmother and handed down to me," shares Jessica Shelton. "My Granny made this bread as a sweet treat, but it was great for breakfast."

06 of 16

Grandma Ruth's Snickerdoodle Cookies

snickerdoodles on baking rack
tjump2014

A little soft, a little chewy, these snickerdoodles make for an irresistible dessert. David.Beveridge says, "This is my great-grandma's recipe that everyone loves!"

07 of 16

Grandma's Apple Dumplings

Grandma's Apple Dumplings
CHER

Wrapped in tender pastry dough, these apple dumplings are delicious on their own, but things reach a new level when drizzled with the recipe's orange-vanilla sauce. Reviewer Jill raves, "This was a very easy and tasty recipe. It turned out perfect."

08 of 16

Grandma's Orange Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

grandmas orange rolls with orange cream cheese frosting
Allrecipes

These sweet rolls have a triple dose of citrus: Orange juice goes into the dough, orange zest is part of the filling, and the rich frosting gets a helping of both.

09 of 16

Grandma's Carrot Cake

slice of carrot cake on a plate
Autumneyes

"This recipe has been a favorite in our family for three generations," shares heybejay. Both crushed pineapple and flaked coconut keep the carrot cake moist, perfect for absorbing the rich buttermilk glaze.

10 of 16

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople recipe ina gray pie plate
Allrecipes Magazine

This recipe shows that keeping things simple can still result in an utterly delicious dessert. "This was my grandmother's apple pie recipe," shares MOSHASMAMA. "It will always be my favorite and has won me several first place prizes in local competitions."

11 of 16

Grandma's Sweet Hubbard Squash Custard Pie

Grandma's Sweet Hubbard Squash Custard Pie on a baking sheet
john sims

Tasting like a mix between sweet potatoes and pumpkin, Hubbard squash is the ideal veggie for transforming into a pie. With its brown sugar, rich spices, heavy cream, and a hefty pat of butter, it may become a new holiday favorite.

12 of 16

Melissa's Grandma's Ginger Lace Cookies

ginger cookies on a baking rack
Vista Verde Ranch

Ground ginger, cinnamon, and molasses are the key ingredients to these tender lace cookies. Don't forget the sprinkling of sugar on top to create a beautiful presentation.

13 of 16

Grandmother Stougaard's Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls

pan of homemade pecan sweet rolls
inthefrey

"This is an Stougaard old family favorite," says Snuffles. "Not the easiest to make, but well worth the trouble. Gooey and sweet. Best eaten fresh from the oven."

14 of 16

Gramma's Date Squares

stack of three date squares
Danielle Gwilliam

Chewy and sweet, these date bars are ideal for using up the in-season fruit. "This is my grandmother's recipe which my whole family loves. You can use almond extract instead of lemon, if you wish," says Mai Forrester.

15 of 16

Grandma's Cranberry Orange Cake

slice of bundt cake on a white plate
lutzflcat

Just the right balance between tangy and sweet, you won't be able to resist a second slice of this fall cake. The secret? A dash of cranberry-flavored liquor, which bakes out of the dish but leaves behind the distinct flavor.

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