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Best baking tips for fall with our baking expert

Expertly reviewed by Andrea Boudewijn

Everyone loves baked goods during the fall season. Many fall-themed recipes include pumpkin, apple and spices that get you in the season's spirit. If you want to take your fall baking to the next level, you may also want to consider the treats’ aesthetic. Luckily, numerous products can help you get the fall look and flavor you want with ease.

Our baking expert and Cordon Bleu-trained chef Andrea Boudewijn shares pro tips on making fall baking festive, fun, and of course, tasty.

In this video

BestReviews’ Andrea Boudewijn shares tips and products to enhance your fall-themed baked goods.

How to make fall pies festive

You can use cookie cutters to decorate pie crusts easily. Cutters shaped like leaves or pumpkins are an excellent way to give your pie a fall aesthetic. 

When using cookie cutters to decorate your pie, you’ll want to start by placing your pastry on a pie plate. Make sure you leave about a half-inch of pastry around the top of the pie plate to have enough space to add your fall shapes. Set a secondary pie pastry to the side and press your cookie cutter into it to cut out the shapes you want to add to your pie.

Press the cut-out shapes around the edges of your pie pastry, overlapping them slightly as you go. You can brush them with a bit of water if you can’t get them to stick. It’s a good idea to cut and cook a few extra shaped pieces of pastry so you can decorate the center of the pie when it’s finished baking.

Bundt cake tips

Bundt cakes are decorative treats baked in a ring-shaped pan. In most cases, these pans have fluted edges that give the cake an elegant look. A Bundt cake pan is a good idea if you’re interested in baking fall cakes. Still, with the right materials, you can bake these cakes without specialized pans.

To bake a Bundt cake without a special pan, you only need a regular cake pan and a thin can of club soda. Pour out some of the club soda so the top inch of the can is empty. Place the can in the center of your cake pan, and pour the batter around it to create the ring shape associated with Bundt cakes. “Put the whole thing, including the can, in the oven,” Boudewijn said. “Do not be afraid.”

Muffins and cornbread

Muffins are a popular sweet treat throughout the year. Adding lemon zest to your muffins gives them a tangy flavor you’re sure to enjoy. Adding frozen fruit is another easy way to enhance your muffins’ flavor. When using frozen fruit in your baked goods, you must account for the extra water they’ll release as you bake. You’ll want to add additional thickener to your recipe so the frozen fruit doesn't make your muffins soggy. You can also put a savory spin on blueberry muffins. “Try an herb like thyme or maybe some rosemary or something from your neighbor’s garden,” Boudewijn said. 

Nothing beats a bowl of chili with a side of cornbread on a cold day. You can even customize your cornbread with additional ingredients. “Put some ancho chile in if you want to take it a Southwest direction,” Boudewijn said. You can combine the two dishes to make a cornbread-topped chili skillet that’s perfect for dinner. To make a chili cornbread skillet, you’ll need an oven-safe cast-iron skillet. Start by preparing your chili in the skillet. Once your chili has simmered long enough for the beef to brown and the onions to turn translucent, you can top it with cornbread mix and bake it in the oven for 25 minutes.

Cornbread is often paired with savory meals. Still, it’s an excellent sweet treat if you add the right ingredients. For example, cornbread with lemon is a fantastic dessert or snack cake. Apple cider is another superb choice for those looking to sweeten their cornbread.

Shop this segment

Ann Clark Fall Leaves Cookie Cutters

This set includes seven leaf-shaped cookie cutters. Each cutter has a slightly different design, making it a perfect choice for those looking to add flair to their seasonal pies. They are made from food-safe steel; many said they were impressed with the durability.

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G & S Metal Products OvenStuff Nonstick Jumbo Muffin Pan

This pan has six large spaces for muffins, making it ideal for baking large treats. It can be used for various baked goods, including muffins, mini cakes, cupcakes and meatloaf bites. It is durable and easy to clean.

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Amazon Basics Nonstick Springform Pan

This affordable pan is leakproof and easy to use. Its 9-inch diameter makes it perfect for cheesecakes and other baked goods.

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Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundt Pan

Available in gold or silver, this pan is an excellent size for Bundt cakes. It provides an even bake, and cakes can be removed easily without any mess. Many were impressed with its durability and ease of use.

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Perrier Sparkling Water

Perrier is known for making refreshing sparkling water with a crisp flavor. You can use these cans for baking Bundt cakes without a special pan.

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Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet

This pan from Lodge is available in numerous sizes and comes pre-seasoned. It also comes with a red silicone pan handle holder. It’s built to last.

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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