| By Chantelle Washington |
October conjures cravings of fall flavors and spices. Feed your festive sweet tooth with these mouth-watering dessert recipes. If you’re looking to go outside the box – err, pan – of traditional pumpkin pie or are looking for a hit for a Halloween party, give these crowd-pleasing recipes a try. You can make one versatile maple glaze and use it on both the Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls and the Fall Spiced Cupcakes. Yum!
Sweet Du Jour Maple Glaze
Yields: A little over 2 cups depending on consistency
What’s in it
- 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (regular syrup not recommended)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or equivalent of vanilla extract)
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tbs milk (whole milk preferred)
How to make it
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix butter and syrup together until butter is melted and combined.
- Stir in vanilla paste.
- Whisk in the sugar 1/3 cup at a time until fully incorporated.
- Add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until smooth.
- Dip, coat and/or drizzle your favorite dessert or breakfast food with the glaze and place them on a cooling rack.
- Let glaze set for at least an hour and then enjoy!
*Chantelle’s Tip: Adjust your consistency depending on the use of the glaze. For example, runny glaze could be used to lightly coat a cake donut, while a thick lava-like glaze is perfect for dipping cookies or covering cinnamon rolls. Experiment to find what you like best.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 3/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional, but oh sooo good!)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pans with adorable fall cupcake liners; or coat well with non-stick baking spray, lightly dust with flour and shake out excess. Set pans aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves for 20 seconds. Set aside.
- Pour brown sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Break up brown sugar with fingertips until no clumps remain. Pour in vegetable oil and applesauce, set mixer with paddle attachment and blend until well combined. (I recommend a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes the bowl; otherwise, stop mixer several times throughout the entire mixing process and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl).
- Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add in half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Then, blend in buttermilk.
- Add remainder of the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
- Divide mixture evenly among your cupcake pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20-28 minutes.
- Top with maple glaze. (See recipe above.)
*Chantelle’s Tip: When it comes to fall spices, feel free to experiment and mix and match spices that remind you of a beautiful fall day. Baking is more than a recipe; it’s mixing in a bit of yourself and your love for those you are sharing your baked goods with. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 1/2 cups – 3 all-purpose flour (this will make sense later)
- 17 g fresh yeast or 1 Tbsp active dry yeast (I prefer active dry yeast)
- 1 tsp sugar plus an additional 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 3/4 cup cooked sweet potato, finely mashed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 tsp salt
What’s in the filling
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled; cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped (Save time by buying them finely chopped in the store or use a food processor.)
- 1/3 cup raisins soaked in hot water (Optional, but if you do add a couple splashes of rum to the soak, hey it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. :))
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- Mix 1 Tbsp sugar with warm water and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Combine sweet potato, 1/4 cup sugar, milk, egg, 2 Tbs melted butter, and salt in bowl of food processor. Stir yeast mixture into flour mixture. Pulse 4 times, or just until combined.
- Add flour and pulse on and off 8 to 10 times, until until dough comes together in a ball.
- Place dough in oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 90 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
- Now, let’s make the filling! Here’s where it gets complicated. We are just going to combine all ingredients. Is that it? Yes, it is. Got you worried a bit though, didn’t I? 🙂
- Roll dough into a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Spread filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Tightly roll the dough lengthwise, and turn the seem side down. Cut into 12 slices, and arrange in a lightly greased 13”x9” baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Bake buns for 15 minutes.
- Spread maple glaze (recipe above) over buns and return to oven. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until golden.