In early September, I saw someone announce the fall season on social media. In addition to people pointing out that it was too early for the announcement, the word police corrected the person with the word autumn. Since both terms are correct, we can call the season whatever we prefer. I think autumn is a pretty sounding word, so I’ll use it for the rest of this post. Whatever you call it, these Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves are a perfect little celebration of the season. They have just the right amount of pumpkin spices, making them so fragrant that your kitchen will smell like cozy autumn heaven.
I call them loaves because I originally made them in mini loaf pans. They’re so cute and delicious that I often give them as holiday gifts. This year I decided to try them in ramekins and I loved the results! I used 6-ounce ramekins, but you can use 8-ounce ramekins, any size mini loaf pans, a muffin pan or even a 9-inch loaf pan. Keep in mind that baking times will differ. To find the ramekins I used, click here.
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves with Caramel Filling
Mini loaves of tender pumpkin bread with caramel filling and luscious cream cheese frosting
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour seven 6-ounce ramekins or six 8-ounce ramekins or any loaf pans of your choice.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
Beat in pumpkin and vanilla until combined.
Divide batter evenly into prepared ramekins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. (Mini loaves or muffins bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on size. 9-inch loaf bakes for 40-50 minutes)
Cool completely if serving in ramekins or remove from pans after cooling for 10 minutes. Continue to cool on wire rack.
Make 3/4-inch well in the center of each loaf. Fill with caramel sauce. (For the 9-inch loaf, make multiple holes with a skewer. Fill with caramel.)
Top with cream cheese frosting and pumpkin seeds
Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add vanilla extract and salt and beat until combined.
Gradually add powdered sugar and beat at medium speed until combined.
Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined.
It’s Fall 2020. We need chocolate! We need pumpkin spice! And we need it drenched with caramel! These satisfying brownies check all of the boxes with multiple layers of comfort. A rich chocolate brownie is the base. The next layer is heavenly pumpkin cheesecake. The topping is a buttery crumble that rivals the best crumb cake. Finally, as if that isn’t enough, it’s drizzled with caramel sauce!
If it sounds complicated, don’t worry, it’s not. Each layer is super easy to make. You can use your favorite store bought caramel sauce to top it with. Vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream are optional, but highly recommended toppings also. Just saying.
The layers go unexpectedly well together and make the perfect dessert for Halloween or Thanksgiving. I’m even going to add these beauties to my Christmas dessert table this year. Enjoy! You deserve it.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Brownies
Chocolate brownies with pumpkin cheesecake and crumb topping, topped with caramel sauce.
One of the best things about Halloween is all of the adorable costumes worn by the littlest trick-or-treaters. I’ll never forget the year my young daughter was dressed as a flower with chubby cheeks. She enjoyed wearing her costume and eating her Halloween treats, but spooky costumes and trick-or-treating weren’t for her. She was the type of toddler who cried at the sight of a mall Santa. She even screamed in terror once when Ronald McDonald paid a visit to our local McDonald’s.
So in honor of those tender hearted little ones, I created some not-so-scary, pretty-darned-cute Yetis and Green-Eyed Monster cookies. You can use your favorite cutout sugar cookie dough and you don’t need any special skills to decorate them. The icing is fondant instead of frosting or royal icing which makes these cute monsters the ideal mess-free (almost) cookie decorating project for kids!
For these cookies you’ll need:
One batch of cutout sugar cookie dough
Food coloring- I used Wilton Icing Color in Rose
X-acto knife or paring knife
White, purple, green and pink fondant or any colors of your choice. I made lavender by combining purple and white.
Sprinkles- I used a combination of two parts orange sprinkles and one part pink sprinkles
Small food safe brush
Edible marker- I used Americolor Gourmet Writer
Candy bananas, sugar pearls or any edible decorations of your choice
Divide your cookie dough in half. For the Yeti cookies, color one half of the cookie dough with pink food coloring. Wrap remaining cookie dough in plastic and set aside in refrigerator.
Roll out the pink dough and cut out the Yeti cookies. The Yeti cookies are 2 1/2 inch by 3 1/4 inch rectangles. I used a clean, recycled food can as a cookie cutter. I opened the can with a can opener at both ends, rather than using the little key that comes with the can. If you don’t want to use this method, you can make a pattern out of parchment paper and cut out the cookies with an X-acto knife or a paring knife.
For the Yeti faces, cut two small 1 1/2 inch x 1 inch rectangles with rounded corners out of parchment paper. The first one will be used to place on the Yeti cookies to keep the sprinkles off of the faces. Place small parchment rectangle on an unbaked cookie. Apply sprinkles, pressing them gently to make sure they adhere to the cookie. Remove the parchment rectangle and repeat with remaining cookies. Bake according to your cookie dough recipe. Let cool.
Roll out white fondant to 1/8 inch thickness. Use the remaining small parchment rectangle as a pattern to cut out a face for each Yeti cookie with an X-acto knife or a paring knife. Brush a bit of piping gel onto each cookie face area. Apply the white fondant face cutouts to the cookies. Let dry for at least 30 minutes, then draw eyes and a mouth with an edible marker. I made rosie cheeks with a small amount of petal dust applied with a cotton swab. Brush dabs of piping gel to apply the banana candy horns. I also added pink fondant flowers and sugar pearls to make my Yeti cookies extra cute.
Roll out the remaining cookie dough and cut out the Green-Eyed Monster cookies. I used an apple tree cookie cutter, trimming off the trunk part. If you can’t find an apple tree cutter, you can use a blossom or sun cookie cutter. Bake according to your cookie dough recipe. Let cool.
Roll out the lavender fondant. Cut the fondant using the same cutter you used for the cookie dough. Brush piping gel onto cookies and apply the fondant shapes. Let dry at least 30 minutes.
For eyes, roll out white and green fondant. I used the large end of a piping tip to cut out two white circles and two green circles for each cookie. Attach the green circles to the white circles with a dab of piping gel, offsetting them slightly. I used a tiny blossom punch cutter for the pupils and applied with piping gel. Use an edible marker to draw eyelashes and a mouth.