Have I mentioned that I love fall? It gives way to so many wonderful things like firepit nights, cozy up with your spouse nights as the weather gets cooler. My favorite is the desserts and treats that come with fall! Here are a few of my favorites:

Caramel Pecan Carrot Cupcakes: 1

To make this in CAKE FORM, double the cake ingredients (not frosting) and bake at 350 degrees F in a 9×13 inch pan for 50-60 minutes or two 9-inch round cake pans (greased and floured) for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. The 9×13 inch cake can cool in the pan but for the round pans, remove them onto a cooling rack after 20 minutes. Once cool, frost the top of the 9×13 inch pan or if making two 9-inch round pans place one cake on a platter, frost, top with the second cake and then frost the top and sides of the cake.

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple, well-drained
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
For the Frosting:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup caramel topping
  • ⅓ cup pecans, chopped
 For the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well and add oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Stir in carrots, pineapple, raisins, and nuts until combined.
  3. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full with batter.
  4. Bake for 15-16 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
  1. With an electric mixer (hand or standing), cream butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt together starting at a slow speed (takes about 2 minutes to come together). Continue to cream for a couple minutes until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese 2 ounces at a time and beat 2 more minutes (scrape down as needed).
  2.  Pipe frosting onto cupcakes starting at the outside of the cupcake and work you way in as you circle up.
  3. Using a spoon, drizzle the caramel over the tops of the frosted cupcakes. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles: 

Ingredients
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour1
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. freshly-ground ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon-sugar coating:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • Dash of allspice
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Set aside.
  2. In a kitchenaid mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium high speed until fluffy about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Blend in pumpkin puree, beat in egg and then add vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients on low speed just until combined. Cover and chill dough for an hour.
  4. To make the cream cheese filling, blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together. Chill for an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and spices for the coating and set aside.
  6. To make the cookies, take a tablespoon of the cookie batter. Flatten it like a pancake and place a teaspoon of the cream cheese in center. Form another tablespoon of the cookie batter into a flat pancake shape and place on top of the cream cheese. Pinch the edges together sealing in the cream cheese and roll into a ball. Roll in the cinnamon sugar coating and place on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Repeat until the dough is gone and flatten the cookie dough balls with a heavy bottomed glass or measuring cup.
  8. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes or until the tops start to crack. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. Enjoy!

 

Fresh Apple Cake: 2

1 c vegetable oil
     2 c sugar
     3 eggs
     3 c flour
     1 tsp baking soda
     2 tsp vanilla extract
     1 c chopped pecans
     3 c peeled and chopped apples
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13″ pan.  Combine oil, sugar, and eggs.  Stir in flour and baking soda.  Add vanilla, pecans, and apples.  Spread in prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.  Cool for 2 hours.  Then prepare frosting.
Frosting
     1/2 c butter
     1 c brown sugar, packed
     1/4 c evaporated milk
     1/2 tsp vanilla
Boil all ingredients in a small saucepan for 2 minutes.  Set pan in bowl filled with ice water.  Beat icing until of spreading consistency.  Spread over top of cake.

Caramel S’mores Pop: A wee bit messy to eat but that’s half the fun.

124 large marshmallows (I used the S’more marshmallows- they’re square shaped instead of round and they’re easier to dip!

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 25 square caramels (or a bag of the caramel bits)
  • 1/2 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup crushed graham cracker
  • 24 popsicle sticks

Combine the caramels, butter and sweetened condensed milk in a small glass bowl. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Whisk gently until mixture combines. If your caramels need a little extra time, microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring well in between until mixture is smooth. Let sit to cool down slightly while you prepare the chocolate.

Put chocolate chips (or Chocoley Dark Chocolate gourmet dipping compound like I use- it’s delicious and so easy to work with!) in a small glass bowl and microwave on high about 1 minute, until melted and smooth.

Pierce the end of a marshmallow with a small paring knife and insert popsicle stick. Dip one half of the marshmallow in the caramel at an angle, then turn over and dip the other side in the chocolate. Immediately dip into the graham cracker crumbs, turning to coat each side as much as you’d like.

Set pop down on a tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process with all 24 pops.

Caramel S’more pops are best served the day they’re made but they will keep for a few days if you store them in an airtight container in the fridge preferably. Just let them come to room temperature prior to serving, as they’re easier to eat!

Apple Crisp Stuffed Apples: They sound intimidating but they are super easy to make.

