What do jobs, school, sports practices, and commuting have in common? They all prevent us from baking as much or as often as we’d like. But when we do get the chance, we want a slam-dunk recipe — or 14. Here’s a list of our favorite fall recipes we’ll be making this month: from a cookie with a secret, to spooky fudge brownies, to a puckery coffee cake that will brighten the grayest day.
1) Samosa Knish
This marvelous mash-up features a spiced potato-and-pea filling (like a samosa) and flaky, tender dough (like a knish). They’re baked instead of fried and are the perfect handheld snack to tuck into a lunchbox.
Get the recipe: Samosa Knish
2) Magic in the Middles
Why settle for store-bought peanut butter cups when you could have them in home-baked cookie form instead? For folks who crave this classic combination of flavors, Magic in the Middles are both trick and treat, with a nostalgic chocolate cookie exterior and peanut butter surprise within. Make them using black cocoa for a particularly striking color contrast and intense chocolate flavor.
Get the recipe: Magic in the Middles
3) Cinnamon Apple Pull-Apart Bread
Here in Vermont, October means the peak of apple-picking season. And nothing embodies the shared sweetness of that endeavor like Cinnamon Apple Pull-Apart Bread. Pull-apart loaves are ideal for enjoying with friends and family; no slicing and waiting required. Add to that the smell of apples and cinnamon wafting through the kitchen, and you’ve got yourself the perfect autumn celebration loaf.
Get the recipe: Cinnamon Apple Pull-Apart Bread
4) Spider Web Brownies
If Halloween has you loving all things ghoulish, Spider Web Brownies are a quick and delicious way to look like you spent ages decorating. A little cream cheese gives this twist on our Fudge Brownies a look that’s creepy-crawly without being over-the-top. The recipe calls for a bit of peppermint in the filling, but feel free to use the flavoring of your choice. Fiori di Sicilia is lovely alongside chocolate, or add Pumpkin Pie Spice for a seasonal twist. (And if you’ve had enough chocolate, try using the same technique to make a spider web cheesecake.)
Get the recipe: Spider Web Brownies
5) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Forget what the calendar says: Fall hasn’t officially begun until you’ve had your first pumpkin dessert of the season. These cakey, spiced pumpkin cookies are generously studded with chocolate chips and finished with stripes of glaze, and they’re a great way to get into the autumnal spirit.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
6) Easy Multigrain Bread
For morning toast, midday sandwiches, and evening cheese boards, we like to have a loaf of this hearty multigrain on hand. The not-so-secret ingredient in this nutty bread is our Harvest Grains Blend, a mixture of eight grains and seeds that gives the bread texture and character.
Get the recipe: Easy Multigrain Loaf
7) Frosted Sour Cream Cake Doughnuts
Few things are as delightful as a freshly fried doughnut, especially if it’s a sour cream doughnut. And especially if it has frosting. This recipe comes from baking superstar Claire Saffitz, who filmed this video that guides you through every step of the recipe.
Get the recipe: Frosted Sour Cream Cake Doughnuts
8) Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
This simple apple sheet cake is a perennial fan favorite. Containing almost a pound of chopped apples (plus walnuts and apple pie spice) and requiring only one bowl, it’s a quick dessert for a crowd. The penuche-like brown sugar frosting takes it over the top.
Get the recipe: Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
Shop the recipe: Apple Pie Spice and Boiled Cider
9) Sourdough Challah
For Shabbat dinner or superlative French toast any time, bake a loaf of sourdough challah. The recipe comes from the bakers at Hot Bread Kitchen, a nonprofit that creates economic opportunity through careers in food. The golden bread has a tender, feathery crumb, sweetened with honey and raisins. Nervous about shaping? This video will show you how to make a beautiful four-strand round braid.
Get the recipe: Sourdough Challah
10) Gingery Lemon Curd Coffee Cake
This may be the best variation on our Recipe of the Year yet! Reverse-creaming gives the cake its especially tender crumb; in this iteration, the cake is topped with lemon curd and gingery streusel crumbs. It’s a tangy, buttery triumph, meant to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee on a cool fall day.
Get the recipe: Gingery Lemon Curd Coffee Cake
These soft and chewy cookies, sweetened with piloncillo and honey and flavored with cinnamon, are as tasty as they are adorable. A popular pan dulce found in most Mexican bakeries, they’re an irresistible treat. (This recipe is part of our feature celebrating Pan Dulce. Find more recipes here.)
Get the recipe: Puerquitos
Shop the recipe: Vietnamese Cinnamon
12) Oatmeal Cream Pie Bars
With their oatmeal cookie base and swoosh of marshmallow frosting, these bar cookies will be the MVP of your next bake sale or potluck. Says one reviewer, “I found this recipe a week ago and have made them twice, they are SO good!”
Get the recipe: Oatmeal Cream Pie Bars
13) Stuffed Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
It can be hard to get out of bed some mornings. But what if you knew a batch of these muffins awaited you? You’d probably hop right up so you’d have time to enjoy a streusel-topped beauty with your morning coffee.
Get the recipe: Stuffed Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
14) Gruyère-Stuffed Crusty Loaves
It’s getting to be soup season, which also marks the start of cheesy bread season, the ideal accompaniment to any and every meal-in-a-bowl you might be having. These rolls are absolutely loaded with nutty Gruyère cheese, which bakes up and out of the bread like magma from a volcano, forming a caramelized, crispy skirt beneath each one.
Get the recipe: Gruyère-Stuffed Crusty Loaves
Additional contributions from Kat Mayerovitch
Looking for more fall bakes? Check out our favorite pumpkin recipes.
Cover photo (Stuffed Cinnamon Streusel Muffins) by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne.