When the weather’s chillier, all you want to do is curl up under a blanket, and tuck into something sweet and satisfying. All of these delicious autumn dessert ideas will warm you up, whether you’re curled up in front of the telly or entertaining guests – and they’ll help you to stay on track for your slimming goals too!
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What makes a warming autumnal dessert?
Seasonal fruits, deep spices and indulgent caramelised flavours bring an inherent cosy warmth to autumn desserts, even if it’s not a pud that’s served hot.
With freshly-harvested apples, pumpkins, pears and berries available, autumn desserts are usually brimming with a syrupy sweetness to help you stave off the cold.
They’re normally balanced out with a selection of deep spices; stocking up on cinnamon and nutmeg is a must for cooking up warming autumnal desserts.
Nothing says ‘comfort food’ quite like Apple Crumble. The ultimate autumn dessert, our recipe makes the most of a surprise ingredient for its signature crunchy topping: porridge oats!
To keep the crumble mixture light, you’ll blitz oats together with flour, reduced-fat spread and granulated sweetener.
Apples work really well with autumnal spices, as you’ll find out when the juicy filling bakes until syrupy sweet, and the blend of cinnamon and sweetener really comes through.
You can bake one family-sized crumble in a single oven dish, or serve individual portions in adorable little ramekins – whatever works for you!
If you’re not a fan of apples, there’s nothing to stop you getting creative with different fruity fillings (our Pear and Ginger Crumble is dreamy too).
Toffee Apple Pies
Too good to save for Bonfire Night, our Toffee Apple Pies are a delicious sweet treat all year round. With sugar and lashings of butter, pastry-topped pies aren’t typically the best thing when you’re following a slimming-friendly diet, but our version keeps things far lighter.
We’ve skipped shortcrust for lower-calorie sheets of ready-rolled filo pastry, and scrunched it up to make our golden topping.
To give our pies their signature sticky toffee flavour, we’ve infused our appley filling with low-sugar caramel dessert topping, and added a drizzle right before baking too.
You don’t want to hang around once these leave the oven. Serve them straight away and get lost in the crispy caramel goodness.
Apple Pie Pavlova
When you’re in the mood to impress, our Apple Pie Pavlova is the perfect autumnal showstopper. Who needs apple pie when you can have a home-baked meringue, topped with cream and caramel-drizzled apples, for only 121 calories per serving?
This decadent-seeming dessert is bursting with autumn flavours, with cinnamon, ginger and zingy lemon juice swirled into the appley filling.
Pop it at the centre of your table ready to ‘wow’ your dinner guests. You can even zhuzh up the presentation by adding more fruits on top (strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, and kiwi all work really well).
Just be sure to count the additional calories, if you’re keeping track.
Our Cinnamon Swirls are a crispy, light nibble that’ll have you wanting to pop the kettle on. These batch-cookable little swirls refrigerate nicely in an airtight container for a few days, meaning there’s no need to rush through the whole trayload – if you can resist!
The best part about this recipe is that you only need 5 ingredients. Once you’ve gathered up light puff pastry, sweetener, cinnamon, skimmed milk and a dash of water, it’s time to bake.
A sharp bread knife will help you to cut the light puff pastry sheets into clean, even strips.
Once your swirls are in the oven, you’ll only need to wait 20 minutes until they’re gorgeously golden.
Take a look through our favourite puff pastry swirl recipes if you’re hungry for more.
Cinnamon Drizzle Squares
There’s no need to avoid cake if you’re following a slimming plan. Recipes like our Cinnamon Drizzle Squares are just the thing to curb your autumnal sweet cravings.
Our traybake is so simple to make with minimal washing-up afterwards. Add a finishing touch of icing sugar to top off the soft, cinnamon-infused sponge, just like Andria has (this photo is from our Gallery and we absolutely love it).
Each square is scrumptious as a quick, bite-sized snack, or you can turn them into a heartier dessert with an added swirl of fat-free yoghurt or low-calorie ice cream.
Microwave Chocolate Sponge Pudding
It’s well worth getting stuck into our Microwave Chocolate Sponge Pudding recipe. It’s autumnal dessert indulgence by the spoonful, for a fraction of the calories you’d expect at just 170 per portion.
You won’t find anything fancy in our ingredients list – chances are, you’ve already got everything you need in your kitchen cupboards.
While these puds are seriously chocolatey and comforting to begin with, you can take things up a notch by serving yours with Chocolate Custard (turn to pages 240-241 of Pinch of Nom: Comfort Food for the full recipe).
Our microwaveable version is ready in 5 minutes; if you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, you can bake it in the oven too.
Rustling up a homely Pumpkin Pie is part and parcel of autumn. Our recipe uses low-calorie tortilla wraps instead of pastry, to reduce the calories without losing the all-important crunchy base.
We’ve used budget-friendly tinned pumpkin puree for our filling, but you can use pureed fresh pumpkin, or butternut squash if you’d prefer.
This one’s especially yummy to tuck into after a cold night of trick-or-treating. You can always get even cosier by washing it down with a Pumpkin Spice Latte (our recipe is far cheaper and lighter than a cafe-bought version).
Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake
This Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe turns your leftover glut of pumpkin into a thrifty, showstopping autumnal dessert. We usually make one larger cheesecake that’s perfect for slicing and serving, but you can always create 24 mini cheesecakes for a family buffet night.
There’s no shortage of autumnal spice in every slice, thanks to a caramelised Biscoff biscuit base, and the medley of warming spices in our wobbly cheesecake layer.
This recipe needs to chill overnight before you can personalise it with your choice of decorations. Some edible spiders and cobwebs would look great if you’re getting creative for Halloween!
Bakewell Baked Oats
Our scrummy Bakewell Baked Oats never fail to fend off chilly weather. This recipe is a hug in a bowl whether you tuck into it at breakfast, or save it to enjoy as a cosy dessert.
The beauty of baked oats is that you can prepare them well in advance, and save them in the fridge or freezer to warm you up throughout the week.
We’ve used a teaspoon of cherry jam to give our bowlful a lip-smacking juicy centre. If you’d prefer a more citrusy flavour, add a batch of Orange Marmalade Baked Oats to your meal plan.
Biscoff Lava Cakes
Rich with cinnamon and caramelised deliciousness, autumn isn’t the same without the buttery crunch of Biscoff biscuits. Our Biscoff Lava Cakes have an oozy, luxurious-tasting Biscoff spread centre, tucked into a fluffy and light sponge, for only 240 calories per pudding.
A heavenly way to finish a cold day, they’re ideal for when you’re short on time; you can have them risen and ready to serve in 20 minutes, or even quicker from a microwave!
If we’ve left you with a hankering for all things Biscoff, take a scroll through our top slimming-friendly Biscoff recipes.
Which of our warming autumnal desserts will you make first?
We’d love to hear which of our warming autumnal desserts you’ll be cuddling up to tonight. If you get a chance, take a photo of your creation and share it in our Facebook group. There’s almost 1 million amazing community members waiting to support you on your slimming journey.
Taking a look through our Gallery is a great way to find out what everyone else is cooking at the minute. You’ll want to sign up to a free website account to upload and share your photos (it’s SO simple, and we’ve got a step-by-step guide you can follow!).
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