Fall Baking Trend Report

With cooler weather driving us indoors, baking takes on a new appeal. While we often use the new year as the time to discuss new trends, in the baking world, fall seems to be when we look at styles and whims related to baking.

Some of these trends may endure beyond the season, and some will disappeared as quickly as they arrived but regardless of their duration, they are all delicious.

1. Naked Cakes

Also called unfrosted cakes, naked cakes may have fillings or frostings, but the sides of the cakes are exposed to show off the layers and textures. This was popular in the mid 1990’s, but enough time has passed that the notion is new again.

To work effectively, the cake and the filling must have enough complexity in taste and also visual contrast to stand out. Think:

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Frosting

2. Linzer Cookies

Pretty cookies are always trendy, but styles vary. Macarons have been around too long to be a new “trend” and iced cut-out cookies are still popular, but a classic Linzer cookies, with its window pane showing through to reveal its jam filling are a hit. They allow the baker to show off skill and finesse but also creativity as the shapes and filling combinations can vary. I expect to see linzer cookies in many holiday cookie tins.

3. Tarte Tatin

Everyone loves an apple pie, but Tarte Tatin is seeing a new life this fall. First sugar is caramelized in a sauté or cast iron pan, then apple quarters are arranged in the pan. Top it with puff pastry, bake and then invert to serve.

What’s new is switching up the fruits – appear & cranberry, quince, and even pineapple feature in a more modern version, once you are tired of apples.

4. Tea Flavours

We all know that tea is the new coffee, but it’s time to think outside the teacup. Tea is simply an infusion – leaes are stepped in liquid to draw out their flavor, so why not do the same and draw out the flavor to use in desserts. Anywhere that involves a hot liquid such as in a Crème Anglaise, Pastry Cream, Chocolate Ganache or Crème Brulee can take on a tea profile. Tea can even be ground finely and worked into shortbread cookies or the crust for a cheesecake. Some creative options include:

Early Grey Chiffon Cake
Lapsang Souchong Chocolate Truffles (the tea lends a refined smokey character that plays nicely against the chocolate)
Rooibos Crème Brulee

5. Honey

With more attention than ever paid to our bee population, supporting your local beekeeper and apiary is important. What’s become trendy is not just using honey inbaking & cooking, or drizzle on top, but sticking your pantry with honeys from different flowers. It’s amazing how different honey can taste, when produced from different fields. Buckwheat honey has a deep brown colour and intense pastoral earthiness, while blueberry honey is light and delicate.