Baked goods just taste more warm and cozy when the temperature starts to drop, which makes fall baking one of the most comforting culinary pursuits. Whether you’re whipping up some savory baked goods or a few sweet treats, baking spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger add depth of flavor that’s even more enjoyable in the fall. We’ve rounded up our favorite fall baking recipes to get you started.
Mark Weinberg, Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
‘Tis the season for baking and this fall is the perfect time to introduce more savory recipes to the mix.
The beloved baker, who is a regular contributor to New York Times Cooking, Food52, and Food Network Kitchen, includes options for multiple kinds of fresh baked good that can be whipped up whenever the mood strikes.
In her mouthwatering guide, which is the next best thing to a private baking and pastry class, McDowell lends her signature fun and reassuring style to these inventive dishes, plus offers variations for endless customizations.
The cover of Erin Jeanne McDowell’s new cookbook.
Check out a handful of quick breads, muffins, pie crust alternatives and more, reprinted from McDowell’s new book below.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Book on Pie and The Fearless Baker, a savory baking book for delicious baked goods at any time of day.
Savory Baking is the next best thing to a private baking and pastry class from star food stylist and baking expert Erin Jeanne McDowell, given in her signature fun and reassuring style. Not only are each of her recipes intensely crave-able, they also offer inventive inspirations and variations for endless, out-of-the-box customizations and more flexibility.
Chapters span all day (and night) for freshly baked goods whenever the mood strikes:
Easy and Essential Bakes
Pizzas, Flatbreads, and Stuffed Breads
Snacks, Bites, and Apps
Pies and Tarts
And for those who can’t shake the sugar, there are “sweet tooth breaks” throughout. With Erin’s can-do encouragement, expert tips, and “Prep School” features to get you equipped with basic techniques throughout, this sweeping and beautifully photographed guide to savory baking will exponentially expand your savory baking repertoire with a ton of delicious fun.
Simply put: Erin McDowell’s baking recipes are the best. They are delicious, consistent, and always well written. If you are baking this spring, using one of her recipes is a sure bet for a good time. While we love everything she makes, these are the 11 dishes we’re planning on making this upcoming season.
Hominy & Greens Pie From ‘Savory Baking’
When spring is young and the cold is stubbornly loitering around your budding optimism, it’s best to shoo away those unwanted, frigid vibes with Erin’s savory braised greens and cheddar-cheese-filled pie. Perfect for a group, serve this as a snack alongside cured meat, acidic pickles, and a dry sparkling wine.
Buttermilk Biscuits & Green Chile Sausage Gravy From ‘Savory Baking’
Biscuits with sausage gravy are the ideal midway point between a late night with friends and an afternoon on the couch. Pro tip: If you’ve got the oven space, double the biscuit recipe since no one has ever said, “Wow, there’s too many biscuits here.”
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This is all the things a good carrot cake should be—moist, a bit spicy, and absolutely slathered in cream cheese frosting. On top of nailing the fundamentals, Erin adds coconut and toasted pecans to give this cake a welcomed layer of crunch.
Asparagus & Brie Parcel Pies
These parcel pies remind me of the sausage rolls I ordered at my hometown pizza spot, which makes sense seeing as they both have plenty of cheese, a sesame seed garnish, and taste best reheated.
Braided Challah Rolls
If you’re new to dough braiding, these rolls are the perfect challah entry point. Serve as a dinner side or as the bookends to your favorite sandwich.
Corn Muffins From ‘Savory Baking’
The corn muffin has infinite range but I prefer mine cut in half, covered in butter, broiled until golden, and served for breakfast. Of course, if you’d like to amp up the savory factor of these muffins, Erin offers a delicious cheese-stuffed option as well.
Roasted Tomato & Gooey Cheese Free-Form Pie
I compulsively buy cherry tomatoes every time I go to the grocery store and am always searching for new ways to use them. A pie that combines the miniature tomatoes with brie, parmesan, and puff pastry is exactly what I’m looking for.
Smashed Potato & Ramp Frittata
This time of year, remember that you can’t ramp all day if you don’t start in the morning—and a frittata filled with smashed potatoes, Boursin, and ramps is exactly how you want to begin your Saturday. Taking only 30 minutes from start to finish, this dish is both delicious and convenient.
Toasted Almond Chocolate Bundt Cake
Erin’s decision to lightly toast the almond flour gives this bundt cake a welcomed boost in aroma and flavor. Perfect as an accompaniment to your morning coffee or as the dessert every brunch deserves.
