Fall is in the air! It's time for cable-knit sweaters, runny noses, and baking. How lovely. Fall may be the second best eating season on the East Coast, but it's definitely the best time to bake. Great produce is still at the markets--and it's there in bulk--but it's not so hot that we dread turning on our ovens. Grab your apples, your pumpkins, your pears, and your raisins, and join us in the kitchen.
**The 7 Best Sweets to Bake This Fall**
1. Mom's Famous Apple Pie. This is the tart that Cara's mom makes each and every year for Thanskgiving and which is gobbled down gratefully by friends and family. Go à la mode with vanilla or dulce de leche if you dare. Particularly great if you've come back from an apple picking expedition with more bushels of Granny Smiths than you could ever eat. Get the recipe! 2. Fig and Walnut Cake. Their season is fleeting but welcome for fig lovers hoping to put aside their Newtons for a change. This homey little cake is perfumed by fresh figs and given body and crisp by ground-up walnuts. Great for dessert, it's honestly not too sweet for breakfast the morning after you make it (try toasting it). Get the recipe!
3. Olive Oil-Maple Granola Maple makes us think of fall, a time when it's no problem to keep the oven going to make a simple thing as homemade cereal. (Actually, before our buildings turn on the heat, the oven being on is a necessity.) This recipe uses olive oil to achieve a wholesome, fruity taste and a crunchy texture. Note: it's not all that healthful, in terms of fat and sugar content. Get the recipe!
4. Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze
Richer than rich, this beloved apple cake is butter-based (many apple cakes use oil), and is topped with an easy caramel sauce that sinks down into the crumb, making it luscious and, well, rich. Serve small pieces, or, alternatively, cut the un-iced cake into squares and serve with the caramel sauce beside it. Provide toothpicks for dipping!
Get the recipe!
5. Walnut-Raisin No-Knead Bread. Cool fall mornings calls for a little something extra. This harvest-y bread brings it, and biting into it is almost as sensual as other fall aesthetic favorites: leaves turning red, flannel shirts, and shortening days. The crust hides a bundle of raisins and walnuts-and is just delicious toasted until golden and spread with salted butter. Get the recipe!
6. Pumpkin Pancakes
Come October, pumpkin gets stirred into cheesecake, quickbreads, muffins, pies, and more-even if it comes from a can we could technically have opened at any time of year. In these pancakes, we use the go-to pumpkin foils from the spice rack--nutmeg and cinnamon. Those spices get a second moment in the sun, since they also get mixed into a sweet-salty honey butter, which is fantastic atop a stack of pumpkin pancakes.
Get the recipe!
7. Hot Raisin Quickbread It's imperative that this quick-to-whip-up breakfast sweet is served hot straight from the oven. When it is, the top layer of cinnamon sugar crackles and bursts in your mouth, giving way to a raisin-studded, scone-like interior. Ideal for lazy autumn breakfasts or afternoon snacks, and a childhood favorite of ours. Get the recipe!
--Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine of Big Girls, Small Kitchen