When I think about baking in November, my mind goes straight to Thanksgiving. This year, am I making Parker House Rolls or Sweet Potato Rolls? Apple Skillet Cake or classic Apple Pie? But November is an entire month, not just a single holiday. As the days grow darker and the weather colder, it’s time to think about bringing warmth and flavor into all our days. With that in mind, here are 12 fantastic recipes that will help you enjoy this season’s classic ingredients and spices all month long.
1) Tahini Chocolate Bars
With all the hustle and bustle going on in the kitchen this month, there’s nothing like a no-bake recipe to keep things simple. Handily, these Tahini Chocolate Bars are easy to whip up, delicious for the whole family, and visually striking. They’re a nut-free take on the classic peanut butter square: Sesame and honey give them a lightly sweet flavor, while graham cracker crumbs (which you may already have on hand for holiday cheesecake) provide just a hint of crunch. Just spread, slice, and enjoy while you leave that oven free for more important things.
2) Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts
Whether you’ve stocked up on pumpkin purée at the store or made your own at home, pumpkin season is in full swing this month. A pumpkin cake doughnut (baked in a doughnut pan, not fried!) is just sweet enough to feel like a treat, without being too heavy for an afternoon snack with a hot cup of coffee or apple cider. Stick with the traditional cinnamon-sugar dusting for a classic flavor, or combine sugar with chai spice for a doughnut with just a touch of peppery, gingery heat to it — perfect for warming you up on a chilly day. (If you're baking gluten-free, see our Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts.)
3) Steamed Carrot Buns with Fresh Ginger Custard
Of course, this month isn't only about pumpkin: These luminous steamed buns are colored with carrot juice and filled with creamy fresh ginger custard. The recipe comes to us from Frankie Gaw, who also taught us all about how to dye doughs — naturally.
4) Modern Masa Bean Bread
This contemporary take on a Cherokee recipe called tuya asuyi gadu goes well alongside a warm soup or stew to create a filling meal on a cold day. Organic masa harina and beans make a mild-flavored dumpling that’s wrapped in a corn husk and boiled. It’s a wonderful dish for recognizing Native American Heritage Month, or even just as a way to work through some of the dried beans in your cabinet. I love these dumplings with a bowl of pumpkin soup — that way, you can celebrate all three sisters in a single meal.
5) Anzac Biscuits
When my sister was serving in the Army, my family quickly learned a thing or five about shipping baked goods overseas. Delicate treats may be delightful at home, but they’ll never make it in one piece. If you’re sending a care package to a deployed service member this Veterans Day or over the holidays, my top recommendation is always Anzac Biscuits. These crunchy, coconutty cookies were originally developed during the first World War, when they were sent from Australia to men serving in ANZAC, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. I promise they’re just as delicious as they are sturdy! Looking for more shipping tips? You can find them here: Shipping your holiday treats: 10 tested tips.
6) Pumpkin Sugar Crunch Waffles
Inspired by Belgian Liège waffles, these sweet, spiced waffles are studded with Swedish pearl sugar for a crunchy burst in each bite. Because they’re refrigerated overnight before baking, you can whip up the batter the night before serving, then simply pour into your Belgian-style waffle iron in the morning. In mere minutes, you’ll be rewarded with a decadent autumnal breakfast worthy of a holiday — or just Sunday morning.
7) Rustic Milk Pie Dough
You can store pie dough in the freezer for up to two months before using it, so why not knock out multiple occasions’ worth of dough at once? If pie crust makes you nervous, this rustic milk dough is a dream to roll out, and it’s less likely to crack than most classic pie crusts because it’s a slightly wetter dough. Not only does that make it more forgiving, but it’s also great for highly detailed decorations like fancy latticework, cutouts, and more. (This is also the only pie dough with which I’ve had great luck making a lattice top gluten-free: Just substitute Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the all-purpose flour.)
8) Chocolate Beer Bread
When the weather gets cooler, it’s time to stay inside and bake some bread. This deep, dark loaf comes from sourdough star Tara Jensen’s new book Flour Power and features a combination of dark beer and Dutch-process cocoa for a striking loaf with malty flavor. Find the recipe here, and be sure to watch Tara demonstrate her tips to make it above.