Re: brunch dessert. Erin says it best, “If you want someone to fall in love with you, make these cinnamon rolls and a really good cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. Then sit back and act like it was no big deal while they melt in front of you.”
Pretzel for a Crowd
- 15 minutes
- 25 minutes
“If you thought I had a lot to say about cornbread, you’ll understand why corn muffins are given their own special page and treatment. I focused on making the best tasting corn muffin—just sweet enough and with a beautiful buttery flavor. These are not huge bakery-style muffins, but rather a perfect homemade muffin size—and it can be dressed up with cheese or other fixings, too.” Excerpted from Savory Baking: Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between 2022 by Erin Jeanne McDowell. —Erin Jeanne McDowell
Test Kitchen Notes
• Corn Muffin-Style Quickbread: Reduce the baking powder to 12 g / 1 tablespoon. Lightly grease a 9×5 in/23×13 cm loaf pan with nonstick spray. Prepare the batter as directed and pour into the prepared pan. Bake at 375°F/190°C until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour. • Cheese Stuffed Corn Muffins: Reduce the brown sugar to 53 g / ¼ cup and eliminate the honey. When scooping the batter into the pan, fill each cavity about half way full. Press a 1 in / 2 ½ cm cube of cheddar cheese into the center of each muffin, then use the remaining batter to cover each piece, encasing it completely. —Food52
Watch This Recipe
Corn Muffins From ‘Savory Baking’
- (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- (3 tablespoons) neutral oil (like canola or vegetable)
- (½ cup) light brown sugar
- (¼ cup) honey
- (1 large) egg, at room temperature
- (1 ¼ cups) yellow cornmeal
- (1 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour
- (4 teaspoons) baking powder
- (½ teaspoon) baking soda
- (1 ½ teaspoons) fine sea salt
- (1 cup) buttermilk, at room temperature
- (3/4 cup) corn kernels (optional—drained well if canned/thawed if frozen)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C with the oven rack in the center. Lightly grease the cavities of a muffin pan, or line with muffin liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and oil together to combine. Add the brown sugar and honey, whisking to combine. Add the egg and whisk well to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- Add half of this mixture to the bowl with the butter/oil and mix with a silicone spatula to combine. Add half of the buttermilk, mixing with the spatula to incorporate. Repeat this process, adding the remaining flour and buttermilk and mixing just until the ingredients are uniformly combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cavities of the prepared pan, filling each just under the top edge of the cavity. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375°F/190°C, then bake for 18-22 minutes more, until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool at least 10 minutes before serving warm, or cool completely and serve at room temperature.
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it’s wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 – is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!
Popular on Food52
Comfort food for the cusp of springtime
photo: Mark Weinberg
If cooks and bakers are two separate breeds, then Erin Jeanne McDowell, an award-winning food stylist, author, and recipe developer, is a unifier. Her newest cookbook, Savory Baking: Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between, is a dreamscape of supple, buttery flatbreads, cushy cheese-stuffed pretzels, and delicate, zesty crepes.
McDowell hails from Kansas, but the two stars of this dish—braised greens and hominy—are Southern cooking staples. “They are each delicious on their own but together are a real delight,” she writes. This all-day pie is hearty and cozy for winter and, thanks to a generous, flexible dose of greens, fresh enough for spring.
- Make the greens: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and chile(s) and cook until starting to become tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the greens a few handfuls at a time, letting each addition wilt, 30 seconds to 1 minute, before adding more.
- Add the garlic and toss to combine. Add the wine, season with salt and pepper, cover the pot, and cook until the greens are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until any remaining moisture has evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
- Make the hominy: Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. Spread the hominy in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the top and toss gently to coat. Transfer the hominy to the oven and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until wilted. Sprinkle the flour over the scallions and stir to combine, then add the milk, stirring frequently while you bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add the toasted hominy and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and coats the hominy. Turn off the heat and fold in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Assemble the pie: Scoop the cooled greens into the pie crust and pack into an even layer. Scoop the hominy mixture on top and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and bake until the filling is deeply browned on top and set, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the pie for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving warm, or cool completely and serve at room temperature.
- The two fillings can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator until ready to use. The crust can be parbaked up to 24 hours ahead. The baked pie is best the same day it’s made.
JUST AS there is a contrast between sweet and savory, there has always been a dividing line between bread and pastry. But the best bakers (and pastry makers) cross that rubicon with ease, borrowing techniques from the “other side” to create the most satisfying bites. So it’s not surprising that in two new baking books, the line between sugar and salt gets a little blurry—with delicious results.
The unifying theme, for Mr. Wade, is flavor. “No matter what I’m cooking or baking, I want what I’m making to taste like what it’s made out of,” he writes. “I want the ingredients to shine through for what they are.”
In these recipes, the line between sugar and salt gets a little blurry—with delicious results.
Likewise, “Delectable: Sweet & Savory Baking” (Random House), from pastry legend Claudia Fleming, travels freely between the savory and sweet camps, from Gruyère and Onion Cocktail Biscuits to Raspberry, Rose and White Chocolate Tart. Often, Ms. Fleming skirts that line within the same recipe, adding miso paste to the filling for maple-glazed sweet potato rolls, or finishing an Italian plum-hazelnut tart with a shower of freshly grated pecorino and plenty of black pepper.
W.W. Norton; Random House/PRH
Of all the takeaways on offer in these surprisingly simpatico books, the most important is that there’s no need to pick sides. Why choose either one when you can have both? Below, find a few more key tips from the authors, plus two delicious recipes.
Start Your Baking at the Farmers’ Market
“When it comes to buying better ingredients in general—whether it’s flour, honey, eggs or butter—your local farmers’ market is a gold mine because you can engage the farmers in a conversation about their growing and stewardship practices,” Mr. Wade writes. “And products that have not only been made with care but also haven’t had to travel a long distance or sit on a grocery shelf are going to taste better.”
Find the recipe for Gruyère and Onion Cocktail Biscuits below.
What’s your favorite baking cookbook? Join the conversation below.
Store Flour Right
“To make sure your flour doesn’t go rancid on you, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month (though in most cases, you could get away with two to three),” Mr. Wade writes. “If you have flour that you won’t get around to using in that time frame, you can store it in the freezer for upwards of a year. You’ll want to bring it to room temperature before you bake with it, though.”
Master One Cake, Then Mix It Up
Ms. Fleming is a fan of endlessly versatile cakes, like the almond version in pastry chef Lindsey Shere’s beloved baking book “Chez Panisse Desserts”—and her own cornmeal and olive oil cake. “How to garnish it?” Ms. Fleming asks. “That depends on the season. I like it with poached rhubarb in the spring, berries or peaches and whipped cream in the summer, and blood oranges in caramel during the colder months.”
Photo and Food Styling by Joseph De Leo
19 Savory Baking Recipes to Make When Your Sweet Tooth Needs a Break
When you don’t feel like having a cookie but you still feel like baking something, these savory recipes—including tender biscuits and no-knead focaccia—will do the trick.
Sometimes I experience an intense desire to bake, but the last thing I want is a cookie or a slice of cake. That’s when savory baking recipes come in handy—and they pay off in the form of crisp, cheesy puff pastry or warm, fluffy biscuits slathered with butter. Here you’ll find a few of our favorite savory baking ideas, including easy three-ingredient whole wheat crackers, tangy sourdough biscuits, and an effortless no-knead focaccia that lets time do all the hard work for you. These savory baked goods are excellent as a snack or appetizer—or you can portion them out in your freezer for whenever you need food pronto.
23 Muffin Recipes Worth Waking Up For
Our virtual bakery case is right this way.
61 Easy Vegan Recipes for Low-Effort Plant-Based Meals
These easy vegan meals are free from meat and dairy—but they’re also free of fuss.
37 Garlic Recipes for Those Who Think One Clove Is Never Enough
If you’re a garlic maximalist, you’ve come to the right place.
The Editors of Epicurious
How Babish Makes His Perfect Nachos: Every Choice, Every Step
When you make nachos, you have to make a lot of decisions. Chips, cheese, proteins, condiments—each element needs to work in harmony and find its natural place on the plate. Today on Epicurious Andrew Rea (AKA Babish) shouts out every decision he makes, step by step, when crafting his perfect tray of nachos.
43 Strawberry Recipes for Celebrating the Season
Take those berries and pickle them, salad them, shortcake them, and more.
37 Spring Appetizers to Brighten All Your Gatherings
Add one of these snacks to your game plan for spring entertaining.
The Best Pizza You’ll Ever Make
Professional chef Frank Proto is back for another edition of Epicurious 101, today demonstrating how to make the best homemade pizza you’ve ever had.
The Cacio e Pepe Hack That Never Fails (Ft. Binging with Babish)
Today on Epicurious 101 Andrew Rea, creator of Binging With Babish, demonstrates his preferred method for making Cacio e Pepe—the new school, high-tech, unbelievably easy way.
Pumpkin Gingerbread with Seedy Streusel
Three kinds of ginger fill this pumpkin cake with bold, spicy flavor. Top the cake with a spiced streusel made with sesame seeds, ginger, pepitas, and cinnamon. Add warm flavors to the batter with grated nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom.
Rustic Blood Orange Tart with Salted Pecan Crust
Why choose between sweet and savory when you can have both wrapped into one dazzling display of seasonal fruit? Savory baked goods are their own type of delicious, and this gorgeous tart proves that not all fall baking needs to be extra sweet. This tart features a homemade salted pecan crust that plays off the sweet-tart flavor of blood oranges and sweetened whipped cream.
Sweet Potato Waffles
Looking for some fall baking ideas to enjoy for breakfast? Go beyond the syrup and butter with this delicious sweet potato waffle recipe. Top your sweet potato waffles with peanut butter and jam, ricotta and fresh berries, or pears with honey and pistachios.
Five-Spice Pear Pie Bars
Though five-spice powder is most often used in savory baking projects, here the zippy spice blend adds complex flavor to one of our favorite fall baking recipes. It pairs perfectly with pears and gives depth of flavor to these easy bars.
For the onions:
For the dough:
Figgy Brie Rolls
Savory baked goods are perfect for fall because they’re warm, comforting, and hearty. Wheat bread rolls filled with dried figs, fresh sage, honey, and Brie cheese showcase these qualities, and that’s what makes this one of our favorite fall baking recipes. Sea salt and sage leaves complete the bite-size delights.
Marbelous Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Glaze
Cinnamon is ripe for fall baked goods, and this cinnamon-spiced marble cake is one of our best fall baking recipes. A salty, sticky caramel glaze tops the marble cake while swirls of dark chocolate and peanut butter combine for an irresistibly moist treat the entire family will love.
Pear Tarts with Caramelized Pastry Cream
Tender spiced pastry crust meets creamy pudding and fresh pears drizzled with a buttery sauce for a fall baking idea you might not have thought of before. The real showstopper in this dish is the homemade caramelized pastry cream. One taste and you’ll be swooning.
- Cooking spray, for greasing
- 4¼ cups (860grams) sugar
- 1¾ cups (200 grams) buckwheat flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons (4 grams) ground cardamom
- 2⅓ cups (340 grams) bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70% cacao)
- 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter
- 8 large (440 grams) eggs
- 1 tablespoon (10 grams) vanilla bean paste or extract
Caramelized Onion and Apple Tart
Marry the sweet crunch of caramelized onions with salty ham and tart apples in this fabulous fall flatbread. The savory topping turns pizza crust into an easy dinner or appetizer.
Apple Pumpkin Sunflower Bread
Sure you’ve made plenty of fall quick breads, but have you tried the combination of pumpkin, apples, and sunflower seeds? If not, now’s your chance to try one of the best fall baking recipes. This bread recipe celebrates the best of fall baking flavors.
—Adapted from ‘Delectable: Sweet & Savory Baking’ by Claudia Fleming (Random House)
Easiest crust ever
A lineup of easy, savory crusts to make baking a breeze.
Scared of pie dough? Never fear! There are many delicious crust alternatives. Here are a few of my favorites:
Crumb crusts can be made of just about anything. They are more commonly thought of for sweet pies and other applications, like graham cracker crust, but in the savory world, you can make them with just about anything crispy, like crackers or pretzels. Grind them into crumbs, coarse or fine, depending on the recipe. Add melted butter to the crumbs and mix to combine — the crumbs should hold together when you squeeze them between your fingers. Use a saltine cracker crust as a jumping-off point for other ingredients, making sure have extra butter on hand to add if necessary. Greasier ingredients, like potato chips, will probably not make ideal crumb crusts.
Leftover cooked grains can be combined with egg whites to produce an easy press-in crust; see the Spicy Eggplant Pie, which is made with a cooked-rice crust. Cooked-grain crusts are also delicious made with quinoa or bulgur, or even leftover small pasta shapes like orzo.
Flour tortillas are one of my favorite unusual crust alternatives. An extra large tortilla perfectly lines a standard pie plate — just coat the pan with nonstick spray, warm the tortilla, and press it in. Small tortillas (flour or corn) can be used to line individual baking dishes (or baked free-form on a baking sheet). You can also overlap several tortillas to line a larger baking vessel, or stack tortillas to create a sliceable end result.
