The changing of seasons is one of the best parts of living in Iowa. After a few months of heat and humidity, the crisp air and cool nights are a welcome change. When this gorgeous time of year rolls around, I always try to squeeze as much fall fun as possible into our busy schedule. Of course that includes a long list of fall-inspired treats!
I indulge in a pumpkin spice latte or two, but let’s not let pumpkin spice steal all the spotlight. The star of the season in our household – freshly-picked apples!
Each time we venture through the seemingly endless rows of apple trees at the local orchard, I can practically smell the homemade pies. But then we get home and reality sets in. Pies are delicious, but a truly homemade pie is time consuming, and “ain’t nobody got time for that!” So, we found some quicker, easier, just-as-delicious alternatives that your family is sure to love, too!
Cinnamon Apple Bread
This is so good that nobody will guess it’s ridiculously easy to make! The chopped apple and brown sugar cinnamon swirl make it a big fall time hit!
½ cup packed brown sugar
1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅔ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
- Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
- In a stand mixer, combine white sugar and butter until smooth.
- Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed until combined.
- Add flour and baking powder, then milk.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.
- Cover with half of the apples.
- Pat apples into batter with the back of a spoon.
- Sprinkle with half of sugar and cinnamon mixture.
- Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with remaining apples and add more brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- Pat topping into the batter with the back of a large spoon.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Pancakes
Because pancakes are even better with fresh fruit in them, and all kids love pancakes.
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. half-and-half
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large apple (recommended: Fuji)
1. Add egg, Greek yogurt, and half-and-half together into a large bowl. Mix until you reach even consistency.
2. To the same bowl add flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla. Whisk until well-combined and creamy.
3. Peel and core the apple. Use a grater or food processor to grate apple into thin shreds. Stir the shredded apples into the batter.
4. Cook like regular pancakes: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spray it with oil, drop 1/4 cupfuls of pancake batter into the pan, and cook until pancakes turn golden brown underneath and the upper side puffs up and dries around edges. Flip the pancakes to the other side and cook them for an additional two or three minutes on the other side.
Easy Apple Crisp
Just as good as pie, but faster. Top with vanilla ice cream and caramel for an extra special treat!
For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, diced into small chunks
3-4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium size bowl combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.
- For the Apple Filling: In a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Pour butter mixture over apples and toss to coat. Pour apple mixture into an 8×8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.