Fall is synonymous with baking season, and there’s no better time of year to bake with fresh produce, warm spices and comforting ingredients. We’re talking crisp apples, tart cranberries, tender pumpkin, earthy cinnamon and decadent caramel. But one seasonal flavor tends to be forgotten about (until you’re about to dig into a stack of pancakes, that is): maple. Whether you’re using maple extract, maple sugar or maple syrup, its sweet, toffee-like qualities will bring all the autumn magic to your baked goods. Here, 40 maple desserts that will wow your guests on Thanksgiving and beyond.
40 Maple Desserts That Taste Like Autumn Bliss
1. Maple Pecan Pie
Swapping traditional corn syrup for maple syrup not only keeps the pie from tasting sickly sweet, but it also infuses the filling with lots of fall flavor.
2. Maple-pecan Icebox Cookies
Bookmark them now to impress at the holiday cookie swap later. You can even prepare and chill the dough ahead, so all you’ll have to do the day of is slice and bake the cookies.
3. Baked Pears With Maple Syrup And Almond Crumble
Why should apples have all the fun? This fork-tender pear dessert comes together in just 35 minutes.
4. Aran Goyoaga’s Peanut Butter-banana Cookies
Believe it or not, these handhelds are vegan, gluten-free and sweetened with maple syrup and coconut sugar instead of refined white sugar.
5. Dorie Greenspan’s Miso-maple Loaf
This recipe is proof that you should always have white miso on hand. The crumb is ridiculously moist, thanks to buttermilk in the batter.
6. Sunbutter Cookies
Usually, cookies fall in one of two camps: They’re either healthy or taste good. Luckily, this five-ingredient recipe delivers the best of both worlds.
7. Pumpkin Scones
The light, sweet glaze on top calls for maple extract, but you can make it bolder and more decadent by substituting molasses.
8. Nutty Maple Glazed Cookie Bars
They’re vegan, Paleo and gluten-free, but you don’t need to be on a special diet to enjoy these chewy gems.
9. Buckwheat Apple Galette With Maple Walnut Frangipane
Buckwheat flour in the pie dough offers toasty, nutty flavor to every bite. If you don’t serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you’re doing it wrong.
10. Brown Sugar Maple Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
So. Much. Butter. Dark brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and bourbon unite for the ultimate fall dessert.
11. Apple Whoopie Pies
We can’t decide what we love more, the cakey, light-as-air cookies or the pillowy maple-cream cheese frosting.
12. Sticky Rolls With Pecan Bourbon Maple Filling And Eggnog Glaze
These have Christmas morning written all over them. Use vanilla bourbon in the filling for a more nuanced flavor.
13. Soft Pumpkin Cookies With Salted Maple Icing
Most pumpkin cookies are crowned with a layer of cream cheese frosting, but these are finished with an easy four-ingredient glaze instead.
14. Paleo Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream
We’re betting a couple of scoops and a slice of leftover apple pie would make a killer milkshake…just sayin’.
15. Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Peanut butter takes over for marshmallows to bind the treats together, while maple syrup holds down the fort on the sweetness front.
16. Maple Bacon Doughnuts
File these under Surprisingly Unfussy. Canned biscuit dough is used as a shortcut, so the doughnuts will be ready to eat in 20 minutes flat.
17. Maple Sweet Potato Pie
Complete with fresh maple meringue. Use a store-bought pie crust to cut down on prep time.
18. Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
These guys are packed with fall flair, courtesy of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, canned pumpkin purée and maple syrup.
19. Peanut Butter And Jelly Oatmeal Bake
Maple syrup is used as a better-for-you sweetener in this nostalgic dessert. Feel free to use whatever jam you have on hand.
20. Maple Chestnut Pudding Chômeurs
This traditional winter treat hails from Quebec. This rendition stars a chestnut flour cake drizzled with brown butter coffee maple sauce.
21. Maple Brown Sugar Cookies
Crisp edges, chewy centers and a generous drizzle of maple icing—what’s not to love? Chill the cookie dough a day ahead so you can hit the ground running when you’re ready to bake.
22. Sweet Potato Bundt Cake With Maple Icing
Sweet potatoes are just as overlooked as maple when it comes to fall dessert ingredients. Give this 50-minute masterpiece a chance and you’ll never forsake them again.
23. Maple Bourbon Bars
Classic blondies get a long-overdue makeover in the form of chopped walnuts, maple syrup and a hefty glug of bourbon.
24. Brown Butter Chewy Maple Brown Sugar Cookies
Bless you and your nutty, toasty, caramelized flavor, brown butter. We’ll use you on everything from pasta to vegetables to dessert.
25. Maple Brown Butter Chess Pie
Chess pie is a type of custard pie that’s super popular in the South. This one is best topped with cranberry sauce and fresh whipped cream.
26. Maple Ginger Snaps
Drop the dough balls onto a plate of coarse sugar and roll them before baking for a crispy, crystallized look.
27. Walnut Maple Apple Crisp
Use a variety of sweet-tart apples to deepen the dessert’s flavor. (We’re partial to Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Gala and Honeycrisp apples.)
28. Maple Pecan Bars With Sea Salt
These easy bars bake to gooey perfection in the air fryer. We love that you won’t have to worry about the goopy middle setting like you would with a round pie.
29. 5-minute Vegan Salted Peanut Butter Caramel
Drizzle it over pancakes, ice cream sundaes, popcorn or even stir it into your next homemade latte.
30. Maple Cheesecake With Boursin Maple Bourbon Cheese
BRB, diving headfirst into the Insta-worthy maple-pecan topping.
31. Maple Bacon Sugar Cookies
Alexa, add pig-shaped cookie cutters to our cart, please. This sweet-and-salty delight is bound to charm all your Thanksgiving guests.
32. Peach Fritters With Maple Glaze
Black Friday breakfast has never looked better. Feel free to use canned, drained peaches if fresh ones are out of season.
33. Cream Cheese Swirled Pumpkin Bread With Salted Maple Butter
Aka our new favorite way to use up brown bananas. (P.S.: We’d make a double batch of the maple butter to use on waffles, cornbread and fried chicken if we were you.)
34. Healthy 5-ingredient Cake Batter Freezer Fudge
Even your low-carb-dieting relatives can get in on this confection, since it’s free of refined sugar and made mostly from cashew and coconut butters.
35. Maple Pear And Ginger Pie
Candied ginger adds a spicy je nais se quoi to this stunner. If you want the heat to be even more intense, add freshly grated ginger to the filling too.
36. Maple Sugar Ice Cream
Maple sugar is made by evaporating the liquid in maple syrup, a process that leaves behind tiny granules of fall-flavored magic.
37. Maple Caramel Candies
These minis are studded with chopped hazelnuts for a fancy finishing touch. They’d made a great homemade Christmas gift.
38. Maple Bacon Cupcakes
Not only is there bacon fat in the cupcake batter, but they also taste just like pancakes. Don’t even get us started on the maple buttercream and the candied bacon topper.
39. No-bake Salted Tahini Cookie Dough Fudge
The fudge will keep in the freezer for up to three months—but we doubt it’ll last longer than three hours.
40. Chai Pumpkin Pie With Maple Whipped Cream
Don’t look now, but the roast turkey is getting super jealous of this Thanksgiving treasure. (And we can’t blame him.)