I use homemade Phyllo Dough for my Pastilla Pie. You can also stack up to 8 buttered sheets of thawed frozen store-bought phyllo dough to make an easy crust that bakes up golden and very crisp. Because they are so thin, phyllo crusts don’t usually require par-baking.
Place parchment paper in the base of the pie plate. Fill parchment-covered dough crust with pie weights to the top inner rim of the pie pan (I use ceramic pie weights, but you can also use dried beans or rice). Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 425 F (220 C), preferably on a baking steel or stone, for 15 to 17 minutes, until the edges of the crust appear set and are just starting to lightly brown. Remove the pan from the oven and use the parchment paper to lift the pie weights out of the crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the base of the crust appears set, 2 to 3 minutes more. Let the crust cool completely.
Note: If your par-or blind-baked pie crust puffs up after you’ve removed the pie weights, even if you’ve docked the dough (or poked the bottom all over with a fork), dock it a few more times in those spots with the tines of a fork or the tip of a paring knife to deflate them before returning the crust to the oven.
Prep school: Perfect your process
Regular pie plates are up to 1 1/2 inches (4 centimeters) deep, while deep-dish pie plates are typically between 1 3/4 and 2 1/2 inches (4 and 6 centimeters) deep. If you make a standard pie recipe in a deep-dish pie plate, the filling may seem skimpy. In that case, you might want to add another layer of filling for a layered pie, (like the Hominy and Greens Pie). But if you try to make a deep-dish pie recipe in a standard pie plate, the filling may mound over top edges of the pie plate or be at risk of overflowing. A cast-iron skillet makes a good substitute for a deep-dish pie plate if you don’t have one. I also use other large pans, like springforms or casserole dishes up to 3 inches/8 cm deep for some of the recipes in this book.
Pie weights are used to weight down the base and sides of the crust during par-or blind-baking. I have a large collection of ceramic pie weights, but dried beans or rice work just fine, and you can reuse them many times (they will no longer be edible). About 3 pounds or 1.36 kiloggrams dried beans or rice will be enough to fill a standard or deep-dish pie plate.
Baking steels and baking stones
Baking steels and baking stones (also known as pizza stones) retain heat, helping promote even browning of the bottom crust. They also help the oven temperature stay regulated and come back to temperature faster after opening the oven door. I like to use a baking steels when parbaking a crust, but keep in mind that with longer total bake times (around 1 hour or more), there can be too much browning. In those cases, I place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, with the baking steel or stone on the bottom rack. I bake the pie on the bottom rack for up to 50 minutes, then move the pie to the upper rack for the remainder of baking, so it is no longer in direct contact with the stone.
When it comes to pie crust, don’t be afraid to get it really golden brown. A crust that appears browned in some places but still blond in others probably needs more oven time. Alternatively, to prevent overbrowning, you can tent the whole pie or a portion of it with foil for the remaining bake time if necessary.
Par-baked crusts: Look for lightly golden edges and a base that appears lighter in color, matte, and set.Blind baking: Look for deeply golden edges and a lightly golden base.Double-crust pies: Look for even browning on the top crust. If it appears splotchy or blond, tent any darker portions with foil and keep baking.Free-form pies: The pie should easily slide back and forth on the baking sheet if you shift the pan back and forth.
Sign up for our newsletters to get GMA delivered to your inbox every morning!
A luscious cream cheese frosting tops these cinnamon-spiced cupcakes flavored with fall’s favorite root vegetable. Shredded orange peel makes a gorgeous garnish for this and so many other fall baking projects.
Nutty Honey Mini Rolls
Refrigerated crescent rolls get a cozy (and quick) makeover, thanks to a cinnamon-almond filling and sweet honey icing in this fall baking recipe. The muffin tin minis can also be stuffed with your favorite fall fruit and are ready in just 35 minutes!
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat an 18-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, line with parchment, and spray the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar, buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and cardamom. Whisk briefly to combine.
- Remove bowl from pot and let chocolate mixture cool slightly. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, beating until thoroughly combined.
- Add a third of flour mixture to chocolate mixture. Use a spatula to scoop up from underneath batter and fold it up over flour to combine. Rotate bowl as you go and make sure flour is completely incorporated. Repeat with remaining thirds of flour mixture.