9) Everyone’s Favorite Fruitcake
Yes, it’s only November, but since fruitcake should soak in liquor or syrup for six to eight weeks for the best flavor, it’s best to get started now. If you’ve had bad experiences with fruitcake in the past, never fear. Everyone’s Favorite Fruitcake defies fruitcake’s citron-and-sadness flavored reputation by skipping the astringent ingredients that many older recipes call for, leaving you with a moist and flavorful cake without any hint of bitterness. It’s also a superbly flexible recipe, so if there's a fruit or nut you don’t love in the ingredients list? Replace it with something that makes your heart sing. That’s how Everyone’s Favorite Fruitcake becomes yours.
10) Harvest Pumpkin Scones
Feeling pressed for time, and looking to get your pumpkin fix in a hurry? Harvest Pumpkin Scones are much quicker than pie, but just as delicious. Two bowls and a baking sheet are all you need to throw these together, and they’re a fantastic way to play with whatever mix-ins you have in your pantry. I’m a big fan of crystallized ginger and pepitas, but Cinnamon Sweet Bits, dried cranberries, Apple Cinnamon Jammy Bits, toasted pecans, or even chocolate chips would work too.
11) Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
I’m part of the social media team here at King Arthur, and I always get so excited when I see we’re sharing this recipe online again. Why? Because it inevitably turns into one of the happiest days of the year, with bakers of all skill levels singing the praises of this old-school cake. Don’t let its unassuming appearance fool you: People adore the chunky, carrot cake-like texture, sweet and uncomplicated brown sugar frosting, and glorious nutty-apple flavor.
12) Sweet Potato Gnocchi
When the year’s last share of farm-fresh veggies finds its way to my kitchen, I always find myself staring at an abundance of sweet potatoes, wondering what I’m going to do with them next. Make a southern-style pie? A batch of dinner rolls? Roast them and call it a day? While those are delightful options, sweet potatoes also deserve to shine as a main dish, as in Sweet Potato Gnocchi. Their sunshiny color is a perfect antidote to any gloomy season blues, and there’s something sweetly meditative about making pasta like this the old-fashioned way. No fancy rollers needed, just a fork and your own two hands.
13) Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
November baking is often focused on one big feast, but there are a lot of breakfasts between now and then. My suggestion? Make this Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, which can be entirely prepared the night before. In the morning, just turn on the oven, and by the time you hear “What smells so amazing?” it’s ready to serve and eat. Hearty oats, apples, and nuts combine forces in a meal that will keep you going strong all morning. Plus, it’s a wonderful big-batch breakfast if you’re hosting visitors.
14) Quick and Easy Flatbreads
With just five ingredients and the teeniest bit of work, you can have fresh bread even on a day when you don’t have the time to bake a classic loaf. And fresh bread makes everything better; not only does it turn soup or stew into meal, but these Quick and Easy Flatbreads are brilliant at turning any random assortment of leftovers into a proper dinner. Turkey and gravy? Wrap it in a flatbread. Garden salad and the remains of a cheese plate? Wrap it in a flatbread. Cranberry-Fudge Pie? Just kidding — that’s a perfect meal all on its own.
15) Morning Glory Muffins
Pumpkin may get all the love this time of year, but carrots will always have a special place in my heart whenever fall rolls around. Growing up, my family enjoyed Morning Glory Muffins just like these; we called them Better Morning Muffins because once you tasted this combination of carrot, pineapple, and nuts, you knew the rest of the morning was going to feel just a bit brighter. They’re made with 100% white whole wheat flour, but you’d never know it from the flavor, so if you had “get some whole grains into my family’s diet” on your to-do list, you’ve already got one task down. (If you're baking gluten-free, see our Gluten-Free Morning Glory Muffins.)
Feeling anxious about getting your bakes in a row this month? There’s no shame in using mixes to lower your stress. Stock up on our mixes for pie crust, pancakes, gluten-free treats, and even dog biscuits. They’re all made with the same quality ingredients you love and expect from us here at King Arthur Baking.
Cover photo (Tahini Chocolate Bars) by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne.