Spice Up Your Fall


Pumpkin Roll, recipe provided below (adapted from Gimme Some Oven)

Pumpkin Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) brick cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


To make a pumpkin roll:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper. Grease paper with cooking spray. Lay out a thin, cotton kitchen towel so that it is flat, then sprinkle it generously with powdered sugar.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt in medium bowl until combined.
  3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed until thick. Add in vanilla and pumpkin, and beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
  5. When ready to add filling, carefully unroll cake and remove the towel. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cake. Immediately re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Slice to serve.

To make cream cheese filling:

  1. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract until smooth. If the filling is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a half teaspoon or two of water.

Pumpkin Pie Bars, recipe provided below (adapted from Roxana's Home Baking)

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 2 cups (240 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) diced cold butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • iced water (about 3 tablespoons)

Ingredients for Filling:

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) or homemade pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Add the flour, diced butter and salt to a food processor. Pulse a couple of times until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Slowly add, a few drops at a time, iced water until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Wrap it in clear plastic film and put in the fridge for at least 30-40 minutes. (can be made up to 3 days in advance)
  3. When ready to bake the bars, heat the oven to 350F.
  4. Line 11x7-inch pan with cooking parchment paper, leaving about 1 to 2 inches paper hanging over sides of pan.
  5. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and roll it out into a 12X8" rectangle. With your fingers press the crust in the button and on the sides of the prepared baking pan. 
  6. Cover the crust with parchment paper, fill with baking beans and bake the crust for 7 minutes. Remove the baking beans and bake the crust for an additional 5 minutes. Cool completely before pouring the filling in. 
  7. In large bowl, whisk the filling ingredients until smooth and well blended. Pour mixture into pan over the cooled crust.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean and center is set. 
  9. Remove from oven, place the pan on a to cooling rack and cool completely. Refrigerate for about 1 hour 30 minutes before cutting into bars. 
  10. To serve, top each bar with whipped cream and/or a dusting of pumpkin pie spice. 
  11. Store in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Cheesecake, recipe provided below (adapted from Natasha's Kitchen)

Ingredients for the Crust:

  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 whole graham crackers)
  • 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) melted, unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 3 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1½ cups (about 9 oz by weight) packed light brown sugar
  • 15 oz can pumpkin pie mix or puree (or well drained homemade puree)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp real vanilla extract

Optional Toppings:

  • 1 cup of cold heavy cream beat with 1 Tbsp sugar and ½ tsp rum or vanilla
  • Pumpkin pie spice to dust
  • Toasted pecans
  • Caramel sauce

For elongated instructions visit Natasha's Kitchen 


    Healthy Almond Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies (Vegan), recipe provided below (adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)


    • 1 cup Gold Medal white whole wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 cup almond butter
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup Almond Breeze almond milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup old fashioned oats
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
    3. With an electric or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the almond butter and brown sugar. Mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the almond milk and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides if necessary.
    4. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Stir in the oats, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips.
    5. Roll cookie dough into tablespoon balls and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Gently flatten the dough balls with the palm of your hand. Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until they are set and golden brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

    Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies, recipe provided below (adapted from Averie Cooks)


    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used orange-scented cranberries from Trader Joe's)
    • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
    2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
    3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk until smooth.
    4. Add the flour and stir until just combined, don't overmix.
    5. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
    6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
    7. Bake for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until done (I baked 24 minutes because I prefer very soft blondies). A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean (as long as you're not hitting chocolate), or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow blondies to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


    Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes with Streusel Topping, recipe provided below (adapted from Cooking Classy)

    Crust Ingredients:

    • 10 graham crackers sheets, finely crushed (1 1/3 cups)
    • 2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

    Streusel Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup quick oats
    • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

    Filling Ingredients:

    • 2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
    • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 lb granny smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped*
    • 2 tsp lemon juice

    Topping Ingredients:

    • Salted caramel sauce, homemade (recipe and tutorial here) or store bought


    1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Pour in butter and using a fork, stir until evenly moistened. Divide mixture among 18 paper lined muffin cups, adding a rounded tablespoon to each cup. Press into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool.
    2. For the streusel: In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, quick oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add cold butter and using fingertips, rub butter into dry mixture until it comes together it small crumbles and pieces of butter are no longer visible. Transfer to refrigerator while preparing apples and filling.
    3. For the filling: In a bowl, toss chopped apples with lemon juice, set aside.In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on medium-low speed, cream together cream cheese with sugar just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in sour cream and vanilla.
    4. To assemble cheesecakes:Divide cheesecake batter evenly among 18 muffin cups pouring filing over crust (I used a 1/4 cup and filled it about 3/4 full). Divide apples evenly over cheesecake layer, then finish by sprinkling a heaping tablespoon of the streusel over tops. Bake in preheated oven 23 - 25 minutes. Cool at room temperature 30 minutes, then transfer to fridge and chill 3 hours. Serve with caramel sauce.
    5. *This is about 3 small granny smith apples. I recommend chopping very small so they can cook all the way through, almost mincing them (even smaller than that pictured because mine weren't quite tender all the way through).


    Spiced Apple Cider Donut Holes, recipe provided below (adapted below Sally Baking Addiction)

    Ingredients for the Donuts:

    • 1 and 1/4 cups (300ml) apple cider
    • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg, room temperature1
    • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, room temperature2
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Ingredients for the Topping:

    • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 60g) unsalted butter, melted


    1. Simmer apple cider over low-medium heat in a small saucepan on the stove for 15-20 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, spices, and/or orange slices for flavor if desired. In this step you are reducing the apple cider for a stronger flavor. You will need 1/2 cup from this reduced cider. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.
    2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a mini muffin pan or donut pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
    3. Toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of concentrated apple cider.
    4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and very gently mix together with a whisk. Be very gentle as overmixing will develop the gluten and result in a tough textured donut. Whisk until all ingredients are *just combined.* Some small lumps may remain, but not many.
    5. Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan, filling 3/4 of the way full. You'll only need a couple teaspoons of batter for each. Or, if making donuts, follow my instructions in the post above about filling the donut pan. Bake the donut holes for 9-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The donuts will take the same amount of time.
    6. Make the topping by mixing the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Dip the top of the donut holes or donuts lightly into the melted butter. Then dunk them all the way into the cinnamon sugar, using your hands to mix it around so the entire donut hole (or donut) is coated generously. Repeat with all the donuts. You may need more cinnamon-sugar. Donuts taste best on the same day, though they may be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

    Ashley PolicastroComment