—Adapted from ‘Bread Head’ by Greg Wade (W. W. Norton & Company)
MORE IN FOOD & DRINK
Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf
A reliable quick bread recipe is a perfect back-pocket bake. Omit the pine nuts and diced salami, and you’ve got a perfect base recipe to tweak or dress up however you like. Check out the first two variations below, both inspired by charcuterie board snacking. Depending on the saltiness of the inclusions you add, you may want to adjust the amount of salt in the dough, particularly for the olive and feta version; you may need the lower amount of salt because of the brininess of both inclusions. This bread keeps well for several days, but thin slices can also be toasted for tasty makeshift crackers.
Various quickbreads from “Savory Baking” by Erin Jeanne McDowell.
300 grams (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder4-6 grams (1-1 1/2 teaspoons) fine sea salt 3 grams (1 teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper2 grams (about 1/2 teaspoon) chopped fresh thyme45 grams (3 tablespoons) vegetable oil28 grams (1 ounce or 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted2 large eggs, at room temperature383 grams (1 1/4 cups) plain yogurt113 grams (4 ounces) hard salami, finely diced70 grams (1/2 cup) pine nuts, toasted and cooled100 grams (1 cup) shredded Manchego cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C with a rack in the center. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch / 23 x 13-centimeter loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and thyme to combine.
In a large bowl, whisk the oil, melted butter, eggs, and yogurt together. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until the batter comes together.
Gently fold in the salami, pine nuts, and cheese until thoroughly incorporated. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then unmold onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Marinated olive and feta quick bread: Omit the salami, pine nuts, and Manchego and fold 225 grams (1 1/4 cups) coarsely chopped pitted brine-cured olives, 175 grams (1 1/4 cups) crumbled feta cheese, 13 grams (1/3 cup) chopped fresh parsley, and 6 grams (2 tablespoons) minced fresh dill into the batter in step 4.
Ham and cheese quick bread: Omit the salami, pine nuts, and Manchego and fold 190 grams (1 heaping cup) diced ham and 150 grams (1 1/2 cups) shredded Gruyère cheese into the batter in step 4. Top the loaf with an additional 25 g / 1/4 cup grated cheese before baking. Increase the baking time to 50 to 55 minutes.
Everything kale quick bread: Before you make the batter, combine 113 grams (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature, 1 large egg, and 50 grams (1/2 cup) thinly sliced scallions in a medium bowl and mix well. Omit the fresh thyme and stir 9 grams (1 tablespoon) white sesame seeds, 9 grams (1 tablespoon) black sesame seeds, 9 grams (1 tablespoon) poppy seeds, 9 grams (1 tablespoon) dried minced garlic, and 9 grams (1 tablespoon) dried minced onion into the flour mixture in step 2. Omit the salami, pine nuts, and Manchego and fold 76 grams (1 packed cup) shredded kale into the batter in step 4. Pour half of the batter into the pan and spread into an even layer. Dollop the cream cheese mixture on top and gently spread into an even layer, then pour the remaining batter on top. Sprinkle the surface of the loaf generously with “Everything” topping. Add 5 to 8 minutes to the bake time.
This bread keeps well, wrapped tightly, at room temperature for up to 4 days (it makes great toast, but be careful, as some inclusions have a tendency to burn).
Muffins are just small quick breads
Can you bake one of these quickbread batters as muffins? Totally — just look for the same visual cues for doneness and expect a significantly shorter bake time.
Can you bake most muffin batters as quickbreads? Absolutely, but in most cases, you should reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Many muffin recipes are baked at a somewhat higher temperature to encourage nicely risen/domed muffins, but a loaf could get too dark and overly crusty by the time it bakes through at that higher temperature.
Sweet Potato Spice Loaf
Sweet potato keeps this cinnamon and nutmeg-spiced fall baking recipe extra moist. Clementine peel curls soaked in honey make a tasty and festive topper.
Easy Apple-Cranberry Slab Pie
Slab pie is much like regular pie, only bigger and better, which makes it one of the best fall baking recipes. Two sheets of frozen puff pastry form the perfect crust-to-filling ratio, while sweet cooking apples and tart cranberries fill the pie with a fruity layer of goodness. Finish the fall treat with a drizzle of homemade icing.
Quick and Easy Savory Muffins
Cheese-stuffed corn muffins.
“I’m crazy for cornbread, but I may love corn muffins even more. These muffins are just sweet enough, with a beautiful buttery flavor. They are not those huge bakery-style muffins, but a perfect homemade muffin size. They can be stuffed with cheese for a savory twist, and the batter can also be baked as a quick bread (see the Variations).”