1

  • 8 apples (I used fuji apples)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Crumble Topping
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup oats
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into cubes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. First, prepare the crumble topping. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry knife, or two forks, or with your hands until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
  3. Peel and chop 4 of the apples. Add chopped apples, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a medium sauce pan and sauté over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from heat.
  4. Chop the tops off of the remaining 4 apples and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Discard the flesh or save it for another recipe.(See Note) You don’t need to get every little bit out, just enough to make a “bowl” for the filling.
  5. Fill scooped-out apples with apple filling from the sauce pan. Top with a generous amount of crumble topping.
  6. Place stuffed apples on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until crumble topping is crispy. Serve warm and top with ice cream and caramel sauce if desired. Enjoy!

Fall Leaf Cookies: They taste so good and you can have fun decorating them.

 11 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Land O Lakes® Egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Red, orange and yellow gel food colors
Coarse white, orange and/or yellow decorator sugars

 Directions

Combine butter and sugar in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, milk and almond extract; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking powder; beat at low speed until well mixed.Divide dough into thirds; place each portion into separate bowls. Add very small amount of red gel food color to 1 portion; mix well. Add additional red gel for desired color, if necessary. Repeat with remaining dough portions and gel food colors.

Shape each dough into ball; flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; refrigerate 2-3 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 400°F.

Working with half of each dough color (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), drop tablespoon-size pieces of dough from each color onto well-floured surface in random pattern with dough pieces touching. Roll out dough to 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness, forming marbled design. Cut with 3-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters.

Place cookies, 1 inch apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with decorator sugar. Bake 7-9 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cups: If you love white chocolate, you will love these. So creamy and full of flavor. 1

Ingredients:

12 oz. white chocolate chips or chunks
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

Directions:

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Melt white chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave, until smooth and creamy.

Using a small spoon, spread the melted white chocolate onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of each cupcake liner. Set aside the remaining white chocolate. Transfer muffin tin to a freezer, and freeze liners for 10 minutes, or until completely hardened.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Using an electric hand mixer, beat together cream cheese, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Beat in powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs until well-combined. The mixture should be thick enough to roll into a ball.

Remove muffin tin from freezer. Divide pumpkin mixture into 12 portions. Roll each portion into a ball, place it into the cupcake liner, then flatten it out.

Reheat the white chocolate if necessary. You can also add a teaspoon of shortening or oil to thin out the chocolate so it is easier to pour and will also make for a smoother finish.

Cover the pumpkin mixture in each liner with the melted white chocolate and tap the pan against a flat surface a few times to evenly spread out the chocolate.

Freeze for an additional 10-15 minutes. Unwrap before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake: This is a family favorite. My family won’t let any go to waste.

1Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 – 8 ounce bag of toffee bits
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 recipe CARAMEL DRIZZLE (link)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour. Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter until creamy. Add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Stir in toffee bits and pecans.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake until a wood pick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean, 75 to 85 minutes.
  6. Cover top of cake with foil to prevent excess browning if necessary.
  7. Let cake cool in pan for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. NOTE: Don’t freak out if some of the cake sticks. Mine did too. It’s because this cake is so moist. GOOD NEWS! We get to cover all the imperfections with yummy caramel!
  9. Spoon Caramel Drizzle over cooled cake.

Pumpkin Spice Truffles: Oh so cute and super easy to make.

2Ingredients

  • 1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
  • 1 pkg golden Oreos
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin spice candy melts
  • leaf shaped sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Place entire package of Oreos in food processor & pulse until you have medium-fine crumbs
  2. Place cookie crumbs into mixer bowl
  3. Add cream cheese & beat until fully combined
  4. Add pumpkin pie spice – beat again
  5. Take tablespoon size portions & roll into balls & place on parchment lined baking sheet
  6. Freeze a minimum of 2 hours but preferably overnight
  7. Once truffles are frozen place white chocolate chips in double boiler & melt over medium heat
  8. Take truffles one by one & coat with white chocolate & return to baking sheet
  9. Melt the pumpkin spice candy melts in the same manner & place in piping bag
  10. Pipe design over truffles & sprinkled with decorations before chocolate hardens
  11. Keep refrigerated – store in airtight container

 

Written by Cleo Neufeld

Cleo Neufeld

Before meeting the love of her life, Cleo was a single mother to a beautiful little girl for many years. She shares her expertise in single parenting, building a relationship, living on a budget and more.