Every Autumn, I delve deep into my spice cupboard to resurrect old favourite flavours which have been gathering dust throughout the rest of the year. The sweet, woody smell of cinnamon sprinkled on top of a steaming rice pudding, the strong but comforting hint of nutmeg in a tall glass of eggnog, the fiery kick of ginger in a batch of freshly baked gingerbread cookies. These kind of spices, even if they’re used outside of Autumn, are powerful enough to transport me back to a crisp November morning, crunching on crispy yellow and orange leaves everywhere I walk.
So this Autumn, I want to tap into these feelings of nostalgia but also try something a little different. I want to revamp classic Fall desserts and introduce new and exciting flavours for the season. These include recipes like my vegan blood orange and dark chocolate cake, fudgy and zesty, oozing with a chocolate sauce made from coconut oil and cocoa. Or my tipsy carrot cake, packed full of spice, slathered in an apricot brandy cream cheese icing. If these sound up your street, then read on…
1. Vegan Cinnamon Doughnuts with Apple Cider Glaze
It used to be that whenever someone presented me with a vegan dessert, I would throw holy water at it. But now I have come to love finding delicious alternatives to butter, milk and eggs in cakes, finding that the overall taste is sometimes even better than the dairy-packed original.
In this recipe, I used both ‘vegan butter’ (margarine which doesn’t contain any milk) as well as coconut oil. Some recipes will tell you to use one or the other but I happen to love the combination of both for these crispy, fairground-style doughnuts.
Once fried, the doughnuts are dipped- either on one side or all over- into the cider glaze and then rolled in cinnamon sugar. You can also pour on any remaining glaze for extra gooey-ness. Serve them warm- any excuse to eat straight away!
2. Tipsy Carrot Cake
A thick slice of carrot cake is always a must-have for Autumn. For me, the perfect carrot cake contains a good amount of cinnamon and nutmeg, pecan nuts, orange zest and sultanas as well as the usual suspects.
I added some heat to this classic pudding with an apricot brandy infused cream cheese icing to spread on top. Here, I used a generous helping of Monin Apricot Brandy liqueur. As always, the great thing about cooking… if you prefer a stronger kick, just add more of the strong stuff!
3. Pumpkin Spice Latte Tarts
Starbucks may have cast aside their Pumpkin Spice Lattes to make room for their Winter classics, but that doesn’t mean to say you can’t still enjoy the taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and coffee in November.
I decided to use the flavours of this much-loved Autumn drink in a classic pumpkin tart recipe, echoing the coffee taste with a splash of Kahlua.
These tarts will grace any Thanksgiving table. You can leave them to cool, or serve warm. A dollop of whipped cream is recommended.
4. Vegan Blood Orange and Dark Chocolate Cake
I really love the taste of a sharp orange with dark chocolate, which is why I decided to add the juice of a blood orange into this classic vegan chocolate cake recipe. This recipe contains no alcohol.
The overall cake is very moist and fudgey, and I find the tang of the blood orange juice prevents things from tasting a bit too sickly. You’ll also never guess no eggs, milk or butter were used in this cake. I find this recipe is always a popular Autumnal treat- whether you’re vegan or not!
The chocolate icing is divine and you can decorate the top of the cake with chopped cranberries, raisins, pistachios and almonds. This gives it a really inviting, autumnal feel.
So what do you think? Fancy giving any of these a go? The recipes can be found on my website dutchcouragecakes.com and will be gradually uploaded to my profile on SORTEDfood for you guys to enjoy. Don’t forget to send me your photos via #sortedfood on Twitter or Instagram. I’d also love to hear if you have any lovely autumnal twists that you add to your own baking.
Ellie has an incredible talent and loves baking with booze. She’s always experimenting and discovering new ways to reinvent classic cake recipes with alcohol. Her kitchen is usually covered in flour and is filled with more bottles of spirits than you can shake a stick at.