142 grams (5 ounces/10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted45 grams (3 tablespoons) neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable106 grams (1/2 packed cup) light brown sugar85 grams (1/4 cup) honey1 large egg, at room temperature173 grams (1 1/4 cups) yellow cornmeal150 grams (1 1/4) cups all-purpose flour16 grams (4 teaspoons) baking powder3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda6 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) fine sea salt230 grams (1 cup) buttermilk, at room temperature125 grams (3/4 cup) corn kernels (optional; drained well if canned, thawed if frozen)
Preheat the oven to 400 F with a rack in the center. Lightly grease the cavities of a muffin pan or line with muffin liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and oil together. Add the brown sugar and honey, whisking to combine. Add the egg and whisk well to combine.
In another medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Add half of this mixture to the butter/oil and mix with a spatula to combine. Add half of the buttermilk, mixing to incorporate. Add the remaining flour mixture and then the remaining buttermilk, mixing just until uniformly combined. Fold in the corn kernels, if using.
Divide the batter evenly among the cavities of the prepared pan, filling each one to just under the rim. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 375 F (190 C) and bake for 18 to 22 minutes more, until the edges of the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving warm, or cool completely and serve at room temperature.
Cheese stuffed corn muffins: Omit the honey and reduce the brown sugar to 53 grams (1/4 packed cup). Scoop about half the batter into the pan, filling each cavity about half full. Press a 1-inch (2 1/2-centimeter) cube of cheddar cheese into the center of each muffin cup (you’ll need about 285 grams or 10 ounces of cheese total), then use the remaining batter to cover the cheese completely. Bake as directed.
Corn muffin-style quickbread: Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch (23 x 13-centimeter) loaf pan with nonstick spray. Reduce the baking powder to 12 grams (1 tablespoon). Prepare the batter as directed and pour into the prepared pan. Bake at 375 F (190 C) until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then unmold onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Add a glaze: A glaze is a quick and easy way to sweeten up a pastry that’s bordering on dessert, like muffins, scones, brioche, or yeasted puff pastry. My basic ratio for glazes is: 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar + 1/4 cup-1/3 cup liquid.
The amount of liquid depends on how thick you want the glaze. The lesser amount will make a firmer, spreadable icing; the larger amount will result in a looser, pourable glaze. The liquid can be just about anything that lends itself to sweet treats! Some of my standbys include: Milk, milk substitute, half-and-half, or heavy cream (cream makes a rich glaze that’s almost frosting-like).
Fruit puree: I make my own fruit purees using about 500 grams (3 cups) prepared fresh or frozen fruit and 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar: Combine in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fruit breaks down, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a large fork or potato masher to coarsely mash the fruit, then strain the puree through a sieve. The fruit remaining in the sieve is great mixed into cocktails or used as low-sugar jam.
French Onion Muffins
These savory muffins were inspired by the classic gooey-cheese-topped soup. Caramelized onions and herbs flavor the batter, and a cheesy streusel caps them off. If you want to make these truly decadent, add a cube of Gruyère to each muffin before baking to give them a gooey, molten center.
Caramelized onions28 grams (1 ounce or 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter2 medium sweet onions, halved and sliced2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) kosher saltFreshly ground black pepper45 grams (3 tablespoons) sherry7 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) beef bouillon base (such as Better Than Bouillon)2 cloves garlic, minced
Topping60 grams (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour40 grams (1/3 cup) whole wheat flourPinch of fine sea salt85 grams (3 ounces or 6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (1-centimeter) cubes100 grams (1 cup) shredded Gruyère cheese
Batter43 grams (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted45 grams (3 tablespoons) neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable2 large eggs270 grams (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) fine sea salt2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper3 grams (3/4 teaspoon) fresh chopped fresh thyme230 grams (1 cup) buttermilk78 grams (1/3 cup) heavy cream100 grams (1 packed cup) shredded Gruyère cheeseAbout 180 grams (twelve 1/2-inch or 1-centimeter cubes) Gruyère cheese (optional)
Make the caramelized onions: In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper, lower the heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deeply caramelized, 30 to 35 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the sherry and bouillon base to combine. Set aside.
Add the garlic to the onions in the saute pan and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the sherry mixture and cook, stirring constantly, to deglaze the pan, then continue to cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Make the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt. Add the butter and rub it into the flour using your hands or a pastry cutter until a crumbly mixture forms. Add the shredded cheese and toss well to combine.
Make the muffins: Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C with a rack in the center. Lightly grease the cavities of a muffin pan with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and vegetable oil together. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to fully incorporate each one.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and thyme together. Add half of the flour to the butter/oil mixture and mix with a spatula to combine. Add the buttermilk and mix to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients, then add the cream, mixing to combine. Gently fold in the cooled onion mixture and the shredded cheese.
Using a 1/4 cup, scoop the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cavity just over three-quarters full. If using the cheese cubes, fill each cavity halfway full, press a cube of cheese into the center of the batter, and then spoon the remaining batter over the cheese to cover it. Scatter the topping evenly over the muffins.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 24-30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack and serve warm.
Light and fluffy with perfectly domed tops, these are everything a muffin should be. While this particular version is one of my favorites, think of it as a true base muffin batter. You can sub whatever other inclusions you want for the sautéed spinach and cheese. Most of my favorite variations (see below) are inspired by traditional breakfast combinations, like a classic quiche or a Western omelet. (Sautéing any ingredients that are high in moisture before adding them to the batter helps keep the texture of the muffin light and fluffy.) The sugar in the batter is optional, but it helps to keep the muffins soft.
Buttery, garlicky spinach28 grams (1 ounce or 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter 2 cloves garlic, minced180 grams (6 packed cups) spinach
Batter43 grams (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted45 grams (3 tablespoons) neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable37 grams (3 tablespoons) granulated sugar (optional)2 large eggs270 grams (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour 16 grams (2 tablespoons) cornmeal10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) fine sea salt385 grams (1 2/3 cups) buttermilk170 grams (1 3/4 packed cups) shredded Gruyère or other Swiss cheese
Directions Make the spinach: In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time and cook, stirring, until it’s fully wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Make the muffins: Preheat the oven to 400 F (205 C) with a rack in the center. Lightly grease the cavities of a muffin pan with nonstick spray and spray the top of the pan as well; or use muffin liners and lightly grease both the liners and the top of the pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, oil, and sugar, if using, to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well to fully incorporate each one.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together. Add half of the flour to the butter/oil mixture and mix with a spatula to combine. Add half of the buttermilk and mix to combine. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients.
Gently fold in the cooled spinach mixture and 113 grams (1 cup) of the cheese. Using a 1/4 cup, scoop the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cavity just over three-quarters full. Top each muffin with 7 grams (1 tablespoon) of the remaining cheese.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Spinach 2.0 Muffins: Omit the Gruyère. In step 5, fill each cavity half full with batter, then press a 14-gram (1/2-ounce) cube of feta cheese into the center of each cup. Spoon the remaining batter on top of the cheese.
Whole Wheat Muffins: For 100% whole wheat muffins, replace the all-purpose flour with an equal quantity of whole wheat pastry flour. Or reduce the all-purpose flour to 210 grams (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour and add 60 grams (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour. Add any inclusions you like to these muffins.
Orange-Almond Cake with Cranberry Curd
Fall baking recipes should make us feel warm and cozy inside, just like this one does. The cranberry and orange flavors make this a great fall or winter cake and the extra almond flavor makes sure it’s not too sweet.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Some of the best fall baking recipes are savory baked goods, and this lightly sweet, pleasantly savory cake is no different. This crumbly cast-iron cake gets its delicate fruity flavor from extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Top the elegant but easy dessert with oranges, plums, or any other seasonal fruit.
Sweet Potato Pie
For a lightly spiced, lemon-twist version of an autumn classic, try one of our best fall baking ideas: this irresistible sweet potato pie recipe. Use any leftover pie scraps to create the easy checkerboard squares that line the harvest dessert.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Walnut Streusel Muffins
Looking for a gluten-free fall baking recipe? Look no further—you’d never guess these pumpkin-packed muffins are gluten-free. Brown rice flour and flaxseed meal make the tasty treats extra filling, while a brown sugar-walnut streusel and cream cheese icing are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Curried Squash Muffins
Muffins spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, and curry powder get a boost of fall flavor from mashed butternut squash. The harvest vegetable helps keep the savory baking recipe light and nutritious.
Other cookbooks by this author
A buttery mixture of fresh pear, cinnamon, and toasted pecans makes these savory peppered scones some of our favorite savory baked goods. Freeze the pastries for up to 3 months to prolong the flavors of fall.